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Bitcoin Gift Ideas: All I Want for Christmas Is Crypto!
It's said that offering a gift full-heartedly to someone is one of the most enjoyable aspects of life. This becomes even more prominent on Christmas when offering a gift is a gesture wrapped not only in traditional but also in emotional value. Since cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are now more popular than ever, there's a very good chance that someone you know may be either passionate about the concepts behind them or simply looking to find an awesome investment opportunity through them. If that's the case, or if you are simply looking to stray off the beaten path, you might consider some cool Bitcoin Christmas gift ideas for any Bitcoin enthusiast.

Presto has Filed a Constitutional Complaint Against the South Korean Government For Banning ICOs
About a year ago, the South Korean authorities banned initial coin offerings within the country. In response to this, a constitutional complaint has been filed in a South Korea court by Presto, a South Korean blockchain startup. The complaint alleged that by banning ICOs in the country, the government has acted unconstitutionally. Since the ban on ICOs came into effect about a year ago, the South Korean government has done nothing to address the situation. This has greatly affected startups looking to get funded through an ICO within the country. The constitutional complaint was reportedly filed by Presto, a South Korean blockchain startup. According to the announcement from Presto, the constitutional complaint filed by the startup alleged that the government's ban on all forms of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September last year is unconstitutional. As a result of this, Presto wants the government to review its stance.

The Milestone of 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs Installation Worldwide has been Crossed with Some Extras
Recently it was reported that the number of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide was about to reach a milestone of 4,000. Based on a recent report, the number has not only been reached, but has passed the said mark. Based on statistics from Coinatmradar, it has been revealed that the number of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide is now 4,060. The latest statistics are coming just a few weeks after the entire crypto community was anticipating a 4,000 milestone for BTC ATMs installed all over the world. Since the previous report came to light, the market has gone further down quite a lot and lost more than 50 percent of its value. Despite this drastic drop in price, the number of BTC ATMs installed across the globe is on the rise. This is a clear indication that even though the prices of bitcoin and other cryptos are tumbling, adoption is not stopping.

The wallet you choose to keep your private keys safe says a lot about what are your priorities
The wallet you choose to keep your private keys safe says a lot a lot about what are your priorities. If security is at the top of your priority list when it comes to storing cryptocurrencies, then you will most likely give up the accessibility and versatility provided by most types of wallets, especially online wallets. That said, it's almost common knowledge within the crypto community that hardware wallets offer the best possible security for your private keys. A hardware wallet is a physical device created with the sole intention of keeping your cryptocurrency safe through advanced cryptography technology and various algorithms.

A $318 Million Art Sale has been Conducted Using Blockchain Technology
Adopting blockchain into the day to day life of the general populace has been the main agenda of the industry in recent time. In light of this, a recent report made it known that a record-breaking art sale was finalised on a blockchain network. The art sales recorded about $318 million changing hands, making it the most valuable art auction to ever be recorded on a blockchain. The report announcing the art sales made it known that the Barney A. Ebsworth Collection was sold for a whopping sum of $317,801,250. These sales were conducted at the Christie's auction house in New York. In a recently published press release, it was made known that the auction was done in collaboration with an art-focused technology provider named, Artory. The report made it known that Artory made use of its permissioned blockchain to host the auction information.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has Warned Against Crypto Related Tax Scams
In its bid to protect Australian residents from crypto related scams, as the country is in its tax payment period, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned taxpayers to be on the lookout for any suspicious or anonymous activity that requires them to make payment using cryptocurrency. The agency made sure to advise residents against the use of BTC ATMs for transactions that involves payment to people they have no direct access to, in case they will need a refund. The report from the agency has noted that these scammers have stopped using iTunes vouchers to rip people off, now they mostly make use of BTC cash ATMs. The reason behind this is quite simple. BTC payments are anonymous and very difficult to trace. As a result, these scammers tend to get away easily and without a trace.

The IMF has Endorsed Cryptocurrencies
A recent report made it known that the IMF has finally embracing cryptocurrency. This was made known through the recent statements made by Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director and Chairperson of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The report made it known that the IMF Boss has advised central banks around the world to consider issuing digital currencies. The IMF boss made it known that the role of a state in injecting money into the digital economy cannot be overlooked. As a result of this, it becomes paramount for the state to start considering the possibility of issuing a digital currency. Lagarde has also backed her statements up with some benefits attached to doing this. She made this known in a recent speech she made in Singapore.

Popular Crypto Exchange, Bithumb has Launched a Crypto Payment Service with Asia's Amazon
Source: Bithumb, a popular South Korea crypto exchange has recently announced its partnership with a major online marketplace Qoo10, which is commonly referred to as Asia's Amazon?. Through the partnership, Bithumb will be providing a cryptocurrency payment gateway for the e-commerce website. The payment gateway termed, Bithumb Cache System will be made available for South Korean shoppers who have cryptocurrencies held on the exchange. The partnership between Qoo10 and Bithumb started with a contract which was signed in August. The contract led to the development of a payment service for Qoo10 that uses the Bithumb Cache system.

There is a Need for More Regulation in the Crypto Industry Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister
Thailand which has been taking bold steps towards regulating the Crypto industry in recent time still believes the country has not done much to regulate the industry. This was made known through a statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Wissanu Krea-Ngam at the fourth regional Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit. Speaking at the summit, the Deputy Prime Minister argued that the need for more comprehensive legal measures both locally and internationally is pertinent. Using the summit hosted by Thailand's Anti-Money Laundering Office in partnership with other regional bodies as a platform, Wissanu urged terrorism and anti-money laundering experts to step up their game and not relent in their effort to protect the interest of investors. He further adviced them to keep up to date with the latest development in the industry.

Pure Bit, a South Korea Based Crypto Exchange has Pulled an Exist Scam 13,000 ETH Disappeared With it
Based on a recent report, a new South Korea Based crypto exchange Pure Bit has pulled what is referred to as an exit scam. The exchange has successfully scammed investor out of at least 13,000 ETH raised during its ICO. The report which was made public by a Korean blockchain news provider, Blockchain ROK, confirmed this. It was reported that all social media accounts related to the exchange have been deleted. The CEO of the exchange has also changed his name on a Korean social media network Kakao to I'm sorry?. BlockchainROK confirmed the news of the exist scam via its official Twitter account.

BitMEX has Announced Plans to Settle all BCH Contracts with BCHABC, After the Hard Fork
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a hard fork of Bitcoin (BTC) has been in the news recently as regards its forthcoming network hard fork. Despite the industry not yet sure of the likely direction the hard fork is going, and several exchanges and wallet suspending support for the coin pending the hard fork, a crypto exchange BitMEX has not only announced plans to support the coin, but the exchange has also documented how it plans to support the coin. The exchange plans to settle all BCH contracts after the hard fork using Bitcoin Cash ABC. The exchange made it known in a recently published blog post that, it will settle all BCH contracts done on its platform using the value of Bitcoin Cash ABC at that point in time.

School Principal and VP Caught Mining Ethereum on School Property in China
A local news outlet in China has reported that a school principal and his vice were caught mining Ethereum using their school's electric power supply. The discovery was made by fellow teachers who have grown suspicious of their activity. The report made it known that the principal and his vice have been engaging in the practice for a long while. The mining operation was said to have started outside the school area. Eventually, once the duo notice that the cost of electricity used for mining the coin is on the high side and it is eating deep into their profit, they made the decision to shift their base of operation to the school dormitory. Since they weren't paying for electricity, the profit made from mining ethereum doubled. This, in turn, led them to buy seven extra miners and then shift their base of operation into the main school area.

The Venezuelan Authorities has Introduced a Crypto Related Investment Plan
The Venezuelan Government has launched an investment plan for its citizens. The plan is aimed at getting them invested the country's national crypto petro. The investment plan has been dubbed the Petro Savings Plan. The government of Venezuela recently introduced the Petro Savings plan and it has plans to get the citizens of the country fully invested in the coin. This new development will also ensure that the citizens save by means of a certificate?. A local news outlet reported that the newly introduced plan for savings is part of the Comprehensive National Cryptoasset Plan?. The report has also made it known that only 4 million Petros which is equal to 14,400 million sovereign bolivars (Venezuela's fiat currency) will be available in the investment pool. Anyone interested in this investment plan will need to do so using Plataforma Patria'an online platform accessible to about 18 million Venezuela citizens having an ID card.

French Authority to Reduce Tax Rate on Crypto Sales
A recent report has made it known that an amendment to a tax bill aimed to trim the tax rate of crypto sales has been adopted by the Finance Committee of the lower house of the French parliament. The report made it known that the resulting effect of this adoption will directly influence crypto sales, as the tax rate charged henceforth will be equivalent to that of the capital income tax. The report has also made it known that even though the bill amendment has been adopted, the broader parliament needs to approve the final version of the document. This hearing has been scheduled for next week. The report also made it known that if the budget amendments get approved, a current tax rate on crypto income of 36.2%, will be reduced to 30% effective from next year.

Sim Swapping Crypto Gang Busted in Turkey
The Turkish authorities have recently recorded a victory for itself. Based on a recent report, the authorities have arrested a gang of digital currency hacker. The arrested hackers were charged with hacking digital currency wallet via sim swapping. Based on the report, the hacker gang is made up of eleven individuals. These hackers perform their operation making use of the popular wallet hacking method sim swapping. It was reported that these hackers, hack into their victim's wallet by obtaining their phone numbers from a phone company through deceit. Currently, only ten out of the eleven hackers has been arrested and so far they have been released on bail, however, they still remain under a stringent judicial leash.

India's Largest Private Sector Firm, Performed its First Blockchain Powered trade finance
The recent report coming from India has made it known that the state of cryptos in the country has not been well defined. Despite this, India's largest private sector firm, Reliance Industries has successfully commissioned its first blockchain powered trade finance transaction. Going by the recently released report, it was made known that Reliance Industries, has officially pioneered its first ever trade finance transaction involving multinational companies and a huge deal of money while using blockchain technology. The report has made it known that this trade finance transaction which was completed by the Indian oil and energy conglomerate was done with US-based Tricon Energy, a global chemical distributor.

Dash has Launched an SMS-based Cryptocurrency Transaction Service for Venezuelan Users
The public blockchain project Dash recently made it known that it has launched an SMS-based cryptocurrency transaction service for Venezuelan users Dash Text. In a recent announcement from DASH, it was made known that the introduction of Dash Text will eliminate the need for Venezuelan users to possess smartphones and internet access to carryout crypto transactions. Venezuela which is suffering from hyperinflation has not been able to truly enjoy the benefits of blockchain technology. The introduction of the Dash Text is expected to change this. The hyperinflation currently being experienced by the country has rendered the country's official national currency Bolivar, worthless. This has made the dependency on cryptocurrencies in the country the only option. Dash is looking to take advantage of the crypto solution hungry population of the country, who are left out of the crypto economy due to their lack of smartphones or access the internet.

Tether (USDT) is back on Track as it Returns to $1
Tether USDT which is often referred to as the best and the most popular stablecoin in circulation is back to a 1:1 parity with the US dollar. Tether USDT experienced a massive sell-off which resulted in its price dropping drastically when compared to the USD which it was designed to be in parity with. This has led to several traders staying clear of the controversial coin in recent times. In a bid to remedy the fractured reputation of the stablecoin, the fintech startup behind the stablecoin, Tether Limited, has secured a banking relationship with Deltec Bank & Trust Limited. This information was made known recently along with other important updates. The report published by the start-up made it known that the Deltec Bank is a long-standing financial institution situated in the tropical nation of Bahamas.

Bulgarian Officials Caught Selling Passports for Bitcoin
It looks like the day of reckoning has finally arrived for some suspected Bulgarians dealing in the sales of illegal international passport to foreigners. A report made it known that these foreigners were mostly from some parts of Eastern Europe and the favoured method of payment is via bitcoin. A recent report made it known that security forces have been able to narrow down which countries these said foreigners are from. It was then reported that Ukraine, Moldova, and Macedonia seems to be the most prominent ones involved in the operation. The government officials involved in this passport issuance scandal has so far been arrested. Among official arrested, is the Bulgarian State Agency for Bulgarians matters abroad Peter Haralampiev, General Secretary Krasimir Tomov and the member of the agency Mark Stoyov. The legal counsel of this accused officials has however come forward to denied their clients involvement in the receipt of unauthorized payments. In relation to their arrest, the Chief Prosecutor of the StateIvan Geshev issued a statement that:

Brazil's Tax Authority RFB, to Commence Comprehensive Monitoring of the Country's Crypto Industry
Source: In bids to prevent tax evasion and money laundering, Brazil's Department of Federal Revenue (RFB) has made it known that it will be taking steps to monitor the activities of enterprises that has anything to do with Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in general. Based on a recent report the RFB made it known that all Brazil-based cryptocurrency exchanges are required to submit detailed monthly reports on all of their cryptocurrency-related operations. The report made it clear that this is not only limited to businesses. Individuals operating in the industry are also required to report any crypto related transaction that is above 10,000 Brazilian Reals ($2,700). The agency also made it known that all report should be made through it's virtual service centre (e-CAC).

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