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Despite Of Bitfinex’s Plan To Turn Info Over To Governments, Cryptocurrencies Rise

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Cryptocurrencies gained across the board on Monday, despite news that Bitfinex would comply with handing customer information over to governments.

Bitcoin gained 2.19% in the last 24 hours to reach $8,505.60 on the Bitfinex exchange by 8:37AM ET (12:37GMT).

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, edged forward 0.3% at $709.73 on the Bitfinex exchange.

Ripple’s XRP token climbed 1.2% higher to $0.68849 on the Poloniex exchange.

Bitcoin Cash, product of the Bitcoin fork and the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, rose 1.8% to $1,253.10.

Cryptocurrencies appeared unfazed to learn Monday that Bitfinex is cooperating with governments in an attempt to clamp down on bitcoin tax evaders.

The crypto exchange reportedly sent notices to its customers recently to notify them they must send in their tax information to British Virgin Island authorities, a move that traders find disappointing as some of them started withdrawing money from Bitfinex.

“Under the laws of the British Virgin Islands (which are applicable to entities organized in the British Virgin Islands, including us), we are required to report certain account information to the government,” the notice said, adding “The government may then exchange that information with the tax authorities of the customer’s country of residence.”

Elsewhere, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed on Monday that Australians lost at least $2.1 million to crypto-based scams in 2017.

“Examples of cryptocurrency scams in 2017 include fake ‘initial coin offerings’ (ICOs) which, like initial stock offerings, purport to be the launch of a new cryptocurrency,” the ACCC said in an annual scam report released today.

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“As the value of actual cryptocurrencies increased, so too did the scam losses in what people thought were real investments,” it added.

Meanwhile, while reiterating the importance of maintaining China’s ICO ban, the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed on Monday that 40% of all Chinese blockchain startups were launched in 2017. Blockchain is the underlying ledger technology that supports cryptocurrencies but is also used as a record-keeping system with other applications.

The Chinese ministry indicated that there 456 startups in the country that focus on blockchain technology development and applications as part of their core business, with 178 of those launched in 2017. It added that there were 68 equity financing initiatives for blockchain startups initiated during the first quarter of 2018.

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