Cryptos Stuck Amidst Nations Launching and Banning Them

NASSCOM clarifies its stance on cryptos, reopening of Bitcoin Max’s Bank accounts, FSDC plans a blanket ban on cryptos in India, cryptocurrency derivatives face threat in the U.K., Petro is up for public sale

  • Soon after the arrest of the second co-founder of Unocoin for the installing India’s first Bitcoin ATM, a report published on Hindu Business Live suggested that NASSCOM considers cryptocurrencies as illegal. However, NASSCOM soon tweeted clarified that they only quoted the stance of RBI on cryptocurrencies and it had nothing to do with their own perspective of the same.

It is law of the land and hence, we have to work with it. If we do not agree, we have to go back to the government and speak about why cryptocurrencies aren’t correct.

Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh to Hindu Business Live

  • Brazil’s Federal District Court ordered the reopening of the bank accounts entitled to the cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin Max. The bank accounts were closed by Banco do Brasil and Banco Santander in the month of September without any explanation or warning. Be it that the banks fail to comply with the court’s order, a fine will be imposed upon both the banks.
  • A potential plan for a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in India reflected in the report published of the meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) chaired by Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister. The report read: The Council also deliberated on the issue and challenges of Crypto Asset/Currency and was briefed about the deliberations in the High-Level committee chaired by the Secretary (Economic Affairs) to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban the use of private cryptocurrencies in India and encouraging the use of Distributed Ledger Technology, as announced in Budget 2018-19.
  • Cryptocurrency-linked derivates face threat in the U.K. as the Financial Conduct Authority reported its plan to consult whether to ban crypto derivatives or not. Consumer protection and market integrity stand as the financial watchdog’s major concern in regard to crypto derivatives.

Although regulated, financial instruments that reference cryptoassets also produce some specific risks to consumers. Leveraged derivatives, such as CFDs and futures, can cause losses that go beyond the initial investment. The risk of trading losses can be exacerbated by product fees such as financing costs and spreads, as well as by a lack of transparency in the price formation of the underlying cryptoasset.

Cryptoassets Taskforce: final report, published by FCA

  • After much controversy and criticism, Venezuela’s Petro is finally up for public sale. Traders will now be able to directly buy Petro from the Superintendency of Cryptoassets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) through various fiat as well as cryptocurrencies. Petro was previously backed by only oil but a recent upgrade suggests that it is also backed by gold, diamond and iron.

Bitcoin

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Coinstar Kiosks Across the United States Will Now Sell Bitcoin, at a Hefty Fee

The same bulk coin-counting machines that turn spare change into bills at the grocery store can now turn bills into bitcoin. Coinme, a Seattle-based Bitcoin ATM company, has partnered with Coinstar to enable Bitcoin purchases at grocery stores in California, Texas, and Washington. Example of a kiosk. Image courtesy of Coinstar Coinstar machines are large coin-cashing kiosks located at grocery stores, drug stores, and other retail locations in the UK, US, Canada, and Ireland. Shoppers frequently use the machines to convert loose change into bills or gift cards. Today, Coinstar operates over 20,000 of these machines across the world. On Jan. 17th, Coinme, the first state-licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the U.S., announced a partnership with Coinstar to offer bitcoin on the coin-counting kiosks. Users are now able to purchase up to $2,500 worth of bitcoin at these machines at select Safeway and Albertson stores in California, Texas, and Washington. Those who purchase bitcoin at one of these kiosks would receive a voucher that is redeemable for bitcoin on the Coinme website. The company advertises the plan as the “easiest and most convenient way to buy cryptocurrency with cash,” but opinions may differ. Steeps Fees and Glaring Exceptions Unfortunately, these Bitcoin ATMs are notorious for their high fees. Each Coinme transaction comes with a 4 percent service fee, not including the trading spread (the difference between the buy and sell price of bitcoin on an exchange), which could make the real cost of buying even higher. For comparison, Coinbase charges a fee of 1.49 percent. When dealing with several thousand dollar purchases, these fees add up. Meanwhile, Coinstar has even steeper fees. Customers that want to count their coins are charged a hefty 11.9 percent fee, for a service that many banks provide for free. The most perplexing part of the announcement is that “coins cannot be used for Bitcoin transactions,” a major selling point for customers who would rather turn their spare coins into BTC. Plans for Expansion If successful, the company plans to expand to other retailers and locations in the United States. Thousands of these machines could be enabled to facilitate bitcoin transactions. Neil Bergquist, Coinme’s co-founder had this to say about the move: “We’re excited to team up with Coinstar to give consumers a convenient and easy way to buy Bitcoin during the course of their daily routines. Bitcoin is no accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy.” Meanwhile, according to Coinstar’s CEO Jim Gaherity: “Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks, and Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism along with Coinstar’s flexible platform makes it possible for consumers to easily purchase Bitcoin with cash.” Maybe with the novelty and hype around bitcoin, people will overlook the fact that they can buy bitcoin much more cheaply elsewhere. But, for people looking to sample the nascent cryptocurrency, this is a great way to get started. The post Coinstar Kiosks Across the United States Will Now Sell Bitcoin, at a Hefty Fee appeared first on CryptoSlate.
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Coinstar Machines in Select US States Now Sell BTC Vouchers

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