Bread Wallet Launches In App Bitcoin Purchases With Credit Card

Recently, people the world over who use the Bread app have been allowed to purchase bitcoin using their credit card and have it deposited straight into their Bread wallet. This has been made possible thanks to a new partnership with Simplex. In so doing, most users will be able to enjoy virtual instant delivery and high limits as well.

“Starting this week, Bread customers around the world will have the ability to use a credit card to purchase bitcoin and have it deposited directly into their Bread.”

Response to Feedback from Users

It is understood that this new feature was added to Bread as a result of feedback from users. Indeed, some people had complained that getting verified on online brokerages and exchange was tedious and time consuming. Furthermore, the low limits made it almost impossible to purchase large bitcoin amounts, and delivery would then take at least one week.

Thanks to the new development, however, people can now purchase up to $20,000 per day and $50,000 per month, and delivery will be same day. The identity verification is done inside Bread. This means that there is no more need to switch between apps and devices.

Customers Not Concerned Much About Service Fees

When Bread decided to improve their app, they were surprised to see that customers cared little about service fees. The company believes that this is due to the volatility in the cryptocurrency market, which means people mainly want to get their currency quickly, even if that means paying more. Bread was also praised for its charges that were considered to be fair.

“Since the volatility in crypto markets is so drastic, people are less concerned with the price than they are with having the ability to get bitcoin quickly the instant they want it. We’ve used this feedback to offer a solution that best balances fees against the other advantages of using the service.”

New Feature Allowing the Use of Credit Cards for Bitcoin Purchases

Bitcoin purchases with credit card is one of the new developments, adding to the two existing options. People can do ACH transfers in this country, or they can make live purchases using convenience stores and ATMs across the world. Each has their own features in terms of convenience, speed, and cost. This ensures that all Bread customers can find something that works for them.

By offering this new feature, Bread further sets itself apart from exchanges. Those who deal in cryptocurrency know that their greatest asset is their private key, which should never be given to third parties unless absolutely necessary. The problem with exchanges is that, by their very nature, they must hold large amounts of cryptocurrency and this means that hackers continuously target them. That is not the type of environment in which traders would want their private key to exist, not even for only a moment.

By using Bread instead, users know that their currencies are stored inside their own wallet, of which only they have the key. Essentially, it offers an exchange-like service, but in a much safer way. Bread also intends to further develop its financial services to make digital assets more convenient for modern life. At the heart of the company’s operations lies security, however, which is what makes it so popular. The fact that Bread has made it possible to use credit cards is truly unique in the world of cryptocurrency today.

“Using a credit card to buy Bitcoin is not straightforward either. Various banks actively block such transactions without recourse. Visa and Mastercard are not too happy with any cryptocurrency-related associations either. It is good to see Bread implement this functionality. Whether or not a lot of people will use it, is a different matter altogether. Especially given the current “ban” on cryptocurrency purchases, this is a very bold move by the wallet developers.”

IOTA Creating Digital ID Cards For Taipei Citizens

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan and it is a city that has made a commitment to becoming “smart”. As part of this, they have partnered with BiiLabs and the IOTA Foundation. The goal is to use distributed ledger technology in order to operate smart applications across the city. The first place for this to be incorporated is in the citizen cards.

IOTA, a nonprofit, open source, German organization describes itself as a next generation blockchain.

“As the Internet-of-Things keep expanding, the need for interoperability and sharing of resources become a necessity. IOTA enables companies to explore new business-2-business models by making every technological resource a potential service to be traded on an open market in real time, with no fees.”

First Time that a DLT Offers More Than Blockchain

It is the first time that a company of its kind, being a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), does more than only offer blockchain. They have developed the Tangle blockless protocol, which is precisely what Taipei will be using. This is a huge step in bringing IoT ecosystems together on an economic basis, paving the way for a huge range of new business models. In fact, IOTA has already started doing this. So far, Taipei citizens have been wholly positive about this development.

“It’s hoped that this will provide citizens with peace of mind without worrying about identity theft or fraud whether through voting, providing background medical record information, or by using any government-related service.”

Citizen Card Is the First Option

The citizen card is just the first option that is being explored. The aim is to resolve data authenticity concerns and improve data integrity. IOTA believes that their system is completely tamper-proof. What this also means is that citizens have the peace of mind of knowing their identity is safe, and they can use the technology for voting, medical records, government services, data exchanges, healthcare, and more.

Taipei CIty is also working with a range of other companies to develop their Airbox, a piece of technology to measure and combat air pollution.

“Taipei City Government, Academia Sinica, Realtek and Asus held an “Air Box PM2.5, project launch press conference” on 3/22 and called on citizens to work together in response to air pollution prevention and control. In this cooperation project, Realtek and Asus donated “Air Box” to each elementary school in Taipei City. This machine can detect temperature, humidity, PM2.5 data and transmit information to a cloud-based platform/website so that students and parents can access the Internet or use an APP to view environmental data.”

The world is watching these developments, particularly in relation to cryptocurrency and developments within the IoT. This was reported on by the Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology, Wei-Bin Lee, at the Taipei City Government.

“IOTA is one of the innovative players in the cryptocurrency world because of its unique technology. With Taipei City always thinking ahead and with IOTA’s technology, this partnership is a strategic move to usher in the era of smart cities to the citizens of Taipei. We welcome the IOTA Foundation to Taipei City and are excited to embark on the future together.”

Collaboration Between Taipei, IOTA and BiiLabs

Taipei City will be delivering on these ambitious plans by working not just with IOTA, but also with BiiLabs, a new startup company.

“BiiLabs is a startup focused on the Distributed Ledger Technology, Blockchain especially based on the IOTA Tangle.”

It is expected that this partnership will be able to focus on a range of opportunities, including sustainability. The overall aim is to make the world of IoT more connected in a secure manner. Achieving this could result in huge positive changes the world over, as everything becomes interconnected.

SEC Denies Information Disclosure Regarding Tezos ICO

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has refused to honor attorney at law David Silvers Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to provide information regarding Tezos, a blockchain project. That has been reported on by Reuters, who broke the story on February 10, 2018.

“A top U.S. securities regulator says it cannot release documents related to the cryptocurrency project Tezos because doing so could interfere with an investigation or enforcement activities, according to a document seen by Reuters on Friday.”

David Silver as Attorney for Plaintiffs in Lawsuits Filed Against Tezos

Attorney David Silver is the representative of plaintiffs who had filed a lawsuit against Tezos in November 2017. This is the second lawsuit of its kind. Tezos was able to collect $232 million through an ICO in July 2017, breaking all records but also attracting a lot of attention to itself.

“The closure of Tezos’ $232 mln ICO – the largest in history – is dividing the community concerned about mass Ethereum sell-offs.”

Silver had filed an official FOIA request, but the SEC did not agree to disclose the requested information on Tezos. They said that it came under Exemption 7(A), which is used if releasing information could cause damage to any ongoing enforcement activities. However, the letter did not in any way suggest that the SEC is currently investigating Tezos at all.

“This exemption protects from disclosure records compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement activities. Since Exemption 7(A) protects the records from disclosure, we have not determined if other exemptions apply. Therefore, we reserve the right to assert other exemptions when Exemption 7(A) no longer applies.”

Tezos ICO in Second Position in List of Highest Funds Raised

Currently, the Tezos ICO holds second position in the list of highest funds raised by an ICO ever. It has already faced numerous lawsuits and is regularly under scrutiny, with people doubting that it complies with relevant SEC regulations. In the various lawsuits, plaintiffs claim that the ICO sold US investors securities, for which SEC registration and approval are required.

“Under the federal securities laws, every offer and sale of securities, even if to just one person, must either be registered with the SEC or conducted under an exemption from registration.”

SEC Claims ICOs Regularly Violate Laws

There have been numerous hearings and other forms of legal actions in relation to ICOs as of late, which is a clear sign that governments the world over are trying to get to grips with the concept of decentralized financial institutions. On February 6, 2018, for instance, there was a joint SEC and CFTC hearing, where SEC Chairman Jay Clayton made it clear that current ICOs are regularly in violation of a range of different laws. The SEC does intend to further investigate such violations, which could lead to the closure of other ICOs.

Tezos, meanwhile, is listed as a crowdfunding business as well as a blockchain.

“Tezos is a new decentralized blockchain that governs itself by establishing a true digital commonwealth. It facilitates formal verification, a technique which mathematically proves the correctness of the code governing transactions and boosts the security of the most sensitive or financially weighted smart contracts.”

Implications of SEC’s Refusal to Disclose Information

The insecurity and uncertainty about the refusal of the SEC to respond to the FOIA could have significant ramifications. Naturally, many people are speculating that it is indicative of the SEC wanting to take investigative actions against Tezos. Others take a more sobering approach and believe the SEC is genuine in its reasons for denying the request, but that their issue is perhaps not with Tezos ICO, but rather with a different ICO altogether. What is clear is that federal regulators are struggling to understand these new concepts.

What The SEC Hearing Could Mean For The Cryptocurrency Market

On February 6, 2018, a hearing took place before the Senate Banking Commission (SBC). Here, Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), spoke with Christopher Giancarlo, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Specifically, they discussed the potential future of cryptocurrency in this country. The hearing had been much awaited and caused prices to plummet. Nevertheless, the outcome of the hearing has left coin watchers cautiously optimistic.

Possible Regulations for Cryptocurrencies

The hearing was held openly and it gave Clayton and Giancarlo the opportunity to share testimonies on possible regulations and elements that should be regulated. Furthermore, they looked at the possible future of blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies. Of interest was that their testimonies divided the world of virtual currencies into three distinct areas:

1. Cryptocurrencies, which could eventually replace dollars
2. ICOs, best compared to stocks and other such investments
3. Distributed ledger technology, which is the blockchain, meaning the focus is on the technology behind the system.

Clayton Raised Concerns About Frauds and Scams while Giancarlo Was More Enthusiastic

During the hearing, Clayton was quite solemn, particularly with regards to the ICO which has been fraught with fraud and scam accusations. Giancarlo, meanwhile, was curious and enthusiastic, as he saw an emerging market. When queried about what a cryptocurrency’s true value is, Giancarlo went into some detail regarding the mining process and how this is linked to the price, but how those were correlated was not discussed. Clayton’s response, however, was wholly different.

“There are a lot of smart people who think there’s something to the value of cryptocurrency and the international exchange and I’m not seeing those benefits manifesting themselves in the market yet. I look at this from the perspective of Main Street investors and they should understand that.”

Clayton’s Concern About the Impact of Market Volatility on How Payments Are Made

In Clayton’s answer, he also suggested that cryptocurrencies may not be as useful as a method of payment. He was particularly concerned about market volatility and its possible effect on how payments are made. Giancarlo, however, took a much more positive approach.

“The CFTC can now obtain trading data and analyze it for fraud and manipulation. With Bitcoin futures we’re now having visibility into underlying markets and spot markets that we would not otherwise have.”

Consensus on the Need for Regulations

Giancarlo and Clayton did agree that the fact that the exchange platforms are unregulated is an area of concern. Both agreed that full clarity on this was needed, so as not to confuse users into thinking that regulations are in place.

“To be clear, the CFTC does not regulate the dozens of virtual currency trading platforms here and abroad.”

The CFTC will not be able to offer any of the security and protection that customers expect, including platform safeguards and cyber protection. Clayton felt that a federal plan would have to be developed to address this naivete of the average consumer.

“I think our Main Street investors look at these virtual currency platforms and assume they are regulated in the same way that a stock is regulated and, as I said, it’s far from that and I think we should address that.”

Clayton also had very specific concerns about the system of ICOs and particularly on how these function as a security. He is particularly concerned about the fact that ICOs are trying to mask themselves as something other than a security, perhaps in an effort to avoid regulations.

Senator Mark Warner’s Concerns

During the hearing, Senator Mark Warner also spoke up. He is quite experienced in this field and felt that there were significant issues with how cryptocurrencies are regulated. Specifically, he said that he wanted to ensure that all efforts become more coordinated across the board. He sees the positive side of the blockchain and of crypto assets, but he feels they could be done better.

There were some serious concerns about what the hearing could have meant for the cryptocurrency market. Some people had apocalyptic visions. Nevertheless, it appears that things are not quite that bad, while it must also be acknowledged that the CFTC and SEC have only just begun to scratch the surface of the matter.

SEC Shuts Down AriseBank ICO Scam

An initial coin offering (ICO) has been found to be a scam. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is always looking for ways to fight scams involving ICO and their latest action has been to fully cut off AriseCoin tokens from the ICO offered by AriseBank. All assets of AriseBank and the business’ co-founders have also been frozen. This is the latest action by the SEC’s enforcement division to combat ICO scams.

“We allege that AriseBank and its principals sought to raise hundreds of millions from investors by misrepresenting the company as a first-of-its-kind decentralized bank offering its own cryptocurrency to be used for a broad range of customer products and services. We sought emergency relief to prevent investors from being victimized by what we allege to be an outright scam.”

Cease and Desist Order from the Texas Department of Banking

Just recently, AriseBank had claimed to have raised over $600 million through the ICO. They also stated that they are the first true “decentralized bank”. SEC, however, alleges that doing so is in violation of various federal securities laws, as it involves offering unregistered, fraudulent, and illegal securities.

A short while before, the Texas Department of Banking had issued a cease-and-desist order against AriseBank, which is based in Texas. The SEC court order is a continuation of this. The cease-and-desist order was issued to stop AriseBank from stating that it was a Texas bank, offering banking and financial services to residents of the state.

Endorsement of the ICO by Evander Holyfield

Of interest is the fact that the ICO by AriseBank had received an official endorsement from Evander Holyfield. The boxing champion is not currently listed in the SEC court order. However, in November 2017, the SEC had already cautioned promoters and celebrities about the fact that their endorsements could be unlawful. For these to be legal, they would have to offer full disclosure in terms of what they received in return of their endorsement. Failing to do so could be in violation of a range of federal laws.

The issue with Evander Holyfield is more complex, however. His role with AriseBank was to help raise funds for disaster relief and preparedness. However, when the cease-and-desist order was issued, all of that were stopped.

Federal Authorities Raided the Homes of AriseBank Co-Founders

Meanwhile, the co-founders of AriseBank have had their homes raided, the company’s website has been taken down, all assets have been seized, and the ICO itself has been stopped in full. What this could mean for Holyfield remains unclear.

“Holyfield plans on using cryptocurrency to fund humanitarian disaster preparedness. Together we will raise a million dollars for disaster-related causes and then grow it to a billion-dollar endowment using the Bitshares Endowment model created by the Billion Hero Campaign. Holyfield’s endowment, as well as the original Billion Hero Endowment are hosted on BillionHeroCampaign.com.”

The SEC meanwhile, has gone so far as to refer to AriseBank’s ICO offering as an outright scam, which is a very serious accusation.

“The SEC obtained a court order to freeze the assets of AriseBank and its founders and to stop the company’s initial coin offering (ICO), a trendy way to raise money in which companies distribute cryptocurrency tokens to investors in exchange for cash. (Slate reached out to AriseBank for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.)”

The founders of AriseBank are Jared Rice Jr., a 29 year old man from Dallas, and Stanley Ford, a 45 year old man who is currently believed to be living in Dubai, although he has been known to have resided in Dallas as well. Rice in particular has quite a shady and concerning background.

“According to the SEC, Rice was “charged with felony theft and tampering with government records” in 2015. He pled guilty and is still on probation for those charges, the SEC says. Rice has been dogged by accusations of fraud in the past.”