Robinhood now offers Checking and Savings accounts, but Banks aren’t happy

The US-based Financial Services Company, Robinhood is trying a very bold strategy that could anger some Financial Institutions. The financial platform and app has launched its 3% interest Checking and Savings accounts recently. Often, 3% is well over the usual rate offered by banks and there are some very important differentials in the insurance that protects investors in Robinhood’s product.
At first glance, the new Checking and Savings  accounts from Robinhood appear to be absolutely traditional Savings Accounts, just with on average higher returns. That being said, traditional Savings Accounts are usually under the protection of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Those accounts offered by Robinhood are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
This is a big distinction and many banking figures already begun speaking out against Robinhood, calling the terms used with the Checking and Saving accounts “deceptive”. The biggest concern is that a brokerage account is being made to look like a bank one and the distinction between the two can set a precedent for future cases.
Robinhood now offers Checking and Savings accounts
There are very important differences between the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation coverages. In this case, the most important difference is that SIPC coverage only guarantees account holders balance to the value of their funds on the day of any insolvency. A lot of banking officials are concerned that Robinhood has not explained the differences in insurance to their customers.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, Sephen Harbeck has already spoken out in multiple news outlets and stated that he has already filed a complaint with the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Harbeck wants to make sure investors are fully aware of the possible risks they are taking.
Robinhood however, has not yet updated their FAQ. This caught the attention of Brian Hester, who as an attorney stated that the platform is at risk of being classified as an “unlicensed banking business”. The platform is a broker-dealer and is not registered as a conventional Bank. This means Robihood hasn’t been required to demonstrate the liquidity and risk management processes that licensed Banks have to.
The biggest problem however, is the lack of FDIC protection for the clients. With the offering rate far over the 0.08% for checking accounts and 0.1% for savings accounts, this will make bankers, associations and regulators raise quite a bit of noise. The events might seriously impact the new products and the platform’s entire trading business. If Robinhood manages to pull it off, the new financial service will disrupt the Banking sector for good.
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Samsung Files Crypto Trademark in the U.K.

Electronics company Samsung has filed a U.K. trademark for a new crypto wallet. The trademark was filed on Thursday, December 27 with the U.K. Intellectual Property Office.
Samsung is also including smartphones, tablet computers, portable computers, computer software and mobile telephones with the crypto wallet in its registration paperwork.
Crypto Goes Well with Technology
The company stated in its filing:
“Computer software for use as a cryptocurrency wallet; computer software for cryptocurrency transfer and payments using blockchain technology; computer application software for smartphones, namely, software to allow users to transfer cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology and pay via third party’s application software.”
Previously, Samsung had denied rumors that its Galaxy S10 phone possessed its own cryptocurrency wallet, though earlier in the month, the venture filed three different trademark applications with the European Union for both blockchain and cryptocurrency-based software.
This isn’t the company’s first outing into crypto territory. Last summer, Samsung announced that it would be using CopPay – a multi-cryptocurrency payment platform for both consumers and businesses alike – to accept digital asset payments for goods and services in the three Baltic States (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). Customers living in those countries could now purchase smartphones, television sets, laptops, tablets and other Samsung products using virtual currencies like bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin.
CopPay announced:
“Our goal is millions of CopPay virtual terminals installed and functioning around the world. CopPay makes it simple for merchants and service providers to become a part of the growing cryptocurrency economy and attract new clients.”
The company further stated that it possessed the “global infrastructure” to allow cryptocurrency payments in the first place.
Despite regular price drops in the likes of bitcoin and its altcoin cousins, there appears to be a growing pressure amongst traditional companies to get involved in the digital asset space. As time goes by, we are seeing more and more companies that have little or nothing to do with digitization or technical finance step into the ring with crypto.
More Businesses Will Lead to Legitimacy
Recently, Madison Holdings Group – a Hong Kong stock exchange-listed wine company – announced that it would be purchasing a 67 percent share in BitOcean, one of Japan’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges. The purchase is alleged to cost more than $30 million.
This suggests that many companies – despite regularly falling prices – see crypto as the wave of the future and are eager to get a piece of the action before things get too expensive or the space is overrun. The more these businesses get involved, the more legitimate the space will become.
Are you excited about Samsung’s latest blockchain developments? Why or why not? Post your comments below.
Image courtesy of Shuttershock
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Top Crypto Podcasts of 2018

In two days, 2018 will be at its end. Considering there’s nothing more we can really do about bitcoin’s price in that time (after all, Tom Lee’s many year-end predictions never came true), we might as well focus on the joy of crypto for a little while.
If you’re late to the crypto craze and want to get into it but just don’t know how, here are some of the top podcasts you can listen to that might have the information on cryptocurrencies you’re looking for.
Listening About the Benefits of Crypto
The first is Unchained. Hosted by Laura Shin, a former reporter with Forbes, the podcast features lengthy conversations with crypto startup executives and entrepreneurs in the blockchains pace. Some of the podcast’s previous guests include Changpeng Zhao, CEO of the crypto exchange Binance, and bitcoin developer Jimmy Song.
The amount of information it gives makes it a little more tailor-made for experienced crypto investors, but it’s a hub of knowledge that’s likely to get you going in the right direction if crypto has ever interested you.
Next, we have Off the Chain. This one also features a wide array of entrepreneurs discussing what’s happening in the blockchain and digital asset arenas, though most of the time, it’s a venue for them to speak ill of each other. Off the Chain has become something of a platform for entrepreneurs to call each other out on the allegedly shady tactics they employ while pitching their own products. Past speakers include founder of Abra Bill Barhydt and Murad Mahmudov, an established cryptocurrency analyst.
Third is Unconfirmed, also hosted by Laura Shin. This one, however, deals less with specific topics and rather just lets the speakers speak. Here, you can listen to some of the world’s leading blockchain industry members deliver their insights as to what they think the future of crypto holds for long-term investors. Past guests include Jackson Palmer, creator of Dogecoin, and Cornell University professor Emin Gun Sirer.
A Few More Examples
Steal This Show is not primarily centered on blockchain topics, but when it moves in this direction, it can provide top-level information to its listeners. The podcast is hosted by activist and filmmaker Jamie King, and discusses anything from the peer-to-peer (p2p) marketplace to BitTorrent. The show has also discussed common worries regarding blockchain technology.
Last is Magical Crypto Friends, designed for “bitcoin maximalists.” The podcast discusses topics ranging from regulation and decentralization to bitcoin’s changes over the past ten years. It’s also a joint hosting job between Blockstream CSO Samson Mow, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee and Monero lead Riccardo Spagni.
Would you listen to any of these podcasts? Why or why not? Post your comments below.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
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Paris Blockchain Summit: First International Event Dedicated to Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology 10 Years after the Creation of Bitcoin

Paris Blockchain Summit: First International Event Dedicated to Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology 10 Years after the Creation of Bitcoin
It’s time to take stock of what has been achieved and give perspective of its future achievement with Paris Blockchain Summit, the First International Event dedicated to the Blockchain Industry in Paris (France), on January 31 and February 1, 2019.
Paris Blockchain Summit is the largest event of its kind in France. The event will gather major international key players of the Blockchain ecosystem including well-known influencers, investors, government representatives, blockchain developers, law firms and service providers.
For the first edition, Paris Blockchain Summit will occur in an atypical place in Paris, La Palmeraie: 1500 m² of exhibition and conference area surrounded by green areas, 28 exhibitors, 35 international speakers and a special evening party to celebrate the 10 years of Bitcoin!
Paris Blockchain Summit is a unique opportunity to connect international key players who wants to promote the industry, generate concrete leads, showcase application of the technology and hands-on learning experience from dedicated Workshops and Keynotes.
Our aim is to conduct a recurring international event around Blockchain in Paris which is one of the fastest growing business hubs since the last two years and is becoming an international Blockchain Hub.
Special Community Discount
Get 10% OFF on tickets (except VIP) with the special discount code: coinspeaker-pbs.
About Paris Blockchain Summit
Paris Blockchain Summit is the First International Event dedicated to Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology in Paris (France), on January 31 and February 1, 2019 just scheduled after the Paris Fintech Forum.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact us at [email protected]
Paris Blockchain Summit: First International Event Dedicated to Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology 10 Years after the Creation of Bitcoin

Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Philippines: Crypto Experts Have Discussed Topical Trends and Set DLT Goals for the Future

Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Philippines: Crypto Experts Have Discussed Topical Trends and Set DLT Goals for the Future
The meeting of DLT experts has been also visited by the CEO of CEZA.
What Did the Speakers Talk About?
The conference has gathered leading Filipino professionals and top experts from many countries working in crypto sphere. Speakers have addressed the most important segments of the DLT market and discussed topical trends of the industry.
Opening of the Event
The event was opened by Raul L. Lambino – CEO of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). It is the only economic zone in the Philippines that has the authority to regulate, license and propagate Offshore Fintech Solutions Enterprises as well as Offshore Virtual Currency Exchanges.
The expert has delivered the welcoming speech, where he has talked about the crypto valley of Asia and CEZA. Raul L. Lambino has also set goals for the future and emphasized the aim of streaming not only financial processes but also a wide expanse of applications in the digital economy.
Alternatives to DLT
One of the founders and CCO at Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI), Miguel Cuneta, has delivered the speech about the need in DLT.
During his talk, the expert has addressed the question whether “to blockchain or not to blockchain.”
Cuneta has presented the disadvantages of DLT. According to him, the pace of DLT development is slow, incentive structures are difficult to design, maintenance is expensive, and scaling is very difficult. “Centralization is a lot easier,” believes the specialist.
Permissioned Blockchain
Mark Vernon, the Founder at Tagcash, has explained the nature of the private blockchains with the help of use cases from MultiChain and Stellar.
First, he has highlighted the reasons to use MultiChain: customised mining, multiple unlimited asset creation and support, stream creation and subscription.
Then, the expert has also provided the information on how to add and retrieve data with MultiChain blockchain and analysed the technology in detail.
The speaker summarized:
“Use permissioned blockchains when you need control of assets, compliance and data storage.”
Smart Contracts and Legal Contracts
The conference’s program has also included panel discussion where experts have talked about the self-executing contracts and the legal side of the technology.
Rafael Padilla – one of the establishers of Blockchain Association of the Philippines (BAP) – has become the discussion’s moderator. Together with other partakers, he has looked into the regulatory trends, business models of tokenization and DLT laws.
Exhibitors and Sponsors
The event has included the demozone – DLT startups have presented their new ideas and projects in the crypto industry. Event’s guests have discovered such solutions as crypto trading services, mining equipment and ICO projects advice.
The exclusive sponsor of the conference – OSR Chain. The company runs casinos and plans to enter various fields such as real estate, smart crypto city, shopping and foreign exchange. In the future, it will introduce the OSR stablecoin.
The investment partner of the event – TaaS Capital Fund which makes the wealth management easy and accessible. The DLT, AI and other IT services provider Kaplink has also become the investment partner of the conference.
The official media partner of the event is The Philippine Business and News (THEPHILBIZNEWS) – the online magazine which provides fresh news together with the analysis of business and political spheres. The YouTube channel about crypto and DLT, BTC TV, has become the general media partner.
The event has been visited by large investment companies, such as crypto solutions provider Fundshing, investment advisory firm InvestorsAlly and UAE’s private investment firm The National Investor (TNI).
The conference’s organizer is the international company Smile-Expo which has already conducted 50 blockchain events in 24 countries.
The schedule of the future events is on the website of Smile-Expo.
Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Philippines: Crypto Experts Have Discussed Topical Trends and Set DLT Goals for the Future

Japan’s Mizuho Bank to Launch Its Own Stablecoin by March 2019

Japan’s Mizuho Bank to Launch Its Own Stablecoin by March 2019
Japan’s second-largest banking institution Mizuho bank is currently preparing the infrastructure to launch its stablecoin by March 2019, reports Asian Nikkei Review. The report suggests that the stablecoin will be pegged to the Japanese Yen. Furthermore, the stablecoin will also facilitate making cashless payments with no-fee transfers among its users.
The stablecoin aims at improving services for low-cost cross-border transfers and remittances. Mizuho’s digital currency service will provide direct competition to Japan’s local credit card companies. This will further help to promote more digital payments in the country while moving towards a cashless society.
Mizuho is also talking to 60 other regional banks to collaborate and support the liquidity for the stablecoin. Earlier in 2017, Mizuho Group chairman Yasuhiro Sato initially termed this as the “J-Coin” project. This project started by Mizuho bank included other regional banks, Japan post bank, and other Japanese “megabanks”. If things go as per the plans, this project will see the first instance of stablecoin mass adoption by banks, financial corporations, and retail users.
Cashless Payments to be Made Possible Using Simple QR Codes
Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan is planning to spearhead its cashless economy. In this regard, the Japanese government has introduced subsidies and tax breaks to encourage businesses to accept online payments.
The purported J-Coin project involving Mizuho’s stablecoin will have a simple QR code at vendor outlets to make cashless payments. The QR code could also be easily accessed through a dedicated smartphone application supporting the stablecoin. The Mizuho stablecoin will be pegged to the Japanese Yen in 1:1 ratio.
In addition to the Mizuho Bank, the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group also launched its MUFG stablecoin in April 2018. The financial group plans the nation-wide rollout of the MUFG stablecoin by 2020.
In future, the Mizuho stablecoin can also be used to give salary payments to the bank’s employees. It will also team up with China’s huge online payment platform Alipay which allows payments using QR codes. This will also allow foreigners to easily make payments in Japan.
During his interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, Mizuho Financial Group President Tatsufumi Sakai said:
“The business of financial settlements has become more important and is expected to continue to grow. So we have to take a serious approach.”
The president also said that it will leverage the data from new payment services for its future businesses. Mizuho is currently pursuing cross-industry alliances with several other IT companies.
“We’ll do business with other companies if we have the opportunity. Timing and speed are very important. There is a limit to how much we as a financial institution can develop just through our conventional businesses. We’re focusing on new technology,” Sakai said.
Japan’s Mizuho Bank to Launch Its Own Stablecoin by March 2019

Craig Wright Fails to Win Over Federal Court, Multi-Billion Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit Remains Open

Craig Wright Fails to Win Over Federal Court, Multi-Billion Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit Remains Open

A South Florida federal court has denied Craig Wright’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit. The crypto entrepreneur and self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor allegedly misappropriated billions of dollars’ worth of crypto estate. Ira Kleiman sued Wright on behalf of the estate owned by his brother, the late Dave Kleiman.
The suit states that Wright schemed to grab Dave’s bitcoins and his rights to specific intellectual property linked with the bitcoin technology. Kleiman is seeking the return of a chunk of the 1.1 million bitcoins mined by the two or its fair current market value. He also seeks compensation for extensive IP infringement.
At one point, the figure in question had reached almost $10 billion although the bear market has eaten most of that valuation. Currently, the contentious coins are worth around $3.9 billion. Back in February, we reported comprehensively about the Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin ‘Creator’s court case.
Wright filed a motion in April 2018 seeking the dismissal of this case. Nonetheless, a court document filed on Thursday shows that a majority of the counts of Wright’s motion have been denied.
The most conspicuous part of the order states:
“The Court finds that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged a claim for conversion. The Amended Complaint asserts that Defendant converted at least 300,000 bitcoins upon Dave’s death and transferred them to various international trusts, which was an unlawful act that deprived the Plaintiffs of the bitcoins therein. Consequently, Plaintiffs’ claim for conversion (Count I) survives Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.”
Craig’s Multiple Roles
Kleiman was the managing member of the firm and the registered agent according to the articles of incorporation of W&K. On the other hand, Judge Bloom’s ruling stated that:
“Wright’s various roles included authorized representative, lead researcher, technical contact, legal agent and representative and Director/Australian Agent.”
After Kleiman’s death in 2013, Wright purportedly transferred bitcoins illegally to himself. Kleiman’s estate is entitles to at least 300,000 bitcoins and forked assets such as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
The Objection
In a bid to nullify the case, Wright raised various objections. Some of the notable objections include res judicata, forum non conveniens, lack of standing, and international abstention. Also, he said that the case lacked personal jurisdiction, fails to bring this action as a derivative suit, and fails to state legally sufficient claims.
The discovery process of this lawsuit may provide tangible clues to the biggest mysteries in the bitcoin universe. Other than the huge financial implications of this case, the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto may finally be revealed.
Previous documents have cited Dave Kleiman as perhaps the famed Bitcoin creator. These claims were made as recently as November 2018 by Jeff Garzik, an early developer of the cryptocurrency.

Craig Wright Fails to Win Over Federal Court, Multi-Billion Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit Remains Open

VISA Acquires Ripple’s Partner Earthport After Closing a £198 Million Deal

The credit card giant VISA will be acquiring Earthport after closing a £198 million deal. The information was released by VISA a few days ago in a statement. Earthport is a British firm that facilitates international transactions for banks and businesses. The company is also a partner of Ripple, one of the most popular companies in the crypto space.
Ripple’s Partner Earthport Acquired by VISA
VISA International Service Association, a unit of VISA, offered 30 pence for each of the shares of the company. However, each of its shares had a price close to 7.45 on Monday according to Reuters.
The company seems to agree with the buying proposal and recommended to its shareholders to take the cash offered by the company. During this year, the company’s shares fell 28 percent since the company increased its expenses and registered important losses. After the announcement made by the company, the shares grew up to 30 pence per each Earthport share.
The company allows firms and other institutions to have a low-cost alternative system for payments. It allows money transfer companies to have just a single connection rather than multiple payments channels.
The official statement read as follows:
“The boards of Bidco and Earthport are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all-cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Earthport by Bidco, a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of Visa.”
It is important for VISA to remain competitive in a business that is receiving more and more competitors from all over the world. There are several startups that are starting to take part of VISA’s market and the credit card giant does not want to lose the opportunity to keep being a market leader.
As Reuters reported, Visa was advised by Goldman Sachs while Earthport’s Earthport receive advises from Rothschild & Co.
The firm is a partner of Ripple and has been working on an API that could help to make bank connections with Ripple’s network. This was specifically designed for small institutions that might be able to reduce costs and enhance their operations.
Ripple has currently partnered with more than 150 different financial firms worldwide, showing that the company is offering good services to companies in different countries.
Ripple provides services such as xRapid that allow firms to reduce transaction costs and improve their efficiency. xRapid allows interested customers to use the XRP digital asset to enhance even further the services they use. However, at the time of writing, there are no companies working with XRP.
According to reports from Ripple, xRapid helps companies reduce costs and transaction times between 40% and 70%.
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Crypto Market Evolves: One-Tap Solutions are About to Disrupt the Industry

Crypto Market Evolves: One-Tap Solutions are About to Disrupt the Industry
Modern economy is based on the main pillar – harmonization. Alas, cryptocurrency market is an ever-evolving environment, where harmonization and simplicity are ignored by exchanges and other crypto-related businesses. There’s still a sort of technological threshold that many would-be crypto enthusiasts face while entering the market. Protracted registration procedures, unfriendly interfaces and non-transparent approaches to storing only make crypto sketchy for mere mortals.
People are Skeptic about Crypto – that Needs to be Changed
Unsurprisingly, it’s no easy task to get layman users involved into the crypto market. Many are unlikely to operate with crypto, because they just do not understand the very essence of crypto and the way it is transacted and stored. Michael Ross-Johnson, a CEO of Chatex, an Estonia-based company, which recently launched its Telegram-based p2p crypto exchange, comments:
“Crypto community seeks for complex solutions that will allow to obtain, trade or sell crypto anytime, anywhere. However, many ‘greenfield’ projects are just not able to cut through the noise with their seemingly user-friendly and at the same time secured solutions. You may ask why, but the answer is simple: having witnessed a great number of scams and vulnerable projects, in 2018 community takes crypto startups with a pinch of salt.”
Is There a Solution?
Offering something to crypto enthusiasts without eventful roadmap and strong partnerships with giants is impossible, and hardly anyone could argue. Chatex is one of a few pioneering projects which is already supported by respective giant.
On October 15th, the company launched its universal click-and-go crypto exchange, that operates with institutional-grade, cold-storage, multi-signature BitGo wallets for each type of cryptocurrency. Chatex bot is available to anyone with a standard smartphone, laptop or PC and does not require deep knowledge and experience in crypto. The service is automatic: all one should do is to sign into the bot and search for an appropriate application. Chatex offers real-time arbitration to keep the deals flowing smoothly.
Security is the Chatex’s Cornerstone
Besides being backed by BitGo, exchange is fully compliant with EU GDPR 2016/679 for data protection and privacy for individuals within the EU and the European Economic Area. Noteworthy, Chatex also provides users with the option of creating the PIN code security measures for wallet access.
Chatex team has done a really great job on creating a fertile ground for the development of its brainchild. According to company’s plans, it’s seeking for a global expansion, and will soon launch bots on Facebook, Kakao, Skype and Kik.
Crypto Market Evolves: One-Tap Solutions are About to Disrupt the Industry

190 Crypto Companies Are Looking to Operate in Japan

Japan is one of the largest crypto hubs across the globe. Along with the United States, it’s the only country that enforces some sort of licensing structure for companies looking to enter the crypto space, and as it turns out, most companies are looking to get a piece of that action.
According to Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), approximately 190 new cryptocurrency firms are seeking entry to Japan’s digital asset market. Four months ago, that number stood at only 160, suggesting an increase of roughly 30 companies in a relatively short period.
Japan’s Crypto Scene Is Expanding
The FSA has issued a statement, explaining:
“Including preliminary consultation/ inquiries regarding registration, more than 190 operators are expressing their intention of market entry.”
This presents an interesting scenario in the sense that most companies are showing interest in being part of a legit enterprise. Japan’s FSA has sworn to become far more involved in the nation’s crypto arena following the Coincheck debacle that occurred last January. More than $500 million in crypto funds were stolen, and the exchange was widely criticized for its utilization of hot wallet over cold storage tactics.
The FSA then began working with Coincheck and competing exchanges to update their security protocols. The organization also began issuing warnings to exchanges advising them to cooperate with its new licensing structure and explaining that those who refused would face the possibility of shutdown.
There are roughly 16 licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan including GMO Coin and SBI Virtual Currency. All cryptocurrency exchanges must register with the FSA before opening their doors for public trade.
The fact that Japan is being strict with crypto-based businesses and operations, yet so many companies want in suggests that these enterprises strongly desire regulation and a sense of legitimacy. Among the companies looking to perform crypto-related business in Japan are Yahoo!, Daiwa Securities Group, Money Forward Inc., Yamane Medical Corp., Avex Inc. and Samurai & J Partners.
The FSA Is Always Watching
In addition, the FSA has also given approval to Coincheck (following an extensive audit), Lastroots and Everybody’s Bitcoin as cryptocurrency dealers. This gives them and companies like them the opportunity to operate in Japan’s primary crypto sector while their applications are still under review.
Coincheck has slowly been reintroducing its services to customers after it was obtained by the Monex Group just a few months ago.
Are we likely to see other companies banging on Japan’s cryptocurrency doors? Post your thoughts and comments below.
Image courtesy of Shuttershock
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