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#Blockchain Bitmain Launches Asicboost Firmware Support for Antminers

Bitmain Launches Firmware Containing Asicboost Support for Antminers

On Oct. 20, Bitmain launched a new firmware upgrade for the company’s Antminer S9 mining rigs that allows for the activation of overt Asicboost. The firm also explained that in roughly one week the company will release overt Asicboost firmware for all BM1387-based models manufactured by Bitmain. The China-based company joins a slew of other cryptocurrency mining organizations that have been overtly processing blocks with the once-controversial Asicboost software.

Also read: Markets Update: A Narrowing Range of Consolidation and Lower Trade Volumes

Bitmain Miners Will Feature Overt Asicboost Technology

Bitmain Launches Firmware Containing Asicboost Support for AntminersBitmain has revealed the firm’s developers have finished creating a new version of firmware for the company’s Antminer S9 mining rigs. Now, S9s have the ability to use overt Asicboost while mining SHA265-based networks like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC). Well over a year ago the Asicboost technology was considered controversial, because critics assumed the protocol was being used covertly in a secretive fashion. Asicboost gives mining rigs roughly 20-30 percent more efficiency processing blocks compared to mining devices not equipped with the protocol. Even though many BTC supporters accused Bitmain of using the software in a stealth manner, this has never been proven. Additionally, no other mining pools have been caught using the protocol covertly since the contentious argument against Asicboost optimization began in 2017.  

Bitmain notes in its recent announcement that the firm had detailed back in April 2017 that its ASIC chip BM1387 already had the ability to process Asicboost. However, because of possible patent infringements and other third-party IP violations, they refrained from using the protocol.

“Initially, we decided against activating this mathematical function in mining hardware produced by us, largely because of the legal uncertainty surrounding the use of Asicboost,” the Bitmain blog post details. “As an organization, we didn’t want to violate patent laws or act in any way that was untoward. Instead, we continued to focus our efforts on R&D and building the industry’s most efficient mining chips.”

Bitmain Launches Firmware Containing Asicboost Support for Antminers
According to data, Asicboost improves efficiency by 20-30 percent.

The Use of Asicboost Has Increased Significantly

Bitmain states they are now pleased to give Antminer owners the ability to utilize the Asicboost mining advantage and that the technology doesn’t give “any negative impact on the Bitcoin protocol.” Additionally, the mining manufacturer emphasizes that the use of the software is completely transparent and can be noticed on the blockheader of any ‘version-rolling boosted’ blocks. Bitmain also says the firm has sought legal advice across various jurisdictions and the company believes Asicboost technology is not currently, and may never be, officially patented.

“By activating Asicboost, our customers’ hardware will increase in effectiveness while the future hardware we make continues to be the industry gold standard — Utilizing this technology will be very beneficial for the mining,” explains the firm’s blog post.

Bitmain concludes by stating:  

Asicboost has the potential to reduce the J/TH cost and increase the total hashrate of the network — By activating this upgrade widely, we are making the Bitcoin network stronger than ever before.

Many mining pools have been mining SHA256-based blocks with the overt ‘version-rolling’ Asicboost protocol for months now. According to the data site Asicboost.dance, last week 6.65 percent of the BTC network’s blocks were mined by overt Asicboost mining. That’s roughly 67 version-rolled blocks and about 3.4 exahash a second which stems from the BTC network’s total 58EH/s hashrate. At the time of writing, there are about six pools mining with Asicboost including Slushpool, Ckpool, Poolin, F2pool, Bitclub, and an unknown pool.

Bitmain Launches Firmware Containing Asicboost Support for Antminers
Blocks processed with overt ‘version rolling’ Asicboost on the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network.

It is uncertain whether or not Bitcoin Cash network miners will be using the Asicboost technology going forward, and there is no data showing ‘version-rolled’ blocks on the BCH chain yet. According to Bitmain, in addition to the BM1387-based models getting new firmware, the mining pools Btc.com and Antpool now have the ability to utilize Asicboost.

What do you think about Bitmain adding Asicboost to the company’s mining rigs? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Asicboost.dance, Pixabay, and Bitmain Technologies. 


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The post Bitmain Launches Asicboost Firmware Support for Antminers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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#Blockchain Genesis Global’s Bitcoin Loans Hit $553M in 6 Months

Bitcoin Lender Genesis Advances $553 Million Loans in Six Months

Genesis Global Trading has released a financial report for the third quarter that shows the U.S. cryptocurrency lender provided $553 million worth of digital asset loans. These were issued to corporate borrowers such as hedge funds and trading firms in the form of BTC, BCH, ETH and other cryptocurrencies. 

Also read: World’s Biggest Banks Helped Clients Steal $63 Billion in Taxes in Europe

Institutional Investors Borrow to Boost
Working Capital, Short Cryptocurrencies

Genesis Global Trading — an affiliate of Los Angeles-based Genesis Capital — said it has $130 million in active loans outstanding, from a total of $553 million in originations. since it started providing digital currency loans to its customers in March of this year. About 50 percent of the total loan portfolio is denominated in bitcoin core, while 25 percent is ethereum loans, according to an online statement published on Oct. 18. Nine other cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin cash, accounted for the remaining 25 percent of the loans it offered throughout the period.

Bitcoin Lender Genesis Advances $553 Million Loans in Six Months

The registered over-the-counter digital currency dealer said that borrowers typically use its loans to fund their business operations, hedge derivative investments or to bet that the price of certain cryptocurrencies will fall. “At launch, lending activity was driven largely by speculative hedge funds,” the company said. “BTC loans primarily serviced working capital needs, while ETH loans were primarily used for short interest.”

Most of the funds that Genesis Global Trading provides as loans are borrowed from elsewhere at interest rates of between 5 to 7 percent. The company then goes on to charge rates of 10 to 11 percent when it lends, Michael Moro, chief executive officer of Genesis Global Trading, recently told Bloomberg. At the beginning of the third quarter in July, BTC dominated the company’s loan portfolio, followed by ETH. But as the price of ether has fallen more than 80 percent since March, interest in the cryptocurrency has started to decline.

BTC Dominates Loan Portfolio as ETH Declines

By the end of September, ether accounted for just 3.7 percent of the company’s loan book, while BTC rose to 70 percent. Borrowers took out about 3.5 percent in BCH-denominated loans, up from 1.9 percent three months earlier.

Bitcoin Lender Genesis Advances $553 Million Loans in Six Months

Genesis Global Trading said it has observed various changes in the composition of its clients, as well as the way in which they use the funds they borrow. Early in the third quarter, the majority of the company’s loans were used by clients to shore up their working capital, it said. But in September, hedge funds became more active on the short-side and added to their speculative long-term positions.

“Trading firms also saw increased opportunities for arbitrage and market-making as derivative liquidity increased across markets,” the company added. “These firms generally borrow digital assets to trade against derivatives like futures and swaps. We believe this kind of activity will continue to pick up as derivative markets mature.”

Cryptocurrency loans are emerging as an increasingly viable alternative to borrowing fiat. For example, data from Genesis Global Trading shows that the interest in bitcoin-denominated loans has risen largely on account of the currency’s use as an asset for non-speculative purposes.

What do you think about cryptocurrency loans? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Genesis Global Trading.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com

The post Genesis Global’s Bitcoin Loans Hit $553M in 6 Months appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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#Blockchain Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill

Russian Lawmakers Drop References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

Russian lawmakers have dropped the term “mining” from a bill to regulate digital assets, following the earlier removal of references to “cryptocurrency.” In addition, the proposed legislation no longer covers the taxation of mining profits, as such matters will fall under the oversight of the Federal Tax Service.

Also read: Despite Setbacks Crypto Wages Still an Option for Russians, Poll Finds

State Tax Authority to Determine
Taxes on Mining Profits

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets BillAnatoly Aksakov, head of Russia’s parliamentary Financial Market Committee, announced the latest amendment to the bill, which is expected to regulate Russia’s growing crypto industry, on the sidelines of Finopolis 2018. Roughly 1,500 people participated in the annual event, which is held by the Bank of Russia. Attendees included government officials and representatives from domestic and foreign companies in the financial and IT sectors.

Aksakov said that the long-awaited bill, “On Digital Financial Assets,” will not resolve lingering questions about the taxation of profits generated by cryptocurrency mining companies, the number of which increased by 15 percent in the first half of this year. Rather, the Federal Tax Service will have to decide on its own whether it will tax such operations. According to Aksakov, it would not make any sense to refer to mining in the revamped bill, given that it no longer includes any mention of cryptocurrencies. The proposed legislation is scheduled for a second reading in the State Duma following public discussions later this fall.

This past spring, three bills were filed in the lower house of Russia’s parliament to establish comprehensive rules and regulations for digital assets, the fintech industry and related sectors such as cryptocurrency mining. However, Russian lawmakers have struggled to synchronize the different legal terms used in the bills. After adopting them on first reading, they decided to postpone the final votes for the fall session. In the meantime, the drafts have been compiled into a single legal framework that differs significantly from the original versions.

Few Options on the Table

The decision to remove references to “mining” in the draft follows earlier reports that lawmakers had dropped the term “cryptocurrency” from the merged bill. Previously, the law had defined “mining” as the process of creating cryptocurrency, as well as the practice of rewarding entities for validating cryptocurrency transactions. Mining was also recognized as an economic activity that could be performed by both companies and individual entrepreneurs, meaning it would be subject to taxation when an operation’s electricity consumption exceeds certain limits.

However, Aksakov noted that Russian officials are no longer thinking about integrating cryptocurrencies into the national economy. “Since we decided we don’t need them, mining is not needed either,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

Other reports suggest that Moscow plans to regulate the crypto space in cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force, which is soon expected to present a new set of anti-money laundering standards for cryptocurrencies. Aksakov’s comments came after President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for digital and technological development, Dmitry Peskov, justified the decision to wait for the new standards to be released, pointing to the high risks associated with the nascent cryptocurrency sector. Peskov also recently claimed that the cryptocurrency market is evolving much more quickly than the government can write new laws, and hinted that Moscow might not even adopt comprehensive legislation for the sector at all.

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

If anything, the comments of both officials betray their limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies and the industry that has evolved around them. In truth, very little has changed in regard to the core principles that underlie cryptocurrencies. A decade after the creation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency is still seen as a decentralized, electronic form of money that can be transferred on a peer-to-peer network. Most politicians fail to understand these principles and the mechanisms like mining that underpin cryptocurrencies.

Within this context, the Russian authorities actually have a limited set of options. The centralized state needs to control what’s entering the borders of the “sovereign democracy” built under Putin. Following in the footsteps of China, however, is not what some influential business players want. In contrast to the state-sponsored draft legislation, an alternative bill proposed by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs not only mentions cryptocurrency, but also grants it special status.

What are your expectations about the future of the crypto space in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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#Blockchain Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill

Russian Lawmakers Drop References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

Russian lawmakers have dropped the term “mining” from a bill to regulate digital assets, following the earlier removal of references to “cryptocurrency.” In addition, the proposed legislation no longer covers the taxation of mining profits, as such matters will fall under the oversight of the Federal Tax Service.

Also read: Despite Setbacks Crypto Wages Still an Option for Russians, Poll Finds

State Tax Authority to Determine
Taxes on Mining Profits

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets BillAnatoly Aksakov, head of Russia’s parliamentary Financial Market Committee, announced the latest amendment to the bill, which is expected to regulate Russia’s growing crypto industry, on the sidelines of Finopolis 2018. Roughly 1,500 people participated in the annual event, which is held by the Bank of Russia. Attendees included government officials and representatives from domestic and foreign companies in the financial and IT sectors.

Aksakov said that the long-awaited bill, “On Digital Financial Assets,” will not resolve lingering questions about the taxation of profits generated by cryptocurrency mining companies, the number of which increased by 15 percent in the first half of this year. Rather, the Federal Tax Service will have to decide on its own whether it will tax such operations. According to Aksakov, it would not make any sense to refer to mining in the revamped bill, given that it no longer includes any mention of cryptocurrencies. The proposed legislation is scheduled for a second reading in the State Duma following public discussions later this fall.

This past spring, three bills were filed in the lower house of Russia’s parliament to establish comprehensive rules and regulations for digital assets, the fintech industry and related sectors such as cryptocurrency mining. However, Russian lawmakers have struggled to synchronize the different legal terms used in the bills. After adopting them on first reading, they decided to postpone the final votes for the fall session. In the meantime, the drafts have been compiled into a single legal framework that differs significantly from the original versions.

Few Options on the Table

The decision to remove references to “mining” in the draft follows earlier reports that lawmakers had dropped the term “cryptocurrency” from the merged bill. Previously, the law had defined “mining” as the process of creating cryptocurrency, as well as the practice of rewarding entities for validating cryptocurrency transactions. Mining was also recognized as an economic activity that could be performed by both companies and individual entrepreneurs, meaning it would be subject to taxation when an operation’s electricity consumption exceeds certain limits.

However, Aksakov noted that Russian officials are no longer thinking about integrating cryptocurrencies into the national economy. “Since we decided we don’t need them, mining is not needed either,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

Other reports suggest that Moscow plans to regulate the crypto space in cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force, which is soon expected to present a new set of anti-money laundering standards for cryptocurrencies. Aksakov’s comments came after President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for digital and technological development, Dmitry Peskov, justified the decision to wait for the new standards to be released, pointing to the high risks associated with the nascent cryptocurrency sector. Peskov also recently claimed that the cryptocurrency market is evolving much more quickly than the government can write new laws, and hinted that Moscow might not even adopt comprehensive legislation for the sector at all.

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

If anything, the comments of both officials betray their limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies and the industry that has evolved around them. In truth, very little has changed in regard to the core principles that underlie cryptocurrencies. A decade after the creation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency is still seen as a decentralized, electronic form of money that can be transferred on a peer-to-peer network. Most politicians fail to understand these principles and the mechanisms like mining that underpin cryptocurrencies.

Within this context, the Russian authorities actually have a limited set of options. The centralized state needs to control what’s entering the borders of the “sovereign democracy” built under Putin. Following in the footsteps of China, however, is not what some influential business players want. In contrast to the state-sponsored draft legislation, an alternative bill proposed by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs not only mentions cryptocurrency, but also grants it special status.

What are your expectations about the future of the crypto space in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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#Blockchain Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill

Russian Lawmakers Drop References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

Russian lawmakers have dropped the term “mining” from a bill to regulate digital assets, following the earlier removal of references to “cryptocurrency.” In addition, the proposed legislation no longer covers the taxation of mining profits, as such matters will fall under the oversight of the Federal Tax Service.

Also read: Despite Setbacks Crypto Wages Still an Option for Russians, Poll Finds

State Tax Authority to Determine
Taxes on Mining Profits

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets BillAnatoly Aksakov, head of Russia’s parliamentary Financial Market Committee, announced the latest amendment to the bill, which is expected to regulate Russia’s growing crypto industry, on the sidelines of Finopolis 2018. Roughly 1,500 people participated in the annual event, which is held by the Bank of Russia. Attendees included government officials and representatives from domestic and foreign companies in the financial and IT sectors.

Aksakov said that the long-awaited bill, “On Digital Financial Assets,” will not resolve lingering questions about the taxation of profits generated by cryptocurrency mining companies, the number of which increased by 15 percent in the first half of this year. Rather, the Federal Tax Service will have to decide on its own whether it will tax such operations. According to Aksakov, it would not make any sense to refer to mining in the revamped bill, given that it no longer includes any mention of cryptocurrencies. The proposed legislation is scheduled for a second reading in the State Duma following public discussions later this fall.

This past spring, three bills were filed in the lower house of Russia’s parliament to establish comprehensive rules and regulations for digital assets, the fintech industry and related sectors such as cryptocurrency mining. However, Russian lawmakers have struggled to synchronize the different legal terms used in the bills. After adopting them on first reading, they decided to postpone the final votes for the fall session. In the meantime, the drafts have been compiled into a single legal framework that differs significantly from the original versions.

Few Options on the Table

The decision to remove references to “mining” in the draft follows earlier reports that lawmakers had dropped the term “cryptocurrency” from the merged bill. Previously, the law had defined “mining” as the process of creating cryptocurrency, as well as the practice of rewarding entities for validating cryptocurrency transactions. Mining was also recognized as an economic activity that could be performed by both companies and individual entrepreneurs, meaning it would be subject to taxation when an operation’s electricity consumption exceeds certain limits.

However, Aksakov noted that Russian officials are no longer thinking about integrating cryptocurrencies into the national economy. “Since we decided we don’t need them, mining is not needed either,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

Other reports suggest that Moscow plans to regulate the crypto space in cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force, which is soon expected to present a new set of anti-money laundering standards for cryptocurrencies. Aksakov’s comments came after President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for digital and technological development, Dmitry Peskov, justified the decision to wait for the new standards to be released, pointing to the high risks associated with the nascent cryptocurrency sector. Peskov also recently claimed that the cryptocurrency market is evolving much more quickly than the government can write new laws, and hinted that Moscow might not even adopt comprehensive legislation for the sector at all.

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

If anything, the comments of both officials betray their limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies and the industry that has evolved around them. In truth, very little has changed in regard to the core principles that underlie cryptocurrencies. A decade after the creation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency is still seen as a decentralized, electronic form of money that can be transferred on a peer-to-peer network. Most politicians fail to understand these principles and the mechanisms like mining that underpin cryptocurrencies.

Within this context, the Russian authorities actually have a limited set of options. The centralized state needs to control what’s entering the borders of the “sovereign democracy” built under Putin. Following in the footsteps of China, however, is not what some influential business players want. In contrast to the state-sponsored draft legislation, an alternative bill proposed by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs not only mentions cryptocurrency, but also grants it special status.

What are your expectations about the future of the crypto space in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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#Blockchain Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill

Russian Lawmakers Drop References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

Russian lawmakers have dropped the term “mining” from a bill to regulate digital assets, following the earlier removal of references to “cryptocurrency.” In addition, the proposed legislation no longer covers the taxation of mining profits, as such matters will fall under the oversight of the Federal Tax Service.

Also read: Despite Setbacks Crypto Wages Still an Option for Russians, Poll Finds

State Tax Authority to Determine
Taxes on Mining Profits

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets BillAnatoly Aksakov, head of Russia’s parliamentary Financial Market Committee, announced the latest amendment to the bill, which is expected to regulate Russia’s growing crypto industry, on the sidelines of Finopolis 2018. Roughly 1,500 people participated in the annual event, which is held by the Bank of Russia. Attendees included government officials and representatives from domestic and foreign companies in the financial and IT sectors.

Aksakov said that the long-awaited bill, “On Digital Financial Assets,” will not resolve lingering questions about the taxation of profits generated by cryptocurrency mining companies, the number of which increased by 15 percent in the first half of this year. Rather, the Federal Tax Service will have to decide on its own whether it will tax such operations. According to Aksakov, it would not make any sense to refer to mining in the revamped bill, given that it no longer includes any mention of cryptocurrencies. The proposed legislation is scheduled for a second reading in the State Duma following public discussions later this fall.

This past spring, three bills were filed in the lower house of Russia’s parliament to establish comprehensive rules and regulations for digital assets, the fintech industry and related sectors such as cryptocurrency mining. However, Russian lawmakers have struggled to synchronize the different legal terms used in the bills. After adopting them on first reading, they decided to postpone the final votes for the fall session. In the meantime, the drafts have been compiled into a single legal framework that differs significantly from the original versions.

Few Options on the Table

The decision to remove references to “mining” in the draft follows earlier reports that lawmakers had dropped the term “cryptocurrency” from the merged bill. Previously, the law had defined “mining” as the process of creating cryptocurrency, as well as the practice of rewarding entities for validating cryptocurrency transactions. Mining was also recognized as an economic activity that could be performed by both companies and individual entrepreneurs, meaning it would be subject to taxation when an operation’s electricity consumption exceeds certain limits.

However, Aksakov noted that Russian officials are no longer thinking about integrating cryptocurrencies into the national economy. “Since we decided we don’t need them, mining is not needed either,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

Other reports suggest that Moscow plans to regulate the crypto space in cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force, which is soon expected to present a new set of anti-money laundering standards for cryptocurrencies. Aksakov’s comments came after President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for digital and technological development, Dmitry Peskov, justified the decision to wait for the new standards to be released, pointing to the high risks associated with the nascent cryptocurrency sector. Peskov also recently claimed that the cryptocurrency market is evolving much more quickly than the government can write new laws, and hinted that Moscow might not even adopt comprehensive legislation for the sector at all.

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

If anything, the comments of both officials betray their limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies and the industry that has evolved around them. In truth, very little has changed in regard to the core principles that underlie cryptocurrencies. A decade after the creation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency is still seen as a decentralized, electronic form of money that can be transferred on a peer-to-peer network. Most politicians fail to understand these principles and the mechanisms like mining that underpin cryptocurrencies.

Within this context, the Russian authorities actually have a limited set of options. The centralized state needs to control what’s entering the borders of the “sovereign democracy” built under Putin. Following in the footsteps of China, however, is not what some influential business players want. In contrast to the state-sponsored draft legislation, an alternative bill proposed by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs not only mentions cryptocurrency, but also grants it special status.

What are your expectations about the future of the crypto space in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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#Blockchain Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill

Russian Lawmakers Drop References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

Russian lawmakers have dropped the term “mining” from a bill to regulate digital assets, following the earlier removal of references to “cryptocurrency.” In addition, the proposed legislation no longer covers the taxation of mining profits, as such matters will fall under the oversight of the Federal Tax Service.

Also read: Despite Setbacks Crypto Wages Still an Option for Russians, Poll Finds

State Tax Authority to Determine
Taxes on Mining Profits

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets BillAnatoly Aksakov, head of Russia’s parliamentary Financial Market Committee, announced the latest amendment to the bill, which is expected to regulate Russia’s growing crypto industry, on the sidelines of Finopolis 2018. Roughly 1,500 people participated in the annual event, which is held by the Bank of Russia. Attendees included government officials and representatives from domestic and foreign companies in the financial and IT sectors.

Aksakov said that the long-awaited bill, “On Digital Financial Assets,” will not resolve lingering questions about the taxation of profits generated by cryptocurrency mining companies, the number of which increased by 15 percent in the first half of this year. Rather, the Federal Tax Service will have to decide on its own whether it will tax such operations. According to Aksakov, it would not make any sense to refer to mining in the revamped bill, given that it no longer includes any mention of cryptocurrencies. The proposed legislation is scheduled for a second reading in the State Duma following public discussions later this fall.

This past spring, three bills were filed in the lower house of Russia’s parliament to establish comprehensive rules and regulations for digital assets, the fintech industry and related sectors such as cryptocurrency mining. However, Russian lawmakers have struggled to synchronize the different legal terms used in the bills. After adopting them on first reading, they decided to postpone the final votes for the fall session. In the meantime, the drafts have been compiled into a single legal framework that differs significantly from the original versions.

Few Options on the Table

The decision to remove references to “mining” in the draft follows earlier reports that lawmakers had dropped the term “cryptocurrency” from the merged bill. Previously, the law had defined “mining” as the process of creating cryptocurrency, as well as the practice of rewarding entities for validating cryptocurrency transactions. Mining was also recognized as an economic activity that could be performed by both companies and individual entrepreneurs, meaning it would be subject to taxation when an operation’s electricity consumption exceeds certain limits.

However, Aksakov noted that Russian officials are no longer thinking about integrating cryptocurrencies into the national economy. “Since we decided we don’t need them, mining is not needed either,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

Other reports suggest that Moscow plans to regulate the crypto space in cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force, which is soon expected to present a new set of anti-money laundering standards for cryptocurrencies. Aksakov’s comments came after President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for digital and technological development, Dmitry Peskov, justified the decision to wait for the new standards to be released, pointing to the high risks associated with the nascent cryptocurrency sector. Peskov also recently claimed that the cryptocurrency market is evolving much more quickly than the government can write new laws, and hinted that Moscow might not even adopt comprehensive legislation for the sector at all.

Russian Government Drops References to ‘Mining’ in Digital Assets Bill

If anything, the comments of both officials betray their limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies and the industry that has evolved around them. In truth, very little has changed in regard to the core principles that underlie cryptocurrencies. A decade after the creation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency is still seen as a decentralized, electronic form of money that can be transferred on a peer-to-peer network. Most politicians fail to understand these principles and the mechanisms like mining that underpin cryptocurrencies.

Within this context, the Russian authorities actually have a limited set of options. The centralized state needs to control what’s entering the borders of the “sovereign democracy” built under Putin. Following in the footsteps of China, however, is not what some influential business players want. In contrast to the state-sponsored draft legislation, an alternative bill proposed by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs not only mentions cryptocurrency, but also grants it special status.

What are your expectations about the future of the crypto space in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News https://ift.tt/2CZoMMu Russian Lawmakers Drop ‘Mining’ References in Digital Assets Bill

#USA Cowboy, the Belgian e-bike startup, raises €10M Series A

//

Cowboy, the Belgium startup that’s designed and sells a smarter electronic bicycle, has raised €10 million in Series A funding.

Leading the round is Tiger Global Management, with participation from previous backers Index Ventures, and Hardware Club. The new capital will be used to scale operations, and expand beyond Belgum into Germany, U.K., Netherlands, and France.

Founded in January 2017 by Adrien Roose and Karim Slaoui, who both previously co-founded Take Eat Easy (an early Deliveroo competitor), and Tanguy Goretti, who was previously co-founded ridesharing startup Djump, Cowboy set out to build and sell direct a better designed and e-bike.

This included making the Cowboy lighter in weight and more stylish than models from incumbents, and adding automatic motor assistance. The latter utilises built-in sensor technology that measures speed and torque, and adjusts to pedaling style and force to deliver an added boost of motor-assisted speed at key moments e.g. when you start pedaling, accelerate or go uphill.

In addition, Cowboy’s “smart” features powered by the Cowboy app enables the device to be switched on and off, track location, provide “ride stats,” and support remote troubleshooting and software updates. A theft detection feature is also promised soon.

“We designed the Cowboy bike to appeal specifically to people who are yet to be convinced that electric bikes are a practical and mainstream mode of transport,” says Adrien Roose, Cowboy’s CEO, in a statement.

“We focused our attention on the three main reasons people are reluctant to purchase electric bikes: high cost, poor design and redundant technology – or a combination of the above – and we set about fixing them all”.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://ift.tt/2JbUl62

#USA Lime is building its first scooter “lifestyle brand store” in LA

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How can Lime differentiate its scooters and bikes from the piles of Birds and Spins filling Los Angeles sidewalks? Apparently with a physical storefront where it can convince customers of the wonders of on-demand mobility. According to a job listing from Lime seeking a “Retail Store Manager”, the startup plans to open a “lifestyle brand store in Santa Monica” that “will place heavy importance on brand experience and customer engagement.”

It seems Lime will rent vehicles directly from the store given the full-time manager’s role includes “monitoring inventory levels” as well as daily operations, and employee recruiting. They’ll also be throwing live events to build Lime’s hype. Given the company is calling this a lifestyle store, the focus will likely be on showing how Lime’s scooters and bikes can become part of people’s lives and enhance their happiness, rather than on maximizing rental volume.

A rendering of Lime’s new office it’s buidling in San Francisco. The design could hint at what Lime wants to do with its retail store branding.

The listing was first spotted by Nathan Pope, a transportation researcher for consultancy Steer, and later by Cheddar’s Alex Heath. We’ve reached out to Lime and will update if we hear back from the company. Glassdoor shows that the store manager job was posted over 30 days ago, and the site estimates the potential salary at $41,000 to $74,000.

The sheer number of Lime scooters in Santa Monica where the store will arise is already staggering. Supply doesn’t seem to be bottleneck as it is in some other cities. Instead, it’s the fierce competition from hometown startups like local favorite Bird that Lime wants to overcome through brick-and-mortar marketing. Often times you’ll see scooters from Lime and Bird lined up right next to each other. And with similarly cheap pricing, the decision of which to use comes down to brand affinity. According to Apptopia, Bird’s monthly U.S. downloads surpassed Lime’s in July for the first time ever, despite Lime offering bikes as well as scooters.

There are plenty of people who still have never tried an on-demand electric scooter, and going through the process of renting, unlocking, and riding them might be daunting to some. If employees at a physical store can teach people that it’s not too difficult to jump aboard, Lime could become their default scooter. This of course comes with risks too, as electric scooters can be dangerous to the novice or uncoordinated. More aggressive in-person marketing might pull in users who were apprehensive about scooting for the right reason — concerns about safety.

As cities figure out how to best regulate scooters, I hope we see a focus on uptime aka how often the scooters actually function properly. It’s common in LA to rent a scooter, then discover the handlebar is loose or the acceleration is sluggish, end the ride, and rent another scooter from the same brand or a competitor in hopes of getting one that works right. I ditched several Lime scooters like this while in LA last week.

Regulators should inquire about what percentage of scooter company fleets are broken and what percentage of rides end within 90 seconds of starting, which is typically due to a malfunctioning vehicle. Cities could then award permits to companies that keep their fleets running, rather than that litter the streets with massive paper weights, or worse, vehicles that could crash and hurt people. Scooters are fun, cheap and therefore accessible to more people than Ubers, and reduce traffic. But unless startups like Lime put a bigger focus on helments and safe riding behavior, we could trade congestion on the roads for congestion in the emergency room.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://ift.tt/2PhHdBZ

#USA Lime is building its first scooter “lifestyle brand store” in LA

//

How can Lime differentiate its scooters and bikes from the piles of Birds and Spins filling Los Angeles sidewalks? Apparently with a physical storefront where it can convince customers of the wonders of on-demand mobility. According to a job listing from Lime seeking a “Retail Store Manager”, the startup plans to open a “lifestyle brand store in Santa Monica” that “will place heavy importance on brand experience and customer engagement.”

It seems Lime will rent vehicles directly from the store given the full-time manager’s role includes “monitoring inventory levels” as well as daily operations, and employee recruiting. They’ll also be throwing live events to build Lime’s hype. Given the company is calling this a lifestyle store, the focus will likely be on showing how Lime’s scooters and bikes can become part of people’s lives and enhance their happiness, rather than on maximizing rental volume.

A rendering of Lime’s new office it’s buidling in San Francisco. The design could hint at what Lime wants to do with its retail store branding.

The listing was first spotted by Nathan Pope, a transportation researcher for consultancy Steer, and later by Cheddar’s Alex Heath. We’ve reached out to Lime and will update if we hear back from the company. Glassdoor shows that the store manager job was posted over 30 days ago, and the site estimates the potential salary at $41,000 to $74,000.

The sheer number of Lime scooters in Santa Monica where the store will arise is already staggering. Supply doesn’t seem to be bottleneck as it is in some other cities. Instead, it’s the fierce competition from hometown startups like local favorite Bird that Lime wants to overcome through brick-and-mortar marketing. Often times you’ll see scooters from Lime and Bird lined up right next to each other. And with similarly cheap pricing, the decision of which to use comes down to brand affinity. According to Apptopia, Bird’s monthly U.S. downloads surpassed Lime’s in July for the first time ever, despite Lime offering bikes as well as scooters.

There are plenty of people who still have never tried an on-demand electric scooter, and going through the process of renting, unlocking, and riding them might be daunting to some. If employees at a physical store can teach people that it’s not too difficult to jump aboard, Lime could become their default scooter. This of course comes with risks too, as electric scooters can be dangerous to the novice or uncoordinated. More aggressive in-person marketing might pull in users who were apprehensive about scooting for the right reason — concerns about safety.

As cities figure out how to best regulate scooters, I hope we see a focus on uptime aka how often the scooters actually function properly. It’s common in LA to rent a scooter, then discover the handlebar is loose or the acceleration is sluggish, end the ride, and rent another scooter from the same brand or a competitor in hopes of getting one that works right. I ditched several Lime scooters like this while in LA last week.

Regulators should inquire about what percentage of scooter company fleets are broken and what percentage of rides end within 90 seconds of starting, which is typically due to a malfunctioning vehicle. Cities could then award permits to companies that keep their fleets running, rather than that litter the streets with massive paper weights, or worse, vehicles that could crash and hurt people. Scooters are fun, cheap and therefore accessible to more people than Ubers, and reduce traffic. But unless startups like Lime put a bigger focus on helments and safe riding behavior, we could trade congestion on the roads for congestion in the emergency room.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://ift.tt/2PhHdBZ