Experts Predict Tax or Vat increases

According to experts, around R45 billion of tax hikes and spending cuts are needed in the fiscal year that starts 1 April 2018 to stabilise the South African fiscal outlook. An alternative to increasing VAT in a linear manner would be to remove the zero rating for VAT on fuel sales. Malusi Gigaba, will table the 2018 National Budget in parliament today at 14:00pm

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Ramaphosa To Atone For Marikana

President Cyril Ramaphosa is determined to play whatever role he can in the process of healing and atonement in the wake of the Marikana massacre. “I would like to use this opportunity to address the role that I played in my capacity as a Lonmin director in the events of that tragic week,” he said. “Notwithstanding the findings of the Farlam Commission on my responsibility for the events that unfolded, I am determined to play whatever role I can play in the process of healing and atonement. In this, I am guided by the needs and wishes of the families of the 34 workers who lost their lives.”

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KFC’s Shut In The UK Due To Lack of Chicken

KFC has temporarily closed hundreds of locations in the UK and Ireland on Monday night after its shops ran out of chicken following delivery problems. On Monday, 575 KFC restaurants were closed. Stores had initially run out of chicken over the weekend.

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SARS Investigates Churches On Tax Compliance

Sars said while it acknowledged that most religious organisations operated within the law, some were enriching themselves at the expense of the fiscus. It said its own investigation and several interactions with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) confirmed that there was massive non-compliance in the sector.

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SABC Needs Another Govt Bailout

The SABC runs the risk of sinking into deeper financial trouble after it missed the deadline to submit its corporate plan. The SABC is facing its worst financial crisis to date and is still waiting on a R3bn government bail-out.

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Cell C Posts Massive revenue Growth

Cell C’s service revenue jumped 12% to R13.2bn with a total revenue increase of 7% to R15.7bn for the year ending December 2017. Cell C’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew 151% to R7.8bn with net profit of R4.1bn, growing 660% year-on-year.

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Coinbase To Add Segwit Support

Coinbase Inc., the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, is planning to roll out a long-awaited software update in an effort to reduce transaction fees customers pay when sending Bitcoin. The upgrade, called Segregated Witness or SegWit, was first made available by developers in August as Bitcoin’s growing popularity led to congestion in the network. Coinbase said in a tweet Tuesday that it will begin a phased rollout this week, and expects to launch the change for all customers by the middle of next week.

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Currencies: Bcoin R137,650, Eth R11,060. R/USD11.76 . R/GBP16.44 . R/EUR14.50

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R1.4 M Reward For Duduzane and Ajay

One of the country’s richest women Magda Wierzycka is offering R900 000 of her own money to help authorities track down and arrest Ajay Gupta and Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane who are understood to be fugitives. An additional R500 000 has been offered as top-up for the the initial R500 00o by Forensic for Justice reward “for Gupta and Duduzane.” She is offering a further R200 000 “for the first bodyguard to Ajay Gupta who phones in”. She said the bodyguard will still receive the money even if the person who made the call is the “wife or girlfriend.”

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Ramaphosa Intervenes On Mining Charter

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was sidelined in talks between President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Chamber of Mines to open talks around the Mining Charter and to postpone a court case to review and set aside the document. Statements were issued by the Presidency and the chamber on Sunday regarding the agreed postponement of the court case and agreement between the industry body and the Department of Mineral Resources for the delay.

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Transnet Tries To Absolve Executives Of Wrongdoing

An unusual disagreement has arisen between state-owned transport company Transnet and corporate law firm Werksmans following Transnet’s statement last week that there was no cause “at this stage” for disciplinary processes or suspensions of any of its officials in connection with alleged impropriety in the R54bn procurement process of 1,064 locomotives from four original equipment suppliers in 2014.

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Mkhwebane Could Pay Own Legal Fees

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane could soon be R900,000 poorer, following a judgment that left the door open for a further order that she abused her office in her handling of the Absa-Bankorp matter. In Friday’s judgment, Pretorius ordered that Mkhwebane pay 15% of the Bank’s costs from her own pocket. The remaining 85% was to be paid by her office, which was also ordered to pay Absa’s legal fees.

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Matshela Koko Resigns

Eskom head of generation Matshela Koko on Friday became the latest executive to leave the power utility. In December, an Eskom disciplinary hearing failed to prove another set of misconduct charges against him. These included alleged failure to declare the interests of his daughter-in-law in Impulse International, a company that was doing business with Eskom.

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Cartrack Offers R9.99  Car Theft Insurance

Cartrack has launched a R9.99-a-month theft-only insurance product. The JSE-listed group on Friday said the “first-to-market innovative insurance offering for vehicle theft” targeted the uninsured market in South Africa.According to the Automobile Association of South Africa, around 70% of the more than 12-million registered vehicles in the country are uninsured.

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Currencies: Bcoin R130k . Eth R11,369 . R/USD11.66 . R/GBP16.35 . R/EUR14.47

Zuma To Address The Nation

In a televised interview with CNN, finance minister Malusi Gigaba confirmed that Pres Jacob Zuma will address the nation at 10am and is expected to resign. Gigaba further went on to say that if Zuma does not resign, the ANC will have no choice but to side with opposition parties in parliament in a vote of no confidence in Zuma

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Reserve Bank To Regulate Crypto Currencies

The South African Reserve Bank has confirmed that it will be launching a special unit to address regulation in the growing fintech space. In a statement released on Tuesday, the SARB said that the main goal of the programme is to track and analyse fintech developments and to assist policymakers in formulating frameworks in response to these emerging innovations.

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National Credit Amendment Bill Mooted

According to legal experts, the Amendment Bill, should it pass, is expected to have a significant impact on the lives of thousands of ordinary South Africans as well as large parts of the finance and banking sectors because of the wide-scale debt relief it will provide. The proposed Bill makes provision for debt intervention for consumers earning a maximum of R7,500 per month and with less than R50,000 in unsecured debt. As the proposed Bill is currently crafted, 16 million loans could qualify for debt intervention.

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Unemployment Rate Improves Slightly

SA’s unemployment rate improved to 26.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017. This was a one percentage point improvement on the unemployment rate of 27.7% recorded in the third quarter of the year. A decline in unemployment was observed across all age groups, but was highest among the youth, irrespective of educational level.

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City Of Joburg To Launch Jan Smuts Avenue Revamp

The City of Joburg will proceed with a planned expansion of Jan Smuts Avenue in the Parktown area and beyond, in a two-year project that will impact congestion levels and travel times for many residents in the area. It is expected to involve major roadworks on and around Jan Smuts, stretching from Zoo Lake to Bompas road. The drive behind the project is to alleviate traffic congestion in the area, and will be the start of a new phase in infrastructure upgrades in the city.

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KZN To Get Direct Flights To London

KwaZulu-Natal could soon have direct flights between Durban and London. “We had a very productive meeting with British Airways. They see huge potential in the Durban-London route and we are extremely optimistic that our engagements will bear fruits. For a number of years now, KwaZulu-Natal has been working on securing air services between Durban and the UK and we are happy that British Airways has finally given us the opportunity to engage them on the viability and potential of the route,” said MEC Sihle Zikalala.

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Diesel Cars On The Way Out In Europe

In 2012 European governments started reducing incentives on Diesel cars in favor of electric vehicles and consumers have shifted with those incentives. From 2015 to 2017, diesel’s market share has dropped from 51% to 44% and it is dropping every year in Europe

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Currencies: Bcoin R108,917. Ether R10,679. R/USD11.93 . R/GBP16.58 . R/EUR14.77

ANC Shifts Policy On Land And SARB

The ANC has adopted a resolution calling for the nationalisation of the central bank and land expropriation without compensation. Party delegates also agreed that Treasury must develop a wealth tax that may be in the form of a land tax in an effort to promote equity and raise the revenue in the state coffers.

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30000 Shoprite Employees To Go On Strike

Pre-Christmas shopping may be disrupted on Friday when supermarket workers down tools. The South African Commercial‚ Catering and Allied Workers Union and Congress of South African Trade Unions have announced a planned one-day nationwide strike by Saccawu members at Shoprite Checkers on Friday 22 December 2017.

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Investors Sue Steinhoff In Germany

The case against the owner of Mattress Firm in the U.S. and Conforama in France was filed in Frankfurt district court, TILP law firm said in a statement on Wednesday. Investors are seeking to recover funds after the South African company reported accounting irregularities, causing the stock to slump about 90 percent over two weeks. The class-action-style lawsuit, filed Tuesday, is likely to be the first of many similar cases filed by investors angry over their losses. Innsworth Litigation Funding, a London-based unit of Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., has begun building a case against Steinhoff and is seeking shareholder clients willing to sue, it said last week.

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ABSA Wants Jooste Company Liquidated

Absa Bank has applied for the liquidation of former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators, the company that, until this week owned South Africa’s best racehorse, Legal Eagle, as well as hundreds of other racehorses, a property portfolio and a chunk of Steinhoff shares. Absa has also demanded an investigation into a suspicious transaction that saw Mayfair move R1.5 billion of assets to its holding company in August this year.

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Nedbank CEO’s Open Letter To Ramaphosa

CEO Mike Brown has thrown his full weight behind ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Brown said in an open letter to Ramaphosa that his team was looking forward to engaging with him and addressing the pressing needs the country is facing.

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Distell To Sell Bisquit Brand

Distell has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its cognac business, Bisquit Dubouche et Cie to Italian branded beverage company Campari Group for an enterprise value of 2.5 million, or R800-million. The disposal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R264,999 . Ether R12,683 . R/USD12.75 . R/GBP16.99 . R/EUR15.12

 

 SASSA And Post Office Sign Deal

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the South African Post Office (Sapo) have signed an agreement to ensure social grant beneficiaries continue to receive their payments after Sassa’s contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) ends on March 31, government announced on Sunday. The cost of the five-year plan, will be within the government’s current budget, if not cheaper, according to Sapo CEO Mark Barnes. It entails a hybrid payment model that will provide SA’s 17-million social grant beneficiaries with the choice of four payment channels: Sapo’s Postbank, commercial bank accounts, merchants in large retail shops, or a “second tier” of merchants that includes village banks, general dealers, small retail outlets and spaza shops.

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Bitcoin Futures Trading Begins

Bitcoin landed on Wall Street with a bang. Four hours after the debut of Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s bitcoin futures, the contracts climbed more than 20 percent and triggered two trading halts designed to cool volatility. Dealers said initial volumes exceeded expectations, while traffic on Cboe’s website was so strong that it caused delays and outages. The exchange said all its trading systems were normal. The launch of futures traded on a regulated exchange is a watershed for bitcoin — testing infrastructure that will make it easier for legions of professional traders and mainstream investors to bet on the cryptocurrency’s rise or fall, potentially helping to steer its price. Until now, trading in bitcoin was driven mainly by individual investors who were willing to risk buying on mostly unregulated markets. Some users of those little-policed venues have been targeted by hackers who’ve stolen digital tokens.

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Carl Niehaus Caught In Another Scam

Political spin doctor Carl Niehaus  has been caught in yet another lie — concocting an elaborate scam to convince a businessman he owed money to that his mother had died and he was about to inherit millions. Niehaus owes R4.3-million for rental of two luxury apartments in Sandton —   as well as damage to expensive furnishings and artwork —  unpaid concierge charges and interest. In an audacious bid to avoid legal action, he claimed his mother had died and he would soon receive a generous inheritance, 90% of which would allow him to settle the debt. His mother, Magrietha Niehaus, 88, is in fact alive and living in a home for the elderly in Johannesburg, other Niehaus family members said.

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FSB Demands Steinhoff Exposure Details

Financial Services Board takes the unprecedented step of requesting all financial services providers supply it with details of their exposure to Steinhoff International. The FSB’s move appears to have been prompted by concern expressed by the minister of finance earlier in the last week. In the latest development in the scandal that has rocked SA, the company announced it would set up a board subcommittee to engage with its banks.

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Apple To Buy Shazam

Apple Inc. is close to acquiring Shazam Entertainment Ltd., the startup whose music recognition app is already built into Apple’s Siri virtual assistant, according to a person familiar with the discussions. A deal for the London-based app maker could be announced as soon as Monday, said the person, who declined to be identified because the details are not yet public. TechCrunch earlier reported the takeover, adding that it could value Shazam at about 300 million pounds ($404 million).

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Social Welfare Director Arrested Over R5m Theft

One of the directors of a social welfare organisation doing business with the Gauteng government has been arrested following the alleged theft of more than R5million meant for the rehabilitation of drug addicts in the province. Nomawethu Kunene, who is a director of Are Ageng Social Services, was arrested in a police trap in Pretoria on Friday following intense police crime intelligence surveillance. The arrest came after a criminal case of theft was reported at the Randfontein police station in November last year, after the owner of Are Ageng made a report to senior officials of the Gauteng Department of Social Development that their bank account was hacked and an amount of more than R5m had been stolen.

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SA Banks Could Freeze Exiled Zimbabweans Accounts

After months of uncertainty surrounding their stay in South Africa as their permits neared expiry, thousands of Zimbabwean nationals in the country are now contending with threats by local banks to freeze their accounts by end of the month when the permits elapse. Some 250 000 holders of the Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit (ZSP), who are among millions that have fled economic and political crises to the neighbouring South Africa, are in panic mode as none of the new permits would be issued by December 31.

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Youtuber Made $16.5Million This Year

You may not see Daniel Middleton walking down a red carpet, but he is a celebrity in a league of his own. With nearly 17 million followers, a world tour that included four sold-out nights at the Sydney Opera House and over 11 billion views on YouTube, gamer DanTDM, as he is known to his fans, ranks as the world’s highest-paid YouTube star of 2017 with $16.5 million—the highest came of any YouTube star since Forbes started keeping track in 2015. The rising stars on YouTube may spend most of their time in pixelated worlds, but make no mistake, they’re collecting millions of dollars in cold, hard cash. For the first time, nearly half of those on our annual list are gamers. Viewers flock to their channels to watch them play the latest titles while delivering pithy commentary. Six of the 10 celebs on the ranking are newcomers, who entertain with videos of stunts, children unwrapping toys and, in DanTDM’s case, Minecraft streams. Combined, the world’s 10 highest-paid YouTube stars earned $127 million between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017, before management fees and taxes.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R248,949. Ether R6,906. R/USD13.65 . R/GBP18.24 . R/EUR16.07

Mandela Funeral Fraud Report Expected Today

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela announced in 2016 that her office was investigating allegations of maladministration, corruption and misuse of public funds relating to the procurement of service providers for the former statesman’s memorial services and funeral. Various Eastern Cape municipalities allegedly spent nearly R65m without following proper procurement procedures. A report in May 2016 revealed that R22m was used for T-shirts, food and transport. The full report is set to be released today.

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FIFA Struggling For World Cup Sponsors

Teams from 32 countries learned Friday who they will play at the soccer showcase, but with just six months until kick off, FIFA is struggling to find companies that are willing to spend millions of dollars on ads and logo placement. Brands have been scared off by the 2015 corruption scandal that ensnared top FIFA officials, including former general secretary Joseph “Sepp” Blatter. Political controversies involving Russia, sanctioned in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea and accused of meddling in the U.S. presidential election, haven’t helped.

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Eskom Says Loadshedding Is Unlikely

On Thursday investigative news outfit AmaBhungane reported Eskom may be forced into nationwide electricity cuts after a coal mine linked to the Gupta family threatened to halt supply. Eskom has been at the heart of allegations of illegal contracts and undue influence in awarding tenders to the Gupta family, friends of South African President Jacob Zuma. Spokesman Khulu Phasiwe confirmed Eskom had held an emergency meeting last Friday to determine whether strategic coal stockpiles at Hendrina and other stations were sufficient after Tegeta Exploration and Resources threatened to halt supply to Hendrina.

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Gauteng To Build Five Mega Cities

Gauteng is currently undergoing massive infrastructure development with over a R100 billion being invested in more than 800,000 houses within 30 residential developments, across five designated development corridors. According to the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements’ (GDHS), these developments form part of a new mandate to shift away from sporadic and uncoordinated developments to purposely planned and developed “Mega Cities” that are completely self-sufficient in providing for the housing, economic and social needs of the community.

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Germany Offering Migrants Money To GO Back Home

Germany wants to support rejected asylum-seekers who voluntarily move back to their home countries with a one-time payment of 3,000 euros ($3,570). The Interior Ministry says those who qualify can apply by a Feb. 28 deadline and they would get the money once they return home. Migrants who agree to go back even before their asylum request is rejected have already been offered 1,200 euros per adult and 600 euros per child under a different program for almost a year. They are now eligible to apply for both programs.

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AdvTech Fraud Drops Share Price

Private education group ADvTECH’s share price dropped by 7.06% on the JSE after the group said on Friday it had uncovered incidents of fraud in the schools division. ADvTECH shares closed 3.99% lower on the JSE at the end of the day at R15.65. The group said that the fraud was perpetrated by a financial manager in the schools division head office and took place over a period of three years, beginning in 2015.

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MTN Launches Data Saver Option

MTN has launched a simple way for subscribers to block out-of-bundle (OOB) data usage, with its new “Out of Bundle Barring” service. Out of Bundle Barring is available to users via the USSD menu, by dialing *141*0# and selecting the relevent option.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R170,013 . Ether R6,942 . R/USD13.78 . R/GBP18.51 . R/EUR16.35

 

S A Companies Implicated In Tax Leak

High-profile South Africans and local institutions including Shanduka, Glencore and Standard Bank are flagged in the biggest tax leak since the Panama Papers, which is set to cause ripples among many who have stashed their wealth in offshore tax havens.

This leak — dubbed the Paradise Papers — highlights damning cases of tax abuse and questionable practices involving multinational companies, politicians, celebrities, wealthy executives and royals. It includes previously hidden details of corporate registries from countries infamous for ensuring high levels of secrecy.

Source: https://goo.gl/J6niF3

Avian Flu Outbreak Affects KFC Sales

KFC is one of the hard hit retailers and their popular Zinger and Dunked wings have been temporarily out of stock at a number of outlets. KFC Africa spokesperson Thanisa Mkhwanasi said the wing shortages in some areas were a direct result of the outbreak of avian influenza. “KFC South Africa can confirm that KFC restaurants, together with the broader industry, are experiencing a shortage of wings in some areas due to the impact of the outbreak of avian influenza (AI) on bird availability.

Source: https://goo.gl/jUucjj

Suadi Arabia Arrests Princes And Officials In Anti-Corruption Drive

In just a few hours, security forces arrested princes, billionaires, ministers and former top officials as soon as King Salman announced a sweeping anti-corruption drive. Those detained included billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was picked up at his desert camp outside Riyadh, according to a senior Saudi official. Before midnight, the suspects’ names were already being leaked to local media, first as initials and later in full.

The king also relieved Prince Miteb bin Abdullah from his post as head of the powerful National Guard. The decision removed one of the last senior royals to have survived a series of cabinet shuffles that promoted allies of his son.

Source: https://goo.gl/eqAe71

Eskom Manager Received R20m For Kusile Tender

An Eskom contract manager allegedly received R20 million as a bribe to ensure Tubular Construction Projects got a large tender at the Kusile project, stated the Rapport. According to the report, the money has been in the account of Hlakudi Translation and Interpretation CC since 2015. France Hlakudi, an Eskom contract manager for the Medupi and Kusile projects, is the only member of the closed corporation. He denies there are any irregularities.

Source: https://goo.gl/GP5DKH

Around 300 Take On Banks In Home Repossession Claim

A joinder application seeking permission for 70 new applicants to join a class action suit against the nation’s largest banks and home loan providers has been filed with the Constitutional Court. The application brings the number of people seeking to participate in the civil claim against the likes of Nedbank, Absa, FirstRand, Standard Bank, Changing Tides 12 – a trustee of the SA Home Loans Guarantee Trust – and Investec, to around 300.

This, after an application was filed by Advocate Douglas Shaw in August, to establish whether South Africa’s current law of sale in execution – whereby properties are sold at a public auction held by a Sheriff of the Court so as to recover home loan repayments that are in arrears – is constitutional.

Source: https://goo.gl/zv6nJx

A Simple Guide To Bitcoin Forks And Why They Happen

Right now people keep hearing about the pending fork scheduled for on or around the 16th of November. Because software forks and blockchain splits can be a confusing subject, we want to explain just what a fork is and what it means for all the network participants involved. If you are just getting involved in cryptocurrencies, and you’ve done a little research, you might have read about the great scaling debate and the topic of forks recently. Forks represent changes to the bitcoin protocol that make previous rules valid or invalid. Cryptocurrency forks are merely protocol upgrades, and there are two types of blockchain forks that bitcoin enthusiasts refer to

Source: https://goo.gl/wuF1go

Currencies: Bitcoin: R115,898 – Rand/USD 14.24 – Rand/GBP 18.56 – Rand/EUR 16.51