An Overview of Geographical Restrictions Imposed by Cryptoasset Exchanges

The regulatory treatment of cryptasset-focused exchanges has been an ongoing debate which is still unclear in most jurisdictions spreading uncertainty and doubt among exchanges worldwide. Especially in light of the SEC’s ruling against the founder of EtherDelta for running an unregistered securities exchange.

Exchanges are the main on-ramps into the cryptoasset ecosystem and play a critical role in raising awareness and fostering adoption into the space.The recent China ban has led to the migration of exchanges to regulation-friendlycountries such as Malta and Bermuda, but no empirical study has been conducted yet on how exchanges are reacting to regulatory uncertainty and what the subsequent consequences it will bring.

This article is an overview of a study conducted by Mosaic on geographical restrictions imposed by crypto exchanges.We have gathered information on 100 exchanges and reviewed their relevant legal documents, including their terms of service and user agreement documents.

We found out that 44 of the exchanges had terms of services which only allowed users from certain countries to access their platform and strictly prohibited citizens or residents of specific regions from opening an account. While the remaining 56 exchanges did not explicitly stipulate any user restriction within their user agreements.

  • In the case of 33 of the 44 exchanges, 12 of them were launched in 2014, 11 in 2017 and the remaining 10 exchanges came into existence in 2013. Although these 44 exchange each registered their corporations in a variety of locations, with the United States being the leading destination (7), followed by China (4), the UK (3), South Korea (3), Singapore (2), and Canada (2).
  • Most interestingly, 30 of the aforementioned 44 exchanges blacklist US citizens and residents, subsequently follows Iran (24), North Korea (24), Syria (23), Sudan (20), Cuba (19), and Iraq (17).

Figure 1: Map of the Geographical Restrictions Imposed by Crypto Exchanges

Source: Mosaic.io

Figure 2: Top 10 Restricted Destinations based on the Number of Exchanges

Source: Mosaic.io

  • The 30 exchanges that restricted access to Americans are incorporated in fairly spread out destinations, with their leading locations being China (3), South Korea (3) and Australia (3). We found that the 3 exchanges based in Australia did not explicitly restrict US citizens but rather only accepted Australian users. Whereas most of the remaining exchanges explicitly prohibit people based in the United States.
  • 37 out of the 44 exchanges such as Bitfinex, Binance, Gemini, Coinbase, and Kraken explicitly prohibit users from certain regions. For instance, Gemini restricts clients from countries embargoed with the United States such as Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and Iran, as well as countries which have received sanctions from the United Nations. On the other hand, Coinbase products such as its regular exchange, Coinbase Prime, and Coinbase Pro are not available to persons who have their place of residence in Germany.
  • 10 of these 44 exchanges such as Tidebit, The Rock Trading, CoinMate, and OkCoin state that only citizens or residents of specific countries are eligible for their service. OkCOin allows only residents based out of California, USA, while Tidebit only opens its platform to citizens and residents of China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Uniquely, the Rock Trading accepts only users from which SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) transfers are available.

In the midst of regulatory uncertainty and doubt, the majority of the observed crypto exchanges have had recourse to rigid measures such as the closing of their doors to certain countries until the presence of more regulatory clarity.

The United States is the most cited country on the analyzed exchange’s terms of service — and although less frequently mentioned, residents based in the state of New York, Washington, and New Hampshire are also specifically restricted. This speaks volumes as to how exchanges perceive the regulatory environment in the US. Additionally, citizens of countries enduring major conflicts, sanctioned by the United States or governed by an authoritarian regime such as Syria and North Korea — are also among the most banned regions.

While the ostensible value proposition behind crypto assets such as Bitcoin is to provide an alternative and censorship-free digital asset, centralized exchanges are one of the most important stakeholder. They act as a notable gateway for users new and old within the ecosystem, but arguably also undermine the true value of certain cryptoassets in countries where an alternative store of value could be a solution.


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Author: Eliezer Ndinga and Nikhita Gupta
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Exploring Zero Commission Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms

Cryptocurrency exchanges have long been criticized for charging exorbitant trading fees on every single transaction. As a result, the zero commission business model is gaining popularity, as is evident by the rise of new digital exchanges such as Robinhood, COBINHOOD, and now, Change.



 

New Zero Commission Exchanges

According to a study, only eight percent of Americans have invested in cryptocurrencies. This is in spite of a larger proportion of the population having taken interest in digital currencies. People abandon the idea of investing in the cryptocurrency sector because of a range of factors, including market volatility, high transaction costs, and trading fees associated with cryptocurrency exchanges. Zero commission exchanges are seeking to overcome trading fees as a deterrent to participation in the cryptosphere.

Most recently, on July 18, 2018, Singapore-founded cryptocurrency company, Change, announced the launch of its zero-fee digital currency exchange. The company has developed a mobile application that makes buying and selling digital currency more accessible. At this time, the platform allows its customers to invest in a number of currencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Litecoin, and Tether.

The trading application, named Change Wallet, can presently only be downloaded by European citizens. The slow rollout is likely in place to ensure that the platform complies with laws and regulations specific to certain geographies. Nevertheless, the exchange is rather disruptive, especially when one considers that other companies charge a typical fee of around five percent per transaction.

Zero Commission: The Future?

Change isn’t the only cryptocurrency exchange to offer a zero-fee trading model to its users. The term was first introduced by Robinhood, one of its competitors. Launched by Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt in 2013, the Menlo Park based company revolutionized the traditional equity trading industry and became the first to introduce a zero trading fee business model. Despite critics being skeptical of the company’s business model and cash flow, it has managed to become a market leader with time.

After finding success with its zero trading fee business model in the securities market, the company launchedRobinhood Crypto in February 2018. Given that the strategy was well received by the cryptocurrency community, new exchanges also pivoted to a similar business model. Criticizing other digital currency exchanges, Tenev said that Robinhood Crypto does not seek to make large profits. Instead, the company’s aim is to merely break even.

Robinhood has diversified since its inception and offers its customers a wide variety of investment options. Tenev said of Robinhood, “It’s the only place right now where you can trade crypto, stocks, and options all in one place.” He also expressed the challenges of creating an exchange with such capacities that is also user-friendly, saying,

“For us to construct an experience that feels seamless and natural for customers, that for example want to sell an equity and use the proceeds to buy crypto, seamlessly, that’s been challenging not just from a product and design standpoint, but also infrastructure standpoint. There’s complexity under the hood, and our goal is to make it as seamless as possible in the process and make that complexity go away.”

Likewise, COBINHOOD is a relatively new cryptocurrency exchange that claims to be the first high volume exchange with zero trading fees. The company’s website also states that crypto assets are insured and largely stored in an offline vault. Given the relative frequency of exchange hacks, the extra security measures, along with a policy of 100% transparency and the zero-fee model, are likely contributing to the growing success of this exchange.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Rahul Nambiampurath
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This crypto exchange lets you make fiat and crypto investments in seconds

The cryptocurrency industry saw the worst first three months of 2018 when the market capitalization fell from $830 billion in January to under $300 billion at the beginning of February.



Yet, despite the issues regarding regulatory concerns, the potential threat of money laundering, and cryptocurrency exchange hacks, it doesn’t appear to be denting enthusiasm from investors. So much so, that aside from traders putting money into the more popular digital currencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin — they are now turning their attention to other coins to broaden out their portfolios.

And now there may be a solution for investors that makes it easier to do so.

Creating a platform that combines fiat and tokens

Cryptology.com is a next-generation cryptocurrency exchange that makes fiat and cryptocurrency trading easy and secure. Its user-friendly web platform provides attractive conditions for professionals and offers an option of a mobile app for those wanting to trade on the go.

A basic web version has gone live this month. An advanced professional version of the trading platform with margin trading is planned to be launched in Q3 2018. The official launch of the iOS and Android app took place in March and users can now trade cryptocurrency wherever they are. According to this blog, ‘it’s the first cryptocurrency exchange to combine tokens with easy fiat transactions’ such as Visa and Mastercard deposit options. Wire transfers for Europe are also on allowing for easy and secure trading.

Combining tokens and fiat transactions at the same time, Cryptology’s aim is to provide a user-friendly platform where newbies and experienced traders can use a credit card. Some of the problems that the team are striving to solve include the complexity of fiat transactions, hard-to-get rare tokens, high commissions, sluggish and complicated account verification, inactive customer support, lack of security, and cluttered interfaces, to name a few.

“We strive to create a single platform bringing together fiat transactions and a variety of tokens,” the exchange said. “Complex procedures will become a thing of the past, as users will be able to buy tokens with fiat currencies. Everything you need will be available on a single platform. You won’t have to deal with high commissions on fiat transactions, difficult KYC [Know-Your-Customer] procedures and slow support.”

Cryptology’s key advantage is an agreement with a payment system that permits it to manage fiat transactions in addition to offering its users competitive service fees. Other advantages include a 0 percent token withdrawal fee, 0 percent maker fee for token pairs, fast verification (just 30 seconds), and live support.

The web version is comfortable to use and absolutely intuitive. All the trading operations are secure and easy to carry out both for experts and newbies. Verification is quick and not complicated with support team on 24/7 to immediately handle any issue occurred. Trading with a minimum order size of just 0.01 EUR is open with 100% secure and quick transactions on cryptology.com.

Crypto withdrawals fees for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are charged at 0.0005 and 0.002 for Ethereum. A maker fee will be listed at 0.15 percent and a taker fee at 0.25 percent. There are no minimum deposits and no withdrawal limits. The minimum order size is as low as 0.01 in fiat currency or the equivalent of $0.01 in cryptocurrency.

Delivering a range of tokens on one platform

Operating out of Singapore, the digital currencies users can trade on the exchange are bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin. These cryptocurrencies are also paired with the USD, Euro and USDT with more to be added in the future.

Several ERC20 tokens are also available on the exchange for trading, depositing, and withdrawal, with many more to be added. The goal is to offer a wide variety of tokens on a single minimalistic platform in a portfolio that is easy to manage.

With offices being opened in different parts of the globe Cryptology are working at building a truly international exchange. Services will first be offered to users in Europe, with plans to expand to the Japanese and US markets.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to grow, with new investors putting money into the industry, knowing where to go to expand a user’s portfolio is somewhat limited. Cryptology is aiming to fill this gap with their exchange that intends to provide mass access to the space that is fast and easy through a marketplace that caters to their every need.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Rebecca Campbell 
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Japan’s FSA Outlines New Five-Point Criteria for Cryptocurrency Exchange Regulations

In a bid to circumvent digital currency heists going forward, Japan’s Financial Services Agency is going to implement stricter guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

The move follows the major security breach at Coincheck in which the company lost nearly $530 million in NEM tokens to hackers.

Under the new guidelines, exchange operators registering with the authorities would have to meet five criteria:

First, exchanges would now be subject to stricter system management requirements. They would not be allowed to store currency in internet-connected computer. Also, exchanges would be required to set multiple passwords for currency transfers.

Second, exchanges would have to ramp up their efforts to prevent money laundering activities. This includes customer verification, particularly for large transfers.

Third, exchanges would have to run checks on customer account balances multiple times a day to detect signs of any unauthorized diversions. They would also be required to have appropriate rules prohibiting their officers from using client funds.

Fourth, the FSA is also planning to impose restrictions on the kind of cryptocurrencies allowed at these registered crypto exchanges. It will ban those cryptocurrencies that offer a high level of anonymity and used for money laundering activities.

Fifth, exchanges would be subject to stricter internal regulations – they would need to separate shareholders from management, as well as separate system development roles from asset management roles to prevent employees from rigging the system.

The new rules go beyond documentation and will involve on-site visits from officials as well. After reviewing registration applications from exchanges, the FSA will send inspectors to those that pass the initial screening.

The new five-point framework is expected to be implemented when the FSA begins accepting new registration applications again, expected this summer. Existing operators would also be required to meet these requirements.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Econotimes
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