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Australian commission said blockchain can help governments regulation

On February 15th Greg Medcraft, chairman at Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), stated that the blockchain can have “profound implications” on how government regulates the markets.
During the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum Roundtable held in London, in fact, Medcraft commented that regulators need to better understand this technology before thinking how to regulate it. 

How to adopt the Blockchain

Medcraft also said that if capital markets will adopt the use of the blockchain it will be able to improve market efficiency and the access to markets, decrease fees and help transactions transparency.
“Blockchain will have profound implications for how we regulate. We will need to find the right balance between speed of execution and streamlining of business processes. As regulators and policy makers, we need to ensure what we do is about harnessing the opportunities and the broader economic benefits, not standing in the way of innovation and development.”
Medcraft also spoke about how Australian securities regulators act, talking about surveillance of firms, products released in the market and the development of methods to involve the blockchain.
“We are working to understand how enforcement action can be taken where a transaction entered into here or overseas is recorded in the blockchain”, he said.

Australia is in the vanguard

Previously this year, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) revealed its plans to adopt the blockchain for trades clearing and settlement.
To do so, the ASX wants to create its own private blockchain with the partnership of Digital Asset Holdings (DAH).
The first phase of this program will run at the end of 2016 and will replace ASX’s existing trading and risk management systems.
To know more about this project, you can read the full press release here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

How the blockchain can improve the Australian voting system

Flux Party is a new Australian political party that wants to renovate the voting system by using the blockchain.

In fact, they have proposed a new token-based political system based on the Bitcoin technology.
The Flux Party has more than 500 members and its objective is to have six senators on ballots during the next election that Australia will hold in September/October.

How it works

A special feature of this party is that its members are free of its own policies and they can vote for or against a legislation at the bidding of token holders.
“If they didn’t have to be senators, if they could just be software or robots they would be, because their only purpose is to do what the people want them to do”, commented the Flux Party co-founder Max Kaye.
So the bitcoin token could be used by the Flux members for voting but also for trading with other people.

Too old for the Internet era

Australian Flux party is clearly suggesting that the current democratic system is too old for the Internet age and for this reason they want to redistribute the political power by using Bitcoin.
Their own website states: “Our current system doesn’t work well enough; politics gets in the way of policy. Flux is an incremental upgrade to democracy designed to redistribute political power, maximise participation, remove bad policy, and empower voters.”
The Flux Party system will allow voters to be able to set their votes to experts on these issues.

A revolutionary but not so new idea

The idea of a blockchain-based voting system is very revolutionary and it is not developed only by the Fluxa Party.
In fact, Nasdaq and the Bitcoin Foundation have worked both on their own voting systems throught the blockchain technology.
About the author: Amelia Tomasicchio is a writer and a journalist of Bitcoin-related news and articles. She started writing about Bitcoin in 2014 and she graduated in Rome with an essay about movie industry related to Bitcoin.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

HolyTransaction’s Bitcoin Monthly Roundup of January 2016

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s first monthly recap for the new year of 2016. This past month of January has been marked by all time highs for the year thus far; during that time, the bitcoin price rose from a high of $430.89 on January 1st to a low of $368.49 on January 31st, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.



Since the news broke about Cryptsy’s disappearence, the exchange has officially put forward their side of the story. Paul Vernon claims that the exchange was hacked years ago, and admits to running a fractional reserve since that date. He even offered a 100 BTC reward for whoever could find the hacker. Community speculation and the piling legal documents against Cryptsy’s founder spell more bad news for the American exchange.



Months ago, Hearn was promoting Bitcoin XT, a hardfork that would have increased the Bitcoin blockchain block size in a brute force manner. The plan wasn’t able to garner community support, and Hearn eventually signed a deal to work with R3. Hearn also cited concerns about “Chinese miners” and the Great Firewall of China and what their involvement in Bitcoin meant for the longevity of the project. He left the Bitcoin community with a strong blog post on Medium, saying: “But despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly.” Unfortunately, many in the mainstream media took this as an opportunity to hail the death of Bitcoin; but alas, the death of Bitcoin was (again) greatly exaggerated.



Shaun Bridges, one of the government agents arrested and charged in the aftermath of the Silk Road case, which the agents were instrumental in, has been re-arrested. Bridges was found with packs of packed clothes, money, passports, and other evidence that he was planning to leave the country instead of reporting for his time in jail. There is evidence that Bridges still has Bitcoin stashed elsewhere, and the plot continues to thicken.



In a response to community outcry for better communication from those entrusted with the “original” version of Bitcoin, the Bitcoin Core team launched their social media presence this past month. They are also using popular communications platform Slack to better interface with the community. Interested users can signup at slack.bitcoincore.org to chat about the future of Bitcoin.



Former JP Morgan Chase banker Blythe Masters’ blockchain company, Digital Asset Holdings, has successfully raised $52 million for their project. The company previously bought out such bitcoin startups as Hyperledger and had been raising money through 2015 to bring the blockchain to the mainstream. The company also landed a deal with ASX Ltd., which is Australia’s main exchange operator. The blockchain is going down under, in a good way.


Thank you for reading our newsletter with the previous month’s best Bitcoin articles!

We tweet more cryptocurrency news and insights daily @HolyTransaction

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Australia investigating banks for anti-competitive behavior when closing Bitcoin company accounts


Australian authorities are looking into the bank account closures of several Bitcoin companies over the last few years. Specifically, the investigation is looking at anti-competitive behavior. Over the last year, bank actions have increasingly embraced blockchain technology instead of shunning it in the form of bank account closures. Though this type of account closure, for simply being associated with Bitcoin, is a common occurence in the United States, China, and some European countries as well, the Australian authorities are the first to look into at scale – a harrowing victory for those using blockchain technology. The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman, Rod Sims, told the Australian Financial Review:

We are asking the banks why they acted as they did and what contact there was between them.

If ground reports from major Bitcoin companies such as BTC-e and OKCoin, that lost their accounts at the National Australia Bank, are to be believed, the contact was sparse and uninformative. Sims confirmed that the investigation had been ongoing for some time. Australian Senator Matthew Canavan also commented on the investigation:

We have strong laws against one business obstructing another business competing against it. These laws are even tougher for those companies that have the privileged position of a significant market share. Our banks wield great influence in the market and they have a great responsibility under our laws to not misuse that position. I am not sure if that has happened in this instance but there is no doubt that digital currencies do pose a threat to business of banks.

Australian Senate that Might Actually Understand Bitcoin and its Promise 

The investigation started as a result of Senatorial interest after the Australian government committed to a deeper understanding of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. One of the conclusions of said research, which has been shared by other governments in the world, was that existing financial laws should be more than enough to prosecute those using Bitcoin for illegal activities. Australia has also had brushes with Bitcoin advocacy groups when a Goods and Services tax was enforced on Bitcoin. Recently, the European Union has also joined the United Kingdom in not enforcing a Value Added Tax on Bitcoin.
A Labor Party Senator, Sam Dastyari, was not surprised to hear about the ACCC investigation. He had previously chaired the Senate investigation into digital currencies. At this time, banks such as the National Australia Bank and other similarly sized institutions around the world are delving into blockchain technology. If anything, this is a clear indication that the swift actions of last year, where both domestic and international Bitcoin companies lost their accounts at Australian banks, were anti-competitive in spirit. Even without the emerging facts regarding bank’s research, investment, and involvement with blockchain projects, the majority of domestic companies brought down by Australian bank action were providing services that were in essence competing with banks.

Australia has a large immigrant population from South East Asia that sends remittances back home. Some of the largest Bitcoin remittance companies are based in South East Asia in countries like the Phillipines or India. In Indonesia, Bitcoin is buyable at any of ten thousand plus IndoMaret stores. Australia now seems aptly prepared to benefit from the coming Bitcoin technology boom (bubble as called by some). Once the investigation is over, and banks are 100% clear on what not to do to Bitcoin companies, expect to see more Bitcoin companies return to Australia.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of August 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s eight monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of August has seen a divided community and increased discussion and involvement from all the Bitcoin industry; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a high of $280.19 on August 1st to a low of $229.86 on July 31st, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.

Failed Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Arrested in Japan
Earlier this month, Mt. Gox’s CEO Mark Karpeles was arrested in Japan in connection with his failed Bitcoin exchange. Mt. Gox was notably Bitcoin’s first major exchange and its downfall in 2014 rocked the industry. Karpeles first claimed that the missing millions from Mt. Gox were taken by a hacker, but he has not admitted to adjusting and misusing customer funds. Now that Karpeles is in Japanese police custody, many are hoping that justice will be served and the truth will come to light.

HolyTransaction and other Companies Leave New York Due to BitLicense
HolyTransaction and many other Bitcoin companies, notably Bitocin exchanges such as BitFinex, have banned users with New York IP addresses. The infamous New York Department of Financial Services BitLicense required companies to apply by an August date. Instead of spending the money to pay this “troll tax” a handful of Bitcoin companies have decided to warn NY users away instead.

Bitcoin Gains Ground Down Under
The Australian Senate Economics Reference Committee released a report in early August that took a deep look at Bitcoin. the report was titled “Digital currency – Game changer or bit player.” Australia notably enacted then rescinded a GST tax on Bitcoin transactions, an action that curbed the growth of the Bitcoin industry in Australia for awhile. Australian Labor Senator Sam Dastyari commented on Bitcoin’s renewed opportunity in Australia: “Without a doubt, the main benefit will be the confidence and certainty that removing a GST will provide to our own digital entrepreneurs, and the foreign businesses who want to set up here.”

Blocksize Debate Rages Between BIP 101, BIP 100, and Bitcoin XT
Different companies, developers, miners, and full node runners have all voiced their opinion on how to raise the Bitcoin blockchain block size. While companies like BitPay and Blockchain.info prefer BIP 101 for the block size increase, mining pools are casting their votes for BIP 100. Meanwhile, Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn are still pushing for Bitcoin XT. In reality, the Bitcoin network will make its decision the way it always has: through decentralized consensus. Most recently, Bitcoin’s developers (minus Andresen and Hearn) have signed an open letter to the Bitcoin community promising to come to a technical consensus on Bitcoin scalability.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

The bitcoin industry in Australia!

(TheNomad) Bitcoin adoption in Australia and New Zealand is increasing rapidly. Outpacing most of the Asian countries, the local startups and bitcoin merchants in Australia are trying hard to increase the bitcoin adoption in Oceania and help the local merchants to adopt bitcoin.
Currently, the major Australian exchanges have an estimated sum of 40,000 active local users and because of these exchanges, (including BTC markets, btradeaustralia, bitxoin and getbitcoin), there are more than 190 businesses accepting bitcoin in Australia. Although there aren’t as many “popular” or “famous” startups in Australia, the rapid growth of bitcoin exchanges and bitcoin merchants is helping the bitcoin industry thrive in Australia.
“The Bitcoin Association of Australia estimates that the Australian share of this market capital is approximately 2%. This means that the market capitalization for Australia is approximately $120 million.”

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi