Afghan voting, Ugandan mudslides and Burundi’s rusty old signs: The Cheat Sheet

Here’s the IRIN team’s weekly take on humanitarian news, trends, and developments from around the globe. */ On our radar A vote for stability in Afghanistan   This weekend, analysts will be keeping an eye on voter turnout for parliamentary elections – seen as a harbinger of public confidence ahead of presidential elections scheduled for next April – as well as signs of voter fraud, which has
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Zambia central bank warns against use of cryptocurrencies

Bank of Zambia (BoZ), the country’s central bank has cautioned members of the public against cryptocurrencies. BoZ says cryptos are not legal tender in the Republic of Zambia, local portal Mwebantu reports. The bank stressed that persons who involve in such transactions will be doing so at their own risk because cryptocurrencies are not issued by the bank or any known player in the finance sector. Mwebantu further reports that the BoZ statement comes at a time when there was
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William Boyd’s Love is Blind: the story of a sweet-natured outsider told at a cracking pace

Boyd’s career consists of an endless flow of stories in the great realist tradition, with strong plots, well-rounded characters, and written in a language that anyone can understand. Among the literary big beasts who emerged in the 1980s – you know who I mean – William Boyd remains perhaps the most difficult to categorise. The early novels A Good Man in
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Cryptocurrency theft hits nearly $1 billion in first nine months

Author:  Reuters ID:  1539173031798267700 Wed, 2018-10-10 12:00 NEW YORK: Theft of cryptocurrencies through hacking of exchanges and trading platforms soared to $927 million in the first nine months of the year, up nearly 250 percent from the level seen in 2017, according to a report from US-based cybersecurity firm CipherTrace released on Wednesday. The report, which looks at criminal
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World first digital sukuk targets Bitcoin generation

Author:  Matt Smith ID:  1539113159122279600 Tue, 2018-10-09 22:01 BARCELONA: Later this year, what purports to the world’s first digital sukuk will launch, bringing Sharia-compliant social impact investing to the masses. Blossom Finance — an Indonesia-based, US-owned and regulated company that’s guided by one of the Gulf’s most renowned experts in Islamic finance — hopes its pioneering products can enable
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UAE plans initial coin offerings to boost capital markets — regulator

Author:  Reuters ID:  1539007714582654900 Mon, 2018-10-08 12:29 ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates plans to introduce initial coin offerings (ICOs) next year to provide companies with a fresh way to raise money, the head of the securities regulator said on Monday. In ICOs, companies issue cryptocurrency tokens to investors, in much the same way as they issue shares in
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Ether cryptocurrency, a victim of blockchain success

Author:  AFP ID:  1537677927641840700 Sun, 2018-09-23 03:50 LONDON: For all the attention afforded bitcoin, it is its rival ether that is hitting the headlines, with the popularity of its blockchain technology Ethereum driving concerns that have sent investors fleeing. Virtual currencies have struggled across the board this month after US investment banking giant Goldman Sachs pulled back from its
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How to avoid falling victim to fake financial apps

Lukas Stefanko, Malware Researcher at ESET highlights that cybercrooks have used fake finance apps on Google Play to phish six online banks and cryptocurrency exchange worldwide. The writer also shares tips to secure yourself against such crimes. Another set of fake finance apps has found its way into the official Google Play store. This time, the apps have impersonated six banks from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Poland, and the Austrian cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda. Using bogus forms, the
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Europol warns on Daesh cyber threat

Author:  REBECCA SPONG ID:  1537286397274875900 Tue, 2018-09-18 18:44 LONDON: Daesh followers could be seeking cyber-attack tools from the so-called ‘digital underground,’ according to a new report from Europol. With Daesh forces having lost most of their territorial strongholds in the Middle East since 2016, the terror organization has increasingly retreated to the web to continue its campaign. The annual
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Japan regulatory head scolds weak regional banks: ‘Don’t blame BOJ’

Author:  Reuters ID:  1534931931371171200 Wed, 2018-08-22 09:50 TOKYO: Japan’s top financial regulator said regional banks “should not blame the Bank of Japan” for their woes, urging them to explore ways to survive ultra-low interest rates. “They should not just sit and wait for the BOJ to change its policy. Will everything be alright if it seeks exit and normalizes
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Confusion reigns as Venezuela braces for release of new banknotes

Author:  AFP ID:  1534743874983980500 Mon, 2018-08-20 05:37 CARACAS: Beleaguered Venezuelans braced Monday for the rollout of President Nicolas Maduro’s radical new plan to curb the spiraling hyperinflation that has thrown their oil-rich, cash-poor nation into turmoil. Caracas is issuing new banknotes after lopping five zeroes off the crippled bolivar, casting a pall of uncertainty over businesses and consumers across
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Opera PC Browser now with built-in crypto wallet

Opera, the popular browser announced that it is adding a built-in crypto wallet to its PC Browser and all the user will need to do is to connect their Opera PC browser with the crypto wallet-enabled Opera mobile browser by simply scanning a QR code on their Opera PC browser. This will grant them access to their mobile wallet with cryptocurrencies and collectibles. This will allow users to sign transactions with their fingerprints instead of using long passphrases, while maintaining
| Apps ,Cryptocurrency ,News |

Watts Miners launches new line of mining rigs

Watts Miners, a company that develops and sells cutting edge cryptocurrency mining rigs equipped with ASIC chip technology, launched its line of mining rigs for BTC, ETH, LTC, DASH and XMR with unprecedented hash rates as a result of advanced ASIC chip technology. The rigs are equipped with industrial power for mining farms as well as retail household consumers and are currently priced below market alongside Watts Miners Grand Opening offers which include a buy three, get one free effective until
| Cryptocurrency ,News ,ASIC chip |

HTC launches first blockchain phone

HTC announced the launch first major blockchain phone – the Exodus and expand the blockchain ecosystem by creating the world’s first phone dedicated to decentralized applications and security. With the release of the HTC Exodus, which includes an all-important cold storage wallet, we can now make this a reality. “In the new internet age people are generally more conscious about their data, this a perfect opportunity to empower the user to start owning their digital identity. The Exodus is a great
| News ,Smartphones ,Animoca |

South Africa kidnappers demand ransom in bitcoin to free teenager

A criminal gang in South Africa who kidnapped a teenage boy on Sunday are demanding a ransom in bitcoin crytocurrency of nearly $120,000, police said. Katlego Marite, 13, was dragged into a car while playing with two friends near his home in Witbank, a town in the eastern province of Mpumalanga, on Sunday afternoon, police spokesman Leonard Hlathi said. “They demanded that the family should deposit a sum of 15 bitcoins, not in rands,” he told news channel eNCA.
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Dubai-based crypto exchange BitOasis to suspend dirham transactions amid issues with local banks

BitOasis, the leading digital asset exchange of United Arab Emirates that allows customers to buy different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ripple is suspending dirham deposits and withdrawals from 4th June onwards. The company had announced the decision last week in an email sent to its users, giving them 24 hours to complete any dirham transaction […] The post Dubai-based crypto exchange BitOasis to suspend dirham transactions amid issues with local banks appeared first on MENAbytes .
| News ,Technology ,Crypto |

Canaan IPO puts Hong Kong at centre of blockchain world

The Chinese chipmaker plans to raise $1 billion with a HKEX listing, as the industry moves from murky ICOs to a more regulator-compliant environment The post Canaan IPO puts Hong Kong at centre of blockchain world appeared first on Asia Times .
| Canaan ,Bitcoin mining ,HSBC |

Is blockchain the answer that Africa needs?

Conversations about blockchain have grown louder and louder in recent months sending ripples across the continent. About two years back when cryptocurrency started gaining fame on the continent, state financial institutions were quick to strongly warn their citizens against making investments. In fact this week, Zimbabwe effected a ban against cryptocurrency. But elsewhere on the continent, leaders in government and influential figures are now at the forefront of blockchain intergration. So what changed in such a short time?
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Goldman-backed startup to launch dollar-based token

Circle Internet Financial also gets investment from the world's biggest Bitcoin miner, Beijing-based Bitmain, to launch the USD Coin The post Goldman-backed startup to launch dollar-based token appeared first on Asia Times .
| Circle ,Bitmain ,stablecoins |

For real royal tradition, look to crowd's taste in wedding souvenirs

Limited edition package of Crown Jewels Condoms? Wedding-themed cryptocurrency? Giant Harry and Meghan dolls? They're all on offer. But who's buying them?
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Zimbabwe bans banks from processing payments for cryptocurrencies

Zimbabwe’s central bank has stopped local banks from trading or processing payments linked to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, its governor said on Monday, but stopped short of banning local cryptocurrency trading exchanges. In the southern African nation, those who trade in bitcoin say it offers rare protection as their bank deposits lose value almost by the day while others use it to fund family members studying abroad or purchase goods online. On Golix.com, the largest of only two trading platforms for
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How rogue states learned to stop worrying and love Bitcoin

Iran, Venezuela and supposedly North Korea have all tried to turn to crypto-currencies to side-step US sanctions, with varying degrees of success The post How rogue states learned to stop worrying and love Bitcoin appeared first on Asia Times .
| crypto-currency trading ,Economic Sanctions ,Iran |

Pakistani crypto PakCoin up by 60% despite central bank ban

PakCoin founder 'Abu Shaheer' believes the move worked in the currency’s favor by exposing its name, so "more people got interested in it" The post Pakistani crypto PakCoin up by 60% despite central bank ban appeared first on Asia Times .
| South Asia ,Pakistan ,Cryptocurrency |

Buffett the Bitcoin slayer meets crypto Wolves of Wall Street

The Oracle of Omaha compares Bitcoin trading to 'rat poison,' while New York investment heavyweights launch crypto trading platforms. So who is right? The post Buffett the Bitcoin slayer meets crypto Wolves of Wall Street appeared first on Asia Times .
| Wall Street ,crypto-currency trading ,Bitcoin |

The media and the murky world of Chinese Bitcoin mining

The story that stolen Icelandic computers may be in China was bigger in crypto media than a major mining operator manipulating the Bitcoin market The post The media and the murky world of Chinese Bitcoin mining appeared first on Asia Times .
| China ,crypto-currency mining ,Antpool |

Bitcoin banknotes in Singapore as S Korea eases crypto stance

The Southeast Asian city-state and Seoul look to be joining Japan with an open-door policy for crypto-currency investment, trading and use The post Bitcoin banknotes in Singapore as S Korea eases crypto stance appeared first on Asia Times .
| Tangem ,Bitcoin banknotes ,Singapore |

Thai Government measures sending crypto industry underground

Insider says new tax framework will drive Bitcoin traders to Singapore and Hong Kong or transactions will simply disappear from regulatory view The post Thai Government measures sending crypto industry underground appeared first on Asia Times .
| Thailand ,crypto-currency exchanges ,The Chain |

Goldman Sachs to open a bitcoin trading operation

But Goldman Sachs is bucking the risks and moving ahead with plans to set up what appears to be the first bitcoin trading operation at a Wall Street bank
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Billionaire Thiel backs big-sum Bitcoin trading platform

The entrepreneur's fund has invested in the Tagomi System which aims to be the crypto version of an online brokerage on behalf of wealthy individuals The post Billionaire Thiel backs big-sum Bitcoin trading platform appeared first on Asia Times .
| Peter Thiel ,crypto-currency exchanges ,Tagomi |

Cryptocurrency boom is over with conditions 'returning to normal', trading firm Plus500 says

Online trading platform Plus500 said the huge boom in interest around cryptocurrencies has subsided and that the market had returned to more "normal" conditions.
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Buffett again dismisses ‘speculative’ Bitcoin market

The 'Oracle of Omaha' says crypto-currency trading is based on gambling and the hope that 'somebody else will come along and pay more money tomorrow' The post Buffett again dismisses ‘speculative’ Bitcoin market appeared first on Asia Times .
| Investors ,Bitcoin ,Warren Buffett |

How to watch out for Cryptocurrency scams on Android

Written by Lukas Stefanko, Malware Researcher at ESET The recent rise in cryptocurrency scams appearing on the Android platform in disguise has shown that such incidents are not exclusive to PCs and also highlight the importance of knowing what to look out for so you do not unintentionally take part. The growing prices and popularity of cryptocurrencies don’t just attract masses of potential users, but also inspire cyber-crooks to find new and creative ways to get their sticky fingers on
| How To’s ,Android ,cryptocurrency |

How to watch out for Cryptocurrency scams

Guest written by Lukas Stefanko, Malware Researcher at ESET explaining the how important to know what to watch out for cryptocurrency scams on Android platform The recent rise in cryptocurrency scams appearing on the Android platform in disguise has shown that such incidents are not exclusive to PCs and also highlight the importance of knowing what to look out for so you do not unintentionally take part. The growing prices and popularity of cryptocurrencies don’t just attract masses of potential users,
| How To’s ,Android ,cryptocurrency |

Bitcoin will replace gold and soar in price to $700,000, says major investor

The entire bitcoin network could one day be worth more than $6 trillion, according to a partner at Pfeffer Capital – but other cryptocurrencies are doomed
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Taiwan tightening crypto laws amid money laundering fears

Taipei had been taking a neutral approach to cryptos. But a new government trading framework on Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies could change this The post Taiwan tightening crypto laws amid money laundering fears appeared first on Asia Times .
| Taiwan ,crypto-currency regulation ,anti money-laundering |

Why is Bitcoin rising again?

Crypto-currencies are soaring and Goldmans, George Soros and the Rockefellers are now in the game. Has the sector really legitimized? The post Why is Bitcoin rising again? appeared first on Asia Times .
| Russian oligarchs ,Bitcoin ,Digital Assets Indices |

So what comes after Bitcoin?

While crypto-currencies look set to be with us for a while, the future might not include the original token that remains the market's dominant player The post So what comes after Bitcoin? appeared first on Asia Times .
| the future ,crypto-currencies ,Bitcoin |

Bitcoin price surges by a third as cryptocurrency breaks above $9,000

Bitcoin's recent price rise has given a big boost to other cryptocurrencies, with some experiencing gains of more than 20 per cent over the last 24 hours
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Icelandic bitcoin fugitive caught in Amsterdam

Dutch authorities are preparing to extradite Stefansson, who claims he was held without charge in Iceland and was legally allowed to leave prison The post Icelandic bitcoin fugitive caught in Amsterdam appeared first on Asia Times .
| Iceland ,The Great Bitcoin Heist ,Sindri Thor Stefansson |

Suspect in Iceland's 'Big Bitcoin Heist' escapes prison

A prisoner in Iceland suspected of masterminding the theft of about 600 computers used to mine bitcoin has managed to escape custody and flee the nation.
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Bitcoin boosted as IMF boss Christine Lagarde praises cryptocurrency and suggests it could transform the way people save and invest

Bitcoin just got a boost from the world's leading financial authority, as IMF boss says cryptocurrency could have 'a significant impact on how we save, invest and pay our bills'
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Digital currencies could coexist alongside traditional banks - IMF boss

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund ( IMF) has said the growth of bitcoin and other digital currencies could make the global financial system safer. Christine Lagarde said some tools built using the technology behind bitcoin, which are known collectively as crypto-assets, hold the potential to revolutionise the world of high finance by making it faster, cheaper and safer. In a blogpost as politicians and central bankers gather in Washington for the IMF’s regular spring meetings, Lagarde said there
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Bitcoin price - latest updates: Leading cryptocurrency falls back below $7,000

The value of bitcoin skyrocketed in late 2017 and its rapid rise generated huge amounts of interest in it and the 1,567 other varieties of cryptocurrency available online.
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Cryptocurrency traders use old gold in drive to draw Islamic investors

The global surge of interest in bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies extends into the Gulf and southeast Asia, the main centres of Islamic finance
| Turkey ,Saudi Arabia ,Science & Technology |

RBI must ensure safety of proposed cryptocurrency

Placing a ban on all regulated entities, including banks, from dealing in virtual currencies like bitcoins, the RBI of India said it is exploring a “fiat digital currency”
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Tough road ahead for the crypto hedge fund

As Bitcoin market prices continue to fall and global regulation measures tighten, an increasing number of newly-launched crypto-related hedge funds are closing
| crypto hedge funds ,2017 ,Bitcoin |

Market slides as Twitter confirms ban

Bitcoin drops below $8,000 again after Twitter joins Facebook and Google in banning ads for ICO tokens, exchanges or wallets to 'ensure community safety'
| Twitter ,crypto-currency ad ban ,Facebook |

Twitter CEO says Bitcoin will become dominant

Jack Dorsey says Bitcoin will become the single global currency within the next decade but 'does not have the capabilities' to become effective right now
| Jack Dorsey ,Bitcoin ,Square |