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Regulations Applied To Cryptocurrencies Around The World

Cryptocurrency Regulations
Since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, the economic revolution of cryptocurrencies has generated a stir in its demand, causing an increase in its popularity, therefore, increasing the transactions within the blockchain and the movements of crypto in the market. Consequently, many countries have had to implement laws and regulations to control crypto transactions within their jurisdiction, note that the blockchain are decentralized and do not respond to any public financial and legal entity, causing a lack of control over the transactions within the network.
Telos Blockchain, having governance and a specific and defined arbitration system, is governed by laws and regulations that prevent many illicit actions from becoming effective, this collaborates with the cause of the countries that are implementing new regulations, becoming the ideal platform.
As the demand for crypto increases, governments apply greater regulations at a global level, taking into account that cryptocurrencies are not backed by central banks, which is why many countries believe that there should be regulations that control this type of currency since it affects its local currency directly and indirectly; despite being an asset that can bring economic benefits to its users, it also lends itself to criminal actions through the network and the crypto. Any decision or economic announcement made in each country determines negatively or positively the behavior of the price of digital currencies.
The regulators aim to prevent illicit actions in exchange houses, such as, for example, money laundering, terrorism financing, scams, payments to the dark web among others; According to the DEA, 10% of transactions with cryptocurrencies are used for illegal activities. During an interview with Lilita Infante of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), published in Bloomberg, five years ago the percentage of criminal activity in blockchain transactions was 90%, at present, this number represents 10%, which has become transactions for price speculation and not for other purposes.
In countries of the first world, governments have established regulations and laws that control the use of crypto assets. The regulations applied in China are not the same applied in the United States or Japan. Herein will be specified some regulations of countries where crypto have marked a trend.

Regulations In Japan

Asia, is one of the continents where more transactions of cryptocurrencies are made, not all countries that constitute the continent have been receptive, but this is not the case in Japan; where there are regulations in the commercial exchange of cryptocurrencies. The amendment that approved the use of cryptocurrencies in the country took effect as of 2017; under the Payment Services Act, only exchanges with representatives that reside in Japan and have offices in the country registered as part of the Japanese financial services agency may legally operate in the exchange of digital currencies.
The National Tax Agency (Dec 2017), established that all income in cryptocurrency are classified as “miscellaneous income” and are added to the total amount of other income that a citizen has; the taxes are calculated from the total amount of the incomes and then they are taxed. Investors must pay taxes at rates that range from 15% to 55%.
Japan under the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds, exchanges are required to verify the identities of customers who open accounts, keep records of transactions and notify the authorities when a suspicious transaction is recognized. Following the loss of 400 million dollars in NEM tokens in one of the most used exchanges in Japan, Coincheck, the government of Japan, according to the Library of Congress,
“The local Finance Bureau ordered Coincheck to submit a report on the same day, examined it, and issued an order of business improvement on January 29, 2018. The following day the FSA requested all cryptocurrency exchange businesses to review their system-risk management plans and report the results to the FSA. On March 2, 2018, the FSA conducted an on-site inspection of Coincheck. On March 8, 2018, the local Finance Bureaus issued business-improvement orders to seven exchange businesses, again including Coincheck. A group of cryptocurrency exchange businesses publicized their decision to form a new self-regulating body on March 2, 2018, that all registered exchange businesses will join. The body aims to obtain authorization from the FSA under the Payment Services Act.”

Regulations In China

Mainland China

In this country, both cryptocurrencies and exchange houses have been banned by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), were completely eliminated in 2017, where 173 platforms were closed by 2018. Financial institutions cannot make any transactions with Bitcoin or another digital currency. In addition, they also banned ICOs and national currency exchanges. Additionally, as of January 2018, most of the crypto miners closed operations.

Hong Kong

Unlike mainland China, there is a British ex-colony that in 1997 stopped being part of Britain and became part of the Chinese, but it was agreed that this region would be autonomous for half a century before Beijing takes full control over it. In other words, it is “one country, two systems”. This area called Hong Kong is governed by the same president of mainland China but does not comply with the same communist regulations. Unlike China, the cryptocurrencies are legal, currently, there is no legislation that regulates digital money, but they have an anti-crime organization which sanctions those who do not comply with requirements that stops cases of money laundering or fraud; Bitcoin is considered a virtual asset.
Crypto Legal Status 2019

Regulations In The USA

Currently, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender, although their exchange is; the regulations will depend on the state and the federal authorities since each one has different concepts of cryptocurrencies.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) considers that tokens are another value that replaces the local currency (Dollar), unlike the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which establishes that cryptocurrencies are taxed as a property and not like a coin.
In 2015, 802 people declared and paid taxes on the cryptocurrencies profits, which means that users are evading these taxes; The IRS is apparently using a unique software that helps them locate those users who are evading taxes. This theory is promoted by Laura Walter, a certified public accountant and cryptocurrency tax specialist, who published on July 8, 2018, a document that apparently has been presented to IRS agents of the Criminal Investigation division. The document indicates that the IRS intends to serve the subpoenas to request from large technology companies (Apple, Google, Paypal among others) information on users’ download history and to confirm whether they have any application in their devices related to any cryptocurrency.
The United States is considered one of the countries with most transactions in LocalBitcoin, therefore, they have placed more regulations and laws when making this type of transactions. In 2018, the US Supreme Court debated the future of Bitcoin for the first time, and this and other cryptocurrencies are regulated under United States law.
The treasury of the United States classified in 2013, that Bitcoin is a “convertible decentralized virtual currency”. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC, classified bitcoin as a “good or asset” in September 2015.
The US government has required all monetary service companies, such as, for example, exchanges, which carry out considerable transactions in the region, to meet several requirements:
• Register in the FinCEN.
• Design an anti-money laundering (AML) program.
• Maintain record and make reports in case of suspicious activity (SAR). US FinCEN receives 1,500 SARs per month.
• Make and deliver reports of digital currency transactions (CTR).

Regulations In Canada

Currently, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender, although their exchange is, depending on the province. Since 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency has taxed the cryptocurrency transactions depending on the type of activity. Canada was one of the first countries to draw up cryptocurrency legislation, which designated exchanges as “money service businesses,” where they have to follow with anti-money laundering and know-your-client requirements among others.

Regulations In The European Union

Cryptocurrencies are legal, depending on the country the regulations will change. Exchange houses are currently not regulated at the regional level. In some cases, the exchanges have to register with the regulators of each country, where they grant these companies authorizations to operate legally within the jurisdiction of each country. In addition, each jurisdiction has different tax systems, which charge citizen’s taxes from the profits of the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency that ranges from 0% -50%.

Regulations In Australia

In Australia cryptocurrencies (treated as property) and exchanges are considered legal; In 2017 the Australian Senate declared the legality of cryptocurrencies and are subject of Capital Gains Tax. The same year, they began debating statutes for anti-money laundering to the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges; by the end of the year, cryptocurrency exchanges have to register with the country’s financial intelligence agency Austrac where they have to verify the user identity and other requirements. Currently, there are no regulations for the use of digital money as a payment method.

Countries where cryptocurrency is banned or legal 2019

In conclusion…

Consequently to the economic collapses that many developing countries have been through, there is a need for a stable economic structure that is not easily influenced by its environment. The blockchain has provided solutions to this need and many users from all over the world have had to resort to this economic model, as, for example, Third World countries, which suffer inflation, exchange controls, economic regulations by their governments, among other problems. Telos Blockchain has come to give an economical alternative to the user for the best management of their assets and their patrimony with a reliable and safe model, unlike other blockchains that have fallen into fraud, scams, money laundering among others, many countries have taken action on the matter and have placed regulations and laws that control possible security flaws in this model, such as unlawful acts.
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UK Crypto Regulation Is Changing, Recognition Looming at Long Last

UK Crypto Regulation Is Changing, Recognition Looming at Long Last
https://preview.redd.it/r03lp3ztgcg31.jpg?width=2000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9e373dc7eb48f48e0f0b41997b504c1104730e6b
The United Kingdom has long been a financial mecca. Ever since the Big Bang and the arrival of Thatcherism in the ‘80s, Britain has cultivated a finance-friendly environment revolving around the city of London, with deregulation inviting a wave of foreign investment and trading activity. However, while it has even been suggested that London will overtake San Francisco as the fintechunicorn capital of the world, the U.K. has been less welcoming of crypto than it has of traditional finance.
As industry bodies like CryptoUK as well as other commentators have complained, the lack of regulatory clarity and the presence of suspicion toward cryptocurrency has been holding back the U.K.'s crypto industry. However, the situation has slowly begun to change in recent months, with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updating its guidelines on cryptocurrencies, and with a series of consultations on crypto regulation due to begin toward the end of the year.
While these are only preliminary steps, they will most likely go a long way in establishing the kind of standardized, rule-bound environment that will provide investors and the general public with the confidence that crypto is safe.

Cryptocurrency and the U.K.

At the moment, the U.K. probably sits somewhere between the middle and upper ranges of the international leaderboard for cryptocurrency regulations. It hasn't produced any specific crypto-focused legislation as of yet, but it nonetheless has taken a fairly lenient approach to crypto, despite most officials having nothing but bad things to say about Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital currencies. Most obviously, it hasn't banned crypto in general or any kinds of coins/tokens (e.g., privacy coins) in particular, while it also doesn't apply any existing financial laws too stringently to cryptocurrencies.
Related: Differences Between Tokens, Coins and Virtual Currencies, Explained
For the most part, the U.K.’s government, the Bank of England and other institutions haven't seen it fit to come down heavily on crypto simply because none of them — at least, not until recently — have really believed that the industry has been big enough to warrant dedicated measures. For instance, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney declared in March 2018 that the market for cryptocurrencies isn't a threat to U.K. financial stability:
"At present, in my view, crypto-assets do not appear to pose material risks to financial stability. Looking ahead, financial stability risks could rise if retail participation significantly increased or linkages with the formal financial sector grew without material improvements in market integrity, anti-money laundering standards and cyber defenses.”
And just as British authorities and lawmakers haven't been particularly scared by the rise of crypto, the government and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (i.e., the British equivalent of the IRS) have been comfortable taxing the proceeds of cryptocurrency trading and crypto-related business according to the current tax regime.
For businesses, for example, income tax is chargeable to the profits and losses that arise from transactions involving cryptocurrencies, while the U.K. also charges capital gains tax to anyone who makes a profit via crypto trading of over 12,000 British pounds (about $14,500). Added to this, a value-added tax (VAT) is also chargeable if anyone sells goods or services in the U.K. for cryptocurrency.

Gaps and uncertainties

Still, even though the cryptocurrency industry has been able to gain an initial foothold in the U.K. within the present legislative environment, industry groups and figures believe that specific crypto-focused regulation needs to be introduced, in order to provide greater clarity and support for anyone operating an exchange in the U.K. or holding an initial coin offering (ICO). Toward the end of July, CryptoUK wrote an open letter to the newly installed Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, in which the trade body's chairman, Iqbal Gandham, cited three reasons why the U.K.'s crypto industry was "falling behind other countries."
The first of these was the difficulty crypto exchanges and other platforms have encountered in opening bank accounts in the U.K., which derives largely from the fact that many aren't currently licensed by any regulatory body (there are a handful of exceptions, however). Gandham wrote in the letter:
"In our recent survey of crypto businesses, we found that 73% of firms have opened a bank account in another country due to complications with banking in the UK. More than half of those who tried to open an account have been rejected, with half receiving no reason from the bank."
Most significantly for the viability of the U.K.'s cryptocurrency sector, there is also the aforementioned lack of regulatory certainty, given that no specific regulations or laws have been introduced that directly address digital currencies. Gandham continued on:
"Secondly, we need a proportionate, well-designed regulatory regime for crypto assets in the UK to support the sector’s growth. Whilst the UK Government has made positive noises, other countries such as Japan and Switzerland have grasped the initiative more strongly. As the Government seeks to compete on the global stage post-Brexit, we urge you to take the lead in attracting crypto companies to base themselves here in the UK."
Lastly, Gandham ended CryptoUK's letter by urging Javid and the British government simply to be more proactive in nurturing the crypto and blockchain industry. And while Gandham reaffirmed that the industry "needs regulatory certainty to reach its full potential in future," he nonetheless told Cointelegraph that several positive developments have occurred in recent months, beginning with the FCA's July guidance on crypto assets.
In these new guidelines, the financial regulator confirmed that it wouldn't be regulating Bitcoin and Ethereum as assets and securities, although it would be regulating security tokens and some utility tokens as such, since they often confer investor rights comparable to shares and debt instruments. Gandham told Cointelegraph:
"The FCA’s recent update to its guidance on cryptoassets is broadly a step in the right direction. Following last year’s Cryptoassets Taskforce report, CryptoUK called for additional clarity to be added to the FCA’s taxonomy and a more comprehensive explanation of how the existing regulatory perimeter applies. We were pleased to see that the regulator’s updated guidance reflected our call for a separate category to cover tokens which constitute e-money under existing regulation."
Individual members of CryptoUK are also in agreement that the new guidelines are, in general, a welcome step forward. CEO and founder of the U.K.-based CEX.io exchange, Oleksandr Lutskevych, explained to Cointelegraph that industry players were involved in formulating the FCA's latest advice, saying:
"The current guidance implements the experience and knowledge gathered by crypto businesses from the international market over the last few years and represents the position of the major cryptocurrency businesses in the UK. It lays well on top of the existing financial regulations."
Encouragingly, Lutskevych also stated that the FCA was open to suggestions from the industry itself, and that it is listening to figures within it and trying to act on their advice. According to Lutskevych:
“When CEX.IO was consulting the FCA on possible ways to classify digital tokens, our experts proposed putting crypto assets meeting the definition of e-money into a separate category called ‘e-money tokens’ and placing them in the regulatory perimeter. We highlighted this in our submissions to the FCA and in consultations on crypto assets. We are delighted that the latest version of the guidance reflects our recommendation in full.”

More work ahead

Still, as with CryptoUK as a whole, CEX.io believes that more work needs to be done to improve the regulatory situation for cryptocurrency businesses. Because even with the new guidance, the environment is still confused and complicated for exchanges, platforms and other related businesses, with Lutskevych suggesting that the industry has been neglected in the understandable push to protect consumers:
"To us, 'fair' regulation protects customers and clears obstacles to crypto businesses who proactively cooperate with regulators and obey the rules. So far, the FCA has done a great job protecting customers. We are expecting the next steps to help businesses.”
Lutskevych also argues that some areas of the cryptocurrency industry are being neglected by recent advances, particularly those areas that relate to token sales and ICOs:
"While security and e-money tokens and the operators that deal with them can now play according to known rules provided by the MiFID (Market and Financial Instruments Directive) and EMD (e-money directive), there are components of the industry for which regulation must be rethought from the ground up. For example, we think it would be bad practice to apply crowdfunding regulations to ICOs."
But while the U.K. cryptocurrency industry is still being hobbled by an absence of supportive legislation and/or regulation, there is general agreement that, even beyond the latest FCA guidelines, things would appear to be slowly improving. The European Union and its member states will begin enforcing the fifth Anti‑Money Laundering Directive beginning in January 2020. While it's likely that the U.K. won't be a member of the EU by this time, it will still abide by the directive, with exchanges and other crypto-processing firms being required to register with the FCA and submit suspicious activity reports. The directive would introduce regulations for crypto wallet and exchange firms, forcing them to register with their local authorities.
This would go a long way in helping U.K.-based exchanges apply for bank accounts. At the same time, Gandham points out that several consultations on cryptocurrencies are due to take place in the U.K. toward the end of this year, which could ultimately also make the situation for crypto-related businesses considerably easier. Gandham added:
"This will determine the outlines of future crypto regulation and is the opportunity to ensure this is done in a way which is proportionate, fair and future-proofed. We would expect to see this lead to a Regulated Activity Order to specify cryptoassets as a new regulated activity, introduced through secondary legislation."

Recognition

For the crypto industry, those planned consultations cannot come soon enough. It's hard to say how such consultations — such asone regarding a ban on the retail sale of crypto derivatives — will pan out, but given the emergence of Facebook's Libra, it's likely that U.K. authorities will now proceed with extra impetus and resolve. Gandham hopes regulations come soon so that the U.K. would not lag behind the rest:
"The launch of business models with the scale and ambition of Libra illustrates why it is so important for jurisdictions like the UK to get crypto regulation right now, to create the right environment for encouraging innovation and protecting consumers, rather than attempting to regulate later in a retroactive way."
Likewise, Lutskevych agrees that the entry of massive corporations like Facebook into the crypto industry has convinced U.K. regulators that crypto is not only big, but will get bigger with every passing month and year. According to Lutskevych:
"If launched, Libra would have enormous implications on global finance, and local governments cannot ignore this. As a result, regulators at all levels are likely to adopt more specific rules on digital assets for organizations like Facebook. For example, the US already reviews a proposal to ban big tech companies from issuing digital money."
Related: Reasons Why US Government Won’t Ban Libra Cryptocurrency
Taken together, such developments indicate that the days of crypto being largely unregulated in the U.K. are severely numbered. To take another example, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs recently began requiring crypto exchanges operating in the U.K. to provide it with user data so that it could crack down on potential cases of tax evasion involving cryptocurrencies.
If nothing else, this underlines how the British government has begun recognizing crypto as a significant and substantial presence in the U.K.'s financial landscape, one that could, at the very least, make a difference to the nation's tax receipts. And assuming that the cryptocurrency industry continues its steady rise to mainstream prominence, it's only a matter of time before crypto in the U.K. receives the regulation it has long demanded.
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Li Lihui, Former President of Bank of China: We are in a period of great opportunities for the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation

Source: https://www.chainnews.com/articles/946394501375.htm
Source of this article: Sina Finance. This content is intended to convey more market information and does not constitute any investment advice.
Sina Finance News On November 29, 2019, the ReFinTech Financial Technology Summit was held at Beijing New World Hotel. Li Lihui, the head of the China Mutual Fund Association's blockchain team and former president of the Bank of China, attended and gave a speech. The topic of the speech was "National Strategy and Fiat Digital Currency."
Li Lihui said that digital currencies will play a central role in the global digital economy competition in the future, and it is necessary to step up research on feasible routes and implementation plans for the issuance of global digital currencies led by China. Digital finance is bound to further strengthen the globalization of finance. In the construction of the global system of digital finance, China should actively participate in and strive for the right to speak. It is necessary to strengthen international regulatory coordination, promote regulatory consensus, and establish a unified international regulatory standard for digital finance.

Blockchain technology architecture
Li Lihui pointed out that blockchain is an integrated innovation of multiple technologies and has the following four characteristics.
Chain block structure based on timestamp, it is difficult to tamper with the on-chain data; Real-time running system based on consensus algorithm, specified data can be shared; Based on self-rules of smart contracts, technical trust can be authenticated; Based on the end-to-end network of the encryption algorithm, the counterparties can choose each other.
According to different technical architectures, blockchain can be divided into 3 types.
The basic characteristics of the public blockchain architecture are: a decentralized distributed ledger that uses open read, write, and transaction permissions; a decentralized digital trust mechanism that uses consensus algorithms and encryption algorithms; and a virtual currency incentive mechanism that demonstrates work contribution and equity. .
The technical drawbacks of the public blockchain architecture are high hardware requirements and low transaction speed. If the public blockchain can break through the technical bottleneck of transaction speed and resource utilization efficiency, and achieve publicly recognized reliability, it may be able to expand the territory in social life and modern commerce.
The characteristic of the private blockchain architecture is that the distributed ledger is centralized, and the read, write, and transaction permissions must be approved by the "central" and subject to the constraints and restrictions of the "central". The digital trust mechanism of the private chain does not emphasize "going intermediary".
Private blockchain has the "centralization" feature of traditional information technology architecture, but uses blockchain technology such as distributed ledger, smart contracts, and encryption algorithms. Blockchain platforms are easy to integrate with existing information technology platforms and can establish bureaus Regional multi-dimensional interaction architecture improves data processing speed and quality.
Alliance blockchain can generally be regarded as a collection of private blockchains. It adopts a distributed, multi-center, intermediary architecture. Its basic characteristics are open-source, multi-center distributed ledger, limited license, limited authorization. Read, write, and transaction permissions, without emphasis on the digital trust mechanism of intermediaries.
Different from the traditional big center data architecture, the "central" status of the alliance chain may not be designated by the administration, but largely depends on the competitive results of technological advancement and service friendliness; "trust" can come from intermediaries and rely on tradition Credit model can also be technical trust without intermediary.
The characteristics of distributed, end-to-end, open source, and multi-center that the blockchain technology theoretically possesses are likely to restructure the technology architecture in a certain range and rebuild the business model in a certain range.
First, the distributed architecture and end-to-end network are helpful for the parallel transmission of information, the realization of information sharing, and the parallel control of control. In the scenario of many counterparties, many transaction links, long management chains, and high degree of discreteness, time-space folding And three-dimensional interactive business architecture to improve cooperation efficiency and operation efficiency.
Second, the chain block data structure, consensus mechanism, time stamp, and key technologies can help prevent tampering of the original data, control the risk of data leakage, and protect privacy and data security.
Third, smart contracts help to achieve differentiation and credibility of transaction rules, automate the execution of business processes, ensure the timeliness of transactions, avoid false transactions and repeated transactions, and reduce moral and operational risks to a certain extent.
In the field of finance, the application of the alliance's blockchain technology is likely to build a distributed ledger system in which large, medium and small financial institutions participate together, forming a technical platform for financial institutions to interconnect and interconnect, and to seamlessly link existing systems with innovative systems and realize financial The direct link between the service system and customers enables information sharing, product sharing, and service sharing to provide more efficient financial services.
The practice of blockchain technology development and application proves that in large-scale commercial applications, the alliance blockchain is most likely to become the mainstream architecture.

Central Bank Legal Digital Currency
Digital currencies with legal status, endorsement of state sovereignty, and subjects with issuance responsibility constitute legal digital currencies, or central bank digital currencies.
Central banks of many countries have long announced the launch of digital currency research and development. But regarding the basic structure of legal digital currency, countries are still demonstrating and have not yet made a choice.
The development of China's fiat digital currency lasted for 5 years, and there have recently been signs of preparation for issuance. According to the information disclosed by central bank officials, China's legal digital currency may be called DC / EP, Digital Currency / Electronic Payment, that is, digital currency and electronic payment.
First, adopt a two-tier operation delivery system to inherit the indirect issuance model. Applying digital technologies such as blockchain, fiat digital currencies can adopt the "central bank-public" direct issue model. In the direct issue model, the central bank can have the absolute power and ability to regulate the money market and can directly absorb public deposits, which will limit the initial credit capacity of commercial banks. If the indirect issuance model of the fiat currency "Central Bank-Commercial Bank-Public" is selected, it will inherit the current money market operation mechanism and monetary policy transmission mechanism.
The benefits of inheriting the current model are savings and robustness. First, it is not necessary to rebuild the financial infrastructure, which is conducive to saving investment; second, it is not necessary to restructure the currency issuance and management structure in addition to the old cloth, which is conducive to managing risks; third, it is not necessary to look forward and backward to connect different characteristics of the currency issuance model, which is conducive to stabilizing the market.
Second, adopt a parallel technical route and adhere to the central bank's central management model. Based on the judgment that "the existing blockchain technology cannot meet the high concurrent demand of the retail market in the super market", fiat digital currencies should remain technologically neutral and do not rely on a single technology. The central bank should adhere to a centralized management model to ensure the reliability of the monetary policy transmission mechanism, the efficiency of currency control, and prevent financial institutions from overspending.
Third, the "account loose coupling" method is adopted to replace the currency M0. Electronic payment tools such as WeChat Pay and Alipay use the "tight coupling of accounts" method. They need to be tied to a bank account and transfer value through the bank account. Under the real-name account management system, the need for anonymous payment cannot be realized. The fiat digital currency may adopt the method of "account loose coupling" plus electronic wallet, to achieve end-to-end value transfer from bank accounts, reduce the dependence of financial intermediaries on transaction links, and achieve controllable anonymous payments within the scope permitted by the central bank.
At present, the design of China's legal digital currency may be limited to replacing M0, that is, cash in circulation, rather than narrow money M1 and broad money M2. This depends on the judgment of the digital trends and potential market demand of China's M0, M1, and M2.
WeChat Pay and Alipay use digital technology to build mobile payment and living service platforms that use trust links as a link, breaking through the traditional payment model, and have achieved 1 billion straight-line links, ranking among the top 2 in global mobile payment platforms. WeChat Pay and Alipay dominated the retail payment market, with cash and ATM transactions significantly reduced, and bank cards became bundled account cards.
The legal digital currency in China's design can theoretically be separated from the network and from banks to perform value transfer. This is different from WeChat Pay and Alipay. But in the end, whether it can replace traditional currency forms, replace emerging electronic payment tools, and become the main currency form and main payment tool will be decided by the market: it is more convenient to use, the circulation cost is lower, and the public is willing to accept it, thereby forming an economic scale with commercial value .

Digital Economy National Strategy
The application of blockchain technology has extended to many fields such as digital finance, the Internet of Things, intelligent manufacturing, supply chain management, and digital asset trading. How to evaluate the current status of blockchain technology and industrial development? My opinion is that the underlying technology of the blockchain is not yet mature, and the technical bottlenecks of large-scale and reliable applications need to be broken. We are in the period of great opportunities for the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation.
First, blockchain technology is still immature and bottlenecks need to be broken.
In the underlying technology, as a technology integration innovation, the basic components of the blockchain database, P2P peer-to-peer network, and cryptographic algorithms are relatively mature, but they must further meet the new requirements of integrated applications; new mechanisms such as consensus mechanisms and smart contracts Technology needs to be improved. Gartner, a technology consulting company, believes that it will take 5-10 years for blockchain technology to mature.
At present, large-scale applications of blockchain technology have not been implemented in various countries. China's blockchain technology research and development is committed to breaking through the bottleneck of large-scale reliable applications.
The first is private computing technology. Under the blockchain consensus mechanism, how to effectively shield sensitive information, improve signature technology, secure computing technology, encryption technology, trusted execution technology, etc., to ensure data security and digital link reliability.
The second is the authenticity supervision mechanism. How to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the data before the on-chain, when the blockchain technology is used to trace the source of various assets, a closed loop is truly formed to avoid information distortion and prevent speculation.
The third is smart contract technology. How to avoid technical loopholes in smart contracts, and achieve controllable business logic corrections and contract upgrades.
The fourth is key technology. Key security is the cornerstone of blockchain trust. In the unique technical structure of the private key, how to effectively prevent the private key from being stolen or deleted maliciously, and to remedy the loss and theft of the private key.
Fifth, integration of diversified technology platforms. How to optimize the multi-dimensional parallel interaction architecture to achieve efficient links between more participants; how to improve the quality and speed of data processing to achieve ultra-large-scale, high reliability, and high security requirements.
Second, implement the national strategy for the digital economy.
The attitudes and trends of developed countries on digital finance and digital economy deserve our attention.
The United States is concerned about digital financial market norms. The focus of US regulation is to regulate digital financial markets and prevent digital financial instruments from being used in illegal areas. In 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission included ICOs under supervision, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved the Chicago Options Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to launch Bitcoin futures trading. In 2018, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission stated that the regulatory strategy for digital currencies is to use case law enforcement rather than a systematic interpretation of securities laws, and to carefully, orderly, and actively clarify regulatory principles and boundaries.
Germany and France are concerned about digital sovereignty. On October 29, 2019, Germany and France announced the "Gaia-X" project involving German and French core companies, which aims to build a secure and reliable data infrastructure for Europe. German Economy Minister Peter. Altmeyer said that this infrastructure will help us regain digital sovereignty and lay the foundation for a digital ecosystem. French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno. Lemaire said the project will include data storage, data concentration and data sharing. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that what worries me most is that most of the processing of industrial and consumer data is done by American companies, and a kind of dependency relationship is being formed. Merkel advocates taking a long-term view and digitizing the overall layout from as many European perspectives as possible.
We should implement the national strategy of the digital economy and maintain the security of the digital economy.
The first is to master autonomous and controllable technologies.
On the underlying technologies such as the blockchain consensus mechanism and smart contracts, China currently lacks independent property rights. Most of the application projects in China use the open source blockchain underlying platform for adaptive adjustment and development, and optimize from the number of concurrent users, throughput, response time, availability, security, etc., to meet business needs, to achieve identity authentication, privacy Protection, node management and other functions.
Extensive application of foreign open source programs may lead to technology dependence risks, and must comply with the jurisdiction and legal constraints of the place where the open source platform is registered, potentially hiding geopolitical risks. For example, the terms of use of the open source program GitHub clearly state that the use of GitHub must not violate export control or sanctions laws in the United States or other applicable jurisdictions.
We should vigorously support technological innovation and strive to master digital technology. Clarify digital technology and digital industry policies, grant tax and fee concessions to digital technology R & D enterprises and professionals, encourage digital technology R & D and application, national team plus private team, Chinese plus foreign capital, large, medium, small and micro. In the field, we have independent and controllable intellectual property rights and establish global competitive advantages in key areas of digital economy and digital finance.
The development of next-generation computing architecture should be intensified to ensure the fairness and correctness of mathematical algorithms, the privacy and reliability of data, the security of the entire process and the entire cycle of data, and the speed and efficiency of mathematical algorithms.
The second is to accelerate standardization and institutional innovation.
The International Organization for Standardization ISO has established a blockchain and distributed ledger technical committee to study 11 standards, including terminology, reference architecture, privacy and personal information protection, security risks and vulnerabilities. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has established a distributed ledger technology security-related problem group to study 10 standards, including security assurance, security threats, and security framework. The development of IEEE standards for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is mainly focused on blockchain in the fields of IoT data management, digital asset management, government department applications, and cryptocurrencies.
China's blockchain financial standardization construction and institutional construction have just begun. We should pay close attention to improving the technical standards, security specifications, and certification review systems for blockchain finance. Clarify the legal definition of assets, clarify the contractual nature and effectiveness of smart contracts, and clarify the responsible subjects and their behavioral and regulatory standards in a distributed architecture.
Based on the healthy development of digital finance, China should speed up the construction of the digital financial system and step up efforts to formulate digital financial systems such as blockchain financial supervision, digital asset market supervision, digital currency supervision, and legal digital currency issuance. Make overall plans and gradually establish a digital trust mechanism.
Digital currency will occupy a core position in the future global digital economic competition. It is necessary to step up research on the feasible path and implementation plan for the issuance of China-led global digital currency. It is necessary to further explore the feasible path of China's legal digital currency, including alternative range selection, controllable anonymous scale, offline operation technology, and so on.
Digital finance is bound to further strengthen the globalization of finance. In the construction of the global system of digital finance, China should actively participate in and strive for the right to speak. It is necessary to strengthen international regulatory coordination, promote regulatory consensus, and establish a unified international regulatory standard for digital finance.
submitted by Yayowam to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Craig Steven Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto

A couple of years ago in the early months of the 2017, I published a piece called Abundance Via Cryptocurrencies (https://www.reddit.com/C\_S\_T/comments/69d12a/abundance\_via\_cryptocurrencies/) in which I kind of foresaw the crypto boom that had bitcoin go from $1k to $21k and the alt-coin economy swell up to have more than 60% of the bitcoin market capitalisation. At the time, I spoke of coming out from “the Pit” of conspiracy research and that I was a bit suss on bitcoin’s inception story. At the time I really didn’t see the scaling solution being put forward as being satisfactory and the progress on bitcoin seemed stifled by the politics of the social consensus on an open source protocol so I was looking into alt coins that I thought could perhaps improve upon the shortcomings of bitcoin. In the thread I made someone recommended to have a look at 4chan’s business and finance board. I did end up taking a look at it just as the bull market started to really surge. I found myself in a sea of anonymous posters who threw out all kinds of info and memes about the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of different shitcoins and why they’re all going to have lambos on the moon. I got right in to it, I loved the idea of filtering through all the shitposts and finding the nuggest of truth amongst it all and was deeply immersed in it all as the price of bitcoin surged 20x and alt coins surged 5-10 times against bitcoin themselves. This meant there were many people who chucked in a few grand and bought a stash of alt coins that they thought were gonna be the next big thing and some people ended up with “portfolios” 100-1000x times their initial investment.
To explain what it’s like to be on an anonymous business and finance board populated with incel neets, nazis, capitalist shit posters, autistic geniuses and whoever the hell else was using the board for shilling their coins during a 100x run up is impossible. It’s hilarious, dark, absurd, exciting and ultimately addictive as fuck. You have this app called blockfolio that you check every couple of minutes to see the little green percentages and the neat graphs of your value in dollars or bitcoin over day, week, month or year. Despite my years in the pit researching conspiracy, and my being suss on bitcoin in general I wasn’t anywhere near as distrustful as I should have been of an anonymous business and finance board and although I do genuinely think there are good people out there who are sharing information with one another in good faith and feel very grateful to the anons that have taken their time to write up quality content to educate people they don’t know, I wasn’t really prepared for the level of organisation and sophistication of the efforts groups would go to to deceive in this space.
Over the course of my time in there I watched my portfolio grow to ridiculous numbers relative to what I put in but I could never really bring myself to sell at the top of a pump as I always felt I had done my research on a coin and wanted to hold it for a long time so why would I sell? After some time though I would read about something new or I would find out of dodgy relationships of a coin I had and would want to exit my position and then I would rebalance my portfolio in to a coin I thought was either technologically superior or didn’t have the nefarious connections to people I had come across doing conspiracy research. Because I had been right in to the conspiracy and the decentralisation tropes I guess I always carried a bit of an antiauthoritarian/anarchist bias and despite participating in a ridiculously capitalistic market, was kind of against capitalism and looking to a blockchain protocol to support something along the lines of an open source anarchosyndicalist cryptocommune. I told myself I was investing in the tech and believed in the collective endeavour of the open source project and ultimately had faith some mysterious “they” would develop a protocol that would emancipate us from this debt slavery complex.
As I became more and more aware of how to spot artificial discussion on the chans, I began to seek out further some of the radical projects like vtorrent and skycoin and I guess became a bit carried away from being amidst such ridiculous overt shilling as on the boards so that if you look in my post history you can even see me promoting some of these coins to communities I thought might be sympathetic to their use case. I didn’t see it at the time because I always thought I was holding the coins with the best tech and wanted to ride them up as an investor who believed in them, but this kind of promotion is ultimately just part of a mentality that’s pervasive to the cryptocurrency “community” that insists because it is a decentralised project you have to in a way volunteer to inform people about the coin since the more decentralised ones without premines or DAO structures don’t have marketing budgets, or don’t have marketing teams. In the guise of cultivating a community, groups form together on social media platforms like slack, discord, telegram, twitter and ‘vote’ for different proposals, donate funds to various boards/foundations that are set up to give a “roadmap” for the coins path to greatness and organise marketing efforts on places like reddit, the chans, twitter. That’s for the more grass roots ones at least, there are many that were started as a fork of another coin, or a ICO, airdrop or all these different ways of disseminating a new cryptocurrency or raising funding for promising to develop one. Imagine the operations that can be run by a team that raised millions, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars on their ICOs, especially if they are working in conjunction with a new niche of cryptocurrency media that’s all nepotistic and incestuous.
About a year and a half ago I published another piece called “Bitcoin is about to be dethroned” (https://www.reddit.com/C\_S\_T/comments/7ewmuu/bitcoin\_is\_about\_to\_be\_dethroned/) where I felt I had come to realise the scaling debate had been corrupted by a company called Blockstream and they had been paying for social media operations in a fashion not to dissimilar to correct the record or such to control the narrative around the scaling debate and then through deceit and manipulation curated an apparent consensus around their narrative and hijacked the bitcoin name and ticker (BTC). I read the post again just before posting this and decided to refer to it to to add some kind of continuity to my story and hopefully save me writing so much out. Looking back on something you wrote is always a bit cringey especially because I can see that although I had made it a premise post, I was acting pretty confident that I was right and my tongue was acidic because of so much combating of shills on /biz/ but despite the fact I was wrong about the timing I stand by much of what I wrote then and want to expand upon it a bit more now.
The fork of the bitcoin protocol in to bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) is the biggest value fork of the many that have occurred. There were a few others that forked off from the core chain that haven’t had any kind of attention put on them, positive or negative and I guess just keep chugging away as their own implementation. The bitcoin cash chain was supposed to be the camp that backed on chain scaling in the debate, but it turned out not everyone was entirely on board with that and some players/hashpower felt it was better to do a layer two type solution themselves although with bigger blocks servicing the second layer. Throughout what was now emerging as a debate within the BCH camp, Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre of Coin Geek said they were going to support massive on chain scaling, do a node implementation that would aim to restore bitcoin back to the 0.1.0 release which had all kinds of functionality included in it that had later been stripped by Core developers over the years and plan to bankrupt the people from Core who changed their mind on agreeing with on-chain scaling. This lead to a fork off the BCH chain in to bitcoin satoshis vision (BSV) and bitcoin cash ABC.

https://bitstagram.bitdb.network/m/raw/cbb50c322a2a89f3c627e1680a3f40d4ad3cee5a3fb153e5d6d001bdf85de404

The premise for this post is that Craig S Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s an interesting premise because depending upon your frame of reference the premise may either be a fact or to some too outrageous to even believe as a premise. Yesterday it was announced via CoinGeek that Craig Steven Wright has been granted the copyright claim for both the bitcoin white-paper under the pen name Satoshi Nakamoto and the original 0.1.0 bitcoin software (both of which were marked (c) copyright of satoshi nakamoto. The reactions to the news can kind of be classified in to four different reactions. Those who heard it and rejected it, those who heard it but remained undecided, those who heard it and accepted it, and those who already believed he was. Apparently to many the price was unexpected and such a revelation wasn’t exactly priced in to the market with the price immediately pumping nearly 100% upon the news breaking. However, to some others it was a vindication of something they already believed. This is an interesting phenomena to observe. For many years now I have always occupied a somewhat positively contrarian position to the default narrative put forward to things so it’s not entirely surprising that I find myself in a camp that holds the minority opinion. As you can see in the bitcoin dethroned piece I called Craig fake satoshi, but over the last year and bit I investigated the story around Craig and came to my conclusion that I believed him to be at least a major part of a team of people who worked on the protocol I have to admit that through reading his articles, I have kind of been brought full circle to where my contrarian opinion has me becoming somewhat of an advocate for “the system’.
https://coingeek.com/bitcoin-creator-craig-s-wright-satoshi-nakamoto-granted-us-copyright-registrations-for-bitcoin-white-paper-and-code/

When the news dropped, many took to social media to see what everyone was saying about it. On /biz/ a barrage of threads popped up discussing it with many celebrating and many rejecting the significance of such a copyright claim being granted. Immediately in nearly every thread there was a posting of an image of a person from twitter claiming that registering for copyright is an easy process that’s granted automatically unless challenged and so it doesn’t mean anything. This was enough for many to convince them of the insignificance of the revelation because of the comment from a person who claimed to have authority on twitter. Others chimed in to add that in fact there was a review of the copyright registration especially in high profile instances and these reviewers were satisfied with the evidence provided by Craig for the claim. At the moment Craig is being sued by Ira Kleiman for an amount of bitcoin that he believes he is entitled to because of Craig and Ira’s brother Dave working together on bitcoin. He is also engaged in suing a number of people from the cryptocurrency community for libel and defamation after they continued to use their social media/influencer positions to call him a fraud and a liar. He also has a number of patents lodged through his company nChain that are related to blockchain technologies. This has many people up in arms because in their mind Satoshi was part of a cypherpunk movement, wanted anonymity, endorsed what they believed to be an anti state and open source technologies and would use cryptography rather than court to prove his identity and would have no interest in patents.
https://bitstagram.bitdb.network/m/raw/1fce34a7004759f8db16b2ae9678e9c6db434ff2e399f59b5a537f72eff2c1a1
https://imgur.com/a/aANAsL3)

If you listen to Craig with an open mind, what cannot be denied is the man is bloody smart. Whether he is honest or not is up to you to decide, but personally I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and then cut them off if i find them to be dishonest. What I haven’t really been able to do with my investigation of craig is cut him off. There have been many moments where I disagree with what he has had to say but I don’t think people having an opinion about something that I believe to be incorrect is the same as being a dishonest person. It’s very important to distinguish the two and if you are unable to do so there is a very real risk of you projecting expectations or ideals upon someone based off your ideas of who they are. Many times if someone is telling the truth but you don’t understand it, instead of acknowledging you don’t understand it, you label them as being stupid or dishonest. I think that has happened to an extreme extent with Craig. Let’s take for example the moment when someone in the slack channel asked Craig if he had had his IQ tested and what it was. Craig replied with 179. The vast majority of people on the internet have heard someone quote their IQ before in an argument or the IQ of others and to hear someone say such a score that is actually 6 standard deviations away from the mean score (so probably something like 1/100 000) immediately makes them reject it on the grounds of probability. Craig admits that he’s not the best with people and having worked with/taught many high functioning people (sometimes on the spectrum perhaps) on complex anatomical and physiological systems I have seen some that also share the same difficulties in relating to people and reconciling their genius and understandings with more average intelligences. Before rejecting his claim outright because we don’t understand much of what he says, it would be prudent to first check is there any evidence that may lend support to his claim of a one in a million intelligence quotient.

Craig has mentioned on a number of occasions that he holds a number of different degrees and certifications in relation to law, cryptography, statistics, mathematics, economics, theology, computer science, information technology/security. I guess that does sound like something someone with an extremely high intelligence could achieve. Now I haven’t validated all of them but from a simple check on Charles Sturt’s alumni portal using his birthday of 23rd of October 1970 we can see that he does in fact have 3 Masters and a PhD from Charles Sturt. Other pictures I have seen from his office at nChain have degrees in frames on the wall and a developer published a video titled Craig Wright is a Genius with 17 degrees where he went and validated at least 8 of them I believe. He is recently publishing his Doctorate of Theology through an on-chain social media page that you have to pay a little bit for access to sections of his thesis. It’s titled the gnarled roots of creation. He has also mentioned on a number of occasions his vast industry experience as both a security contractor and business owner. An archive from his LinkedIn can be seen below as well.

LinkedIn - https://archive.is/Q66Gl
https://youtu.be/nXdkczX5mR0 - Craig Wright is a Genius with 17 Degrees
https://www.yours.org/content/gnarled-roots-of-a-creation-mythos-45e69558fae0 - Gnarled Roots of Creation.
In fact here is an on chain collection of articles and videos relating to Craig called the library of craig - https://www.bitpaste.app/tx/94b361b205196560d1bd09e4e3b3ec7ad6bea478af204cabfe243efd8fc944dd


So there is a guy with 17 degrees, a self professed one in a hundred thousand IQ, who’s worked for Australian Federal Police, ASIO, NSA, NASA, ASX. He’s been in Royal Australian Air Force, operated a number of businesses in Australia, published half a dozen academic papers on networks, cryptography, security, taught machine learning and digital forensics at a number of universities and then another few hundred short articles on medium about his work in these various domains, has filed allegedly 700 patents on blockchain related technology that he is going to release on bitcoin sv, copyrighted the name so that he may prevent other competing protocols from using the brand name, that is telling you he is the guy that invented the technology that he has a whole host of other circumstantial evidence to support that, but people won’t believe that because they saw something that a talking head on twitter posted or that a Core Developer said, or a random document that appears online with a C S Wright signature on it that lists access to an address that is actually related to Roger Ver, that’s enough to write him off as a scam. Even then when he publishes a photo of the paper copy which appears to supersede the scanned one, people still don’t readjust their positions on the matter and resort back to “all he has to do is move the coins or sign a tx”.

https://imgur.com/urJbe10

Yes Craig was on the Cypherpunk mailing list back in the day, but that doesn’t mean that he was or is an anarchist. Or that he shares the same ideas that Code Is Law that many from the crypto community like to espouse. I myself have definitely been someone to parrot the phrase myself before reading lots of Craig’s articles and trying to understand where he is coming from. What I have come to learn from listening and reading the man, is that although I might be fed up with the systems we have in place, they still exist to perform important functions within society and because of that the tools we develop to serve us have to exist within that preexisting legal and social framework in order for them to have any chance at achieving global success in replacing fiat money with the first mathematically provably scarce commodity. He says he designed bitcoin to be an immutable data ledger where everyone is forced to be honest, and economically disincentivised to perform attacks within the network because of the logs kept in a Write Once Read Many (WORM) ledger with hierarchical cryptographic keys. In doing so you eliminate 99% of cyber crime, create transparent DAO type organisations that can be audited and fully compliant with legislature that’s developed by policy that comes from direct democratic voting software. Everyone who wants anonymous coins wants to have them so they can do dishonest things, illegal things, buy drugs, launder money, avoid taxes.

Now this triggers me a fair bit as someone who has bought drugs online, who probably hasn’t paid enough tax, who has done illegal things contemplating what it means to have that kind of an evidence ledger, and contemplate a reality where there are anonymous cryptocurrencies, where massive corporations continue to be able to avoid taxes, or where methamphetamine can be sold by the tonne, or where people can be bought and sold. This is the reality of creating technologies that can enable and empower criminals. I know some criminals and regard them as very good friends, but I know there are some criminals that I do not wish to know at all. I know there are people that do horrific things in the world and I know that something that makes it easier for them is having access to funds or the ability to move money around without being detected. I know arms, drugs and people are some of the biggest markets in the world, I know there is more than $50 trillion dollars siphoned in to off shore tax havens from the value generated as the product of human creativity in the economy and how much human charity is squandered through the NGO apparatus. I could go on and on about the crappy things happening in the world but I can also imagine them getting a lot worse with an anonymous cryptocurrency. Not to say that I don’t think there shouldn’t be an anonymous cryptocurrency. If someone makes one that works, they make one that works. Maybe they get to exist for a little while as a honeypot or if they can operate outside the law successfully longer, but bitcoin itself shouldn’t be one. There should be something a level playing field for honest people to interact with sound money. And if they operate within the law, then they will have more than adequate privacy, just they will leave immutable evidence for every transaction that can be used as evidence to build a case against you committing a crime.

His claim is that all the people that are protesting the loudest about him being Satoshi are all the people that are engaged in dishonest business or that have a vested interest in there not being one singular global ledger but rather a whole myriad of alternative currencies that can be pumped and dumped against one another, have all kinds of financial instruments applied to them like futures and then have these exchanges and custodial services not doing any Know Your Customer (KYC) or Anti Money Laundering (AML) processes. Bitcoin SV was delisted by a number of exchanges recently after Craig launched legal action at some twitter crypto influencetalking heads who had continued to call him a fraud and then didn’t back down when the CEO of one of the biggest crypto exchanges told him to drop the case or he would delist his coin. The trolls of twitter all chimed in in support of those who have now been served with papers for defamation and libel and Craig even put out a bitcoin reward for a DOX on one of the people who had been particularly abusive to him on twitter. A big european exchange then conducted a twitter poll to determine whether or not BSV should be delisted as either (yes, it’s toxic or no) and when a few hundred votes were in favour of delisting it (which can be bought for a couple of bucks/100 votes). Shortly after Craig was delisted, news began to break of a US dollar stable coin called USDT potentially not being fully solvent for it’s apparent 1:1 backing of the token to dollars in the bank. Binance suffered an alleged exchange hack with 7000 BTC “stolen” and the site suspending withdrawals and deposits for a week. Binance holds 800m USDT for their US dollar markets and immediately once the deposits and withdrawals were suspended there was a massive pump for BTC in the USDT markets as people sought to exit their potentially not 1:1 backed token for bitcoin. The CEO of this exchange has the business registered out of Malta, no physical premises, the CEO stays hotel room to hotel room around the world, has all kind of trading competitions and the binance launchpad, uses an unregistered security to collect fees ($450m during the bear market) from the trading of the hundreds of coins that it lists on its exchange and has no regard for AML and KYC laws. Craig said he himself was able to create 100 gmail accounts in a day and create binance accounts with each of those gmail accounts and from the same wallet, deposit and withdraw 1 bitcoin into each of those in one day ($8000 x 100) without facing any restrictions or triggering any alerts or such.
This post could ramble on for ever and ever exposing the complexities of the rabbit hole but I wanted to offer some perspective on what’s been happening in the space. What is being built on the bitcoin SV blockchain is something that I can only partially comprehend but even from my limited understanding of what it is to become, I can see that the entirety of the crypto community is extremely threatened as it renders all the various alt coins and alt coin exchanges obsolete. It makes criminals play by the rules, it removes any power from the developer groups and turns the blockchain and the miners in to economies of scale where the blockchain acts as a serverless database, the miners provide computational resources/storage/RAM and you interact with a virtual machine through a monitor and keyboard plugged in to an ethernet port. It will be like something that takes us from a type 0 to a type 1 civilisation. There are many that like to keep us in the quagmire of corruption and criminality as it lines their pockets. Much much more can be read about the Cartel in crypto in the archive below. Is it possible this cartel has the resources to mount such a successful psychological operation on the cryptocurrency community that they manage to convince everyone that Craig is the bad guy, when he’s the only one calling for regulation, the application of the law, the storage of immutable records onchain to comply with banking secrecy laws, for Global Sound Money?

https://archive.fo/lk1lH#selection-3671.46-3671.55

Please note, where possible, images were uploaded onto the bitcoin sv blockchain through bitstagram paying about 10c a pop. If I wished I could then use an application etch and archive this post to the chain to be immutably stored. If this publishing forum was on chain too it would mean that when I do the archive the images that are in the bitstragram links (but stored in the bitcoin blockchain/database already) could be referenced in the archive by their txid so that they don’t have to be stored again and thus bringing the cost of the archive down to only the html and css.
submitted by whipnil to C_S_T [link] [comments]

‘Initial Coin Offering: an Inaccurate Term with an Imperfect Regulator’ (some speech given at the first Computational Law & Blockchain Festival – Singapore Node on 17 March 2018 (#clbfest2018))

tl;dr – A speech given at #clbfest2018 on what initial coin offerings are, why governments all over the world eye them curiously, and how governments regulate them – if they regulate them. Also, on why brick and mortar governments regulate something so digital.
I practise cyberlaw, as I like to call it. Although this is derived from the term cyberspace, which seems to be a bit vintage. It shouldn’t be, if you ask me.
I’m here to talk about initial coin offerings, or ICOs. I shall try to do so, and then some.
To be honest, I’m not a fan of initial coin offering as a term. Neither is the MAS, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which doesn’t call them that. The MAS calls them digital token offerings, which is so much better.
Here’s why.
Initial Public Offerings
Initial coin offering resembles the traditional term initial public offering. An initial public offering is the first time shares of a private company are offered to the public. Think of listings on the stock exchange.
Owning listed stock means you own a part of the company. You’re a bit of an entrepreneur.
But its modern-day meaning doesn’t lie so much in making us company co-owners. It lies in the monetary value of the stock which, after the listing, is tradable on the financial market.
The same applies to other funky things you can find on the financial market. Like debentures, units in business trusts or their derivatives, or to collective investment schemes. Whatever they are. Let’s not even go there. Suffice it to say they’re all rights of one party against another party or even against the general public.
But their modern-day value doesn’t lie so much in owning these rights. It lies in their tradeability as financial assets.
Stocks and debentures, business trust units or derivatives – they’re all investment objects. Also known as securities.
IPO Regulation
And because of that governments all over the world have said: wait a minute, this is an area with huge information imbalances where, at any given stage, one party – say, the company directors who issue the rights – may know so much more than the rest – say, the potential investors. If we let this happen, those who know more may exploit their information advantage. Hugely undesirable from an economic point of view.
We must make sure, the governments said, those who know more will disclose certain information beforehand so everyone can make an informed decision. Hugely desirable, economically speaking.
And so the governments regulated the initial offering of securities to the public. Among other things they made it a duty to disclose a variety of details to potential buyers. This regulation was done by way of law. Because rule of law.
Initial Coin Token Offerings
Enter Mastercoin which, arguably, held the first ICO in 2013. They offered cryptocurrency, or coin. Ethereum and others followed. They offered coin, too.
Later offerings in the young history of ICOs were not for cryptocurrency, but for other rights. For example, as part of a crowdsale, the right to participate with privileges in an online game to be developed with the money collected.
The right to be privileged in an online game isn’t coin. In the world of information technology, the right to perform an operation is represented by a token. So when someone offers a right, she offers a token. This means all cryptocurrency are tokens, but not all tokens are cryptocurrency.
That’s why it’s a bit of a misnomer to call any token offering a coin offering. That’s why I prefer the way the MAS calls it: digital token offering.
Needless to say tokens carry value, some more, some less.
Bitcoin: hodl!
But this obscure offering where they promise you the right to meet A-list sport stars face-to-face if only you buy many tokens: maybe less.
In any case, their inherent value makes tokens tradable assets. Negatively speaking, you can lose a lot of money with them.
ITO Regulation
And that’s, of course, why the MAS has got its teeth into tokens in the first place. The MAS and other regulators worldwide. Because all these new creatures, tokens, were offered unregulated. If there was any information imbalance at any stage – yeah, well, what to do.
But pretty much all regulators have found tokens have a value and are tradable. There are just different schools of thought on how to deal with it.
China has banned token trading entirely. South Korea has banned it, too, but on second thought has started reversing this ban. On the other end of the spectrum is Japan. Not only does Japan allow token trading. It has even enacted laws which accept virtual currency as payment. In Japan cryptocurrency is money. The European Union or Singapore are somewhere in the middle.
This means: if you want to offer tokens to the public, whether you call it ICO, ITO or even IPO, then you may want to check out where you offer them. If it’s in China, you won’t be allowed to do it. If you’re in Japan, you will be allowed to do it very much.
In Singapore
If you’re in Singapore, it depends on the tokens you want to offer. The MAS’ view on it is still pretty new, they’ve only published it last November. They don’t say it like that, but basically the MAS has taken a look at all the tokens out there. Then it has categorised them in three groups.
Cryptocurrency
First category. On tokens which are cryptocurrency the MAS has found: their value may rise or fall. This may attract those who treat them as an investment object. Just like some people invest in traditional currency for the same reason. But just like any traditional currency, the main purpose of cryptocurrency is to be a medium of exchange. A payment method.
The only currency we regulate as a payment method is the Singapore dollar. We do not regulate other currency as such.
Of course, if anyone uses cryptocurrency fraudulently, our general rules shall apply, including our criminal law. And let’s never forget our rules against money laundering and terrorism financing.
Utility Tokens
Second category. On this kind of token the MAS has found: their main purpose seems to be that of an entry ticket to something. They’re also called utility tokens. Yes, this may attract those who buy these tokens because they hope to sell them on with a profit. Like the guy who buys a ticket to the concert of a famous singer only to sell it on right before the show. But their main function is not to be a tradable asset.
Our rules against conning others or against money laundering and terrorism financing notwithstanding, but when a token represents the right to participate in an online game, this is nothing we regulate.
Capital Market Products
Third category, capital market products. On this third category of tokens the MAS has found: the main purpose of these tokens seems to be that of an investment. Granted, they may make their buyer a co-owner or creditor of a company. But ownership in a company or being in some other relationship with a company is really not why you buy these tokens. Rather, you buy them with a reasonable expectation of profit based significantly on the efforts of the entrepreneurs or managers who run the company.
This is just like traditional securities. Tokens in this category are securities.
We regulate securities.
Thus, if you’re in Singapore, you’re allowed to offer your tokens licence-free if your token offering is really an ICO. That is to say an offering for cryptocurrency. Or if your token is a utility token. But if the tokens you want to offer are a capital market product, then that’s regulated. Then you may have to comply with the highest standards of disclosure.
The Prospectus Requirement
This means your offer may have to be made in or be accompanied by a prospectus. This is a formal document which you will have to prepare and lodge and register with the MAS. It’s full of compulsory statements, and believe me, the average token whitepaper you see out there doesn’t cut it.
There are exemptions from the prospectus requirements. For example for small offers of securities worth less than five million Singapore dollars. Or for private placement offers made to no more than 50 persons. Or for offers made to institutional or accredited investors only.
Also, the MAS has the power to exempt a person from having to fulfil some or all prospectus requirements on a case-by-case basis. But this may happen only if the cost of compliance outweighs the need of the public for protection. And if dispensing isn’t prejudicial to the public interest.
In any case, all these exemptions come for a limited period of time or with other conditions, including advertising restrictions.
The Sandbox
For the sake of completeness I’d like to mention the sandbox. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. The MAS offers a so-called regulatory sandbox for financial services. In the sandbox, legal and regulatory requirements are relaxed for a while. Companies admitted can experiment there.
But the MAS will only admit you to the sandbox to experiment with new or emerging technology, or with existing technology in a new way, or with a new financial service which addresses a problem or brings benefit.
At the moment there’s no one in the sandbox experimenting with token offerings. But the MAS seems to be keen. It has stated it would consider admitting token offerings, if such fundraising efforts were by companies focused on new technology that will improve the efficiency of capital markets. For example, something that can build a ‘smarter’ initial public offering. Whatever this is.
However, you don’t enter the sandbox easily. You have to apply and you have to be accepted. To be accepted you must demonstrate you’re willing and able to deploy your financial service in Singapore when play time is over. You will have to define test scenarios and expected outcomes and report on them to the MAS. Among other things.
Hence, no one should expect to be admitted to the sandbox just because they do something with token in it.
Questions
Put another way, offering securities, digital or not, is a stiff job, in Singapore or elsewhere. Because of regulatory compliance.
But we know now what kind of token is regulated in the first place and what kind of token isn’t. That’s settled then.
But, you see, I’ve highlighted the situation in Singapore. What about other places?
Yeah, about that. I have a few questions there.
Why Regulate?
First, a quick repeater. Why regulate the offering of securities again?
Okay, trivial. Any textbook on economics has it. Regulation of behaviour exists, mainly, to protect the interests of certain market participants. The offering of securities is regulated to protect worthy potential investors from getting fleeced. The information imbalance thing I’ve mentioned at the beginning. It’s economically undesirable.
Why the State?
Another question. Why regulation of security tokens by the state?
You don’t hear this one so often. That’s probably because, normally, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to ask. I mean, who else, right?
Traditionally, regulation is a service provided by the state to the citizenry. This makes perfect sense in a setting where the state is the first-choice regulator of things in our lives.
But where is there such a setting? And where is there not?
We are many in the confined space on this planet. We live in societies. Due to certain benefits that we see in it many of these societies are constituted as states. As part of our social contracts, we as individuals surrender some of our freedoms to the state. In exchange the state is to protect us. For example by way of regulation.
Where There’s a Limit, There’s a State
But regulation by the state has limits. The state is our provider of regulatory services only within its territory. As soon as we reach the borders, the state meets its limits to regulate.
In the era of globalisation, this happens really often. This is why states have come up with supranational and intergovernmental organisations and policies. Cue Irene, who’s going to speak about the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records later. UNCITRAL is the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. It’s one of these intergovernmental organisations.
However, globalisation still refers to borders in physical space or how to overcome them.
The regulation of security tokens though.
Where There’s No Limit…
Tokens are inherently cyber. Not only that, their main area of application is that limitless, incorporeal space which we’ve created and started to inhabit a while ago: cyberspace.
State territory is physical whereas cyberspace is not. We have started to inhabit cyberspace with the software part of what makes us up. But we have not stopped inhabiting physical space with our physical bodies. We just do both.
There is a fairly distinct border between these two spaces, yet many of us do not realise it well. Perhaps because it runs right through us and we cross it all the time. As a consequence, we tend to obliterate the differences between both physical space and cyberspace.
I daresay states obliterate these differences a lot. For example, they tend to forget where the social contract grants them power and authority and where it doesn’t.
Regulating Remote Areas
Although traditionally they regulate what happens in their territory, states have sought to regulate behaviour in cyberspace, too. But come to think of it what they really do is regulate behaviour in their territory. Because they can’t go beyond that.
In forbidding token trading, China regulates behaviour in China space. In allowing token trading, Japan regulates behaviour in Japan space. And in applying certain brick-and-mortar rules made for traditional securities on security tokens, Singapore regulates behaviour in Singapore space.
Supranational bodies like the European Union may go beyond that and regulate behaviour in European Union space. But that’s because its members are states which allow that.
As of today, there is no cyber state. There’s also no cyber United Nations or cyber European Union. This is why any effect of state regulation on cyberspace is but indirect.
Of course many (perhaps all) laws have, wanted or unwanted, indirect effects. But indirect effects are usually side effects. I daresay the direct effects of law are usually its main effects. But when it comes to regulating behaviour in cyberspace by states, there’s nothing but indirect effect.
As a result, to me the indirect regulation of behaviour in cyberspace by physical-space states smells like a compromise. Like a workaround, until there’s something better. Like a colonial master who insists his home laws shall apply to his colonies far away, as outlandish as the results may be.
Then Who? or What? Why Law?
As we continue to develop tokens, the blockchain technology to register them, or the smart contracts to trade them, maybe we should reflect on who – or what – could be a direct regulator of token offerings in cyberspace?
Who said regulation must be done by way of law anyway, especially by public law? Yes, it’s a great way of regulating in physical space. But in the cyberspace of today, isn’t code the more appropriate way of doing it? If so, we may want to make sure our coders are good regulators. Like we want our lawmakers to be good regulators.
Of course this leads to the greater question of who could be a better regulator of life in cyberspace in general.
Is it anyone’s own business to protect himself? Or as we spend more and more time there, is it better to delegate regulation to some entity in exchange for protection? Some form of cyber social contract?
Perhaps, due to the infinity of cyberspace, there will be no cyber states with limited territory and all that. If so, who else might be our social contract partner? Facebook or Google?
Really?
Or will there be some novel form of cyber state? With some kind of cyber government?
Call me coo-coo, but I don’t think it’s too early to ask. Because, look, with cryptocurrency and digital securities we have money and investment for cyberspace now. And the emergence of money and investment is a token of civilisation.
(First published here.)
[EDIT: grammar mistake]
submitted by Greentica to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Likely Fail Due To Several Possible Reasons

ECONOMIC CASE IS ABSENT FOR MANY TRANSACTIONS
The median Bitcoin (BTC) fee is $14.41 currently. This has gone parabolic in the past few days. So, let’s use a number before this parabolic rise, which was $3.80. Using this number, opening and closing a Lightning Network (LN) channel means that you will pay $7.60 in fees. Most likely, the fee will be much higher for two reasons:
  1. BTC fees have been trending higher all year and will be higher by the time LN is ready
  2. When you are in the shoe store or restaurant, you will likely pay a higher fee so that you are not waiting there for one or more hours for confirmation.
Let’s say hypothetically that Visa or Paypal charges $1 per transaction. This means that Alice and Carol would need to do 8 or more LN transactions, otherwise it would be cheaper to use Visa or Paypal.
But it gets worse. Visa doesn’t charge the customer. To you, Visa and Cash are free. You would have no economic incentive to use BTC and LN.
Also, Visa does not charge $1 per transaction. They charge 3%, which is 60 cents on a $20 widget. Let’s say that merchants discount their widgets by 60 cents for non-Visa purchases, to pass the savings onto the customer. Nevertheless, no one is going to use BTC and LN to buy the widget unless 2 things happen:
  1. they buy more than 13 widgets from the same store ($7.60 divided by 60 cents)
  2. they know ahead of time that they will do this with that same store
This means that if you’re traveling, or want to tip content producers on the internet, you will likely not use BTC and LN. If you and your spouse want to try out a new restaurant, you will not use BTC and LN. If you buy shoes, you will not use BTC and LN.
ROAD BLOCKS FROM INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Some argue that you do not need to open a channel to everyone, if there’s a route to that merchant. This article explains that if LN is a like a distributed mesh network, then another problem exists:
"third party needs to possess the necessary capital to process the transaction. If Alice and Bob do not have an open channel, and Alice wants to send Bob .5 BTC, they'll both need to be connected to a third party (or a series of 3rd parties). Say if Charles (the third party) only possesses .4 BTC in his respective payment channels with the other users, the transaction will not be able to go through that route. The longer the route, the more likely that a third party does not possess the requisite amount of BTC, thereby making it a useless connection.”
CENTRALIZATION
According to this visualization of LN on testnet, LN will be centralized around major hubs. It might be even more centralized than this visualization if the following are true:
  1. Users will want to connect to large hubs to minimize the number of times they need to open/close channels, which incur fees
  2. LN’s security and usability relies on 100% uptime of relaying parties
  3. Only large hubs with a lot of liquidity will be able to make money
  4. Hubs or intermediary nodes will need to be licensed as money transmitters, centralizing LN to exchanges and banks as large hubs
What will the impact be on censorship-resistance, trust-less and permission-less?
NEED TO BE LICENSED AS MONEY TRANSMITTER
Advocates for LN seem to talk a lot about the technology, but ignore the legalities.
FinCEN defines money transmitters. LN hubs and intermediary nodes seem to satisfy this definition.
Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies
“…applicability of the regulations … to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.”
“…an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter…”
"An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations…”
"FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.””
"The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies.”
FinCEN’s regulations for IVTS:
"An “informal value transfer system” refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form.”
“…IVTS… must comply with all BSA registration, recordkeeping, reporting and AML program requirements.
“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are transferred on behalf of the public by any and all means including, but not limited to, transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…regulations require all money transmitting businesses…to register with FinCEN."
Mike Caldwell used to accept and mail bitcoins. Customers sent him bitcoins and he mailed physical bitcoins back or to a designated recipient. There is no exchange from one type of currency to another. FinCEN told him that he needed to be licensed as money transmitter, after which Caldwell stopped mailing out bitcoins.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST NEED FOR LICENSING
Some have argued that LN does not transfer BTC until the channel is closed on the blockchain. This is not a defence, since channels will close on the blockchain.
Some have argued that LN nodes do not take ownership of funds. Is this really true? Is this argument based on a technicality or hoping for a loophole? It seems intuitive that a good prosecutor can easily defeat this argument. Even if this loophole exists, can we count on the government to never close this loophole?
So, will LN hubs and intermediary nodes need to be licensed as money transmitters? If so, then Bob, who is the intermediary between Alice and Carol, will need a license. But Bob won’t have the money nor qualifications. Money transmitters need to pay $25,000 to $1 million, maintain capital levels and are subject to KYC/AML regulations1. In which case, LN will have mainly large hubs, run by financial firms, such as banks and exchanges.
Will the banks want this? Likely. Will they lobby the government to get it? Likely.
Some may be wondering about miners. FinCEN has declared that miners are not money transmitters:
https://coincenter.org/entry/aml-kyc-tokens :
"Subsequent administrative rulings clarified several remaining ambiguities: miners are not money transmitters…"
FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money Transmitters
Some argue that LN nodes will go through Tor and be anonymous. For this to work, will all of the nodes connecting to it, need to run Tor? If so, then how likely will this happen and will all of these people need to run Tor on every device (laptop, phone and tablet)? Furthermore, everyone of these people will be need to be sufficiently tech savvy to download, install and set up Tor. Will the common person be able to do this? Also, will law-abiding nodes, such as retailers or banks, risk their own livelihood by connecting to an illegal node? What is the likelihood of this?
Some argue that unlicensed LN hubs can run in foreign countries. Not true. According to FinCEN: "“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are…transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…” Also, foreign companies are not immune from the laws of other countries which have extradition agreements. The U.S. government has sued European banks over the LIBOR scandal. The U.S. government has charged foreign banks for money laundering and two of those banks pleaded guilty. Furthermore, most countries have similar laws. It is no coincidence that European exchanges comply with KYC/AML.
Will licensed, regulated LN hubs connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. Will Amazon or eBay connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. If you want to buy from Amazon, you’ll likely need to register yourself at a licensed, regulated LN hub, which means you’ll need to provide your identification photo.
Say goodbye to a censorship-resistant, trust-less and permission-less coin.
For a preview of what LN will probably look like, look at Coinbase or other large exchanges. It’s a centralized, regulated and censored hub. Coinbase allows users to send to each other off-chain. Coinbase provides user data to the IRS and disallows users from certain countries to sell BTC. You need to trust that no rogue employee in the exchange will steal your funds, or that a bank will not confiscate your funds as banks did in Cyprus. What if the government provides a list of users, who are late with their tax returns, to Coinbase and tells Coinbase to block those users from making transactions? You need Coinbase’s permission.
This would be the antithesis of why Satoshi created Bitcoin.
NEED TO REPORT TO IRS
The IRS has a definition for “third party settlement organization” and these need to report transactions to the IRS.
Though we do not know for sure yet, it can be argued that LN hubs satisfies this definition. If this is the case, who will be willing to be LN hubs, other than banks and exchanges?
To read about the discussion, go to:
Lightning Hubs Will Need To Report To IRS
COMPLEXITY
All cryptocurrencies are complicated for the common person. You may be tech savvy enough to find a secure wallet and use cryptocurrencies, but the masses are not as tech savvy as you.
LN adds a very complicated and convoluted layer to cryptocurrencies. It is bound to have bugs for years to come and it’s complicated to use. This article provides a good explanation of the complexity. Just from the screenshot of the app, the user now needs to learn additional terms and commands:
“On Chain”
“In Channels”
“In Limbo”
“Your Channel”
“Create Channel”
“CID”
“OPENING”
“PENDING-OPEN”
“Available to Receive”
“PENDING-FORCE-CLOSE”
There are also other things to learn, such as how funds need to be allocated to channels and time locks. Compare this to using your current wallet.
Recently, LN became even more complicated and convoluted. It needs a 3rd layer as well:
Scaling Bitcoin Might Require A Whole 'Nother Layer
How many additional steps does a user need to learn?
ALL COINS PLANNING OFF-CHAIN SCALING ARE AT RISK
Bitcoin Segwit, Litecoin, Vertcoin and possibly others (including Bitcoin Cash) are planning to implement LN or layer 2 scaling. Ethereum is planning to use Raiden Network, which is very similar to LN. If the above is true about LN, then the scaling roadmap for these coins is questionable at best, nullified at worst.
BLOCKSTREAM'S GAME PLAN IS ON TRACK
Blockstream employs several of the lead Bitcoin Core developers. Blockstream has said repeatedly that they want high fees. Quotes and source links can be found here.
Why is Blockstream so adamant on small blocks, high fees and off-chain scaling?
Small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations create demand for off-chain solutions, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. LN will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This will be the main way that Blockstream will generate revenue for its investors, who invested $76 million. Otherwise, they can go bankrupt and die.
One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by bankers and politicians (former prime ministers and nation leaders). According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” LN helps Bilderberg Group get one step closer to its goal.
Luke-Jr is one of the lead BTC developers in Core/Blockstream. Regulation of BTC is in-line with his beliefs. He is a big believer in the government, as he believes that the government should tax you and the “State has authority from God”. In fact, he has other radical beliefs as well:
So, having only large, regulated LN hubs is not a failure for Blockstream/Bilderberg. It’s a success. The title of this article should be changed to: "Lightning Will Fail Or Succeed, Depending On Whether You Are Satoshi Or Blockstream/Bilderberg".
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS WITH ON-CHAIN SCALING
Meanwhile, some coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are pushing ahead with on-chain scaling. Both are looking at Sharding.
Visa handles 2,000 transactions per second on average. Blockstream said that on-chain scaling will not work. The development teams for Bitcoin Cash have shown significant on-chain scaling:
1 GB block running on testnet demonstrates over 10,000 transactions per second:
"we are not going from 1MB to 1GB tomorrow — The purpose of going so high is to prove that it can be done — no second layer is necessary”
"Preliminary Findings Demonstrate Over 10,000 Transactions Per Second"
"Gigablock testnet initiative will likely be implemented first on Bitcoin Cash”
Peter Rizun, Andrew Stone -- 1 GB Block Tests -- Scaling Bitcoin Stanford At 13:55 in this video, Rizun said that he thinks that Visa level can be achieved with a 4-core/16GB machine with better implementations (modifying the code to take advantage of parallelization.)
Bitcoin Cash plans to fix malleability and enable layer 2 solutions:
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet:
"fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen”
However, it is questionable if layer 2 will work or is needed.
GOING FORWARD
The four year scaling debate and in-fighting is what caused small blockers (Blockstream) to fork Bitcoin by adding Segwit and big blockers to fork Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash. Read:
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
It will be interesting to see how they scale going forward.
Scaling will be instrumental in getting network effect and to be widely adopted as a currency. Whichever Coin Has The Most Network Effect Will Take All (Or Most) (BTC has little network effect, and it's shrinking.)
The ability to scale will be key to the long term success of any coin.
submitted by curt00 to btc [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Likely Fail Due To Several Possible Reasons

ECONOMIC CASE IS ABSENT FOR MANY TRANSACTIONS
The median Bitcoin (BTC) fee is $14.41 currently. This has gone parabolic in the past few days. So, let’s use a number before this parabolic rise, which was $3.80. Using this number, opening and closing a Lightning Network (LN) channel means that you will pay $7.60 in fees. Most likely, the fee will be much higher for two reasons:
  1. BTC fees have been trending higher all year and will be higher by the time LN is ready
  2. When you are in the shoe store or restaurant, you will likely pay a higher fee so that you are not waiting there for one or more hours for confirmation.
Let’s say hypothetically that Visa or Paypal charges $1 per transaction. This means that Alice and Carol would need to do 8 or more LN transactions, otherwise it would be cheaper to use Visa or Paypal.
But it gets worse. Visa doesn’t charge the customer. To you, Visa and Cash are free. You would have no economic incentive to use BTC and LN.
Also, Visa does not charge $1 per transaction. They charge 3%, which is 60 cents on a $20 widget. Let’s say that merchants discount their widgets by 60 cents for non-Visa purchases, to pass the savings onto the customer. Nevertheless, no one is going to use BTC and LN to buy the widget unless 2 things happen:
  1. they buy more than 13 widgets from the same store ($7.60 divided by 60 cents)
  2. they know ahead of time that they will do this with that same store
This means that if you’re traveling, or want to tip content producers on the internet, you will likely not use BTC and LN. If you and your spouse want to try out a new restaurant, you will not use BTC and LN. If you buy shoes, you will not use BTC and LN.
ROAD BLOCKS FROM INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Some argue that you do not need to open a channel to everyone, if there’s a route to that merchant. This article explains that if LN is like a distributed mesh network, then another problem exists:
"third party needs to possess the necessary capital to process the transaction. If Alice and Bob do not have an open channel, and Alice wants to send Bob .5 BTC, they'll both need to be connected to a third party (or a series of 3rd parties). Say if Charles (the third party) only possesses .4 BTC in his respective payment channels with the other users, the transaction will not be able to go through that route. The longer the route, the more likely that a third party does not possess the requisite amount of BTC, thereby making it a useless connection.”
CENTRALIZATION
According to this visualization of LN on testnet, LN will be centralized around major hubs. It might be even more centralized than this visualization if the following are true:
  1. Users will want to connect to large hubs to minimize the number of times they need to open/close channels, which incur fees
  2. LN’s security and usability relies on 100% uptime of relaying parties
  3. Only large hubs with a lot of liquidity will be able to make money
  4. Hubs or intermediary nodes will need to be licensed as money transmitters, centralizing LN to exchanges and banks as large hubs
What will the impact be on censorship-resistance, trust-less and permission-less?
NEED TO BE LICENSED AS MONEY TRANSMITTER
Advocates for LN seem to talk a lot about the technology, but ignore the legalities.
FinCEN defines money transmitters. LN hubs and intermediary nodes seem to satisfy this definition.
Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies
“…applicability of the regulations … to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.”
“…an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter…”
"An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations…”
"FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.””
"The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies.”
FinCEN’s regulations for IVTS:
"An “informal value transfer system” refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form.”
“…IVTS… must comply with all BSA registration, recordkeeping, reporting and AML program requirements.
“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are transferred on behalf of the public by any and all means including, but not limited to, transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…regulations require all money transmitting businesses…to register with FinCEN."
Mike Caldwell used to accept and mail bitcoins. Customers sent him bitcoins and he mailed physical bitcoins back or to a designated recipient. There is no exchange from one type of currency to another. FinCEN told him that he needed to be licensed as money transmitter, after which Caldwell stopped mailing out bitcoins.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST NEED FOR LICENSING
Some have argued that LN does not transfer BTC until the channel is closed on the blockchain. This is not a defence, since channels will close on the blockchain.
Some have argued that LN nodes do not take ownership of funds. Is this really true? Is this argument based on a technicality or hoping for a loophole? It seems intuitive that a good prosecutor can easily defeat this argument. Even if this loophole exists, can we count on the government to never close this loophole?
So, will LN hubs and intermediary nodes need to be licensed as money transmitters? If so, then Bob, who is the intermediary between Alice and Carol, will need a license. But Bob won’t have the money nor qualifications. Money transmitters need to pay $25,000 to $1 million, maintain capital levels and are subject to KYC/AML regulations1. In which case, LN will have mainly large hubs, run by financial firms, such as banks and exchanges.
Will the banks want this? Likely. Will they lobby the government to get it? Likely.
Some may be wondering about miners. FinCEN has declared that miners are not money transmitters:
https://coincenter.org/entry/aml-kyc-tokens :
"Subsequent administrative rulings clarified several remaining ambiguities: miners are not money transmitters…"
FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money Transmitters
Some argue that LN nodes will go through Tor and be anonymous. For this to work, will all of the nodes connecting to it, need to run Tor? If so, then how likely will this happen and will all of these people need to run Tor on every device (laptop, phone and tablet)? Furthermore, everyone of these people will be need to be sufficiently tech savvy to download, install and set up Tor. Will the common person be able to do this? Also, will law-abiding nodes, such as retailers or banks, risk their own livelihood by connecting to an illegal node? What is the likelihood of this?
Some argue that unlicensed LN hubs can run in foreign countries. Not true. According to FinCEN: "“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are…transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…” Also, foreign companies are not immune from the laws of other countries which have extradition agreements. The U.S. government has sued European banks over the LIBOR scandal. The U.S. government has charged foreign banks for money laundering and two of those banks pleaded guilty. Furthermore, most countries have similar laws. It is no coincidence that European exchanges comply with KYC/AML.
Will licensed, regulated LN hubs connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. Will Amazon or eBay connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. If you want to buy from Amazon, you’ll likely need to register yourself at a licensed, regulated LN hub, which means you’ll need to provide your identification photo.
Say goodbye to a censorship-resistant, trust-less and permission-less coin.
For a preview of what LN will probably look like, look at Coinbase or other large exchanges. It’s a centralized, regulated and censored hub. Coinbase allows users to send to each other off-chain. Coinbase provides user data to the IRS and disallows users from certain countries to sell BTC. You need to trust that no rogue employee in the exchange will steal your funds, or that a bank will not confiscate your funds as banks did in Cyprus. What if the government provides a list of users, who are late with their tax returns, to Coinbase and tells Coinbase to block those users from making transactions? You need Coinbase’s permission.
This would be the antithesis of why Satoshi created Bitcoin.
NEED TO REPORT TO IRS
The IRS has a definition for “third party settlement organization” and these need to report transactions to the IRS.
Though we do not know for sure yet, it can be argued that LN hubs satisfies this definition. If this is the case, who will be willing to be LN hubs, other than banks and exchanges?
To read about the discussion, go to:
Lightning Hubs Will Need To Report To IRS
COMPLEXITY
All cryptocurrencies are complicated for the common person. You may be tech savvy enough to find a secure wallet and use cryptocurrencies, but the masses are not as tech savvy as you.
LN adds a very complicated and convoluted layer to cryptocurrencies. It is bound to have bugs for years to come and it’s complicated to use. This article provides a good explanation of the complexity. Just from the screenshot of the app, the user now needs to learn additional terms and commands:
“On Chain”
“In Channels”
“In Limbo”
“Your Channel”
“Create Channel”
“CID”
“OPENING”
“PENDING-OPEN”
“Available to Receive”
“PENDING-FORCE-CLOSE”
There are also other things to learn, such as how funds need to be allocated to channels and time locks. Compare this to using your current wallet.
Recently, LN became even more complicated and convoluted. It needs a 3rd layer as well:
Scaling Bitcoin Might Require A Whole 'Nother Layer
How many additional steps does a user need to learn?
ALL COINS PLANNING OFF-CHAIN SCALING ARE AT RISK
Bitcoin Segwit, Litecoin, Vertcoin and possibly others (including Bitcoin Cash) are planning to implement LN or layer 2 scaling. Ethereum is planning to use Raiden Network, which is very similar to LN. If the above is true about LN, then the scaling roadmap for these coins is questionable at best, nullified at worst.
BLOCKSTREAM'S GAME PLAN IS ON TRACK
Blockstream employs several of the lead Bitcoin Core developers. Blockstream has said repeatedly that they want high fees. Quotes and source links can be found here.
Why is Blockstream so adamant on small blocks, high fees and off-chain scaling?
Small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations create demand for off-chain solutions, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. LN will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This will be the main way that Blockstream will generate revenue for its investors, who invested $76 million. Otherwise, they can go bankrupt and die.
One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by bankers and politicians (former prime ministers and nation leaders). According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” LN helps Bilderberg Group get one step closer to its goal.
Luke-Jr is one of the lead BTC developers in Core/Blockstream. Regulation of BTC is in-line with his beliefs. He is a big believer in the government, as he believes that the government should tax you and the “State has authority from God”. In fact, he has other radical beliefs as well:
So, having only large, regulated LN hubs is not a failure for Blockstream/Bilderberg. It’s a success. The title of this article should be changed to: "Lightning Will Fail Or Succeed, Depending On Whether You Are Satoshi Or Blockstream/Bilderberg".
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS WITH ON-CHAIN SCALING
Meanwhile, some coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are pushing ahead with on-chain scaling. Both are looking at Sharding.
Visa handles 2,000 transactions per second on average. Blockstream said that on-chain scaling will not work. The development teams for Bitcoin Cash have shown significant on-chain scaling:
1 GB block running on testnet demonstrates over 10,000 transactions per second:
"we are not going from 1MB to 1GB tomorrow — The purpose of going so high is to prove that it can be done — no second layer is necessary”
"Preliminary Findings Demonstrate Over 10,000 Transactions Per Second"
"Gigablock testnet initiative will likely be implemented first on Bitcoin Cash”
Peter Rizun, Andrew Stone -- 1 GB Block Tests -- Scaling Bitcoin Stanford At 13:55 in this video, Rizun said that he thinks that Visa level can be achieved with a 4-core/16GB machine with better implementations (modifying the code to take advantage of parallelization.)
Bitcoin Cash plans to fix malleability and enable layer 2 solutions:
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet:
"fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen”
However, it is questionable if layer 2 will work or is needed.
GOING FORWARD
The four year scaling debate and in-fighting is what caused small blockers (Blockstream) to fork Bitcoin by adding Segwit and big blockers to fork Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash. Read:
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
It will be interesting to see how they scale going forward.
Scaling will be instrumental in getting network effect and to be widely adopted as a currency. Whichever Coin Has The Most Network Effect Will Take All (Or Most) (BTC has little network effect, and it's shrinking.)
The ability to scale will be key to the long term success of any coin.
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In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018

Developments in Financial Services

Regulatory Environment

General News


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Bitcoin use grows in Philippines, regulators flex muscle Congress Virtual Currency Meeting Actually a Positive?! My thoughts Why banks and regulators are scared of bitcoin? Bitcoin and blockchain Hacker Working 2017 !!!! Virtual currency boom hits S. Korea

Many regulators are already familiar with bitcoin, the popular virtual currency underpinned by blockchain technology. [1] As discussed below, the bitcoin blockchain, which records and makes publicly available every transaction ever made in that virtual currency, is a “distributed ledger” created by a “consensus algorithm” that ensures that each local copy of the distributed ledger is ... The European Banking Authority (EBA) issued today a warning on a series of risks deriving from buying, holding or trading virtual currencies such as Bitcoins. The EBA said that consumers are not protected through regulation when using virtual currencies as a means of payment and may be at risk of losing their money. It also added that there is no guarantee that currency values 2. Virtual Currency and Bitcoin Virtual currency is a digital representation of value that seeks to act as a medium of exchange, store of value and unit of account, but does not have legal tender status.[5] It has no physical existence. It is distinct from both fiat currency (i.e. Furthermore, he explained that European regulators take the view that it is extremely difficult to impose an outright ban on virtual currencies because it would be incredibly difficult to enforce due to the nature of the P2P system. Berndsen clarified the European viewpoint by saying, “With the development of virtual currencies, we have to keep an open mind. We have to be aware that because ... Facebook's Libra currency. Facebook recently announced its intention to enter the virtual currency market with its own currency called Libra. Contrary to Bitcoin, its transactions would require ...

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Bitcoin use grows in Philippines, regulators flex muscle

Bitcoin is often called the first cryptocurrency,[19][20][21] although prior systems existed[note 4] and it is more correctly described as the first decentralized digital currency.[14][25] Bitcoin ... Panel - Virtual Currency and Bitcoin Pay 360 - Legal, Legislation & Compliance 2014 26-27 February 2014 - London, UK What is the likely future for regulation... Since the system works without a central repository or single administrator, the U.S. Treasury categorizes bitcoin as a decentralized virtual currency.[11] Bitcoin is often called the first ... Bitcoin has taken off here in South Korea, too, and local regulators are taking notice. Won Jung-hwan reports. South Korea is one of the world's largest bitcoin markets, with about 1-million ... Bitcoin is often called the first cryptocurrency, although prior systems existed and it is more correctly described as the first decentralized digital currency. Bitcoin is the largest of its kind ...

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