Posts by Blumit

    Novogratz's Galaxy Digital Backs $4 million Raise for Crypto-Lender BlockFi


    BlockFi, a startup that offers U.S. dollar loans against crypto collateral, has raised $4 million in its latest round this year.

    The New York-based firm announced Wednesday that the funds have been raised in convertible debt investments in a round led by Akuna Capital, with participation from Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Ventures, Anthony Pompliano’s Morgan Creek Digital, Susquehanna Government Products and Fidelity-linked Devonshire Investors.

    With the new funds, BlockFi said it plans to grow its team and launch new products, including an interest-earning crypto savings account (slated for Q1 2019), a portfolio line of credit and crypto-backed credit cards. The firm currently provides dollar-denominated loans against bitcoin, ether and litecoin.

    “We believe debt and credit markets in the crypto space will continue to grow and BlockFi is well-positioned to maintain its leadership position as the market expands”, said Dean Carlson, head of digital asset investments at Susquehanna.

    Today’s funding round follows BlockFi’s previous $52.5 million raise back in July that was led by Galaxy Digital. In February, the firm also received funding of $1.55 million from ConsenSys Ventures, SoFi and Kenetic Capital, among others, for its stated aim of “bridging the gap” between traditional capital markets and the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

    Earlier this week, Galaxy Digital also led a $30 million in a Series A funding round investment in digital banking platform Good Money.

    Mike Novogratz image via CoinDesk Consensus archive


    Denmark Targets 2,700 Bitcoin Traders for Tax Payments After Tip-Off From Finland


    Denmark’s tax agency (Skattestyrelsen) has confirmed it is “identifying” 2,700 individuals it says owe taxes on Bitcoin (BTC) gains, according to a Dec. 12 press release.

    According to Skattestyrelsen, the Danish citizens bought and sold Bitcoin via an unnamed Finnish cryptocurrency exchange between 2015 and 2017, but did not declare any profits or losses on tax documents.

    Now, the agency will go after each individual with an eye to determining their payment obligations.

    “Right now we are identifying the individual citizens and keeping the new information up to those we already have,” tax director Karin Bergen commented, continuing:

    “If something does not match, we will contact them and ask for more information. However, how many people it is and what it may mean, it is still too early to say.”

    Skattestyrelsen did not mention which exchange was involved, but said the information had come via a tip-off from Finnish tax authorities.

    Finland is home to well-known international P2P Bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins, which this year implemented limited Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes for “high volume” account holders.

    The 2,700 traders involved purchased Bitcoin worth 49.7 million kronor ($7.55 million) and sold Bitcoin worth 53 million kronor ($8.05 million).

    “This is probably just the tip of the iceberg,” Bergen added:

    “The knowledge we gain about data mining, segments and methods in general will make us wiser in the area and benefit from our guidance and control work.”

    Denmark has traditionally painted a mixed picture of its attitudes to cryptocurrency. This month, the country contains a total of 1,500 Bitcoin-accepting restaurants via online food portal, while on the other hand, local bank Nordea banned its workers from owning crypto earlier this year.


    Nigerian Banking Regulator Warns Bitcoin's Disintermediation Is a 'Critical Concern'


    The director and chief executive of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has expressed concerns about cryptocurrencies and disintermediation, English-language Nigerian news outlet The Sun reported Dec. 12.

    Disintermediation is when consumers begin investing directly in markets, rather than through intermediates like banks.

    The NDIC was established in 1988 to ensure safety in the just-liberalized banking sector. This corporation has a supervisory role over insured banks and it reports to the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Finance.

    During an NDIC forum, Ibrahim Umaru described his concerns about Bitcoin (BTC), disintermediation and fintech in general:

    “The partial disintermediation of the banking system arising from proliferation of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, as well as the activities of fintechs are all of critical concern to the corporation.”

    In March, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation also warned Nigerian citizens against the use of cryptocurrencies, stating that they don’t recognize them as legitimate currencies. Adikwu Igoche, an NDIC executive, said that cryptocurrencies are not authorized by Nigeria’s Central Bank and consequently aren’t insured by them.

    As Cointelegraph reported in November, the presidential candidate of Nigeria’s leading opposition party has promised legitimizing crypto and blockchain regulation. In his “Get Nigeria Working Again” policy, he declared his aim to “speed up the economy positively through blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

    Moreover, the local government is partnering with startups to develop blockchain in Nigeria, as Cointelegraph reported last October.

    However, Chimezie Chuta, the national coordinator of the first blockchain conference held in Nigeria last year, noted some difficulties with embracing fintech innovation. Namely, he explained that trying to change the common point of view that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are MLM and Ponzi schemes requires many resources.


    The Daily: Enforces KYC, Okex Updates BCH Ticker

    The Daily: Makes Verification Mandatory, Okex Updates BCH TickerIn today's edition of The Daily we cover another cryptocurrency venue that now requires verification from traders, the latest exchange to update the BCH ticker since the recent hard fork, a new solution for reporting crypto taxes for cannabis merchants, and a new way in which founders are demonstrating commitment to their crypto businesses. Also […]

    The post The Daily: Enforces KYC, Okex Updates BCH Ticker appeared first on Bitcoin News.

    Cryptocurrency Bear Market Is Causing Layoffs, Closures and Even Waning Interest From Job Seekers

    Financial bear market falling concept with physical bitcoin and ethereum over a red down chart and a flag with crypto word

    Last year's cryptocurrency boom likewise created a corresponding rise in job openings in the crypto and blockchain industry. Some top-level executives from banks and financial institutions even switched to what they considered to be an exciting new career path in the nascent crypto industry. But with the recent fall of crypto prices, the industry's job market […]

    Cryptocurrency Bear Market Is Causing Layoffs, Closures and Even Waning Interest From Job Seekers was originally found on [blokt] - Blockchain, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

    Monero Claims to Be the Sleeping Giant of Cryptocurrency, Here Is Why

    Male businessman hand holding Monero coin on a background of growth graph on a screen of laptop. Virtual money and Financial growth concept on chart background. Trading Mining of moneros coins.

    Monero, an open-source cryptocurrency created in 2014 to facilitate privacy transactions hidden from the public eye has been labeled as a "Sleeping giant of cryptocurrency," at least according to Monero stands out from the crowd because it does not rely on marketing tactics but instead has a strong team of engineers, a large community, […]

    Monero Claims to Be the Sleeping Giant of Cryptocurrency, Here Is Why was originally found on [blokt] - Blockchain, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

    UAE Central Bank, Saudi Arabia to Develop Joint Cryptocurrency for Interbank Transactions


    The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) central bank is collaborating with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to issue a cryptocurrency accepted in cross-border transactions between the two countries. English-language Dubai-based media outlet GulfNews reported on this collaboration on Dec. 12.

    Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said during a meeting on the global banking standards and regulation for the Arab region that:

    “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.”

    Still, Al Mansouri also pointed out that this “is just a study” and that they “have not gone deeper into it.” The digital currency under development is supposed to be used only between banks. According to Al Mansouri, this would be ”much more efficient.”

    Al Mansouri added that the recent development in financial technology brings both challenges and opportunities. The key, according to him, are regulators that better understand the risks and the best ways to mitigate them.

    As Cointelegraph reported at the beginning of October, a digital currency backed by the Dubai government will get its own payment system. Consequently, local consumers will be able to use the digital currency to pay for goods and services.

    The Abu Dhabi Global Market also recently conducted a test of a blockchain-based Know Your Customer (KYC) system. The first phase of the pilot held in the international free zone in the capital of the United Arab Emirates has reportedly been successful.


    Cubits is Bankrupt and Withholding User Funds As OneCoin Ties Exposed

    Cubits bankrupt

    Anger continues to engulf cryptocurrency trading platform Cubits after executives suddenly announced the company was bankrupt, blocking all user funds. Cubits Owner: Funds Recovery ‘Unsuccessful’ In a press release dated December 11, Dooga Ltd., the UK-based entity trading as Cubits, claimed "collusion" which resulted in a "criminal act" involving the loss of €29 million ($33 million) in February 2018 had forced it to shut down. "Since February, Dooga has made every possible effort to recover

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    The post Cubits is Bankrupt and Withholding User Funds As OneCoin Ties Exposed appeared first on

    UAE and Saudi Arabian Central Banks to Jointly Launch a Cross-Border Cryptocurrency

    It’s confirmed. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia will work on cross-border digital currency. The exact date when it would be issued is still unknown but we know one thing, the digital currency is not targeted at consumers. It’s strictly for banks. Arabian news outlet Gulf News reports that the central bank of

    The post UAE and Saudi Arabian Central Banks to Jointly Launch a Cross-Border Cryptocurrency appeared first on CCN