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Russian Finance Ministry Rules Out Sale of Oil for Bitcoin

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Russian Finance Ministry Rules Out Sale of Oil for Bitcoin

Russian Finance Ministry Rules Out Sale of Oil for Bitcoin

The Russian government considers bitcoin as a payment option for small business transactions, not for oil exports, the country’s finance ministry has indicated. A top official emphasized the department means that cryptocurrencies may be used in barter deals, but not as legal tender.

Crypto Payments Not for Russian State Settlements, Ministry of Finance Says

Cryptocurrency payments, in terms of international transactions, are seen by the authorities in Moscow as an alternative option for small private business contracts, but this will not affect Russian oil deliveries. The clarification was made by the head of the finance ministry’s Financial Policy Department, Ivan Chebeskov, who recently spoke with reporters on the matter.

The ministry proposes to employ cryptocurrency as an asset, not as a means of payment, the high-ranking official remarked. That means digital currencies can be used in barter transactions — when a buyer formally exchanges bitcoins, or other cryptocurrencies, for a product or service, he explained. Quoted by RTVI, Chebeskov elaborated:

The task is to provide an alternative, and not to say that Russia is now paying for everything with crypto. This is not about state settlements but private business only.

The Minfin representative pointed out that oil would hardly be sold for bitcoins due to large volumes of these exports. And while not all of Russia’s partners would be able to transition to national currencies despite the increasing difficulties with U.S. dollar and euro payments, he believes crypto settlements are only possible under relatively small contracts and with friendly countries open to accepting coins.

Chebeskov’s comments come after an earlier statement by the head of the parliamentary Energy Committee, Pavel Zavalny, who mentioned bitcoin as a possible substitute for western currencies in Russian energy exports, those of natural gas in particular.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Russia has softened its stance on crypto payments within the context of foreign trade relations. In May, a provision allowing Russian companies to make such transactions for import and export purposes was added to the new bill “On Digital Currency” drafted by the Ministry of Finance.

Recognizing cryptocurrency as property in Russia’s Civil Code and amending an article on barter exchanges in the legislation governing foreign economic activities of Russian entities are also necessary to fully open the door for this type of deal, the report details.

The United States and its allies have been trying to prevent the Russian Federation from utilizing cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions imposed over its ongoing military invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Some global crypto platforms have already blocked Russian accounts, RTVI notes.

Do you think Russia may change its mind about crypto payments in oil trade? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Alchemy and Infura block access to Tornado Cash as Vitalik Buterin weighs in on debate

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Alchemy and Infura block access to Tornado Cash as Vitalik Buterin weighs in on debate

U.S. persons and entities must comply with the Treasury’s sanctions or face possible criminal consequences.

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Alchemy and Infura block access to Tornado Cash as Vitalik Buterin weighs in on debate

According to Twitter user @0xdev0, on Monday, Web3 development platform Alchemy and Infura.io blocked remote procedure call (RPC) requests to cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, preventing users from accessing the applications. The day prior, the U.S. Treasury placed 44 smart contract addresses linked to Tornado Cash in the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list. U.S. persons and entities are prohibited from blockchain or business interactions with Tornado Cash under t sanctions, with the possibility of criminal liabilities for violations.

The move came after the U.S. Treasury alleged individuals and groups had used the privacy protocol to launder more than $7 billion worth of crypto since 2019, including the $455 million stolen by the North Korea-affiliated Lazarus Group. Almost immediately after the announcement, stablecoin issuer Circle froze USD Coin funds held within Tornado Cash’s smart contracts. Meanwhile, programming repository GitHub took down the project’s main page and blocked developer access.

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, claimed that he used Tornado Cash to donate to Ukraine. The intent, as told by Buterin, was to protect the financial privacy of the recipients so that their enemy, the Russian government, would not have full details of the transaction.

I’ll out myself as someone who has used TC to donate to this exact cause.

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) August 9, 2022

Others have also pointed out the mixer’s privacy applications, such as for an individual getting paid in crypto who doesn’t want an employer to see their financial details, or paying for a service in crypto who doesn’t want the service provider to see the past transactions from their wallet. On the other hand, the tool has, in part, acted as a hotspot for enabling anonymous hackers to launder stolen funds from protocol exploits particularly cross-chain bridges. More than $2 billion worth of funds has been stolen from such applications year to date.

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Reddit partners with FTX to enable ETH gas fees for community points

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Reddit partners with FTX to enable ETH gas fees for community points

With the new integration, Reddit users will be able to purchase Ether from supported Reddit apps via FTX’s payment and exchange infrastructure platform FTX Pay.

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Reddit partners with FTX to enable ETH gas fees for community points

After moving away from Bitcoin (BTC) payments years ago, online forum Reddit now seems to be inching closer to embracing cryptocurrency payments via a new partnership with the FTX exchange.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX and Reddit announced in a joint statement on Tuesday that the platform intends to integrate Reddit’s Community Points in the United States, the European Union, Australia and other markets.

The partnership features the integration of FTX Pay as a payment and crypto exchange solution to unlock new crypto-enabled perks for Reddit Community Points. Introduced in May 2020, Reddit Community Points are a measure of reputation in communities or subreddits, allowing users to own a piece of their favorite communities.

“As a unit of ownership, points capture some of the value of their community. They can be spent on premium features and are used as a measure of reputation in the community,” Reddit said when launching the Community Points two years ago. Reddit Community Points are based on Arbitrum, one of the most Ethereum scaling solutions.

With the new integration, users will be able to purchase Ether (ETH) from supported Reddit apps via FTX’s payment and exchange infrastructure platform FTX Pay. The cryptocurrency can be used to pay blockchain gas fees, or network fees for their Community Points transactions on-chain.

“We’re always working to empower communities and introduce new ways to use Reddit, and decentralized, self-sustaining blockchain technology allows us to do that. By working with FTX, we’re able to do this at scale,” Reddit staff software engineer Niraj Sheth said.

Bankman-Fried noted that the partnership with Reddit marks FTX s commitment to empower online communities to harness the power of blockchain. “FTX Pay’s payment and exchange infrastructure integrates with Reddit Community Points, making the customer experience a more seamless process,” he added.

The news comes amid Arbitrum developer Offchain Labs launching the Arbitrum Nova chain on Tuesday. Arbitrum Nova, the second chain launched in the Arbitrum ecosystem, is designed to serve as the premier solution for Web3 gaming and social applications. Apart from Reddit and FTX, other firms like Google Cloud, Consensys, P2P and QuickNode participated in the launch by becoming inaugural members of Nova’s “Data Availability Committee.”

Related: Reddit announces new blockchain-backed ‘Collectible Avatars’

One of the most popular websites in the United States, Reddit has been largely involved in the crypto and blockchain industry for many years. The discussion platform is known for once allowing users to pay for their premium membership in Bitcoin but removing the opportunity in 2018.

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has been widely involved in crypto, launching a $100 million Web3 investment fund last year. Ohanian subsequently launched another $200 million Web3 and social media fund in collaboration with the Ethereum scaling solution Polygon.

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Is your SOL safe? What we know about the Solana hack | Find out now on The Market Report

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Is your SOL safe? What we know about the Solana hack | Find out now on The Market Report

On this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss whether your SOL is safe or not.

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Is your SOL safe? What we know about the Solana hack | Find out now on The Market Report

On this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss the latest updates concerning the recent Solana (SOL) hack.

To kick things off, we broke down the latest news in the markets this week:

Bitcoin realized price bands form key resistance as bulls lose $24K, significant whale activity between $22,000 and $24,800 adds to the complexity of the current spot market setup. Bitcoin (BTC) consolidated lower on Aug. 9 after familiar resistance preserved a multi-month trading range. When will we finally break out of this price range and make the move towards $30K?

Institutions flocking to Ethereum for 7 straight weeks as Merge nears: Report, “Greater clarity” around the Merge has driven institutional inflows into Ethereum products, according to a CoinShares report. Is the ETH merge finally around the corner and will it bring new all time highs to ETH or has the price already been factored into the current price?

Circle freezes blacklisted Tornado Cash smart contract addresses, Crypto data aggregator Dune Analytics said that, on Monday, Circle, the issuer of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, froze over 75,000 USDC worth of funds linked to the 44 Tornado Cash addresses sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list. Could this mark the end for Tornado Cash or is there a way they can redeem themselves?

Next up is a new segment called “Quick Crypto Tips,” which aims to give newcomers to the crypto industry quick and easy tips to get the most out of their experience. This week’s tip: Have some funds ready to buy further downturns.

Market expert Marcel Pechman then carefully examines the Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down. The experts also go over some markets news to bring you up to date on the latest regarding the top two cryptocurrencies.

After Marcel’s market analysis, our resident experts discuss whether your SOL is safe and the latest updates on the Solana hack. We also discuss why the network has been victim to so many hacks and downtimes. What exactly do these exploits mean for the Solana platform and if you should be worried.

Lastly, we’ve got insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. The analysts use Cointelegraph Markets Pro to identify two altcoins that stood out this week: Radicle’s RAD and DigiByte’s DGB.

Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry. Join the YouTube chat room, and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will be given a 1 month free subscription to markets Pro worth $100!

The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (4:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page and smash those like and subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.

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