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September 2018

Blockchain Island Malta to Put All Rental Contracts on the Blockchain

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Malta

Malta

Malta has welcomed cryptocurrency with open arms for the last two years—so much so, that several major crypto-related operations have set up shop there. In a bid to become the world’s greatest blockchain island, the company has brought major Asian exchanges Binance and OKEx, as well as Indian exchange Zebpay to its shores.

Now, the jurisdiction is once again putting blockchain technology to good use and embracing it wholly. The Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, announced yesterday evening that every rental contract in Malta would be registered on the blockchain.

Rental Contracts on the Blockchain

The decision aligns with reformed rental laws that were finally approved by the cabinet after much deliberating.

According to Muscat, putting all rental contracts on the blockchain assures security and prevents tampering. Additionally, the distributed ledger prevents the possibility of there being contracts in place for which there is no record. Muscat has advocated for blockchain technology before, once calling cryptocurrency the “inevitable future of money.”

He furthers:

“We will now be showing people the added value of this technology through applying it to something which they will use in their daily lives […] This shows how the digital transformation will affect their lives.”

The full details of the proposed rent reform are expected in the coming days.

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Blockchain Island

Malta has garnered the name “blockchain island.” The reason is that it is a favorable jurisdiction for crypto business due to transparent and fair regulations. By positioning itself as a crypto hub, Malta hopes to enhance its economy and infrastructure by bringing in crypto-related business.

The move into the world of cryptocurrencies first came in July 2018, when the country released a relaxed regulatory framework that was favorable to distributed ledger technologies. Malta offers a tolerant regulatory environment, a burgeoning enthusiastic workforce, and EU membership with easy portals across Europe.

What are your thoughts on putting rental contracts on the blockchain?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © blunker

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Ethereum (ETH) Drops 2% in Broader Crypto Market Sell-Off

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Ethereum

Ethereum

The cryptocurrency market is currently in a free fall with Ethereum (ETH) being the biggest casualty. In the last 24 hours, the coin has lost almost 20%.

Ethereum Drops on the Launch of Bakkt Futures Contracts

Ethereum dropped to lows of $153.79 from $190 before it rebounded slightly to the present price of $168. This is the lowest the price ETH has been for three months, and it seems the fall is not yet over. There is uncertainty in the market, and most investors are currently heading to Tether, which has the backing of the US dollar for safety purposes.

It is still unclear what might have startled the market, but there is a possibility that the launch of Bakkt had something to do with it. Investors had banked on Bakkt to deliver real volume in its Bitcoin futures contracts, but that didn’t happen. On the day of the launch, Bakkt only managed to pull less than a million surprisingly low dollars.

Expanding the Ethereum Network to Accommodate More Tethers

The Ethereum network has, as of late, witnessed more traffic, which is largely due to the activity around Tether. Following the increased capacity, the network is expanding to accommodate more transactions.

Last week Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin indicated that block producers were raising gas limits to deal with growing congestion. Gas is the crypto used for paying transactions, and it essentially limits the transactions you can include in a block.

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With the expansion, miners can now drive the gas limit up above 10 million per block, which is a 25% increase. Each Ethereum block can now include 25% more transactions, which allows the network to process extra transactions per second, thus lowering the fees.

Tether is behind the increasing transaction count on Ethereum. In recent months the stablecoin has been substituting Tethers distributed on the Bitcoin network with those issued on Ethereum. With more transactions happening daily, this has put pressure on the Ethereum network.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © Syda_Productions

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NASDAQ Launches AI-Powered CIX100 Crypto Index

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CIX100

CIX100

Even a couple of years ago, the crypto index was seen as something that was firmly outside the formal financial system. However, things have changed dramatically over the course of the past two years. In a new development, it has now emerged that NASDAQ, one of the world’s biggest stock exchanges, has listed a crypto index, called CIX100.

CIX100 is going to be fully powered by artificial intelligence and is going to list the top 100 cryptocurrencies in the world by market cap.

Key Development

CIX100 is going to track the top 100 cryptocurrencies and is going to take as many as 200 different factors into consideration. The index is going to give a fairly clear idea about the crypto market at any point in time. More important, it is also going to exclude data from coins that produce fraudulent rankings as well as volumes.

Over the years, serious crypto investors have often found it difficult to get a hold of an index that could give them a clear idea of the state of the overall market. Until now, nothing of the nature had been produced.

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NASDAQ’s CIX100 is going to be one of the first crypto indices to do this. It is going to track data from as many as 200 separate crypto exchanges in the world and then come up with the relevant information. One thing that has always been pointed out by some of the most seasoned crypto traders is the fact that reliable data is not often available.

However, with the establishment of this crypto index by NASDAQ, that problem is somewhat mitigated in a big way. The predictions made by this AI-powered index are apparently 82% accurate, and it goes without saying that CIX100 is going to be a useful tool for many traders.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © sinenkiy

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Bestmixer.io Seized by Europol | Money Laundering

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bestmixer.io

bestmixer.io

Europol indicated that on Wednesday the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service had seized Bestmixer.io which is a bitcoin transaction mixer. A statement from Europol referred to the action as the “first law enforcement action of its kind against such a cryptocurrency mixer service.”

Europol, FIOD and Luxembourg Authorities Seize Bestmixer.io

The operation that was carried out jointly by Europol, FIOD and Authorities in Luxembourg was started in June last year after Bestmixer services were flagged by Internet security firm McAfee. Following the crackdown, six servers were seized in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Bitcoin transaction mixer websites such as Bestmixer.io operate by pooling together funds and then creating a new web of transactions with the aim of obfuscating their source. In essence, what the coin mixer users do is to send funds plus an extra fee and then they will receive all their money from a different source. This makes it difficult to trace the original source of the funds. Bestmixer is a leading cryptocurrency mixer that offers cryptocurrency mixing services for Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Core.

Bestmixer has transacted 27,000 bitcoins since its launch

According to Europol, the funds going through Bestmixer.io are said to have had a criminal origin or a criminal destination and the mixer was being used to launder and conceal criminal transaction of funds. Since its launch in May 2018 Bestmixer.io had mixed an estimated 27,000 bitcoins achieving a turnover of approximately $200 million.

Bestmixer.io blatantly advertises their money laundering services on the site where they have described the anti-money laundering policies but go ahead to explain how mixing could help avoid the regulations by making money untraceable and anonymous. Offering this service is illegal in most countries.

CipherTrace CEO, Dave Jevans stated that the crackdown indicates that increase in regulation on crypto-to-crypto services.  This comes at the back of European AMLD5 regulations and US FinCEN views that indicate that cryptocurrency services are money business services and as such should be subject to regulations.

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