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  2. A group of Bitcoin Cash mining pool operations have decided to help fund BCH infrastructure development. On January 22, Btc.top founder Jiang Zhuoer revealed that five mining pools are preparing a short-term developers donation plan. Miners from Btc.top, Bitcoin.com, Viabtc, Antpool, and Btc.com plan to give “12.5% of [the] BCH coinbase rewards to a fund that will support Bitcoin Cash infrastructure.” Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Sees Mining Pool Shift and Hashrate Surpass 4 Exahash Btc.top Founder Announces Bitcoin Cash Development Fund Lately, there’s been discussions regarding funding BCH infrastructure development. The BCH community raised money last summer to go toward various BCH development teams. Now, five BCH mining pools have decided to donate funds from their coinbase rewards to engineering teams working on infrastructure. Btc.top founder Jiang Zhuoer disclosed the news on Wednesday and noted that it is “is impossible for developers to develop for free for long-term.” However, he also highlighted that the “corporate donation mechanism has some significant problems.” Zhuoer’s example of corporate donations gone bad is Blockstream’s influence over Bitcoin Core’s development process “which has led to the centralization in BTC’s development,” the miner emphasized. Zhuoer’s blog post stresses that centralized development has hindered Satoshi’s plan. “Only a few companies have taken the commitment to bear the costs for the community development, while other members are free-riders, causing a typical tragedy of the commons,” Zhuoer remarked. Btc.top’s founder added: Therefore, although there is some controversy among miners for directing coinbase rewards to developers, it is undoubtedly a far better solution than a few corporate donors’ mechanism. 12.5% of BCH Coinbase Rewards for Six Months Zhuoer then detailed that mining pool operators Btc.top, Antpool, Btc.com, Viabtc, and Bitcoin.com are in the midst of preparing a “6-month short-term donation plan.” “This plan aims to provide sufficient funds for BCH developers to accelerate the BCH development before the upcoming bull market in 2020–2021/22,” Zhuoer said. “To provide this funding, we intend to direct 12.5% of BCH coinbase rewards to a fund that will support Bitcoin Cash infrastructure. “This funding will last for 6 months, and it will provide significant and much needed support to the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.” The Btc.top founder also discussed the SHA256 mining ecosystem and the hash ratio between BTC and BCH and how things may proceed in the future. Additionally, Zhuoer talked about the estimated amount that could be raised depending on the price of BCH over time. “If we assume a current price of $300 per BCH, then donating 12.5% of the coinbase for a period of 180 days would total $6,075,000,” Zhuoer noted. “This plan provides a substantial sum that would have a positive impact on Bitcoin Cash and the cryptocurrency ecosystem.” The miner’s announcement also said that a “Hong Kong corporation” has been initiated to legally accept and disperse the developers’ funds. Zhuoer continued: The funds would be used to pay for development contributions to full node implementations as well as other critical infrastructure. The mining pool representatives who support the funding effort include Bitcoin.com’s Roger Ver, Antpool and Btc.com’s Jihan Wu, Btc.top’s Jiang Zhuoer, and Viabtc’s Haipo Yang. On Wednesday, BCH proponents discussed the funding news. “Sounds like a good solution to the issue of staying on track with what’s best for BCH,” one Redditor wrote on r/btc. “ I like the way they are doing these donations — Much love from a BCH user,” another crypto enthusiast remarked. Throughout the day and into the evening, the BCH funding topic has been trending online. Numerous crypto advocates debated the subject on Twitter and Reddit forums on Wednesday. What do you think about BCH miners donating to Bitcoin Cash infrastructure development? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Fair Use, Wiki Commons, and the Bitcoin Cash logo. Do you want to maximize your Bitcoin Mining potential? Plug your own hardware into the world’s most profitable Bitcoin mining pool or get started without having to own hardware through one of our competitive Bitcoin cloud mining contracts. The post Bitcoin Cash Miners Plan $6M Development Fund by Leveraging Block Rewards appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  3. The global markets company Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has seen considerable demand since launching its options contracts in the wake of the firm’s bitcoin futures. On the first day of swaps, CME’s bitcoin options saw 55 contracts ($2.3 million). By the end of the week, the firm’s bitcoin options volume more than doubled with 122 contracts ($5.3 million) sold. Also read: Bitcoin Futures Hit 3-Month High in Frenetic Tuesday Trading CME Bitcoin Options See Steady Growth Regulated crypto derivatives products have seen strong demand and just recently the forex marketplace CME launched options on the firm’s bitcoin futures contracts. The foreign exchange company announced its bitcoin options offering in mid-September as CME executive Tim McCourt said there was “increasing client demand” for such products. McCourt also remarked that the options would provide “clients with additional flexibility to trade and hedge their bitcoin price risk.” Following the announcement, the ICE-owned Bakkt derivatives marketplace launched bitcoin options in the U.S., alongside opening cash-settled bitcoin futures in Asia. CME’s options started trading on January 13 and the marketplace saw a grand total of 55 options contracts or $2.3 million sold that day. As news.Bitcoin.com’s CME options report mentioned in November, each contract represents 5 BTC. The derivatives markets researchers from Skew.com have also recorded the options action on CME since the day the products launched. “Just added CME to our bitcoin options open interest radar,” the researchers tweeted. On January 17, Skew wrote that CME’s open interest for bitcoin futures was “up 100% since the start of the year.” Following the 55 contracts on opening day, CME bitcoin options saw 122 contracts worth $5.3 million on January 17. “[The] first week of CME options closed on a strong note with 610 bitcoin options trading on Friday,” Skew researchers noted on January 20. In addition to the strong CME options start, demand for crypto derivatives has been steadily climbing. A few days before CME launched the bitcoin options, Skew tweeted that global open interest in bitcoin derivatives has spiked 15% to roughly $3.5 billion on January 15. This includes institutional marketplaces like CME and Bakkt but also Okex, Deribit, Bitfinex, Ledgerx, FTX, Huobi, Kraken, Binance, and Bitmex. Bakkt’s Bitcoin Options Flounder and Retail Derivatives Volumes Skyrocket As CME records a steady climb from 55 contracts to 122 on January 17, open interest has also risen from 55 to 219. On January 21, the Twitter account Ecoinmetrics explained that Bakkt’s BTC futures were dealing with low trade volumes. “Low trading activity on the Bakkt futures,” the researchers detailed. “At the same time the Bakkt BTC options market is completely dead — Not looking very good when compared to the CME markets,” Ecoinmetrics added. With CME’s bitcoin derivatives products, the story is different. “Open interest is still high on BTC futures,” Ecoinmetrics explained the following day. “Slow increase in activity on the May’20/Jun’20 contracts after the halving — On the options side: 27 contracts traded and open interest climbing to 244 contracts.” There were 1,039 ($9.15 million) Bakkt bitcoin monthly futures traded on Tuesday. The volume is far less than the all-time high Bakkt saw on December 18, 2019, with 6,601 physically-settled monthly futures traded. At 10:20 a.m. EST on January 22, Bakkt’s volume is around 386 BTC. Despite the recent rise in CME-based bitcoin futures products, the volumes are still minuscule compared to the crypto derivatives giants who deal with retail customers. During the last week, Bakkt’s physically traded bitcoin futures volume has been much lighter but demand has grown since the product launched. CME and Bakkt have a long way to go before they catch up to the massive volumes Bitmex, Bitfinex, and Coinflex process on a daily basis. What do you think about the growing demand for CME Group’s cash-settled bitcoin options? What do you think about Bakkt volumes slowing down last week? Let us know what you think about the crypto derivatives industry in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any ideas, software, bitcoin futures contracts, bitcoin options, crypto derivatives products, manufacturers, websites, concepts, content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Price articles and futures market updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Image credits: Shutterstock, Skew Research, Bakkt Volume Bot, Fair Use, and Pixabay. Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry. The post Demand for Crypto Derivatives Swells as CME’s Bitcoin Volume Rises appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  4. Former bank employees have received bonuses worth millions of euros in an illegal trading scheme that also involved a tax lawyer, prosecutors in Frankfurt revealed this week. The case is part of multiple investigations carried out across Germany, the hardest hit country in a notorious tax fraud scandal known as the Cum-ex Files. Also read: European Banks Struggle With Low Interest Rates and Strict Regulations Frankfurt Fraud Costs Germany €389 Million The six bankers got 29.5 million euros (close to $33 million) in bonuses from the alleged fraud, German prosecutors said this past Monday. The staggering numbers, mentioned in the charges filed earlier this month against the bankers and the lawyer, were made public in an announcement by the Frankfurt Prosecutor’s Office which was quoted by Reuters. The prosecutors did not reveal the entities that employed the accused but according to sources quoted in the report, the individuals worked for Maple Bank. The Frankfurt-based financial institution collapsed in 2016 as a result of its involvement in cum-ex trades which were conducted between 2006 and 2009 and cost the state €389 million in lost taxes (more than $421M). Two of the bankers have been in custody since their detention in December 2019 following the investigation carried out by German authorities. The tax lawyer, Ulf Johannemann, who is a former partner at the law firm Freshfields, was arrested the previous month. He has been released on a 4 million euro bail, the news agency detailed. The case in Frankfurt, the Eurozone’s financial capital, is just one of a series of investigations in the Federal Republic into the large-scale tax scam. Participants in the fraud generated multiple tax reclaims from phantom dividends from mostly German companies. Officials insist that the scheme required intensive cooperation between big financial institutions, investors and legal experts to achieve its goals. The Cum-Ex Files The tax fraud in Frankfurt and other similar cases involving cum-ex deals were discovered by news organizations and tax authorities a decade later, sparking a heated debate in German society that led to the launch of a parliamentary inquiry. The government in Berlin has estimated that its losses amount to 5 billion euros but the damage may be even bigger. Although Germany is the hardest hit country, a number of other EU member states like France, Italy, Denmark, and Belgium have been affected by the massive fraud as well. It has been estimated that a network of bankers, brokers, asset managers, consultants, investors, and lawyers managed to extract public funds worth an estimated €55 billion (over $60 billion), exploiting a legal loophole in tax laws and in particular the German tax code. The cum-ex scheme involves the lending and trading of shares with (cum in Latin) and without (ex) dividend rights between multiple parties around the “record date,” an established quarterly date when companies determine who owns their stock and who is eligible to receive dividend. The numerous transactions make it hard for tax authorities to know who the current owner is. The rapid exchanging of shares, sold with-dividend just before record date but delivered without dividend right after, is aimed at allowing two parties to simultaneously claim ownership of the same stock, each of whom was entitled to a tax rebate and claimed refunds on taxes that had been paid only once. It was possible to implement the scheme partially because of the way the German tax system functions. The capital gains tax is automatically deducted from all dividend payments but dividends are taxed differently depending on the status of the receiving party. While private individuals owe 25% capital gains tax on their dividends, dividend income for corporate entities such as investment companies is added to all other income and charged with 15% corporation tax on the total annual profit. Thus, institutional investors could reclaim the capital gains tax that has already been deducted. What’s your opinion about the cum-ex fraudulent trading scheme in Europe? Share your thoughts on the scandal in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Do you need to track down a Bitcoin transaction? With our Bitcoin Explorer tool, you can search by transaction ID, address, or block hash to find specific details, and for a look at the broader crypto space explore our Bitcoin Charts tool. The post 6 Bankers Accused of Earning €30M in Bonuses From German Fraud, Tax Lawyer Out on €4M Bail appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  5. India’s supreme court spent all day on Wednesday hearing extensive arguments from both the counsel representing crypto exchanges and the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The counsel for the central bank confirmed again that cryptocurrency is not banned in India, but still justifies the banking restrictions on the crypto industry. Also read: Crypto vs RBI — 3 Days of Intense Supreme Court Hearings All-Day Hearing at Supreme Court The Supreme Court of India resumed hearing the crypto vs. RBI case on Wednesday. Local news and regulatory analysis platform Crypto Kanoon reported that Nakul Dewan, the counsel representing a number of crypto exchanges, opened his arguments by countering the RBI’s claim that crypto has no intrinsic value. He argued that by the same logic fiat currency also has no value since gold backing has been removed. The counsel also gave an overview of how money was developed. While agreeing that there are risks, he read out a report outlining alternative measures to banking restrictions, emphasizing that crypto is not banned in India. Dewan proceeded to discuss the effects of the RBI ban, citing the government’s earlier statement that banning will reduce the ability of law enforcement agencies to monitor crypto activities. He explained to the judges how the crypto exchange business works, noting that the business is completely dependant on the banking channel. Dewan compared cryptocurrencies to airline miles which people could use and redeem for other services, adding that the RBI does not stop these similar arrangements. The court questioned if the two are really the same; the counsel insisted that both have the same economic nature. Crypto, Medium of Exchange, RBI’s Power to Ban Dewan told the court that “There are 2 things that a crypto does. Its creation is that of a ‘good’ by the work of validation. Another is the medium of exchange for the group of people who recognize value in it,” Crypto Kanoon conveyed. The judges responded by saying that if crypto is a medium of exchange then it must be controlled. The counsel argued that the legislature is aware that it can be used as a medium of exchange, but did not choose to pass any law. The counsel read out several judgments by various courts worldwide that crypto is not money, such as in the U.S. and Singapore. He discussed the definition of goods from the Indian Sale of Goods Act before bringing up the Banking Regulation Act to challenge the powers of the central bank to place a banking restriction on the crypto industry. In its response to the petitioners’ representation, the RBI wrote in one place that “technological innovations like VCs [virtual currencies] not to be encouraged,” according to the news portal. Dewan asserted that it is not within the RBI’s power to encourage or otherwise. The central bank’s response further states that “we are restricting you because you are convertible to legal tender at entry and exit levels.” The counsel told the court that this statement applies to all kinds of other schemes including airline miles. He referred to the Doctrine of Proportionality before concluding his arguments. RBI’s Turn to Present Arguments Next, Shyam Diwan opened his arguments on behalf of the central bank which claims to have acted with the input of other regulators and domestic needs. He referenced the view of the interministerial committee (IMC) which drafted the bill to ban cryptocurrencies. Crypto Kanoon quoted Diwan as saying: Our [RBI’s] purpose is to adopt nip in the bud approach in order to ensure that payment system is protected and other alternates are not allowed to pop up in the economy. And we are empowered by law for this. Diwan asserted that “Crypto could be a store of value or commodity, but we see it as a digital means of payment. Crypto ecosystem may affect the existing payment system and influence the economic policy,” the news platform also reported. “I am not a crime detector or a tax collector. But since I am the protector of monetary policy and the monitor of cross border transactions, it comes under my domain to restrict this in the interest of monetary policy,” the counsel added. The central bank has listed many risks associated with cryptocurrencies such as money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing. The counsel also discussed the size of the crypto market and the history of cryptocurrency, including Satoshi Nakamoto, which the judges shared their knowledge. The RBI claims that “crypto payments take place in peer to peer system without an authorized agency which expose the user to the risk of having no legal recourse,” the news outlet noted. After the lunch break, Diwan read out some crypto-related announcements by the central bank and referred to the definition of virtual currencies, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines, and the challenges in dealing with cryptocurrencies for law enforcement. He mentioned terrorist financing and consumer protection issues, adding that growing crypto investments can lead to reduced bank reserves, Crypto Kanoon detailed. The counsel claims that even a small challenge may result in several adverse effects given the complexity of the financial market, citing an RBI Financial Stability report which explains the complexity of the monetary system. Diwan referred to the recommendations by the inter-disciplinary committee which previously issued a warning to crypto exchange users. The judge then asked about the Crypto Token Bill 2018 which was drafted based on the recommendations of the inter-disciplinary committee report dated 2017. The counsel revealed that the recommendations were not accepted and the interministerial committee was formed. Diwan further claims that the central bank conducted a detailed study before taking action. According to Crypto Kanoon, the counsel described: RBI recognizes that crypto is negligible today but it will undermine the formal payment system … For the total economy, it may be small but it has immense potential to impact the system including cross border capability. The judge asked whether virtual currencies are legal. The counsel clarified that “in India, VCs are not illegal and there is no ban in place. No prohibition.” However, the counsel insisted that the RBI has the power to maintain financial stability, referencing a few research papers, including the minutes of an IMC meeting which concluded that crypto should be banned. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said during that meeting that the use of virtual currencies is “likely to grow and due to its nature, regulating it by a single regulator would not be feasible,” the news outlet detailed. Diwan proceeded to read out the IMC report, including the draft bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019.” However, it has been almost a year since this bill was drafted and submitted to the government, but it has yet to be introduced in parliament. The crypto community in India believes that this bill will not be introduced since it is flawed in many ways. The counsel also read from the report the use of initial coin offerings (ICOs) as an alternative to traditional financing methods for startups. The differences between fiat money and virtual currencies were also discussed. The RBI counsel is expected to continue his arguments on Thursday. What do you think of the supreme court hearing today? Do you think the court will lift the RBI ban tomorrow? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Crypto vs RBI: Exchange Counsel and RBI Take Center Stage at Supreme Court Today appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  6. After a spate of big names parting ways with the Libra Association late last year such as Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, and Ebay, British telecommunications giant Vodafone has become the latest to bid the ambitious digital asset project farewell. While Vodafone’s statement notes it does not rule out the possibility of working with Libra in the future, a statement issued Tuesday by the Libra Association confirms the exit. Also Read: EU Finance Ministers Place Defacto Ban on Libra Another Big Name Exits the Libra Association The Libra Association‘s membership continues to shrink as British telecommunications conglomerate Vodafone has become the latest to announce a split from the group. The Libra Association describes its role as working “to evolve and scale the network and reserve” of the planned Libra cryptocurrency. Despite publication of a signed charter in October last year, with Vodafone representation signing on, the group confirmed their departure Tuesday and noted in a statement: “We will continue to monitor the development of the Libra Association and do not rule out the possibility of future co-operation.” The association, which began with 28 founding members, is now down to 20 as Booking Holdings, Ebay, Mastercard, Mercado Pago, Paypal, Stripe, Visa and Vodafone have all exited. Vodafone is making the move to direct resources and attention to M-pesa, its own digital payments service. Some speculate Libra’s ongoing confrontations with government regulators and financial policymakers could also be an influencing factor in the decision. Libra Pushes Forward Despite Uncertainty Dante Disparte, the Libra Association’s head of policy and communication said in a statement issued to multiple media outlets: Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient. The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system. Though the planned 2020 launch of the libra crypto is doubted by some — thanks in part to lack of specific mention in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent “vision for the decade” social media post — the Libra Association pushes on. Libra also does not appear to be lacking interest from companies hoping to participate, with reports of a wait list of over 1,500 companies and plans to admit new members in 2020. The Libra project has been targeted from the outset by politicians and lawmakers, and even made fun of by influencers in the crypto space for not being a true crypto in the sense of decentralization and limited supply. Still, the saga stretches on into a brand new decade while the crypto community watches to see what unfolds. What are your thoughts on Vodafone exiting the Libra Association? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Image credits: Shutterstock Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Vodafone Becomes 8th Company to Exit Libra Association appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  7. A new presidential decree in Uzbekistan envisages the introduction of tax exemptions for income obtained from operations involving crypto assets. The draft document published recently also incorporates proposals for the establishment of a blockchain valley and licensing regime for cryptocurrency miners. The country has just launched its first licensed crypto exchange. Also read: Uzbekistan to Create National Mining Pool, Launch Licensed Exchange Tax Free Crypto Operations The Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan legalized cryptocurrency trading and introduced licensing for crypto exchanges with a decree signed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the fall of 2018. An earlier decree issued by the head of state in the summer of that year laid the legal grounds for other related activities in order to develop the country’s digital economy. Uzbekistan now prepares to exempt income obtained in cryptocurrency operations from taxation. A draft-decree containing provisions to that effect has been published last week for public discussion. Furthermore, Presidential Decree ID-12538 “On the measures for further development of the circulation of crypto assets in the Republic of Uzbekistan,” excludes crypto transactions from the scope of the nation’s foreign currency regulations. The draft document details: Operations of legal entities and individuals related to the circulation of crypto assets, including those carried out by non-residents, are not objects of taxation, and income received from these operations is not included in the tax base for taxes and other obligatory payments. Earlier this month, the National Agency for Project Management (NAPM), a regulatory body responsible for the oversight of the digital economy including the crypto sector, announced its plans for 2020. One of the key priorities of the agency working under the presidency is to establish a “national mining pool” for all private miners who will enjoy preferential electricity rates. Also, all industrial-scale mining operations, according to the latest decree, will be subject to licensing starting from Feb. 1. The government in Tashkent also intends to create a regulatory sandbox for testing crypto technologies called Uzbekistan Blockchain Valley. Authorities want to allow entities involved in the development of new financial products and services to implement them and conduct experiments without violating applicable laws. The proposals for the establishment of the pool and the sandbox came from NAPM, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Development of Information Technologies and Communications, and the Ministry of Energy. Licensed Crypto Exchange Launched Uznex, Uzbekistan’s new digital asset trading platform, is operated by the Korean company Kobea Group. Its launch was announced Monday, Jan. 20 during an opening ceremony in Tashkent where the Korean Cultural Center hosted an international blockchain conference. The event gathered representatives of crypto companies from South Korea, Japan, and Singapore as well as officials from Uzbekistan’s ministries and government agencies, the country’s national information agency Uza reported. Kobea Group also opened its first office in the region. According to another report, by the local edition of Sputnik, Uzbekistan citizens will be allowed only to sell cryptocurrencies on Uznex.com, while foreign entities and nationals residing in the country will have full access to its services within the framework of the country’s legislation. For the time being, Uznex is the only cryptocurrency exchange operating legally in Uzbekistan and possibly in the whole region. The platform is now online and offers several trading pairs against bitcoin core (BTC) and the stablecoin tether (USDT). These include bitcoin cash (BCH) and ethereum (ETH). According to the announcement quoted by local media, Uznex should support several fiat options such as Uzbekistan’s national currency, the som (UZS), U.S. dollar (USD), and credit cards. However, the fiat payment and withdrawal methods are not currently available on the Uznex website, which is still in beta. The exchange will also serve global users in the future who want to invest in digital financial assets, make international transfers or need access to credit. The Korean operator intends to play an active role in Uzbekistan’s socio-economic life. Its plans include the establishment of blockchain departments in the country’s leading universities. Do you expect Uzbekistan to become a regional leader in the crypto space? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Uza. You can now purchase bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here. The post Uzbekistan Prepares Crypto Tax Exemptions, Launches Licensed Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  8. While people have watched the BTC network surpass 100 exahash per second (EH/s), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has been steadily gathering hashrate as well. Since the November 15, 2018 blockchain split, which produced the Bitcoin SV (BSV) chain, BCH hashrate has jumped by more than 3x. Bitcoin cash is often more profitable to mine than BTC and during the last seven days, the BCH hashrate has averaged around 4EH/s. Also Read: Debate Ensues After 68% of BCH Hashrate Mined by Stealth Miners Bitcoin Cash Hashrate Climbs Over 4 Exahash per Second It’s been well over a year since BSV split off from the BCH network during the mid-November 2018 hash war. After a week or so, both chains saw hashrates drop below 1EH/s and there was a period of significant profitability changes between BTC and BCH miners. Since then, BCH miners have picked up the pace and are hashing far more than they did following the hash war aftermath. BCH hashrate on January 21, 2020. — Did you know you can earn BTC and BCH through Bitcoin Mining? If you already own hardware, connect it to our powerful Bitcoin mining pool. If not, you can easily get started through one of our flexible Bitcoin cloud mining contracts. On November 15, just before the split, there was more than 5EH/s hashing away at the BCH chain, but that plummeted to its lowest point on December 17, 2018. Today, according to multiple hashrate recording websites, the BCH hashrate spiked over 8EH/s three hours ago, as recorded by fork.lol. The Bitcoin Cash network’s average during the last week has been around 4EH/s. This means that from mid-December until now, BCH has seen a hashrate increase of more than three times the daily average. Fork.lol measures absolute hashrate in exahash per second using 12-hour averages. Three hours ago the BCH hashrate spiked to over 8EH/s. In fact, all three SHA256 networks have seen a hashrate rise since mid-December 2018. The BTC hashrate expanded from 32EH/s to this week’s 110EH/s average. Bitcoin SV (BSV) has also seen its network hashrate swell, as it jumped from 1EH/s to 3.3EH/s on January 21, 2020. Coin Dance also shows that BCH has been more profitable to mine in contrast to BTC for more than half of 2019. On January 21, 2020, it was approximately 3.5% more profitable to mine BCH over BTC. For instance, at 12:15 p.m. EST on Tuesday afternoon, “it is currently 3.50% more profitable to mine on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain,” Coin Dance data informs visitors. Since the recent price spike, BSV has been more profitable to mine against BTC. At the time of writing, “it is currently 11.80% more profitable to mine on the Bitcoin SV blockchain,” says the Coin Dance SV website. The BCH daily mining profitability against BTC shows it was more profitable to mine BCH for more than half of last year. Satoshi Probably Didn’t Envision Three Competing SHA256 Networks As the BCH network has seen a significant increase in hashrate, a large number of stealth miners have been hashing away at the network. News.Bitcoin.com reported on the topic in December 2019 and the trend has remained consistent. During the last week, BCH has had 49% of the network being hashed by unknown mining entities. In the last 24 hours, unknown miners captured roughly 57% of the network hashrate. BCH hashrate distribution has shifted a great deal in the last few months and the network has seen a number of stealth miners as well. Since we published that mining report, a mining operation called Taal has appeared on the Bitcoin Cash network. On January 10, a stealth miner who at one time signed BCH block coinbases as “fezi3*,” changed the block signature to “taal.com/fezi3*.” Taal is associated with Calvin Ayre’s Squire Mining Inc. rebrand and BSV backers Craig Wright and Jimmy Nguyen are advisors for Taal. The name Taal is also the name of a volcano that just erupted near one of Ayre’s island villas. Just prior to advertising onchain that it was mining BCH, Taal implemented a concept called Miner ID. The BCH network has jumped more than 3x since the blockchain split on November 15, 2018. Bitcoin SV (BSV) hashrate has increased by 2x since then. All Three Networks Will See a Reward Halving This Spring Alongside Taal, which captures 2% of BCH blocks today, there are nine other identified BCH pools mining the network. This includes Bitcoin.com, Prohashing, Okex, Huobi, Btc.com, Viabtc, Poolin, Antpool, and Btc.top. Seven of the known BCH mining pools today also mine the BTC chain. There are four BCH miners that mine the BSV chain and two of them mine on the BTC network. No one knows exactly why there’s a lot of stealth miners mining the BCH chain or why there’s been such a shift in mining pools. It’s anyone’s guess as to why BSV miners are mining the BCH chain as well and only the pool operators themselves know the moves they are making. Bitcoin SV hashrate distribution has changed a lot during the last few months and more than 45% of the hashrate is processed by unknown miners. In the last three days, unknown miners from BTC have dipped to around 3% of the network, but a few weeks prior, BTC had more than 20%. BSV’s hashrate also has a high concentration of stealth miners hashing away at the chain. At press time there’s around 55% of unknown hash processing the BSV chain during the last 24 hours. Despite the uncertainty of why pool operators are stealth mining and the shift in hashrate on all three networks, a number of speculators believe the changes are due to the upcoming halvings. All three SHA256 networks will see a block subsidy reward halving in the spring of 2020 and miners may be steadily preparing for this event. What do you think about the BCH network hashrate climbing more than 3x the number it held in mid-December 2018? What do you think about the changes and shifts between all three SHA256 networks with BTC and BSV included? Do you think these shifts have anything to do with the upcoming halvings? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Coin Dance, Charts.Bitcoin.com, Fork.lol, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, and Pixabay. Do you want to maximize your Bitcoin Mining potential? Plug your own hardware into the world’s most profitable Bitcoin mining pool or get started without having to own hardware through one of our competitive Bitcoin cloud mining contracts. The post Bitcoin Cash Sees Mining Pool Shift and Hashrate Surpass 4 Exahash appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  9. Last week
  10. There’s been a lot of buzz in the space recently about the importance of user experience. Kim Dotcom’s proclamation that “Mass utility is going to lead to mass adoption,” speaks to this. Peter Schiff’s bitcoin wallet fiasco, CZ’s claim that centralized exchanges are safer than private wallets, and promises of a still undependable Lightning Network as salvation all point to the same. As cashless payment systems proliferate around the globe, one thing becomes crystal clear: crypto doesn’t need a killer app – it is the killer app. Crypto needs better UX. Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Gets Significant Privacy Boost With Cashfusion Alpha Launch The Ongoing Quest for Crypto’s Killer App When it comes to the search for Bitcoin’s killer app, internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has been on the hunt for years. Though his recent kind words about bitcoin cash and jarring reality check to the cryptosphere have ruffled feathers, his conversation with Tone Vays and Willy Woo nonetheless resounds: It’s nice to be a store of value, but if you really want to succeed in this game, you need to be the electronic cash … Right now only 2% of internet users have even been exposed to crypto. We are a niche, small piece of shit in the universe of business. Dotcom goes on to note that almost nobody knows or cares about the bickering and tribalism in the crypto space, but that users will naturally gravitate to “the currency that gives them the cheapest fees, the fastest transactions, the most reliability.” The entrepreneur adds that “currently, unfortunately, that is not bitcoin [BTC].” He noted the importance of many developments in the areas of privacy and security on the BCH network as well, to the uncomfortable fidgeting of his friends. UX Discussions Take Center Stage on Crypto Twitter Even for BTC maximalists and neutral parties in the everyday tribal feuds, Kim’s sentiments don’t go unrecognized. Monday’s “forgetful wallet” fiasco involving Peter Schiff generated not only humorous mockery, but also observations about the general usability of bitcoin wallets in the first place. After all, if Schiff can’t use it, your grandfather probably can’t either. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also weighed in on the UX debate. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao took the opportunity to mock Schiff and leverage questionable UX to send more folks to exchanges, tweeting: “Many hardcore crypto ogs advocate storing your own keys. But the truth is, today most people are not able to secure a key even from themselves (losing it). A trusted centralized exchange is #SAFUer for most people. The numbers speak for themselves. Need to work on wallets.” Overlooking the fact CZ just called us all too stupid to hold our own private keys in a bid to drum up business, his comment on the state of crypto wallets does have merit. User experience in crypto is still very difficult, compared to the slick products everyday consumers are used to. Bitcoin ABC Lead Developer Amaury Sachet and Cointext CTO Vin Armani also sounded off on the topic, with Armani asserting that “Bitcoin’s UX is so far from ‘working,’ it’s laughable.” Sachet noted further down the thread: “This space value new shit rather that slick shit, so we get a ton of new shit and none of it is slick.” He continued: There is no secret, good UX require many iterations and nobody is going to do that if this is not valued. Though one might not agree with all the views of these entrepreneurs and devs, one thing stands out: they’re all seeing something wrong with the current state of bitcoin UX in general — this even across bitter lines of tribalist allegiance. Even Tone Vays thinks something needs to change. For him, salvation lies in the Lightning Network, a developing solution still so riddled with problems and plagued by constant delays that mentioning it in the same sentence as UX almost seems like a joke. Anarchy in the UX The world has gone from centrally controlled fiat money, routine privacy invasions, forced payments and usage to the realized possibility of completely permissionless exchange without a third party. For those who can remember sending or receiving their first bitcoin back in the day, the experience was almost spiritual for its clean mathematical simplicity. Crypto itself is the coolest ‘app’ there currently is in finance, hands down. Threat of state force notwithstanding (granted, that’s a big one), a clean and easy UX for crypto apps is really all that stands in the way of mass adoption. Easy, cashless payment systems with intuitive and simple user interfaces are already proliferating worldwide. This is what Japan fintech payments just in a 7 Eleven stores. You can see even with all these payments bitcoin is not here. pic.twitter.com/MTIQmYRsyw — TiENCHATHK (@tienchathk) January 18, 2020 When even those who could care less about ideas like economic sovereignty can shop online, buy a cheeseburger, interact with social media, or pay their utilities with crypto easily, a paradigm shift begins to occur. Obsolete institutions will become too top-heavy to stand without popular support. They’ll have to adapt or fall under their own weight. This further opens the door for more freedom-minded users to transact however they want with less risk. Ongoing privacy enhancements also bring greater fungibility and continued convenience to this process. So while there are a great many apps, crypto itself and an excellent UX are the real killer feature being sought. Enjoyable and efficient user experience is what keeps people using Apple products, coming back to Facebook even if they claim to “hate it,” or using Google search. We’ve got the tech. The next step is to show everybody just how killer it is. What do you think will be crypto’s “killer app”? Let us know in the comments section below. Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use. Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. You can also enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely. The post Why User Experience Is Crypto’s True ‘Killer App’ appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  11. On January 17, the UK tax agency Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published a job opportunity for a private contractor to design a cryptocurrency blockchain analysis tool. According to the listing, the contract is for one year and HMRC will pay the contractor $100,000 for software that can “identify and cluster crypto asset transactions.” Also read: Britain’s Tax Authority Updates Crypto Guidelines HMRC Wants a Blockchain Analysis Tool and Is Willing to Pay $100,000 Governments worldwide have been cracking down on cryptocurrency holders in order to make sure they are paying taxes. In the U.S., the country’s tax agency the IRS has initiated a broad stroke of tax enforcement against people who may own or at one time possessed cryptos. In the United Kingdom, HMRC has been following a similar path as the tax entity issued guidance for individual cryptocurrency holders in 2018 and then published more guidelines for businesses on November 1, 2019. HMRC’s updated crypto rules highlight the fact that they believe “individuals residing in the UK should file their tax obligations.” Despite the new guidelines toward cryptocurrency use, the tax authority’s rules are still not clearly defined and people still don’t understand their tax obligations. Nevertheless, just like the IRS and its confusing guidelines, HMRC plans to crackdown on tax evaders anyway. On Friday, a representative from England published an advertisement for HMRC looking for a software engineer to build a blockchain surveillance tool. According to the employment listing, the contractor can work from “any region” remotely. The contract runs from January 2020 to February 2021 and the value of the contract is $100,000. However, a group of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) contractors cannot apply. Small to medium enterprises (SME) are allowed to apply for the position to build the official HMRC blockchain analysis tool. HMRC’s description states: Provision of a tool that will support intelligence-gathering methods to identify and cluster Crypto asset transactions into linked transactions and identify those linked to Crypto asset service providers. Governments Worldwide Aim to Combat Crypto Tax Evasion and Money Laundering The tool must also de-anonymize blockchain activities by cluster analysis and identify confidence ratings in clusters. The tool needs to provide an “attribution of a cluster/address to a known commercial entity (exchange) or a known service provider (mixing service, gambling service, dark market, etc).” The platform must be web-based and offer a visualization of blockchain analytics in order to identify crypto-using suspects and build intelligence. At minimum, the tool needs to support blockchains such as BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, USDT, and LTC. HMRC’s job application emphasizes that the tax agency would love for the tool to analyze monero, dash, and zcash as well. The contractor must also provide secondary training so other government employees can learn how to utilize the blockchain analysis tool. The crypto contractor will be paid via HMRC’s dedicated payment portal Ariba. Additionally, the contractor applying for HMRC’s job has to fill out a lengthy security questionnaire as part of the blockchain tool proposal response. HMRC’s job application proposal cites that crypto assets are being used for “tax evasion and money laundering.” U.S. regulators, specifically Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), have been working with the IRS to tackle money laundering and tax evaders as well. In 2016, an affadavit revealed that HSI created a special task force to identify unlicensed bitcoin exchangers. Two years later, HSI published its 2019 fiscal year pre-solicitation documents which show the agency asked for money for blockchain analysis tools. “This proposal seeks applications of blockchain forensic analytics for newer cryptocurrencies, such as zcash and monero,” the solicitation letter explains. “Blockchain forensic analytics for the homeland security enterprise can help the DHS law enforcement and security operations across components as well as state and local law enforcement operations,” states page 21 of the DHS solicitation letter. “Private financial institutions can likewise benefit from such capabilities in enforcing “know your customer” and anti-money laundering compliance.” HMRC’s newly updated tax guidelines toward crypto-related activities note that most crypto asset operations are “taxable economic activity.” This includes cryptocurrency mining as well as buying, selling, and exchanging a digital asset for another type. Individuals and SMEs interested in HMRC’s blockchain analysis tool contract have until January 27 to submit a proposal alongside the security questionnaire. The UK tax agency’s employment listing shows that governments are actively searching for ways to de-anonymize crypto transactions. HMRC’s crypto analysis tool application underscores that the tax agency is there to make sure the collection of money pays for the UK’s public services. The contract proposal notes that the agency wants to “make it hard for the dishonest minority to cheat the system.” What do you think about Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs job listing looking for a contractor to build a blockchain surveillance tool? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, HMRC application, Fair Use, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay. Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card. The post UK Tax Agency to Pay $100K for Blockchain Surveillance Software appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  12. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has confirmed that cryptocurrency is not banned in India. During the latest supreme court hearing of the crypto case, the central bank’s reply to the Internet and Mobile Association of India was read out in detail. The RBI clarified that it only fenced in the entities it regulates, such as banks, from risks associated with trading cryptocurrencies. Also read: Regulatory Roundup: EU-Wide Crypto Regulations, New Rules in Europe, US, Asia RBI Did Not Ban Crypto During a supreme court hearing last week, the counsel for the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Ashim Sood, read out the answers provided by the central bank in response to the association’s representation in detail. The RBI was ordered by the supreme court to reply to each point made in the representation regarding the banking restrictions it placed on the crypto industry, including exchanges. The Economic Times reported that the RBI’s reply came as a 30-page document, which it has seen, elaborating: The Reserve Bank of India has said it had not banned cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in India, but only ringfenced regulated entities like banks from risks associated with trading of such virtual instruments. The RBI clearly states in its reply to the IAMAI that it has not prohibited virtual currencies in the country, the publication reiterated. In the circular issued in April 2018, the central bank only directed the entities it regulates to stop providing services to persons or entities dealing in or settling cryptocurrencies. With the RBI’s confirmation, cryptocurrency is neither banned by the central bank nor the Indian government. In July last year, the government confirmed to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s parliament, that cryptocurrency is not prohibited in the country. Other Suggestions by RBI The central bank justified its banking restrictions by claiming that crypto activities “pose reputational and financial risks along with other legal and operational risks,” the news outlet conveyed, adding that the RBI wrote in its affidavit: Any possible avenues which facilitate anonymous cross-border fund transfer have to be acted upon swiftly and stringently dealt with. It is an admitted fact that VCs [virtual currencies] have been used to purchase illegal and illicit goods ranging from guns and ammunition to drugs. However, the Indian government told Rajya Sabha in July last year that “Cryptocurrency can be used for secret and illegal activities, but there is no data to corroborate that it is primarily being used for such activities.” The central bank’s response to the IAMAI further reveals its discussion in early 2018 with the government regarding whether to regulate or ban cryptocurrencies, the publication noted. In addition to suggesting that initial coin offerings (ICOs) should be prohibited, the RBI said funds investing in cryptocurrencies should not be allowed to set up in India. The news outlet added that the central bank also proposed that the Foreign Exchange Management Act be amended to “prevent and track remittances for investment in virtual currencies made under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme.” Supreme Court Hearing to End Banking Restrictions Following the RBI’s April 2018 circular, banks closed the accounts of crypto exchanges, forcing some of them out of business. A number of crypto stakeholders immediately filed writ petitions over the banking restrictions which are being heard by the supreme court. The IAMAI represents a number of its crypto exchange members in court seeking to lift these restrictions. Last week, the supreme court resumed hearing the crypto case. During the three days of hearings, Sood presented extensive arguments in an attempt to convince the court to provide relief. He claims that by taking away the bank accounts of crypto exchanges, the central bank has de facto banned crypto activities. The court was scheduled to hear the case again on Tuesday but it was not called and is likely to be listed for Wednesday instead. Meanwhile, the Indian government is still deliberating on the draft bill which seeks to ban cryptocurrencies, except state-issued ones. The bill has not been introduced in parliament even though the government said it would be introduced by the end of last year. The delay has given the Indian crypto community hope that the government may decide to regulate the crypto industry instead of proceeding with the aforementioned draft bill. What do you think of the RBI saying it did not ban crypto? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the India Times. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post RBI Confirms Crypto Not Banned in India appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  13. Consistently among the top digital assets in the world by market cap, Bitcoin Cash is accepted by most crypto service providers and the list just keeps growing. The latest platform to add BCH support is the popular crypto wallet with over 10 million downloads, Imtoken. Also Read: Bitcoin.com Partners With Mecon Cash, Enabling Withdrawal at ATMs Across South Korea Imtoken Now Offers a Bitcoin Cash Wallet The company operating the digital asset management tool Imtoken has announced today it has added bitcoin cash support to its multi-chain crypto wallet app following a cooperation agreement with Bitcoin.com. The new BCH wallet option will enable the millions of Imtoken users to make fast, cheap and reliable payments with all the numerous services and merchants that accept the popular cryptocurrency. Ben He, CEO of Imtoken, stated: “We are excited to support BCH as we have one common goal, which is to enable mobile payments. Payments in digital assets has seen a fair growth in recent years, and we are excited to offer our users – with BCH – a way for fast and cheaper payments.” As part of its mission to bring economic freedom to the world, Bitcoin.com is strongly promoting BCH adoption as peer-to-peer electronic money, as well as the development of the surrounding Simple Ledger Protocol tokens ecosystem, with all its business partners. Bitcoin.com CEO Stefan Rust commented: “Great to see Imtoken join the ever-rising activity around BCH as more companies want to take part in this community. With 10 million downloads Imtoken is responding to user demand for bitcoin cash. SLP support I’m sure will come soon as well.” Over 10 Million Wallet Downloads Founded in May 2016, Imtoken was designed to bridge the gap between blockchain technology and the general masses with a simple, secure yet powerful digital asset management tool. From its home market of China it soon expanded to millions of users from more than 200 countries, becoming known as the world’s most popular Ethereum wallet. In May 2018, Venture firm IDG Capital invested $10 million in the Series A funding round by Imtoken. The money raised then was said to help the wallet company fund an international expansion beyond its home market of China, as well as add support for new cryptos and tokens. In June 2018 Imtoken officially established the Singapore office as their global headquarters. The wallet app has already achieved over 10 million downloads around the world, with 8 million coming from China alone. It also enables users to access a decentralized value exchange and Dapp browsing in one place. Its development team strives to uphold impeccable security standards, without compromising on user interface and user experience design. BCH Wallet on the Imtoken App What do you think about Imtoken adding bitcoin cash support? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com. The post Popular Crypto Wallet Imtoken Adds Bitcoin Cash Support appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  14. A Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology has been inaugurated by Indian Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Bengaluru. It will facilitate various government departments in their blockchain work, leading to large scale deployment of blockchain applications. Also read: Regulatory Roundup: EU-Wide Crypto Regulations, New Rules in Europe, US, Asia New ‘Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology’ India’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (Meity) announced the inauguration of a Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology in Bengaluru by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday. Prasad is the Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Meity. The event was attended by several dignitaries from the central and state governments. The center was set up by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) with the aim “to provide blockchain as a service and allowing all stakeholders to benefit from shared learning, experiences and resources.” The Indian government described the NIC as “a premier technology advisor and ICT solution provider to government at all levels.” The NIC works closely with the central government, state governments, UT administrations, districts and other government bodies, offering them a wide range of services. Speaking after inaugurating the center, Union Information Technology Minister Prasad said that India is witnessing digital transformation as most of the state governments are adopting technologies widely in their governance. He said that approximately 16,000 courts in India have been transformed into e-courts and technologies related to the Direct Benefit Transfer and e-scholarship developed by the NIC are already widely used. Prasad calls the NIC the “backbone of digital governance in India.” According to The Hindu news outlet: He [the minister] was particularly optimistic about applications of blockchain technology in primary education. He appealed to NIC to explore the potential of the new technology in improving the quality of government schools across the country. Union Minister Prasad reviewing the NIC’s initiatives at its headquarters. The Center’s Blockchain Work The Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology has developed blockchain-based proof of concepts for select government use cases in order to gain an understanding of the potential benefits afforded by this emerging technology, the announcement continues. “New and previously unforeseen applications of blockchain in the government are expected to enhance transparency, traceability, and trust in e-governance systems.” Among the sectors blockchain technology would aid the government, for example in providing trust and immutability, are health, finance, and agriculture. The announcement adds: The Centre of Excellence will facilitate the government departments in building proof of concepts for use of blockchain technology in different dimensions of governance leading to large scale deployment of some such applications. According to the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology’s annual report form 2018-19, centers of excellence are being set up across India. The goal is to “ensure India builds leadership in the emerging sectors,” including in areas of internet of things, blockchain, fintech, and artificial intelligence, the report details. The centers are set up in a collaborative approach by Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), a society established by Meity with the aim to encourage, promote, and boost the export of Indian software. Illustration of Meity’s Distributed Centre of Excellence for Blockchain Technology. Source: Meity Furthermore, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Meity’s autonomous scientific society, has initiated efforts towards the establishment of a Distributed Centre of Excellence for Blockchain Technology. Under this initiative, a blockchain technology-based property registration management system has been designed and implemented, the ministry explained. Efforts have also been made towards integrating blockchain technology with existing applications. C-DAC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Telangana state government to explore the use of blockchain technology. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has also been involved in a notable blockchain project. It announced a blockchain-based coffee e-marketplace in March 2019, citing that India is the only country in the world where all coffee is grown under shade, handpicked and sun dried. The marketplace is a pilot project to help integrate India’s farmers with markets in a transparent manner to realize a fair price for the coffee producer. What do you think of the Indian government’s blockchain efforts? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the government of India. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Indian Minister Inaugurates Blockchain Center of Excellence in Bengaluru appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  15. The number of stores that accept cryptocurrencies such as BTC and BCH is growing. But while such stores will accept bitcoin alongside existing fiat payments, a handful operate in reverse. These online shops are bitcoin only and they’ve no intention of accepting fiat currency – ever. Also read: How Is Bitcoin Cash Different From Bitcoin Core? Your Filthy Fiat’s No Good Here In a world where everyone used bitcoin, shopping would be much more private. There’d be no risk of card fraud, no credit scores, payment blacklisting, or geo-restrictions. We don’t inhabit that world, however, and probably never will. For bitcoiners curious as to what such a system would resemble, however, there’s a number of online stores that are proudly bitcoin only – and many more that accept BTC and BCH alongside fiat options. Here you can buy all manner of goods and services, but don’t bother reaching for your credit card at checkout. At these discerning stores, everything’s billed in satoshis. Buy Bitcoin’s Source Code at Pirate Hash “No fiat accepted” reads the footer of piratehash.com. The BTC-only store sells printed editions of Bitcoin’s alpha source code v0.01. It also stocks genesis block posters, with everything from the block header to the coinbase transaction neatly annotated. There’s also a BTC board game called Hodler of Last Resort which is billed as “coming soon,” but shoppers may blanche at the $1,000 price tag. A $50 P2PKH coinbase transaction poster is more affordable. Pirate Hash is a minimalist maximalist site. That is to say it combines an uncluttered design with bespoke items for hardcore bitcoiners. Checking out with BTCpayserver is a breeze, with the onchain transaction showing up in seconds. Fiat or crypto, all checkout experiences should be this seamless. Yours from piratehash.com Buy BTC Apparel at Bitcoin Tunnels Bitcointunnels.com sells clothing and wall art. The site is BTC/LN only, with checkout handled by bitcoin payment processor Open Node. Less refined than Pirate Hash, Bitcoin Tunnels is a shop for those who are newer to crypto, and wish to swear their allegiance with a ‘Proof of Work is the solution’ t-shirt or a ‘Stacking sats’ tee. More experienced bitcoiners may balk at broadcasting their beliefs to the world every time they step outside, but if you’re happy to be affiliated with crypto, Bitcoin Tunnels has got every inch of you covered. Some of the wares at 21X.io Buy Unique Bitcoin Art at 21X For bitcoiners seeking swag that’s less mainstream, 21X.io is worth a look. With such designs as “The sum of all scams” alongside an Ethereum poop emoji badge, 21X is decidedly maximalist in flavor, with most of its threads obliquely praising the cult of BTC. Prices are denominated in bitcoin, not dollars; for 0.21 BTC, for instance, you can obtain an original artwork depicting a row of Cold Card wallets and a topless woman. 21X ain’t subtle and it ain’t got time for “shitcoins,” which are anything bar BTC apparently. If its ethos aligns with yours, head on over and scope it out. Available from store.Bitcoin.com Buy Hardware Wallets and BCH Gear at Bitcoin.com Okay, so technically you can pay with fiat at store.Bitcoin.com, but why would you do that when you can pay with BCH or BTC? The quality of the designs at the Bitcoin.com shop is several notches higher than your average hobbyist store, and not all of the tees promote Bitcoin Cash – just most of them. The new “BCH not bombs” range will appeal to principled bitcoiners, while the hardware wallets will appeal to anyone seeking a safe place to stash their coins. It would be nice to pay for all your shopping in bitcoin, or to have the option at least. Until then, take comfort in the knowledge that if your bank ever bans you, bitcoin will keep you in clothing and quirky wall art. What other bitcoin-only stores do you know of? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry. The post These Online Stores Are Bitcoin Only appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  16. Bitcoin.com is releasing the open source SLP Indexer Server for validating Simple Ledger Protocol tokens as part of its commitment to the development of the token ecosystem. The tool is designed to make SLP token transactions perform as fast as BCH and empower developers to create even greater projects on the Bitcoin Cash network. Also Read: How to Create Custom SLP Tokens With the Bitcoin.com Mint Bitcoin.com Introduces SLP Indexer to Developers Bitcoin.com SLP Indexer is a tool that can validate an unconfirmed SLP transaction in around 1 ms. The software has been running in production for months already, powering the new Bitcoin.com Wallet back-end. Today, Bitcoin.com announced it has decided to release SLP Indexer in open source for the Bitcoin Cash community, available on Github. For a complete description of the underlying algorithm, developers can check out this blog post on Read.Cash written by Bitcoin.com CTO Emil Oldenburg with all the technical details. “We invite exchanges, wallets, gaming platforms, and SLP supported applications to try this out. We’re confident in its ability to scale to your business needs,” he states.”We built this with scalability and speed in mind. We need SLP tokens to feel as fast and snappy as normal BCH transactions. User experience is everything.” The developers explain that this software is very easy to set up, runs on the popular database program Mongo DB and scales well. It consists of one application that validates SLP transactions and saves everything in Mongo DB, and one API application. The first part is called the Bitcoin.com SLP Indexer Service. The other part is a read-only REST API layer called Bitcoin.com SLP API. The SLP API service can scale linearly and is able to serve around 20,000 requests per second. The developers plan to run a full security audit this month to make sure the validator is fully compatible with other SLP validators out there. The software is written in Java and made from scratch with no dependencies on current Javascript-based SLP libraries. It’s using bitcoinj to connect to the BCH network and can run without dedicated full nodes. Only the SLP data is saved to the database, so the amount of data that remains on the server is small. Bitcoin.com will offer this as a cloud service and it will be a part of the company’s public REST API. Additionally, anyone who wants to run it themselves on their own servers can do so. The Simple Ledger Protocol Ecosystem If you are not yet familiar with this innovation, Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) is an easy to use, robust and extensible token management system that allows anyone to create tokens on the Bitcoin Cash network in a permissionless way. It has helped the development of an ecosystem for BCH that replicates the variety of ERC20 tokens on the ETH network. SLP tokens can easily be created, traded, and managed on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain within seconds, while costing users only fractions of a penny for each transaction. All transactions are recorded onchain, and custom token behavior can be defined using a bitcoin Script development language. SLP token adoption has grown rapidly during the last year, with support integrated by the likes of Cybavo – a cybersecurity firm providing secure private key management to some of the biggest exchanges in the world. This is in part thanks to Bitcoin.com Exchange which has started listing SLP tokens for trading on its platform. These include assets such as Gocrypto’s GOC, a token that enables online or physical merchants to accept crypto payments and receive settlement in their local fiat currency. Other examples of SLP-based token adoption are the launch of an SLP token called ACD issued by the Tokyo-based ANA Holdings subsidiary Alliance Cargo Direct, and the team behind Honk funding a new sports betting platform via the issuing of a SLP token. More than 6,400 tokens have been created using the SLP framework so far. What do you think about Bitcoin.com releasing this open source software for better indexing SLP tokens on Bitcoin Cash? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com. The post Bitcoin.com Releases SLP Indexer Server for High Performance Token Services appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  17. On January 17, the BCH developer known as Acidsploit announced the launch of the highly anticipated Cashfusion alpha. Interested parties can reach out to the Cashfusion developers via the team’s Telegram group to become an alpha tester. The news of the launch excited the BCH community a great deal, as it means a significant privacy tool is coming to the Bitcoin Cash environment. Also read: How to Create Custom SLP Tokens With the Bitcoin.com Mint Bitcoin Cash Is Becoming More Fungible During the last few months, there’s been a lot of chatter about the Cashshuffle protocol and the newest privacy-preserving concept Cashfusion. Since the inception of the original Cashshuffle project which launched on March 27, 2019, there’s been over 200,000 BCH shuffled. According to @Acidsploit’s data, that’s a total of 42,446 shuffles to date and daily recorded volumes show shuffling really picks up on the weekends. The developer’s Cashshuffle site also shows the number of Cashfusion transactions, and there are now 1,322 fusions at the time of publication. Cashshuffle leverages the Coinjoin concept, but there are still a few ways shufflers can leak data about their original addresses when they do things like spend change or consolidate funds. Acidsploit’s Bitcoin Cash Privacy Stats website notes there’s been 1,322 fusions so far and 42,446 shuffles. Recently, former lead Bitcoin Core developer Gavin Andresen wrote about the issues with consolidating coins and spending change after using the Coinjoin-styled ethereum wallet Tornado.cash. Cashfusion, however, goes beyond the traditional Coinjoin idea because developers claim Cashfusion-based Coinjoin transactions can be done without the equal amount requirement. Electron Cash developer Jonald Fyookball published a paper about the combinatoric math in Cashfusion. A quote in Fyookball’s paper from software developer Mark Lundeberg states: In Cashfusion, we have opted to abandon the equal-amount concept altogether. While this is at first glance no different than the old naive schemes, mathematical analysis shows it in fact becomes highly private by simply increasing the numbers of inputs and outputs. For example, with hundreds of inputs and outputs, it is not just computationally impractical to iterate through all partitions, but even with infinite computing power, one would find a large number of valid partitions. The creator of the BCH-centric blogging website read.cash wrote a comprehensive article about Cashfusion and how it works. The Bitcoin Privacy Game-Changer Cashfusion Is Here Additionally, the privacy-centric Wasabi wallet developer recently complimented the Cashfusion project and said that if the math works it could benefit Bitcoin privacy significantly. “I am not convinced if this is true, but if it is, it’s a game-changer in Bitcoin privacy,” the Wasabi engineer tweeted. Then on January 17, after the Cashfusion developers teased the early software would be available soon, Acidsploit announced the Cashfusion alpha launch via the read.cash blog. “The alpha version has been polished enough so that it can be used by power users to get an initial feel of the tool and to test the protocol for stability and robustness,” Acidsploit’s announcement revealed. “We are actively looking for more people to test,” he added. Interested people who want to test the early version of Cashfusion can do so by reaching out to the Cashfusion developers via the team’s Telegram chat group. The developer also noted that the current alpha Cashfusion client leverages the following features: Enable/Disable Cashfusion Integrated TOR client Monitor status Coin target setting (number of coins, size of coins, random fraction) Multi queueing Self Fusion (temporary for better liquidity during testing) Enabling Cashfusion in the Electron Cash SPV wallet. The developer remarked that there are other features coming that are scheduled in the Cashfusion roadmap like the ability to track fused coins to determine the level of privacy. Two options for “smart coin choosers” are coming, such as avoiding the combination of tainted and non-tainted coins as much as possible and choosing properly fused coins when doing payments. Lastly, the engineer detailed the Cashfusion developers want to add a limiter on perpetual fusing. “When you join a Cashfusion (CF) transaction, you specify the inputs you want to join with and the outputs you expect,” the developer’s post notes. “When the transaction is built, you are asked to sign it [and] the client verifies that the CF transaction contains the inputs and outputs you specified. If that is not the case, your client will not sign the transaction and it will fail.” Acidsploit further stressed: Cashfusion transactions are atomic, meaning when something goes wrong for a participant for whatever reason, the CF transaction will fail as a whole. Acidsploit’s recorded Cashfusions using the Electron Cash wallet. Throughout crypto forums and social media, the Cashfusion launch announcement was welcomed with open arms, as the protocol could benefit bitcoin cash fungibility a great deal. Bitcoin.com Executive Chairman Roger Ver excitedly wrote “Privacy on Bitcoin Cash” and was asked if the protocol would be implemented in a future version of the Bitcoin.com Wallet. “Absolutely,” Ver responded, while other BCH supporters discussed the importance of the alpha release. “Enhanced privacy and fungibility are the cornerstones of making BCH truly peer to peer cash, a place BTC never got to, and never will as it spirals into institutionalized custodial fed-chains,” one user wrote on Reddit. In addition to the launch announcement, Acidsploit’s read.cash post also has a step-by-step guide on how to use Cashfusion by utilizing the Electron Cash wallet. What do you think about the Cashfusion alpha being released and added privacy coming to the Bitcoin Cash network? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Acidsploit, read.cash, Acidsploit’s stats pages, and Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Bitcoin Cash Gets Significant Privacy Boost With Cashfusion Alpha Launch appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  18. The crypto space can be hard to break into for those unfamiliar with the jargon, lingo, and foundational knowledge taken for granted by the already initiated. Adding to this difficulty is the fact that there are several different cryptos which bear the name “Bitcoin.” Convoluted as this all may seem, the differences are pretty easy to understand. This article seeks to explain in simple terms the difference between two of the most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC). Also Read: An In-Depth Look at the Multi-Currency Cold Storage Card Ballet Bitcoin’s Genesis Just before the first version of Bitcoin launched in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto described his creation in the Bitcoin whitepaper, or foundational document, as “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash,” which “would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” The ticker symbol for this currency was eventually set as BTC. Over the years, however, as disagreements among community members and developers about scaling grew, it became clear that differences were irreconcilable, and that a split in the bitcoin community via a fork in the protocol would occur. The Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork One group wished to increase the block size significantly to allow for faster processing of transactions, elimination of high transaction fees, and greater ease-of-use as cash for everyday spending and payments. The other group argued that such high fees were necessary and even desirable, and that extremely slow transaction speeds were a tradeoff for a more secure network. Arguments have been made in favor of both sides regarding the issue of security and centralization, as this Twitter thread demonstrates. On August 1, 2017, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) split from Bitcoin Core (BTC) via a hard fork, and the former now features 32MB blocks, whereas BTC has a theoretical capacity for a max “block weight” of 4MB via a controversial solution known as Segwit. Popular bitcoin core narratives have since evolved saying BTC is like “digital gold” that should not be spent, but only held and saved. This presents a clear problem where Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision was specifically for a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash.” Onchain Scaling vs. Second Layer Solutions Adding to the specialized language, buzzwords and other crypto terminology that inundates newcomers to the space is the idea of a second layer. This is exactly what it sounds like: a new layer on top of a blockchain where transactions and settlements can be made prior to being set in stone in the underlying chain. One such popular and developing second layer for BTC is known as the Lightning Network. “Wait a minute,” a crypto newb might interject, “if the idea of bitcoin is to increase transparency, simplicity and trustlessness in transactions, wouldn’t a second layer only complicate things?” In this case the neophyte would be onto something. While second layer solutions such as the Lightning Network are often touted as being the answer to all of BTC’s scaling and congestion issues, as with Segwit, there are numerous criticisms and potential problems. One of which being the necessity of trusting unknown parties with the transmission of one’s funds, prior to said transaction being written into a block. The Bitcoin Cash network does not rely on such a second layer as it has more capacity and speed for processing transactions directly onchain. Though there are critics of this approach as well, when it comes to the ability to use crypto as cash — and a readily-navigable user experience — the principle that unnecessary complications mean more potential problems comes into play, which is part of the reason BCH separated from BTC. Trying Both Coins The best way to understand the fundamental differences between Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) is to dive in and try the two currencies out. By sending small amounts back and forth with a friend, across multiple wallets, or using them to pay for goods and services, one gets a feel for how they work, can compare fees and transaction times, watch market value fluctuate, and begin to understand overall security and convenience, unique features, benefits and drawbacks. The Bitcoin.com Wallet supports both BCH and BTC, is freely downloadable, and can be loaded with free bitcoin cash from the Bitcoin Cash Faucet. BCH and BTC can also be bought with a credit card, and more privacy-minded users might utilize local.Bitcoin.com, an encrypted-chat and blind escrow trading platform that allows the purchase and sale of bitcoin cash for several payment options including cash, with no invasive KYC (know your customer) policy. Getting a feel for permissionless money and real economic freedom without a middleman or third party is exhilarating, and speaks to the movement of money into a new era as Satoshi Nakamoto, among many others, imagined. Whatever one’s preference when it comes to crypto — whether it be one coin or many — most in the space agree the vision that “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution” is something worth fighting for. What do you think about the differences between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Core? Do you have another crypto that you like? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Image credits: Shutterstock Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post How Is Bitcoin Cash Different From Bitcoin Core? appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  19. There’s a new concept called Powswap that lets people speculate on hashrate in order to hedge against price volatility. Powswap was developed by the software engineer Jeremy Rubin who believes hashrate derivatives products allow people to leverage new trading strategies. Also read: Regulatory Roundup: EU-Wide Crypto Regulations, New Rules in Europe, US, Asia Powswap Where Miners and Holders Can Speculate On Hashrate Software developer Jeremy Rubin recently announced the launch of a new project he developed called Powswap. It lets people speculate on hashrate to offer “mining derivatives with no trust required.” Essentially, in Rubin’s words, Powswap is a “smart contract/platform for trading Bitcoin hashrate derivatives” with “No middlemen. No oracles. No escrows. Nothing but Bitcoin.” The day Rubin announced the project he explained that it works on Bitcoin Core on mainnet and that no soft forks are required. He also noted that the basic protocol doesn’t require the participation of any other parties and claimed that Powswap is “real [decentralized finance] defi.” Rubin added: Hashrate derivatives let you trade new strategies: Miners can buy a hedge if they think the difficulty will go up putting them out of business. Miners can hedge if they think their mining operation might ‘blow up’ dropping hash rate and miners can level up new ops. Hodlers can buy insurance against hashrate drops. Hodlers can sell against a large hashrate change in order to generate passive interest and traders can do their thing in between the two to generate profits off of inefficiencies. Powswap has a website that explains the concept in greater detail. According to the site, the project is a noncustodial, trust-free hashrate derivatives platform. Powswap could help miners mitigate against unforeseen changes in the network’s difficulty. Additionally, holders can benefit and market makers can make profits by providing liquidity to the market. At the moment, Powswap’s website says the concept is in its nascent stages and people can sign up to become a Powswap alpha tester. An explanation of the Powswap concept and how it works. The project website explains how Rubin’s mining derivatives idea works by utilizing block delta contracts. Basically these contracts can detect changes in hashrate. Powswap also leverages a bulletin board that relays orders of available offers and takes a small commission for relaying these orders. There’s also bonded assurances which means the platform could be used for “an untrusted, bonded facilitator for the execution of high-value contracts where reorg safety is a concern.” Lastly, the platform contracts can be updated without onchain transactions and parties can “renegotiate contracts” as well. “Powswap works today in Bitcoin, leveraging smart-contracts to automatically detect changes in Bitcoin’s hashrate and pay-out contracts on that basis,” the project’s website highlights. “The Powswap protocol is a flexible basis for exotic hashrate contracts, as well as simple to understand standard-form contracts.” During 2018’s crypto winter when BTC prices dropped down to the $3K range, a number of bitcoin mining operations were hurt due to price drops and higher network difficulty in the interim. Since then, hashrate derivatives concepts have popped out of the woodwork to help create stability. 2018’s Crypto Winter and Miner Bankruptcies Spark the Hashrate Derivatives Concept Rubin and his project Powswap is not the first time someone has combined the idea of bitcoin mining and derivatives products. For instance, in April 2017 CME Group published a patent that creates a derivatives platform for bitcoin miners so they can hedge against operational risks. “The contracts can be used, for example, by virtual currency miners to hedge certain risks associated with mining virtual currency,” CME’s patent notes. In December 2019, Canaan partnered with the market maker GSR and Interhash to create a concept that lets miners hedge their risks. Of course, Rubin’s Powswap concept aims to offer a decentralized version of hashrate derivatives products, unlike CME or Canaan’s centralized ideas. CME Group’s patent for bitcoin mining derivatives. When the low bitcoin prices from the crypto winter struck miners in 2018, it led to multiple bankruptcies that invoked the idea of using mining derivatives to fix the unpredictability issue. With a derivatives hedge, a mining operation could bet on a more profitable long-term difficulty position keeping them afloat if the difficulty changes drastically or BTC prices drop lower than a certain level. Jeremy Rubin’s concept seems to be a more decentralized attempt to provide the means to speculate on hashrate changes. Powswap hopes to bring defi to the world of SHA256 mining in order for miners and long term coin holders to achieve more stability. What do you think about Powswap and Jeremy Rubin’s idea to speculate on hashrate and network difficulty changes in the form of mining derivatives? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Image credits: Shutterstock, Powswap, CME Group Patent, Wiki Commons, and Fair Use. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Developer Proposes Decentralized Bitcoin Hashrate Derivatives appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  20. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has authorized the opening of an international casino at a luxury hotel in Caracas where bets must be placed in petros, the country’s national oil-backed digital currency. Several cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies can be exchanged into petros to wager in the casino. The proceeds are expected to be used for healthcare and education. Also read: Regulatory Roundup: EU-Wide Crypto Regulations, New Rules in Europe, US, Asia Casino for Gambling With Petros The president of Venezuela announced Friday that he has authorized the opening of a casino at the Humboldt Hotel in Caracas where bets must be placed in petros (PTR). The hotel, located on the peak of El Avila hill, was reopened in 2018. “I have authorized legal bets with petros,” he reportedly said during a joint radio and television broadcast. “For example, in the Hotel Humboldt, there will be an international casino and everyone who wants to bet will bet with petros, all those resources will enter the state for health and education.” Maduro elaborated: You can come to bet. There will be offers, special prices. You buy your petro tokens, you can buy them if you bring yuan, if you bring yen, dollars, euros or any other cryptocurrencies … buy your petros and make your licit bets allowed by the state as contemplated by national laws. Maduro announcing the opening of a casino at the Hotel Humboldt. Gamblers must acquire PTR to participate, Criptonoticias news outlet clarified, citing that the initiative aims to procure additional resources to boost Venezuela’s recessionary and hyperinflationary economy. While the Venezuelan president did not specify which cryptocurrencies are accepted, the government’s Petroapp allows users to buy PTR with BTC, LTC, and DASH. Promoting Petros The petro was officially launched in February 2018 by Maduro in an attempt to evade U.S. and European Union sanctions against some state officials and companies. However, many are calling the petro a scam and the U.S. has banned its use. Last week, he decreed that the sale of all fuel sold by the PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company, for planes operating international routes be made in petros from now on, AFP reported. Some buyers of Venezuelan crude oil have reportedly halted purchases after the country started demanding payment of port fees in petros. Furthermore, Maduro has decreed the mandatory use of the petro to pay for state document services including passports. In December, he approved bonuses in petros for state employees and pensioners. The government gave half a petro to 3.5 million public workers and 4.5 million pensioners in December to test the use of the digital currency for payments. In January, it announced that 1,233,093 people paid with petros at 7,422 stores throughout the national territory during that time period. Maduro pushing for stores to accept petros. Sign of Casinos Returning to Venezuela The Venezuelan authorities have traditionally frowned upon casinos, Criptonoticias described. In 2011, Maduro’s late mentor, Hugo Chavez, ordered the closure of bingo halls and casinos in the country. Since then, they have practically been extinct and it is only possible to bet online on certain permitted platforms, the news outlet conveyed, noting that Chavez referred to casinos and bingo halls on several occasions as places of prostitution, drug sales, and illegal activities. Following Friday’s casino announcement, the media started reporting that Venezuela may be warming up to casinos again. The Humboldt Hotel’s casino is expected to begin operations in the coming months, but Maduro did not reveal whether he plans to open more casinos. He also did not provide details about the use of petros and other cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, at the hotel. In addition, the publication added that the Venezuelan president did not clarify how to buy PTR at the casino, whether the Petroapp is needed, how to withdraw profits, or if there would be crypto ATMs on the premises. In the meantime, there are many online casinos where bets can be placed in a number of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin.com’s gaming platform, for example, is filled with a wide range of casino-style games allowing players to wager and win with BCH and BTC. No registration is required, games are provably fair, and payouts are instant. What do you think of Maduro opening a casino for gambling with petros? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Maduro Opens International Crypto Casino appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  21. A prolonged legal battle, which may hold the key to XRP’s future, has been extended again. The class action lawsuit alleges that Ripple issued and sold the coin, one of the largest by market cap, as an unregistered security. The decision on the defendant’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit has been postponed. But even a victory for Ripple in the case might not bring an end to its troubles with XRP. Also read: New Guidelines Subject Canadian Crypto Exchanges to Securities Laws Judge Takes Under Submission Ripple’s Motion to Dismiss the Case A ruling was expected from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California at a hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 15. However, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton took the motion under submission and there’s no fixed date for her announcement. Ripple’s legal representatives asked the district judge to dismiss the case on Dec. 4, 2019. The first lawsuits against Ripple Labs Inc., developer of the Ripple payment protocol, were filed by investors about two years ago. The current class-action suit accuses the blockchain company of misleading investors and selling them XRP in violation of U.S. federal law. The plaintiffs claim they lost money and insist they should be compensated by Ripple, its subsidiary XRPII LLC, and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Ripple has maintained XRP is not a security but its latest arguments relate only indirectly to the substance of the case. The company’s defense now insists that even if the coin were a security, the plaintiffs did not file the case on time – within three years of its first offering – as Ripple sold the coin to the public between 2013 and 2015. In the filing, Ripple’s lawyers claim that the case is not relevant as the statute of repose had expired and state: Plaintiff’s Complaint is self-defeating: his own allegations as to when XRP was first offered for sale and how he purchased XRP require dismissal of his claims. Referring to the lead plaintiff, Bradley Sostack, the company notes that he “purchased XRP on an exchange in January 2018 from an unknown third party, at a time when Defendant Ripple’s sales accounted for less than one-tenth of one percent of all exchange-based XRP sales,” and also that the “Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint in 2019.” The case was taken to court in 2018 and the consolidated complaint was filed on Aug. 5, 2019. Sostack and his legal team maintain, however, that Ripple is nevertheless liable due to ongoing sales of the XRP coins. Regulators to Determine If XRP Is a Security or Commodity The outcome of the lawsuit is likely to determine the fate of the cryptocurrency to a great but not full extent. If Ripple’s motion to dismiss is eventually accepted by the court in California, the company shouldn’t have issues with other private plaintiffs in the future. And if it’s rejected, Ripple can either try to reach a settlement with the plaintiffs or continue the legal battle to prove XRP is not a security. However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission can always argue its own case. The SEC can still file a lawsuit with the District Court for the Southern District of New York, like it did in the case with Telegram’s sale of the Gram tokens. And that’s not the end of it as cryptocurrencies in the U.S. can also fall under the purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In a recent interview with Cheddar, CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert emphasized that his organization is creating a market for the digital assets within its jurisdiction such as BTC and ETH. But when asked if more cryptocurrencies like XRP will fall under the commission’s purview this year, Tarbert replied “It’s unclear, stay tuned.” Part of the issue, he elaborated, is that “our jurisdiction we share with the SEC. If it’s a security, it falls under their jurisdiction. If it’s a commodity, it falls under ours.” If the district court in California rejects the motion to dismiss the lawsuit and eventually decides that Ripple has been breaking the law by selling an unregistered security, the price of the third-largest cryptocurrency will be at risk. Allowing Sostack to challenge the classification of XRP, “would not only threaten to eliminate XRP’s utility as a currency, but it would upend and threaten to destroy the established XRP market more broadly — a market involving over $500 billion in trading over the last two years,” the company’s legal team warned in the motion. However, even if Judge Hamilton dismisses the lawsuit, XRP’s fate will still ultimately depend on the decisions taken by U.S. regulators SEC and CFTC. What do you think will be the future for Ripple and XRP? Share your thoughts and expectations in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Do you want to keep an eye on moving cryptocurrency prices? Visit our Bitcoin Markets tool to get real-time price updates, and head over to our Blockchain Explorer tool to view all previous BCH and BTC transactions. The post Lawsuit Against Ripple May Decide the Fate of XRP but Regulators Have the Final Say appeared first on Bitcoin News. 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  22. Bestcasinbonussen.nl is up to date with the Bitcoin casino industry, delivering news about Bitcoin casinos available in the Netherlands and guiding readers through the skills of gambling with Bitcoins online. 8th of January 2020 – The advancements in the IT industry allowed for banking methods like Bitcoin to thrive in the online casino market, offering online casino goers the possibility to make their deposits in the most convenient way without the risk of exposing any of their financial information to unwanted third parties. Having reinvented the way we look at money transactions on the web, cryptocurrency has left the realm of “taboo” and became a trend. There are many upsides to Bitcoin gambling. For one, players can gamble without being required to pay additional fees. Furthermore, they will rarely, if ever, face payment delays and the level of privacy is as high as it gets in a web-powered environment. Perhaps the biggest motive for online casino users to switch to cryptocurrency payments is anonymity. Whether a player chooses and exclusive BTC casino or a hybrid one, not the slightest details of his/her identity and transaction will ever be made known. At Bestecasinobonussen.nl, casino enthusiasts are able to find useful and interesting info on online casino, sports betting sites, online poker rooms, casino games and also read current news and articles from the world of online gambling. Bestecasinobonussen.nl dedicates a special section to Bitcoin casinos, covering all the important questions a beginner Bitcoin gambler may have – how to gamble at a Bitcoin casino, why gamble using digital currency, the differences between Bitcoin casino operators, depositing and withdrawing with BTC, as well as what is Bitcoin – for those who are absolute novices and need a comprehensive introduction. Bitcoin casinos are those that let players use a type of electronic cash known as a cryptocurrency to fund their gambling accounts. This means of payment is not administrated by any bank. Instead, it is sent from peer to peer and created through a process called “mining”. Bitcoin was invented in 2009 by a mysterious individual or group called Satoshi Nakamoto. Controversial at first, Bitcoin slowly found its proper use, making it easier for people to buy products and services online. Bestecasinobonussen.nl keeps up with the rising emergence of Bitcoin casinos, pointing out good and legal sites to play at. Contact Email Address info@belito.net Supporting Link https://www.bestecasinobonussen.nl/bonussen/bitcoin-casino-bonus/ The post Gamble With Crypto at Bestecasinobonussen.nl appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  23. The Cypherpunk Bitstream podcast is a relatively new program that’s just released its fourth episode. The hosts, known as Frank Braun and The Real Smuggler, are so-called ‘privacy extremists’ and dyed-in-the-wool crypto-anarchists concerned with exposing cypherpunk ethos to a wider audience. Braun and Smuggler took time out recently to discuss their journeys to crypto-anarchy, the benefits of dropgangs for delivery of goods, and what crypto needs to succeed in bringing more economic freedom to more people. Also read: Iran, Hong Kong, India: Failed Protests Point to Need for Crypto-Anarchy ‘Second Realms’ Journey to Crypto-Anarchy While it may seem strange for a pair of privacy-extremist cypherpunks to record a podcast that will be shared with the internet at large, Braun and Smuggler have their reasons. After all, nobody pops out of the womb as a cypherpunk, per se, and without meaningful connections and material available to learn, the path to such knowledge would be much more darkly lit. Frank Braun and The Real Smuggler explained recently to news.Bitcoin.com their reasons for starting the Cypherpunk Bitstream podcast, as well as their individual journeys to becoming cypherpunks. News.Bitcoin.com (BC): What did the philosophical journey to cypherpunk/crypto-anarchist look like for you guys? Frank Braun (FB): My formal background is in computer science and in university I got interested in Libertarianism and Austrian economics. From there I went to Anarcho-capitalism and wondered how we could get to more freedom in our lifetimes, but I didn’t really connect it with computers at all. At the time I was interested in Seasteading, but didn’t really think I could contribute something meaningful there. Then I moved to Berlin and met Smuggler by accident, who introduced me to the concept of Cryptoanarchy, which totally clicked for me. The rest is history… Smuggler (SM): It’s been a long journey. Half of it less conscious than one would like to present it in hindsight. It all started with the fascination with computers and communication tech, throw in some inspiring sci-fi, and then of course reading all the techno-libertarian, anarcho-capitalist and crypto-anarchist texts I could get my hands on. Then add thousands of hours of conversation over mailing lists, invisible IRC, and in person to end up where I am now. Makes me wonder where that all will lead in the long run. Braun on the Keiser Report in 2012. BC: Though you both wish to protect your privacy and identities, you mentioned in the first episode of the Cypherpunk Bitstream podcast that there’s also a feeling of wanting to share your knowledge — to help others live more freely outside the purview of the state. Is that why you started the podcast? FB: Yes, the two of us spent around 10 years discussing a wide variety of topics in the area of Crypto-anarchy, liberty, privacy, etc. and we wanted to bring some of these ideas to more people. We had our fair share of private discussions, but given the depth of some of the topics that didn’t really scale and it sometimes really requires hours of talking to paint the vision sufficiently. Giving talks at conferences, mainly HCPP, was well received, but talks are not that useful for more “visionary” topics. I think podcasts are a good medium to spread some of these ideas, because they are easy to produce, easy to consume, and, most importantly, just having voice without images/video allows the listener to bring the vision in his imagination to life. I believe that is hugely important, we will work to get to a better future only if this future is enticing. On Dropgangs and Dead Drops BC: Your most recent episode focuses on solutions to facilitating free market exchange of illicit goods, such as dead drops and dropgangs. Do you think these methods are going to become more prevalent as the darknet is increasingly surveilled by government agencies? FB: Not so much because of surveillance of the darknet, although Tor certainly has its problems. I see the future of dropgangs mostly as a product of different market forces: How well does the postal service work for shipping illicit goods (this seems to go down due to better surveillance technology), density of the market (dropgangs work better in larger cities), penalties for getting caught with illicit goods, consumer demand, and how the tech develops (e.g. for drop localization). I think especially in the drug market timely delivery is a huge bonus; in larger cities dropgangs can have fulfillment times of under an hour. SM: For me the possible application of these methods outside of the “illicit goods” trade is more important. I find it inspiring how people use technology and organizational methods to overcome constraints. The application of anonymous communication, cryptocurrencies, and cheap electronics to solve questions of decentralized logistics is fascinating. With the decentralization logistics, new ways of trade, even for legal goods, become possible. That’s where I think the focus should be. It’s wrangling the physical out of the hands of the state and big corporations, and that’s really a critical field of action. The Real Smuggler BC: What are some future topics you guys are looking to explore? FB: What needs to be done to have security in the future, digital currencies (DBCs, Scrit), Rulescaping, “Why the Internet is actually broken,” alternative identities (online and offline), prepping (for the end of the world and for the info apocalypse). SM: I think we’ll also have a few episodes on our specific world view, like how things work, and where we think some trends might lead us. We’ll probably have episodes on the future of warfare and structures of power as well. We like to speculate and just share perspectives. Beyond Crypto Tribalism, Into What Matters BC: Looking at the crypto space today, there’s a lot of division surrounding BTC maximalism and accusations that any other coin is shit. What are your thoughts on this current climate of discussion? FB: I think the current climate of discussion is abysmal, which is also caused by the fact that a lot of interactions these days happen on social media. In fact, I got so annoyed by the apparent tribalism in the crypto space that I wrote a short essay about “Cryptocurrencies as Cyberstatism.” In a nutshell, I believe that there is way too much infighting and not nearly enough focus on actually building usable solutions for everyday people that would grow the market. One cornerstone of liberty in a cashless society (which is unfortunately where we are heading) will be the widespread availability of untraceable, anonymous digital payments. And currently we are not even close, I just see a lot of talk about hodling and store of value. The end user doesn’t care about any of that, he wants his problems solved. SM: Maybe I don’t spend enough time on social media, or maybe I just don’t grasp what all the fuzz is about. There are lots of creative and super intelligent people out there that don’t take part in any of these discussions but instead just do their own thing and write code. Those are the people that will matter most in the long run. All else is just a distraction in my opinion. BC: How can someone interested in crypto-anarchy, networking with other cypherpunks, or setting up their own TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zone), learn more and move forward into this vision of greater privacy and freedom? FB: My number one recommendation is to meet likeminded people in the physical world, there is nothing that is more important if you want to build more freedom in your future. We cannot do it alone. Apart from that, reading up on the theory and doing stuff. Just do something and take it from there. Too many people are waiting for somebody else to free them … Instead, one has to act with all the imperfect knowledge one has, incrementally creating actual liberty for oneself and one’s friends. That comes with effort and cost. SM: I agree. Building meatspace friendships and taking the time to think things through for oneself, in interaction with others, is crucial. But it may not stop there. Too many people are waiting for somebody else to free them, or they are waiting for the perfect solution that fixes everything. Instead, one has to act with all the imperfect knowledge one has, incrementally creating actual liberty for oneself and one’s friends. That comes with effort and cost. Government Regulations and Societal Changes BC: What would you say to people who protest that there must be government regulations on crypto so bad actors don’t abuse the tech? FB: That’s like pleading to the wolves to not eat the sheep. The government is one of the largest bad actors there is, all the KYC/AML regulation already shows that the government doesn’t have the best interest of the population at heart. More regulation will almost certainly make it worse. SM: There’s a fundamental mismatch of interests at work. Governments predominantly are in the business of selling the feeling of security and safety to the population. They are deeply conservative, even reactionary, because change challenges this feeling. Change also threatens the design and even the existence of established institutions. Institutions however act like organisms in that they are predominantly interested in securing their own survival. It is also true that a lot of change is happening, and even more is coming. Technological developments, social and cultural turmoil, and a hundred other things. That change leads to increasing tension between our old understanding of government, safety and security. Sooner or later this tension will break the old. That means that yes, we have to consider abuse of tech as an actual problem. But it also means that we might have to just live with it, or look for very different methods to deal with it than old ideas of regulation. BC: What’s the most critical issue for pushing crypto forward in 2020? FB: More widespread availability of privacy coins and/or ways to use more traceable coins in a private fashion and the ability to exchange in and out of these coins. We are already seeing some pushback against privacy coins on the regulatory and exchange side and this might lead to a split: Only traceable coins on regulated exchanges and privacy coins only via cash deals or crypto to crypto on distributed exchanges. SM: Increasing the focus of cryptocurrencies for payments, preserving privacy and fungibility, decentralized secure person-to-person exchange methods. In the longer run we also have to rebalance our understanding of trust and the limits of trustless designs. What do you think about Braun and Smuggler’s thoughts on implementing crypto-anarchy? Let us know in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, fair use. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Cypherpunk Bitstream Hosts Talk Crypto-Anarchy, Dropgangs, and Importance of Real Life Connections appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  24. Bitcoin Cash has been added to Mecon Cash’s M.Pay platform which is integrated with over 13,000 ATMs in South Korea. By making bitcoin cash usable for withdrawing won across the country, Mecon Cash is ensuring that BCH users in Korea can always make urgent and small transactions in any place that still does not accept peer-to-peer electronic cash directly. Also Read: First Bitcoin Cash Developers Meeting of 2020 to Be Held Today Bitcoin Cash Integrated Into Platform With Over 13,000 ATMs in South Korea South Korean cryptocurrency company Mecon Cash has integrated BCH into its payments platform M.Pay following a cooperation agreement with Bitcoin.com. The platform is connected to one of the biggest providers of ATMs, so bitcoin cash can now be used to withdraw to Korean won through M.Pay in more than 13,000 ATMs in South Korea at South Korea’s biggest convenience store chains GS25 and Mini Stop. The main target demographic for the new service is cryptocurrency holders who need quick cash as well as people who send over $6 billion in remittances to Korea from overseas each year. Mecon Cash also operates other services in addition to payments, including an e-commerce platform that allows users to buy a wide range of products (Mecon Mall) and mobile games that utilize M.Pay for rewards. Bitcoin Cash is now available to be used on these as well, and you can expect more interesting collaborations with Bitcoin.com to be announced in the future. “Through our partnership with Bitcoin.com, we will grow the presence of Bitcoin Cash throughout the Korean market starting with the ATM withdrawal services. We have huge applications coming up where the close collaboration between Mecon Cash and Bitcoin.com will see positive synergies in the upcoming future not only in the Korean market but also the global market,” stated Chairman of Mecon Cash, Jo Jae Do. The Mecon Cash Team Meeting With Bitcoin.com’s Roger Ver “Mecon Cash is enabling Bitcoin Cash to be used at 13,700 ATM locations across Korea,” commented Bitcoin.com Executive Chairman Roger Ver. “Bitcoin.com is proud to be working with Mecon to help bring Bitcoin Cash and Mecon Cash to Korea and to the world.” Promoting the BCH Ecosystem Consistently among the top digital assets in the world by market cap, Bitcoin Cash is accepted by most crypto service providers. It also powers the Simple Ledger Protocol infrastructure which already includes more than 6,000 SLP tokens created since August 2018. As part of its mission to bring economic freedom to the world, Bitcoin.com is strongly promoting BCH adoption as peer-to-peer electronic money, as well as the development of the surrounding ecosystem, with all its business partners. For example, last year the electronics manufacturer HTC added native bitcoin cash support to its flagship smartphone, Exodus 1, following a partnership with the company. It was also recently revealed that Bitcoin.com is planning to launch a $200 million BCH investment fund this year that will focus on payment related solutions and non-custodial financial services for Bitcoin Cash. The fund will invest in and incubate BCH businesses like payment gateways, processors, remittances, wallet and merchant acquirers. What do you think about Bitcoin.com partnering with Mecon Cash to enable bitcoin cash to Korean won withdrawal at over 13,000 ATMs across South Korea? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com. The post Bitcoin.com Partners With Mecon Cash, Enabling Withdrawal at ATMs Across South Korea appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  25. Last September, Bobby Lee, the former CEO of China’s first cryptocurrency exchange BTCC revealed his new business venture Ballet, a non-electronic crypto wallet solution that offers multi-currency support. During the North American Bitcoin Conference Miami, all the attendees got a single Ballet crypto card and news.Bitcoin.com decided to test the product to show our readers how it works. Our newsdesk also spoke with Bobby Lee during the event and he explained that he leveraged his prior experience working as a coin maker for BTCC’s physical bitcoin mint and he’s extremely passionate about the new Ballet product. Also read: How to Create Custom SLP Tokens With the Bitcoin.com Mint Bobby Lee Shows Off the Ballet Crypto Wallet Solution at TNABC Miami Bobby Lee is very proud of his new venture and you can see it when you talk to him about the new Ballet cards. At the North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) Miami news.Bitcoin.com got a chance to test the new Ballet cards and speak with Lee about the new products. “The [Ballet] project is one year in the making,” Lee told our newsdesk. “I sold my last company BTCC two years ago. As you may already know, I was the cofounder and CEO of BTCC, we were the very first bitcoin exchange in China launched in 2011 and at one point we also became the world’s largest exchange by trade volume. During that time, I also created physical bitcoins called BTCC Mint and I was a coinmaker from 2016 to 2018. At that time we made a series of coins, but then we decided to close the business. When I was a coin maker for those years, during that time I made over 30,000 coins.” Lee explained that the BTCC Mint coins were pre-loaded and as a coin maker he managed the private keys and “got a lot of experience.” Bobby Lee told news.Bitcoin.com that as soon as private keys are applied to the Ballet card, the keys are immediately deleted. “Just like Mike Caldwell who made Casascius physical bitcoins, I’m putting my name behind [Ballet],” Lee stressed to our newsdesk. “None of those coins have ever been hacked or stolen and the reason I know it will never happen is because I deleted the private keys,” Lee stressed. “I had really good operational security (opsec) by deleting all the private keys for the BTCC Mint and those coins are collector’s items today. All of those coins came from miners, directly from the coinbase to the physical coin.” As soon as the private key is printed on the Ballet card, private keys are deleted. Lee emphasized to our newsdesk that if you lose a card, you can’t come to him or his company for the private key and you would be basically “out of luck.” Ballet cards are made the same way Casascius physical bitcoins were made by Mike Caldwell, Lee remarked, and just like Caldwell Lee is putting his name behind the stainless steel Ballet cards. “What I realized over the last nine years being involved with cryptocurrency, is that crypto is too hard for normal people,” Lee said. “Stuff like private key management, the generation of private keys, wallets, security passwords and passphrases, and some have firmware upgrades. It’s just too darn hard.” Lee further added: A lot of my friends and family, I encouraged them to invest in bitcoin in the early years and they’ve done so, but they all left their coins on exchanges, and sometimes they even lose it. Finally last year it clicked, I should take my experience of making physical bitcoins at BTCC Mint and turn that into a generic wallet solution that is multi-currency. Lee highlighted that what he’s done “has never been done before.” The Ballet founder says that he invented a new way to utilize the BIP38 standard to not just create a paper-like wallet with multi-currency support, but did it in a way that uses a two-factor private key. “Ballet is very unique because this has never been done before and it supports all forks of Bitcoin, and it supports other coins like ethereum, litecoin, doge, and ERC20 coins as well,” Lee underscored. “However, the card itself only has one primary address with coins like BTC so if you want to enable an ERC20, XRP, you would download the app and scan the QR code on the physical card and simply click manage to turn on other currencies,” he added. Lee further claimed: In the end, you always have to trust the creator of the wallet, I don’t care if its a hardware wallet because they could push bad firmware. Why do they keep upgrading the firmware if it is so secure? I’m putting my name behind [Ballet]. I can retire, I don’t have to do this… but I do it out of passion. Testing and Loading the Stainless Steel Ballet Card After the conference, news.Bitcoin.com went back to our hotel and tested the stainless steel Ballet card. The card is thicker (1.22mm) than a normal credit card, but roughly the same size as the average card (42 x 35 mm/34 x 27 mm). The first Ballet series is called “REAL” and right now the firm sells BTC, LTC, ETH, and XRP versions. Although, no matter which card you prefer, the device holds a variety of cryptos like BCH, BSV, USDT, DAI, ETC, LINK, and BAT by simply adding them using the iOS or Android mobile app. The card we got at TNABC was a certified BTC card, which comes in a sealed cardboard box with a plastic case to hold the card. The product has a QR code sticker (with a scent) that displays a public key for the receiving address and a human-readable address as well. There’s a serial number printed on the card in three different areas and at the bottom front side, there’s also a wallet pass-phrase scratch-off. If you peel the sticker to reveal the QR code of the Ballet card’s encrypted private key, you will also need to use the wallet passphrase to unlock the card’s funds. On the backside of the Ballet wallet card is a memo section that you can write on with a marker if so desired. The backside also explains that you need to treat the card just as you would physical cash. The warning stresses not to lose the card, and to always keep it in a safe space. After taking the card out of the packaging, I downloaded the Ballet mobile app, which can be downloaded for either Android or iOS devices. From here, I deposited $7 worth of BTC and went to the management section and enabled BCH support. The mobile application gave me a new cashaddr BCH address and I deposited $9 worth of bitcoin cash into my Ballet card. The wallet application noticed the initial broadcasts immediately and the software gives you a blockchain confirmation count as well. If you want to send funds from the card to another wallet, you can do so via the Ballet mobile application. You can set the wallet to “privacy mode” too, an option which removes the ability for anyone to scan the wallet’s public key with a Ballet app without the serial number. If privacy mode is turned on, then the person would need the serial number in order to add the wallet. If you own multiple physical Ballet cards, you can add them to the mobile app in order to keep track of them all. Depending on how many currencies you’ve added to a single card, the card will display the total amount of funds held on each card. The Ballet card is fairly simple to use and even someone new to crypto could get the hang of it with a few minutes of use. People will also realize that the card can be used as a bearer bond instrument and it could be passed along to multiple people in an offchain manner. However, with this benefit comes greater responsibility, because if someone steals the card, peels the sticker and scratches off the passphrase, the funds will be theirs to keep. If someone stole a Trezor or Ledger, they would at least need access to the PIN to get into the wallet’s funds. People can also purchase Ballet cards at the Bitcoin.com Store. The Ballet card’s first series edition is $39 per card and the series that follows the first set is only $35. People can also purchase quantities of cards in 3-5 packs, and there’s a 24K gold plated first edition card for $99. Individuals can buy the cards directly from Ballet or through a third party seller like the Bitcoin.com Store. The cards are definitely pricier than creating a traditional paper wallet that doesn’t cost much at all to create. But people may appreciate the solid steel design and the fact that they don’t have to generate a private key on their own. The card does outcompete Onedime’s product too, which only supports BTC, and many people will likely enjoy the fact that they can fund a Ballet card with multiple types of digital assets. What do you think about the Ballet wallet card created by Bobby Lee? Let us know what you think about this product in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Walkthrough and guide editorials are intended for informational purposes only. There are multiple security risks and methods that are ultimately made by the decisions of the user. There are various steps mentioned in reviews and guides and some of them are optional. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses, mistakes, skipped steps or security measures not taken, as the ultimate decision-making process to do any of these things is solely the reader’s responsibility. For good measure always cross-reference guides with other walkthroughs found online. Image credits: Shutterstock, Ballet, Jamie Redman, Fair Use, and Pixabay. Cryptocurrency is cool, and you know everyone wants in – even the ones who say they don’t. Show the world how cutting-edge you are with a bitcoin T-shirt, hoodie, bag, key-ring, even a Trezor hardware wallet. Shipping all over the world, quality merchandise and, of course, a payment system that makes people say “wow!” The post An In-Depth Look at the Multi-Currency Cold Storage Card Ballet appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  26. Peter Schiff hates Bitcoin almost as much as bitcoiners hate Schiff. The gold bug makes a point of dissing the cryptocurrency whenever he can, despite the hypocrisy of accepting BTC on his own website. Today, the eccentric entrepreneur found a new reason to rip on bitcoin after forgetting his wallet password – and apparently Bitcoin is to blame. Also read: How to Create Custom SLP Tokens With the Bitcoin.com Mint Schiff Shifts Blame for Forgetting Password Bitcoin has been blamed for all manner of crimes over the years, from destroying the environment to funding terrorism. Today the decentralized cryptocurrency had a new accusation leveled against it: denying Peter Schiff access to his wallet. “I just lost all the #Bitcoin I have ever owned,” Schiff tweeted in typical Trumpian fashion. “My wallet got corrupted somehow and my password is no longer valid. So now not only is my Bitcoin intrinsically worthless; it has no market value either. I knew owning Bitcoin was a bad idea, I just never realized it was this bad!” When it was put to the 56-year-old that user error, rather than an intrinsic flaw in Bitcoin, may be to blame, he became defensive and doubled down on his facepalm. “There is zero chance I forgot my password. I used a very simple numeric password that I have used many times in the past … I remember it. The wallet doesn’t.” While some pointed out the fatuity of using a simple password, and others the inability for software to “forget” a password, most simply typed the two-word riposte that has been used mercilessly against Schiff more than any member of his generation: okay boomer. “You just went full boomer,” tweeted one. “Never go full boomer.” Not Your Password, Not Your Coins The screenshot accompanying Schiff’s initial tweet showed it to be the Blockchain.com wallet he was using. Within hours of his frustrated message, the company had tweeted to reassure him that they were “sorry to hear about the issues you’re currently experiencing with your Blockchain Wallet. Please rest assured, your funds are secure. We will PM you shortly.” Peter Schiff If Schiff has genuinely forgotten the password to his noncustodial wallet, he can recover the funds provided he retains the private key. Many wallets, including Blockchain.com, enable an optional user-generated password to simplify logging in. Exporting the wallet keys into wallet software such as Electrum should restore access to the BTC. While crypto Twitter weighed in with a mixture of helpful support and dank memes, Schiff continued to bump his gums, tweeting “Since all the Bitcoin in my corrupted wallet were gifted to me, it’s not that great a tragedy for me that they’re lost. “Easy come, easy go,” is especially true for #Bitcoin. My plan was to HODL and go down with the ship anyway. The difference is that my ship sank before Bitcoin.” Schiff’s ship may have sank, but Bitcoin sails on, with the maverick libertarian’s BTC still aboard. Do you think Schiff will ever remember his wallet password? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry. The post Peter Schiff Forgets Bitcoin Wallet Password, Blames Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  27. A bill has been introduced in the U.S. state of Oklahoma to establish a new type of state-chartered financial institution that will be “the central depository for virtual currency used by governmental agencies in this state.” The new establishment aims to provide financial and technical services to crypto innovators and developers. Also read: Regulatory Roundup: EU-Wide Crypto Regulations, New Rules in Europe, US, Asia Proposed Crypto Depository for Government A lawmaker has introduced a bill in the U.S. state of Oklahoma seeking to create a governmental crypto depository. Senate Bill 1430, authored by Senator Nathan Dahm, was introduced on Jan. 15, according to the government’s website. Its first reading is scheduled for Feb. 3. The bill reads: The legislature hereby authorizes the State Banking Department and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to coordinate and develop plans … [to establish] a new type of financial institution to be a state-chartered financial institution and the central depository for virtual currency used by governmental agencies in this state. “The purpose of this new state-chartered financial institution shall be to provide valuable financial and technical services to blockchain and virtual currency innovators and developers,” the text of the bill details. It further states that “Oklahoma is committing to partner with innovative technology, help develop next generation financial products, and safely grow unique technical and financial sectors in this state.” The proposed entity will be designed to easily integrate into existing banking and financial institution regulations and “have the highest level of expertise with customer identification, anti-money laundering and beneficial ownership components,” the bill adds. It will also be “fully supported by blockchain technology and innovations.” This act will become effective on Nov. 1, 2020, and the plans and implementation strategy must be submitted by July 1 next year. Other Crypto-Related Bills in Oklahoma Senator Dahm authored another crypto-related bill which was introduced in Oklahoma on Jan. 25, 2019. Senate Bill 843 had its first reading on Feb. 4 and second reading on Feb. 7 but has seen no progress since. According to the state’s Securities Department, this bill is modeled after HB 70 that was passed by the Wyoming legislature last year. Oklahoma Senator Nathan Dahm Senate Bill 843 states that “a developer or seller of an open blockchain token shall not be deemed the issuer of a security and a person who facilitates the exchange of an open blockchain token shall not be deemed a broker-dealer if certain conditions enumerated by the measure are met.” The state’s Securities Department has analyzed the fiscal impact of this bill on its revenues but concluded that it is not determinable since the subject matter is new to the state’s regulatory framework. In April last year, the state passed Senate Bill 700 which Dahm co-authored. It modifies the definition of “electronic record” and “electronic signature” within the Uniform Electronics Transactions Act to include records or signatures secured through blockchain technology. The bill was approved by the governor on April 25, 2019. Do you think Oklahoma needs a crypto depository for government use? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the state of Oklahoma. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post New Bill in Oklahoma Proposes Depository for Cryptocurrencies Used by Government appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
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