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Reimagining the World's Financial Systems with Digital Currency Joyce Kim the innovation station

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During the EDCON in Paris held February 17-18, a company called Omise announced it was gathering the resources to develop a network allowing interoperability between mobile money systems like M-Pesa, the mobile money success story out of Kenya, using blockchain technology. Omise is one of the leading payment gateways for Southeast Asia. Based in Thailand, the company provides a secure and white label solution to merchants and enterprise businesses.

Omise is looking to develop the infrastructure that will allow all types of e-money to connect, moving forward with the research to develop blockchain interoperability using the Ethereum technology. With this, the company says it will provide interoperability across a wide range of digital currencies and other digital payment networks such as Cosmos and Parity.

The company advisory board includes Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir; Jae Kwon of Cosmos and Tendermint; and Dr. Gavin Wood, Ethereum co-founder and Founder of Parity. Since 2014, the company has expanded and is now quite active throughout Asia and the Pacific region. With this new initiative Omise is looking to conquer the African market by creating the needed infrastructure for a complete interoperability between mobile money using the Ethereumblockchain technology.

Wendell Davis, product development lead at Omise stressed:
Quote:"We are looking towards a future when public and private chains are interoperable. I think that is going to be the defining narrative in 2017. This dichotomy between public and private blockchain is a false dichotomy."

Since M-Pesa has already reached over 80 percent penetration, connecting other mobile money systems, and cutting expenses and other costs from cross-border remittances, requires an entirely new infrastructure to make it work. That was one of the main reasons for the company’s decision to use Ethereum to develop this new platform; their technology could be the best choice because their ledger can solve many interoperability issues and allows for the development of multi-payment platform applications. Thomas Greco a special advisor to Omise and Ethereum commented:

"The shared ledger allows us to have one standard for all these different e-wallets that are currently siloed away from each other. We can give them a reason to trust each other without having to know each other's data because there are also privacy features that we will implement to keep their business consumer data safe from their competitors.”

Greco describes the project as "decentralized inter-Asia M-Pesa." Ultimately the company mission is to have hundreds of millions of unbanked people using a decentralized network where the users are the owners. Thomas Greco goes on to state their ambition is to “fulfill the original vision of one CPU/one vote,” where financial networks are controlled by a wide array of participants and ensure there will be no elements of centralization. To fulfill their vision Omise intends to create “a proof-of-stake financial network.” Stakeholders will have access to what the company is calling their “fee revenue” initially.

To become mainstream, Greco said:
Quote:“The second part is to have a currency that is backed by the power of a decentralized network. Bitcoin never became mainstream. We aim to accomplish both these things but do them separately. Bringing decentralized currencies to mainstream users will be accomplished by pegging the Omise network and making it interoperable with public chains like Ethereum and Cosmos."

Omise has contributed to the funding of the Ethereum Foundation’s DEVGRANTS, as well as Raiden, a payment channel for Ethereum likened to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. But it remains to be seen whether the partnership will propel us toward a future of public-private chain interoperability. There are many other organizations utilizing blockchain technology to achieve a similiar aim to Omise's. For example, Stellar, which has already successfully formed an international, decentralized financial network with strong interoperability features, is also focused on the African and Asian markets.

February 22, 2017 0:26 by Nuno Menezes

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Sending money around the world is slow, expensive and sometimes even unreliable. I have lived out of India, my home country, for more than three decades. Like many expatriates, I occasionally send money back to the family, and the process hasn't improved much in all these years.

That's because the current global payments system is not unified. Every country, asset class, payment type whether it's low or high value has different rules, systems, operating regimes and access requirements. This results in banks having to manage this complexity to enable different systems to work together.

For the uninitiated, here is a simple breakdown: When you transfer money to another person overseas, it doesn't simply leave your account and land in another. First, your bank "clears" the payment via a central counterparty in your country, who then clears it with a liquidity provider/sending correspondent (which incurs a fee), who then sends it to the destination country's receiving correspondent (more fees), then it goes via the central counterparty in the destination country before it is finally received by the beneficiary's bank and deposited into her account.

The result: It takes several days to complete, is expensive and carries the risk of errors. Our analysis of data from the World Trade Organization's International Trade Statistics, Institute of International Finance's Aggregate Capital Flows and the US Federal Reserve Financial Services' Cross-Border Payments, shows that cross-border transactions costs $1.6 trillion annually. At the same time, research by Experian – a global information services group that specialises in financial data, shows that error rates in cross-border banking transactions run as high as 12.7 per cent. From a compliance perspective, new risk is added each time the payment passes through a new party.

The solution

Of course, the banks are not oblivious to this. They are aware of the pain points and have been looking at ways to address them. The good news for consumers is that advancements in technology, especially the distributed ledger technology (DLT) - more commonly known as blockchain - could provide the solution to all these issues.

The DLT enables banks to transact directly, instantly, and with certainty of settlement around the world in a matter of seconds through a unified and completely secure online network that runs 24/7.

The technology is being explored extensively across the banking ecosystem and there have been multiple successful pilots of DLT around the world.

Standard Chartered bank recently completed a cross-border transaction through DLT in just 10 seconds, with full transparency of fees and forex charges. The same transaction would have taken two days through the traditional system.

Asia's opportunity

Asia is taking the lead on this front, with financial hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore racing to adopt DLT. Both these centers are bustling as Fintech hubs in Asia and have introduced various initiatives to help boost the Fintech sector and encourage adoption of their solutions.

They also have an already robust and progressive regulatory landscape. Just in the past year we have seen various incubation schemes, regulatory "sandboxes" for promising start-ups, tax incentives, and government and industry backing.
However, it's not just the top markets making strides. Across Asia, governments, central banks, and regulators are drawing up robust regulatory plans so that Fintech start-ups can continue to innovate and banks can safely adopt new technologies.
India's shock demonetisation move last November, aimed at tackling counterfeit notes as well as unreported and untaxed wealth, helped boost the adoption of digital payment solutions. Banks in India are now racing to adopt DLT technology in anticipation of what will be a tidal wave of new capital flow.

It's the economy

The regulatory support aside, Asia's socio-economic landscape makes it's a perfect place for DLT adoption. The region has been a big adopter of mobile internet. That has resulted in tremendous growth in the e-commerce sector.
E-commerce is expected to grow at an annual rate of 25 per cent across Southeast Asia over the next few years, according to a report by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The growth of the e-commerce sector has resulted in a surge in cross-border payments. Cross-border payments, the lifeblood of e-commerce. According to the McKinsey 2016 Global Payments Report, cross border payments have already reached over US$30 trillion annually and are increasing at a rate almost three times faster than the global gross domestic product (GDP).

Asian economies are now discussing a regional trade deal called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ("RCEP") to achieve greater trade liberalisation. The RCEP is being negotiated between 16 countries including China and Japan. If completed and agreed upon, the RCEP has the potential to transform the region into an integrated market of more than three billion people (over 45 percent of the world's population), with a combined GDP of about $17.23 trillion, which is about a third of the world's current annual GDP. This will trigger further growth in cross-border flow and banks will need to be equipped to handle this surge.
At the same time, a large number of Asians work outside of their home country. That has seen a steady rise in money transfers within, and to, the region. According to data from the World Bank, China and India received $65.4 billion and $65.2 billion in remittances respectively, last year. These consumers will continue to demand more efficient, convenient and affordable products and service.

Asia has the perfect combination of having an established banking sector, fast-growing economies, increasing interconnectivity and a widespread enthusiasm from regulatory and governmental backing for financial technology. There is no reason why it can't become the first region where real-time, cost-effective, international payments will become the norm, rather than an exception.
I, for one, won't be complaining.

Dilip Rao, Managing Director Asia-Pacific, Ripple
Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 | 1:27 AM

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Hello if i post something where does it count as A reply ?

Verzonden vanaf mijn iPhone met Tapatalk

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Keeping bitcoin funds safe can be quite a challenge, especially for people who are new to the cryptocurrency world. There are several types of solutions to create a paper wallet, which make the process a bit easier. Do keep in mind that using single keys for anything but one-time paper wallet transfers is discouraged due to security concerns. Below are four paper wallet generation solutions which are all worth checking out.

Although very few people may know this app exists, it is an open-source tool that offers quite a few intriguing functions. One of those features includes printing a bitcoin addresses as a paper wallet. It is worth noting this project was created by Casascius, the same person who introduced the most popular physical bitcoins to the world many years ago. It is also capable of creating private keys for brainwallets, which may be of use to some.

One of the oldest tools to be created as part of the bitcoin world goes by the name of CWallet. It allows users to easily and securely create paper wallets, although it is only compatible with the Pirate Linux live disc. The choice for that particular OS is not random, as Pirate Linux is based on Gentoo, the most secure operating system according to many experts. Keeping information secure while generating a paper wallet is of the utmost importance.

Unlike some other solutions, CWallet does not require a web browser to generate said paper wallet. Instead, it uses the graphic or command-line interface to create the wallet using real random numbers. Moreover, the tool ensures all printed data isn’t corrupted and not tampered with. It is a very secure paper wallet solution, that much is certain.

The Bitcoin Paper Wallet site is one of the most convenient ways to generate a secure storage solution for cryptocurrency. The site lets users generate a wallet through the browser and print it afterward. Moreover, the owner sells tamper-evident stickers to ensure private keys are safe from harm and misuse. Its custom designs make this platform one of the most popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Plus, these paper wallets also make for excellent gifts, which is an added bonus.

When it comes to security, look no further than VanityGen. Although this software is primarily used to generate vanity bitcoin wallet addresses, it can also be used to generate a secure paper wallet. Vanitygen accepts patterns or a list of patterns as input. It then produces multiple addresses and private keys based on this input. More complex patterns will require more time to generate. Using a complicated pattern may not be the best idea to generate a paper wallet, though.

To generate a paper wallet, one could put Vanitygen on a USB stick and run it on a computer not connected to the internet. It is by far the most secure solution for this type of purpose, which still leaves room for customization. Generating a custom vanity wallet address can be a bit time-consuming, but it could be worth the effort to some cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

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Some of the most popular Bitcoin services on the internet may have leaked sensitive user information, including passwords. 

Cloudflare is a popular content delivery network that effectively acts as a sort of digital shield, a proxy that offers millions of websites DoS protection and other services. Some of the biggest websites on the internet use Cloudflare, including several well-known Bitcoin companies, like Coinbase , Kraken , LocalBitcoins , Poloniex and more

Any data sent to and from these websites essentially passes through Cloudflare. This includes passwords, as well as cookies, authentication tokens and other sensitive information.

Last week, an exploit now known as "Cloudbleed" - a reference to the Heartbleed security bug - was discovered by Google Project Zero security researcher Tavis Ormandy. A major flaw in Cloudflare's infrastructure, caused by what is known as a "buffer overflow," basically spilled data all across the internet. Whenever anyone requested data from a particular website or mobile app protected by Cloudflare, Cloudflare could randomly send data from completely different websites along with it.

"We fetched a few live samples, and we observed encryption keys, cookies, passwords, chunks of POST data and even HTTPS requests for other major 

Cloudflare-hosted sites from other users," Ormandy wrote in his blog entry .

The vulnerability is significant in scope as well as length. It could have been exploited anytime between September 22 and February 20, while the period of greatest impact was between February 13 and 18. And as a potentially bigger concern, some search engines may have even cached the sensitive data as well, meaning it's publicly available to anyone.

The good news is that the odds of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands so far seems relatively small. "We have also not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits of the bug or other reports of its existence," Cloudflare itself wrote in their incident report .

However, the bad news is that there is no way of knowing exactly what data may have leaked. Users of services that may have been impacted, therefore, should assume their data is no longer secure and change their passwords immediately. (This of course also includes passwords on non-Cloudflare websites that have been used across multiple sites.)

It seems less likely that accounts protected with two-factor authentication are vulnerable, though it may depend on the specific implementation; resetting it is still advisable. Those that use API keys should be reset too.

Cloudflare has since patched the bug, and some search engines (like Google) are removing any such data from their caches that they can find.

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It’s been a volatile year so far for bitcoin. The value of the cryptocurrency jumped 20 percent in the first trading week of the year to a record high of $1,161 per virtual coin. Its value then plunged by more than a third over seven days, to $750, before climbing back up to top $1,200 on Friday.

Traders said the main cause of this roller coaster ride has been China, where the country’s central bank put domestic bitcoin exchanges on notice early last month that they needed to do more to tighten foreign exchange controls. China has been trying to curb the practice of using bitcoin to circumvent rules limiting the amount of money Chinese mainlanders can send abroad, which is currently capped at $50,000 a year.

This capital flight has caused a drop in the value of the renminbi and Chinese regulators have connected the dots between last year’s drop in the value of the country’s currency and a corresponding rise in the value of bitcoin. Bitcoin bought in renminbi accounted for a staggering 98 percent of all bitcoin trading activity in the last six months of 2016, according to

Eager to convert the Chinese currency into a more stable global currency and stash that wealth abroad, many Chinese mainlanders have been buying bitcoin locally in renminbi and then, using bitcoin’s blockchain technology, which allows users to safely transmit bitcoin through the Internet, they’re sending bitcoin to other countries where recipients (family members, friends or other contacts) convert bitcoin back into a local currency which can then be used to make investments outside of the country.

But why isn’t China simply clamping down hard on the whole bitcoin thing?

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Very good news,but how do we know that the status of our own senior or junior?
Sorry i ask many questions,knowing it was new

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Ann Pettifor, leading economist and author of “The Production of Money” told Business Insider that bitcoin is flawed as money because it is a “finite asset.”

Speaking about the origins and usage of bitcoin, she said: “Bitcoin was invented by some big bad guys on the dark web as a secret currency, for which they could exchange goods and services.

“The idea was similar to the gold standard which is that you would have a finite asset – which is your bitcoin, which would then increase in value over time because it is finite.

“The problem with a finite asset is that the economy is not finite, and if you have a limited amount of money to match this almost unlimited capacity of people in the economy to do things, money doesn’t work.”

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Is there an alternative, profound French phrase or two that can describe what investors have seen this week with bitcoin? Because “déjà vu” no longer seems to cut it.

Bitcoin is quickly headed toward fresh three-year highs after jumping up over $100 in value since last week’s tracker. After breaking through the $1,000 mark (again) at the beginning of February, bitcoin decided to stick around.

Though the cryptocurrency flirted with higher numbers, bitcoin mostly settled just above or below $1,000 for the first half of the month — likely while investors waited to see how the whole Chinese exchange investigation storyline would pan out.

But now that the major exchanges have halted withdrawals for upgrades — and it appears, at least for now, that no catastrophic changes to the crypto-status quo are coming from the PBoC — it’s off to the races once again.

First, bitcoin has managed to stay above $1,000 for a record 10 days, leading some to speculate that the cryptocurrency could be 
developing a new, $1,000 price floor — though it may still be too early to tell. The rise in value is likely due to speculation that the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) will, in fact, receive approval from the SEC.

On Thursday (Feb. 23) morning, bitcoin had broken $1,150 in value, reaching a high of $1,153.04. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s price sat at $1,149 even, up 2.39 percent over Wednesday’s close. The bitcoin market cap was over $18.5 billion. The cryptocurrency’s maximum value, reached on Nov. 30, 2013, was $1,165.89, according to CoinDesk.

In stateside bitcoin news, Coinsource, the largest network of bitcoin ATMs in the U.S., recently announced the placement of three new machines in St. Louis, Missouri, the company’s first foray into the Midwestern market.

Including the three new machines, Coinsource now has 80 machines in nine U.S. states — up from 73 when PYMNTS interviewed CMO Bobby Sharp this past December. Founded in Feb. 2015, Coinsource debuted its first kiosk in the Miracle Mile Shops in Las Vegas.

Coinsource CEO Sheffield Clark said the company hopes to have 100 machines installed in the U.S. by the end of Q1, adding: “In 2016, we were installing bitcoin ATMs at an average of 1.2 machines per week. We hope to double that this year.”

Locations on the radar for new Coinsource ATMs in 2017, according to Sharp, included in Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis.

“By the end of 2017, I think we could potentially be in 15–20 states,” Sharp said. “Possibly even a couple of other continents by 2018. We definitely have some company goals to explore outside the United States.”

In addition to expanding into new markets, Coinsource has made it a goal to augment the functionality of its current and new machines in 2017. The company is looking to add more financial services and platforms, as well as to increase the number of two-way machines nationwide.

In the international market, the past few weeks have also seen a number of propositions and efforts by various global governments, financial regulatory bodies and other organizations to work toward bitcoin regulation.

The big news as of late has come out of the Philippines after the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), announced it would actively regulate the bitcoin industry as a means to combat money laundering and terrorist financing schemes.

Earlier this month, the BSP published guidelines for entities that offer exchange services, including a registration requirement with both BSP and the nation’s anti-money laundering organization. Bitcoin exchanges will also be subject to annual fee services.

While not an endorsement of cryptocurrency by any means, the move is a step forward in the country of nearly 100 million and could work to combat the seedier elements at work in the bitcoin ecosystem, while protecting consumers and increasing financial stability for citizens using the digital currency for legal payments and remittances.

Last month, the central bank and government of the United Arab Emirates had drawn up regulatory frameworks for FinTech and digital payments at large.

Additionally, The Cointelegraph reported that government officials and political leaders have also come together to discuss the potential of bitcoin and blockchain technologies for the future of the financial industry and ecosystem in the UAE.

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Bitcoin gained prominence because its peer-to-peer payment system allows people to conduct financial transactions that can’t be censored by third parties. Users are free to transact with anyone, as long as they control their own private keys. Photo: Bloomberg
Every time a government sets out to abolish something people like, the well-liked thing moves to where it can’t be stopped. This has happened with prohibition, gambling, the war on drugs and digital piracy. Now it’s happening in China, where the government has been trying to crack down on bitcoin.

As part of an effort to control capital outflows, the Chinese central bank required bitcoin exchanges to suspend withdrawals until they could update their compliance systems. Trading on the exchanges took a big hit, but the bitcoin activity resurfaced on less formal over-the-counter venues. Here’s a chart showing trading volume at LocalBitcoins, a site where users post “advertisements”—like on Craigslist—to buy or sell bitcoin for local currency:

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Blocking LocalBitcoins would be no solution, in part because people can use virtual private networks to access it anyway. Also, plenty of trading happens on lesser-known sites and on micro-messaging services such as WeChat and QQ. The latter already have their own payment systems, allowing users to build chatbots to automate trading activity. For those who prefer a more familiar trading interface, decentralized exchange software such as Bitsquare can construct an order book based on outstanding offers accumulated from other participants.

China is not alone. Peer-to-peer trading took off in Turkey after the country’s only bitcoin exchange ceased to operate, and in Venezuela after the leading exchange had its bank account closed. Russia has some of the most active unofficial bitcoin markets in the world, thanks to the country’s longstanding regulatory uncertainty.

Although centralized exchanges provide benefits, such as bringing together large quantities of buyers and sellers and guaranteeing payment, they’re not necessary for the currency’s existence. Bitcoin users don’t own physical coins, or even digital ones. They own permanent transaction histories recorded on a global ledger, replicated by participants all around the world. Even if a government shuts down every bitcoin node in its country, a bitcoin user can still transact as long as a single node is accessible overseas.

This puts regulators in a tough spot. It’s hard to control something that exists nowhere and everywhere at the same time. With peer-to-peer transactions, there are no servers to shut down, no kingpins to arrest, no warehouses to bust. Regulators can only go after local bitcoin exchanges and service providers, effectively impairing their own ability to see what’s going on.

Attempts to stamp out Bitcoin serve only to remind users why a decentralized currency needs to exist in the first place. Bitcoin gained prominence because its peer-to-peer payment system allows people to conduct financial transactions that can’t be censored by third parties. Users are free to transact with anyone, as long as they control their own private keys. The fact that many people still give third-party service providers custody of their bitcoin accounts is mostly a relic of our existing acclimation to banks. When regulators try to restrict bitcoin exchanges, they reduce trust both in the government — which can’t seem to keep its hands in its own pockets — and in any kind of third-party financial service provider that might be beholden to the government.

The best way to curb the use of bitcoin is to convince people that they don’t need the cryptocurrency. If Visa and Mastercard started processing payments for darknet markets and remittance customers, the demand for bitcoin would fall off a cliff. But that’s about as likely as China offering to ease capital controls. The US, for its part, could reform money laundering rules that effectively bar a subset of the population from the banking system. When regulations create barriers that prevent legitimate businesses from serving certain customers, less-legitimate businesses rise to meet the demand outside the regulatory system.

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Danish police are claiming to have developed software for tracing bitcoin transactions that has led to successful drug convictions, according to local reports.

As reported by Berlingske, a new toolkit has reportedly enabled law enforcement officials in Denmark to press forward in cases involving the digital currency. The Danish National Police Cyber Crime Center (NC3) is said to be the department responsible for developing the tracking software.

According to the report, NC3's new breakthrough has attracted interested from the FBI and Interpol.

The cases involved Danish individuals buying large amounts of methamphetamine, ketamine and cocaine via darknet markets and shipping narcotics through the mail. Authorities intercepted the packages prior to the defendants receiving them.

The mailing addresses were then reportedly used to trace the bitcoin transactions.
Kim Aarenstrup, head of NC3, told the publication:

"We are pretty much unique in the world at this point, because there are not others who have managed to use these tracks as evidence. Everyone looks towards Denmark in this field, and we are in close dialogue with a number of other countries right now, so we can further develop methods and teach them how we do it here."

The digital currency – and its use among criminal elements – has been on the Danish police's radar as a strategic threat since as early as 2015, public records show.

According to a loose translation, officials expressed concern in an assessment from that year that the tech could enable money launderers to both obscure the source of funds as well as operate outside of a more strictly hierarchical criminal structure.

Outside of that, there is evidence to suggest a possible merit to the claims.

Experts have long sought to make known that bitcoin is pseudonymous, meaning that identities on the network itself as tied to addresses rather than names or other kinds of personal information. Concerns about transaction tracking have spurred interest in privacy centric currencies like monero (XMR) among the world's dark markets.

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Moneycontrol Bureau 
Bitcoin startups Zebpay, Unocoin, Coinsecure and Searchtrade on Thursday jointly launched Digital Asset and Blockchain Foundation of India (DABFI) for the orderly and transparent growth of virtual currency market. Nishith Desai Associates, an international law firm has been appointed to develop self-regulations for the industry.

A committee spearheaded by Saurabh Agrawal, CEO of Zebpay comprising Sandeep Goenka (Zebpay), Mohit Kalra (Coinsecure), Sathvik Vishwanath (Unocoin) and Vishal Gupta (Searchtrade), among others will develop rules for the bitcoin industry. 

DABFI will lay down self-regulatory regimes for trading of bitcoins and other blockchain based digital assets. It will also standardise KYC/AML/STRS norms for the member companies. 

Apart from this, the organisation will build credibility and create awareness about the benefits and risks of CC, liaise with regulators and get clarity on taxation, attract investment and set up incubators to promote startups, build global relations and actively engage with International community, create a public website and regularly print reports on and around bitcoins and blockchain. 

Addressing mediapersons at an event in Mumbai, Zebpay's Agrawal said: "This organisation aims to drive education and create market for blockchain and bitcoin in the Indian market which is now on the path of digital economy. Our vision would be to work with regulators and develop strong framework for our industry to provide required impetus for the growth of the industry. 

Nishith Desai of Nishith Desai Associates which provides legal support to DABFI said: “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (CC) have tremendous benefits for most marginalised people, merchants, tax departments and regulatory authorities. It has better price discovery, is anti-inflationary and the transactions are irreversible." 

"Under the current banking system the poor, currently ‎pay heavy transaction fees for sending small amounts of money to their families in rural areas. In contrast, there is no or very low fee for large transactions. So, the current system is loaded in favour of the rich," he added. Saurabh Agrawal added: 

“It is absolutely important to check the 'bad' use of CC. Industry has to play an important role in shaping the future of CC and blockchain. Almost no country including India has declared Bitcoins or CCs as per se illegal. And therefore we (DABFI) believe that it is our responsibility to self-regulate itself strictly to check any 'bad' use of the new system, work with the regulatory authorities and create awareness about the benefits of CC.” 

"Bitcoins and virtual currencies, just like any other cash, are known to be also used for illicit purposes. The virtual currency transactions are more traceable than the cash. Often that gets more highlighted than its benefits,” Desai said. 

Sathvik Vishwanath of Unocoin said the price of Bitcoin has gone up from 450 USD per Bitcoin in February 2016 to 1100 USD in February 2017 Per Bitcoin. DABFI would also warn ordinary people who do not understand the digital currency market not to be lured into ‎trading Bitcoin as is volatile."

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Bitcoin is getting closer to a record high. Early buying on Thursday has the cryptocurrency up 1.7%, or $19.25, at $1148.56 a coin, and on track for its 10th straight day of gains. Its all-time high of $1,161.88 was set on January 5. 

Buyers have been piling into bitcoin in anticipation the US Securities and Exchange Commission will approve at least one of the three proposed bitcoin-focused exchange-traded funds by the March 11 deadline despite analysts warnings that none will be approved. 

The current rally in bitcoin has run the price up more than 17% and has been the latest chapter in a volatile start to the year. Bitcoin surged more than 20% in the first week of 2017 amid heavy buying interest from China. Then, the price crashed 35% amid fears China was going to crack down on trading.  

After bottoming out near $750 a coin, the cryptocurrency rallied despite news that China’s largest exchanges would begin charging a flat fee of 0.2% on all transactions and that two of China’s largest bitcoin exchanges were blocking withdrawals.   

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