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  1. Yesterday
  2. Centre Consortium has blacklisted an ethereum address holding $100,000 in USDC, a move that the entity says was “in response to a request from law enforcement.” A joint venture between Circle and Coinbase, Centre is the issuer of the dollar-pegged USDC stablecoin, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. It may be the first time that an address has been blacklisted. According to a record of transactions on Etherscan, Centre called a “blacklist(address investor)” function on the address in question. The action effectively froze all the money in the address. It’s not clear who owns it. Blacklisting means an address will no longer be able to receive or send USD Coin (USDC) through the stablecoin’s smart contracts, Centre explains on its website. All USDC balances held in blacklisted addresses may be lost forever, it adds. “Centre can confirm it blacklisted an address in response to a request from law enforcement,” a Circle spokesperson, speaking on behalf of Centre, was quoted as saying by industry media. “While we cannot comment on the specifics of law enforcement requests, Centre complies with binding court orders that have appropriate jurisdiction over the organization,” the spokesperson said. Centre’s relationship with government authorities is something that throws into doubt the “myth” of decentralization commonly associated with cryptocurrency. It shows how heavily government whims have been imposed upon investors and exchanges. This new wave of regulation poses a contradiction in that some of cryptocurrency’s strongest traits have always been privacy and autonomy. Now, as Centre demonstrates, individuals looking to operate in an insular system, away from a central bank and state oversight, are increasingly confronted with new top-down demands, which include the freezing accounts. However, the blacklisted address appears to have a shady history. A comment to the address alleges: Hello unknown thief, you are in contact with this eth address 0xEeC84548aAd50A465963bB501e39160c58366692 and you stole 10,000 Loopring Coin (750 euros) from my wallet. I am now giving you a chance to send the 10,000 Loopring Coin back to me. You already know my [ethereum] address. If you do not do this, I will report you anywhere with your two known addresses. Officials at Centre did not disclose the reasons that led to the blacklisting, as demanded by the law enforcement agencies. What do you think about Centre blacklisting this address? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Centre Obliges Government Request, Freezes Address With $100,000 USDC appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  3. The Chinese government and the country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), are currently in the midst of testing a digital yuan or central bank digital currency (CBDC). Now the Chinese ride-hailing corporation Didi Chuxing will be trialing the newly developed digital yuan in a “strategic partnership.” Whether people want to believe it or not, the digital yuan is coming soon, and the PBoC has been steadily working on the project for years. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have heard rumors about a digital yuan since 2014, but in 2020 that rumor is becoming more of a reality. The last time news.Bitcoin.com reported on the subject, well known firms like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Subway have been involved with testing the digital yuan. Additionally, those companies were joined by JD Supermarkets, Tencent, and Ant Financial. It was also rumored that Chinese government employees may soon be paid using the PBoC’s CBDC. Now the ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has joined the PBoC and Chinese government officials behind the CBDC taskforce in a “strategic partnership.” The PBoC’s think tank will reportedly call the CBDC “DC/EP” (digital currency/electronic payment) and PBoC representatives have said that the DCEP experiment did very well during testing in Suzhou and the country’s Xiong’An shopping districts. Didi Chuxing Technology Co is also at the forefront of the self-driving, ride-hailing car industry. Didi Chuxing Technology Co, formerly named Didi Dache, is based in Beijing. In the recent DCEP partnership announcement, Didi refers to itself as “the world’s largest one-stop on-demand transportation platform.” The company with its founder Cheng Wei and 11,407 employees will be working directly with the DCEP project hands-on. “Under PBOC’s overall DCEP strategy and operation timeline, Didi’s DCEP taskforce will design and implement pilot DCEP projects in accordance with rigorous safety, security, and governance standards,” Didi explained during the company’s latest announcement. Didi Chuxing is vastly known as the “Uber of China,” and the company also offers ride hailing services in Latin America and Australia as well. The firm is valued at $56 billion to-date, and the company has roughly 550 million ride-hailing users across the globe. The aim of Didi leveraging DCEP will help lay the foundations for the digital yuan. Despite recent testing with JD Supermarkets, Tencent, Ant Financial, Starbucks, Subway, and McDonald’s, the financial news outlet Bloomberg notes Didi Chuxing’s pilot “could be one of the first real-world applications of [DCEP].” A representative from the PBoC said last April that the central bank hopes after the public beta testing completes, the bank can officially launch the digital yuan prior to the Beijing Winter Olympics scheduled for 2022. So far only a few other countries are in the midst of creating CBDCs, and just recently the U.S. has been discussing the “digital dollar.” Sweden is currently working on an e-krona and Venezuela’s Socialist Party regime, run by Nicolas Maduro, minted the first nation-state issued CBDC called the “petro.” Despite the digital yuan being a rumor since 2014, it seems the Chinese central bank coin might just be the next nation-state cryptocurrency in line to launch. What do you think about China’s DCEP working with Didi Chuxing? Let us know in the comments below. The post China’s Giant Ride-Hailing Service Didi to Pilot the Central Bank’s Digital Yuan appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  4. The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) issued a cease and desist order Wednesday against on Mirror Trading International (MTI), Forexandbitcoin.com and four individuals involved in a multi-level marketing scam. Out of the four individuals, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg is a resident of South Africa, while Micheal Aaron Cullison, Steve Herceg and Brian D Knott have US residential addresses. In its charge sheet, TSSB is alleging first that MTI is perpetrating a multi-level marketing company that promises lucrative commissions to its marketers. Registered in South Africa, MTI claims it has “recruited” 76,000 members from more than 170 countries. Only since March 1, 2020, MTI says it has recruited 22,500 members. However, TSSB says MTI’s marketers are “illegally soliciting Texans to purchase fraudulent investments in the cryptocurrency and forex trading pool.” The Texan regulator asserts that investments in the cryptocurrency and forex trading pool are “securities” as that term is defined in Section 4.A of the Securities Act. The cease and desist order says the four respondents are not registered with the Securities Commissioner as dealers and agents at the time when the securities where offered to Texans. Therefore, the respondents are engaged in fraud in connection with the sale of the securities. TSSB also states that Forexandbitcoin.com, Cullision, Herceg and Knott are acting as multi-level marketers for MTI. The four are accused of touting the profitability, of not only the investments, but the multi-level marketing program as well. Meanwhile, TSSB also singles out Herceg for targeting Texans impacted by changes to the economy in the wake of COVID-19. Herceg is encouraging Texans to “put their governmental assistance stimulus/COVID check to work” by purchasing the investments. In April, the FBI issued a global warning advising people to be on the lookout for cryptocurrency-related scams. Also, the TSSB is accusing Cullison, Herceg and Knott of failing to disclose to potential investors about their previous bankruptcy filings. Cullison has filed for bankruptcy four times between 1999 and 2015. Knott has filed twice and Herceg once. The order also flags MTI for issuing disclaimers that force investors to indemnify it as well as its associates. Respondents have 31 days to appeal the decision. If there are no representations, the four will face a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment if they continue operating. What do you think about MTI’s dealings? Let us know in the comments section below. The post South African Crypto Investment Company Issued Cease And Desist Order In Texas appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  5. Switzerland, July 9th 2020 – ModiHost, a hotel management system that uses artificial intelligence to deliver personalised experiences to hotel guests, is proud to announce that its token is live for trading on the HitBTC exchange starting from Thursday 9th. HitBTC was founded in the early stages of blockchain growth, making it one of the most deep-rooted and reliable exchanges in the industry. HitBTC exchange is the largest spot trading market in the industry with over 800 trading pairs and 500+ spot instruments supported, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin, Tron and others. “HitBTC is an authority in the blockchain world and we are proud to become part of this trustworthy family. Today’s announcement will help to greatly increase the trading volume of ModiHost’s Token as we are partnering up with the leading European bitcoin exchange, HitBTC. Despite this year being particularly difficult for the tourism industry, ModiHost is continuing to expand and reach key milestones” says Stephan Radwitz, ModiHost CEO. Just two weeks ago, ModiHost announced the availability of its minimum viable product as it successfully onboarded more than 60 hotels across five countries: France, Italy, Spain, the UAE, and India. With ModiHost, instead of forcing hotels to purchase and hold tokens, hotels can instead borrow tokens from private lending pools to cover operating fees. Pool operators must set the fee they charge hotels low enough so that their tokens are lent frequently, but also high enough to ensure fees give the token holders a competitive reward, while also leaving enough profit for themselves. The innovative pool system may also work as an extra income source for these holders. The pool mechanism has several advantages: it incentivises token holders to become active participants in the ModiHost ecosystem, it allows token holders to benefit fully from the value of their tokens, and incentivises all parties involved to promote ModiHost, since participation further aligns the interests of holders with adoption of the platform. After going live on HitBTC, ModiHost expects to boost the attraction of the platform for those looking to trade tokens. This achievement will also allow ModiHost community members to regularly gather information regarding the crypto asset and its competitors from a separate, reliable source. About ModiHost ModiHost, a hotel management system, harnesses the power of AI to take the hospitality industry to the next stage in its evolution, using AI to run hotels more effectively than ever before. Thanks to AI technology, Modihost creates an ad-hoc customer profile, making guests feel special by predicting their needs and behaviour, and suggesting services automatically, therefore allowing hotels to increase their sales by up to 25% and improve customer experiences. Additionally, it eliminates outdated procedures, reduces repetitive workload and raises staff efficiency, resulting in lower costs. About HitBTC HitBTC is a crypto exchange with over 800 trading pairs. The platform was created in 2013 and provides exchange, custodial and other related services. HitBTC offers a range of APIs such as REST, WebSocket, FIX API. The exchange’s UI was developed to meet the needs of the most demanding and sophisticated traders. Users can take advantage of competitive trading fees via HitBTC’s Trading Fee Tier system. The exchange listing can be found at: https://hitbtc.com/AIM-to-BTC This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not 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 the press release. The post ModiHost’s Token Is Live on HitBTC, the Leading European Bitcoin Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  6. Crisis laden Argentina saw bitcoin transactions worth $1.4 million (101 million pesos) being recorded in the past week, a new high for the country. According to a report by Vorem, this figure is nearly double the previous high of $0.96 million recorded in the last week of June. Citizens who have previously “watched their currency lose value are now turning to bitcoin” and those finding it difficult to “transfer fiat money to other countries” now make use of the cryptocurrency. The Argentine financial troubles, which started in 2018, worsened following the Covid-19 induced economy lockdown. The country’s peso currency is depreciating while the inflation rate is growing. According to a World Bank report, issued just as the country implemented lockdown measures, Argentina’s economic situation presents a precarious balance. The Argentine peso has lost 68% of its value since 2018. Annual inflation is over 50% and after a 2.5% fall in GDP in 2018, the economy contracted an additional 2.2% in 2019. Already government data for the first three months show the economy shrank 4.8%. Unemployment rose to over 10% in the same period. Meanwhile, Vorem quotes “analysts” predicting the economy to shrink by 10% by the end of 2020. Argentina, one of Latin America’s largest economies, has faced persistent economic troubles going back several decades. The crises are blamed on several factors including an insistence on using an overvalued currency, large scale borrowing as well as a lack of financial support by multilateral institutions. After the crisis between 2001 and 2002, the country dollarized as it tried to restore confidence. That policy was abandoned in favor of a returning peso. Again, prominent economists are calling for a return to dollarization but as the Vorem report suggests, citizens “might be seeking a safe haven in crypto assets” instead. What do you think about the recent demand for bitcoin in Argentina? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. The post Bitcoin Transactions: New High for Argentina as Confidence in the Peso Tanks appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  7. A Malaysian court has fined famous local actor Mas Khan $4,000, or 26 months in jail, for stealing around $50,000 worth of cryptocurrency belonging to his producer, local media reported. Khan appears to have gained access to his boss’ Datuk A.Aida private keys before plundering his wallet on two separate occasions, the same day. In the first case, Khan pillaged the equivalent of $14,000 in crypto from the film producer’s wallet, according to a report published in the Malay Mail on July 8. A second incident saw the 26-year old, who featured in a popular local movie called Abang Long Fadil 2, empty the wallet of nearly $36,000. It is not clear which digital asset(s) Khan stole. Both incidents took place on the morning of March 7, 2019, in the upmarket suburb of Taman Ukay Perdana near Kuala Lumpur. Khan, real name Mas Hidzhir Khan bin Mas Fadzillah Khan, pleaded guilty to the two charges after initial resistance. In sentencing, a local magistrate ordered Khan to pay a fine of $1,600 for the first charge or face one year in jail. The second charge attracted a fine of $2,300 or 14 months imprisonment. Khan was charged under a section of Malaysian law that provides for a maximum jail term of seven years or fine or both. He sought a minimum fine on the grounds that he was the sole family breadwinner and had cooperated with the authorities since the beginning of the investigation. What do you think about Mas Khan’s behavior? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Famous Malaysian Actor Fined for Stealing $50,000 Worth of Crypto From His Producer appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  8. Andreas Antonopoulos discussed how he desired to see Bitcoin have more “privacy features” in a recent live stream Q&A session published on Youtube on July 7. Antonopoulos discussed the privacy-centric coin monero and concepts like stealth addresses and ring signatures. Every once in a while, the well known cryptocurrency expert and evangelist, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, publishes a short clip of him answering a question from one of his live stream followers. On July 7, Antonopoulos discussed the Bitcoin (BTC) network and answered the question of whether or not “[BTC would] implement privacy features similar to monero?” Monero (XMR) is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that uses a different proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. XMR is based on the Cryptonight PoW hash algorithm that originally stemmed from the Cryptonote protocol established in bytecoin. Essentially the project was a forked codebase of bytecoin and originally called “bitmonero.” What makes monero transactions hard to trace is the obfuscated public ledger and ring signatures used. Monero also leverages bulletproofs, and stealth (one-time) addresses. After Antonopoulos read the question the entrepreneur said that of course he “wished” to see the BTC network add privacy features. Antonopoulos also named a number of concepts that could help bolster BTC’s privacy. “I think what we’re going to see soon is Schnorr, Taproot, and Tapscript, which open the door to a lot of privacy improvements,” Antonopoulos said. “But they still do not involve zero-knowledge proofs or the types of ring signatures and stealth addresses that are done in Monero. Bitcoin is not a privacy coin.” Bitcoin Core developers have yet to add any of the aforementioned privacy enhancing concepts to the main chain so far. Developers have, however, started laying the groundwork for concepts like Taproot and Schnorr Signatures. Interestingly, the team working on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) protocol has already implemented the very basics of Schnorr in two upgrades. On Twitter, one individual responded to Antonopoulos’s Q&A video tweet and mentioned a coin called “particl.” “Particl is Bitcoin fork which has implemented Ring CT, which [also] got audited,” the person said to Antonopoulos. “If Bitcoin wants Ring CT it can implement it any day with the help of the Particl altcoin team,” he added. Antonopoulos responded to the individual on Twitter and tweeted: Do you really think that the reason Bitcoin hasn’t implemented these changes is a lack of technical knowledge and a need for assistance to the Bitcoin developers? It’s not. It’s about the politics and conservative management of the engine that runs a very large economy. At the time of publication, it is uncertain when BTC developers will implement things like Schnorr and Taproot. According to Andrew Poelstra, a Blockstream researcher has said that Taproot isn’t quite perfect, and “transaction amounts and the transaction graph are still exposed, which are much harder problems to address.” The tweet from Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille, in regards to the new privacy features was published on January 23, but software developer Luke-jr added some commits two days ago, according to Github. What do you think about Andreas Antonopoulos’s opinion about BTC and XMR? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. The post ‘Bitcoin Is Not a Privacy Coin’ Says Crypto Evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  9. Last week
  10. Two-time U.S. presidential candidate John McAfee has launched a privacy-centric cell phone data service. McAfee said that his Ghost cell phone data service offers 4G data without using a physical SIM card, is compatible with most major phones, and works in more than 50 countries. Ghost Cell Phone Data by McAfee John McAfee announced Tuesday the launch of his new product called the “Ghost Cell Phone Data Service,” which he described as “the first 4G data service to make connections to the network untraceable.” Beta testing began on July 3 and the global launch of the service is planned for September. The Ghost by McAfee website explains that subscribers will be “invisible,” as “All traffic passes through multiple anonymized servers and cannot be traced back” to them. No SIM card is required as the service uses eSIM technology that allows data connections on a smartphone without a physical SIM card. The “app will offer base layer VPN protection for your phone, encrypting any data you send over our network.” The website currently lists 37 supported countries but McAfee tweeted an additional 16, making the total number of supported countries 53 at press time. Tuesday’s announcement details: The Ghost Cell Phone Data Service is one component of a larger ecosystem, which also includes the Ghost cryptocurrency for private transactions and the Ghostx Exchange for private cryptocurrency exchange. McAfee described: “the Ghost brand will encompass a range of practical, real world tools for people to protect our rights and take back our privacy. Privacy is a human right.” The Ghostx exchange went live on Jun 21, following the launch of McAfee’s Ghost cryptocurrency, a proof-of-stake privacy coin. The service is data-only but will support VOIP and other IP based communication platforms. It will be compatible with “most of the latest flagship phones,” the announcement adds. “Support for more phones will be added as eSIM technology gets added to mid-range and budget models.” Supported phones currently include a few models from Google, Samsung, and Apple’s iPhone. To use the data network, scan a QR code supplied after purchasing the service using a supported phone. The announcement adds: “No personal information is required for sign-up and all service is prepaid with no contract. The service includes a free app available for both Android and iOS that further enhances data protection and privacy.” What do you think about McAfee’s Ghost cryptocurrency and other services? Let us know in the comments section below. The post John McAfee Launches Ghost Phone Service to Supplement His Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  11. The cryptocurrency community has been discussing the infamous Ghislaine Maxwell, the associate of the financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell was recently arrested and many speculators think she may see the same fate as Epstein before she talks. Moreover, it seems the last time Maxwell used Reddit, her last post was about someone mysteriously sending almost $1 billion in bitcoin on Wednesday, June 30, 2020. Ghislaine Maxwell was a well known associate of the now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein. The financier Epstein is a convicted sex offender who allegedly had a ring of sex slaves that were used to satisfy celebrities, politicians, and known British royalty figures. Maxwell is accused of being the main ringleader behind Epstein’s sex trafficking and blackmailing empire, and was recently taken into custody by the FBI. Interestingly, Maxwell is tied to well known people in both the Democrat and Republican parties including people like former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and the current incumbent Donald Trump. Both powerful American leaders can be seen in a variety of photos with Maxwell in the pictures. **At 4:58 pm ET, a Reddit communications representative reached out to news.Bitcoin.com. According to the Reddit representative, the account is a “speculated Ghislaine Maxwell Reddit account” and the firm “wanted to point out that this theory is based on a completely unfounded claim.” “This claim stems from a Twitter account not associated with any official Reddit accounts,” the Reddit representative wrote.** Now it seems that Maxwell was a Reddit connoisseur and used the platform quite a bit. Her alleged last post on June 30, was specifically about bitcoin, when her ostensible account posted a Vice article called “Someone Mysteriously Sent Almost $1 Billion in Bitcoin.” The Reddit post was Maxwell’s last post on the platform, but according to the Twitter user Joe Leonard, Maxwell was an avid Reddit user. “Ghislaine Maxwell was the first person on Reddit to hit 1 million karma LMAO,” Leonard tweeted. “She’s the #8 karma to this day. Her posts to /r/worldnews constituted roughly 30% of the posts there. This connection was made after she was arrested and that account stopped posting there after 14 years.” Leonard gives a comprehensive overview of Maxwell’s Reddit habits and notes: [Ghislaine Maxwell] hasn’t posted since June 30th. She was arrested on July 2nd. Jeffrey Epstein’s confidant Maxwell was recently transferred to NY-based prison after her arrest. It is well known that the former Bear Stearns partner Jeffrey Epstein liked bitcoin (BTC) and spoke about the subject often before his death. “When we talk about gold as a store of value that just means a lot of people agree to pay the same price for one ounce of gold,” Epstein once said. “In 2017, enough people agree on the value of bitcoin that it can serve the same purpose. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins, but this limit comes from computer code, not by how many bitcoins are left to remove from the earth. If we learn tomorrow that half of Montana contained a secret cache of gold, the value of gold would decrease instantly. Bitcoin doesn’t have this problem.” It is uncertain how much Maxwell liked bitcoin, but her recent Reddit post suggests she followed the subject intently. As for the crypto community knowing that Epstein enjoyed the cryptocurrency, a number of people have suggested that “Jeffrey Epstein’s bitcoin intrigue deserves scrutiny at MIT” This was after it was found that the former director of MIT’s Media Lab, Joichi Ito, allegedly attempted to “conceal financial contributions from pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.” U.S. federal prosecutors allege that Maxwell, between 1994-1997, “assisted, facilitated and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18.” Maxwell faces a myriad of sex trafficking charges and she “poses an extreme risk of flight” according to prosecutors. “[Ghislaine Maxwell] absolutely no reason to stay in the United States and face the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence,” the prosecutor’s memo stressed. **This article was updated at 5:30 pm ET to reflect the commentary from Reddit’s communications team.** What do you think about Ghislaine Maxwell’s last post on Reddit about Bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. The post Jeffrey Epstein Confidant Ghislaine Maxwell’s Last Reddit Post Was About Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  12. Just recently, Bitcoin Cash proponents were introduced to a new foundation called the “Permissionless Software Foundation” aimed at spreading Bitcoin Cash and SLP token technology. This week an organization called the “Permissionless Software Foundation” (PSF) revealed an announcement to the BCH community. The group’s mission aims to “foster the growth of open-source software and growing adoption of Bitcoin Cash across the globe.” “The mission of the Permissionless Software Foundation is to foster the growth of open-source software and the adoption of Bitcoin Cash across the globe. The Foundation will focus on the development and promotion of software that makes it easy for individuals to protect their privacy, circumvent censorship, and engage in Agorism,” explains the PSF website. Moreover, the PSF plans to bolster Simple Ledger Protocol innovation. Crypto fans can read about the PSF on the organization’s new web portal called psfoundation.cash. The organization’s business model states: The Foundation is a community-oriented, highly automated, and legally-nonexistent decentralized autonomous organization whose purpose is to foster the growth of open-source software and the adoption of Bitcoin Cash across the globe. The PSF will offer a Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) token on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network to self-fund the development of open-source software, and reward contributors that help the organization grow. According to the press release, PSF and the web portal fullstack.cash will offer consulting services going forward. “More and more businesses are looking into the great opportunities of integrating Bitcoin Cash and SLP tokens into their operations,” explains the announcement. “Finding the right information and the best people can be a daunting task but this service is already proving helpful for those businesses wanting to step into the world of Bitcoin Cash.” The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponent and host of the developer’s monthly video series, David R. Allen, joined the PSF as the Business Development Manager. “[Allen] has agreed to assist and support the Permissionless Software Foundation and to be a primary contact for businesses as the community grows out of its infancy. His experience and contributions are a welcome addition to the foundation,” the PSF announcement details. PSF also aims to offer “white-label BCH and SLP wallets” as well, according to the press release details. At the time of publication, the work is being executed in order to provide the community with a “fully functional white-label web wallet.” “With this wallet, businesses will be able to release reliable web wallets with organisation-specific branding,” the announcement notes. “This will lower the barrier to entry for businesses even further. An early prototype of the wallet can be seen at ​wallet.fullstack.cash.” The software developer Chris Troutner is also involved with the PSF, and nine days ago he created a post about the subject on the Reddit forum r/btc. Troutner and the PSF have also released an introductory video which can be viewed on Youtube. BCH supporters seemed to like the project, according to a number of comments within the Reddit post. “Super interesting [and] very exciting,” one person wrote. What do you think about the Permissionless Software Foundation (PSF) for Bitcoin Cash? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. The post Permissionless Software Foundation Aims to Foster Open-Source Software With Bitcoin Cash appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  13. The price of bitcoin could see an ‘imminent’ breakout, according to the latest Glassnode data. The data firm says bitcoin (BTC) has been flashing bullish for the past six weeks amid positive onchain activity. Meanwhile, the BTC network hashrate has continued to grow, with the seven-day average reaching 123.4 exahash per second (EH/s) on Monday. In a report published July 6, the Glassnode Network Index (GNI), which measures the overall state of the Bitcoin network, rose by one point week-on-week, to a value of 56 points. At the same time, the BTC price slid from $9,125 to $9,070, a stability largely unexpected. The index measures metrics such as network health, sentiment, and liquidity to determine the strength of bitcoin’s fundamentals. According to the report, network health and sentiment rose by 3 points and 6 points, respectively. Liquidity fell by 6 points. “While BTC has remained surprisingly stable over the past couple of months, indicators are pointing to an imminent breakout, with fundamentals remaining consistently strong,” said Glassnode. “However, external factors such as bitcoin’s as yet unconfirmed correlation with traditional financial markets mean that uncertainty remains in spite of positive signals within the market,” it added. The news comes as the Bitcoin network hashrate reached new highs this week. According to data from Blockchain, BTC hashrate or total computing power touched a seven-day average of 123.4 EH/s on July 6, an all-time-high. A week earlier, the figure averaged 115.3 EH/s. A rising hashrate tends to indicate faith in the network by bitcoin miners. Often, this leads to an increase in the price of BTC. Over the last couple of days, bitcoin has clawed up from around $9,070 to $9,316 at the time of writing, data from markets.Bitcoin.com shows. The immediate target is to break above $10,000 and stay there. Analysts consider this level as important for sparking BTC’s long-awaited price rally. What do you think about bitcoin’s price outlook? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Bitcoin Price Poised for ‘Imminent’ Breakout As Network Hashrate Hits Record Highs appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  14. The most popular stablecoin tether (USDT) has officially been minted on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain via the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP). At press time there’s only 1,010 SLP-based USDT in circulation, as the firm Tether Limited seems to be issuing small amounts and testing the SLP framework. Tether (USDT) is the king of stablecoins in the crypto economy and according to the company’s transparency page, there are more than $9.8 billion tethers in existence. The stablecoin is a token that is also hosted on a number of blockchains including the Ethereum network, Omni Layer, Algorand, Tron, Liquid, and the EOS chain. Not too long ago, news.Bitcoin.com revealed that tether (USDT) was migrating some coins over to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain via the Simple Ledger Protocol. Tether Limited’s transparency page now shows that the company has been minting and testing the SLP framework. The data website simpleledger.info shows that the Tether team has officially minted 3,027 USDTs so far on the BCH chain. However, 2,017 SLP-based USDT tokens have been burned, which only leaves 1,010 SLP-based USDT in circulation at the time of publication. A thousand dollars worth of stablecoins is not much, but Bitcoin Cash proponents believe that the company is simply trialing the SLP infrastructure. Simpleledger.info also shows that the baton is “alive,” which means USDTs can be minted at any time. The genesis of the SLP-based USDT shows that the tokens were born on May 25, 2020. Searching the term “tether” in the simpleledger.info database also shows there is a number of phony ‘tethers’ people have created since the SLP network came out. The official USDT token ID is shown at Tether Limited’s official website, alongside the balances of tether on other blockchains. There’s been a total of 50 SLP-based USDT transactions so far on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. The SLP-based USDT rich list shows that this address has the most stablecoins with a balance of 874.14 USDT at the time of publication. The rest of the coins in circulation are spread out through a number of different addresses. The largest amount of USDTs on any blockchain is held on ETH with $6 billion in ERC20-based tethers to-date. Of course, Bitcoin Cash fans were both pleased and skeptical about the appearance of USDTs on BCH. On the subreddit r/btc, BCH fans discussed the recently issued SLP-based USDT on the forum. On July 7, Sideshift.ai announced that the Bitcoin Cash version of USDT is now live on the swapping platform. BCH proponents also discussed holding USDTs on the Bitcoin.com Wallet thanks to the recently added asset breakdown and stablecoin features. On Twitter, the Sideshift team wrote: “Be one of the first humans to shift USDT on SLP.” What do you think about tether (USDT) being minted on the Bitcoin Cash chain? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. The post The Popular Stablecoin Tether Is Now Circulating on the Bitcoin Cash Network appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  15. A series of bank runs has prompted the Chinese government to begin requiring approval for large cash deposits and withdrawals at commercial banks, starting with banks in a northern province. Recently, two bank runs happened within a week as people lost faith in financial institutions amid unprecedented economic contraction. China’s Efforts to Prevent Bank Runs China has launched a measure aimed at curbing bank runs. Starting July 1, residents of the northern province of Hebei are required to “apply for approval if they plan to make large cash deposits or withdrawals at commercial banks,” the South China Morning Post reported Sunday. The publication detailed: The regulation comes after a series of bank runs in the past year at debt-laden small lenders and as an unprecedented pandemic-related economic contraction starts to take a toll. Residents “will need to provide information about the source of deposits or the purpose of withdrawals for transactions over 100,000 yuan (US$14,162) for individuals, and 500,000 yuan for corporations,” the state-backed China Securities Journal described. “Applicants will have to give one day’s notice to the bank to make a withdrawal of this size or larger, and gain the branch’s approval of the registration information.” This requirement will be expanded to banks in Zhejiang province and the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province from October 1 for individual account transactions of more than 300,000 yuan and 200,000 yuan, respectively. The regulation requires “every commercial bank to integrate their information systems to minimise the amount of reporting required by individual customers,” the Journal noted, claiming that this regulation primarily targets “transactions conducted with physical cash through quick, self-service deposit and withdrawal equipment that avoided monitoring.” Many small lenders in China are facing problems such as rising number of non-performing loans, insufficient capital, and poor governance. Last month, runs on two small lenders happened within a week. The news outlet reported that customers mass-withdrew their money from Baoding in Hebei province and Yangquan in Shanxi province over concerns about the health of the banks. While China guarantees deposits of up to 500,000 yuan per bank, the publication conveyed that investments in wealth management products are not protected. What do you think about China’s cash transaction measure to curb bank runs? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Escalating Bank Runs Spur Chinese Government to Require Approval for Large Cash Transactions appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  16. The Trump administration is looking at banning Tiktok and other Chinese social media apps, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The US has been concerned about Tiktok being used by the Chinese government to mine American users’ data. India has already banned Tiktok in its country, along with 58 other mobile apps. US Considers a Ban on Tiktok U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that the Trump administration is “looking at” a ban on Tiktok and other Chinese social media apps. Lawmakers have long expressed concerns that the popular video-sharing social networking service could be used by the Chinese government to harvest data from American users. Responding to a question about whether the United States should look at banning Tiktok and other Chinese social media apps, Pompeo told Ingraham: We’re taking this very seriously. We’re certainly looking at it. We’ve worked on this very issue for a long time. The secretary of state elaborated: “Whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure, we’ve gone all over the world and we’re making real progress getting that out. We’ve declared ZTE a danger to American national security. We’ve done all of these things. With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura. I don’t want to get out in front of the president but it’s something we’re looking at.” Ingraham further questioned Pompeo about whether he would currently “recommend that people download that app [Tiktok] on their phones.” The secretary of state replied: Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Tiktok is owned by Beijing-based Bytedance but it is not available in China. The company has recently been trying to distance itself from its Chinese parent company, such as by hiring former Disney executive Kevin Mayer to be its CEO. Tiktok has also said that it will pull out of Hong Kong following last week’s enactment of the new national security law as military tensions between the United States and China escalate. The company has insisted that its data centers, including U.S. user data, are located outside of China and its data is not subject to Chinese law. Responding to Pompeo’s comments, a Tiktok spokesperson told CNBC in a statement: “Tiktok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. … We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.” According to an industry estimate, Tiktok has about 800 million monthly active users and the app has been downloaded over 2 billion times worldwide. Last week, India banned 59 mobile apps, including Tiktok, Tencent’s Wechat, Baidu maps, and Weibo. What do you think about the U.S. banning Tiktok? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Tiktok Ban: US May Join India in Banning Chinese Social Media Apps appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  17. With over 11 Million Bitcoin.com Wallets created, we’re building new features our users need most in order to enjoy the best possible cryptocurrency experience. Our wallet’s latest features now provide seamless swaps between bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), and the stablecoin honestcoin (USDH). Moreover, Bitcoin.com’s new portfolio breakdown allows users to manage their assets with ease. Bitcoin.com is the premier destination for all your bitcoin needs with crypto-infused tools, the hottest digital currency news, a gaming platform, educational resources, and a powerful noncustodial wallet. This week Bitcoin.com is pleased to reveal two new features that have been added to the noncustodial bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) wallet, alongside Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) token support. The new portfolio breakdown provides Bitcoin.com Wallet users with asset distribution and SLP pricing according to the July 3, 2020 release notes. Additionally, “improved swap support” has been added to the upgraded version. The portfolio asset breakdown via the Bitcoin.com Wallet. Cryptocurrency markets can be volatile and our new portfolio section with stablecoin support helps individuals manage crypto-asset risks better. After upgrading to the latest version of the Bitcoin.com Wallet, in the home section, the user simply needs to scroll down to the bottom of the wallet screen. There the individual will see the asset breakdown between bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin (BTC), honestcoin (USDH), and the value of any other types of SLP tokens. The asset breakdown gives the user a percentage rate, and on the right side of the tab it says “swap.” When an individual simply presses the “swap” button, it leads to a section where they can trade BCH, BTC, and USDH in a seamless fashion. The trades are powered by Sideshift.ai and if the person is trading for USDH, they need to enter their SLP address. Our wallet’s latest features now provide seamless swaps between bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), and the stablecoin honestcoin (USDH). The swap section allows the user to configure how much they want to swap and it offers a live exchange rate as well for price referencing. Honestcoin (USDH) is a fully regulated, 1:1 U.S. Dollar-backed stablecoin that can be bought, sold, invested in, and spent as freely. When swapping for USDH, the Bitcoin.com Wallet allows instant settlement without confirmations, so balances of USDH will show up immediately. People who haven’t tried the lightning-fast, noncustodial Bitcoin.com Wallet can download the platform for Android or iOS devices. In order to leverage the two new asset breakdown and swap features, existing users simply need to upgrade their applications. At Bitcoin.com we understand that volatility isn’t for everyone. That’s why the latest Bitcoin.com Wallet gives any individual, from anywhere around the world, full control over their digital assets. What do you think about the latest Bitcoin.com Wallet features? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Bitcoin.com Wallet Launches New Portfolio Breakdown and Stablecoin Swap Features appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  18. A South African high court has declared an alleged bitcoin scam mastermind, Willie Breedt, bankrupt. The court decision follows an application by one disgruntled investor, Simon Dix, a News24 report states. Willie Breedt is the CEO of the defunct Vaultage Solutions (VS), the company at the center of the alleged cryptocurrency scam. According to South African media reports, an estimated 2,000 investors invested a total of 227 million South African rands or $13.35 million into Breedt’s company. Trouble for the company’s investors started when Breedt reportedly broke off all communication just before heading to Mozambique for a holiday in December. In January, Breedt — who is under a criminal investigation — closed shop. He allegedly went into hiding as pressure from anxious investors grew. In an earlier report, News24 said it “reliably” established that Breedt’s troubles started in November 2019 when “there was an apparent slump in the cryptocurrency market.” Breedt hoped “the markets would recover sufficiently enough so he could recoup the millions he had lost.” However, an analysis of the bitcoin price chart for November 2019 shows the only significant slump occurred on the 25th when the bitcoin price dropped from $7,200 to $6,600. This “slump” was, however, short-lived. The next day, almost all the losses were reversed and the price would stay above $7,000 for the remainder of the month. Still, the News24 report also alludes to claims by some investors who had investigated Breedt’ bank accounts. The investigation might have uncovered possible fraud. Without offering evidence, the investors claim the account, which previously held $3.15 million (52 million rands), was now empty. In the meantime, news of Breedt’s bankruptcy declaration and the imminent loss of millions of dollars has sparked off debate. Some members of South Africa’s crypto community are unamused. In one post, prominent South African blockchain journalist James Preston agrees that this will slow adoption, stating that irrespective of this latest scam story, mass adoption of cryptocurrency will take longer. Referring to a posit in a Forbes report published sometime in 2017, he suggests that cryptocurrency is still several years behind. Others complain that the news report itself contains inaccuracies and expose the general levels of ignorance. Meanwhile, the South African Reserve Bank has appointed corporate accounting firm Pricewaterhousecoopers to investigate Vaultage Solutions. What do you think about this bitcoin scam? Let us know in the comments section below. The post South African Investors to Lose $13 Million as Bitcoin Scammer Declared Bankrupt appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  19. Crypto derivatives trading volumes plunged 36% to $393 billion in June, the lowest they have reached in 2020, according to a new report by Cryptocompare. The decline may be the result of a lull in investor interest in the instruments during the month in review. In May, derivatives – contracts signed by at least two people to buy or sell a digital asset at an agreed price in the future – soared to a record high $602 billion, possibly driven by the hype that accompanied Bitcoin’s third halving in that month. Total spot volumes fell fastest, however, sliding 49% to $643 billion in June from $1.27 trillion the previous month, said the London-based data analytics firm. The bulk of spot trading happened on exchanges considered by Cryptocompare as low-tier and unregulated, accounting for $466 billion of the volume while top-tier exchanges traded $177 billion. “Spot volumes have gradually dwindled throughout the month of June, now representing roughly half of the daily volumes seen in the previous month,” notes the report, published July 6. In June, derivatives share of the cryptocurrency market rose to 37% compared to 32% in May and 27% in April. Cryptocompare said all crypto derivatives exchanges saw large decreases in trading volume last month. Bitmex reported the biggest decline of 50% to $51.6 billion while the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), which focuses on institutional investors, posted the least decrease, with trading volume dropping 17% to $6.7 billion. However, Huobi accounted for the largest trade volume of $122.4 billion, down 38% from a month earlier. Okex and Binance followed with $107 billion and $86 billion worth of trades, respectively. Both the exchanges reported volume decline of over 30%. At Deribit, volumes crashed 43% to $8.8 billion. Institutional options volumes on CME hit a record monthly high of 8,444 contracts traded, up 41% since May. The regulated exchange said futures volumes, as measured by the number of contracts, fell 23% to reach 128,258 in June. Deribit monthly options volumes tanked 17.8% to about $2.5 billion in June, “but this is less of a decrease than seen on other derivatives exchanges that only offer futures products,” Cryptocompare observed. What do you think about the declining crypto trading volumes in both the derivatives and spot markets? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Crypto Derivatives Volumes Crash 36% to $393 Billion in June, a Low for 2020 appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  20. On July 4, 2020, the Bitcoin Cash proponent Cain published an interview with the blockchain developer, Shammah Chancellor, about a new project called Stamp Chat. At its basic level, “Stamp is a prototype of a layer-2 private messaging and payment system on Bitcoin Cash. It implements stealth [plus] confidential transactions on top of Bitcoin Cash using layer-2 protocol technologies.” This week Bitcoin Cash supporters were introduced to a new tool called Stamp, an encrypted message and payment system that leverages the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain. The project is being developed by the software programmer Shammah Chancellor, otherwise known as @micropresident. The project was introduced on Saturday, July 4, 2020, by the Bitcoin Cash proponent Cain (@bchcain) via the read.cash blog. Cain gives a summary of how governments today have the ability to censor our speech online, and our financial lives as well through centralized parties. The BCH enthusiast highlights how our freedom of expression is censored and monitored by the powers that be. “The fact that we are being monitored limits our freedom of thought and our freedom of expression,” Cain’s interview stressed. “You might think twice about entering something into a search engine, or posting something on Facebook or Twitter. This limits our ability to communicate and explore ideas, and this is why I am so excited by Stamp, the new Bitcoin Cash project being developed by Shammah Chancellor, aka @micropresident.” Cain’s post further added: Stamp is still in its early stages and only available on testnet, but the interface already looks polished and many features like group chats and nested messages have already been deployed. According to his Github page: “Stamp is a prototype of a layer-2 private messaging and payment system on Bitcoin Cash. It implements stealth [plus] confidential transactions on top of Bitcoin Cash using layer-2 protocol technologies. Individuals who are interested in Stamp can check out the Github repository and get more familiar with the project. The Github repo’s disclaimer is a touch different and states: “Stamp is in early alpha development stage. There will be multiple breaking changes from now until a stable release. We default to the Bitcoin Cash testnet as to protect against lost funds.” Those who are interested in testing the Stamp protocol can do so by accessing the cashweb/stamp/releases section and grabbing test coins from faucet.fullstack.cash. The Stamp developers who contribute to the project also have a Telegram chat channel as well for people who want to learn more about the project. Shammah Chancellor also describes the Stamp project in great detail during his interview with Cain. “Stamp is the name of the wallet that uses a number of backend protocols,” the developer explained. “These protocols are a suite called ‘Cashweb,’ with the vision being that everything online is powered by Bitcoin Cash. Fundamentally, Cashweb is powered via standard web technologies: Websockets, JWT tokens, HTTP/2. The idea being to make it easy for non-cryptocurrency developers to integrate with.” “Cashweb is a [three] tier network,” Shammah Chancellor continued. “The first tier being Bitcoin Cash. The second tier is a ‘keyserver’ network, which is used to look up, in a cryptographically secure way, important information about a Bitcoin Cash address. The third tier is a messaging system (called relay servers) which allows wallets to pass, encrypted, structured messages between them.” The developer concluded: When you add a contact to a Stamp wallet, it reaches out to a keyserver and requests your contact information. This is then verified, and used to determine which relay server they accept messages on. Once your wallet has this information, it can start exchanging structured, encrypted, messages between itself and another user. Cryptocurrency supporters who are interested in reading the rest of the interview between Cain and Shammah Chancellor can follow this link here that stems from the read.cash blog. On the Reddit forum r/btc, BCH proponents seemed pleased with the announcement and some people contributed to the development funding. “Looks promising,” an individual wrote on Reddit. “I sent a bit of funding. Good luck with it.” What do you think about the Stamp project built on the Bitcoin Cash network? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. The post Developer Reveals Layer-Two Private Messaging and Payment System on Bitcoin Cash appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  21. A study report by Leadblock Partners, an appointed representative of Sapia Partners LLP, finds an accelerating growth of the European blockchain ecosystem. The findings of the Leadblock Partners study suggest European respondents have a funding need for €350 million for the next 18 months. The European Enterprise Blockchain start-up ecosystem is mainly composed of early-stage start-ups at the pre-seed to series A-stages. About 60% of surveyed start-ups are now generating revenues, and of which 33% are generating €250k of recurring revenues. The study notes that improving performance is due to the technology recently reaching sufficient maturity. The transitioning from proof-of-concepts (PoCs) and pilot projects to production mode is cited as another factor. Nevertheless, Leadblock says the United States still leads. The country has $2 billion worth of assets under management (AUM) compared to Europe’s $100 million. In the report, Leadblock offers some insights as to why half of the global funding for blockchain start-ups is going to the United States. “We found that one of the key reasons is that blockchain venture capital funds lack AUM in Europe, with US funds having raised at least 20x more capital. U.S. startups typically raise 4x more,” the report affirms. Another key observation from the findings is the fact that “most investors are not familiar with blockchain technology. The average investor is not familiar with blockchain technology, its applications, and its benefits. The knowledge gap is apparent as many investors do not “differentiate between blockchain from cryptocurrencies and its associated negative perceptions.” Despite these findings, Leadblock still believes that as investors continue to learn about blockchain concepts “we expect to see increasing investments.” Leadblock also remarks that the blockchain “is a strategic technology that should be seized across Europe.” A member of the French National Assembly participating in the study, Jean-Michel shared Leadblock’s sentiments on the importance of the technology. Jean-Michel, who is keen to see greater adoption of the technology, tells interviewers of his vision for the continents’ blockchain space, which he says is evolving. Jean-Michel wants Europe to become “a leading player in the blockchain industry and impose its own standards.” The French politician is optimistic about the technology’s prospects. He cites the use of blockchain already “in real estate, mass distribution, food, energy and even in some political votes.” The thriving global enterprise blockchain start-up ecosystem is growing rapidly (500+/year). The growth is fuelled by two main drivers, new start-ups created every year, and existing bank-to-bank (B2B) start-ups adding a blockchain layer to their existing software solutions. What do you think about the European blockchain ecosystem needing €350 million? Let us know what you think in the comments below. The post European Blockchain Ecosystem Needs €350 Million for the Next 18 Months appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  22. The cryptocurrency data analytics and research company, Skew has warned that bitcoin could see a massive sell-off due to declining volatility. The data analytics firm says that bitcoin (BTC) realized volatility hit 20% over the past 10 days – it’s the lowest 10-day reading in nearly three years. “Last time we reached that level, we had the great sell-off of November 2018 shortly after,” Skew cautioned on Monday. Back then, the price of BTC crashed by almost 50% from $6,500 in November to around $3,200 in early December. It was the lowest bitcoin had traded since its all-time-high of $20,000 in December 2017. Realized volatility measures a change in prices in the past. Generally, the higher the volatility, the higher the risk, which also means the greater the earnings. The opposite is true for low volatility. London-based Skew said bitcoin’s realized volatility in the last month averaged 35% and 64% over the past three months. Bitcoin has struggled to scale past the psychological $10,000 level amid expectations of a bullish rally since its scheduled supply cut event in May. The top cryptocurrency has mainly traded in the range of $9,000 to $10,000 for several weeks, occasionally falling below the threshold as investors took profit or as some other economic event led the price lower. Falling BTC volatility has also coincided with declining bitcoin volumes, leading some analysts to predict an impending big breakout – either down or up. “Stock market futures pumped since opening yesterday (July 5)and crypto has followed. So the short term picture has turned around completely again,” said crypto analyst Botje11 on his Telegram channel. “So big chance if it (BTC) can stay above 9200/150 coming day or so, that we get a short squeeze of some kind coming days. Too early to say we see a break of 10k though, need much for that first,” he added. At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at $9,373, up more than 3% over the last 24 hours, according to data from markets.Bitcoin.com . What do think about Bitcoin’s declining volatility? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Bitcoin Volatility Hits Three-Year Low, Sparking Fears of Massive Sell-Off appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  23. On July 1, 2020, the partner of Polynexus Capital, Andrew Steinwold, detailed that the sales of blockchain-powered non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are about to cross the $100 million mark. The popularity of NFTs has grown massive since 2017, as blockchain cards, collectibles, digital artwork, virtual land parcels, and extensible virtual game items have become all the rage. Blockchain-Fueled Non-Fungible Token Assets Close to $100M in Sales Andrew Steinwold the managing partner at Polynexus Capital is a big believer in non-fungible token (NFT) solutions built using blockchain technology. NFTs have been around for years and the first mention of NFT technology stemmed from the Mastercoin white paper in 2012. Over the years, news.Bitcoin.com has reported on a number of blockchain projects that leverage NFT solutions like Counterparty’s Rare Pepe trading cards, Spells of Genesis cards, Cryptokitties, extensible game items and rewards, and many more unique concepts. Decentraland where NFT-based parcels of land and extensible items are sold. In a recent post written on the blog called “Bankless,” Steinwold notes that the NFT sales have amassed close to a $100 million worth of lifetime trade volume. The data stems from the web portal nonfungible.com, which gives a comprehensive overview of the NFT ecosystem. Steinwold thinks that the $100 million mark is just the start of the NFT evolution and the economy will grow much bigger going forward. “I believe NFTs will be a trillion-dollar market someday,” Steinwold stressed. “That means $999.9 billion in future opportunities. We’re just .01% of the way in.” Steinwold added: We’ve talked about redemption NFTs in the past. We’ve learned about NFTs across gaming, art, culture, collectibles, and domains. But we’ve never zoomed out to look at the market as a whole. What are the categories? collectibles, gaming, worlds, art, culture. Which categories are winning? Volumes, value, [and] projects. Nonfungible.com stats show that as of July 5, 2020, the total sales of NFTs is around $96.1 million so far. Close to 20,000 Opensea Wallets and $2.5M in Monthly NFT Trade Volume Steinwold’s data shows there are 18,552 wallets on Opensea and there is $2.5 million in global NFT trade volume on a monthly basis. As of June 5, 2020, the total lifetime trade volume of NFTs is around $96.1 million so far. The average price is around $20.90 per NFT according to nonfungible.com and Steinwold’s statistics. The NFT projects n0wear and cryptopunks. “With December 2017 as our starting point, the NFT market has only been around for ~2.5 years, an extremely small amount of time compared to bitcoin (11 years) or traditional markets (hundreds of years),” Steinwold highlighted. “While monthly trade volumes are low at roughly $2M per month, the NFT market has seen a steady increase over time.” Steinwold says the aforementioned data shows just how early it is when it comes to NFT technology. “The above stats show just how early we are in a market that one day could be worth trillions of dollars — Of course, that trillion-dollar figure will only be reached once there’s a functioning metaverse, but I strongly believe we are headed in that direction,” Steinwold said. The Polynexus Capital partner further stated: Perhaps the most shocking statistic is the number of wallets on Opensea: about 18,500 wallets have either purchased or sold an NFT. Since Opensea is the dominant NFT marketplace, this metric should give us a rough indication of the current number of NFT users overall. Some of the projects Steinwold mentions include NFT ideas like Cryptopunks, Cryptokitties, Avastars, Gods Unchained, Axie Infinity, My Crypto Heroes, Crypto Space Commanders, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space, The Sandbox, Async Art, Superrare, Nifty Gateway, Knownorigin, Makersplace, n0wear, Zora, and Foundation. Steinwold also mentions the possibilities of “ticketing for events, property titles, [and] digital identity” concepts. Rare pepe and Spells of Genesis trading cards were one of the earliest versions of colorful and artistic versions of NFT technology. A number of blockchains provide NFT technology but the most dominant is Ethereum by a long shot. Other blockchains like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) can also be leveraged to created NFTs. In August 2019, the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) developer, James Cramer, announced the launch of the Electron Cash SLP version 3.5, which allowed the creation of non-fungible tokens that can be grouped together by a single ID. News.Bitcoin.com has published a step-by-step walkthrough on how to create non-fungible assets and collectible tokens with Bitcoin Cash. The Growth of the Metaverse Is a Very Big Deal Moreover, Forbes published an editorial on the coming of the metaverse on July 5 and exclaimed that “it’s a very big deal.” Columnist Cathy Hackl writes that today’s foundations concerning the metaverse are being built as we speak. “Today, the metaverse is a shared virtual space where people are represented by digital avatars (think Ready Player One),” Hackl writes. She adds: The virtual world constantly grows and evolves based on the decisions and actions of the society within it. Eventually, people will be able to enter the metaverse, completely virtually (i.e. with virtual reality) or interact with parts of it in their physical space with the help of augmented and mixed reality. NFTs are going to be a big part of this growth according to Steinwold, and the innovations are just getting started. “When comparing these physical uses to gamers doing some new behavior in a virtual environment, the pace of innovation is often much higher in the digital world,” Steinwold’s observation concludes. “Going forward, I expect more differentiated NFT categories to arise and NFT market activity to increase dramatically.” What do you think about the non-fungible token economy sales coming close to reaching $100 million so far? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. The post The Tokenized Metaverse: Non-Fungible Token Sales to Surpass $100 Million appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  24. More than 700,000 Expedia Group hotels and accommodations are now available via crypto-friendly travel booking platform Travala. Bookings can be paid with more than 30 cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. Despite covid-19, Travala saw a 170% increase in booking revenue from its 2 million properties in 230 countries. Travel With Crypto via Expedia and Travala Cryptocurrency-friendly travel booking platform Travala announced on Monday that more than 700,000 Expedia Group hotels and accommodations are now available on its website. Users can pay for their bookings with more than 30 cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, in addition to traditional payments. This is possible due to a new partnership between Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS) and Travala.com. Expedia launched EPS Rapid in 2018 to give travel companies access to its portfolio of over 700,000 properties with over 35 property types in more than 35,000 destinations worldwide. Travala.com was founded in 2017 and currently provides access to more than 2 million hotels and accommodations in 230 countries. Travala wrote: Powered by EPS’s versatile API, Rapid, more than 700,000 Expedia Group hotels and accommodations are now available via Travala.com. On the site, travelers can book trips using more than 30 forms of cryptocurrency. Among the cryptocurrencies accepted on Travala.com are BTC, BCH, ETH, BNB, and AVA, Travala’s native coin. Expedia used to accept BTC on its own website. However, the company dropped the cryptocurrency payment option in June 2018. Noting that “cryptocurrency adoption [is] on the rise,” Travala CEO Juan Otero said: “we want to ensure our users have payment choice and transparent pricing for every trip booked. EPS Rapid is the best API product in the travel industry and this partnership unlocks greater accommodation choice and availability for our users, including 4- and 5-star hotels in top destinations.” On Saturday, Travala announced that AVA has been added to the Travelbybit point of sale (POS) system so it can now be used for purchases at over 500 merchants across Australia. Travala began offering Booking.com’s accommodation listings on its platform in November last year and merged with Travalbybit with backing from Binance in May. In its June report, published on July 1, Travala revealed that its overall booking revenue for June was $184,296, an increase of over 170% from the previous month. Moreover, 59% of the total bookings were paid with cryptocurrencies in June, 21% of which were paid with bitcoin. Otero said Monday, “Our latest month-on-month data shows consumer confidence and the desire for travel is returning, with an 81% increase in room nights booked and website traffic up 50% week-on-week.” What do you think about paying for Expedia hotels with crypto via Travala? Let us know in the comments section below. The post 700,000 Expedia Hotels Can Now Be Paid With Cryptocurrencies via Travala appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  25. Blockchain entrepreneur and former Disney child actor, Brock Pierce, is running for President of the United States this election. Pierce announced he was running during America’s Independence Day celebration on July 4, the same day Kanye West revealed his candidacy. Pierce is an advocate of technology and cryptocurrencies and he wholeheartedly believes “entrepreneurs are essential to the rebuilding of this nation.” On July 4, 2020, Brock Pierce, the child actor who starred in the classic Disney film the “Mighty Ducks” is running for President of the United States this election. Pierce is also a serial entrepreneur who shook up the virtual gaming industry as a young adult, and has continued his career bolstering cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. News.Bitcoin.com spoke with Pierce in a private conversation back in September 2015. At the time Pierce told our newsdesk: Satoshi gave us a gift but Bitcoin Stakeholders must continue to nurture and develop it. Disruptive technologies like the Internet and Bitcoin don’t get un-invented. Bitcoin entrepreneur Brock Pierce announced he was joining the U.S. presidential election on July 4, 2020. In Pierce’s 2020 presidential candidacy announcement video, he explains that he is a “staunch supporter of entrepreneurs and small businesses, he understands what it takes to build a business from the ground up.” Pierce says that Americans need to embrace a future filled with technological advancements and says he can help guide the country toward 21st-century technology practices. The serial entrepreneur explains that he was a child actor as well and notes that he isn’t a “perfect” human and that his “battle scars” have given him fortitude. The U.S. presidential candidate also leverages discussions involving Covid-19 and the recent protests held in nearly every city across the nation. Pierce wants Americans to “convene” and says mantras like “we are all in this together,” “make every voice count” and “Brock the vote.” The crypto venture capitalist explains his recent philanthropy in Peurto Rico and his website mentions his involvement with “the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of EOS Alliance, Block.one, Blockchain Capital, Tether, and Mastercoin.” Of course, cryptocurrency supporters will enjoy the fact that Pierce bolsters digital currency solutions and blockchain technology. Kanye West, the billion-dollar hip hop artist who is also running for president in 2020 is also considered bitcoin-friendly and has tweeted about the decentralized currency in the past. The Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen is also pro-bitcoin as well, and news.Bitcoin.com recently talked with the first female Libertarian nominee. She said she would do away with certain legal tender laws, bolster cryptocurrency innovation, and free Ross Ulbricht as well. Cryptocurrency supporters also have John McAfee and Adam Kokesh too, and both of those 2020 candidates support cryptocurrencies on a greater level than Trump or Biden. The presidential incumbent Donald Trump has only mentioned bitcoin in a couple of tweets and has yet to address the subject on any realistic level. The presumptive Democrat candidate Joe Biden also hasn’t addressed digital currencies at all during his campaign. The only other pro-bitcoin candidate was Andrew Yang who dropped out a few months back, after his support was significantly lacking. What do you think about Brock Pierce running for president in 2020? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. The post Bitcoin Entrepreneur Brock Pierce Joins the 2020 US Presidential Election appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  26. Seba, a Switzerland based bank, is proposing a Bitcoin valuation model that places its fair value at $10,670. At this price, the model suggests Bitcoin is trading at a significant discount, at just above $9,100. In a blog posting this past Thursday, Seba says the model’s estimate relies on the same concepts as other valuation models. It draws comparisons with the FX space. “In the FX space, for instance, Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and Uncovered Interest Rate Parity (UIP), two models based on sound concepts, provide estimates challenged by empirical evidence,” the blog post points out. Yet, in spite of lacking empirical support, such currency valuation models “shape and form the basis of investors’” understanding of the FX market. Furthermore, the models help explain where currency “value originates in a fiat money world” where none of the currencies have “intrinsic value.” Seba tries to contrasts the findings of its model valuation with well-known Bitcoin valuation models. As the blog posting further claims, other valuation models place the network’s value between 0 and $100 trillion. This is a vast range that does not provide insight, alludes Seba. Nevertheless, Seba does admit the limitations of its own models. It notes that the models’ estimates for other cryptocurrencies remain inconclusive. The financial institution’s first of two models is built around four key concepts. These are key characteristics of blockchains (network and immutability) and cryptocurrencies (monetary policy and currency type). According to the Seba, the valuation model estimates are cognizant of the most sensitive variables, namely the number of users and monetary policy. On the other hand, “the immutability and Gresham parameters have lower price elasticity.” It further notes that “for immutability, the calibrated hash rate is a large number, its level impacts price level.” In the meantime, the second proposed model compares the exchange rates of cryptocurrencies within the cryptocurrency space. It is based on a no-arbitrage condition (mining parity). According to it, miners should expect the same profit when mining comparable cryptocurrencies in terms of consensus algorithms. The bank asserts there is empirical evidence that strongly supports the existence of mining parity. Since May 2020, the month of halving, Bitcoin has only gone above the $10,000 mark once, on 2 June according to Coinmarketcap. The price has oscillated between the 9000 and 10000 range for the past two months. This price range is also just above the maximum observed Bitcoin miner’s break-even price. What do you think about SEBA’s Bitcoin valuation? Share your view in the comment section below. The post A New Price Valuation Model Says $10,670 Fair Value For Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  27. An international law enforcement team has brought down an encrypted phone network with 60,000 users worldwide. The platform was one of the largest providers of encrypted communications, widely used by organized crime groups. UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), Europol, Eurojust, and several other authorities announced on Thursday that they have infiltrated and taken down an encrypted phone platform widely used by organized crime groups worldwide. Encrochat is “an encrypted phone network widely used by criminal networks,” Europol described. It “was one of the largest providers of encrypted communications,” the NCA added, asserting that “an international law enforcement team cracked the company’s encryption.” The NCA elaborated: There were 60,000 users worldwide and around 10,000 users in the UK – the sole use was for coordinating and planning the distribution of illicit commodities, money laundering and plotting to kill rival criminals. International law enforcement agencies have been collaborating to target Encrochat and other encrypted criminal communication platforms since 2016. “Over the last months, the joint investigation made it possible to intercept, share and analyse millions of messages that were exchanged between criminals to plan serious crimes,” the law enforcement team’s press release details. In the U.K., the operation is called Venetic and it is “the biggest and most significant operation of its kind in the UK,” the NCA wrote, adding that “Entire organised crime groups [were] dismantled during Operation Venetic with 746 arrests, and £54m [$67 million] criminal cash, 77 firearms and over two tonnes of drugs seized so far.” According to law enforcement, Encrochat realized the platform had been penetrated on June 13. The company then sent a message to its users urging them to throw away their handsets. The Encrochat servers have now been shut down. The Encrochat phones have pre-loaded apps for instant messaging, the ability to make VOIP calls and a kill code which wipes them remotely. They cost around £1,500 for a six-month contract, the NCA added. What do you think about how law enforcement brought down Encrochat? Let us know in the comments section below. The post Encryption Crackdown: Private Phone Network With 60,000 Users Dismantled by Law Enforcement appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
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