Users Can Now Pre-Order New Crypto-Powered Beer Vending Machine: See Civic’s Toy At SXSW

The decentralized identity startup Civic has released a new vending machine that sells beer for virtual currencies. The company showcased the …
Users-Can-Pre-Order-New-Crypto-Powered-Beer-Vending-MachineUsers-Can-Pre-Order-New-Crypto-Powered-Beer-Vending-Machine

The decentralized identity startup Civic has released a new vending machine that sells beer for virtual currencies. The company showcased the vending machine a few months ago and it now aims at selling them around the world. Each of them has a price of $15,000 and they are available for pre-order.

Vending Machines Selling Beer for Bitcoin

The Civic BD10 Vending Machine enables users to dispense age or identity-gated products. The payment solution is already available with the machine. Each of the machines will come turn-key, plug-and-play and ready to stock with a product. Each machine has a capacity of 150-500 items depending on the size they have.

During a conversation with CoinDesk, Titus Capilnean from Civic said that the machines sold 150 beers per day making $7,600 in sales. The tokens from the sales were airdropped to SXSW attendees by the company.

According to Capilnean, iPhone users with the Civic Pay app downloaded and with a verified identity received enough CVC to buy a beer. Each of the beers had a price of 200 CVC each.

The transactions made through the application are all settled in virtual currencies, and the idea is to interact with them in a very easy way.

Although Capilnean did not provide information about potential partners, he said that the firm is talking with different firms to work with Civic’s products in places that need an improved alcohol distribution. Sporting events and bars could be places that could use these vending machines to verify the age of the individuals purchasing the drinks. Moreover, music festivals could provide an immediate opportunity for the firm.

Civic is currently the 137th largest digital currency exchange with a market capitalization of $26 million. Each CVC coin can be purchased for $0.0759.

Pakistani Bitcoin Scammers Arrested for Allegedly Stealing $250000 from Chinese Investors in Dubai

Violent crypto-related crime appears to be on the rise as eight Pakistani bitcoin scammers sentenced to one year in prison. This, after reportedly …

Police officials in Dubai, United Arab Emirates’ business and financial hub, have reportedly charged three Pakistani citizens for allegedly stealing approximately $250,000, or 1 million Dirhams (AED), from a group of Chinese expats.

The three men managed to steal the large amount of funds from four businessmen after convincing them to visit an apartment in Al Rafaa, Dubai towards the end of March last year, according to local news outlets.

Chinese Businessmen Lured Into Apartment, Tied Up

As detailed by local sources, the Chinese businessmen were targeted through a Facebook post which offered a cryptocurrency deal. The Pakistani men showed the victims what appeared to be proof that they actually owned as much bitcoin (BTC) as they were trying to sell. Presumably, this convinced the businessmen to go to the apartment where they were supposed to purchase a quarter of a million dollars worth of bitcoin.

When the unsuspecting Chinese expats arrived at the apartment, they were reportedly confronted by accomplices of the Pakistani criminals. The accomplices were dressed like local police officials and they managed to tie up and physically restrain the Chinese men at the apartment.

Police Track Attackers’ Car License Plate

However, one of the victims somehow managed to break free and he was also able to detain one of the accomplices. Eventually, police authorities arrived at the apartment, but the other attackers were able to take off with 1 million Dirhams and various other valuable items.

In order to track down the vehicle in which they had escaped, Dubai’s authorities conducted a search of the license plate of the criminals. The police officers were reportedly successful in their attempt to locate the attackers and the Pakistani men who had orchestrated the crime.

In total, authorities in the UAE have charged eight criminals for their alleged involvement in the crypto-related crime. However, only three offenders have been formally sentenced so far because there is currently not enough evidence to prosecute the others. As noted in the incident report, the criminals are all Pakistani residents and 38 years of age. Each offender has been sentenced to one year in prison.

No Real Awareness About Bitcoin In Pakistan

While this particular crime involving the Pakistani citizens took place in the UAE, there have been reports recently of police officials in Peshawar, Pakistan arresting a bitcoin trader. As reported by local news sources, two suspects had been taken into police custody and then released later. Both suspects were reportedly students and were let go – after being told that trading or using bitcoin is currently illegal in Pakistan.

According to Samaa TV, one of the students, named Hameed, revealed that there’s no real awareness about bitcoin in Pakistan. Hameed described the cryptocurrency’s use in Pakistan as follows: 

Bitcoin is a digital currency and it is not accepted by any central bank. It does not have a legal entity. People are getting to know about it through social media and investing in it.

“Vanishing Line Between Street Crime And Cybercrime”

Hameed also advised people not to make investments in bitcoin as he believes it’s quite risky and an unstable asset. Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has issued warnings to local residents regarding the use of cryptocurrencies – as the nation’s central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has instructed all local financial institutions to not offer banking services to those dealing in cryptocurrencies.

Violent cryptocurrency-related crimes have increased over the past year throughout the world. In September 2018, Louis Meza pleaded guilty for organizing a kidnapping and stealing ether (ETH) worth more than $1.8 million (at that time). Cyrus R. Vance, a Manhattan, New York district attorney notified the public regarding Vance’s guilty plea and remarked:

As alleged in this case, the defendants worked together to carry out a kidnapping, armed robbery, and theft of more than $1.8 million in cryptocurrency, in a violent attack that demonstrates the vanishing line between street crime and cybercrime.

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Tezos (XTZ) Market Cap Achieves $275.45 Million

Tezos (CURRENCY:XTZ) traded up 3.2% against the US dollar during the 1 day period ending at 7:00 AM ET on March 13th. Tezos has a total market …

Tezos (CURRENCY:XTZ) traded up 3.2% against the US dollar during the 1 day period ending at 7:00 AM ET on March 13th. Tezos has a total market cap of $275.45 million and $5.08 million worth of Tezos was traded on exchanges in the last day. In the last seven days, Tezos has traded up 7.5% against the US dollar. One Tezos coin can now be bought for approximately $0.45 or 0.00011656 BTC on popular exchanges including $20.33, $13.77, $24.43 and $7.50.

Here is how related cryptocurrencies have performed in the last day:

  • GXChain (GXC) traded down 3.6% against the dollar and now trades at $0.90 or 0.00023144 BTC.
  • Apex (CPX) traded 4.2% lower against the dollar and now trades at $0.0084 or 0.00000216 BTC.
  • Smoke (SMOKE) traded flat against the dollar and now trades at $0.0444 or 0.00001179 BTC.
  • DAPPSTER (DLISK) traded flat against the dollar and now trades at $0.0004 or 0.00000006 BTC.
  • Tezos (Pre-Launch) (XTZ) traded down 16.1% against the dollar and now trades at $3.26 or 0.00049283 BTC.

Tezos Coin Profile

Tezos (CRYPTO:XTZ) uses the hashing algorithm. Its launch date was July 1st, 2017. Tezos’ total supply is 763,306,930 coins and its circulating supply is 607,489,041 coins. The official message board for Tezos is www.tezos.ch. The Reddit community for Tezos is /r/tezos and the currency’s Github account can be viewed here. Tezos’ official Twitter account is @tez0s and its Facebook page is accessible here. The official website for Tezos is www.tezos.com.

Buying and Selling Tezos

Tezos can be purchased on the following cryptocurrency exchanges: $7.50, $18.94, $51.55, $24.68, $20.33, $10.39, $50.98, $33.94, $24.43, $13.77, $5.60 and $32.15. It is usually not currently possible to purchase alternative cryptocurrencies such as Tezos directly using U.S. dollars. Investors seeking to trade Tezos should first purchase Ethereum or Bitcoin using an exchange that deals in U.S. dollars such as GDAX, Changelly or Gemini. Investors can then use their newly-acquired Ethereum or Bitcoin to purchase Tezos using one of the aforementioned exchanges.

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Will stablecoins bring cryptocurrency into the mainstream?

Stablecoins are digital money collateralized to the value of an underlying asset, eliminating the volatility of other cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain is a technology with the ability to disrupt several industries (we wrote about it in our 5 Fintech Trends of 2019). It has several uses, and the technology aims to create a secure, transparent, decentralized payments system. It’s most popular use is to create cryptocurrencies.

The problem with cryptocurrencies

We all have heard the stories about people who became millionaires by investing in bitcoin, and also the stories of it losing its value just a few weeks later.

This happens because cryptocurrencies’ value is centered around speculation, so they fluctuate on a daily basis, which makes them unreliable as a currency.

Stabecoins aims to help in this regard – having the benefits of cryptocurrencies – transparency, security, privacy, simplicity) but without the volatility that comes with it.

What are stablecoins

Just like other cryptocurrencies, stablecoins are digital money that aims to mimic traditional stable currencies.

How? Well, just like other currencies, stablecoins are collateralized to the value of an underlying asset (which can vary). In general, there are 4 types:

  • Fiat-collateralized Stablecoins: These coins are backed by fiat currencies (like USD, EUR or GBP), which means that as long as that country’s economy stays stable, so is the currency.
  • Commodity-collateralized stablecoins: These coins are backed by other commodities like gold and other precious metals, oil, and even real estate. They have the potential to value overtime and make investing in gold or real estate achievable for everyone.
  • Crypto-collateralized stablecoins: These are stablecoins backed by other cryptocurrencies. They are very decentralized because everything runs on the blockchain and enjoy more liquidity. They have not gained much tractio mostly because of its complexity.
  • Non-collateralized stablecoins: These coins use an algorithmically governed approach to control the stablecoin supply. This is the most decentralized and independent form of stablecoin, as it isn’t collateralized to any other asset. However, it requires continual growth to be successful.
(Read more about the different types of stablecoins here.)

How can stablecoins help in the real world

Although complex in its structure, stablecoins can be a reality and bring a lot of advantages to users.

They can be used as a day to day currency, enabling digital payments everywhere and reducing the risks of cash use.

It can streamline recurring payments and P2P payments, making it easier for employers to have employees working remotely from all over the world.

Stablecoins can also be useful in diminishing inequality and helping developing countries around the world – the money sent by migrant workers to their families can now reach them in a faster way, with much lower fees, and without the stress of volatility of current cryptocurrencies.

It can also protect citizens in case of a crash of the local currency and hyperinflation.

Where is the future going

With all its advantages, there are still some setbacks for stablecoins: fiat-backed stablecoins are managed by a single entity, which means there is a need for a regular transparent audit of its reserve, to guarantee that the entity is actually backing up their stablecoins with real fiat.

It’s also constrained by the same regulations as fiat-currency, which means conversion is less efficient, and it has less liquidity.

There’s also the chance that the asset backing the currency crashes (be it fiat or other cryptocurrencies).

Stablecoins are still in the beginnings of its development and it’s still far from a mature level. However, its stability and advantages are certainly the reasons it might help cryptocurrencies come to the mainstream.

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Mexico’s Central Bank Publishes ‘Catch-22’ Rules Impacting Crypto Exchanges

This law stipulates that services that hold custody of users’ fiat money or cryptocurrencies (most brokers and exchange business models require this) …

The central bank of Mexico has published rules on crypto assets that put crypto exchanges in “a catch-22 type of situation,” the CEO of a local exchange explained to news.Bitcoin.com. They “essentially stipulated that they wouldn’t authorize any cryptocurrency to be offered by regulated financial companies.”

Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval

Regulating Mexico’s Crypto Industry

The Bank of Mexico (Banxico), the country’s central bank, published a circular in the Official Gazette of the Federation on Friday detailing crypto-related provisions for the regulation of financial technology institutions (ITFs).

Mexico's Central Bank Publishes 'Catch-22' Rules Impacting Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Tomas Alvarez, CEO of Mexican crypto exchange Volabit, explained to news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday that “A year ago a law to regulate fintech companies was passed by the Mexican Congress. This law stipulates that services that hold custody of users’ fiat money or cryptocurrencies (most brokers and exchange business models require this) have to apply for a license issued by the Mexican equivalent of the SEC (CNBV).”

He elaborated that the same fintech law “tasked the central bank of México (Banco de México) with the responsibility of determining which cryptocurrencies were authorized to be offered to the public by these regulated companies, and gave the Bank of México 12 months to come up with a secondary law to establish some kind of framework or list of authorized cryptocurrencies.” The CEO added:

The deadline was due to expire this month so last Friday Bank of Mexico published their secondary laws which essentially stipulated that they wouldn’t authorize any cryptocurrency to be offered by regulated financial companies.

Mexico's Central Bank Publishes 'Catch-22' Rules Impacting Cryptocurrency Exchanges

‘Catch-22’ Situation

The Bank of Mexico circular issued on Friday states that “Institutions may only enter into transactions with virtual assets that correspond to internal transactions, subject to the prior authorization granted by the Bank of Mexico.” In addition, the provisions specify that “They will not be eligible for obtaining the authorization” to directly provide their clients with cryptocurrency exchange, transmission or custody services.

Alvarez commented:

This is a catch-22 type of situation because, as a Mexican exchange, the law requires you to become a regulated financial institution (otherwise you would be operating illegally). However, once you obtain this license you would not have the authorization to list any cryptocurrencies, making it legally impossible to operate an exchange in Mexico with the fintech law in place.

Mexico’s Central Bank Publishes ‘Catch-22’ Rules Impacting Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Law in Effect

The provisions in the circular are subject to public consultation until June 5. However, Alvarez noted that “Officially the law is in effect since the moment it was published (last Friday) however it only applies to regulated fintech companies of which none exist yet because the process for becoming a regulated fintech company has not been determined yet by CNBV (Mexico’s SEC).”

He clarified, “Fintech companies in Mexico are operating with a special waiver until the process for registration is ready thus allowing companies to register for the license. This will happen in around 6 months,” asserting:

It is important to note that the comments submitted during the consultation are non-binding and the general sentiment is that Bank of Mexico will ignore them.

What do you think of the rules set by the Bank of Mexico? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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