Category Archives: blockchain

Major Belarusian Bank Starts Offering Bitcoin CFD as Belarus Gets Less Crypto Friendly

A well-known bank in Belarus will begin offering a bitcoin contract for difference (CFD) product through its platform, a joint project with a Swiss bank. Meanwhile, Belarus is growing less crypto friendly, reportedly amending its decree to impose strict KYC rules.

Mtbankfx is an accredited FX dealer and the first banking forex platform in Belarus. Launched in July 2016, it is a joint project between Minsk Transit Bank (Mtbank), one of the most well-known banks in Belarus, and Swiss Dukascopy Bank SA.

The platform will start offering a bitcoin CFD product next week, according to local media. It has already added information and updated its terms of service to reflect this new offering.

Mtbankfx explains in its terms of service that its tools, including the BTC/USD tool with 1:3 leverage, are “available for transactions around the clock – from the opening of the market on Sundays at 21:00 GMT in the summer (22:00 GMT in the winter) until the market closes on Fridays at 20:00 GMT in summer/winter time.” For the bitcoin CFD specifically, the company wrote: All open positions as of 20:00 GMT Fridays will be forcibly closed.

While the platform offers CFDs for many underlying assets, the bitcoin CFD is the only one that will be forcibly closed.

On March 29, Switzerland’s Dukascopy Bank SA launched its own BTC/USD CFD product for European clients. “Bitcoin to US Dollar (BTC/USD) with leverage 1:3 has been added for live trading,” the company stated.

Major Belarusian Bank Starts Offering Bitcoin CFD as Belarus Gets Less Crypto Friendly
Alexander Lukashenko.

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko signed the decree “On the development of the digital economy” in January that legalizedcryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and smart contracts. The decree went into effect in March.

However, local media reported this week that amendments to that decree are already being prepared to obligate cryptocurrency exchanges operating within the High-Tech Park (HTP) to disclose their data and identify customers.

Ria Novosti’s source explained that “beneficiaries must meet the requirements for reputation” such as having no criminal record and no bankruptcy proceedings against them, in whole or part. “They should [also] show the availability of funds in accounts of at least $5 million and confirm the sources of their origin.” Additionally, Forklog elaborated: “Operators are required to identify the clients of the exchanges, as well as record and store all types of communications with them. In certain cases, exchange-residents of the HTP will be required to conduct customer verification procedures.”

The news outlet added, “information about customers and their transactions should be stored at crypto exchanges for at least five years.”

source: https://news.bitcoin.com/

Belarus’ Digital Economy Development Ordinance comes into force

Ordinance No. 8 on digital economy development dated 21 December 2017 comes into force on 28 March, BelTA informs.

The document has been drafted on the instruction of the head of state by the administration of Belarus’ Hi-Tech Park (HTP), the IT community, the country’s leading law and consulting firms, and foreign experts.

The document has extended the duration of the Hi-Tech Park’s special taxation and regulation regime till 2049 and preserved the exterritorial principle of registration. The business environment has remained unchanged for the HTP resident companies.

The ordinance is meant to expand the list of activities for the HTP companies, support IT education, enable comfortable conditions for training IT specialists, developing food tech companies, and comprehensive business regulations for blockchain-based businesses. The Hi-Tech Park’s resident companies are now allowed to pursue new types of activity such as the development of biotechnologies, medical technologies, aviation technologies, space technologies, and e-sports. They can now both develop and make high-technology knowledge-intensive products.

The resident companies have been given more leeway to commercialize the software they develop, including by means of advertising and marketing services, business process outsourcing, and other things.

The new ordinance does not envisage any of the previous restrictions on the amount of revenue from additional activities (consulting, testing, and others). The ordinance has enabled the legal environment for initial coin offering (ICO), using cryptocurrencies, and introducing smart contracts. The ordinance does not envisage any restrictions or special requirements for operations to create, store, acquire, and exchange tokens, for cryptocurrency platforms and cryptocurrency exchange operators. Individuals are exempt from personal income tax on the incomes from mining, acquisition and sale of digital tokens. Digital tokens shall not be declared.

The document gives a boost to the development of tech food companies. It has facilitated the procedures for foreign business deals via internet. The deals can now be made online. The Digital Economy Development Ordinance has introduced several English Law components such as convertible loans, stock options, option contracts, non-compete agreements, indemnification of material losses. The introduction of these components will enable comfortable conditions for venture capital funds and will provide potential investors with the instruments that are widely used in the world.
The HTP resident companies are now allowed to provide education services in ICT under programs adopted by the HTP administration. A number of measures have been stipulated to attract top IT specialists to Belarus. In particular, the HTP companies no longer need to obtain work permits for foreign workers. Such foreign nationals now need to follow a simplified procedure to get a temporary resident permit. Visas have been abolished for foreign workers and founders of the HTP resident companies. The adoption of the Digital Economy Development Ordinance has prompted many companies to join the HTP. The number of HTP resident companies grew by a quarter from 192 to 238 in Q1 2018.

This is the first such dramatic one-time increase in the HTP’s history which spans more than a decade. The new resident companies are mainly related with artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and augmented reality. As a follow-up to Ordinance No. 8, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) has amended the requirements for internal control in banks and non-bank financial institutions to fight money laundering, terrorist financing, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The Finance Ministry has adopted the National Accounting and Reporting Standard “Digital Signs (Tokens).
source: http://eng.belta.by/economics/view/belarus-digital-economy-development-ordinance-comes-into-force-110412-2018/

 

Blockchain industry leaders see vast business potential in Russian Siberia

The regions of Siberian Federal District of Russia are regarded as a major platform for blockchain industry’s future development by the big guys in blockchain-related business, as stated by the State Duma member Victor Zubarev.

According to investors’ estimates, spare capacity in industry and cheap electric power could turn Siberian Federal District into one of the world’s major blockchain technology research and development centers in future.

“The development of digital technology-related industrial park is envisaged. It will attract about 3 500 000 000 worth of investments into Russia-based BitBaza corporation,” – Zubarev added.

The development of digital economy and cross-cutting technologies in Russia is outlined in “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation” program.

“Among the key objectives of the program is the goal of providing for institutional and infrastructural environment suitable for development of high-tech digital economy-related projects in Russia. Siberia, in particular, may become a world’s digital data storage and processing hub,” – the parliamentarian noted.

It should also be reminded that according to the statement made by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Sergei Donskoi earlier in March, it is considered appropriate to use solar energy and wind power for cryptocurrency mining in Russia. According to Donskoi, the idle capacities needed for these purposes are to be sought in Siberia and Russian Far East.

source: https://en.bitnovosti.com/2018/03/14/blockchain-industry-leaders-see-vast-business-potential-in-russian-siberia/

Belarus – Gomel to host conference on digital economy

An international scientific conference on the topical issues of theory and practice in today’s economics will take place at Francysk Skaryna Gomel State University on 15 March, BelTA learned from the university.

The conference will be centered around digital economy development: strategic priorities of innovative economy development, e-commerce, new technology in business, problems of financial relations, development of regional systems, and other matters.

A total of 200 university students and master’s students from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria are set to present their works in five sections.

“This will be the sixth installment of the conference. The number of participants grows every year, with new topical relevant topics coming into the spotlight. For instance, this year some research will be dedicated to cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and the introduction of digital financial instruments into the domestic economy,” the university noted. A collection of scientific articles will be published in the follow-up to the event. The organizers are Belarus’ Education Ministry and Francysk Skaryna Gomel State University.
source:http://eng.belta.by/society/view/gomel-to-host-conference-on-digital-economy-development-15-march-109920-2018/

Wanchain wants to power the new digital economy

President Dustin Byington has a clear vision for Wanchain, a company using the blockchain to power the new digital economy.

Wanchain believes the “digital economy’ will soon become simply the “economy.” Just like photography has been digitized, crypto-finance will be too as increased functionality and transparency attract more people. That will increase pressure on companies to produce crypto assets and governments to develop cryptocurrencies which will, in turn, drive participation rates even higher.

We’re still in the early stages, where blockchain pioneers are laying the groundwork upon which future gains will be made. Those efforts include the creation of blockchains for each digital asset which help track their path but which makes it difficult to communicate between chains. First came Bitcoin, which Ethereum improved with smart contracts.

Wanchain links crypto-assets via cross-chain smart contracts so banking applications can be developed that guide flows on-chain between different cryptocurrencies.

“Wanchain’s is a fully programmable blockchain,” Mr. Byington said. “Developers can build any app on us, then when they have proxy tokens on the same ledger, we can do things like decentralized exchanges that are applications sitting on top of the blockchain.”

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Say a user wants to use Wanchain’s blockchain to exchange ETH for LTC. The users deposit their ETH into Wanchain. The ETH is technically locked on the Ethereum blockchain as a new proxy token (W-ETH) is minted on Wanchain’s blockchain.

“The W-ETH is a receipt for ETH,” Mr. Byington explained. “It is a bearer instrument which means that anyone that holds it can cash it.”

Another user deposits LTC onto Wanchain, receiving W-LTC in return. The Wanchain blockchain recognized the W-ETH and W-LTC. Using an on-chain exchange built on Wanchain, for example, the Kyber-Wanchain Decentralized Exchange, the user facilitates the W-ETH/W-LTC trade before cashing out the W-LTC for LTC. The W-LTC is technically burned and the LTC that was locked on the Litecoin blockchain is unlocked.

Wanchain also offers WAN Smart Contracts, which allow people to deploy smart contracts with Monero-level privacy protection on Ethereum. Once in possession of a special token, users can issue a token with privacy protection too. With each new coin comes increased utility.

“We’re the world’s first smart contract platform with ring signatures,” Mr. Byington said. A ring signature is a digital signature which can be completed any one of a group of key holders, meaning any message signed in this manner is endorsed by a member of the key holder group. Transactions are validated by a group.

“There is no central counterparty risk, as transactions are not controlled by any one single person but by a group of validators,” Mr. Byington said.

Private smart contracts enable institutions and other high-volume exchange participants to transact without the rest of the world knowing, a key threshold if crypto exchanges are to become commonplace, Mr. Byington said.

“If you go on to other blockchains, there is no privacy protection. That public transparency is not the right architecture for future financial infrastructure.

“We think individual privacy is a building block.”

Mr. Byington used the digital photography analogy as he imagined a future where the world’s assets become digitized, taken out of the physical world and replaced with 0s and 1s.

“Our vision is one where many of the world’s assets can be digitized and their flow and movement governed by an app sitting on top of Wanchain. We;re not rebuilding, we’re recreating.

“This is the new finance.”

source:www.banklesstimes.com

Park of High Technologies in Belarus holds hackathon on blockchain and cryptocurrency

mainlogoThe business-incubator of the Park of High Technologies has held a hackathon on blockchain and cryptocurrency for the teaching staff. Its participants came from different parts of the country.

Presentations were prepared in an intelligible form. The Park of High Technologies tried to make sure that teachers were able to share their knowledge with colleagues after this forum.

Belarus was the first country in the world to legislatively regulate the technology of blockchain and operations with cryptocurrencies. The decree On the development of the digital economy will come into force in late March.

source:www.tvr.by