Home / Crypto Currency / Implications of Governmental Adoption of Cryptocurrency

Implications of Governmental Adoption of Cryptocurrency

A year ago, it would have been difficult to believe that major governments throughout the world would delve into the world of cryptocurrency. However, with last summer’s price explosion, nations worldwide have begun to approach cryptocurrency from a number of angles. While cryptocurrency was first conceived as a tool to arm citizens against financial institutions and governments, the space has evolved into one that has caught the curiosity and desires of select nations throughout the world.

Isle of Man, the tiny British Crown dependency situated between England and Ireland, was perhaps the first nation to embrace cryptocurrency. Its welcoming approach to crypto dates back to 2014, and represents perhaps the first location in the world to have enabled individuals to carry out their daily duties fiat-free, as a number of businesses across the island welcomed the use of Bitcoin. However, with last year’s explosion, the small island saw itself overshadowed by much larger counterparts.

The Race to Become a Blockchain Hub

Now, countries worldwide, led by Malta, France, and Switzerland, are vying to become global hubs for blockchain tech and cryptocurrency. All three have taken measures to cut cryptocurrency tax rates and create favorable regulatory environments for prospective businesses to move operations within their borders.

Malta seems to be leading the way, as it has won arguably the top business within the cryptocurrency space, Binance. The year-old startup, which eclipsed a valuation of US$1 billion in mere months, is in the process of moving its headquarters from Hong Kong to the gaming capital of the world. This move is poised to generate an immediate double-digit increase in the GDP of the Mediterranean island, and the long-term effects could be far greater.

Switzerland’s approach is also promising, as it’s already seen hundreds of cryptocurrency businesses flock to an area they are calling “Crypto Valley”. Banking constitutes a massive portion of the Swiss economy, and, as the banking sector is becoming increasingly threatened, the European nation is seeking to reinforce its economy with massive crypto activity. As a country that already operates largely as a cashless society, a future transition to cryptocurrency should be relatively seamless.

Compared to the other two, France still has progress to make. Recently, the nation slashed cryptocurrency tax rates by almost 60%. Additionally, the head of France’s ministry of finance declared “full and resolute” support for cryptocurrency. The French Tech Ticket, a funding grant and incubation system for tech startups, recently named its 70 recipients, many of which were blockchain-centric startups. By incubating promising initiatives, France is trying to build its cryptocurrency sector from the ground up.

Other initiatives

Venezuela’s Petro is perhaps the most interesting approach taken by a government thus far. The state-owned cryptocurrency, which held a sale for private investors last quarter, is an oil-backed stablecoin, with each Petro representing one barrel of oil. Petro is meant to allow Venezuela to bypass US sanctions in order to trade its oil with other nations and private firms through the exchange of Petro. Internally, it provides a medium of exchange for citizens that is not subject to Venezuela’s disastrous hyperinflation. However, Venezuela (at least openly) has not yet begun exchanging Petro with other entities.

There are a number of applications and components of cryptocurrency that enable activities not previously possible. It will be interesting to see whether cryptocurrency plays a symbiotic or adversarial role vis-à-vis governmental bodies worldwide.

Read more

Check Also

FBI: “Call of Duty” Players Remotely Stole $3.3 Million in Cryptocurrencies

A group of “Call of Duty” players from Indiana are accused of stealing more than $3 million in cryptocurrencies after coercing an Illinois man to aid them in remotely hacking unsecured crypto wallets on more than 100 cell phones. Man Coerced Into Hack After SWATing Incident The episode began in Bloomington, Illinois, where a local man told the FBI he met the members of the would-be group of cybercriminals online playing Call of Duty. In the simulated warfare game, players are able to communicate with each other in real-time and with relative privacy. The group, based out of Dolton, Indiana, allegedly coerced the man from Bloomington into working for them using an intimidation tactic called “SWATing,” a nefarious, illegal, and dangerous phenomenon that has become increasingly popular in online gaming communities. SWATing is when police are called with a false report of a violent crime at someone’s home, which prompts a response from a SWAT team — oftentimes leading to door breaches, gunfire, and even the accidental deaths of unknowing victims. It’s often used as a decidedly dark method of payback, or, as in this case, to intimidate or threaten an individual. Afraid of further retaliation the man succumbed to the hacker’s requests, to which they handed over names, phone numbers, and other information that permitted him to remotely access the cell phones of their victims. According to the FBI affidavit, the man admitted to taking over the cell phones of more than 100 people. Once the group took over a phone, they were able to hack into a victim’s cryptocurrency account and drain their funds. The group is suspected of stealing at least $3.3 million in various cryptocurrency, including about $805,000 in Augur’s Reputation Tokens, according to the FBI. The suspects then allegedly moved stolen tokens through cryptocurrency networks, such as Ether or Bitcoin, to their own digital wallets. As of yet, the Chicago Sun-Times isn’t naming the suspects identified in the affidavit because they don’t appear to have been charged with any crimes. In an online interview the Bloomington man proclaimed his innocence — even going as far as to say that considers himself a victim: “I have done nothing but cooperate with Augur and the FBI,” he said. “I have never once profited from anyone [by] crypto-hacking, ever.” Crypto Thefts in First Half of 2018 Total Over $1.1 Billion According to recent study from cybersecurity firm Carbon Black, the total amount of cryptocurrency that has been stolen through cybercrime this year alone is over $1.1 billion — primarily through ransomware and exchange hacks. The firm’s report claims that many criminals are using the dark web to appropriate cryptocurrency from their victims, estimating that there are over 12,000 marketplaces with almost three times that number of crypto theft listings between them. Rick McElroy, security strategist at Carbon Black, spoke on the trend, noting how easy it is for cybercriminals to operate these days: “It’s surprising just how easy it is without any tech skill to commit cybercrimes like ransomware… It’s not always these large nefarious groups, it’s in anybody’s hands.” Part of the reason for this is the accessibility and user-friendliness of the tools of the trade. McElroy said that certain pieces of malware even come with customer service to aid would-be cybercriminals, adding that the malicious software costs an average of $224 but can be picked up for as little as $1.04. Many of the attacks against crypto users, companies, and exchanges originate from an organized group of criminals like those out of Indiana, however, McElroy says, they’re just as likely to be the product of a trained engineer who is out of work: “You have nations that are teaching coding, but there’s no jobs… It could just be two people in Romania needing to pay rent.” Image from Shutterstock The post FBI: “Call of Duty” Players Remotely Stole $3.3 Million in Cryptocurrencies appeared first on NewsBTC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: Trading in bitcoins or other digital currencies carries a high level of risk and can result in the total loss of the invested capital. theonlinetech.org does not provide investment advice, but only reflects its own opinion. Please ensure that if you trade or invest in bitcoins or other digital currencies (for example, investing in cloud mining services) you fully understand the risks involved! Please also note that some external links are affiliate links.