Top Crypto News – 05/06/2018

Indonesia to Regulate Cryptocurrencies as Commodities


Exchanges, Wallets and Miners to Be Regulated

Indonesia to Regulate Cryptocurrencies as CommoditiesDespite crackdowns in the past, and the reluctance of Bank Indonesia to accept them as legitimate means of payment, cryptocurrencies have in the end received recognition from the executive power in Jakarta. According to local media reports, the country’s Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (BAPPEBTI) has decided that they can be subject to futures trading which means they will be regarded as commodities.

“The Head of BAPPEBTI has signed a decree to make cryptocurrency a commodity that could be traded on the exchange,” said Dharma Yoga, who is managing the Board’s Market Supervision and Development Bureau. Quoted by The Jakarta Post and Kontan, he added that the decision was made after the board conducted a study on the matter in the last four months and concluded that cryptocurrencies deserved to be considered commodities.

According to the official, the government will soon adopt additional regulations governing the operation of crypto exchanges in the country. The futures regulator, which operates under the Ministry of Trade, also called on existing trading platforms, such as Indodax, and other representatives of the crypto community to submit their proposals regarding different aspects like the trading procedures and the dispute settlement mechanism. The regulatory framework will also cover the activities of wallet service providers and crypto mining businesses.

Indonesia to Regulate Cryptocurrencies as Commodities

Jakarta to Regulate Crypto Taxation

The new rules will address the issues of taxation and prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing. That’s why a number of other institutions will be involved in their preparation and the regulatory process afterwards. These include Bank Indonesia, the Financial Services Authority, the Taxation Directorate General, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, and the counterterrorism unit of the National Police.

Indonesia to Regulate Cryptocurrencies as CommoditiesDharma Yoga also said the regulations would introduce measures to prevent the loss of funds due to embezzlement or hacking of the crypto platforms. They also envisage the establishment of clearing services for the futures market.

The news about the regulations aimed at legalizing the crypto sector comes just months after the central bank of Indonesia issued a stark warning against “any use of virtual currency.” According to statements made by Bank Indonesia officials, cryptocurrencies violate the country’s legislation regulating currencies and their transactions.

Detailing the ban earlier this year, the bank stated that under the current law any payment in Indonesia should be made in the national currency, the rupiah. The announcement of BI’s position was followed by a crackdown on businesses accepting cryptocurrencies, including in Bali. The island, which is a popular holiday destination with tourists from around the world spending both fiat and crypto, was targeted with inspections in January.

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Days After Launch, the EOS Blockchain Still Isn’t Live


Days after first initiating its launch in an unorthodox, distributed process, the EOS blockchain isn’t yet live, but so far, the software appears to be progressing toward that goal without major issues.

As profiled by CoinDesk, after raising a reported $4 billion over the last year to create the software necessary to launch the blockchain, the company that created it is leaving it to its community to actually get it off the ground. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been material updates, however, or that, the company in question, hasn’t been involved in the initial booting effort.

Rather, the company released version 1.0.0 of the EOS software on Saturday and already it’s published one update to the code, version 1.0.1, a release that CTO Daniel Larimer described as preventing a “potential crash” in the update notes, along with other minor issues.

This means that, as of now, participants in the EOS initial coin offering (ICO), which ended on Friday, have purchased all the initial ethereum tokens that will ever be used to bootstrap the project. The plan was always for these tokens to be frozen at the end of the ICO, in preparation for a formal blockchain launch, meaning those coins won’t be tradeable again until EOS is live. (It’s unclear at this time how exchanges are managing their book-keeping while trading continues.)

The last big event took place June 2 at 10:59 UTC, when the tokens froze on ethereum and so-called “snapshots” were taken in order to preserve a record that can later be used to allocate tokens issued on the EOS blockchain to their owners. By all accounts, this occurred on time and without any issues (here’s one description).

“Things are going about as we expected. A few road bumps, no show-stopping problems. I’m expecting the [blockchain] to be live in the next couple of days,” Kyle Samani of Multicoin Capital, one of EOS’s most prominent endorsers, told CoinDesk.

Still, it has been remarkable how unified block producers, or the entities jockeying to process transactions on the new blockchain (and thus receive its rewards), have appeared outwardly given the global scale of the launch.

“I’ve been part of calls of 60 to 90 people every day,” Marc-Antoine Ross, the CEO of EOS Canada, told CoinDesk, adding:

“What I think is important is we all published agreement to launch one chain.”

Bumps and bruises

But this outward coordination has not been without a lot of behind-the-scenes effort.

Indeed, a controversy broke out in the EOS launch community last week when a group calling itself “Ghostbusters” published a critique of the launch approach led by EOS Canada, another group vying to become a block producer.

EOS Canada had published a piece of open-source software called “EOS BIOS” on April 9, a suite of code that aimed to coordinate the launch of the EOS software. Its had dozens of subsequent releases since then, with version 1.0.0 coming out on Saturday. “A lot of block producer candidates validated this solution to launch the network,” Ross said.

That said, the critique was seconded by other block producer candidates.

The May 28 blog post argued:

“Using the EOS BIOS process will create unnecessary risks for the EOS blockchain launch and ultimately all EOS token holders. Also, any negative press on insecurities in EOS blockchain launch or failed attempt to launch the blockchain will have a negative impact on EOS price and reputation.”

It argued that the channels between the various nodes needed to be more secure, using layers that obscure IP addresses and encrypt data as it passes between block producers.

EOS Canada promptly responded with a call for “increased collaboration” arguing that some of the vulnerabilities identified were settings needed for efficient testing, not a production launch.

In a subsequent post, Ghostbusters described theirs as the “security first” approach.

Unity prevails

But while it looked like there could be a split in the larger EOS community, one that could result in two competing blockchain launches, the greater value in consensus, it seems, has prevailed.

On Saturday, participants in a livestream supporting the launch announced that the two sides had resolved their differences (which Ross confirmed), affirming that everyone has agreed to coordinate with EOS BIOS and it should have no problem integrating with Ghostbusters preferred security measures, according to Ross.

“We’ve opened our hand to the Ghostbusters,” Ross told CoinDesk, “to make sure we have one strong network.”

Members of the Ghostbusters coalition have not responded to request for comment from CoinDesk.

As such, there haven’t been the forks or competing blockchains that many people feared. One group has launched EOS Classic, which basically recreates the existing token balances on ethereum, where people are used to trading them. The creators use something of a complicated process for users to claim their tokens, but MyCrypto CEO Taylor Monahan asked her team to look at it, and they don’t see anything dangerous about an EOS holder claiming EOS Classic tokens.

“It looks like it is in the current snapshot in time, it has no way to steal private keys from what I can see,” Monahan wrote, though she warned that sometimes scams can come in phases, so that could come next.

Just as reserved 10 percent of EOS tokens for the company, the EOS Classic reserves the same for itself, in what could be just another simple play for easy crypto money.

Casting ballots

Other fears relating to the launch have been assuaged so far, including those relating to the selection of block producers via voting, a necessary action needed to help EOS determine just who would be in charge of maintaining its blockchain.

As this vote was to be carried out by those who own EOS, a range of possible complications were theorized. These included that potential voting tokens could end up idle or lost forever because token holders never registered an EOS address (a necessary step to migrate their coins from ethereum).

This process has been going for a year now, and the designers of the process expected token buyers on ethereum to remember that at the end of the process they would need to take action in order to hold onto their tokens and create an EOS address and associate it with their ethereum address. It’s not surprising that this message didn’t get through to everyone who had ever bought any EOS.

So, in order to prevent the exclusion of crypto users who weren’t following the EOS blog, the EOS community coded up a workaround so that users wouldn’t lose their tokens. Basically, for all the laggards, they generated an EOS version of of their ethereum public key. That way, once the user created an EOS version of their private key (offline, preferably), they could claim their tokens.

“Think of it this way, your ethereum public key is just the wrapper around a longer array of numbers which are compressed into a 64 character string that you call your public key,” EOS New York, another potential block producer, explained in a post on Steemit.

But there may never have been much reason to worry about the likelihood of enough votes coming together to launch the chain. It turns out that there are some very big whales out there, people who have a powerful vested interest in making sure that the system launches.

Redditor @Lannisan crunched the numbers from the snapshot balances and found that (if is excluded — and it should be because it has committed to sitting out the block producer vote) and found that the 10 biggest wallets hold 39 percent of all tokens. In other words, those 10 could decide almost anything they wanted if they coordinated. The top 100 wallets control 65 percent of the tokens.

These numbers are again somewhat skewed by the fact that some of these “whales” must be exchanges, and some of the biggest exchanges have committed to not voting their users’ tokens. Still, there are probably a few large holders out there who plan to vote once they feel comfortable with a mainnet release, so that it goes live. With so many large holders out there, it doesn’t sound like hitting 15 percent of the tokens voting will be difficult, even if not that many actual people vote.

Ross would not commit to any kind of timeline for EOS to go live.

The block producers are running a variety of testnets now, any one of which might meet all the checks for the chain, the software and the security that they are looking to validate. When they all agree they have a configuration that works, a group announcement will go out calling for holders to prepare to vote for the first slate of block producers.

When it goes live, that’s when we’ll really start to understand Dan Larimer’s latest technology.

As Siddharth Kalla, co-founder of the Turing Advisory Group, told CoinDesk:

“The real test of whether one should be alarmed or not would come once the network is live and running. The human side of security, voting, economic incentives, etc, are much harder to test than bugs in the code during the testing phase.”

Egg candling via Shutterstock
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Former SEC Chair to Represent Ripple in XRP Lawsuit


Court records show that distributed ledger startup Ripple is being represented by two former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials – including its onetime chairwoman, Mary Jo White – in an ongoing civil matter.

Twin filings reveal that White, along with Andrew Ceresney, are representing Ripple in a lawsuit first filed in May by investor Ryan Coffey. Both are currently employed at Debevoise & Plimpton, where White serves as senior chair.

Ceresney served as the SEC’s director of enforcement between April 2013 and December 2016, with White serving as SEC chair between that period up until the end of the Obama administration in January of last year. Their representation of Ripple was first reported by on Monday.

Records also indicate that the case itself has moved from the San Francisco County Superior Court to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

As previously reported, the proposed class-action lawsuit alleges that Ripple violated state and federal securities laws. It centers around the question of whether XRP is a security, given its relationship with Ripple (which asserts that the digital asset is wholly distinct from the private company).

The lawsuit names XRP II, Ripple’s registered and licensed MSB, and CEO Brad Garlinghouse among the defendants. A representative for Ripple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Back in May, the company disputed the basis of the lawsuit and reiterated that it doesn’t believe XRP is a security.

“Like any civil proceeding, we’ll assess the merit or lack of merit to the allegations at the appropriate time. Whether or not XRP is a security is for the SEC to decide. We continue to believe XRP should not be classified as a security,” Tom Channick, Ripple’s head of corporate communications, told CoinDesk at the time.

Image via Sen. Elizabeth Warren/YouTube
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ICO Promoter John McAfee Says He’s Running for President [Again]


John McAfee, the cybersecurity pioneer and ICO promoter, has announced on Twitter he has decided to run for president of the United States in 2020, past refusals notwithstanding.

John McAfee


In spite of past refusals, I have decided to again run for POTUS in 2020. If asked again by the Libertarian party, I will run with them. If not, I will create my own party. I believe this will best serve the crypto community by providing the ultimate campaign platform for us.

He said running for President will best serve the crypto community, and he will run for the Libertarian Party if he is asked. McAfee failed in his attempt to win the Libertarian Party’s nomination in 2016.

If the Libertarians choose not to ask him, the man who said that he will “eat my d–k” if the bitcoin price does not reach $1 million by 2020 said that he will start his own party, an idea that gained a lot of support immediately among Twitter followers.

Several tweeters thanked him for his decision and assured him that they will vote for him. Some volunteered to help him. One tweeter created a logo and campaign slogan: “McAfee 2020 For A Secure Future.”

One tweeter suggested he call the new party the “Block Party.” Another donated an “Organic Token,” the equivalent of around $390.85, to his campaign.

Supporters Say McAfee as ‘Better Than Gary Johnson’

Source: Twitter

McAfee agreed with a tweeter who commented that the Libertarian Party should have run him in 2016 instead of Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor.

Several tweeters liked the idea of having a Crypto Party as something to unite them. One commented that even if McAfee doesn’t win, the campaign would bring great publicity to crypto. Another suggested a strong crypto presidential campaign would push bitcoin’s price over $1 million.

Another suggested making the party a global one, not just an American party.

One tweeter said by 2020 a war will be under way between the “banksters” and the crypto community, and there is no other person besides McAfee they would want running for president as he understands the new world order.

He’ll Use His Own Funds

Asked if he would run with his own money or ask the community, McAfee answered he would use his own money.

One tweeter said he would vote for McAfee if he imposes regulations requiring immutable blockchain-based voting protocols.

One of the few detractors suggested McAfee would better serve the public by educating them on cryptocurrencies and financial futures.

A Failed 2016 Attempt

McAfee in 2015 announced plans to run in the 2016 presidential campaign under a party called the Cyber Party, according to CNN. He said he wanted to run because privacy was under attack and governments worldwide are out of touch. McAfee later told USA Today in December 2015 that he was going to join the Libertarian Party in hopes of winning that party’s presidential nomination.

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson eventually secured the Libertarian Party nomination for the 2016 presidential campaign and received 3.3 percent of the popular vote during the general election.

Featured Image from Shutterstock
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