Renowned Bitcoin Conference CoinGeekWeek Heads to London

Considered to be one of the most respected crypto-regulated organizations, CoinGeekWeek has earned a lot of praise for the immense effort that it has been putting into ensuring global adoption of Bitcoin BCH. The company has dedicated itself to campaigning for developments that will see to it that the digital currency follows the right path towards being recognized as a legitimate means of exchange as well as a legitimate cryptocurrency.

The cryptocurrency news portal has recently announced on its website plans to host their first ever Bitcoin Cash (BCH) conference and the venue for the conference will be London’s The Mermaid London. This conference will run from November 27 through to November 30 and will focus on all things bitcoin including designated slots for miners, developers as well as retailers.

“We are delighted to host this inaugural event at a time when the cryptocurrency topic is being discussed on a global platform. Over recent years, The Mermaid London’s position as a leading venue of choice for the FinTech industry has strengthened following a rise of new business wins, and we are excited to see how this event will continue to raise our profile within this growing sector,” Alicia Duncan, the general manager at the Mermaid London commented.

To put all this into perspective, the three-day conference will involve several seminars each highlighting different effort to enhance BCH mining activities – expert participation is also going to be feature majorly so as to enlighten miners on how they can get the most out of their mining efforts.

Moreover, the conference is also targeting various aspects of BCH and the roles that the digital currency has played in the global digital retail economy, which is one of its major foundations. BCH is the only digital currency that was created with global and mainstream usability in mind, that is, the goal was to make it usable by everyone and accessible from virtually everywhere in the world. With such strong motivators and clearly defined goal, the digital currency has continued to receive more support from both cryptocurrency traders and merchants who have seen the potential of its superfast network capabilities as well as its incredibly low transaction costs.

Extending Aspects of the Hong Kong Conference

CoinGeekWeek just recently held a conference in Hong Kong and according to Calvin Ayre, the company’s founder, the three-day London conference will be more of an extension of their previous conference.

“Over recent years, The Mermaid London’s position as a leading venue of choice for the FinTech industry has strengthened following a rise of new business wins, and we are excited to see how this event will continue to raise our profile within this growing sector,” Ayre said.

With just a few weeks left until the conference finally kicks offs, there has been an overwhelming number of attendance reservations especially from the enterprises who are looking to get into the crypto ecosystem.


India Considering Crypto Tokens for Financial Transactions

Indian authorities have recently revealed that the country has been exploring tokenized datasets and other cryptographic forms of blockchain technology albeit while still maintaining their rather unfavorable stance towards cryptocurrencies citing their potential role in unlawful activities such as money laundering. As such, the prevailing ban on cryptocurrencies is likely to continue regardless of the government’s interest in issuing digital tokens for financial transactions.

“There are lots of issues that need understanding and lots of studying needs to be done,” a government official who requested to remain anonymous said. “Blockchain is an interesting thing. We definitely want to milk it effectively for financial transactions. So all officials are really trying hard to understand how to separately use blockchain, without cryptocurrency. And understanding a new software takes time.”

According to local Indian news outlet, DNA India, the country’s government have been considering the applications of crypto tokens in several different areas. However, as clarified by the new outlet, the government has excluded any use of cryptography and blockchain technology for the purposes of cryptocurrencies or any other sophisticated means of money transfer and international transactions. In fact, the officials believe that the crypto-tokens, including the ones they are exploring, do not themselves hold any inherent value. Instead, they represent an underlying asset that is only accessible to the private key holders. This implies that the crypto tokens will certainly not be serving as a substitute for fiat currency but will be representing an underlying value so as to enable faster and more transparent payments.

“One will need to pay physical money to buy a token which could be stored as a code in any basic mobile feature phone. It can even be used for remittances. So, it is easy to implement from technology as well as a regulatory point of view. But in the case of cryptocurrency, one needs to allow it as a legal tender first,” the DNA India report explained.

Spearheaded by a Committee

India’s finance ministry has since set up a committee headed by the secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for this initiative. The committee has been tasked with working on a set of regulations and a roadmap to guide the use of the proposed assets in India. A drafty of these regulations, once drafted, will be forwarded to the country’s parliament for further approval.

“The committee is studying the possibility of using cryptocurrencies or crypto technology (distributed ledger technology) for financial transactions and also what kind of regulations are needed for that [while] the currency is totally banned, the committee is discussing its other uses and how it can be mainstreamed in India,” Subhash Chandra Garg the DEA secretary, who is heading the committee, said.


Could It Be the End of the Cryptocurrency Era in India?

This year has not been particularly great for cryptocurrency users in India. This began about three months ago when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made an announcement that it would no longer deal with or provide services to any business entities or individuals dealing with digital currencies. While some of the cryptocurrency exchanges in the country – like BTCXIndia – chose to comply with the RBI’s new regulations, a decent number of the remaining exchanges as well as the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) chose to file a petition regarding the decree at the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, the petitions did not bear any fruit for the petitioners as, at the end of the hearing, the Supreme Court chose to back the RBI’s stance despite its flaws while at the same time declining to give the exchanges in interim relief. Many proponents of the crypto industry have pointed out that the apex court’s verdict indeed paints a bleak picture of the future of crypto in the country. This sentiment is further amplified by the fact the while the country is seemingly cracking down on the industry, its global counterparts “are currently observing the crypto space more closely and implementing better, more conducive regulation.”

Even though many disagree with the decision that was made by India’s Supreme Court, some stakeholders in the crypto industry still believe that they have a fighting chance – the general idea is that the stance is a temporary one. All the remaining petitions are scheduled to be heard on July 20 and hopefully, more conducive verdicts will be given then.

More Input from the Government May Be Necessary

The government of India has been quite enthusiastic about blockchain technology, the technology that digital currencies are based on, but the same cannot be said when it comes to where they stand as far as the actual digital currencies go. Now, it seems that one of the ways of securing the crypto industry in India would be to rally for clarity in government policy relating to cryptocurrencies.

“By laying a patchwork of laws without an overarching framework or policy, the crypto-industry today is in a uniquely uncomfortable position where it is taxed without being accorded legitimacy as an industry by the parliament.  One would hope that the government attempts to take measures to accord legitimacy by legislation that attempts to balance its need for transparency, with the inherent anonymity associated with cryptocurrency trading,” Akash Karmakar, an expert from Veritas Legal said to Entrepreneur India.

Mr. Karmakar called for the government to formulate a policy that “could set out overarching principles accordingly giving legitimacy to the industry, rather than legislating for problems as they occur, and have the law trail the technology.”

There are many other options that cryptocurrency investors can use to trade but it is advisable not to panic yet. Perhaps all that is needed is for some patience as the industry recovers from this setback.


Facebook Reverses Ban on Some Cryptocurrency Advertisements

Amid the bitcoin frenzy of January this year, social media giant Facebook Inc. made a decision to ban all cryptocurrency advertisements citing the concern that many of the companies in the crypto space at the time were not “operation in good faith.” Since then, it has been a considerably interesting time for Facebook as it struggles with coming to terms with the rapidly growing cryptocurrency market.

All things considered, while the ban may have been a genuine gesture of goodwill by the company to protect its users, the cryptocurrency space has proven time and time again that the potential it has as far as ad revenue goes is too significant to ignore. To this effect, Facebook made yet another big decision on Monday, June 26 when it announced that it was going to reverse the cryptocurrency ad ban immediately.

As expected, the period between the initial announcement of the ban on January and its eventual reversal on June 26 gave the social media platform a lot of time to review a great number of things the most important being how they would ensure that only legitimate crypto businesses get to market their products. Seen as more of caveats, the new ad policies says that the company will only allow advertisements and related content from “pre-approved advisers.” Ads promoting binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs), on the other hand, will still remain on the not so favorable end of the company’s new crypto ad policy – they will not be allowed.

How It Is Going to Work

Facebook’s plans to only allow the so-called “pre-approved advisers” mentioned earlier by putting interested advertisers through an application that is tailored to determine whether or not they are eligible to advertise on the platform. As part of the application process, the advertisers will be asked to include the licenses they have obtained, whether they are public traded companies as well as other relevant background information regarding their businesses.

As the reversal of the crypto ad ban is still in its earlier stages, the company is yet to make it clear how thoroughly they will fact-check the information that will be provided by the advertisers. However, the company made it clear during the announcement that they would still be relying on users to pinpoint some of the content they do not allow. In essence, this implies that at least a few of the restricted crypto ads are going to make it through the screening process.

“We’ll listen to feedback, look at how well this policy works and continue to study this technology so that, if necessary, we can revise it over time,” Rob Leathern, Product Management Director wrote in Facebook’s announcement.

While many cryptocurrency users have lauded the development, the reversal of the crypto ad ban has also been subjected to some level of skepticism especially because the company has previously announced plans to venture into the cryptocurrency market.

“The reasons for Facebook reversing its decision to ban crypto ads are not clear, but the motivation could have something to do with its own strategy regarding the evolving crypto space. The cryptocurrency ecosystem is expanding rapidly and is growing its footprint in mainstream society, introducing new economic opportunities. We are also seeing regulatory authorities taking steps to provide security to the ecosystem that will, in turn, give strength to the global economy,” says Olyseum CEO, Carlos Grenoir.


Apple Bans Cryptocurrency Mining on iPhones and iPads

During Apple’s recent Worldwide Developer Conference, the company updated some of the cryptocurrency app rules for its App Store. First spotted by Apple Insider on Monday, the new rules are a tad bit stricter and will apply to digital currency wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges as well as platforms that facilitate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

The new App Store guidelines restrict apps from mining cryptocurrencies unless the process is performed off-device. Apparently, the motivation behind this new policy is the concern that cryptocurrency mining contributes to much more battery drain in mobile devices.

To put this into perspective, the new guidelines detail that any cryptocurrency-related applications in the App Store must adhere to a rather strict set of guidelines that encompasses the cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, ICOs and cloud mining platforms.

“Apps, including any third-party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining). Wallet Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization,” goes Apple’s revised rules. “Exchange Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.”

“Initial Coin Offering Apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading must come from established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants (FCM), or other approved financial institutions and must comply with all applicable law.”

Unfortunately, there a number of apps in the App Store that are certainly going to feel the pinch of the new policy as the guidelines further detail that even applications that offer digital currencies for the completion of various tasks are no longer allowed to do so.

“Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.,” the fifth and last revised rule reads.

Is This a Trend?

It definitely feels likes one. Apple’s App Store has never been particularly cryptocurrency friendly and this has been evident from the stricter rules that are not found in other application marketplaces such as Google Play. In 2014, the App Store kicked out all Bitcoin-related applications before following through in 2016 when they asked all the companies with apps on the marketplace to remove digital assets such as Dash of from their apps.

Apple’s App Store is one of the most popular application marketplaces in the world. It boasts of over 283,000 games and a whopping 2.3 million non-gaming apps. Considering the large number of cryptocurrency applications that exist today, the new policy, in conjunction with other anti-crypto efforts, is going to have a huge impact on how things play out from here on out.