Indonesian government studying Bitcoin’s usefulness as an investment
The Indonesian government is considering Bitcoin’s use as an investment instrument, the Trade Ministry’s Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (Bappebti) has said.
“Using Bitcoin as a payment instrument is prohibited, but how about using it as an investment instrument? Is this allowed or not?” Bappebti head Bachrul Chairi said on Tuesday in Jakarta, as reported by kompas.com.
Indonesian Law No. 7/2011 on currency states the Rupiah is the only official transaction and payment instrument in the country.
Bachrul said Bappebti is studying the possible use of Bitcoin as an investment instrument. “Through the study, we want to see if Bitcoin can be treated as a digital asset,” he said.
Market supervision and development bureau head Dharmayugo Hermansyah at Bappebti said the organization saw great potential in Bitcoin product trading.
Separately, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that no regulation in the country prohibited its citizens from investing in the cryptocurrency. “It is up to the people to use Bitcoin as an investment instrument,” she stressed.
First Bitcoin freight deal transports wheat from Russia to Turkey
Cryptocurrencies are making inroads into food commodity trading.
The first freight deal settled in Bitcoin was executed last month on a vessel carrying wheat from top shipper Russia to Turkey, according to Prime Shipping Foundation, the venture behind the transaction.
The consignment was part of pilot testing of Prime Shipping Foundation’s blockchain payment system for bulk commodities, said Chief Executive Officer Ivan Vikulov.
The ledger-based digital technology will enable immediate processing of payments and conversion into and out of cryptocurrencies, according to the company, a partnership between Gibraltar-based Quorum Capital Ltd. and ship broker Interchart LLC. The group is also planning to create its own digital currency.
CEO of Russia’s largest bank: Cryptocurrencies should not be banned
Influential Russian banker Herman Gref, head of Sberbank, has reaffirmed his position in opposing a ban of cryptocurrencies.
Russian authorities and financial officials should be tolerant of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Russian news agency TASS quotes Sberbank CEO Herman Gref as stating. The banker went a step further, stressing that cryptocurrencies are yet to be understood and any regulation should be measured and considered, not reactionary.
Gref said “It [crypotocurrencies] should not be banned, as it is a great new technology in development, which no one is yet to comprehend.”
In mid-2016, amid the Russian finance ministry’s (failed) attempt to introduce a bitcoin ban bill that criminalized bitcoin adopters, Gref openly spoke of holding a small amount of bitcoin and opposing the bill. At the time, Russia’s finance ministry proposed a prison sentence up to 7 years for bitcoin adopters.
Brisbane Airport to accept Bitcoin
Brisbane Airport has branded itself as the world’s first digital currency friendly airport.
The Aussie airport has partnered with a number of retailers and TravelbyBit. Travellers will soon be able to use TravelbyBit’s cryptocurrency payment system, which includes Bitcoin and other digital currencies, to dine and shop at many different stores across both terminals.
The partnership reinforces Brisbane Airport’s aim to support local businesses, improve the passenger experience, and become a leader in the airport digital innovation space.
From airport transport to luxury hotel accommodation, and food and entertainment venues in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, Brisbane has been rebranded by locals as ‘Crypto Valley’ with more than 20 merchants in the area now taking digital currency payments.
Caleb Yeoh, CEO of TravelbyBit, said “Whenever you travel overseas you have to deal with multiple currencies and you never know what exchange rates the banks are charging you. Here at TravelbyBit we are promoting the Bitcoin travel movement. Digital currency for world-wide travel. It’s simple, safe and there’s no bank fees,” Mr Yeoh said.
Stock trading app Robinhood to launch Bitcoin & Ethereum trading
Customers in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana and New Hampshire will be able to trade bitcoin and ethereum through the app beginning in February, Robinhood announced Thursday. In the meantime, all customers can now track prices and receive alerts for 16 cryptocurrencies on the app.
Robinhood launched about six years ago as a way for customers, mostly younger investors, to trade stocks through their smartphones for free. Robinhood also has a premium paid service, and in December launched options trading. The company now has more than 3 million users, with 78 percent falling into the so-called millennial age category of 18 to 35 years old.
For cryptocurrency trading, Robinhood will have no investment minimums or maximums, and no withdrawal limits. The start-up will hold most of the digital coins offline in what is called cold storage. The practice prevents hackers from stealing the coins.
Blockchain News 25 January 2018
Author: Sara Bauer