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Category Archive: Asia

IBM Watson uses the Blockchain in Singapore

IBM Watson project and the Bitcoin blockchain are two new technologies that might change the way we live and work in the near future.



Today tech giant IBM opened a new incubator with 5,000 computer technicians that aim at creating several prototypes by using the IBM Watson AI tools and the Bitcoin Blockchain.
This innovative environment is called the Watson Centre and it is situated in the Marina Bay in Singapore and in the IBM Garage, specialized in developing blockchain applications thanks to the IBM Open Standards tools within the Global Entrepreneur program that was launched back in 2010.
Randy Walker, CEO at IBM for the Asian zone, explained this project with these words:
“Watson and blockchain are two technologies that will rapidly change the way we live and work, and our clients in Asia Pacific are eager to lead the way in envisioning and creating that future.”

IBM Watson and blockchain



This new center comes thanks the study of the distributed ledger applications started back in 2015 when IBM joined the Hyperledger project.

Also, at the beginning of 2016, Chris Ferris, CTO at IBM, became the project leader of the aforesaid open-source blockchain project.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Infographic: Bitcoin Popularity Worldwide

Bitcoin Popularity Worldwide - infographic

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jorge

Philippines get its first Bitcoin ATM

(CoinTelegraph) The Philippines welcomes its first Bitcoin ATM. Brought by Satoshi Citadel Industries and Bitmarket.ph,
the machine will be ordered from Skyhook and will cost $US 999. ATMs
are no longer exciting news, yet this one is a lot smaller in size and
it will speak to the success of Bitcoins on a global scale. The ATM will
appeal to a wealth of people and cultures with money to trade and
transactions to process.

A better understanding of Project Skyhook

What is Skyhook? Skyhook is an open-source Bitcoin ATM.
Selling Bitcoins was once difficult, and many people were tired of
depending on exchanges and centralized banks to buy Bitcoins. Skyhook
changed everything. The company developed a tiny and secure machine
everyone can use to exchange Bitcoins.
It comes with a hefty security mounting plate and a password-on-boot
options. It someone steals it, you have nothing to worry as your
Bitcoins will be safe. The ATM accepts Australian, US, and Canadian
dollars, as well as Argentinean Pesos, Yuan, Euros, and numerous other
currencies.
Easy to set up, Skyhook comes with a detailed guide you should use to
get started. Buyers will require a Wi-Fi or wired internet connection, a
power cable, and Bitcoins to sell. The touch-screen graphical interface
of Skyhook will ease your job to buy Bitcoins and make use of the QR code for wallet address recognition.
Skyhook sets Bitcoin prices automatically using major exchanges.
Afterwards, it adds a minimum price protection so that you can get paid
for using Bitcoins. The ATM machine is excellent for vendors,
storefronts, bars, meet-ups, and merchants. Set your rate and start
trading.

Bitcoin, a global phenomenon now available in compact size in the Philippines

Unlike the other two popular Bitcoin machines, Lamassu and Robocoin,
Skyhook is a lot smaller, and of course, less expensive. Owned by a
Filipino company known as Bitmarket.ph, locals will finally be able to
trade Bitcoins with Philippine pesos and not have to worry about
exchange rates. To use Bitmarket.ph all you have to do is activate and
access your account. Next, type your transaction’s details (details of
the buyer and item for sale). Enter your selling price and exchange it
in Bitcoins immediately.
Generate a QR code and use the code to share it with clients.
Bitmarket additionally offers cash settlements where you can convert
Bitcoins into Philippine pesos daily. Bitcoins provide fast, real time
transactions to customers. Trading Bitcoins keeps people away from
chargebacks, bank fees, and commissions. Unlike other forms of exchange,
Bitcoins provide transparency where you can track each one of your
transactions in real time. Vendors accepting Bitcoins are essentially
adding value to their business by gaining a competitive advantage as a
first adopter and cutting costs.
Now that the Philippines is finally welcoming its first Bitcoin ATM,
people will “dispense Bitcoins for Pesos on the spot in a matter of
seconds at competitive and fair rates.”

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admin

Malaysian retail giant i-Pmart will hold 100% of its Bitcoin Payments

(CoinDesk) Another e-commerce giant has joined the bitcoin world, with major
Malaysian online mobile phone and electronic parts retailer i-Pmart
adding it to the list of accepted payment methods last week.
CEO
and founder Mart Tang also said the company will hold onto the bitcoins
it earns and watch the price rise, rather than convert them into local
fiat currency.
Although based in Malaysia, the company ships
worldwide from outlets in its home country, plus China and the US. The
bitcoin option was introduced first to the Malaysian site only, though
international customers may still use that version.
All other i-Pmart sites worldwide will start accepting about 20 days from now, as soon as the integration process is complete.

Low-key launch

What’s most surprising about i-Pmart’s
decision is the lack of fanfare with which bitcoin was added to the
list of options. Rather than publicizing it, or even celebrating the
announcement with its 730,000+ fans
on Facebook, the company added the bare-bones line “We accept bitcoin”
and an icon into its long list of existing payment options.
ipmart options
i-Pmart
is also a big seller of litecoin mining equipment, selling GPU-based
rigs both to advanced users to self-assemble with the ‘Savvy Pack’, and a ‘Newbie Pack’ for beginners that includes the option to have i-Pmart assemble, host and even operate the hardware for them.
Despite this, however, the company is not adding litecoin as a payment option yet.

Bitcoin fan

CEO
Tang said his interest in bitcoin came from being an IT entrepreneur
always searching the Internet for the latest tech information and
gadgets.
Shortly after absorbing everything he could about bitcoin
and other digital currencies, he began hearing about merchants in other
countries accepting bitcoin and studied how to become a digital
currency miner himself.
“This gives me more insight into bitcoins and others types of coin on how it works and benefits from it,” he said.

“That’s
how I have started to think if I have customers who want to use bitcoin
to purchase my products online which gives convenience of various types
of payment choice especially those who do not prefer to pay using their
credit card, cash or other mode of payment.”

He then
sat down with his web development team to discuss how to integrate
bitcoin as a mode of payment in the business portal www.ipmart.com
globally.

“[I’m] looking forward to the new world of
virtual payment choice, which I believe can be the future of global
virtual currency that people might embrace, especially the Gen Y.”
“I
am holding the bitcoin. Because having a very big confidence the price
of bitcoin is not the rates of today USD 650, should be higher than this
price very soon.”

Company background

The i-Pmart Group of Companies was founded in 2001, and has focused mainly on the international market since 2005. It has ‘MSC status’ in Malaysia, meaning it is part of the country’s ‘Multimedia Super Corridor’ initiative designed to promote Malaysia as a regional center for world-class technology businesses.
The
group now consists of domestic and internationally-focused retail
sites, plus arms specializing in management, development, and logistics.

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admin

Bitcoin Regulation Update – 03/07/14

(BitcoinMagazine) This
week saw the outing (or not) of Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s alleged
inventor, who is said to have abruptly disappeared from the online
forums he was known to frequent in Bitcoin’s early days. Though the man
alleged to be Nakamoto, who was living under a different name in the
United States, denied involvement with Bitcoin, Newsweek, the
publication that broke the story, stands behind their work. The early
response from the online Bitcoin community could best be described as a
low grade form of moral outrage, combined with a dash of horror. What
seems to have upset Bitcoiners most is the fact that a media outlet was
able to identify and publicly name a person who clearly was not
interested in being identified, using little more than public
information and basic detective work. To the extent that the majority of
crypto enthusiasts value privacy, if not anonymity, the Satoshi
Nakamoto affair does not bode well.
Canada-based Bitcoin exchange Vault of Satoshi announced via Facebook on Thursday that it would discontinue
support for US customers due to an “increasingly hostile” regulatory
environment. The exchange, which connects users with others looking to
trade crypto currencies for fiat currencies, claimed to be facing
considerable difficulties complying with FinCEN’s anti-money laundering
rules, not the least of which was FinCEN’s policy disallowing the filing
of paper reports by money service businesses and the seeming
incompatibility of the online reporting system with foreign businesses.
The decision to abandon the US market entirely seems to be a fairly
drastic response to US law, which could rightly be described as overly
complicated. Vault of Satoshi is neither the first nor the only non-US
based company to face US regulatory requirements, so it isn’t clear why
it seems to be having unusual difficulty in this area.  The company’s
Bitcoin to US dollar volume on Friday stood at 280 coins as of 5:00 PM
CST, compared to 314 for Bitcoin to Canadian dollars. Under the new
policy, US traders will be unable to deposit or withdraw cash from the
exchange, but will be permitted to trade coins.
Yet another exchange, this time Canadian company Flexcoin, informed customers this week that it is insolvent
as the result of a hack induced theft and would have no choice but to
cease operations. The exchange lost an estimated $500,000 worth of coins
in its hot wallet, but a spokesman said that customer coins in cold
storage would be returned to their owners.  Flexcoin referred to its
terms of service, reminding its customers that they agreed not to hold
Flexcoin liable for theft, while informing everyone else that they were
out of luck. The operative verbiage states that “Flexcoin is not
responsible for insuring any bitcoins stored in the Flexcoin system.”
Whether this will be sufficient to ward off civil liability remains to
be seen.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs service in the United Kingdom has reportedly dropped
a plan to apply value added taxes to mined bitcoins and Bitcoin
exchange transactions. However, the treasury maintained in a brief
delivered to British lawmakers that the 20% VAT still applies to goods
and services purchased with bitcoins, just the same as it would if those
same goods and services were purchased with Pounds. After a careful
review, HM Treasury was more likely to have discovered the near
impossibility of taxing Bitcoin at the point of exchange or the point of
creation, than to have determined that it falls outside the scope of
transactions subject to the tax.  Merchants, on the other hand, are
already accustomed to collecting VAT and equipped with the
infrastructure both to report it and to comply with the audit
requirements of the British government. The UK has developed a
reputation in the Bitcoin community of late for being comparatively
friendly to crypto currency from a regulatory standpoint and more
accessible than US regulators.
Vietnam’s Communist government has officially banned
all Bitcoin transactions. The Vietnamese central bank announced the
policy, citing Bitcoin’s alleged role in promoting money laundering and
other criminal activity. The bank did not specify how the ban would be
enforced or what the penalties for non-compliance would be. The
Vietnamese government maintains restrictive capital controls (ostensibly
to protect the Dong against speculators), that Bitcoin could be used to
subvert. Few exchanges offer the ability to convert from Bitcoin to the
Vietnamese Dong.  However, other currencies, such as the US dollar, are
in common use on Vietnam’s streets, especially in urban centers.
Japan has announced
that it will not attempt to regulate Bitcoin transactions carried out
within its borders on the grounds that bitcoins are not considered a
currency. However, Japanese banks will be prohibited from buying or
selling bitcoins. The Japanese government also clarified that it intends
to treat Bitcoin as a commodity and subject it to the applicable
taxation regime. Japan is the home of Mt. Gox, the collapsed Bitcoin
exchange which is currently the subject of a bankruptcy filing in that
country, along with at least one criminal probe and numerous civil
suits.

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