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Bitcoin surges again after dramatic fall this year

NEW YORK: Bitcoin hit a three-week high on Tuesday and has surged nearly 100 percent from its lowest level this year, as its recovery continued after South Korea’s financial regulator eased its stance on cryptocurrencies, weeks after it considered shutting down digital currency exchanges. Analysts cited South Korean news agency Yonhap, which reported Choe Heung-sik, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, as saying that the government will support cryptocurrency trading if “normal transactions” are made.…

‘Bitcoin has pretty much failed as currency’

LONDON: Bitcoin has failed as a currency measured by standard benchmarks, and is neither a store of value nor a useful way to buy things, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Monday. “It has pretty much failed thus far on ... the traditional aspects of money. It is not a store of value because it is all over the map. Nobody uses it as a medium of exchange,” Carney told students at London’s Regent’s University. But the crypto-currency’s underlying technology may still prove useful as a way to verify financial…

US policymakers ponder tougher rules for cryptocurrencies

NEW YORK: US regulators on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of officials saying they may need new powers to regulate cryptocurrencies which pose risks the investing public does not recognize. Bitcoin and other digital currencies have seen demand soar in recent weeks along with their value, accompanied by a rise in questionable investment scams that has prompted increased attention by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the main agencies overseeing US…

US Senate to spotlight virtual currencies as bitcoin plunges

WASHINGTON: Digital currencies such as bitcoin will be in the spotlight again on Tuesday as lawmakers in the U.S. Senate question top markets watchdogs over how to better regulate the highly volatile and risky emerging asset class. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will give testimony to the Senate Banking Committee amid growing global unease about the risks virtual currencies pose to investors and…

Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time after hitting $19,511

TOKYO: Bitcoin plunged 20 percent to a three-month low on Tuesday, its latest sharp loss following a series of setbacks for the cryptocurrency that, with a collapse across global mainstream markets adding to the selling. The virtual currency fell to $6,190 for the first time since mid-November, according to Bloomberg News, and represents the latest hammering for a unit that saw a stratospheric 26-fold rise last year. Tuesday's collapse comes just six weeks after bitcoin hit a record high of $19,511, fuelled by a flood…

Bank bans bitcoin purchases via credit card

LONDON: Lloyds Banking Group on Monday joined major US banks in banning purchases of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via credit card amid debt and security concerns. An LBG spokesman said the ban was across its Lloyd Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA branded credit cards. In a brief statement, he said LBG does "not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies". Read More: Anonymous philanthropist makes $5 million bitcoin donation Over the past few days, US lenders Bank of…

Anonymous philanthropist makes $5 million bitcoin donation

LONDON: An anonymous benefactor has donated $5 million (3.53 million pounds) in bitcoin to the California-based Open Medicine Foundation, the non-profit research organisation said on Friday. The OMF said it had received $4 million on Friday, having received $1 million from the same donor last month, via the account that it holds with BitPay, a bitcoin payments firm that converted the donation into U.S. dollars. The money came from an anonymous donor calling themselves “Pine” from the Pineapple Fund, whose website says…

Japan orders broader checks after $530 million cryptocurrency theft

TOKYO: Japanese authorities said they would investigate all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country for security gaps and ordered Coincheck to raise its standards after hackers stole $530 million of digital money from the Tokyo-based exchange. The theft - one of the world’s biggest cyberheists - highlights the vulnerabilities in trading an asset that policymakers are struggling to regulate, as well as the broader risks for Japan as it aims to leverage the fintech industry to stimulate economic growth. The Financial…

Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange hacked, losing $530 million

TOKYO: Coincheck, a major cryptocurrency trading exchange in Tokyo, has been hacked into and has lost about 58 billion yen ($534 million) worth of virtual money, national broadcaster NHK reported on Friday. Coincheck posted on its website on Friday afternoon that it had suspended withdrawals of almost all cryptocurrencies. The exchange has already reported the incident to the police and to Japan’s Financial Services Agency, NHK said. In 2014, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, which once handled 80 percent of the world’s bitcoin…

Russia ready to regulate Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies

MOSCOW: Russia’s Finance Ministry said on Thursday it was working on legislation to regulate cryptocurrency transactions without fully banning them or legalising digital FX as a means of payment in Russia. Russia had initially said it would ban crypto-currencies as they could be used to launder money and finance terrorism. But as such currencies and particularly Bitcoin grew popular worldwide, Russian authorities have changed tack. The ministry said it had prepared a bill that would permit trade in cryptocurrencies…