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India Shuns Bitcoin Legalization, Excludes Crypto Firms from Fintech Sandbox

India Shuns Bitcoin Legalization, Excludes Crypto Firms from Fintech Sandbox

India Shuns Bitcoin Legalization Again, Excludes Crypto Startups from Fintech SandboxIndia’s central bank gives the cold shoulder to the crypto sector, again. | Source: Shutterstock Get Exclusive Analysis and Investing Ideas of Future Assets on Hacked.com. Join the community today and get up to $400 in discount by using the code: “CCN+Hacked”. Sign up here. Get Exclusive Analysis and Investing Ideas of Future Assets on Hacked.com. Join the community today and get up to $400 in discount by using the code: “CCN+Hacked”. Sign up here.By CCN.com: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has published its official document on a draft framework for fintech regulatory sandbox entitled “Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox.” The document explicitly excluded crypto assets like bitcoin, demonstrating a lack of intent to regulate the local crypto market.“The entities may not be suitable for RS (regulatory sandbox) if the proposed financial service is similar to those that are already being offered in India unless the applicants can show that either a different technology is being gainfully applied or the same technology is being applied in a more efficient and effective manner,” the document read, listing crypto assets, crypto trading, and ICOs as excluded areas.India’s central bank excludes the crypto sector from its sandbox | Source: RBIThe draft framework essentially eliminates crypto-related businesses and bitcoin exchanges from the fintech market, which the government of India has expressed its intent on supporting.Will Bitcoin Legalization in India Ever Happen?The current stance of India on bitcoin and crypto regulation is unexpected given that many major governments in Asia including the likes of Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and others have taken the approach of regulating the crypto market.The central bank of India has prohibited local banks from working with cryptocurrency exchanges, eliminating fiat-to-crypto trading in the local market.The policy of the RBI has left the overwhelming majority of crypto businesses in India in disarray, most of the entities involved with crypto either shutting down their services or moving out of the crypto market of India.A relatively large number of governments in Asia have regulated the crypto market to prevent money laundering and to place a lid on speculation to protect investors.South Korea, for instance, had been reluctant towards introducing cryptocurrency regulations for an extended time frame because the government feared that the introduction of regulatory frameworks may lead investors to accept the cryptocurrency market as an acknowledged, regulated, and legitimate sector.Ultimately, the authorities of South Korea and other countries like Japan ended up regulating the crypto market to ensure investors can invest in a safe environment wherein exchanges are licensed, user funds are protected, and the market can operate in a transparent manner.It is more difficult to prevent money laundering and the usage of cryptocurrencies in an unregulated market than a strictly overseen market because most major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not anonymous by nature.Why India is Taking Such a Hard Stance on CryptoThe RBI’s exclusion of crypto from its regulatory sandbox framework clearly demonstrates the lack of intent of the authorities in India to acknowledge cryptocurrencies as an asset class and as a payment system.A central bank could consider cryptocurrencies a threat as they enable users to initiate peer-to-peer transactions and circumvent the services provided by banks.However, in January, the Financial Stability Board, an inter-governmental body involving the government of India said that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin do not pose a threat to the global financial system.At the time, Nischal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange, told Quartz that India most likely does not see cryptocurrencies as a priority and as an asset class that does not need regulation in the near-term.“Sometimes, no regulation is not bad news. It probably means that the government of India does not see cryptocurrencies as a matter of immediate concern, or something that needs to be regulated right away. This at least means that fears of a ban are not imminent,” Shetty said.An issue with the approach of the RBI is that if the government of India does regulate the crypto in the future, which still remains uncertain especially after the release of the draft regulatory sandbox framework by the RBI, it will be difficult for the local crypto market to recover and re-establish infrastructures that previously existed. About The AuthorJoseph YoungHong Kong-Based Finance and Cryptocurrency Analyst. Contributing regularly to CCN and Hacked. Providing unique insights into the crypto and fintech space since 2012.
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Hackers made $32K in 7 weeks by fixing bugs in cryptocurrency projects

Hackers made $32K in 7 weeks by fixing bugs in cryptocurrency projects

In the past seven weeks, white hat hackers earned at least $32,150 by fixing security flaws in popular cryptocurrency and blockchain platforms like TRON, Brave, EOS and Coinbase.
According to data reviewed by Hard Fork, 15 blockchain-related firms have paid rewards to security researchers between March 28 and May 16, split across 30 publicly-released bug reports.

Omise, the software firm behind cryptocurrency OmiseGo, fielded the most fixes (six). Blockchain-powered prediction market Augur disclosed three reports, as did Brave Software, makers of the Brave browser, which features its own native token.

Projects adjust their HackerOne rewards to the severity the discovered security flaws. Whilst the majority of Omise’s reports were only worth around $100 each, other payments in the past seven weeks were much higher.
Block.one, the firm behind the EOS “blockchain,” rewarded one hacker with $10,000 for a single fix, as did budding network Aeternity.
TRON also paid $3,100 to the researcher who realized the network was susceptible to being flooded with malicious smart contracts, which would have brought its blockchain to a screeching halt.
The amount of hackers who prefer to fix security issues seems to be remaining steady — but sometimes they can make off with much bigger amounts exploiting vulnerabilities themselves.
Indeed, cryptocurrency exchange Binance revealed attackers had successfully stolen 7,000 BTC (then $40 million, now $55 million) from its own wallets last week.
Coincidentally, Binance runs its own bug bounty program with a maximum reward of $100,000 for the most critical of vulnerabilities. The Binance hacker remains at large.

Published May 20, 2019 — 15:21 UTC

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ABN AMRO signs on Accenture and ING Bank for its blockchain inventory platform

ABN AMRO signs on Accenture and ING Bank for its blockchain inventory platform

Despite abandoning plans to build its own Bitcoin wallet, ABN AMRO is not quite done with blockchain tech.
The Dutch banking giant has announced plans to launch a decentralized trade inventory platform in collaboration with Accenture and ING Bank, according to a press release (spotted by CoinDesk).

Codenamed Forcefield, the project will employ Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to provide “real-time insight into trade inventories.” ABN AMRO claims the platform’s monitoring features “will lead to more secure physical handling processes and a reduction of costs.”
Upon launch, the project will focus on “refined metals,” but “functionality will be expanded across other dry bulk commodities” in the future.
In addition to ING and Accenture, a number of other companies – including Anglo American, CMST International, Hartree Partners, Macquarie, Mercuria, and OCBC Bank – have also signed a memorandum of understanding to join Forcefield.
Back in January, ABN AMRO teased plans to develop its own cryptocurrency wallet, called Wallie. But as Hard Fork reported, the bank has now ditched Wallie as cryptocurrencies are still “too risky.”
“We have approached all the people who have shown interest,” ABN AMRO press officer Jarco de Swart told Hard Fork. “We have concluded that cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature are at the moment too risky assets [sic] for our clients to invest in.”
ABN AMRO and ING are hardly the only banks looking to get in on the blockchain hype. Indeed, leading banks – including Barclays and HSBC – reportedly poured $50 million into a blockchain-based digital cash system, expected to launch in 2020.

Published May 20, 2019 — 15:00 UTC

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