Superrich International Exchange, a popular foreign currency exchange chain in Thailand, has reportedly revealed a plan to begin offering travelers cryptocurrency exchange service in addition to 32 fiat currencies. The company has 49 locations in Thailand, one in Cambodia, one in Britain, and is also in talks with regulators to start operations in Laos.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Superrich Entering the Crypto Space

Super Rich: Popular Thai Foreign Exchange Chain to Add CryptocurrenciesSuperrich International Exchange (1965) Co. has unveiled its plans to enter the crypto space, according to local media.

Having been in business since 1965, Superrich describes itself as “The best currency exchange in Thailand with 49 locations throughout the country and 2 in other countries, with 32 currencies available.” The chain consists of 43 locations in Bangkok, six in Thailand’s provinces, one in Cambodia and one in Britain. In addition, the company is in talks with the Laotian authorities to begin money-changing operations in the country, the Bangkok Post reported on Sept. 24.

Super Rich: Popular Thai Foreign Exchange Chain to Add Cryptocurrencies

The president of Superrich, Piya Tantivachayanon, was quoted by the publication saying:

We would offer digital asset exchange for travellers…The company also plans to offer an e-wallet service, and we’re exploring business partners[hips] to help develop technology. There are many companies from Malaysia, Britain and Laos that have expressed interest.

According to Tantivachayanon, Superrich is “modernising its branches by adopting new technology to serve customer demand and compete with other money changers,” the news outlet detailed. Ryt9 publication added that the company hopes to start offering a crypto exchange service this year.

Waiting for Regulatory Approval

Super Rich: Popular Thai Foreign Exchange Chain to Add CryptocurrenciesSuperrich has already discussed its plans to offer crypto exchange and wallet services with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) twice, according to the Bangkok Post. Thailand’s cryptocurrency regulations went into effect on May 14, installing the SEC as the main regulator of the country’s crypto industry. The agency is currently reviewing a number of applications from companies wanting to operate crypto businesses in Thailand.

Super Rich: Popular Thai Foreign Exchange Chain to Add CryptocurrenciesThe news outlet noted that, in addition to the approval by the SEC, Superrich is also waiting for regulatory clarity from the Bank of Thailand. Unlike other companies seeking to operate a crypto business in the country, Superrich is a money business, meaning it falls under the jurisdiction of the central bank. As such, the company will operate in a new segment of the country and, if approved, will be the first in Thailand to operate “a digital asset exchange for foreign currency,” the publication conveyed. “Mr Piya said the company [also] seeks to list on the Market for Alternative Investment because becoming a public company would earn it more public trust.”

According to E-finance Thai news outlet, once the Bank of Thailand has provided regulatory clarity for financial firms to operate crypto businesses, Superrich will be ready to immediately begin its crypto operations, exchanging cryptocurrencies that the Thai SEC has approved.

What do you think of Superrich getting into the crypto business? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Alejandro Beltrán of Colombia’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Buda.com, effectively shuttered by banks in the country refusing to do business with it, has written an open letter to the nation’s new president in the hope of winning a reversal. Iván Duque Márquez was elected last month, and has been quoted as embracing new financial technology. 

Also read: 3D Gun File Company Reorganizes After Cody Wilson Resigns

Colombia Crypto Exchange Buda Writes an Open Plea to New President

“Being a Fintech company,” Mr. Beltrán began, “we received with great enthusiasm [your] promise to promote the development of new technologies in Colombia [….] For this reason, it hurts us that the pressure of the previous government on the banks led them to close our bank accounts, forcing us to stop our operation and taking away from our almost 40,000 clients the possibility of buying cryptocurrencies in a safe and transparent manner.”

Alejandro Beltrán, head of Buda.com, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in Colombia, knows business. Prior to running the largest crypto venture in his country, Mr. Beltrán worked as an administrator in finance for a decade. He is also host of the Spanish language podcast, Calle Bitcoin.

Colombia Crypto Exchange Asks New President for Banking Help
Alejandro Beltrán

Reports term the occurrences of bank bans spontaneous, a variation on organic, but, whatever the actual case, by summer of this year Buda.com was effectively shut down. Banks in Colombia had decided, seemingly all at once, to cease doing business with any company even mildly related to cryptocurrencies.

“The CEO of Buda,” these pages documented in early June, “Alejandro Beltran, confirmed that Bancolombia, Davivienda, and BBVA have all terminated financial services provided to the exchange via an email sent to customers. Buda also sought to assure customers that their funds are safely protected despite the disruptions to the exchange’s operations.” It’s a tactic used all over the world, and seeing as how most banks are usually in bed with their regional governments, it doesn’t take long to determine which institution is really pulling strings when it comes to such things.

The President Has Positive Things to Say About Crypto

After various appeals, Mr. Beltrán has taken to an open letter, desperate to get some relief at the highest levels of the Colombian government. He chose to name newly elected President Iván Duque. It’s a choice probably due to Mr. Duque’s statements the beginning of the present month on cryptocurrency and financial technology.

As News.Bitcoin.com also reported, “the country’s new president, Ivan Duque, revealed his administration’s commitment to cutting down rent taxes for crypto startups for a period of up to five years. The main motivation behind the proposal is to stimulate the creation of new jobs in the industry.”

Colombia Crypto Exchange Asks New President for Banking Help
Iván Duque Márquez

And while that seems positive for enthusiasts, “the president also declared his support for exploring the implementation of blockchain technologies in order to improve key sectors such as security, health and also curb corruption by tracking the use of public funds. ‘If we want to overcome corruption, technology can be instrumental. The government must start by setting an example. We take it seriously, we want a modern Colombia,’” explains President Duque in a quoted statement.

Mr. Beltrán wrote, “This letter, Mr. President, is to ask you very kindly and vehemently for your intervention in this great problem in order to reopen our bank accounts. We do not ask for special treatment or exceptions. We only ask to have access to a basic service to undertake, as any entrepreneur who starts with an idea that can have a positive impact on society. For our part, we are committed to continue contributing to the education of new technologies, promoting spaces that empower Colombians to be agents of change and helping in Colombia to develop a healthy and safe cryptocurrency industry.” As of publication, the President has not responded.

Do you think the President of Colombia will listen to Buda? Let us know in the comments below. 

This post is credited to news.bitcoin

New Zealand’s police department has urged the public to be vigilant of online investment schemes offering heightened returns with investments in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Police in the region of Canterbury in New Zealand issued a public alert on the department’s website on Wednesday, reminding residents to be wary of crypto-investment schemes after an incident wherein a victim lost NZD$320,000 (approx. $212,500) to an online scam.

While the police withheld specific details of the scam and its operators, “[t]he scam involved investments in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin,” the notice said. To solicit investments from its victims, the company offered lucrative returns in exchange for a small investment.

“The investment grew as more money was deposited, but soon began to decline,” police added. The spiral continued with the scammer contacting the victim on several occasions to obtain more investments that were deposited on the scheme’s website.

Reminding the public to veer away from investment schemes offering inflated returns on investments, Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves stated:

“Members of the public should seek advice before making any online investments they are unsure of. Scammers are extremely persistent and can seem very credible, as they are highly versed in their trade. “

The alert also redirected residents to a crypto advisory, by CERT New Zealand, the country’s cybersecurity watchdog. With a quick explainer on the advantages and risks in cryptocurrency investments, the advisory – refreshingly – suggests cryptocurrency adopters to store their coins in offline storage to minimize hacking risks.

As things stand, the cryptocurrency industry is largely unregulated in New Zealand. As reported by CCN in November 2017, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – the country’s financial regulator – published its official stance on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), deeming them securities.

Within weeks, the FMA had issued an official warning against a teenager’s NZD$220 million cryptocurrency venture that was withdrawn less than a week after its launch.

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Australia’s taxman is once again sounding the alarm over fraudsters impersonating tax officials and demanding that tax debts be paid in bitcoin as well as other ‘unusual’ methods.

In the latest scam alert, the Australian Taxation Office has warned that scammers are going around threatening to get the federal police to send Australians to jail if their tax debts were not cleared urgently. The tax authority highlighted a case where an individual pseudonymously named Darren was contacted by a scammer who claimed he owed the taxman AU$9,000. The scammer threatened Darren with a jail sentence of half a decade if the amount was not paid the same day.

Three-Way Conversation

Under pressure, Darren went on to provide the contact details of his tax agent to the scammer in order to clear things up. Conveniently, however, when the con artist called Darren’s tax agent, he was found to be in a meeting. But there was another individual named Grey who purportedly worked in the same practice and who offered to assist. Grey then ‘corroborated’ the scammer’s assertions.

“A fake conversation was had between Mr Grey and the original scammer with Mr Grey agreeing there was an error with Darren’s tax return and that he owed money to the ATO,” Australia’s tax authority wrote on its website. “Mr Grey told Darren to go to a specific location and pay the $9,000 today. Darren withdrew cash and deposited it into a Bitcoin [ATM] machine.”

Besides bitcoin the ATO also revealed that the fraudsters were also demanding ‘tax debts’ to be paid in other unusual methods such as iTunes balance, pre-paid visa cards and store gift cards. According to the Australian Taxation Office, the best way to avoid being conned is to keep abreast of one’s tax affairs as it will be easier to tell outright scams when there’s clear knowledge of the ‘debts owed, refunds due and lodgments outstanding’.

Not New

This is not the first time that the ATO is warning against scammers who have turned to cryptocurrencies. In a previous scam alert which was reported by CCN in March, Australia’s taxman warned against con artists who were posing as employees of the tax authority. At the time it was estimated that the fraudsters had collected bitcoin more than AUD$50,000 from their victims in a scheme that had started in 2017.

“We became aware of scammers seeking payment in Bitcoin last year,” Kath Anderson, ATO’s assistant commissioner, said then. “So far, we have seen over $50,000 paid in Bitcoin to scammers claiming fake ATO tax debts.”

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Cory Johnson, the Chief Marketing Strategist at Ripple Labs Inc recently appeared at the MI Global Summit, held by the Milken Institute of California, wherein he spoke about Ripple’s cross-border payment solutions and its differences from the existing systems.

Cory Johnson stated that Ripple was very focused on solving the “huge problem” of moving money across borders. He stated that in an era where people can send text messages from a place like Singapore to Rome in three seconds, it was not possible to send money across the border earlier than three to five days for less than 500-600 basis points with an error rate of 600 basis points.

The term “basis point” was used by Johnson to indicate a unit of measure used in finance to describe the percentage change in the value or rate of a financial instrument.

Johnson went on to say:

“As you know for all of the globalization that we have with our stuff and goods that gets shipped in containers all over the world and all the globalization of our data which is instantaneously moving all over the world at super low cost, we move money like it’s 1973 and that leg of globalization hasn’t happened.”

He further stated that Ripple was 100% focused on making payments faster and allowing banks and financial institutions to transfer money across the border in less than a minute or two for basis points.

Giving an example, he stated that Ripple’s customer in Mexico saw the cost go down from 400 basis points to 40 basis points and transfer time reduce from three to four days to two minutes. That was the kind of change that was possible using Ripple’s solutions, he added.

He also stated that the marketplace was beginning to accept that cross-border payment solution was a popular topic and the place where the pace was increasing. However, he stated that Ripple was well ahead of all the other projects that were in the market offering similar solutions. Additionally, he stated that the company has got a hundred customers in production and that no other company had reached that level yet in the blockchain industry.

According to Johnson, the importance of additional features like transparency and predictability that Ripple offered depended on the customer’s interest. He stated that there were a few notable features that were different from the “state of the art of Swift”. He also said that Swift was a 1973 technology that only sends one-directional messages. There was no way of knowing the number of stops it makes on the way and the cost involved, he added.

On the contrary, he said that Ripple’s customers were “thrilled” that they have accuracy and an added advantage of bi-directional messaging that allows them to know what was happening. He concluded by stating that knowing the price and how quickly it was going to happen was the real game changer for their customers.

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On the 26th of September, Brendan Blumer, the CEO of Block.one, gave an opening speech at the Blockchain Live 2018 in London.

Brendan Blumer began his speech by stating that Blockchain Live has grown three times larger than the previous year. He stated that it was great being a part of a rapidly growing community and to see first-hand the “extraordinary” progress, people in the blockchain industry were making.

Brendan went on to say that blockchain was a new technology that welcomed everyone, with no prerequisites, and was becoming a large part of people’s lives. Brendan further stated:

“Blockchain is to data what regulation is to society. Perhaps this is why, superseding the technology itself, blockchain has become a movement — a social and economic movement — and we are all united by the common understanding that this is a revolutionary technology that offers the promise of a more transparent, efficient, and interoperable world.”

He stated that blockchain was a promise to the society that one-day large organizations will not be run by shareholders, but will truly run for the users themselves, protecting the user’s privacy and driving value back to its creators.

Speaking of the world reserve currency, the USD [US Dollar], he stated that it is printed and managed by a “Federal Reserve”. He further stated that all holders of the USD were effectively taxed by a single organization, through inflation.

However, despite the aforementioned strategy being successful, he stated that blockchain-based currencies offer a no bias advantage as they belong to nobody. In his words:

“Blockchain-based digital money offers the potential of neutral stores of value that offer no bias or advantage to any one group, and seek to usher in a new era of borderless equality-of-value for all societies and nations throughout the world.”

Furthermore, he stated that the industry was beginning to witness large organization in different sectors, like Facebook, Uber, GitHub, insurance and banking domain, and Airbnb, possibly exist without any central authority.

According to Blumer, the technology was still in its nascent stage, despite seeing an exponential growth. He went on to say that it is just impossible to fully understand at this moment the potential of the technology.

The CEO concluded by stating:

“While we move through the week and engage in healthy debate and collaborative competition, let this promise of progress keep us all reminded of the shared excitement of a better future that has brought us together in the first place; a blockchain future.”

This post is credited to ambcrypto


An investigation by the Xinhua News Agency has shown it is possible to bypass China’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) ban, according to an article publishedSeptember 26.

The investigation has shown that despite the government’s efforts to crack downon “ICO illegal financing,” investors can circumvent the law by using a “foreign shell” company, among other possibilities.

Xinhua reports that after China’s crypto regulations became more stringent, domestic virtual currency exchanges went overseas for registration — while appearing to be shut down within the country — and were still able to “provide trading services to domestic users.”

The agency specifically mentions Malta as a destination of choice, noting the existence of Chinese language versions of the now Malta-based companies. Xinhua also mentioned the use of Telegram messaging groups to coordinate with domestic Chinese users. Quoting an “insider source,” the news agency writes:

“It seems that the entire process platform does not violate the relevant policies, but the over-the-counter transaction[s] [have] actually opened a hole in the ICO token transaction.”

While authorities have attempted to block internet access to ICO projects in China, Xinhua states that most measures can be subverted by using a Virtual Personal Network (VPN).

Xinhua also claims that there are “self-media public companies” that play a role in advertising and promoting ICO projects within China.

China’s first outright ban of ICOs was enacted a year ago in September 2017. Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China released a new document on its official website, stating that it would continue to guard against ICO and cryptocurrency-related trading risks.

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is expanding its blockchain testing from refugee aid in the Middle East to supply chain management in Africa.

Following the agency’s well-publicized pilot of an ethereum-based system for cash transfers in Jordanian refugee camps – a project known as Building Blocks – it now plans to test blockchain for the tracking of food delivery in East Africa, Robert Opp, the WFP’s director of innovation and change, told CoinDesk.

Specifically, the new project will monitor the movement of food from Djibouti’s port, where the WFP receives shipments, to Ethiopia, where much of its food operations are located.

Opp said the pilot will seek to answer the question:

“Can we increase efficiency by knowing in real time where the food is, be able to demonstrate the food’s origin in shipment points, to have this traceability record?”

Separately, the WFP also plans an initiative to educate Syrian refugee women in Jordan about managing their personal data and controlling third-party access to it on a blockchain system.

“We want to know how easy it is for people to interact with a system like blockchain and understand, ‘this is my data, I can control access,’” he said. “We yet have to figure out how it will look.”

This educational project will leverage the identity system the organization has built as part of Building Blocks, which was launched last year and now serves more than 100,000 refugees. In that program, people scan their irises to prove their identities, pay for groceries and receive cash back at supermarkets, and the transactions are recorded on a private version of ethereum.

The digital literacy efforts will be directed specifically at women who receive benefits this way via the WFP’s recently announced partnership with the UN Women cash-for-work program.

Opp didn’t give a timetable for the educational initiative or the Africa project.

Achievements so far

Talking on a panel of the Blockchain Central event during the Concordia Summit in New York on Tuesday, Opp also discussed some of the achievements of the Building Blocks project by the WFP in Jordanian refugee camps.

“We are reaching 106,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan every month with cash benefits transfers. By implementing blockchain system we have been able to save around $40,000 a month in the transfer fees,” Opp said on the panel.

Talking to CoinDesk about the program, he said, currently, the WFP’s network includes four nodes and stores partial personal data about the registered refugees.

“The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees keeps the full biometric data in a secure cloud solution. We only download some basic unique identifying information, we don’t put their full information on blockchain. I’m not even sure that their full names go there,” Opp explained.

The project is running on a private version of the Parity ethereum client with a proof-of-authority (PoA) consensus algorithm, although Opp didn’t rule out the possibility of switching to a public network in the future, if transaction speed issues get resolved.

Still, the WFP’s current system, according to him, has sufficient speed and could successfully deal with a 10-fold increase in volume.

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Cryptocurrency, Blockchain–Since the earliest inception of cryptocurrency and blockchain one of the primary uses for the technology outside of monetary based transactions has been as a means for secure, digital voting.

While the internet, in its current iteration, has been around for nearly two decades, countries around the globe have failed to devise a way to implement a digital voting system, one that offers a similar level of security and continuity that has been offered through the tried-and-true polling station process. Nowhere has the cry for digital voting been louder than in the United States, as voting rates for citizens continue to stagnate, in particular younger generations that are more adept at finding solutions via the internet and technology in general. Now, citizens of West Virginia will be at the forefront of a new digital voting system, one that combines the immutable security of blockchain with the convenience of a mobile-phone app.

As reported by Slate on Tuesday, the state has begun the process of using a blockchain-based mobile application voting system for absentee ballots to be collected for the upcoming mid-term elections in November, representing a hallmark moment of acceptance for blockchain–and a potential greater appreciation for cryptocurrency.

West Virginia citizens living abroad and overseas have the option of using the application, called Voatz, for voting conducted as of last Friday. While the primary target of the platform has been members of the military stationed outside of the United States, the application allows for voters registered in 24 countries to cast their ballots via the digital process.

West Virginia has previously implemented blockchain-based voting in a pilot program that rolled out in the early part of the year, with a select group of voters being allowed to use the application in March for primary elections that concluded in May. According Marc Warner, the West Virginia Secretary of State, the pilot program was an overwhelming success, demonstrating both security and effectiveness as a voting collection software through four separate audits of the platform.

In an article published by CNN, the news network reported that Warner did not intend for the application to replace traditional ballots, at least not in the short term,

Warner told CNN he is not calling for the replacement of traditional balloting, and said troops can cast paper ballots if they like. But Voatz co-founder and CEO Nimit S. Sawhney sees the state as a springboard to broader use of the technology.

However, not everyone is a proponent of the novel form of voting, despite the revolution it offers in providing greater accessibility and potentially more secure results. In the same interview with CNN, Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology called the advent of mobile voting a “horrific idea”, stating,

“It’s internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”

Speaking on the success of last week’s voting via the mobile blockchain app, Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies’s Bradley Tusk claimed that remote voting holds the potential to improve voter turnout, with the end result being, “democracy would work a lot better.”

This post is credited to ethereumworldnews

German automobile manufacturer Porsche AG will increase in its investments in startups — with a focus on blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) — by around $176 million over the next five years, according to a company press release published September 25.

The increase in Porsche’s total investment in venture capital activities for next five years was prompted by the need to “gain access to trends, new technologies and business models,” the press release notes.

The investments will be aimed at “early and growth” stage businesses that relate to “customer experience, mobility and digital lifestyle,” as well as future technologies including blockchain, AI, and virtual and augmented reality.

Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman and member of the executive board for finance and IT at Porsche AG, noted that the company must “fundamentally change [their] business model” in order to see success in the future, adding:

“To date, innovation has been driven to a large degree by technology and with strong links to our current core competencies […] It is essential that we build a strong ecosystem with competent partners.”

Earlier this year, Porsche had begun exploring the use of blockchain applications in its vehicles in partnership with the the Berlin-based startup XAIN. In the Sept. 25 press release, Porsche notes that Porsche Ventures is already a minority shareholder in a firm that uses blockchain to manage vintage vehicles’ history.

In March, Daimler AG, a car manufacturing giant famous for its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands, revealed it was testing its own blockchain-based digital currency, the MobiCoin, that would rewards drivers for environmentally-friendly driving habits.

Also in March, another German car manufacturer, Audi, had announced that it had been testing blockchain technology for its physical and financial distribution processing.

This post is credit to cointelegraph