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  1. Yesterday
  2. SEBA Bank is now fully operational with a range of services to bridge the gap between the crypto world and traditional banking. Licensed in Switzerland, the bank’s crypto services include asset management, trading, custody, and financing. Its wallet app, e-banking, and card enable customers to convert between cryptocurrencies and traditional investments such as stocks, bonds, and foreign exchange. Also read: Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank IPO Debuts on NYSE SEBA Bank Now Fully Operational Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, SEBA Bank AG announced on Tuesday that it is now fully operational and has started onboarding customers in Switzerland. Formerly called SEBA Crypto AG, the bank obtained a banking and securities dealer license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in August and began testing its products with a selected group of customers. Noting that Swiss clients can now officially open an account, the bank elaborated: As a bank licensed by a reputed supervisory authority, it can offer a comprehensive range of services in the field of digital assets and cryptocurrencies, as well as in traditional banking. With the aim of building a bridge between the traditional banking world and the new crypto world, the bank is offering a range of integrated services in the areas of asset management, trading, custody, and financing. “SEBA customers can invest in both traditional and digital assets, store them, trade them and take out loans – now via an integrated interface,” the bank described. “Regulation is crucial for the protection of investors – the idea of an integrated and supervised bank with focus on digital assets arose from the growing demand for investment alternatives and the increasing affinity for technology and process engineering.” In its Tuesday announcement, the bank further revealed that it plans to offer services to “clients from selected foreign jurisdictions” in December. Crypto Services Offered Founded in April last year, the bank raised CHF 100 million (~$100.7 million) from investors five months later to build a licensed bank and securities dealer. According to its website, the bank has partnered with Julius Bar, Finstar, Smarttrade Technologies, Geissbuhler Weber & Partner, Loomis International, Jaeksoft Sarl, and BPC. Its services are aimed at professional investors, family offices, banks, asset managers, and blockchain companies. In addition to custody storage, trading and liquidity management, asset and wealth management, and transaction banking, the bank has been developing tokenization solutions that “will help clients to issue and manage financial assets on multiple blockchain protocols and connect them to investors in an easy and cost-effective way.” The bank plans to offer the tokenization of fiat, precious metals, as well as alternative assets including real estate, commodities, and art. It will also help companies with security token offerings. “The tokenisation of investment products, real assets, rights and primary financing constitutes another mainstay,” SEBA reiterated. Other services include e-banking, a wallet app, and a card; they allow customers to manage BTC, ETH, ETC, LTC, and XLM, and convert them into traditional investments and vice versa online. The traditional asset classes offered include equities, bonds, and foreign exchange. According to the bank, its card can be used at 42 million points of sale worldwide. “The SEBA card represents an important step towards the mass introduction of cryptocurrencies,” CEO Guido Bühler remarked. What do you think of SEBA Bank’s crypto services? Do you think the crypto industry needs more licensed banks like SEBA? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and SEBA Bank. 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 Swiss Crypto Bank SEBA Launches With Range of Services appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  3. It was a milestone that Bitcoin loyalists had long anticipated. Nevertheless, a toast was in order the day BTC reached parity with the US dollar. February 9, 2011 was the historic date, and over on the Bitcointalk forum, talk inevitably turned to what this meant for the nascent cryptocurrency. Also read: Bitcoin History Part 19: Wikileaks and the Hornet’s Nest ‘It’s Gonna Be Another Wild Ride’ This was the prediction by forum member ‘jimbobway,’ who had opened a thread entitled “Parity Party!!!” on January 11, 2011. USD parity was still some weeks away, but the writing was on the wall. Years on, the subsequent discussion makes for interesting reading, presenting a snapshot of views from the small but hardcore Bitcoin community. Needless to say, perception varied. One take, from forum member FatherMcGruder, was that “meaningful parity” would only occur when “the number of bitcoins in circulation equals the value of the US dollars in circulation. If that happened today, 1 BTC would trade for about 390,000 US, I think.” Hal Finney Hal Finney, meanwhile, seemed cognizant that he and his cohorts were witnessing something monumental: “We are really lucky to be in at the beginning of a possibly explosive new phenomenon. Considering the odds against money-tripling investments, Bitcoin looks like a good place for a percentage of your portfolio.” “Possibly explosive” was correct. Not only would Bitcoin hit $1 a month later, but by June it would surge to $31.91. Dissenting Voices at the Party It should be noted that not every forum member was popping champagne. One person seeking to temper expectations was Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn, who pondered: “The question is really – will it stay above dollar parity or not?” Another thoughtful take came from a forum newbie going by the name Veltas. While some members might have regarded him as an importunate party-pooper, his honest assessment was laced with insight: These are all meaningless (especially USD parity). Bitcoin’s worth as much as [we] want it to be and until we get that very simple idea into our heads, we’re not going to be able to comprehend when we really should be celebrating. For one thing I guarantee that it will continue soaring up and won’t stop at USD parity, or GBP parity. Nope, it’s gonna continue for a very long time. “The only good thing about this is your current BTCs are worth much more than they were before, well done; you’re all slightly richer. The bad news is I bet your bottom dollar you don’t have the share of BTC you want yet, and although you never will, it’s going to be harder to get BTC with inflation. “This is all really simple stuff, BTC parity with USD is about as special as BTC’s birthday; celebrate it if you will but don’t take any heed. And yes, “the number of bitcoins in circulation equals the value of the US dollars in circulation” is also not special, since that is down to the value behind the money and even then it all boils down to which one’s more stable. So again, stop trying to find value in numbers that mean very little and can help us with not very much.” What Dollar Parity Really Meant While Hearn and Veltas made interesting points, enthusiastic forum members could be forgiven for making a song and dance about the news. The fact is, just two years after launching, the open source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency had gone from having no value whatsoever to being on par with the US dollar, the largest reserve currency on the planet. Six years later, it would trade at parity with an ounce of gold. So much for an “abstract form of money.” Veltas didn’t stop dropping truth bombs, incidentally, taking umbrage with a user who suggested Bitcoin might become mainstream: “If the government attempts to regulate it (which is inevitable after being mainstream for long enough) then attempting to convert bitcoin into goods and such would be taxable. If the government thinks Bitcoin is a mainstream commodity they can tax on it, because in any trade you stand to gain and anything you gain that the government recognises is taxable.” Back then, the IRS was still figuring out what to do with Bitcoin. Of course, in recent years the agency has repeatedly asserted that virtual currency transactions are taxable by law, and that those who fail to report their crypto income may incur penalties and interest. Veltas’ “Please not mainstream” plea very much aligned with early BTC adopters, who wanted to keep the government out. Interestingly, the Bitcointalk thread went cold on February 10, 2011, only to be revived on April 12, 2015, when member ‘americanpegasus’ had a chuckle about Hal “getting all hot and bothered about the price of bitcoins tripling and hitting a full dollar … Rest in peace, sweet prince. What parity comes next? When the total value of bitcoins exceeds gold? M1? Global Product?” The current generation of bitcoiners look forward to having those conversations in the years to come. Bitcoin History is a multipart series from news.Bitcoin.com charting pivotal moments in the evolution of the world’s first and finest cryptocurrency. Read part 19 here. 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 Bitcoin History Part 20: BTC Reaches $1 appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  4. Last week
  5. Debit cards linked to crypto wallets have been a useful payment tool for users who want to be able to spend their cryptocurrencies almost anywhere. Offerings in the segment have been changing over time due to various reasons including regulatory challenges in different markets. Fortunately, though, new products and services are also being introduced. Here’s a list of crypto cards that currently support at least 10 cryptocurrencies. Also read: Crypto Banks Gain Regulatory Recognition Across the Globe Debit Cards That Can Be Loaded With Multiple Coins U.K.-based Uquid is the platform that supports the widest variety of cryptocurrencies. Customers can order a BCH card and a BTC card as well as cards that can be toped up with almost 90 altcoins. The Uquid Visa can be had as both a virtual and a plastic card and ordering one is free of charge. It comes with a 0% fee on POS purchases but there’s a €1 monthly fee. The card supports three major fiat currencies: EUR, GBP and USD. The Uquid prepaid card is only available to existing Uquid users and not in all jurisdictions. You’ll have to register and log in to your account to determine whether your country is eligible. 2gether is another option whose Visa card is coupled with a wallet that can hold 30 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), and ethereum (ETH). The platform recently added the stablecoin DAI. Its app is available to residents of the Eurozone countries using iOS or Android devices. Its fiat currency of choice is euro (EUR). Users’ funds are managed by Pecunia Cards, an electronic money institution regulated under EU law and supervised by the Bank of Spain. The issuance fee is €10 but the good news is that there is no monthly fee, ATM withdrawal or transaction fees. There’s also no minimum deposit amount in crypto. Leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase offers a debit Visa in 19 European countries. The Coinbase card is available to customers in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the U.K. The United States is not among supported countries but the platform intends to add other markets in the future. You can use the card to spend funds from your cryptocurrency wallets on the exchange. It can be topped up with 15 coins including BCH, BTC, ETH, and ETC. It’s issued for a fee of £4.95 or €4.95. There’s no fee on domestic purchase transactions but 0.2% is charged on POS transactions within the European Economic Area (EEA) and the international purchase transaction fee is 3%. There’s 1% fee for domestic and 2% fee for international ATM withdrawals of amounts over £200/€200. Bitwala assures you that living off bitcoin is now made easy. The Berlin-based payment services provider gives you an opportunity to trade your coins into euros and have the funds on your Bitwala account ready to be spent with a prepaid Mastercard. The platform supports 11 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin cash and is linked to a German bank account provided by Solarisbank. It comes with plenty of other fiat options, including GBP and USD, but it’s not available to U.S. residents. There’s an issuance fee of €8 and a €1 monthly fee. You’ll have to pay a fixed €2.75 on each ATM withdrawal. A 3% commission is charged on purchases made with the Bitwala card. Wirex has been a popular choice for Europeans in the last couple of years. The U.K.-based company recently launched its new ‘multicurrency travelcard’ in Singapore, entering the huge Asia-Pacific payments market. It already has over 3 million existing users in the countries it operates in. BTC, LTC, ETH, and XRP are among 10 coins you can use to load it, depending on the region. You also have multiple fiat currency options including EUR, GBP and USD. Although the U.S. dollar is among them, United States residents may not order the card. The Visa is issued and delivered free of charge but there’s a monthly maintenance fee of £1 GBP, €1.20 or $1.50. There’s a 1% fee on crypto top-ups in the EEA and the APAC region. European users pay between €2.25 (EEA) and €2.75 (international) for ATM withdrawals but they also enjoy up to 1.5% cashback in BTC on in-store purchases. All of these cards are currently available in Europe, where there’s been growing criticism from the crypto community that card providers are imposing harsher identification requirements. In certain cases they go beyond the standards introduced by the latest EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) that all EU member states are obliged to transpose in national law. Besides, they sometimes fail to take into account the realities of the modern digital age. For example, how do you provide a proof of address document if you don’t receive a paper bank statement or an electricity bill in the mail? All this is happening in an atmosphere of continuing regulatory uncertainty and mounting calls to adopt pan-European regulations for the crypto space. But things are even murkier in the U.S. where various regulators have different opinions on how to treat cryptocurrencies. The Treasury Department, for instance, refers to bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has classified it as a commodity; and the Internal Revenue Service taxes cryptocurrency as property. That’s despite a Supreme Court ruling noting the need for a “broader understanding” of what money is nowadays in the context of crypto. Probably that’s the main reason why card offerings have been shrinking and crypto users in America have been left with very few options. These are also quite limited in comparison with those available in Europe. The Bitpay card, which is one of the few remaining products, supports only two cryptocurrencies. Do you expect to see more crypto debit cards supporting a wider variety of cryptocurrencies in the near future? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinbase, Wirex. 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 Spend 10 Cryptocurrencies With These Debit Cards appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  6. New York, NY, 12 November 2019 – At New York Consensus Invest Summit, Evercoin Inc. today announced Evercoin 2, the “safest hardware wallet”. Evercoin 2 provides a wallet and exchange for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies featuring a hardware wallet the size of a house key powered by YubiKey 5ci, the first implementation of its kind. Prior to this, users wanting hardware security relied on large, difficult to use and not mobile-first first-generation hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor. Now every compatible YubiKey owner can download a free hardware wallet. Evercoin provides all of the financial services users expect from a service like Coinbase, but for the first time ever in a mobile wallet, secured by hardware and fully controlled by the user. Evercoin currently supports 20 assets including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Crypto users aren’t safe. Here are some of the threats we can address with the new combined offering from Evercoin and Yubico: Hack attacks : hackers can gain access to private keys, the result can be total loss of all assets. Exchange hacks : crypto exchanges can be hacked or go out of business causing loss of funds. Key loss : users can lose all of their assets by forgetting private keys, losing paper wallets, exposing keys to bad actors, losing hardware devices. Chainalysis estimates that 2-3 million bitcoins have been lost permanently in this way. Other user errors : users can input the wrong address when sending transactions Volatility : volatility of crypto prices can dramatically crash the value of user assets. ID Theft : hackers can steal a user’s account and identities thus enabling a host of attacks on the user’s accounts and assets. “Wrench” attacks : attacks involving a physical threat to your person. Phishing Attacks : user email and social networking accounts can be compromised and information and assets can then be stolen from their friends and social network. Evercoin 2 helps keep users safe from all of these issues with these safety features: Stopping Hack Attacks: (Hardware Security) : Users are protected from hackers by YubiKey (a small key-like device) which cryptographically secures user funds. A “Hardware Wallet” such as Ledger or Trezor will provide hardware security, but the following features are unique to Evercoin, especially in combination: User Funds Protected From Exchange Hacks : the Evercoin exchange is non-custodial so users keeping funds in Evercoin can never lose their funds to an exchange hack. Your keys, your crypto. Protects Users From Key Loss ( Wallet Back-up & Recovery ): Users are protected by patent-pending, non-custodial, user-friendly back up of wallets–enabling recovery from lost phones, lost YubiKeys and even lost passwords. Prevents User Error : Evercoin provides the easiest to use hardware wallet which is literally like using a card key to a hotel room. Insert to unlock and remove to lock. Integrated exchange and QR codes reduce error-prone typing or pasting complicated addresses. Allows Users to Respond to Volatility (Mobile Exchange) Sudden changes in the market can destroy the value of your assets. Instantly and securely exchange assets on-the-go with a YubiKey that fits on your key ring and your mobile phone. Stops ID Theft: (iPhone and Android Biometrics): because Evercoin is smartphone based, it can take advantage of biometric fingerprint and face ID in ways that purpose-built hardware wallets cannot. By combining passwords with biometrics and hardware security, we can provide the world’s safest ownership experience. Avoid Wrench Attacks : yubikey is small and inconspicuous unlike most hardware wallets. Nobody will know you are storing crypto. Block Phishing Attacks ( YubiKey ): by using an unmodified YubiKey, users can also benefit from securing all of their email and password protected accounts with YubiKey. “Evercoin users deserve peace of mind. We protect users from hackers with YubiKey hardware—but we also protect them from accidents when they have lost their phone, their YubiKey, or their password ” said Talip Ozturk , Founder, CEO of Evercoin. “Accidents do happen, and we want to ensure that funds are always safe and recoverable.” Evercoin is working with Yubico, developer of the YubiKey, a trusted hardware security provider with millions of users. Evercoin 2 provides the first-ever hardware wallet using the new YubiKey 5ci (for iPhone and USB-C for Android). All existing owners of YubiKey 5ci can get hardware wallet capabilities just by downloading Evercoin from http://evercoin.com. Another advantage is that YubiKey is a general-purpose security device–so Evercoin users can also use YubiKey to secure their password managers, messengers and email,social media and any number of other compatible authentication systems, thus providing 360 degree protection from indirect hack attacks like phishing or ID theft. # # # Media Contact Miko Matsumura miko@evercoin.com About Evercoin Evercoin is a Silicon Valley based startup founded and led by Talip Ozturk, the creator of Hazelcast, a popular open source in-memory distributed database in use at the biggest financial services companies in the world. Having seen the power of open source at some of the largest banks in the world, Talip was inspired to join the cryptocurrency movement which combines his love of open systems and distributed governance with his experience in large-scale high-performance financial infrastructure and distributed computing. Evercoin provides the world’s safest cryptocurrency ownership experience including a mobile hardware wallet, account recovery and biometric identification. The post Evercoin Launches Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  7. Venezuela has been suffering from rapid inflation as the purchasing power of the sovereign bolivar has become near worthless. Over the last few weeks, Venezuelans have been dealing with blackouts throughout major cities, making credit card readers useless. Additionally, citizens are dependent on remittances from overseas and last month the country became ‘dollarized’ as more than 54% of all sales in the country were processed in U.S. dollars. Also read: China Ranks 35 Crypto Projects as President Xi Pushes Blockchain Sales in Venezuela Have Been Dollarized For years now the Latin American country of Venezuela has been dealing with one of the worst economic and political crises in modern history. A corrupt government and failed central planning have destroyed the Venezuelan economy, causing food and medicine shortages, nationwide blackouts, and millions of Venezuelans have been left in poverty. According to citizens, remittances stemming from friends and relatives internationally have been a lifeline for the majority of residents. Statistics show that since 2016, the overall inflation rate has increased by 53,798,500% and the sovereign bolivar has hardly any purchasing power today. So instead of using the bolivar, Venezuelans are resorting to other payment avenues like barter and trade with precious metals, the USD, and a number of individuals are using cryptocurrencies as well. The USD has become so popular in Venezuela it overtook the bolivar in sales last month. The inflation rate in Venezuela is expected to peak at 10,000,000% this year. Econoalitica, a Caracas-based research firm, revealed in October that more than 54% of all sales in Venezuela were processed in USD. Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Ecoanalitica, also explained that Venezuela’s second-largest city saw “86% of all transactions” measured in USD last month. Oliveros stressed that residents of the country are surviving from funds being sent to them from families who have migrated elsewhere. There’s now a divide of people who have “access to hard currency, and those without,” Oliveros stated. “Venezuela lives in an economy dominated by dollar transactions,” the Ecoanalitica director said. “This excludes those who only have access to bolivars, whose ability to buy things is severely restricted.” With a significant dependency on the USD, Venezuela has become ‘dollarized,’ joining many other dollarized nation-states like Ecuador, East Timor, El Salvador, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe. Dollarization is a macroeconomic term that describes how the USD substitutes the country’s native tender when it becomes useless as a medium of exchange. The United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s leader President Maduro introduced the first nation-state issued cryptocurrency called the petro which has been scrutinized by Venezuelans. Venezuelans Find Refuge in Alternative Payments As an alternative to barter and trade and the use of precious metals, Venezuelans have also discovered cryptocurrencies. News.bitcoin.com recently reported on the Bitcoin Cash House in Barquisimeto, Venezuela run by Roberto Garcia. The local BCH hub educates Venezuelans about the benefits of cryptocurrencies and job opportunities tethered to the industry. “The project, called Bitcoin Cash House, is the brainchild of Roberto Garcia and is sponsored by Bitcoin.com and Sideshift.ai,” explains news.bitcoin.com reporter Graham Smith. “It exists as a physical location and online initiative, seeking to educate newcomers to the space on the acquisition, storage, and general use of crypto, as well as development and job opportunities.” Another entrepreneur in the country spreading adoption is Oscar Salas, the organizer of the Maracaibo city Bitcoin Cash meetup. Salas has been relentlessly driving BCH adoption to businesses in the region and recently discussed his activism on episode 34 of the Bitcoin Cast show. On October 8, Salas shared a picture and a video clip of his talk with over 200 cab drivers in Maracaibo city who learned about BCH first hand. There are ground crews in Venezuela as well with organizations like Venezuela.Bitcoin.com and Aprendebitcoin.org spreading valuable information about cryptocurrencies. Venezuela.bitcoin.com is making strides in Caracas, Maracaibo, and throughout the rest of the Latin American country by bolstering bitcoin cash merchant adoption in Venezuela. The nonprofit Eatbch Venezuela (@eatBCH_VE) continues to show the BCH community how it is feeding Venezuelans in need using a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. “Long time since we posted pics of these locations due to tech difficulties, but we’re still helping those in need,” Eatbch Venezuela wrote on November 7. In September, news.Bitcoin.com also reported on the team of committed researchers and activists called the Ryver Bitcoin Cash Group surveying Venezuelans regularly. In their weekly studies, Ryver Bitcoin Cash Group community manager Sofia Corona noted that most Venezuelans do not trust the bolivar so the group gives them educational resources about the benefits of bitcoin cash. Lastly, this week BCH fans celebrated the fact that there are roughly 360 bitcoin cash-accepting merchants in Venezuela today according to data derived from map.Bitcoin.com. Similarly to places like North Queensland, Australia, and Slovenia, BCH is accepted by more merchants in Venezuela than BTC-accepting retailers. "Banks are an illusion of safety and protection, that are really there to monitor and oppress people for the State" We are spreading #BCH and Education!#Educationpls #BitcoonCashRyver pic.twitter.com/pK0hMl7yvC — Sofia Corona BCH (@VainilaMarket) October 25, 2019 No one is certain if Venezuela’s economy will see the bustling growth it once saw decades ago before the reign of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The oil-rich nation does have proven oil reserves, but production is worse than three decades ago. To make matters worse, estimates reveal that the inflation rate in Venezuela may surpass 10,000,000% this year. President Maduro’s socialist regime also introduced the petro, a cryptocurrency allegedly backed by oil and gold reserves. Residents say the average citizen doesn’t use the petro at all and only crooked government officials utilize it to bypass economic sanctions. Maduro’s regime also whimsically raised the value of the petro twice, just like he raised the minimum wage rate 26 times. Despite Maduro’s efforts, Venezuelan citizens are seeking refuge in alternative payment systems like the USD and digital assets. What do you think about the situation in Venezuela? Do you think cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash (BCH) can help people? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Investopedia, Pixabay, and Venezuela.bitcoin.com. Venezuela.bitcoin.com is also making strides in Caracas, Maracaibo, and throughout the rest of the Latin American country by bolstering Bitcoin Cash merchant adoption in Venezuela. Did you also know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? Our Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. The post Venezuela Becomes ‘Dollarized’ as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  8. In addition to listing the Universal Protocol Alliance’s mega-utility token, Bitcoin.com Exchange will also list the group’s stablecoins, as well as support interoperability between the Ethereum protocol and the Simple Ledger protocol. Also Read: Cred Merchant Solutions to Help Unbanked Business Sectors Bitcoin.com Exchange to List Mega-Utility Token It was announced today that Bitcoin.com Exchange will provide an initial exchange listing to support an interoperable mega-utility token backed by the Universal Protocol Alliance, the Universal Protocol Token (UPT). The new token is expected to be on listed Nov. 20, 2019, and will be available for trading by non-U.S. persons only. In addition to listing UPT, the platform will also be listing Universal Protocol Stablecoins, including the Universal Dollar (UPUSD), Universal Euro (UPEUR), in addition to an ERC-20 version of bitcoin core, the Universal Bitcoin (UPBTC). The exchange will also support interoperability between the Ethereum protocol and the Simple Ledger protocol on Bitcoin Cash, as well as work to develop the Universal Yen (UPYEN). Bitcoin.com Exchange The Universal Protocol Alliance is a group of like-minded cryptocurrency companies and blockchain organizations that want to connect different digital assets in a single network. The alliance members include Bittrex, Brave, Certik, Omisego, Blockchain at Berkeley, Uphold, and Cred. Bitcoin.com Exchange now supports the alliance and its mission to provide blockchain interoperability, mainstream consumer safeguards, and practical applications for blockchain that reduce time, effort and cost for businesses and consumers as well as local governments. “At Bitcoin.com Exchange we believe in tokens that tie communities and ecosystems together,” said David Shin, head of Bitcoin.com Exchange. “UPT is a perfect example of how an alliance of strong and active members can come together to create higher utility for its respective users. The very concrete and practical work the Alliance has done, the successful track record of its members, and the overarching mission of the Alliance aligns well with the key criteria we look for at the Bitcoin.com Exchange.” Bitcoin.com Exchange was launched on Sep. 2, as an easy-to-use trading platform that offers world-class security and a powerful trading engine. The venue has a wide variety of trading pairs like litecoin (LTC), ripple (XRP), tron (TRX), zcash (ZEC) and denominated markets with base currencies such as tether (USDT), bitcoin cash (BCH), and bitcoin core (BTC). The platform employs institutional-grade encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA) and IP whitelisting, meant to keep users’ accounts secure at all times. If you haven’t signed up yet, the process takes less than a minute and you can start swapping digital assets immediately after you register. The Universal Protocol Alliance Mission Founded in 2018 to accelerate mainstream adoption of blockchain technology, the Universal Protocol Alliance is aiming to produce viable and pragmatic use cases that can benefit consumers, businesses, and governments globally. The group has identified that many users need innovative solutions to move digital assets seamlessly across different wallets, exchanges, and networks. In addition to the contributions made by alliance members, each member organization will integrate and incorporate UPT directly into their businesses, which will be announced soon by the group. “The early days of the internet were very similar to the world of blockchain today, with many different technology platforms fragmented and incapable of communicating with each other,” said JP Thieriot, co-founder of the UP Alliance and Uphold. “We believe that the Universal Protocol Platform is a technology that has the potential to connect blockchain technologies – much like the breakthrough of the TCP and IP protocols that drove the internet towards mass adoption.” Digital assets like bitcoin cash and ethereum operate on disparate networks that currently cannot communicate with each other. Collaboration in meaningful ways without costly workarounds remains difficult, resulting in critical inefficiencies. Universal Protocol Platform has a solution to solve this communication problem, one that will enable all existing cryptocurrencies to become available, and fungible, on one blockchain network: the introduction of Proxy Tokens. Universal Protocol recently demonstrated a new service for vendors called Cred Merchant Solutions, which allowed elected California officials, along with members of the community, to purchase goods at a vendor with bitcoin cash (BCH). This mechanism permits merchants to settle transactions in the Universal Dollar in real-time, and transmits the tax remittance to the appropriate government authorities. Universal Protocol has declared its support for California Assembly bill AB 953, which would permit the California state government to accept tax remittances in stablecoins like the Universal Dollar. This is meant to resolve a significant tax-collection issue for governments, and paves the way for comprehensive adoption of digital assets across the state . “We are thrilled to build technology that solves real problems for customers, merchants, and elected officials to help usher in the next 100 million users of blockchain,” said Dan Schatt, co-founder of the Universal Protocol Alliance and Cred. “Not only does blockchain technology result in significant cost reduction for consumers and merchants, but it also enables highly productive tax collection, transparency, and predictability for city and state governments.” What do you think about the Universal Protocol Alliance listing the mega-utility token and stablecoins on Bitcoin.com Exchange? 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 Universal Protocol Alliance to List Mega-Utility Token on Bitcoin.com Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  9. Many people in the U.S. and elsewhere think of the income tax as some kind of timeless staple of society. The truth is, it was only first instituted in the United States as a permanent fixture in 1913. It stands to ask then, how all the progress that was made prior and the bustling growth of metropolises like New York City, were even possible. In the current climate of highly confusing tax regulations where the opportunity-laden world of crypto is concerned, it stands to ask once again if there is even a need (let alone moral justification) for an income tax at all. Also Read: Tax Agencies Worldwide Plan to Crack Down on ‘Dozens’ of Crypto Tax Evaders But Who Will Build the Roads? It’s likely every libertarian’s most encountered objection to freedom: “But who will build the roads?” The real question is more along the lines of: “But who will build the roads if no one’s forced to pay taxes?” The question is not universally loathed by freedom advocates for its honesty, but for the frequency with which it is posited, and the presumable lack of consideration behind it. Obvious ethical objections aside (after all, asking “but who will pick the cotton” to justify slavery is equally abhorrent), a look at Manhattan prior to the institution of a federal and state income tax raises the question: “How did they build these roads?” For that matter, the buildings, the transportation systems, complex infrastructure, etc. The video below adds emphasis to this question, depicting a bustling, pre-income tax New York City in 1911. Before the ratification of the 16th amendment to the U.S. constitution, which authorized the federal income tax, such measures for adding money to state coffers were virtually unheard of in the U.S., except during mandated emergency funding, as occurred during the Civil War. Constitutional responsibilities of the state were generally covered by tariffs on imports, and a prior attempt to institute a peacetime income tax in 1894 had been promptly overturned the year after, by the U.S. Supreme Court. New York state didn’t have its own income tax until years later, and although other methods and taxes did exist for squeezing some money from the public, much progress was made in the absence of the what so many now view as “necessary” mass taxation, thanks to the work ethic and innovation of the private sector. Free Market Infrastructure Transportation and infrastructure were already successfully developing, and had historically been very successful, even in the absence of centralized funding via an income tax. Prior to the historic Commissioners’ Plan which laid down the now well-known grid structure for New York City’s streets, less centralized and private entities were laying their own grids and building their own street systems before being shoved aside by state-sanctioned planners claiming eminent domain. The very first subway was privately owned as well, and speedily completed. As noted in the New York Public Library blog Subway Construction: Then and Now: “New York’s first successful subway was built expeditiously. When the contract went out for bidding, it stipulated that ‘the work was to be done and the road ready for operation in two years.’ The contract was won by a company called the Rapid Transit Construction Company, which evolved into the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (the IRT, as New Yorkers would come to know it). This is a contrast to the current Second Avenue Subway project, which broke ground in 2007 and is still under construction.” It’s worth noting that the repeatedly stymied, federally and state funded Second Avenue project is still not completed, with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board recently approving a “$51.5 billion investment in the city’s transit system … which includes fully funding the long-awaited second phase of the Second Avenue Subway.” So while it would be disingenuous to imply that New York’s world renowned infrastructure in its very early days was completely financed and built privately, and tax free (as some libertarians are want to do), what cannot be denied is that: There was no income tax. Roads and subways existed. Private companies could and did build them. The answer to “who will build the roads,” then — even if and when the project may be ordered by some government — is obvious: people. Just as private individuals who wished to travel from point A to point B or open up thoroughfares to their businesses did in New York, individuals continue to finance and complete the building of roads today. Why taxation or a violent state must enter the picture remains a mystery. This brings us to another sacred cow of taxation: healthcare. Competitive Medicine: Cheaper and Safer Though medicine of a hundred years ago was admittedly much less advanced than it is now, the systematic destruction of competition in the healthcare industry, via forced government interference, has only served to engender impossibly exorbitant prices and deteriorating quality of service in the name of safety and affordability. While patients certainly had to take care in choosing a doctor and hospital with a good reputation in times past, the modern-day medical industry provides no such preponderance of truly competitive services. As Mike Holly writes for Mises Wire: Since the early 1900s, medical special interests have been lobbying politicians to reduce competition. By the 1980s, the U.S. was restricting the supply of physicians, hospitals, insurance and pharmaceuticals, while subsidizing demand. Holly cites numerous legislative initiatives throughout the 20th century which effectively constricted and monopolized the medical industry, including the American Medical Association-backed (AMA) Flexner Report which, under aim of streamlining and improving the quality of healthcare in the U.S. and Canada, resulted in the closure or merging of more than half of U.S. medical schools. It also closed almost all except 2 historically black schools, as Abraham Flexner famously believed that “The practice of the Negro doctor will be limited to his own race, which in its turn will be cared for better by good Negro physicians than by poor white ones.” After shutting out competition, the state then began to socialize the new model with taxpayer funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid in the U.S. Malpractice insurance cost spiked dramatically for physicians and surgeons from 1960 – 1972 as claims increased. Source: Mises.org, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Medical Malpractice Report The Flexner era was the beginning of a marked infiltration of government and an accompanying state-embedded “private” insurance lobby into healthcare, which resulted in overcrowded facilities, a statistical increase in practices such as “patient dumping,” malpractice claims, and the demand for “free” socialized medicine. Where socialized programs like Obamacare are concerned, while many individuals can finally afford attention, many others claim to have been financially gutted. This lack of choice is further reflected in tragic events where patients die just waiting for treatment even in modern times, such as the recent death of a woman who waited 11 hours in an emergency room without receiving attention, or the case of otherwise healthy Kira Johnson, who slowly hemorrhaged to death over a period of several hours after a routine C-section while waiting for a CT-scan, the staff knowing the whole time she was bleeding. Some may argue that medicine of times past was dangerous, but that’s hardly an excuse for modern medicine to fail. Especially an artificially monopolized industry that there is no way to opt out of. Crypto and the Big Apple The free market isn’t about allowing any unlicensed quack to operate on your sick kid. It’s not about a return to dirt roads, inhumane industrialism or inefficient barter. It has nothing to do with partisan politics or the debate surrounding socialized and false “private” medicine. What ultimately made New York great, and anywhere else that experiences significant economic growth, is individuals freely trading and interacting with one another. In a word, it’s consent. Before the founding of the U.S. Federal Reserve in the same year as the start of the income tax, currency competition was also possible. Nobody was forced by law to use any one money. Nobody was forced to use any one doctor, medicine, or plan. Permissionless cryptocurrencies like bitcoin present all of us with an opportunity to act and transact in the same spirit, and not to force whatever plan we think is best on the other guy. Blockchain and crypto further provide an excellent opportunity for communities to keep advanced, transparent records for self-regulation based not on coercion, but on private property norms, and for each individual to decide how his or her value will be spent, without permission from a state. This potential for freedom is exactly why crypto is now being so fiercely targeted by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, one of the most powerful tax collection agencies on the planet. After all, if a flat, paved space called a road can miraculously be built from point A to point B without an income tax, perhaps we as humans can do other things without it as well. 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. 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 How Society Thrived Before Mass Taxation, and How It Still Can appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  10. In an interview from prison, one of Deepdotweb’s operators has disputed the $15 million allegedly made from “illegal” referral links, claiming “There was no such amount.” Currently on remand in France, Israeli citizen Tal Prihar stands accused of directing visitors towards darknet markets (DNMs) in his role as Deepdotweb administrator. The popular site published articles about darknet drug busts, new onion services and other stories related to online marketplaces. The 38-year-old believes he is the victim of a U.S. witch hunt. Also read: 6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious Locked Up for Sharing Information According to the U.S. indictment, Prihar and his business partner referred hundreds of thousands of users to the darknet during Deepdotweb’s tenure, and those users made hundreds of millions of dollars worth of purchases. The indictment refers to goods such as heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crystal meth, firearms and stolen financial information. While co-accused Michael Phan, 34, has maintained his silence, Prihar broke cover to dispute the FBI’s assertion that the pair earned $15 million (8,000 BTC) from an affiliate marketing scheme. Contesting a charge of money laundering, Prihar insisted that Deepdotweb (DDW) was merely a news site which helped curious users make more informed decisions about the darknet. Refuting the $15 million figure, Prihar claimed that the site earned money from legitimate marketing endeavors for bitcoin gambling websites, anonymous VPN software, and crypto exchanges. The interview was conducted in Hebrew via Prihar’s attorney, Nick Kaufman, and the accused made points which will be familiar to anyone who followed the Silk Road case: “We did not create the demand. Neither the guns nor the drugs. So if someone was going to buy a gun and kill people or buy drugs, he would do it regardless of us.” Deepdotweb Operator Pleads His Case “I don’t know that any specific crime was ever committed just because of something I listed or posted,” ventured Tal Prihar. “On the contrary, our goal was to prevent crimes against personal and economic freedoms and try to minimize bodily and mental harm. There was nothing in our information to convince or coax people into doing something they did not intend to do without us, for better or worse. “The site was used in general to warn of dangers, poisonings, thefts, and to refer to places we believed to be the least harmful to those who had already decided to use [illicit substances]. We did not recommend and did not push. We never put up an advertised article to promote the use of one or another site, or any other illegal product … I have no doubt that in the absence of [Deepdotweb], many more people would have died from online drug purchases.” How prosecutors believe the “crime” was perpetrated. A Unique Case Prihar stressed that the legal case against the pair is entirely without precedent, asserting that he and Phan are the first ever people to be charged, under anti-money laundering laws, for sharing darknet market referral links. “Their [FBI] interrogations were about the same as an elephant in a china shop,” he claimed. “In general, to this day, I really don’t know that we have committed any offence.” After seizing Deepdotweb last May, the FBI deleted all of the news articles on the site, with some critics labeling the action an assault on the freedom of the press. At the time of its closure, the site featured hundreds of articles penned by multiple authors. Prihar is currently housed in an unspecified prison in a Parisian suburb, awaiting extradition to the U.S. Of his current environment, he had this to say: “The rooms are full of blood-sucking insects, and my whole body is covered in bleeding bites. The yards are full of rats and there are many cases of tuberculosis and disease. I experience antisemitism here, lots of loneliness, sadness, concerns and concern for the family. “When I was arrested, one of the policemen boasted ‘We caught another Jew who took money.’ That is about the recurring motif of the French towards me and all foreigners, like a terrorist. Since I was arrested, no Israeli official has visited me … The stress is unbearable.” Prihar can expect little sympathy from U.S. attorney Scott Brady, who earlier referred to the bust as “the single most significant law enforcement disruption of the darknet to date.” Tal Prihar’s interview was published less than a week after Italian authorities revealed the arrest of three men accused of operating Berlusconi Marketplace. The site ceased operating in October, and the announcement, in which it was revealed that 2.2kg of drugs were seized, had been anticipated. Prosecutors claim that Berlusconi was “the most important market in the Dark Web, both for the quantity of items for sale [and] volume of trades with over 100,000 illegal product announcements.” In reality, Berlusconi didn’t make the top five DNMs, even at its peak. Despite the site’s demise, more than 30 darknet markets remain active. Do you think Deepdotweb’s operators are being unfairly targeted by U.S. prosecutors? 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 Jailed Deepdotweb Admin Denies Earning $15M From Darknet Links appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  11. The great bitcoin reward halvings are coming and many newcomers have not experienced a halving event unless they joined the crypto community prior to 2016. A few speculators believe bitcoin miners and whales are hoarding coins right now until after the adjustment so prices will be driven up. Moreover, for the first time, crypto proponents will observe how both BTC and BCH deal with the reward reduction as both networks are mined by some of the same pools. Also read: Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air The Reward Halving Approaches When Satoshi released the Bitcoin protocol, one of the rules that came with the program was the fact that the block reward gets cut in half every four years (every 210,000 blocks) depending on hashrate speed. The last time digital currency fans saw a reward halving was on July 9, 2016, at block 419,975 when the BTC block reward was cut in half from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC. At the time there were 15.7 million BTC mined into existence and roughly 1.4 exahash per second (EH/s) processed blocks on the chain. A little over a year later, the heightened scaling debate led to a hard fork on August 1, 2017, when the chain split into two factions. More than two years have passed and a slew of mining pools processing the consensus hashing algorithm SHA256 now mine on both networks. According to current data, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain will experience a reward halving on April 8, 2020. At press time, there is 18,041,637 BTC mined into circulation and the next halving should occur in 184 days. Currently, the hashrate processing the BTC chain is around 94.48 EH/s and at this speed, the halving will occur on May 14, 2020. There are 26,668 blocks left to mine on the BTC chain before the subsidy reduction and miners will have obtained 333,350 BTC processing blocks up until this point. Miners processing the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network are using between 2.75-4 EH/s over the course of the last week. There’s been 18,107,613 BCH mined into existence so far and 608,598 blocks recorded to-date. Data shows that the BCH chain will experience a reward halving a month earlier than BTC on April 8, 2020. At the time when the reward halves, the BCH block reward will drop from 12.5 BCH to 6.25 BCH. BCH inflation rate on November 11, 2019, is very close to BTC’s inflation rate at 3.74%. Multiple Factors Will Affect the Reward Halvings Ten days ago, Bitcoin.com published a video with professional miners from around the world who explained what they think will happen during the halving. The film included Hyperblock’s CEO Sean Walsh, Genesis Mining CEO Marco Streng, F2Pool’s Global Director Thomas Heller, and quite a few mining heavyweights. The mining industry executives mentioned topics like BTC’s inflation rate dropping lower than USD and EUR for the first time ever after the reward halving. They also discussed how the last halving was ‘priced in’ and whether or not that same trend will happen again. “The halving is a brutal wipe-out event,” Marco Streng stressed in the film. “It knocks out immediately the miners who are not efficient enough and shows no mercy.” Statistics show that BTC’s inflation rate is at 3.85% at the time of writing, while the inflation rate for BCH is similar at 3.74%. BTC inflation rate on November 11, 2019, is 3.85%. The BTC halving is estimated to occur on May 14, 2020. There are a few metrics that also show miners and whales are likely hoarding coins before the next reward reduction. Mining data stemming from both BTC and BCH chains show that there’s been a lot more divergence between freshly generated coins and the first time they are spent onchain. Speculators believe miners will hoard coins to drive up the price so they can maintain the same revenues after the halving. Number of BTC mined versus how many spent on 11-11-19. The onchain market intelligence company Glassnode has shown that BTC whales are accumulating lots of coins. On October 11, Glassnode tweeted that the number of whales (BTC addresses with 1,000 BTC or more) had reached an all-time high. All of these factors are taken into consideration when discussing the theoretical events tied to the next halvings. Number of BCH mined versus how many spent on 11-11-19. The truth is no one knows exactly what will happen during the BCH and BTC reward reductions. Right now miners from both networks are chugging along processing blocks so transactions can be confirmed. There are six different pools that mine both chains including Viabtc, Antpool, Btc.com, Btc.top, Bitcoin.com, and Poolin. When both halvings occur, a lot of other metrics will affect the networks including the current price during the subsidy reduction, the difficulty on both chains, and energy costs. Some people believe that after the next halving home or hobby mining might become nonexistent and only situated pools with significant hashpower will survive. What do you think will happen to the BCH and BTC chains after the 2020 halving? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pixabay, Bytetree, Charts.Bitcoin.com, and Fair Use. 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 6 Months Before Halving Signs Indicate Bitcoin Miners Are Hoarding appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  12. A major Chinese daily has published an article about Bitcoin. The publication describes the first cryptocurrency as a successful application of the blockchain technology. It provides its readers with the basics they need to know about Bitcoin and highlights some of its main characteristics. Also read: Crypto Banks Gain Regulatory Recognition Across the Globe Xinhua Daily: Bitcoin Is One of the Hottest Topics If there’s one thing that distinguishes democracies from other government regimes, at least at first glance, it’s the speed with which the executive power can bring its new decisions to the attention of the public and ultimately to implementation. In single-party systems such as the People’s Republic, when authority says ‘hop’ – you jump. It’s been only a couple of weeks since the General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping, told a Politburo meeting that China has to gain an edge in blockchain development and Bitcoin has already made its way to the pages of a leading state-controlled newspaper. The Xinhua Daily just published an article titled “Bitcoin: The First Successful Application of Blockchain Technology.” The piece starts with an acknowledgment which in this case seems a bit late. “Bitcoin is undoubtedly one of the hottest topics in recent years,” notes the author, Professor Qiang Geng from the School of Business at Nanjing University. Then he goes on to ask a question you’d often hear from Western mainstream media: “Is it the inevitable trend of future currency development, or is it another ‘tulip bulb’ that is frantically hyped?” Bitcoin is not a tangible currency, professor Geng remarks. It is an open source, peer-to-peer digital currency, produced and operated on the internet. Like gold and silver, it’s different from fiat paper money supported by national laws and sovereign credit. But unlike the precious metals, with their natural attributes, Bitcoin is born in the modern technology era and is the first successful application of blockchain, the scholar writes. ‘Bitcoin Has the Following Characteristics’ What follows is a general but relatively detailed explanation of the basics of Bitcoin and how it actually works. It’s the kind of information you’d like to get the first time you turn to the internet to learn more about cryptocurrency. For example, how bitcoin is stored and sent, how transactions are initiated, processed and verified by the network, how fees are formed and so on. Attention has been paid to the decentralized nature of the crypto and its limited supply. Some of Bitcoin’s characteristics such as “good anonymity” of transacting parties, the energy intensive process of mining and the significant fluctuations of market prices have been highlighted in a negative context and in comparison with “legal currency.” But that’s nothing too unusual for a government perspective. In any case, if you are a Chinese citizen who still gets their updates mainly from official media and have no access to Google, Youtube and Wikipedia, the description of Bitcoin provided by the Xinhua Daily is one that you could appreciate. It’s certainly better than nothing. However, the most important aspect is that it has been published in the first place, printed on the economic review page of a major Chinese newspaper. Authorities in Beijing have never been that friendly towards decentralized cryptocurrencies. But it’s a fact that China’s recent preoccupation with blockchain woke up crypto markets and catalyzed the bullish sentiment. The article portraying Bitcoin as a success is in a way another step forward, after Chinese government planners recently removed crypto mining, in which their country is an undisputed leader, from a list of unwanted industries. With blockchain already an element of the party line in China, Bitcoin has just become a line in the party-approved news. Do you think the publication of an article about Bitcoin in a state-run Chinese newspaper is a positive development for cryptocurrencies? Share your opinion in the comments section below. 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 From FUD to FOMO – China State Newspaper Says Bitcoin Is ‘Successful’ appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  13. This year the public has seen a lot of the expansive monetary policy taking place with 37 central banks participating in monetary easing. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the methods central banks like the Federal Reserve use to increase the money supply and never take the time to understand the process. The following is an in-depth look at how the Federal Reserve or any central bank “prints money” by adding credit to banks’ deposits, lowering the fed funds rate target, and using large-scale open market operations to purchase securities and Treasuries. Also read: China Ranks 35 Crypto Projects as President Xi Pushes Blockchain Continuing the Circle of Debt: Managing the Fed Funds Rate to Spur More Lending This year, the Fed, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of Japan (BoJ), People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and many other central monetary institutions are all heavily involved in large-scale monetary easing policy. Whenever these easing practices happen, people like to say that the Fed has “fired up the printing presses” and many people assume the central bank prints money in a literal sense. The Fed, however, doesn’t have a printing press that mints fresh hundred dollar bills on a whim as that process is done by the Treasury Department. The fact is the majority of global citizens don’t use physical cash for expenditure and fiat currency is mostly accounted for using an electronic ledger system. According to Zerohedge: “In August 2019 year-on-year growth of the broad true U.S. money supply (TMS-2) fell to a fresh 12-year low of 1.87%.” The central bank does and can increase the money supply, but it is done in an electronic way by using a system of credit with smaller financial institutions. When inflation makes purchasing power weaker, more funds are needed and the available supply of money (liquidity) drops lower. The Fed is in charge of managing the nation’s liquidity when the network of smaller banks below it claim that reserves are running low. These complaints make the Fed initiate expansive monetary policy in order to spur borrowing, investing, and overall growth. The U.S. Treasury’s general account at the Fed has grown significantly in a one-month period. Understanding that these newly created funds never trickle down to the average citizens and they simply enrich the banking industry helps one to grasp how manipulated the monetary system is today. One of the first tactics the Federal Reserve uses to help stimulate the economy is managing the Fed Funds Rate. When the Fed wants to create more liquidity, the central bank will lower the amount of funds banks are required to hold in reserve each night. This interest rate is what banks are allowed to charge to other financial institutions in order to pass the Fed’s overnight rate. It’s a bit telling because when smaller banks beg for the Fed rate to be lowered, they are simply stating their fractional supply is not enough to remain solvent. Illiquid banks running low on reserves beg the Fed for more bailouts regularly. If a bank is short on liquidity it can borrow Fed approved funding from another bank and the Fed Funds Rate is basically the interest rate used. However, a central bank’s interest rate also guides lending throughout the country because it is used as a benchmark for loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. Average citizens don’t see many benefits when the rate is slashed unless they are a borrower. When the Fed lowers the target for the Fed Funds Rate, it essentially adds credit to banks’ deposits which makes them want to lend more. When consumers can’t repay debts, the circle continues and credit is still given to the banks in order to spur consumerism and to allocate even more debt. After the Fed bailouts during the economic crisis of 2008, Americans protested in the streets. No one really protests against QE anymore as the easing practices have become normalized. Expansionary Monetary Policy or Creating Credit From Thin Air Another method used by the Fed to help control the economy is by leveraging expansionary monetary policy known as quantitative easing (QE). When the Fed uses open market operations to purchase large-scale assets from banks, people call this act “printing money,” because it is creating funds from thin air but electronically using credit. Ordinary people do not see the fresh funds and are again greeted with predatory lending practices instead. When the Fed is involved with overnight repos and open market operations, it purchases Treasury notes and other securities from a select group of member banks. The Fed creates credit from literally nothing and exchanges the credit for the Treasuries and other assets. This, in turn, gives the smaller institutions more funds to lend and typically these banks lower their lending rates. The fresh capital is hoarded by the banks in reserves while they sell credit cards with interest, autos, homes, and school loans to anyone willing to bite. Since the inception of the Fed in 1913, research that cites the Fed’s so-called ‘trickle-down economics’ of bailing out the banks indicates the process has never improved the economic standing of the lower and middle classes. Austrian economist Murray Rothbard explained in his book “The Case Against the Fed” how central banks create money out of thin air and manipulate the global economy. Moreover, when the central banks buy assets like Treasuries and securities at large-scale from illiquid member banks, it places false confidence in a failing financial institution and many other struggling banks below it. In the book “The Case Against the Fed,” written by the economist Murray Rothbard, the novel explains how non-existent reserve leeching grows. “Suppose a central bank buys an asset from a bank — For example, the central bank buys a building, owned by the Jonesville Bank for $1,000,000,” Rothbard writes. “The building, appraised at $1,000,000, is transferred from the asset column of the Jonesville Bank to the asset column of the Central Bank. How does the Central Bank pay for the building? Simple: by writing out a check on itself for $1,000,000. Where did it get the money to write out the check?” The Austrian economist adds: It created the money out of thin air, i.e., by creating a fake warehouse receipt for $1,000,000 in cash which it does not possess. The Jonesville Bank deposits the check at the Central Bank, and the Jonesville Bank’s deposit account at the Central Bank goes up by $1,000,000. The Jonesville Bank’s total reserves have increased by $1,000,000, upon which it and other banks will be able, in a short period of time, to multiply their own warehouse receipts to non-existent reserves manyfold, and thereby to increase the money supply of the country manyfold. Counter Economics and Eradicating the Central Banks’ Counterfeiting Game Rothbard notes in his well-known essay that if the government falls prey to the temptation of printing, a great deal of new money inflation is invoked and society doesn’t trust the purchasing power of legal tender. Everyday citizens can’t do much of anything to stop the manipulated monetary system but they can participate in counter economics to avoid central planning. Average Joes can use digital currencies, precious metals, and other means of barter and trade in order to escape the fiat-Ponzi. Libertarians believe in the future the free market economy will be triumphant and the world’s manipulated economy will fold once the masses realize they are being defrauded. Individuals and organizations removing themselves from the failing monetary order created by bureaucrats and bankers will deal with the fallout in an easier fashion. Because 37 central banks have decided to manipulate the global economy, citizens who are not aware of the fraud must deal with destructive booms and busts, and rising inflation that derived directly from the banks themselves. The only realistic way to stop the world’s economic problems and that is by eradicating the central banks’ plans altogether. “There is only one way to eliminate chronic inflation, as well as the booms and busts brought by that system of inflationary credit: and that is to eliminate the counterfeiting that constitutes and creates that inflation,” Rothbard concedes at the end of his book. “And the only way to do that is to abolish legalized counterfeiting: that is, to abolish the Federal Reserve system.” What do you think about how the Fed and other central banks create money out of thin air? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, Zerohedge, and Pixabay. 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 Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  14. The number of job vacancies in the crypto industry is growing but fewer people are searching for them, according to a major U.S. job listing website. Thousands of jobs relating to Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology are currently available as new employers seek to enter the space and existing players expand operations. Also read: China Now Censors Anti-Blockchain Sentiment, Educates Public on Bitcoin More Jobs, Fewer Searches Jobs in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are on the rise, according to Indeed, a leading job listing platform and search engine. The company analyzed millions of job postings on Indeed.com to determine the current state of the crypto job market in the U.S. The results were published Thursday by the company’s tech hiring platform, Seen by Indeed. “According to Indeed.com, in the four-year period between September 2015 and September 2019, the share of these jobs per million grew by 1,457%. In that same time period, the share of searches per million increased by ‘only’ 469%,” a blog post on Seen by Indeed’s website details. Looking at data over the past year alone, crypto job listings increased by 26% while crypto job searches decreased by 53%. The number of job postings grew the most between 2017-18 while the number of job searches grew the most in 2016-17. This year, the number of crypto jobs searched decreased for the first time. The company also revealed that the top five tech jobs in the industry are software engineers, senior software engineers, software architects, full stack developers, and front end developers. Top Employers: Who’s Hiring At the time of this writing, there are 1,090 crypto-specific jobs, 293 Bitcoin-specific jobs, and over 2,000 blockchain-related jobs listed on Indeed.com. In addition, 116 listings specifically mention smart contracts and 64 refer to distributed ledger technology. While most are full-time jobs, there are also part-time, contract, internship, commission-based, and temporary jobs. Employers with the most crypto and blockchain-related job listings include Cisco, IBM, Collins Aerospace, Deloitte, Amazon.com, Accenture, Coinbase, Ripple, EY, Gemini Trust, Facebook, General Dynamics Information Technology, Lockheed Martin Corp., Overstock.com, and JPMorgan Chase. Companies seeking to fill cryptocurrency-specific job vacancies include Coinbase, 72 jobs; Gemini Trust, 43 jobs; Gemini, 36 jobs; Praetorian, 28 jobs; Revolut, 26 jobs; Facebook, 25 jobs; Kraken, 24 jobs; JPMorgan Chase, 24 jobs; Cyphertrace, 19 jobs; Binance, 14 jobs; Chainalysis, 11 jobs; Paxful, 10 jobs; Bakkt, 8 jobs; and Huobi, 8 jobs. Salaries vary by employer and job. Revolut’s jobs on Indeed.com start at $63,600, Gemini Trust and Gemini $68,000, Praetorian $84,100, and Coinbase $71,100. Indeed operates job listing platforms for 63 countries. The U.K. has over 1,000 jobs relating to Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or blockchain technology listed. Besides Indeed, there are other websites with crypto job listings, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Job seekers can also approach companies directly. Bitcoin.com also has some job openings. Moreover, government agencies are increasingly filling crypto-related positions. The U.S. Federal Reserve, for example, said earlier this month that it is looking for a candidate to oversee digital currency research. The New York State Department of Financial Services announced a job vacancy last month for a Deputy Superintendent for Virtual Currency. What do you think of the crypto job market? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Seen by Indeed. 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 Jobs on the Rise, Thousands Listed appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  15. Traditional financial institutions are still leery about decentralized cryptocurrencies. They are only starting to explore the potential of digital assets. But a new breed of banks specializing in crypto have been working hard to take advantage of this trend and are gaining regulatory recognition around the world. Also read: How to Start With Bitcoin at No Cost Swiss Crypto Banks Are Going Global Switzerland has established itself as a leading crypto-friendly nation and several hundred companies from the industry are currently operating out of the crypto valley centered in the canton of Zug. The country’s financial regulators have been gradually opening towards the nascent sector. Traditional banks have been reluctant to serve entities dealing with cryptocurrencies but competition from new businesses focusing specifically on the crypto market is likely to change that. Zug, Switzerland In August, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) licensed two companies to provide banking services to Swiss-based crypto businesses and also trade securities. Zug-registered Seba Crypto and Zurich-based Sygnum became Switzerland’s first regulated crypto banks. Another entity working with digital assets, Bitcoin Suisse, applied for a banking and securities dealer license this summer. A new venture called Tallyon expects the green light from Finma to become a ‘next generation’ private bank employing blockchain tech and working with cryptocurrencies. These companies are not restricting themselves to Switzerland only. In late October, Sygnum was granted a capital markets services license in Singapore. According to a report by Swissinfo, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has authorized the crypto bank to provide asset management services in the Southeast Asian city-state. Seba Crypto, which is currently focusing primarily on its upcoming launch in Switzerland, is in talks with the MAS but is yet to apply for a license. It plans to enter a number of other markets including Hong Kong, the U.K., Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Tallyon plans for an Asian expansion too, after its launch in the Alpine country. In a press release published on its website, Sygnum revealed their first product will be a multi-manager fund which “allocates investments across a portfolio of managers that tap into the global digital asset opportunity using different and uncorrelated investment strategies.” It will be available to institutional and private qualified investors in Switzerland in the future as well, through the company’s banking platform there. In partnership with the largest German stock exchange and Swisscom, Sygnum is also working to launch a new digital asset trading venue. China’s Tencent Licensed to Operate ‘Virtual Bank’ in Hong Kong The expansion of the crypto industry in any jurisdiction inevitably creates demand for related banking services. China’s recent focus on blockchain development is likely to have the same effect. Some Chinese companies are already moving to take advantage of the changing environment that creates new business opportunities. Tencent, the tech and internet giant behind the popular messenger Wechat, has recently received a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) that will allow it to establish a ‘virtual bank.’ Speaking at the World Blockchain Conference in Wuzhen on Nov. 8, Cai Weige, general manager for blockchain at Tencent, revealed the holding is already gathering a team for the financial platform. Shenzhen, China According to Chinese media, the forum was devoted to blockchain, digital assets, central bank digital currency, artificial intelligence, and 5G. During his keynote speech at the conference, the high-ranking Tencent representative noted that blockchain and cryptocurrencies receive more attention now that the Hong Kong government has begun to regulate crypto transactions. The SFC recently established a new regulatory framework that allows crypto exchanges to opt-in to be licensed and regulated, as news.Bitcoin.com reported last week. Trading platforms can now apply for a license if they meet certain requirements, including the implementation of measures to guarantee the safe custody of crypto assets. While companies like Tencent and the Swiss fintech startups are competing to offer the best banking services to the crypto industry, traditional financial institutions have largely shied away from digital assets. That’s likely to change over time though, with the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies. For example, the Basel Committee, which includes banking regulators from the U.S., Europe and Japan, has just agreed to study the capital requirements for crypto assets held by traditional banks. But the steps in that direction are still few and by the time banks get there, the crypto banking sector will probably be occupied by plenty of ‘next generation’ banks. Do you think dedicated crypto banks can provide better services to the crypto industry than traditional financial institutions? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 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 Crypto Banks Gain Regulatory Recognition Across the Globe appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  16. Flashy bitcoin price speculation is a favorite game of crypto Twitter news outlets and commentators all over. After all, who doesn’t want to hear that their modest stash of satoshis could someday moon and be worth millions? Sensation aside, there remains a well-grounded case for continued rise in price where top cryptos are concerned, and should bitcoin’s market cap overtake that of gold — an asset limited in many ways compared to crypto — prices could indeed be out of this world. Also Read: For Initial Exchange Offerings, Liquidity is King Gold’s Market Cap and Surrounding Contention Gold’s global market cap currently sits at around $8 trillion. Last year, at this time the precious metal’s capitalization sat closer to $7 trillion. As fiat paper worldwide continues to be devalued by governments and their reckless economic policies, many goldbugs see the upward trend continuing, and they may be right. Habitual bitcoin detractor and well-known gold enthusiast Peter Schiff has made a name for himself in making such predictions. What’s not talked about as often in precious metals circles are the very real physical limitations that come with the beautiful asset in regard to its function as money. While Schiff’s frequent criticism of the U.S. Federal Reserve is well-received by many in the crypto space, his attacks on bitcoin and the views of crypto influencers and innovators such as Bobby Lee are generally not. Lee, CEO and founder of the Ballet Crypto physical crypto wallet and brother of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, recently predicted that “the #flippening will happen within 9 years and $BTC will shoot up past USD $500,000.” #Gold is at about $8 trillion today, which is 50x the worth of #Bitcoin. I predict the #flippening will happen within 9 years and $BTC will shoot up past USD $500,000. And with all of the money printing that’s happening globally, $BTC will actually very likely be over $1 million! https://t.co/hbqGze38k5 — Bobby Lee – Ballet: Simple & Elegant Wallet (@bobbyclee) November 10, 2019 Like Schiff, Lee cites irresponsible economic policies as a contributing factor to the rise of his favored asset class. Unlike Schiff, however, Lee doesn’t view crypto as “fool’s gold” people should run from. Indeed, one of the main perceived strengths of bitcoin and crypto is that unlike gold, it has an extreme advantage in ease of transfer and portability. It’s no small feat for someone out of country to send a couple bars of gold to family back home. It’s heavy, significant fees will be charged, and applicable state regulations must be cleared. Crypto, on the other hand, has the ability to be sent for negligible fees instantly, without “necessary” or built-in interference from a third party or regulator. Should Bitcoin Overtake Gold Charlie puts BTC at a possible $500,000 in nine years. Notably, a recent statement from Bitcoin.com Executive Chairman Roger Ver, made in conjunction with a unique Facebook giveaway, suggested that BCH could also achieve new heights: If I’m already friends with you on Facebook, post your Bitcoin Cash address and I will send you $5 worth of Bitcoin Cash that could easily become worth $5,000 some day. If I’m not already friends with you on Facebook, post your Bitcoin Cash address anyhow, and I will still send you $1 that could easily become $1,000 some day. So what would prices look like if bitcoin did overtake gold in market cap? Well, as price is ultimately the product of myriad market variables and ever-changing economic context, such predictions are not easy to make in spite of how often they’re put out there. Still, basic calculations via market capitalization can be done assuming things don’t change too drastically much regarding current applicable factors. coinmarketcap.com If, for example, one of the top coins flipped gold’s current market cap of ~$8 trillion, the resultant price would be impressive. With a circulating supply of 18,040,537 BTC at press time, a market cap for BTC of $8 trillion would result in a single coin worth about $443,400. Even assuming the “flippening” doesn’t take place until the hard cap of 21 million coins in theoretical circulation is reached, a price of around $380,000 results. Should bitcoin cash (BCH) flip the market cap of gold given current data, the resultant price is a shimmering $441,800 per coin. None of this is to factor in changes in demand, tech innovation, adoption, etc., for better or for worse. Considering the amount of excitement and FOMO likely to occur in such an event, prices would likely be much, much higher. While these numbers might seem “far out” upon first encounter, it’s important to note that BTC achieving dollar parity was a big deal less than nine years ago in February, 2011. BTC, worth $1 then, has since increased by about 900,000%, bringing us to the current price. Other Metrics A September 2017 report by the National Bureau of Economic Research states that “The equivalent of 10% of world GDP is held in tax havens globally,” and with part of crypto’s appeal itself as an “offshore haven” of sorts (although admittedly one that is drawing much heated attention from powerful government agencies such as the IRS and FBI) it’s interesting to look at bitcoin potentially replacing these tax havens’ share of value, if only as a thought experiment. The projected global gross domestic product (GDP) for 2019 according to IMF and United Nations aggregated data was set at ~$88 trillion last year. Should BTC, BCH, or BSV flip 10% of this amount today, with current circulating supplies of about 18 million each, the resultant value would be a token worth ~$488,888, not far from Bobby Lee’s prediction regarding bitcoin flipping the market cap of gold. Other typically hot topics include bitcoinization and hyper-bitcoinization, whereby bitcoin overtakes the dominant currency in a given region or overtakes and makes obsolete the currencies of the whole world. The nearly $4 trillion world reserve currency USD circulating in the current M1 money supply would require each bitcoin (whether bitcoin cash, core, or BSV), at a roughly calculated circulation of 18 million, to be worth about $222,000 in order to serve as a replacement for M1. Swiss multinational bank UBS put this figure at $213,000 over the summer, prior to continued expansion of the monetary supply. Of course, none of this includes the massive amounts of debt and credit on the books in USD as well, which would further dynamize and shape bitcoin price in a hyperbitcoinization event, resulting in astronomical price changes the likes of which likely defy speculation, due to the confluence of cultural and socioeconomic changes that would result from such a financial earthquake. A Grain of Salt Goes a Long Way There’s little easier than making ear-tickling predictions about the riches just around the corner for anyone holding even a small amount of crypto. Should the forecast fail, just chalk it up to unpredictable markets and shout out a new one with equally impassioned bluster next week. Should it succeed, be sure to remind everyone of how you “totally called it” with that “Feeling bullish” tweet two days ago. This isn’t by any means to say that predictions are bad, only that the overconfident and suspiciously detailed ones don’t usually seem to pan out. While markets really are sometimes anyone’s guess, there are yet sound economic principles and hard realities which can be used to make valuable observations. As fiat currencies and governments worldwide continue in their seeming endless love affair with reckless debasement, the underpinning principles of limited supply, permissionless crypto assets with competitive utility continue to convince many that the flippening may be just around the corner. What are your thoughts on bitcoin’s potential to “flip” gold? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Price articles and 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. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.” Images credits: 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 When Bitcoin Overtakes Gold – How High Can It Go? appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  17. Captain America began life as Steve Rogers. Tony Stark only created Iron Man after being kidnapped. Bruce Wayne spent seven years in ninja training before eventually returning to Gotham as Batman. We don’t know Satoshi Nakamoto’s birth name, but we do know something about the steps he took to create Bitcoin and indelibly forge his alter-ego. Also read: Satoshi’s Final Messages Leave Tantalizing Clues to His Disappearance Unmasking the Legend of Satoshi We don’t know who Satoshi is or was, but like the superheroes of today’s Marvel and DC movies, beneath the mask was a flawed human capable of extraordinary things. Deifying – or rather superhero-ifying – any one man is the antithesis of everything Bitcoin stands for. Indeed, it may have been the growing cult of Satoshi that sent Bitcoin’s creator scurrying into exile. For evocative purposes, however, the superhero metaphor works. Just think about it: One man, taking on a corrupt system (central banking). The assumption of a pseudonym to protect his identity. The need to separate his personal and professional life (there could be no Tony Stark reveal of his Iron Man alter-ego). The need to operate as a lone wolf for years with no assistance or remuneration. Constant threats to his mission and his freedom from enemies determined to see him fail. Satoshi didn’t wear a cape, but when his movie is made, it belongs in the superhero genre. Steve Rogers prepares to be transformed into Captain America 2007: Humble Beginnings “I actually did this kind of backwards,” confessed Satoshi in an email to Hal Finney. “I had to write all the code before I could convince myself that I could solve every problem, then I wrote the paper.” It’s likely that Nakamoto began work on Bitcoin before he had conceived his pseudonymous character. “The design and coding started in 2007,” he explained, likely occurring towards the start of the year. It wasn’t known as Bitcoin at that point, assuming the working title of “Electronic Cash Without a Trusted Third Party.” By the end of 2007, we can deduce that Satoshi had conceived the basics of what would become Bitcoin: a means of sending electronic payments “from one party to another without the burdens of going through a financial institution.” To achieve this, Satoshi had made a major breakthrough in solving the double-spend problem by postulating a chain of hash-based proof-of-work. This would form a timestamped record that could not be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. It was, he would later explain, “a solution to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem.” Satoshi’s eureka moment may have arrived in 2007, but Bitcoin was still little more than a concept. It consisted of a few thousand lines of incomplete code and was lacking the ingredients that would make for a decentralized currency: working software, a coin issuance schedule, block times, and most of the other components that would prove integral to Bitcoin as we know it. If Satoshi had thought the late nights and endless redrafting sessions of 2007 were exhausting, they were nothing compared to what the following year would throw his way. 2008: First Contact As 2008 ground into gear, Satoshi found his to-do list getting longer by the day. Up until now, he’d been focused on the mechanics of his electronic cash system, and would spend the first half of 2008 codifying his ideas into what would become the Bitcoin whitepaper. But he also had other pressing concerns: soon Satoshi knew he would have to break cover and go public. At the same time, he would have to conceal his tracks. The year prior, the founders of Liberty Reserve had been sentenced to five years in jail for operating its forerunner, digital currency exchange Gold Age, without a financial license. Satoshi knew he would have to create a robust pseudonym that could not be linked to his real identity. But he was also shrewd enough to recognize the need for a moniker with a certain mystique to it. Even in the unmarketable underworld of cryptography mailing lists, a memorable name will stick. Where he plucked it from, we will never know. What we do know is that Satoshi Nakamoto has a pleasing ring to it. Once Satoshi had settled on his superhero alter-ego, there could be no going back. By the time Satoshi had chosen his name, he had also settled on a name for his electronic cash system: Bitcoin. On August 18, 2008, he registered the domain bitcoin.org via anonymousspeech.com. Four days later, Satoshi made his first known contact with the world, emailing Wei Dai from satoshi@anonymousspeech.com, and including a link to an early release of the Bitcoin whitepaper. It is believed that Satoshi may have emailed Adam Back prior to this; if so, the event probably occurred earlier that August. Bruce Wayne undergoes training in Batman Begins Fall 2008: Bitcoin Begins Satoshi’s earliest interactions with the cryptography community have all the hallmarks of a fledgling superhero still getting accustomed to their newfound powers. He was modest and disarmingly humble, especially so in these initial exchanges, when no one knew who Satoshi was and had no reason to care. Through late 2008 and into January 2009, his comms were unfailingly polite: “Sorry if I didn’t make that clear” and “I’d appreciate it. Thanks, Satoshi.” Even at this stage, when there was every chance that Bitcoin would not catch on, it was evident that Satoshi had thought everything out – from his entry right through to his exit strategy. In addition to going to great lengths to anonymously register bitcoin.org and conduct all of his business from behind a proxy or seven, Satoshi appears to have begun changing his spelling to put further distance between his persona and his pseudonym. Satoshi’s writing style will be the subject of a future analysis by news.Bitcoin.com. For now, it is worth noting that his well-documented British spelling is an idiosyncrasy Satoshi appears to have acquired in 2008, with mixed results at first as he got into character. On October 31, 2008, Satoshi published his whitepaper to the cryptography mailing list, explaining “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.” Even at this stage, there was much about Bitcoin that was still undecided or unrevealed, including the 21 million supply, which appears to have been finalized shortly before Satoshi shared v0.1 of Bitcoin’s code on January 9, 2009. It’s easy to assign inevitability to the rise of Bitcoin, using the gift of hindsight. The reality, though, is that in its nascent months, Bitcoin’s survival chances were probably no greater than 50-50, and even optimists would have tipped it to be adopted by a few thousand believers at best. As Mike Hearn was to later recall, “At the time bitcoins had no value at all and nobody else was using the system … It was just an interesting science project on SourceForge, one of many, which seemed destined to sink into obscurity.” Satoshi’s genius lies not only in his ability to solve the double-spend problem, or to eliminate trusted third parties. He painfully created an undoxxable persona that has, as far as we know, withstood unmasking attempts from armchair sleuths and three-letter agencies alike. Satoshi is more than a spur-of-the-moment epithet coined by a man who wanted to preserve his privacy: like a pre-fame superhero, his character was born in the darkness, forged in steel and years in the making. Do you think Satoshi will ever be found? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Marvel, and Warner Brothers. With thanks to Jamie Redman and Katie Webster for their input with this article. 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 Becoming Nakamoto: How Satoshi Created His Alter-Ego appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  18. The Danish financial institution Danske Bank has been embroiled in a massive money-laundering scandal associated with an Estonian branch that allegedly laundered $223 billion in an eight-year period. According to documents uncovered this week stemming from 2012, Danske Bank’s Estonian branch let a select group of clients from Russia convert their money into gold bullion in order to help hide funds. Also read: China Now Censors Anti-Blockchain Sentiment, Educates Public on Bitcoin Danske Bank’s Estonian Branch Laundered Funds With Gold Bullion Danske Bank has been involved in a money-laundering conspiracy for quite some time as a branch from Estonia has been accused of funneling billions of funds to offshore clients. The bank, headquartered in Copenhagen, is the largest financial institution in Denmark and the company’s retail banks cover 5 million customers. Investigators detail that between 2007 through 2015 the Estonian Danske Bank branch sent $223 billion suspicious payments. The large-scale money laundering scandal continues to show the public that financial incumbents use all types of methods to hide their activities. This week’s report disclosed that Denmark’s biggest lender let certain customers, mostly from Russia, hide their wealth using gold bars. The bank’s Estonian branch let the clients “convert their money into gold bars and coins, according to the documents, which date back to the middle of 2012,” the journalists Irina Reznik, Ott Ummelas, and Frances Schwartzkopff wrote. The amount of gold the Estonian Danske Bank branch managed to transfer is unknown, but internal documents say that “local private banking clients” used the service alongside other selected customers. The research notes that if the customer bought 250 grams of gold or more, they could obtain the gold without certificates. Moreover, if a customer from the now-defunct Estonian branch said they would keep the precious metal in “long term storage,” they didn’t have to comply with any AML guidelines. Investigative journalists emphasized that some of the information they had seen showed gold promoting documents “signed by Howard Wilkinson.” Wilkinson, a former head of trading for Danske Bank in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is well known for being the whistleblower who first revealed the $200 billion dollar scandal to the public. Depending on quantity, Danske’s Estonian branch used two different gold dealers to handle orders. The investigative report written by Reznik, Ummelas, and Schwartzkopff states: One partner handled orders that exceeded 300,000 euros, equivalent to 6 kilograms at the time, and bought the gold from the Austrian mint; the other was used for smaller orders, according to the presentation, which didn’t name the suppliers. Danske charged a fee of 0.5% on larger orders, while smaller orders had a commission of as much as 4%. With Trillions Laundered, Jail Time Is Avoided if Bankers Pay a Petty Fine The Danske Bank money laundering scandal has been called the “largest scandal ever in Europe” as laundered funds from Estonia flowed from Russia, Latvia, Cyprus, U.K., China, Switzerland, and Turkey. The Estonian Financial Supervision Authority detailed that the bank managed funds for Vladimir Putin, his cousin Igor Putin, and the Russian security service (FSB) as well. Then on September 25, 2019, Aivar Rehe, a former executive of the Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, allegedly committed suicide. Danske Bank shares also fell by half in 2018 and speculators believe the stock’s downturn was due to the scandal. Despite laundering $200 billion, the Danish financial institution paid only 1.5 billion kroner ($225 million) to select charities. The Danske Bank scandal shows that while governments and tax agencies are cracking down on the measly amounts of money digital currency users may be laundering, the most well known banks in the world are also the biggest money launderers. The world’s leading banks help launder more than $2 trillion a year and get fined a tiny fraction of what they got away with. Bankers are not being jailed and banks and politicians are allowed to invade normal people’s everyday financial activities. Financial incumbents are the ones using unique tactics like hiding funds with gold, mirror trading, shell companies, smurfing, and legitimate money mixing techniques. The revelations deriving from the Danske Bank scandal show the world’s justice system is very corrupt and manipulated to the core. This is because while politicians are laser-focused on banning cash and claiming cryptocurrency’s main form of use is money laundering, the banking cartel and bureaucracy steal and hide trillions every year. What do you think about Danske Bank selling gold to clientele in order to launder funds? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, Twitter, Fair Use, and Pixabay. 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 Danske Bank Caught Using Gold Bullion to Launder Illicit Funds appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  19. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has revealed the agency is cracking down on “dozens” of cryptocurrency users evading taxes. The IRS has partnered with tax agencies from four other countries in order to make sure tax enforcement strategies are being applied across the map. Also Read: QE Infinity: 37 Central Banks Participate in Stimulus and Easing Practices Tax Agencies From 5 Countries Are Hunting Dozens of Tax Evaders Using Digital Currencies According to the IRS, the tax agency is putting a significant amount of effort into fighting tax evasion that stems from cryptocurrency use. Speaking on a phone call with the press, a senior agent in the IRS’s Criminal Investigations office based in L.A., Ryan Korner, says when digital currencies became popularized, the tax agency had issues keeping up with alleged tax evaders. However, the IRS has gained “expertise” when it comes to individuals “moving the money.” “We have tools in place that we didn’t have six months or a year ago,” Korner told reporters on Friday. The revelation follows the IRS announcement at the end of July which explained that 10,000 American residents who have owned cryptocurrencies would receive warning letters from the U.S. tax entity. Then in October, the IRS unveiled a new tax form that requires filers to answer whether or not they have used a digital currency during the year. Some 150 million Americans file tax returns with the 1040 tax form that poses the virtual currency question. This week the IRS disclosed they had a meeting with four other nation states so they can partner together to fight cross-border tax evasion stemming from digital currency users. The five-country group is called the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement or J5. The J5 includes the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Dutch Fiscale Inlichtingen- en Opsporingsdienst (FIOD), the British HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and the American Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The group of J5 investigators told the press this week that cyber-related activities tied to crimes like data breaches and ransomware are being used to commit tax evasion as well. “Tax fraud is not a new crime, but the sophistication with which criminals commit tax fraud has significantly increased through cyber-related activities in recent years,” the J5 task force said in a statement. “Data breaches, intrusions, takeovers, and compromises are the new tools that criminals use to commit tax crimes.” A Wave of Tax Audits According to the latest report, after sending 10,000 letters to American taxpayers, the IRS now has plans to start a new wave of tax audits and criminal investigations. The tax agency warns that the effort is quite serious and people avoiding taxes via cryptocurrencies may be subject to tax evasion charges and penalties on the gains tied to virtual investments. “That data doesn’t go and sit — We use that data,” Korner stressed. The American tax agency recently issued its first digital currency tax guidance since 2014 and the guidelines contain controversial tax liabilities created by cryptocurrency forks. The tax liability only applies if the forked asset was used by the owner and the person spends or moves the coins. “If your cryptocurrency went through a hard fork, but you did not receive any new cryptocurrency, whether through an airdrop (a distribution of cryptocurrency to multiple taxpayers’ distributed ledger addresses) or some other kind of transfer, you don’t have taxable income,” the IRS cryptocurrency guidance letter reads. The U.K. also followed the IRS’s lead by issuing digital currency guidance for businesses on November 1. Individual UK taxpayers who have used cryptocurrency in the past saw fresh guidelines delivered at the end of 2018. The reports issued by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) explain how businesses and individuals residing in the UK should file their tax obligations. The J5 task force cracking down on “dozens” of cryptocurrency users evading taxes is part of a globalized effort the organization started in June 2018. “We will collaborate internationally to reduce the growing threat to tax administrations posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime and to make the most of data and technology,” the J5 task force emphasized to the public last year. What do you think about the IRS joining five nations to crack Bitcoin tax evasion? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, News.Bitcoin.com, Wiki Commons, and Fair Use. How could our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool help you? Use the handy Bitcoin address search bar to track down transactions on both the BCH and BTC blockchain and, for even more industry insights, visit our in-depth Bitcoin Charts. The post Tax Agencies Worldwide Plan to Crack Down on ‘Dozens’ of Crypto Tax Evaders appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  20. A new crypto resource has emerged in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, for Venezuelans interested in learning about Bitcoin Cash and cryptocurrencies. The project, called Bitcoin Cash House, is the brainchild of Roberto Garcia and is sponsored by Bitcoin.com and Sideshift.ai. It exists as a physical location and online initiative, seeking to educate newcomers to the space on the acquisition, storage, and general use of crypto, as well as development and job opportunities. Also Read: Over 200 Venezuelan Taxis Discover the Benefits of Bitcoin Cash Welcome to the Cash House Launched just days ago, on November 7, Bitcoin Cash House teaches people in Venezuela about the benefits of crypto. With the nation in a state of economic upheaval and political unrest, many Venezuelans are understandably concerned about finding ways to transact, send and earn money that are not dependent on the hyper-inflated bolivar or the whims of a volatile government. A Reddit post detailing the launch by Bitcoin.com’s Matt Aaron describes Bitcoin Cash House as “A crypto education hub in the city of Barquisimeto, Venezuela. A mall kiosk where local cryptocurrency advocates teach Venezuelans about the power of cryptocurrency.” Some of the topics the Cash House will educate folks on include “How to send money to friends and family anywhere in the world instantly,” advantages of crypto over traditional money, how to store and spend crypto, “How to protect assets against volatility with SLP tokens including the USDH stablecoin,” and jobs in crypto as well as developer opportunities. Though the launch was a challenging process, the crypto advocates involved saw it through. Aaron, host of the Humans of Bitcoin podcast, explains that “We at Bitcoin.com and Sideshift.ai did the easy part and got the sponsorship money. Roberto Garcia did all the hard stuff. It’s his project. He scoured the city to find a place … 2 months later and it’s live. Roberto went to just about every mall; shopping center. Rejections, delays, stipulations.” Founder Garcia notes in the comments: In Venezuela there is a lot of fear, but thanks to my experience and knowledge with the help of Matt we managed to overcome the problems. Roberto Garcia speaks to a visitor at the new Bitcoin Cash House. Moving Forward in Venezuela Garcia, who also organizes a BCH meetup in Barquisimeto, understands the importance of a physical location and human conversation for conveying the power of crypto. Citing the Los Angeles area hub for “education and services needed to encourage the adoption of digital currencies,” Cryptospace, Matt Aaron writes in the Reddit post: Having a physical location is POWERFUL. We the cryptocommunity, talk ‘trustless’. But the rest of the world has to earn that trust. In person conversations are powerful. The Bitcoin Cash House project is currently an experiment, operating on a three-month lease and seeing where things go from there. Aaron notes that surrounding businesses will be encouraged to adopt BCH as well, stating “In the same location are a pizzeria, bank, and liquor store. We will teach them to start accepting Bitcoin Cash as well.” Donations to Bitcoin Cash House can be made via venezuela.Bitcoin.com, and a Spanish language announcement of the launch can be found here. What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash House project? Let us know in the comments section below. Image credits: Bitcoin Cash House. 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 House Launches Crypto Hub in Venezuela appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  21. Getting into the Bitcoin world is by default easy and it doesn’t have to cost you anything. All you need to do to get started is to install a cryptocurrency wallet and load it with some digital cash. The growing crypto community, always enthusiastic about accepting new members, has done a lot to make sure you can take these first steps at no expense. Also read: Crypto-Based Commerce Spikes 65% in 7 Months Get a Free Crypto Wallet First To start with Bitcoin you don’t need to be ultra tech savvy but having a basic idea of how cryptocurrency works and what it brings to the world is not a bad idea. There’s a ton of information out there and simple guides such as those prepared by Bitcoin.com will quickly convince you that no matter who you are, Bitcoin is for you. Learning how to buy and sell, send and receive, exchange and protect your cryptos takes little effort and is fun. What you really need to begin your endeavor into discovering financial freedom is a digital wallet that supports your favorite cryptocurrency. Luckily, there are plenty of free clients available and as long as you find one with good reputation in terms of security, you are all set. For example, you can download and install the Bitcon.com wallet app free of charge and manage your bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) holdings in one wallet. Almost 5 million Bitcoin.com wallets have been created so far. There are different types of wallets you can use. In general, hardware devices such as Ledger and Keepkey provide safer storage for your digital coins. But the utility of software wallets can’t be denied and they are always a good choice for newbies. Software is usually created for more than one operating system. The Bitcoin.com wallet is available as a mobile application for both Android and iOS. And if you are looking for a desktop app, the Badger Wallet is a good option. You can add it to your browser if you are using Chrome or Firefox. When setting up a bitcoin wallet, it’s important to follow the instructions of the client’s developers. During the installation process you’ll be asked to write down a mnemonic seed phrase that will help you to restore access to your funds in case something irreversible or irreparable happens to the device you installed it on initially. It’s also smart to set up a pin code to authorize any outgoing transactions. Make sure you record and keep that as well. Load Your Wallet With Free Coins Once you’ve installed your wallet you’ll have to load it to start transacting in cryptocurrency. And while there are many options to buy some, acquire it on an exchange or purchase it directly from other bitcoin holders, you can also get it for free. The Bitcoin.com faucet provides you with one such option. All you need to do to receive some bitcoin cash (BCH) is to take three easy steps. First, you have to download and install the Bitcoin.com or the Badger wallet. Then you need to log in with your Google account and finally enter your BCH address to claim your free electronic cash. Another opportunity to receive some cryptocurrency is through a friendly gesture. Many in the crypto community are excited about spreading adoption and if you look around you’ll probably find a friend who will be happy to send you some satoshis just to get you started. Bitcoin.com Executive Chairman Roger Ver recently announced on Facebook he is giving away $5 worth of BCH to any of his friends in the social network who provides a bitcoin cash address. If you want to hodl your coins, crypto history has shown that $5 of bitcoin can easily become $5,000 in the future. But there are also many things you could do with them right now. For instance, you can send some satoshis to a friend who wants to try crypto. Thanks to the low fees on the BCH network, often less than a U.S. cent per transaction, that will be easy and cheap even with a very small amount. You can also donate some of the bitcoin cash you got for a noble cause like the one supported by the eat BCH charity. And as crypto commerce is growing once again this year, you can spend your electronic cash in a variety of other ways. The Bitcoin Cash Map app now lists almost 1,800 brick and mortar stores that will let you pay with BCH. Spending bitcoin with retailers that do not directly accept cryptocurrency is another option thanks to gift cards you can purchase with BCH and BTC. Getting a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts card takes just a few easy steps. Have you tried crypto yet? How did you get into the Bitcoin world? Tell us in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 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 How to Start With Bitcoin at No Cost appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  22. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reportedly booked its own officer in an extortion case involving bitcoin. The target was a man who previously fell victim to the Bitconnect scam and allegedly resorted to extreme measures to recoup his money. Also read: China Now Censors Anti-Blockchain Sentiment, Educates Public on Bitcoin Extorted by CBI Officer The CBI has reportedly booked its own officer, inspector Sunil Nair, for allegedly extorting Rs 5 crore (~$700,506) from Shailesh Bhatt, an Indian businessman from Gujarat, local media reported on Friday. According to the CBI, Nair used the bureau’s Gandhinagar office phone to call Bhatt and threatened him with enforcement action by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax Department for “earning black money using bitcoin,” Press Trust of India detailed. The publication added that, according to the case’s First Information Report (FIR), Bhatt was neither “probed in any case pertaining to bitcoin” nor was “a wanted accused, witness or suspect, in any case.” A case under the country’s Prevention of Corruption Act and criminal conspiracy has been registered against Nair and his associate, Krit Madhubhai Paladiya, who co-conspired with him to extort Bhatt. A senior CBI official told IANS publication Friday that “The agency carried out searches at six locations in Gujarat’s Surat and Gandhinagar at the residential premises of inspector Sunil Kumar Nair and a private person named Krit Madhubhai Paladiya.” Complex Case of Extortions This case is related to a major scam that surfaced in February last year which involved bitcoin, kidnapping, and several more extortions. It started with Bhatt filing a complaint against Gujarat’s Amreli district police for kidnapping him and extorting 200 BTC and Rs 32 crore (~$4.5 million) in cash. CCTV footage confirmed the extortion and Amreli Superintendent of Police Jagdish Patel, inspector Anant Patel, and eight other officers were arrested. However, Bhatt himself was also accused of being involved in the kidnapping two people who worked for Bitconnect — Piyush Savalia and Dhaval Mavani — to extort 2,256 bitcoins, 11,000 litecoins, and Rs 14.50 crore in cash. In May last year, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) reportedly registered an FIR against Bhatt and nine of his accomplices in Surat. CID-Crime Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia explained at the time that Bhatt had invested Rs 2 crore in Bitconnect but its promoters closed down their shop in January and went underground. To recover their investments, Bhatt and his accomplices allegedly kidnapped Savalia by posing as Income Tax Department officials, and later kidnapped Mavani and forced him to transfer bitcoins to them. “Bhatt and his accomplices extorted bitcoins and cash worth a total of Rs 155.21 crore. Later, they distributed the bitcoins among themselves. Bhatt had kept around 700 bitcoins,” Bhatia was quoted as saying. However, this case is being investigated by the Gujarat CID without the involvement of the CBI. Nair’s name first came up during the CID investigation back in February last year. He allegedly told Bhatt that he had strong evidence of him “extorting bitcoins” from Mavani, the CBI FIR describes. He then called Bhatt using the CBI’s office phone and “threatened him with dire consequences of getting him raided by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax for earning black money from illegal acts and also demanded a bribe of Rs 10 crore to settle the matter,” the FIR adds. After negotiations, “The deal was then finalized at Rs 5 crore and Bhatt paid Rs 4.6 crore to Nair,” the CBI revealed. Nair, however, continued to demand more payments over the next few days using the CBI’s office phone. According to the FIR, “It is only later that Bhatt realized that there was no such case against him and that he was fooled by the inspector.” What do you think of this extortion case? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Indian Express. 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 Corrupt CBI Officer Booked for Extorting Vigilante Bitcoiner appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  23. On November 15, shortly after 12 p.m., Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will execute an upgrade of the network’s consensus rules. After the upgrade is locked in, the next block will enforce minimal pushdata in script and the opcodes OP_Checkmultisig and OP_Checkmultisigverify will be upgraded to accept Schnorr signatures. Also Read: QE Infinity: 37 Central Banks Participate in Stimulus and Easing Practices Delivered Code Next Friday, Bitcoin Cash proponents will be watching the BCH chain upgrade the current consensus ruleset in order to add two new features. Developers have been discussing the upgrade for months now and have explained in great detail at developer meetings how the changes apply to the BCH roadmap. Since August 1, 2017, BCH developers have produced a significant number of protocol developments that are unique to BCH. For instance, BCH engineers have increased the block size to 32MB, allowing for a lot more throughput than a 1MB block. In September 2018, BCH surpassed BTC’s daily transaction count by processing millions of transactions in a single day. Bitcoin Cash programmers have re-enabled the old Satoshi opcodes, which can allow for a variety of decision-based transactions, compilers, and other functions. The added opcodes allow for the implementation of OP_Checkdatasig which can be used to calculate the hash within a transaction in order to validate signatures in an automated way. Bitcoin Cash developers also increased the network’s default Data-Carrier-Size to 220 Bytes. The two new upgrades coming to Bitcoin Cash on November 15, 2019. If you are a miner or run a full node make sure you upgrade your Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited, BCHD, Flowee, or Bitcoin Verde client before Friday. BCH engineers did not stop there and at block 582680, the blockchain upgraded by adding the basic foundations of the Schnorr signature protocol. The upgrade prior to the Schnorr feature saw the implementation of Canonical Transaction Ordering otherwise known as CTOR. With CTOR the BCH chain can essentially work with blocks as a set, as opposed to list ordering as the process is done in a canonical manner. According to Coin Dance statistics, BCH developers have added 20 different components to the protocol, there’s another 20 under development, 15 features being discussed and two new properties pending activation. The two added components being implemented to the BCH blockchain consist of a finalized malleability vector (enforcing minimal pushdata in script) and Schnorr signature support for both OP_Checkmultisig and OP_Checkmultisigverify. Less than two weeks until the Bitcoin Cash network upgrade! All Bitcoin ABC node operators should ensure they are ready by upgrading to a recent version (0.20.x). https://t.co/MfblcCxh6p#bitcoincash #bch #bitcoin — Bitcoin ABC (@Bitcoin_ABC) November 4, 2019 Two New Ruleset Changes The first change will curb malleability vectors on the network by applying the Minimaldata rule. “This removes the final BIP 62 malleability vector, and means that most of the transactions on the Bitcoin Cash network (including all P2PKH transactions) will now be non-malleable,” the November 15 upgrade documentation explains. While bitcoin transactions are signed, signatures don’t encompass all the data hashed and it’s possible for nodes to pervert the transaction by invalidating the hash. Read about the Minimaldata rule here. There are various forms of malleability vectors in scriptSig and signatures, and in 2014 BIP62 was introduced in order to deal with the problems. Over the last few years, many types of solutions have been attempted in order to confront third-party malleability vectors. After the network upgrade next Friday, a majority of bitcoin cash transactions will not be third-party malleable and the enforced Minimaldata rule should also strengthen Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) clients. The second added feature coming to the BCH chain is support for OP_Checkmultisig (Verify) in order to complement the first iteration of Schnorr signatures. “This upgrade extends that support to OP_Checkmultisig and after this upgrade, all signature checking operations will support Schnorr signatures,” the upgrade documentation reads. Read about Schnorr support for OP_Checkmultisig (Verify) here. The new feature will allow for more complex mechanics to multi-signature transactions that will benefit from the Schnorr mechanism. “Schnorr aggregated signatures (with OP_Checksig) are one way to do multi-signatures, but they have different technical properties than the familiar Bitcoin multisig, and thus are far from being a drop-in replacement for it,” the November 15 specification notes. The summary adds: Besides that, it is also desirable that any existing coin can be spent using Schnorr signatures, and there are numerous OP_Checkmultisig-based wallets and coins in existence that we want to be able to take advantage of Schnorr signatures. Upgrading Nodes and Where to Watch Bitcoin Cash fans are excited about the next upgrade and network participants have been steadily preparing for the changes. Ordinary users won’t have to do anything before the network changes take effect. Miners and node operators, however, are encouraged to download and run the latest version of a BCH client that supports the November 15 ruleset changes. Watch the countdown to the Bitcoin Cash network upgrade here. Currently Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited, BCHD, Flowee, and Bitcoin Verde are all ready to accept the new rules, and at press time 68% of all publicly accessible BCH nodes show upgrade support. Every day enthusiasts and proponents who don’t mine or run a node can simply watch the upgrade online using a data site like Coin Dance or Fork Monitor. On November 15, both websites will let people know exactly when the consensus changes are executed. For more information regarding the November 15 Bitcoin Cash upgrade, you can read the specifications on Github. What do you think about the upcoming Bitcoin Cash upgrade scheduled for November 15? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Github, Coin Dance, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay. 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 What to Expect From the Next Bitcoin Cash Protocol Upgrade appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  24. There are many benchmarks for measuring IEO success. Token price, community size, code shipped, and milestones met are all yardsticks for gauging the progress of a tokenized project. For projects seeking to create the biggest possible splash, however, liquidity is the crucial factor. The more exchanges an IEO reaches, the greater its prospects of survival. Also read: How Crypto Winters of Bitcoin’s Past Compare to Today Multiple Exchanges Multiply Projects’ Prospects Initial exchange offerings are big business: according to Inwara, IEO projects raised a cool $1.625 billion in the first half of 2019. H2 has continued that trend, with the leading exchange launchpads maintaining their aggressive IEO schedule – one a month in the case of Binance; 24/7 in the case of smaller platforms such as Latoken. Investor demand for initial exchange offerings also remains robust: the leading crypto Telegram channels, maintained by the likes of Coinidol, attest to this, as investors clamor to catch wind of pre-sale and seed rounds for projects that will eventually IEO on Binance or Huobi. While the initial exchange offering brings benefits to investors and project teams, compared to the ICO, it is hamstrung by a flaw that is inherent to this fundraising model: often, there is little incentive for other exchanges to list the token. As a result, most IEOs will live and die on the exchange that hosted their token sale. For the handful of IEOs that have thrived post-sale, both in terms of token price and other benchmarks, it’s no coincidence that they’ve transcended their issuing platform, and gained deep liquidity in the process. Bittorrent Remains the Liquid Leader The most liquid token IEO to date, based on the number of exchanges where it’s listed, is also one of the earliest: Bittorrent (BTT), which launched on Binance last year. Today it appears on 34 exchanges – 24 more than the next most-listed tokens. It’s no coincidence that tokens listed on the most exchanges – namely BTT (34), MATIC (10) and SERO (10) – outperform all others as far as ROI and ATH ROI are concerned. The correlation between number of exchanges and project performance is inarguable. For better or worse, IEOs have taken the crypto world by storm, but most projects will never see the sort of liquidity enjoyed by Bittorrent and Matic. In fact, of the 65 IEOs launched in the past six months, the vast majority have failed to even make it onto a second exchange. The consequence of this has been limited liquidity, low accessibility/visibility and, in many cases, a project which has effectively died before it has even gotten the opportunity to develop any serious momentum. A final note on IEO liquidity: when it comes to securing multiple exchange listings, quality beats quantity every time. According to Cryptorank.io, Binance leads the way, with a much higher average ROI for its listed tokens (94.53%). Bittorrent’s runaway success played a part in this: it was the first IEO on Binance Launchpad, meeting its funding goal of $7.2 million in mere minutes. Every project since has struggled in vain to emulate that success. Do you think IEOs have peaked, or are they just getting started? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Cryptodiffer. 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 For Initial Exchange Offerings, Liquidity is King appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  25. Since the last week of October, a great number of central banks have been slashing interest rates, joining the massive synchronization of monetary easing worldwide. This year more than two dozen banks have used easing tactics and in the last two weeks alone central banks from Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Brazil, Indonesia, and Georgia have joined the rate slashing party. Also Read: Money and Democracy: Why You Never Get to Vote on the Most Important Part of Society The World’s Central Banks Join Hands to Invoke the Longest Easing Cycle in a Decade Massive monetary easing continues worldwide but yet central banks are still in panic mode. A colossal amount of synchronization and the longest easing cycle in a decade is upon us as central banks everywhere are attempting to fix the global economy. At the time of writing, 37 developed central banks are participating in some form of stimulus. Whether it’s slashing interest rates, participating in overnight repos, or printing massive amounts of fiat, all the central banks are in on the game. Some of the big players like the U.S. Federal Reserve want the mainstream media to lie and say that what’s happening is not really another form of quantitative easing (QE). However, what central banks are doing right now is expanding monetary easing policies and taking part in large-scale open market operations. The most accurate definition of these processes would be calling the current schemes QE but central banks are not being honest. When news.Bitcoin.com started reporting on the large number of developed central banks involved in easing tactics there were roughly 19 of them. Then the number was raised a few weeks later to nearly two dozen central banks bolstering different forms of stimulus. Now there are 37 central banks worldwide increasing the global money supply and a slew of them have joined the easing club in the last two weeks. For example, on October 30, the Costa Rican central bank cut key policy rates to 3.35% and cited a lack of economic growth. The same week Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait cut benchmark interest rates as well. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) also reduced its base rate on overnight windows by 25 basis points on October 30. The same day the U.S. Federal Reserve cut rates again for the third time this year. In what seemed like a rate cut party, Brazil joined the Fed and slashed benchmark interest rates to 5%. Brazil also said inflationary problems might invoke them to continue further easing mechanisms in the near future. Roughly seven days prior, both Chile and Georgia changed interest rates on October 23. Chile reduced rates from 2% to 1.75% while Georgia’s central bank raised refinancing rates to 8.5% from 7.5%. Georgian central planners messed with the rates the month prior twice because of rising annual inflation percentages. Further, even though the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) cut the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) by five basis points on September 20, the economy in China still looks bleak. China Sees Bank Runs, Skipped Bond Redemption, and Restructuring For instance, many smaller financial institutions in China are struggling and there have been at least two recent runs on rural lenders. Rumors stemming from social media that a few small banks might fail sparked the bank runs. Then for some unknown reason, Guangdong Nanyue Bank skipped its local tier-two bond redemption. There are more than 3,000 small banks in China that are contending with a lack of liquidity and bad loans. Many spectators believe the Chinese government will resort to “mergers and restructuring.” Inner Mongolia-based Baoshang Bank Co. was already taken over by the communist government because of faulty practices and credit risks. There’s a lot of interesting happenings within the global economy right now and on top of the central planners trying to band-aid the situation, there are uprisings everywhere. Massive protests have been taking place in Argentina, Venezuela, Indonesia, Netherlands, France, India, Russia, Hong Kong, Chile, Lebanon, Peru, Haiti, Egypt, Syria, and many more countries across the globe. The demonstrations and people taking to the streets stem from the wealth disparity plaguing global citizens. A place where the bureaucrats and the banking cartel eat bread and drink wine while the peasants are left with crumbs. What do you think about the cascade of central banks unveiling rate cuts and monetary easing methods? Do you think the central banks know what they are doing when it comes to monetary policy? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Fair Use, Pixabay, Wiki Commons. 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 QE Infinity: 37 Central Banks Participate in Stimulus and Easing Practices appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  26. Commerce fueled by cryptocurrencies has once again started to grow. Data collected by blockchain forensics company Chainalysis shows a significant increase of volume in the first half of the year. The positive change coincided with the remarkable market recovery that followed last year’s prolonged crypto winter. Also read: Turkey Becomes the Latest Nation to Work on Digital Fiat $5.5 Million of Crypto Used in Commerce Daily After a string of depressing months in 2018, cryptocurrency-based commerce began to rise again in 2019, the study quoted by Bloomberg indicates. According to New York-headquartered Chainalysis, the amount of cryptocurrency sent to 16 merchant service providers such as Bitpay increased by 65% between January and July. During the same period, the price of bitcoin core (BTC) tripled to over $12,000. This year’s positive trend contrasts with the findings from last year, when Chainalysis registered a decline in bitcoin-related trade. The company’s 2019 research covers not only commerce based on BTC but also payments in bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC) and the stablecoin tether (USDT). These cryptocurrencies, the report notes, are used to fund everything from online gambling to purchases at pot shops. According to Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis, the increase in bitcoin-denominated trade suggests that there is more trust in crypto now. The overall amount of cryptocurrency used in commerce remains small, the publication acknowledges, but yet it grew from around $3 million daily in January to $5.5 million per day on average in July. The volume is likely to expand further as platforms like Bitpay, which allows merchants to accept payments in BCH and BTC, introduce support for more digital coins in the future. The company, which processes over $1 billion in transactions annually, expects continued growth as new currencies are added including ether (ETH) and ripple (XRP), spokesperson Jan Jahosky told Bloomberg. Slow Transactions Are a Major Hurdle to Adoption Various cryptocurrencies differ in many ways and the authors point out that inconvenience related to certain specifics has been a major barrier to the growth of crypto payments. For example, transaction confirmation on the BTC network can take up to an hour, making it hard for people to just walk in a store, buy a cup of coffee and leave, the article notes. The characteristic volatility of most digital assets is also a negative factor and many businesses and consumers are still reluctant to deal in crypto for that reason. At the same time, the researchers have found a five-fold increase in the use of tether during the examined period. According to Chainalysis, the stablecoin whose price is pegged to the U.S. dollar accounted for 9% of all commerce during the seven months covered in the study. In reality, a growing number of merchants accept direct cryptocurrency payments. For instance, the Bitcoin Cash Map application now lists 1,769 locations of brick and mortar stores that let you pay with BCH. And according to a recent report by marketing analysis company Semrush, quoted by La Stampa daily, cryptocurrency is the third-most popular online payment method in Italy. Bitcoin is behind only Paypal and Postepay, while it is more widespread in Italian ecommerce than direct payments with any of the major credit cards. What do you consider to be the main obstacle for faster growth of crypto payments? Share your opinion on the subject in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Are you a developer looking to build on Bitcoin Cash? Head over to our Bitcoin Developer page where you can get Bitcoin Cash developer guides and start using the Bitbox, SLP, and Badger Wallet SDKs. The post Crypto-Based Commerce Spikes 65% in 7 Months appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  27. Cryptocurrency and bitcoin proponents have been patiently waiting to see if crypto winter is returning as the recent price decline has shaken investors. Digital assets have been meandering aimlessly over the last week and in order to gain some perspective, it’s always good to study the last decade of previous bear market trends. Also read: China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List Crypto Prices Slide Again, Making Traders Question Whether Crypto Winter Is Really Over After BTC and other digital currencies touched all-time highs in 2017, the following months ushered in ‘crypto winter.’ It was a cold period of time where crypto investors watched their favorite cryptocurrencies lose 70-95% in value. Since then, prices have headed northbound and many people started to assume that the bearish crypto winter may be coming to an end. However, after BTC jumped from the $3k range to almost $14k in the spring, the digital currency has dropped to the $7k zone and is now hovering between $8,800-9,150. Overall, most traders would consider the overall upswing bullish as BTC was $6,350 on November 8 last year and today the price is $8,942 per coin. But many crypto winters in the past and bearish cycles have seen slight upswings before plummeting back down and continuing an even longer bear market trend. The recent decline in crypto values has caused some digital currency investors to panic and current prices have made them wonder if more trouble lies ahead. At the moment, cryptocurrency prices seem bearish. The first long bear market that BTC fans witnessed was between June to November in 2011 that spanned roughly 162 days. The digital currency’s value had spiked in the summer of 2011 to a high of $31.50, but subsequently dropped over the course of the next few months to a low of $2.01 per BTC, losing 93%. At this time, things started looking positive for BTC investors similar to the run-up in 2019. BTC was hovering around $7.08 per coin on January 11, 2012, gaining more than 250%. But thanks to all the exchange hacks in 2012 like Linode and Bitcoinica and the regulatory issues with the platform Trade Hill, BTC’s price dipped into a bear market trend for roughly 185 days, losing 40%. In July 2012 the price per BTC was $4.22, but again traders started seeing bullish trends transpire and the value jumped 216% to a high of $13.35 per coin in August. Just like the current 2019 bear raid, crypto traders saw BTC prices slide 37% to a low of $8.40 during the first week of December 2012. The duration of the rout lasted 111 days and was allegedly initiated by the second Bitcoinica hacks and the lawsuits surrounding the events. However, the following January to November 29, 2013 saw BTC values jump considerably again touching a peak price of $1,166. The first recorded price on Coinmarketcap.com’s historical price index shows BTC was $135 in April 2013. However, the party ended in December 2013 and the onset of the first extremely long crypto winter started eating away at the bullish prices. The bear market stretched for 410 days encompassing 2014 in its entirety. Moreover, other digital currencies that saw higher prices also followed BTC’s dive as most cryptos that year lost more than 80%. After the $1,166 high, BTC dropped to a low of $197 per coin during the first week of January 2015. From that period in time, anyone could have purchased BTC at prices between $197 to $300 up until October 28, 2015. The 2013-2015 BTC bear market compared to the 2017-2019 BTC bear market. BTC prices starting from Halloween to mid-June 2016 were between $300 to $600 and the coin started inching its way closer to the 2013 all-time high (ATH) in January 2017. After that price surpassed the 2013 ATH, BTC and many other cryptocurrencies saw a climactic run up from that point forward. On the exchange Bitstamp, BTC touched its highest position ever at roughly $19,650 per coin. The bear market that followed lasted much longer than the 2013-2015 downtrend of 410 days. Coincidently, using that same timeframe from December 2017 to the first week of February 2019 saw BTC prices reduced to $3,484 per coin that week. The bear market stretch continued, making the crypto winter following 2017 the longest ever. Between February through May 2019, prices hovered around $3,500 to $6,000 and the run-up since then looks like a second breath of fresh air. Bitcoin core (BTC) prices over the course of five years. The latest downtrend has dampened enthusiasm throughout the crypto community after BTC values were hovering around $10k, but are now below the $9k region as prices sink lower. The last few months have seen digital currencies traverse upwards in a bullish manner, but prices could easily follow the same dynamics that transpired years ago. The bear markets in the past did see some positive optimism after BTC’s value plummeted, however, some of the run-ups didn’t last very long. Digital currencies had a much better year in 2019 but as the end of the year approaches, people are still uncertain about how crypto markets will trend over the next month and a half into 2020. Where do you see cryptocurrency and bitcoin markets heading from here? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Price articles and 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. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.” Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Atlas, Markets.Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay. 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 How Crypto Winters of Bitcoin’s Past Compare to Today appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
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