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Switzerland And Israel Just Partnered Up In A Crypto & Blockchain Regulation Initiative

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In the latest news about regulation, the minister for finance in Switzerland, Ueli Maurer, recently visited Israel along with the State Secretary for International Financial Matters, Joerg Gasser – to discuss about potential partnership between the two countries.

In a nutshell, the minister’s goal is to gain bank access to Israeli markets and allow Swiss banks to trade there. As Reuters reported, the two nations are now officially in an agreement to collaborate on financial technology, cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation following the discussions in Israel.

Meanwhile, Gasser confirmed the rumors that he was preparing a set of blockchain regulation methods and factors. As he said, this set of regulation methods will be live by the end of the year – with a goal for the parliament to approve them in 2019.

With this, Switzerland again confirmed its positive stance towards cryptocurrencies – especially towards startups and researchers who are willing to get blockchain-friendly regulation. The country is also a home to Zug, which is a small Alpine town that has turned into a blockchain hub, referred to as Crypto Valley in a nod to California’s Silicon Valley tech hub.

However, organizations in Switzerland still have difficulties in opening bank accounts over the central bank concerns regarding the opaque nature of crypto-crowdfunding. Israel, on the other hand, is also looking forward to a new change. As the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year added:

“Is the fate of banks that they will eventually disappear? Yes. The answer is Yes. Does it need to happen tomorrow? And do we need to do it through Bitcoin? That’s a question mark.”

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Criminals Are Threatening Business Owners In Amsterdam Demanding 50,000 Euros Worth Of Bitcoin

Business owners in Amsterdam express their worries in today’s crypto news about criminals who are threatening to harm their businesses unless they pay them insanely high amounts of bitcoin. According to local NLTimes, multiple businesses received emails where the criminals demand more than 50,000 euros worth of bitcoin. If the business owners fail to pay the extorted sum, the criminals threaten that they will plant hand grenades where the business are or as a second option, the business will be shot upon. As a precaution, businesses are required to shut down in Amsterdam for an indefinite period of time in case explosive devices are found or a shooting takes place. A piece of the email threat reads:
 “You probably noticed how many entrepreneurs have had to close their doors recently by order of the municipality. To prevent you from being the next one, you must immediately take action.’’
In order to pay the extortion fee, the business owners are instructed to open a new account on two crypto exchanges and them being Coinbase and Coinmama. Next up they have to buy bitcoins on either one of the exchanges and then transfer them to a required address. At least three coffee shops have already received a threat like this in Amsterdam and also a few nightclubs. The criminals even said that the extortion fee will be doubled if the owners don’t make the payment in five days. The email recipients must keep the threat confidential and they are warned for informing the police or any other law enforcement body. If they don’t maintain the confidentiality, the extortion fee will reach a stunning 200,000 euros. However, there is no single business registered to have paid the said amount.
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Fake Debt Collectors Manage To Steal $50,000 In BTC From Four People In Australia

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Venezuela’s Growing Interest In Bitcoin Trading: A Way Out Of The Hyperinflation Exodus

We have been covering the economic crisis in Venezuela on many occasions on our DC Forecasts crypto news site - and the hyperinflation that has been staggering for many residents of the country. The good news, however, is that Venezuelans have found a way out of the crisis - in Bitcoin. According to Coin Dance, more than 300 million Bolivars (Venezuela's fiat currency) have been traded last week only - and the record could only be broken this week, knowing that more than 292 million Bolivars have already been traded.  
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Venture Capital Firm Owner Announced That He Will No Longer Invest In Crypto Projects

The founder of Beijing-based venture capital firm named BitFund made his announcement public that he will no longer invest in blockchain projects or ICOs in the latest crypto news today. The founder, Li Xiaolai, publicly announced:
 “From this day on, Li Xiaolai personally will not invest in any projects (whether it is blockchain or early stage). So, if you see ‘Li Xiaolai’ associated with any project (I have been associated with countless projects without my knowledge, 99% is not an exaggeration), just ignore it. I plan to spend several years to contemplate on my career change. As for what I’m doing next, I’m not sure just yet.”
There might be a few reasons why Li decided to move away from the crypto sector mostly because of the crackdown on ICOs by the Chinese government and also because of the rise in scams in the crypto space. A Chinese national TV released a documentary about the technology claiming that blockchain has the potential to surpass the success of the Internet. However, just after the release of the documentary, the government of China tightened the ban saying that ICOs are considered as illegal fundraising tools. The government stated:
 “Such activities are not really based on blockchain technology, but rather the practice of speculative blockchain concepts for illegal fundraising, pyramid schemes and fraud. The main features are as follows:
  1. Risk of illegal activities, unregulated overseas markets and inability to track or monitor transactions made in ICOs.
  2. Illegal operations like profit-generating pyramid schemes and creating Ponzi schemes by describing them as ‘financial innovations.’’
Li does still hold a huge amount of Bitcoin worth billions of dollars but more investors are turning away because the multi-billion investor Li left the crypto space as the major managing partner.
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