Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.
Asia and Australia
Indian Crypto Community Petitions Government for Regulation: In anticipation of the upcoming “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” and all the rumours and chaos surrounding it, the crypto community has started a Change.org petition titled “Implementing Regulatory Framework for Cryptoassets in India”. This is a measure to pressure the Indian government into implementing a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies as soon as possible.
The issue was also recently debated on a television show, and three Right to Information requests were also filed to back the petition. The petition asks for the definition of terms like blockchain and crypto assets, creating a regulatory sandbox for crypto assets, registering ICOs, defining KYC/AML guidelines, and updating the Foreign Exchange Management Act and the Income Tax Act.
Leveraged Trading Blamed for Chinese Trader Suicide: A Chinese Bitcoin trader has allegedly committed suicide after suffering a disastrous trading loss due to a highly leveraged trading position. Hui Yi, CEO and co-founder of a crypto market analysis portal BTE.TOP, lost BTC 2,000 (~USD 16.2 million) of his investors’ funds when he opted for a short position at 100x leverage.
Evidently, he miscalculated the risks as his position was immediately liquidated when the market took a swing for the worse. His death was revealed by an ex-partner when his clients started reporting about the possibility of their funds being embezzled by Yi. The considerable loss was only possible due to 100x leverage option, which offers the possibility for traders to make large profits out of small investment capital, but can also liquidate the investment if Bitcoin only moves 1% in the opposite direction the trade.
Australian company pushes for world’s first Bitcoin ETF: An Australian accounting firm, BDO, has revealed their plans for the first ever Bitcoin (exchange-traded funds) ETF to be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
BDO has previously been providing services to many ASX-backed companies and will now look to expand their portfolio to auditing and assurance services for local digital assets, security tokens, ICOs, and exchanges. BDO’s Leader for Financial services, Tim Aman, expressed that this move will improve transparency and digital asset quality for institutional investors, as their auditing services will serve as a “game changer” for the industry. ETFs offer opportunities to the investors to track their assets and easier ways to hold the cryptocurrency without being concerned about the security procedures.
Philippine Central Bank Warns of Growing Crypto Use: The Philippines central bank has expressed grave concerns about the risks of the increasing use of crypto in the country, with Benjamin Diokno, governor of the Bangko Sentral Pilipinas, revealing the formation of a regulatory body to monitor the potential crypto misuse such as in terrorism funding.
Deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo also highlighted the limitations of crypto in comparison to traditional money and how it allows users to circumvent banking regulations. Despite this mistrust and hostile campaign by the government, trades on Localbitcoins in the Philippines have been steadily increasing since January, amounting to USD 4.3 million in the last week alone.
Iran Wants to Charge Bitcoin Miners “Real Price” for Power: According to media reports, Iran might ask Bitcoin mining operators in the country to start paying the full price of electricity. Iran’s Minister of Energy, Homayoun Haeri, said in a statement that the country is now looking to remove the 1 billion USD electricity subsidy offered to crypto miners due to the current dire situation of the economy.
But, such a move might not be a wise decision, especially considering how the Iranians have found cryptocurrency as the only feasible way to circumvent the US economic sanctions. And despite a government prohibition extending to the mining and trading of crypto, these activities have continued to flourish due to the low electricity rates amounting to a mere USD 0.01 per kilowatt-hour.
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