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Aujourd’hui — 14 novembre 2019Bitcoin News

BitOrb Exchange Raises $6.4 Million

Par Bitcoin.com PR
BitOrb Exchange Raises $6.4 Million

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

The BitOrb Exchange has successfully secured its funding round, raising a total of USD 6.4m. The round was led by the W-Rex Algo Trading Platform a product of the Wota Group.

Additionally, the Wota Group will act as a strategic partner and help the BitOrb Exchange grow its network of traders, user acquisition and advise on other key strategic decisions.

THE STRATEGIC SYNERGY BETWEEN THE COMPANIES

BitOrb is an innovative cryptocurrency derivatives exchange that is built for all levels of traders. The exchange is built completely in memory allowing for micro-second latency for higher frequency trading.

The exchange also introduces a never seen before feature “The Orchestrator”, which is an inbuilt automated trading strategy maker allowing traders to create customized trading strategies using key trading indicators.

The Wota Group is a cryptocurrency fund that has been involved in programmatic trading of crypto currencies since 2017. W-Rex is the latest product of the Wota Group, which is a programmatic trading platform with impressive growth since January 2018. WREX 3-Layered Algorithm System “has never recorded a loss in a typical month from January 2018 when we completed our beta testing,” said Jeffrey Ong, the CEO and founder of the Wota Group and the W-rex Platform.

He added “BitOrb is an exciting project for us because of the synergies involved between our company and a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. BitOrb introduces an exchange which is fresh and I believe that they have the potential to be a top player in the crypto exchange space and they have the right team to achieve this. Hence we see this as a strategic partnership which will be extremely beneficial to both parties”

The BitOrb Exchange has been under development since July 2018 and the current test version of the exchange can be viewed beta.BitOrb.com. The BitOrb Exchange is due for release in December 2019.

The funds raised during this round will be used for user acquisition, enhancements to the product, ramping up of the operations, marketing and compliance with statutory requirements. BitOrb aims to be a fair and transparent exchange and will allocate a portion of the funds to ensure compliance with regulatory bodies in all of its jurisdictions where applicable.

Lim-Hoong Teng, the CEO of the BitOrb Exchange also added “When we began raising funds in late 2018, we knew it was going to be a very challenging environment to raise funds. However, although the cryptocurrency market was completely bearish, the team continued to develop the exchange. It took us many months to get the funding we needed and by having an investor onboard like the Wota Group, the future is brighter and the potential greater.”

He continued to say “Our traders and token holders are of the utmost importance to us at BitOrb. We are pleased to announce that this recent partnership with the Wota Group will propel us into the future.”

The current fundraising round will end in November, and those who missed out can still grab this opportunity www.BitOrb.com

Contact Email Address
elina.nasution@bitorb.com

Supporting Link
https://www.bitorb.com

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post BitOrb Exchange Raises $6.4 Million appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin.com Wallet App Marks Over Five Million Wallets Created

Par Avi Mizrahi
Bitcoin.com Wallet App Marks Over Five Million Wallets Created

The Bitcoin.com Wallet has now achieved a major milestone with over 5 million wallets created since the app launched just a little over two years ago. An upcoming version of the digital wallet app will add SLP token support and additional features.

Also Read: Video: Bitcoin Cash Lets You Buy Equity Over the Counter at a Bar

Bitcoin.com Wallet Continues to Grow

Bitcoin.com today marks more than five million wallets created with the company’s official wallet app. The Bitcoin.com Wallet was launched back in August 2017 and quickly gained a large following. The fast growth in adoption has continued this year, despite the challenging market, as a million new wallets have been created since May when the app marked four million wallets created.

“This is a key milestone in our mission to provide customers with safe and secure crypto transaction services. Few would have predicted that we’d manage 5 million wallets created in little over two years, but our community has grown rapidly due to increased awareness of digital tokens and our wallet’s ever-expanding features,” stated Stefan Rust, CEO of Bitcoin.com. “In the years ahead, we are confident that millions more will open new wallets with us, many of them new to crypto who are choosing Bitcoin.com wallets to be their first crypto wallet.”

Bitcoin.com Wallet App Marks Over Five Million Wallets Created
wallet.Bitcoin.com

The wallet allows users to send, receive, and store bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) in a noncustodial fashion. Users also have the ability to purchase both cryptocurrencies within the wallet directly with a credit or debit card so they don’t have to deal with depositing money on any exchanges. The popular app is available for mobile devices running both Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems, and there are also desktop versions for Mac, Windows and Linux if you need them. You can check out all the versions available at wallet.Bitcoin.com and create a new wallet for yourself.

Important New Features in Upcoming Versions

While the wallet is growing fast, the developers are not resting on their laurels and continue to design new features to add to make it even better. An upcoming version of the app will give the wallet a complete overhaul with built-in SLP token support as well as improved design and user experience to make spending and managing your digital funds even easier. Another feature they are working on is threshold spending, a function that lets you simply scan a payment QR code and if the amount requested is lower than your safety threshold it automatically signs and send the funds without the need for any additional input. The wallet developers are also working to release an API that will empower engineers and third parties to build more tools and services that integrate easier with the wallet and its users.

“Our entire team at Bitcoin.com is excited to cross the 5 million wallet mark. We’re proud to see people from all over the world using cryptocurrency in their daily lives,” commented Corbin Fraser, Group Product Manager, Mobile Services at Bitcoin.com. “Our wallet team have been hard at work on new features and are excited to release a complete overhaul to the Bitcoin.com Wallet with some amazing new features to help grow the cryptocurrency ecosystem and onboard the next 50 Million wallet users to peer to peer electronic cash.”

Bitcoin.com Wallet App Marks Over Five Million Wallets Created

If you are not familiar with the term, the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) is a token system for the Bitcoin Cash network allowing anyone to create tokens in a permissionless manner. It has helped the development of an ecosystem for BCH that replicates the variety of ERC-20 tokens on the ETH network. SLP tokens can easily be created, traded, and managed on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain within seconds, while costing the users only fractions of a penny for each transaction. Using the SLP explorer Simpleledger.info shows that 5,760 tokens have already been created and more than 4,590 SLP-based token burns took place since the project started.

What do you think about the Bitcoin.com Wallet app achieving more than five million wallets created? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Bitcoin.com Wallet App Marks Over Five Million Wallets Created appeared first on Bitcoin News.

‘Zimdollars’ Issued for First Time in Ten Years Amidst Continued Hyperinflation

Par Graham Smith
‘Zimdollars’ Issued for First Time in Ten Years Amidst Continued Hyperinflation

The new Zimbabwe dollar has hit the streets, with banks beginning to issue the paper currency Tuesday. The ‘Zimdollar,’ existing earlier this year as coins, e-balances, the RTGS dollar, and bond notes, was returned to in June as a replacement for the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system implemented in February. While the development represents the currency’s return after 10 years of absence, hyperinflation continues to wrack the country, and many residents are unhappy with the ‘drip feed’ issuance system of much needed cash.

Also Read: ‘Zimdollar’ Reboot: Bitcoin Fills Liquidity Gaps as New Zimbabwe Currency Flounders

A Complicated Evolution

After abandoning the Zimbabwe dollar due to hyperinflation back in 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) adopted an international currency basket to stabilize the situation. From there, a RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) system was adopted in February this year, with the RTGS dollar set to be at 1:1 parity with the USD. As dollarization of the Zimbabwean economy meant that many residents were protecting their savings via foreign currencies at the time, the flip to RTGS was seen by some as an unethical move by the RBZ, which would pulverize the local value of these commonly held assets.

Fast forward to last June, and the RTGS is bid farewell, coupled with a new ban on local transactions in foreign currencies including USD. The Zimdollar was reinstated in digital form. It also was now meant to encompass coinage, RTGS and bond notes, effectively “swallowing” these previous systems.

‘Zimdollars’ Issued for First Time in Ten Years Amidst Continued Hyperinflation
Harare man displays newly issued two dollar banknotes. Source: iol.co.za

Back to Paper

Tuesday’s rollout of the new paper and coinage was preceded by reported delays and long lines of people waiting to grab their allotted shares. According to local media, the Governor of the RBZ, John Mangudya, says that the cash injection will be implemented gradually, leaving some Zimbabweans frustrated. A teacher who had withdrawn her money stated:

They are giving us 300 [~$20] dollars per week. The money does not last even a day.

Alternative means of storing and protecting value have come under pressure from the nation’s government whose president maintains that “You were not getting money from the banks, but on Monday (tomorrow) we are going to inject more money in the banks until we reach a level where you lose appetite to go and get cash from EcoCash.”

‘Zimdollars’ Issued for First Time in Ten Years Amidst Continued Hyperinflation

Mobile Payment Services, Foreign Currencies, and Bitcoin

Mobile cash services such as Ecocash have been the preferred system for many residents of the country to get their hands on hard to come by cash, resulting in premiums and reported charges of up to 50%. The government recently banned such mobile services citing the welfare of the people, only to cause a massive popular uproar, resulting in a lift on the ban just days later — albeit with new limits on transactions. Regional news outlet itwebafrica.com reports that “Latest figures by the Zimbabwean central bank show mobile money accounting for 85% in transaction volumes for the half year period to June 2019.”

With inflation still a serious factor (sitting currently at around 300%), cash still running short and issues with infrastructure and unemployment yet troubling the economy, high premiums are preferred to no money at all, as alternative means of value preservation (even if illegal or gray market in nature) continue to be sought after. A professor of business studies at the University of Zimbabwe maintains:

What it means is that we will probably have more cash around to feed the black market for currency.

Free market rates and artificially set government exchange rates often diverge significantly as Zimbabweans seek to save their hard-earned value from rampant inflation by alternative means of transacting and saving. In the past this has been done by way of foreign currencies and crypto (currently not legal for banks to process) and Zimbabwe could soon see a spike in such activity should the rollout of the new Zimdollar not be everything politicians and central bankers promise.

What are your thoughts on the new Zimbabwe dollar? Let us know in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, fair use.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post ‘Zimdollars’ Issued for First Time in Ten Years Amidst Continued Hyperinflation appeared first on Bitcoin News.

How Crypto Assets Are Capturing the Attention Economy

Par Kai Sedgwick
How Crypto Assets Are Capturing the Attention Economy

Human attention is a finite resource: we awake each day with it replenished, only for it to seep away through work, leisure, and time frittered idly browsing the web while circumventing ads. Recognizing the scarcity of maintaining human interest, attention economists have devised incentivized systems powered by crypto assets. These reward engagement and turn idle clicks into profitable browsing.

Also read: 2 New Blog Sites That Allow Users to Earn Cryptocurrencies

Blocktv and Brave Are Spearheading the Attention Economy

Scarcity doesn’t just apply to crypto assets that come with a finite supply: human attention is equally scarce. As such, it must be preserved in order to prevent brain drain and information overload. Digital media companies seeking to capture the attention of their audience face a dilemma, therefore: how do you get an audience to give up a moment of their precious time for your content? For companies such as Brave and Blocktv, the answer lies in attention tokens: digital assets that reward you for watching.

The model that Brave has successfully pioneered with its privacy-oriented web browser is now being adopted by Blocktv, the media startup dedicated to covering the cryptoconomy. The emphasis is on streamlining the process by which users interact with content and ads, with the aim of advantaging content creators, advertisers and consumers. The Israeli company is listing 20% of its BLTV tokens on Bittrex on November 21, though there will not be an initial exchange offering: the token will simply be added to the market.

Through tokenization “we can connect advertisers to viewers and content creators while retaining editorial oversight over the journalistic product,” explains Blocktv COO Noa Tamir. “Advertisers may spend for placements using the token, of which a share will be distributed to viewers who can prove they’ve spent the time watching the ads.”

How Crypto Assets Are Capturing the Attention Economy

With advertisers engaged in a highly competitive arms race for user attention, projects such as Blocktv and Brave are advantageous for publishers and consumers. Rewards are granted to users for their attention (the quantity of ads they view) while advertisers benefit from captive, rather than passive, interest which manifests in higher click-through and conversion rates. The term “attention economy” might have been coined by Davenport & Beck in 2001, but the tokenized projects of today pitch themselves at a savvier, more data-conscious consumer who understands that their attention is now at a premium.

Brave Browser Gathers Momentum

Perhaps the best-known blockchain project in this field is Brave, the speedy pro-privacy web browser which lets users block ads and trackers – or choose to opt in. Brave comes with its own proprietary utility token, Basic Attention Token (BAT), which users and publishers can accrue depending on content engagement levels. Brave surpassed 5.5 million active monthly users at the turn of 2019 – up from a million a year earlier. What’s more, over 28,000 verified publishers have signed on.

Clearly Brave is making good progress, both in terms of browser installs and adoption of its attention-based ads system. The Tor Project has just become a Brave Ads Grants recipient, for example, claiming $10,000 in free advertisements each month – and Brave users can now seamlessly tip Tor within the browser.

Not the Only Show in Town

Anther project to embrace a token-based rewards model is Verasity. While Brave focuses on general web browsing, Verasity is all about video. The Verasity model is pretty simple: after watching 80% of a video, a trophy icon appears on screen and the viewer clicks it to claim their VRA tokens, which can be used to purchase stream codes or game mods. (The Verawallet.tv crypto wallet lives within the video player.) As well as video, Verasity is working with mobile gaming publishers to create apps which work off the same principle. Because it has been integrated with major video players such as Youtube, Vimeo and Twitch, Verasity’s tech is available to over 2 million video publishers with 550 million users and 110 billion monthly views.

Brave Browser Launches Trial for Advertising Program

It’s been three years since William Mougayar boldly claimed that cryptocurrency would refuel the attention economy with value. If the number of projects springing to life is any indication, his assertion may yet prove accurate. Certainly it remains the goal of attention-rewarding projects like Brave: to overhaul irritating, repetitive ads and sluggish page loads, and replace them with optimized ads with an incentive component. Ultimately though, it’ll be advertisers, content creators and, most vitally, users who have the final say.

Would you accept tokens for viewing adverts? 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 How Crypto Assets Are Capturing the Attention Economy appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Developer Demos Smart Card That Produces Bitcoin Cash Signatures

Par Jamie Redman
Developer Demos Smart Card That Produces Bitcoin Cash Signatures

Software engineer Tobias Ruck has revealed a project he’s been working on that allows a smart card to produce valid BCH signatures. Ruck tweeted about his experiment to the crypto community and Bitcoin Cash proponents showed their excitement about the future of offline payments.

Also read: Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

Harnessing Offline Bitcoin Cash Payments

For quite some time the developer Tobias Ruck has been experimenting and developing concepts that help bolster the BCH ecosystem. News.Bitcoin.com reported on Ruck last year when the programmer demonstrated how an onchain game of chess is possible. After the opcode OP_Checkdatasig was implemented to the BCH chain, Ruck designed a chess game with the new feature. This spring, as the Simple Ledger Protocol matured, Ruck unveiled an onchain SLP token auction console. More recently, Ruck published a video about a new transaction version for the BCH chain called Nimbus. According to Ruck’s demonstration, the transaction version could unleash sophisticated smart contract potential on the BCH network. Moreover, it’s possible a cryptocurrency stablecoin like Dai could be created on the BCH network. Throughout the video, Ruck stresses several times that the Nimbus concept required a rule-set protocol change.

Developer Demos Smart Card That Produces Bitcoin Cash Signatures

During the second week of October, Ruck showed the community he was experimenting with protocols that facilitate offline transactions. That week the programmer published another demo that showcased a bitcoin cash wallet tool called be.cash. Essentially, the concept provides individuals with the ability to send and sign a transaction without internet service. Then on November 11, the programmer tweeted that he developed “a smart card that produces valid Bitcoin Cash signatures.”

“Who would love to pay with a card — to a phone? Tap took less than a second. Imagine trying to set up shop accepting cards and all you need to do is install an app on your phone,” Ruck stated. The software engineer emphasized that his concept was “still very much unpolished. I still have to make the app build and send the transactions, but once finished — it‘s going to be huge — When scaled up, smart cards could literally be $1 each,” he added.

HOLY SATOSHI! 😱😱
I did it! A smart card that produces valid #BitcoinCash signatures.
Who would love to pay with a card—to a phone??
Tap took less than a second!👟👏

Imagine trying to set up shop accepting cards and all you need to do is install an app on your phone. 💪 pic.twitter.com/ielKlcPvDA

— Tobias Ruck (@TobiasRuck) November 11, 2019

The Quest for Instantaneous, Offline, and Frictionless Transactions

Ruck’s announcement was celebrated on Twitter, gathering a lot of comments and over 400 likes. On November 11, the front page of the Reddit forum r/btc was also scattered with threads about the smart card that could produce valid BCH signatures. “Use case extends far past payments — How about transparent access records? To doors, to accounts, to events, to anything,” blockchain developer Chris Troutner wrote in response to Ruck’s tweet. “Pay attention to the community that values utility the most,” Bitcoin ABC developer Amaury Sechet tweeted.

Developer Demos Smart Card That Produces Bitcoin Cash Signatures

Cointext CTO and founder Vin Armani stressed on Twitter that all of the great concepts being produced these days are due to great innovation tethered to the features at the protocol level. “The latest and greatest innovations in BCH are all possible because new capabilities have been added into the protocol, before we developers needed them,” Armani said while re-tweeting Ruck’s smart card demo. “That’s a signal of good decision-making.” Armani added:

This is a brand new way of doing transactions. Something totally novel. For technical details, please check out Tobias Ruck’s further demos/documentation at be.cash.

BCH developers working on the protocol level have been working relentlessly to bolster the Bitcoin Cash roadmap. Third-party application programmers have also been working with the BCH blockchain and Simple Ledger Protocol day and night creating new and innovative ideas. While some of the concepts never materialize, the concepts can still be left on the shelf for another software engineer to try. For many BCH proponents, zero-confirmation transactions and offline transactions have been a holy grail of sorts. The quest continues because users want payments to be as fast as handing someone cash or the few seconds it takes to swipe a credit card. Ruck’s latest smart card concept may help further this goal.

What do you think about the smart card concept that produces valid BCH signatures? Do you think Ruck’s idea is innovative? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Indiana Jones, Fair Use, Wiki Commons, and Twitter.


Are you a Bitcoin developer? You can create your own Bitcoin Cash app with the Bitbox and Badger Wallet SDKs, get started with BCH tokens through the SLP SDK, and build your knowledge base with our Bitcoin Cash developer guides.

 

The post Developer Demos Smart Card That Produces Bitcoin Cash Signatures appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Hier — 13 novembre 2019Bitcoin News

Dubai to Host City’s First Bitcoin Cash Meetup on Saturday

Par Avi Mizrahi
Dubai to Host City’s First Bitcoin Cash Meetup on Saturday

As Dubai is renowned as an international business and financial hub it should be no surprise it has a dedicated community of cryptocurrency supporters. On Saturday the residents of the city are coming together to learn about bitcoin cash and party, together with Bitcoin.com COO Mate Tokay. If you are in the area that day, make sure not to miss this meetup.

Also Read: Universal Protocol Alliance to List Mega-Utility Token on Bitcoin.com Exchange

First Bitcoin Cash Meetup in Dubai

Bitcoin Cash Dubai, a local group for electronic cash supporters from the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, is going to host its first meetup this Saturday, November 16. The event will take place at The Garden at McGettian’s in Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers, starting at 7PM local time. The plan is for attendees to learn about bitcoin cash, while also enjoying a game of pool, lounging in the outdoor beer garden or dancing to music from top international bands. You can sign up for the meetup here. In attendance at the Dubai event will be Bitcoin.com’s Chief Operating Officer Mate Tokay.Dubai to Host City’s First Bitcoin Cash Meetup on Saturday

The UAE has aspirations for Dubai to become one of the foremost international hubs for finance, so it must keep up with the rapid technological changes taking place across the world such as the digital asset revolution. In April 2018, the government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, a plan that aims to capitalize on the technology to transform 50% of government transactions. And in September 2018, the securities and commodities regulator in the UAE approved a plan to adopt comprehensive regulations for crowdfunding through the issuance of blockchain-based securities tokens.

“Dubai is looking to a big player in blockchain going forward and we at the bitcoin cash community will be at the forefront,” commented one of the upcoming meetup organizers.

How to Find or Create Your Own Bitcoin Cash Meetup

The Bitcoin.com team recently attended a bitcoin cash meetup in London to sample some of the nightlife the British capital has to offer. A video with highlights from the event showcases how BCH is used by to make payments for everything from beers to equity in the brewery that makes them.

If you want to join a similar event, you’ll find many local bitcoin cash meetups available all over the world at Bitcoin.com’s Events page. You can use the map tool to zoom in on your area to see what meetups are available nearby, or just search the directory listing them by continents, countries, cities and so on.

You can also create a new bitcoin cash meetup yourself. If you need help with this, on the same page you have the option to contact the Bitcoin.com team for support in setting up your new group and getting more people to join meetings based on their experience. There are also dedicated communication channels open for discussing with the community on both Telegram and Discord.

An additional way to find bitcoin cash meetups or to see how successful ones are organized is to follow @BCHMeetups on Twitter. This profile routinely publishes posts on BCH gatherings happening in many different countries, information on where people can find meetups in their area, as well as pictures and stories from events that have already taken place.

You can check out the existing bitcoin cash meetups across the globe here:

South America: Acarigua, Portuguesa, Venezuela | Anzoategui, Venezuela | Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia | Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia | Porlamar, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela | Recife – State of Pernambuco, Brazil | Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | São Paulo, State of São Paulo, Brazil | Indaiatuba, SP, Brazil | Venezuela | Acarigua, Portuguesa, Venezuela | Porlamar, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela | Anzoategui, Venezuela | Barquisimeto Metropolitan Area, Venezuela | Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela | Cumana, Sucre, Venezuela | Merida, Mérida, Venezuela

North America: Albany, NY, USA | Boston, MA, USA | Denver, CO, USA | Gainesville, FL, USA | Orange County, CA, USA | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico | Montreal, QC, Canada | New Brunswick, NJ, USA | New Orleans, LA, USA | New York, NY, USA | Norfolk, VA, USA | Phoenix, AZ, USA | San Francisco, CA, USA | San Juan, Puerto Rico | San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA, USA | Toronto, ON, Canada | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Chicago, IL, USA | Laguna Beach, CA, USA | Miami Beach, FL, USA

Europe: Amsterdam, Netherlands | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Barcelona, Spain | Benidorm, Alicante, Spain | Belgium | Berlin, Germany | Dublin, Ireland | Gijón, Asturias, Spain | Hamburg, Germany | London, UK | Madrid, Spain | Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy | Paris, France | Valencia, Spain | Zürich, Switzerland | Budapest, Hungary | Edinburgh, UK

Asia: Bangkok, Thailand | Beijing, China | Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China | Hong Kong | Bengaluru, Karnataka, India | Be’er Sheva, Israel | Kobe, Hyogo, Japan | Osaka, Japan | Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | Seoul, South Korea | Tokyo, Japan | Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel | Singapore

Oceania: Christchurch, New Zealand | Brisbane QLD, Australia | Cairns QLD, Australia | Sydney NSW, Australia | North Queensland, QLD, Australia

Africa: Johannesburg, South Africa | Kenya | East London, South Africa | Juba, South Sudan

Other: 2701 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA | Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand | Waynesville, NC 28786, USA

What do you think about the first bitcoin cash meetup in Dubai? 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 Dubai to Host City’s First Bitcoin Cash Meetup on Saturday appeared first on Bitcoin News.

2 New Blog Sites That Allow Users to Earn Cryptocurrencies

Par Jamie Redman
2 New Blog Sites That Allow Users to Earn Cryptocurrencies

During the last few years, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have explored blogging and content publishing websites that are powered by digital currencies. Recently, two new publishing websites that utilize cryptocurrencies have been gathering traction. The crypto powered blogging platform Publish 0x pays users to read content and blog using 11 different digital assets. The website Read.cash is a Bitcoin Cash-centric platform that lets people write articles with videos and images in order to earn BCH.

Also read: Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

Read.cash: A Bitcoin Cash-Powered Blogging Platform

Blogging sites are very popular and many believe content publishing and cryptocurrencies go hand in hand. There have been platforms like Yours, Steemit, Mamby, Sola, and Honestcash but so far among the myriad of attempts, none of the publishing portals have gained the momentum captured by incumbent blogging sites.

2 New Blog Sites That Allow Users to Earn Cryptocurrencies
Read.cash launched three weeks ago.

This week news.Bitcoin.com looked at two relatively new content publishing portals that allow users to be rewarded in digital currencies by participating. The first is Read.cash, a blogging platform that was revealed a few weeks ago and has quickly become a favorite among BCH proponents. The project’s creator notes that Read.cash was just recently launched and there are still a few features coming in the future according to the platform’s roadmap.

“If you are a writer or creator of any kind – write an article about something interesting, add images and video — Anyone who upvotes your post will send you bitcoin cash to your online wallet and you can use it to buy stuff,” the Read.cash website FAQ explains. The message adds:

If you are a reader, you can support the authors you like by sending them money via the upvote button. 90% goes to the author, 10% goes to read.cash to support the development and promotion of the platform.

2 New Blog Sites That Allow Users to Earn Cryptocurrencies

Signing up for Read.cash is easy and after registering, a bitcoin cash wallet is created in your browser. The creators of the project “prefer to stay anonymous for now” and private keys are kept in the user’s browser only. “The upvote payments are done peer-to-peer on Bitcoin Cash blockchain,” the blogging site’s creators detail. Alongside this, newcomers to the website can peruse through the list of guides that explain how people can format posts with images and videos. Looking at the blogging site’s main feed shows that BCH fans are using the platform regularly with posts covering a lot of different subjects.

Publish 0x: A Crypto-Agnostic Publishing Platform Open to Select Authors

Another blogging website that rewards users in BCH and 10 other digital currencies is the platform Publish 0x. Essentially the publishing application lets people earn crypto for creating, reading and watching content. Currently, the “earn by blogging” aspect of Publish 0x is still in beta and to become a publisher users will need to gain an invite.

2 New Blog Sites That Allow Users to Earn Cryptocurrencies

Publish 0x supports a variety of different digital assets like BTC, BCH, BNB, BAT, and LTC. According to the Publish 0x team, the platform paid out $14,500 in digital currencies in October and within that pool of funds, 32 BCH was dispersed. According to the user FAQ, when tipping, both the reader and author earn crypto and tips are free for both types of users as well. The creators stress on the website that “Publish0x is not trying to become a social network.” Instead, the focus is aimed at producing quality content and Publish0x “is a publishing platform open to select approved authors.”

“Other ‘crypto blogging’ platforms are powered by their own token only,” the Publish0x website FAQ emphasizes. “[These platforms] claim to be decentralized when really the balance of power lies with the founders and the biggest holders of their own token. We will be crypto agnostic.”

2 New Blog Sites That Allow Users to Earn Cryptocurrencies

Just like digital currencies, in time publishing platforms that allow users to be rewarded will change the way blogging sites work. Blogs and content publishing platforms bring people together and for readers and writers, it alleviates some of the stresses tied to real life. Instead of centralized institutions like Facebook or Medium profiting from user content, crypto-powered blogs and social media empower the community. Publish0x and Read.cash are two different platforms that provide people with the ability to earn crypto for providing quality content. If a user’s content is valuable, digital currency-powered blogs can provide them with the unique opportunity to directly monetize content.

What do you think about the Read.cash and Publish0x blogging platforms? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer, solicitation or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, websites, software, services, or companies mentioned. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Read.cash, and Publish0x.


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.

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South Korean Exchange CEO Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison

Par Kevin Helms
South Korean Exchange CEO Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison

A South Korean district court has sentenced executives of a local crypto exchange to prison. The CEO of the exchange got a 16-year jail sentence while other executives and their accomplices got between six and 11 years. They duped thousands of investors, promising them up to 200% return within weeks.

Also read: Korean Presidential Committee Pushes to Legalize Crypto

Hefty Sentences for Crypto Exchange Executives

The Seoul Central District Court has reportedly handed hefty prison sentences to executives of local cryptocurrency exchange Coinup. Judge So Byeong-seok sentenced 53-year-old CEO Kang Seok-jung to 16 years in prison for committing fraud under the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes. In addition, the exchange’s CFO was sentenced to 11 years in prison while other executives and their accomplices got between six to nine years each. The executives were arrested in March on suspicion of investment fraud.

South Korean Exchange CEO Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison

Coinup’s executives duped about a thousand investors from August last year to February this year, local media detailed, adding that they collected approximately 450 billion won (~$386 million) from them. Yonhap News described:

They said that the value of the cryptocurrency they pointed to would increase significantly, and they said that if they invested in packaged products, they would pay up to 200% after 4 to 10 weeks.

South Korean Exchange CEO Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison
Coinup’s CEO arrested.

The Scheme

The executives lured people to invest in an unlisted cryptocurrency, convincing them that its value will skyrocket once it is listed. However, the coin was never listed and investors lost money. Instead, the exchange paid early investors with money collected from those who invested later.

South Korean Exchange CEO Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison
One of Coinup’s investment seminars.

Investigations into the Ponzi scheme revealed that, in order to mislead investors, Kang displayed a fake magazine at the exchange’s office with a photo of him standing next to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The judge explained:

They created a plausible appearance, including a magazine with a photograph of the current president. In light of the consequences, the crime is serious.

However, the judge added that “the victims are also responsible for spreading the damage by investing excessively in the thought of obtaining high profits in a short time.”

South Korean Exchange CEO Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison
Coinup’s fake magazine featuring the CEO with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The South Korean crypto regulation is undergoing changes. The country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, has said that it will tighten oversight of the industry in compliance with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In June, Yonhap News reported that the number of crypto exchanges in South Korea had been rising, noting that the number of local crypto exchanges stood at 205. The government introduced the real-name system in January last year, effectively banning the use of anonymous bank accounts in crypto transactions in an effort to prevent money laundering and other illegal activities. However, banks have only been providing the real-name account service to the country’s top four crypto exchanges so far.

Democratic Party Representative Je Youn-kyung has proposed a bill to tighten online security rules for all cryptocurrency exchanges, but that bill is still pending in the National Assembly along with a number of other crypto-related bills. Meanwhile, a South Korean presidential committee is pushing for the government to establish the legal status for cryptocurrency for the country to stay competitive globally.

What do you think of Coinup’s scheme and the prison sentences the executives and their accomplices received? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Hankyoreh, and IMBC.


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.

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Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

Par Jamie Redman
Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

In late 2008, an anonymous person named Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the Bitcoin white paper on Halloween. While Nakamoto is clearly the most famous anonymous crypto moniker, in the early days there were many other mysterious individuals scattered throughout the blockchain environment.

Also read: China Ranks 35 Crypto Projects as President Xi Pushes Blockchain

A Group of Anonymous Crypto Influencers

Ten years ago a person or group of people who called themselves Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the most revolutionary technology of our time. No one knows who Nakamoto is and the hunt for Bitcoin’s mysterious creator has encompassed the lives of many. There’s also been a whole slew of individuals who claim to be Nakamoto, but have failed to prove themselves to the greater crypto community. Despite being the most well known anonymous figure within the cryptocurrency circuit, there are many other individuals who have hidden under the cloak of anonymity while contributing to the blockchain ecosystem. The following is an in-depth look at some of the mystery bitcoiners who have become well known for a variety of reasons within the crypto space. A few of these anonymous characters disappeared like Satoshi and some of them are still in the community today.

James A. Donald

James A. Donald was an anonymous Canadian cypherpunk who was the first person to comment on and critique Satoshi’s white paper and theories. Donald argued with Satoshi about scaling on more than one occasion and detailed that he believed Bitcoin needed a layer of account. “We will need a layer of account money on top of the bitcoins, supporting transactions of a hundred-thousandth the size of the smallest coin, and to support anonymity, Chaumian money on top of the account money,” Donald wrote.

Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

On November 17, 2008, Nakamoto sent Donald the Bitcoin source code for his review. “I sent you the main files (available by request at the moment, full release soon),” Nakamoto stated at the time. There have been numerous theories that claim Donald and Nakamoto are essentially the same people and the creator was merely talking to himself during the emails. However, most of the James A. Donald theories that tie him to being Nakamoto have been debunked and thrown out the window. James A. Donald has not spoken to the Bitcoin community in years.

Theymos

The owner of r/bitcoin, bitcointalk.org, and the en.bitcoin.it/ (Wiki) page, Theymos is a well known character in the crypto space. Theymos has been involved with Bitcoin since the very early days and in recent years he’s been accused of mass censorship. The censorship accusations derived from the scaling debate and there’s lots of evidence that suggests Theymos and other r/bitcoin moderators repeatedly blocked all discussions that were for increasing the block size.

Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

No one knows how Theymos accumulated so much power with all the bitcoin websites under his thumb. Prior to 2011, there were four r/bitcoin moderators and the owner u/Atlaslgo (now deleted), was wholeheartedly against the censorship of free speech. On July 19, 2011, the Bitcoin community at the time got very upset that Atlaslgo had planned to sell r/bitcoin and he was convinced to give it to the bitcointalk.org owner Theymos. The anonymous r/bitcoin owner Theymos still operates the same Bitcoin-centric web portals to this very day.

Artforz

The infamous Artforz appeared as a pseudonym on bitcointalk.org between July 2010-2012. Laszlo Hanyecz and Artforz were considered the first two people to leverage GPU miners when mining bitcoin. In July 2010, Artforz showed the world his ‘Artfarm’ and at the time the miner said he generated 1,700 BTC in six days. “I had 24 (Radeon) 5970s up until about late summer ’11,” Artforz told the Bitcoin community on February 11, 2012.

Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

Between the summer of 2010 and the last time the community saw Artforz in 2012, he was accused of commanding most of the BTC hashrate during those years. For instance, on October 3, 2010, Theymos explained that the developer’s Artfarm could be processing 20-30% of the hashrate. However, on August 25, 2011, Artforz told the community another story and said he only captured roughly 1% of the network’s processing power. Artforz wrote the community for the last time that February in 2012, and no one’s heard from him since.

Sunny King

Another anonymous person with an interesting cryptocurrency history is the software developer, Sunny King, creator of Peercoin. King is known as the “grandfather” of the consensus algorithm proof-of-stake (PoS) because Peercoin was the first hybrid proof-of-work (PoW) and PoS system. The unknown blockchain engineer not only created Peercoin but he also developed the Primecoin project, which uses a PoW mechanism while it searches for prime numbers at the same time.

Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

King’s Peercoin PoS concept has inspired many other blockchain projects that use the PoS consensus algorithm. The Peercoin creator disappeared for quite some time but has recently returned with another blockchain project called Vee.tech.

Rat4

After Peercoin was produced people attempting to harness PoS became very prominent. In early 2014, the anonymous developer called Rat4 designed a ‘PoS version 2,’ which was the first to combine staking with a multi-pool. Rat4 and Blackcoin kicked off the idea and many other PoS coins followed suit. According to the Blackcoin Github repository, Rat4’s Blackcoin codebase has been forked more times than most coins today. After Blackcoin there are now hundreds of PoS coins based on two major types of consensus: BFT PoS and chain-based PoS. The BFT method uses validators that are randomly assigned while chain-based uses an algorithm that pseudo-randomly selects a validator during a pre-selected time slot.

Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space

Brandon Chez

For a number of years, the owner of Coinmarketcap.com, Brandon Chez, kept an extremely low profile until he was doxxed by the Wall Street Journal on January 23, 2018. Since the site was created Coinmarketcap.com swiftly became a top digital currency website but no one really knew who was behind the web portal. This was until Chez decided to delist the exchange rates of South Korean crypto trading platforms on January 7, 2018. Chez recently sat down for a fireside chat with the anonymous Sunny King during The Capital conference. Behind a curtain, the two silhouetted figures discussed Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, bitcoin, and quantum computing.

Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space
Brandon Chez and Peercoin creator Sunny King doing an interview this week at The Capital cryptocurrency and blockchain event.

Cobra

An individual named Cobra is the co-owner of the web portal bitcoin.org and a very controversial figure in the space. To this day, Cobra can be seen on Reddit forums and has a Twitter account as well. His commentary over the last year or so has been called “bi-polar” because he has complimented BCH on various occasions and other times snuffed the network. “Increased my holdings of Bitcoin Cash today,” Cobra explained to his Twitter followers.

Blockstream wants to take over Bitcoin just like nChain wanted to take over Bitcoin Cash. Beware of corporations trying to embed themselves in communities by pandering to us.

— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) November 19, 2018

At one time, Cobra asked the community and fellow bitcoin.org contributors to change certain statements Satoshi Nakamoto made in the Bitcoin white paper. Another time the anonymous individual suggested an immediate change to BTC’s PoW algorithm as a solution to growing mining pools. Cobra is still tweeting conundrums to this very day and remains a well known anon within the crypto industry.

There are a few other anonymous members of the crypto community that have affected the environment in either a positive or negative way. However, there is never an identity to blame or even congratulate in real life as many of these individuals, like Satoshi Nakamoto, have either disappeared or continue to remain unknown.

What do you think about the anonymous and mysterious people involved with the digital currency environment? Why do you think these individuals become anons? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, The Capital, metzdowd.com, 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.

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Swiss Crypto Bank SEBA Launches With Range of Services

Par Kevin Helms
Swiss Crypto Bank SEBA Launches With a Range of Services

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.

Swiss Crypto Bank SEBA Launches With Range of Services

“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.

Swiss Crypto Bank SEBA Launches With Range of Services

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.

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Bitcoin History Part 20: BTC Reaches $1

Par Kai Sedgwick
Bitcoin History Part 20: BTC Reaches $1

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.”

10 People Who Might Be Satoshi Nakamoto
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.

Bitcoin Goes UK Chic, Juliettes Interiors First Luxury Retailer to Accept Cryptocurrency

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.

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Spend 10 Cryptocurrencies With These Debit Cards

Par Lubomir Tassev
These Cards Will Let You Spend At Least 10 Different Cryptocurrencies

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.

Spend 10 Cryptocurrencies With These Debit Cards

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.

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.

Spend 10 Cryptocurrencies With These Debit Cards

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.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinbase, Wirex.


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Evercoin Launches Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet

Par Bitcoin.com PR
Evercoin Launches Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet

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
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Venezuela Becomes ‘Dollarized’ as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions

Par Jamie Redman

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.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions

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.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions
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.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions
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.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions
“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 Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions
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.

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Universal Protocol Alliance to List Mega-Utility Token on Bitcoin.com Exchange

Par Avi Mizrahi
Universal Protocol Alliance to List Mega-Utility Token on Bitcoin.com Exchange

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).

Universal Protocol Alliance to List Mega-Utility Token on Bitcoin.com Exchange
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 Alliance to List Mega-Utility Token on Bitcoin.com Exchange

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.


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How Society Thrived Before Mass Taxation, and How It Still Can

Par Graham Smith
How Society Thrived Before Mass Taxation, and How It Still Can

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.

How Society Thrived Before Mass Taxation, and How It Still Can

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.

How Society Thrived Before Mass Taxation, and How It Still Can

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.

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Jailed Deepdotweb Admin Denies Earning $15M From Darknet Links

Par Kai Sedgwick
Jailed Deepdotweb Admin Denies Earning $15M From Darknet Links

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.”

Feds Seize News Website Deepdotweb as Darknet Crackdown Intensifies

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.”

Deepdotweb Duo Indicted for Linking to Darknet Markets
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.”

6 of the Most Popular Darknet Marketplaces That Accept Cryptocurrency

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.

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6 Months Before Halving Signs Indicate Bitcoin Miners Are Hoarding

Par Jamie Redman
6 Months Before Halving Signs Indicate Bitcoin Miners Are Hoarding

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.

 6 Months Before Halving Signs Indicate Bitcoin Miners Are Hoarding
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.

 6 Months Before Halving Signs Indicate Bitcoin Miners Are Hoarding
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%.

 6 Months Before Halving Signs Indicate Bitcoin Miners Are Hoarding
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.

 6 Months Before Halving Signs Indicate Bitcoin Miners Are Hoarding
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.

 6 Months Before Halving Signs Indicate Bitcoin Miners Are Hoarding
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.


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From FUD to FOMO – China State Newspaper Says Bitcoin Is ‘Successful’

Par Lubomir Tassev
From FUD to FOMO – China State Newspaper Says Bitcoin Is ‘Successful’

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.”

From FUD to FOMO – China State Newspaper Says Bitcoin Is ‘Successful’

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.

From FUD to FOMO – China State Newspaper Says Bitcoin Is ‘Successful’

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.

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Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air

Par Jamie Redman
Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money from Thin Air

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.

Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air
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.

Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air
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.

Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air
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.

Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air
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.

Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air
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.

Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air

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.

Generation QE: How Central Banks Create Money From Thin Air
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.

 

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Crypto Jobs on the Rise, Thousands Listed

Par Kevin Helms
Crypto Jobs on the Rise, Thousands Listed

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%.

Crypto Jobs on the Rise, Thousands Listed

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.

Crypto Jobs on the Rise, Thousands Listed

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.

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Crypto Banks Gain Regulatory Recognition Across the Globe

Par Lubomir Tassev
Crypto Banks Gain Regulatory Recognition Across the Globe

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.

Crypto Banks Gain Regulatory Recognition Across the Globe
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.

Crypto Banks Gain Regulatory Recognition Across the Globe
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.


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When Bitcoin Overtakes Gold – How High Can It Go?

Par Graham Smith
When Bitcoin Overtakes Gold - How High Can It Go?

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.


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Becoming Nakamoto: How Satoshi Created His Alter-Ego

Par Kai Sedgwick
Becoming Nakamoto: How Satoshi Created His Alter-Ego

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.

Becoming Nakamoto: How Satoshi Created His Alter-Ego
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.

Becoming Nakamoto: How Satoshi Created His Alter-Ego

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.

Becoming Nakamoto: How Satoshi Created His Alter-Ego
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.

Becoming Nakamoto: How Satoshi Created His Alter-Ego

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.

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Danske Bank Caught Using Gold Bullion to Launder Illicit Funds

Par Jamie Redman
Danske Bank Caught Using Gold Bullion to Launder Illicit Funds

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.

Danske Bank Caught Using Gold Bullion to Launder Illicit Funds

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.

Danske Bank Caught Using Gold Bullion to Launder Illicit Funds

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%.

Danske Bank Caught Using Gold Bullion to Launder Illicit Funds

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.

Danske Bank Caught Using Gold Bullion to Launder Illicit Funds

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.

Danske Bank Caught Using Gold Bullion to Launder Illicit Funds

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.

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Tax Agencies Worldwide Plan to Crack Down on ‘Dozens’ of Crypto Tax Evaders

Par Jamie Redman
Tax Agencies Worldwide Plan to Crack Down on 'Dozens' of Crypto Tax Evaders

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 draft 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.

Tax Agencies Worldwide Plan to Crack Down on 'Dozens' of Tax Evaders

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.”

Tax Agencies Worldwide Plan to Crack Down on 'Dozens' of Tax Evaders

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.

Tax Agencies Worldwide Plan to Crack Down on 'Dozens' of Tax Evaders

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.

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Bitcoin Cash House Launches Crypto Hub in Venezuela

Par Graham Smith
Bitcoin Cash House Crypto Education Hub Launches in Venezuela

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.”

Bitcoin Cash House Launches Crypto Hub in Venezuela

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.

Bitcoin Cash House Launches Crypto Hub in Venezuela
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.

How to Start With Bitcoin at No Cost

Par Lubomir Tassev
How to Start With Bitcoin at No Cost

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.

How to Start With Bitcoin at No Cost

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.

How to Start With Bitcoin at No Cost

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.

Corrupt CBI Inspector Booked for Extorting Vigilante Bitcoiner

Par Kevin Helms
Corrupt CBI Officer Booked for Extorting Vigilante Bitcoiner

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 Inspector Booked for Extorting Vigilante Bitcoiner appeared first on Bitcoin News.

What to Expect From the Next Bitcoin Cash Protocol Upgrade

Par Jamie Redman
What to Expect from the Next Bitcoin Cash Protocol Upgrade

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.

What to Expect from the Next Bitcoin Cash Protocol Upgrade

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.

What to Expect from the Next Bitcoin Cash Protocol Upgrade
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.

What to Expect from the Next Bitcoin Cash Protocol Upgrade
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.

What to Expect from the Next Bitcoin Cash Protocol Upgrade
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.

What to Expect from the Next Bitcoin Cash Protocol Upgrade
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.

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For Initial Exchange Offerings, Liquidity is King

Par Kai Sedgwick
For Initial Exchange Offerings, Liquidity is King

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.

For Initial Exchange Offerings, Liquidity is King

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 Initial Exchange Offerings, Liquidity is King

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.


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QE Infinity: 37 Central Banks Participate in Stimulus and Easing Practices

Par Jamie Redman

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.


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Crypto-Based Commerce Spikes 65% in 7 Months

Par Lubomir Tassev
Crypto-Based Commerce Spikes 65% in 7 Months, Blockchain Analysis Shows

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.

Crypto-Based Commerce Spikes 65% in 7 Months

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.

Crypto-Based Commerce Spikes 65% in 7 Months

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.


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How Crypto Winters of Bitcoin’s Past Compare to Today

Par Jamie Redman

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.

How Crypto Winters of Bitcoin's Past Compare to Today
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.

How Crypto Winters of Bitcoin's Past Compare to Today

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.

How Crypto Winters of Bitcoin's Past Compare to Today
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.

How Crypto Winters of Bitcoin's Past Compare to Today
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.”


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Holders of the Digital Yuan Will Not Be Paid Interest

Par Lubomir Tassev
Holders of the Digital Yuan Will Not Be Paid Interest

China has been sending mixed signals about its preparedness to issue a national crypto. Despite the new blockchain push, there is still no timeframe for the anticipated launch of the digital yuan and few details have been revealed so far. However, a senior official from China’s central bank pulled the curtain back slightly this week.

Also read: Turkey Becomes the Latest Nation to Work on Digital Fiat

China’s Semi-Blockchain Based Currency to Start a ‘Horse Race’

Beijing’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) project, which will be similar to Facebook’s Libra as Chinese officials have previously indicated, will only partially employ blockchain technology as it would need a higher transaction capacity to achieve retail adoption. The People’s bank of China (PBOC) will use a two-tier approach with its implementation, first issuing the currency to commercial banks, which will then distribute it to the public.

Mu Changchun, head of the central bank’s digital currency research institute, told a forum in Hong Kong that the launch will start a “horse race” among banks and other financial institutions competing to offer better and more efficient services with the digital yuan. “The front runner will take the whole market,” Mu predicted. Quoted by Reuters, he added that if an institution takes the lead, the technology it uses will be adopted by others.

Holders of the Digital Yuan Will Not Be Paid Interest
People’s Bank of China

The PBOC representative pointed out that as the new digital currency is designed to substitute coins and paper banknotes in circulation, holders of the currency will not receive any interest payments. That means the DCEP system will not affect inflation in the People’s Republic and the monetary policy of its government. At the same time, the project will allow Chinese regulators more oversight over money flows in comparison with the traditional financial system.

The opportunity to exert greater control over financial transactions, including cross border transfers, is one of the main drivers behind the digital yuan project. Beijing’s view, reiterated by Mu Changchun’s statement, is that currencies such as Libra would present a threat to the country’s currency sovereignty and could facilitate illegal flows. The central bank official stressed that other stablecoins would have to abide by China’s existing foreign exchange regulations.

Beijing Aiming to Have the First CBDC

Protecting China’s monetary sovereignty is a motive Mu Changchun emphasized a couple of months ago. During a lecture in September, he remarked that the problem with currencies issued by platforms such as Wechat and Alipay is that a bankruptcy is always a possibility with corporate entities and one could cause users to lose money. He assured that the digital currency minted by the People’s Bank would be just as safe as paper money and revealed that the digital yuan will even function offline.

Holders of the Digital Yuan Will Not Be Paid Interest

A month earlier, the senior official stated that the state-sponsored coin was ready after five years of research and development and that the PBOC will soon roll out the crypto. However, PBOC governor Yi Gang said later that the bank had no timetable for the launch. Nevertheless, China has been gearing up to become the first nation with a central bank issued digital currency (CBDC) and it has to hurry up as according to a report by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), 70% of 63 surveyed central banks are exploring the issue of CBDC.

There has been much talk and pressure recently in the U.S. and the EU to speed up research and development in the same direction. The BIS study published in the beginning of this year concluded that five projects had advanced to the pilot phase. Some banks have since gone further in the development of their systems and it turns out China might not be the first to deploy a digital fiat currency.

According to a report by Izvestia, the central bank of Tunisia has already issued a CBDC based on a Russian blockchain platform called Universa and even made test transactions on Nov. 7. The digital dinar can be used in online mobile payments and Tunisia hopes to implement it in international settlements in the future. By introducing the cryptocurrency, the country’s central bank hopes to save on printing costs for paper notes.

When do you expect the People’s Bank of China to issue its digital yuan? Share your thoughts on CBDCs in the comments section below.


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Crypto Tax Guidelines Leave More Questions Than Answers

Par Kai Sedgwick
Crypto Tax Guidelines Leave More Questions Than Answers

Cryptocurrency holders have long wrestled with their tax obligations. These fiduciary duties have been complicated by tax agencies, which are several steps behind technology and now playing crypto catch-up. Updated guidelines from the U.S. and U.K.’s tax agencies were finally released this year, but the initial relief felt by conscientious bitcoiners was to prove short-lived, for on closer examination, the documentation has left many crypto questions unanswered.

Also read: Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank IPO Debuts on NYSE

It’s 2019 and Tax Is Still Taxing

The lack of uniformity regarding tax on crypto earnings, with some national governments happy to kick the can down the road and others determined to immediately collect their pound of flesh is frustrating, to put it mildly. The latest guidelines from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for U.K. residents has succeeded in muddying the already-feculent waters.

Once again, a tax authority’s attempt to provide clarity on crypto taxation has become, instead, a wellspring of uncertain questions. It was the same when the IRS published crypto tax guidance in 2014, and again in October of this year. So, why are such powerful arms of the state unable to lay down clearly-defined tax principles on virtual currency? Is it because the powers-that-be do not fully comprehend this rapidly-evolving environment or its underlying technology? Or is it the case that the nature of forks, airdrops and token sales is incompatible with hard-and-fast taxation rules?

Robin Singh is the founder of crypto tax platform Koinly. “Part of the problem,” he explains, “is that regulators do not understand cryptocurrencies. In the latest IRS guidelines, for example, the IRS refers to forked coins as “airdrops after a fork”. They are oblivious to the fact that there is no actual airdrop – the ledger is simply copied. This misinterpretation has given rise to the issue investors now face: paying income tax on forked coins they may have no intentions of using.”

Exchange Tokens ‘Aren’t Currency’

HMRC’s recent update to its guidance on crypto taxes, published on November 1, dealt with crypto transactions carried out by companies, businesses such as partnerships and sole traders, and individuals. In essence, it sought to end confusion about the extent to which cryptocurrency transactions occasion capital gains tax, national insurance contributions, corporation tax, VAT, and income tax.

The main plank of HMRC’s argument is that, generally speaking, “exchange tokens” are not currencies, stock or marketable securities – meaning they are exempt from stamp taxes. Nevertheless, tokens used in debt transactions do incur stamp taxes.

Bitcoin is explicitly mentioned in the policy paper as an example of an exchange token, with security and utility tokens to be dealt with in a future update. Despite the policy paper being entitled “Tax on cryptoassets,” therefore, it is far from comprehensive. And, to quote an instructive line, “The tax policy may evolve as the sector develops.”

Crypto Tax Obligations for Individuals

As it has previously, HMRC was keen to point out that “the tax treatment of all types of tokens is dependent on the nature and use of the token and not the definition of the token.” In other words, it’s up to you whether you incur any tax at all.

If you sell exchange tokens that have appreciated in value, they will – as investments – be liable to capital gains tax; income tax and national insurance contributions are also due on crypto assets received from employers as a form of non-cash payment and from mining operations or airdrops.

In instances where individuals essentially act as a business by frequently transacting financial trades involving crypto assets, their taxable trading profits are subject to income tax rather than capital gains tax. Of course, you can reduce your tax liability by offsetting losses against future profits; the cost of the asset itself can be a deduction.

A Thankless Task for Tax Agencies

Because assets such as bitcoin are traded on exchanges which do not use pounds sterling, HMRC’s guidance notes that the value of any gain or loss must be converted to sterling on an individual’s self assessment tax return. The guidance points out that individuals must keep separate records of each crypto asset transaction including type of asset; date of transaction; if they were bought or sold; number of units and value of transaction in sterling; cumulative total of the investment units held; and bank statements and wallet addresses.

Of course, it is easy to pick holes in the guidance. The tax body says that reasonable care should be taken to make “appropriate valuations” for transactions using a consistent methodology. However, it fails to elaborate on what would be appropriate, and which methodology would be permissible. The HMRC also betrays its own ignorance when discussing matters of fraud in the cryptosphere, noting that theft is not considered disposal “as the individual still owns the assets and has a right to recover them.” They may have a right to recover them, but they probably have no prospect of doing so. Victims of theft cannot claim a loss in capital gains tax either.

Crypto Tax Obligations for Businesses

HMRC’s guidance for businesses is, as you might expect, even more complex and confusing than for individuals. Crypto mining companies are subject to tax based on factors including degree and frequency of activity, level of organization, risk and commerciality. But most business activities in the cryptosphere are subject to some form of tax, whether the activity is buying and selling tokens, exchanging tokens for other assets (including other forms of cryptocurrency) and supplying goods and services in return for tokens, the latter of which entails VAT on the “pound sterling value of the exchange tokens at the point the transaction takes place.”

Confusion stems from qualifiers such as “the type of tax will depend on who is involved in the business,” although the process by which accounts should be prepared is, at least, unambiguous: they should follow generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP) or, if relevant, international accounting standards (IAS).

If a business’s activities constitute a trade, receipts and expenses form part of the calculation of the resulting profit. If a partnership conducts the trade, partners will be taxed on their share of the trading profit. And if the activity concerning the exchange token is not deemed “trading activity,” the gain obtained from eventually disposing of a crypto asset will be charged to corporation tax.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The fact that the status of security and utility tokens remains unaddressed indicates that HMRC is continuing to wrestle with fundamental questions about tax on crypto. While these latest directives do answer some long-held queries pertaining to “exchange tokens,” they also throw up others. Is HMRC open to eventually changing their stance that cryptocurrency is not money, for instance? This one will be asked ad infinitum, particularly as merchant adoption increases. For bitcoiners in the U.K., U.S., and other leading crypto countries, divining the intent of the tax agencies has become a dark art.

Do you think tax agencies are at fault for complicating crypto tax guidance, or are they just struggling to keep pace with a rapidly evolving industry? Let us know in the comments section below.


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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.

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Activist Larken Rose Weighs In on Bitcoin, Anarchy, and the Importance of Permissionless Cash

Par Graham Smith
Activist Larken Rose Weighs in on Bitcoin, Anarchy, and the Importance of Permissionless Cash

Though his latest project with partner and fellow activist Amanda Rose, Candles in the Dark, is a program helping people escape authoritarian programming through non-confrontational dialogue, there’s nothing meek and mild about Larken Rose’s stance when it comes to government. News.Bitcoin.com recently connected with the outspoken anarchist via Skype to talk about Bitcoin, the IRS, and the importance of permissionless money.

Also Read: Bitcoin and Voluntaryism – Where Libertarian Philosophy Meets Crypto

Bumping Into Crypto

News.Bitcoin.com (BC): How did you get into the crypto space?

Larken Rose (LR): I only accidentally crashed sideways into crypto stuff just because so many people who are into freedom and self-ownership got into it when it came along, realizing it could be a really useful tool to resist centralized control. I’m by no means any sort of expert on it. I was just sort of dragged along for the ride, because at this point it’s kind of hard to not be hearing about it and involved with it if you’re into freedom, because it’s such a useful tool for that.

BC: Do you remember when that was?

LR: It was a number of years ago, and I remember I heard the term a bunch of times before I had the foggiest idea what it meant, and what it referred to. It may have been at Porcfest in New Hampshire, where some of the guys promoting it early on actually gave me some of the physical Bitcoins, back when they were worth like a dollar each, and I think they gave me 20 of them.

And, I sold them at a sadly low rate, well before it went up. I accidentally held onto one of them, without knowing I still had it, but I eventually gave that one to my daughter and she ended up getting a car out of it, so I’m happy about that. But it was a number of years later before I really understood the beauty and the power of the concept of blockchain and decentralized, uncontrollable mediums of exchange.

Activist Larken Rose Weighs In on Bitcoin, Anarchy, and the Importance of Permissionless Cash

Bitcoin and Voluntaryism

BC: You’re a voluntaryist. More people are learning what that word means lately, but most still don’t know. What’s it all about?

LR: In short, to be a voluntaryist means you advocate that all human interaction be voluntary, rather than by way of violence and coercion. And when you describe it that way, almost everybody initially reacts by saying, ‘Oh yeah, that’s me; I totally agree; that’s what I want too.’

But they don’t recognize that, even if they live that way in their daily lives — when it comes to politics, almost everybody has been taught that there’s an exception for the people who call themselves ‘government,’ and that it’s okay if they threaten violence and rob you by threats of force and boss you around and control you. A voluntaryist is basically somebody who realizes that the whole ‘live and let live’ and ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you,’ there’s not an exception for government.

BC: You’ve touched on this a little already, but where do you see crypto and voluntaryism intersecting?

LR: To me there are two very important pieces that have to go together to actually get a large number of people being able to be free, and eventually society being free. One is the mentality, and that’s what my main focus is on: having people stop believing that they’re obligated to obey a ruling class. But after that, then you need the tools necessary to be ungovernable. And some of those tools are, for example, guns. If you’re gonna resist oppression, if they have guns, it’s convenient if you do too.

But when it comes to currency and all the frauds and the tricks that governments have done by way of fiat currency and central banks and all that garbage, crypto is just a very powerful tool for those who are mentally ready to escape the controls of a ruling class, to be able to trade and basically have a complex international economy that doesn’t have the tentacles of the ruling class in it anywhere. And that’s huge.

BC: What would your response be to those people who say, ‘Yeah, these rules suck, the government’s terrible, but without it, it would be chaos’?

LR: People have been trained by the ruling class to imagine that, without the ruling class, we’d be these stupid, violent animals. And it’s already the case that the average person, all the things in his life that work, aren’t because he personally figured them out. The average person who buys a car doesn’t know how to build a car. The average person who goes grocery shopping doesn’t know how to grow all that food, and they don’t need to.

The order and the complexity and the cooperation and the productivity already comes from voluntary interaction. But it’s easy for politicians to scare most people into thinking, ‘Well if nobody’s in charge, if there isn’t a government bossing everyone around, then it will be this chaotic free-for-all.’ There’s no reason to actually believe that.

If you go to a supermarket—it’s one of my favorite examples of anarchy in action—yeah, it has government tentacles in there getting in the way and robbing people, but nobody’s forced to be involved, and you get an amazing level of complexity and organization and cooperation, and nobody’s being forced to do anything—not the people who work there and not the customers who go and buy stuff there.

Activist Larken Rose Weighs In on Bitcoin, Anarchy, and the Importance of Permissionless Cash

IRS, Anarchy and Activism

BC: Speaking of governments and money, you had a run-in—well, a run-in is kind of a mild way to put it—but you had some trouble with the IRS. Could you tell us just a little bit about that, and what happened there?”

LR: My adventures with the federal extortion racket are something I don’t usually talk very much about these days, because it takes so much time and effort for people to actually get into it and to learn it. If anybody wants the full story for free, I now give away my book, Kicking the Dragon (Confessions of a Tax Heretic), for free as an e-book.

BC: Could you tell us about your activism? I know Candles in the Dark is going online on Thanksgiving, and you’re speaking at Anarchapulco again this year.

LR: Yep. Well I have a number of books, The Most Dangerous Superstition being the main one, and I’ve given a bunch of talks and I still do here and there. I don’t like to preach to the choir, so usually when I give talks it’s with the intention of it being recorded and ending up on YouTube or something, to talk to the rest of the world. I also just started doing my daily podcast again. But the two main things I’m working on now—one is the Candles in the Dark seminar, and the full online version will be up and running by Thanksgiving and we’re already taking pre-orders now.

Activist Larken Rose Weighs In on Bitcoin, Anarchy, and the Importance of Permissionless Cash

What that does, for people who are already voluntaryists, is teach them a drastically more effective method of communicating with the rest of the world, that doesn’t just result in the usual stress and emotions and arguments and frustration, that normal debates almost always end in. It’s not at all what I do in public. When I publicly debate I’m blunt and totally in people’s faces, and that’s for a totally different purpose.

And then the other major—the biggest project I’m working on; probably the biggest project I will do in my whole life—is called The Mirror, which is basically an interactive program that does the whole process for us. So voluntaryists don’t even need to know how to do it; The Mirror will do it for them, all by itself.

BC: So just strap on the VR goggles and set them free from statism.

LR: Pretty much, because it does the conversation by itself. It asks them what they believe about things and their answers determine where it goes next. And that’s a monstrous project which is still many months away from being completed. But ultimately that will make it so we don’t even have to be good at communication, because it will do it for us. So hopefully I won’t get suicided before that’s done.

Activist Larken Rose Weighs In on Bitcoin, Anarchy, and the Importance of Permissionless Cash

The Future of Crypto Freedom

BC: It seems like there’s a split in the cryptocurrency community at large, where you’ve got the more libertarian-minded crowd that’s saying, ‘We’ve got to use this privately, between ourselves, as peer-to-peer permissionless cash,’ and you’ve got this other group saying, ‘Well, it’s gotta be regulated, and we’ve gotta get the government in on this thing.’

LR: I want the government involved in absolutely nothing. It shouldn’t freaking exist. I’m kind of on that side of the spectrum.

BC: Yeah, I kind of figured.

LR: But what I love about the concept of blockchain and the concept of cryptocurrencies is that the ruling class can try with varying degrees of success to try to stick its nose into different kinds of trading and different cryptos, and it can try to regulate this and that and the other thing, but the thing it can’t ever do away with is the idea.

Now that the ideas of blockchain and cryptocurrencies are out there, there is nothing that will keep it down forever. It’s not like there’s some centralized place where, if they go and shut down that thing, it’s gone forever. Even if there was some magic button that would make Bitcoin disappear—and it doesn’t work that way—another one would appear. And then a hundred more would appear. The ideas are, to me, what is most powerful. It’s the evolution of ideas and technology and understanding that can’t be undone, and that can’t be regulated out of existence. That doesn’t mean they won’t try it, but in the long run they are doomed; they have no chance of squelching this permanently.

What do you think about Rose’s ideas on crypto freedom? Let us know in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Avens.me, fair use.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

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Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank IPO Debuts on NYSE

Par Kevin Helms
Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank IPO Debuts on NYSE

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared the IPO of pro-crypto Silvergate Bank effective. Its shares started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The crypto-friendly bank works with 756 customers in the crypto space, including Coinbase, Gemini, Circle, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Bittrex. The bank has attributed significant growth to its crypto business.

Also read: 23 Central Banks Divulge Their Digital Currency Requirements

Silvergate Bank’s IPO

The U.S. SEC declared the initial public offering (IPO) of crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank effective on Wednesday. Its common stock subsequently began trading on the NYSE on Thursday under the symbol SI. The shares opened at $12.75, a 6.25% increase from its IPO price of $12, and closed at $12.62.

Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank IPO Debuts on NYSE
The NYSE Opening Bell on Nov. 7.

Opened in 1988, Silvergate Bank is a commercial bank with a focus on “creating the banking platform for innovators, especially in the digital currency industry, and developing product and service solutions addressing the needs of entrepreneurs,” the bank’s SEC filing describes, elaborating:

We intend to continue focusing on our digital currency initiative as the core of our future strategy and direction.

As of the end of September, the bank had total assets of $2.1 billion, total deposits of $1.8 billion, and total stockholders’ equity of $230.6 million.

Go-To Bank for Crypto Industry

Silvergate Bank began focusing on providing services to the crypto industry in 2013. Over the years, it has become a go-to bank for the industry. “We believe our first-mover advantage serving the digital currency industry has led to numerous strategic advantages, many of which are significant barriers to entry for potential competitors,” the bank explained.

According to its registration statement, the bank has 756 customers in the crypto industry as of the end of September. Among its customers, 69 are exchanges, 468 are institutional investors and the rest are other crypto companies such as mining operators and protocol developers. Its clients include Coinbase, Genesis, Bitstamp, Gemini, Sofi, Circle, Kraken, Bittrex, and Paxos.

Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank IPO Debuts on NYSE

The bank also revealed that approximately 77% of its eligible cryptocurrency-related customers are enrolled in the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), its proprietary payment network for the crypto industry. The system was developed and tested in 2017 and made available to all of the bank’s crypto customers in early 2018. “The core function of the SEN is to allow participants to make transfers of U.S. dollars from their SEN account at the bank to the bank account of another SEN participant with which a counterparty relationship has been established, and to view funds transfers received from their SEN counterparties,” the bank detailed, adding:

Because of our focus on the digital currency industry in recent years and the unique value-add solutions and services we provide, we have achieved improvements in our deposit base and significant growth in key operating metrics.

What do you think of crypto-friendly banks like Silvergate Bank? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Silvergate Bank.


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Congressional Hopeful Agatha Bacelar Talks Silk Road on the Bitcoin.com Podcast 

Par Kai Sedgwick
Congressional Hopeful Agatha Bacelar Talks Silk Road on the Bitcoin.com Podcast 

“It’s clear that the political establishment wants to hold back a future where economic freedom is afforded to all.” This excerpt from Congressional hopeful Agatha Bacelar’s campaign donation page echoes what many within the cryptosphere have been saying ever since Satoshi Nakamoto dropped the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008 – and what many libertarians have been trumpeting for decades.

Also read: FBI Says Bitcoin Concern Is Getting ‘Bigger and Bigger’

Bacelar Lays the Smackdown

The fact that Bacelar, who has set her eyes on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s seat in the California Congress, seeks to raise $1 million in crypto is significant. Stanford-educated and an engineer by trade, the 27-year-old Brazilian-American understands blockchain technology like few politicos before her, having worked with digital governance platform Democracy Earth. This nonprofit seeks to change the political system by building open-source, censorship-proof democracies, and grew out of what Bacelar describes as a “trojan horse” political party in Argentina. Uniquely, the party used blockchain tech to field candidates who were not so much representatives of the people as, well, the people themselves.

Congressional Hopeful Agatha Bacelar Talks Silk Road on the Bitcoin.com Podcast

Bacelar was recently invited on to the Bitcoin.com podcast and, needless to say, the topic of cryptocurrency came up more than once. “I can see why it’s very scary to introduce cryptocurrency to central banks because it kicks them in the knees,” she said. “But I think for a healthier world we need more public banking, public financing of things rather than having the power consolidated through central banks.”

As for the day-to-day benefits of using cryptocurrency, they are self-evident: “Whenever I want to pay my rent it takes a week for my money to transfer to my landlord’s bank account. We could be having faster global currency that doesn’t take 10% for a middleman.”

New Hire to Head Digital Currency Research at the Fed

Audit the Fed

Many listeners would have been keen to hear the candidate’s thoughts on how distributed ledger technologies could be used to revamp the entire system. Host Matt Aaron beat his guest to the punch, suggesting that publicly auditing the Federal Reserve might be a good place to start. “Yeah, that would,” Bacelar concurred. “Doing more participatory budgeting, letting people have a greater say on how we use our tax dollars.”

“Right now, we lose information every time a transaction happens. Whereas, I would hope with cryptocurrencies, if you buy an iPhone, you would know whether this phone was made at a factory where three people committed suicide, or whether the resources were mined in a place that used human slavery or contributed to pollution in that bio-region.

“You know, those things are not reflected in the cost of things today, but I think in a future world they could be. And that could lead us to a more regenerative, sustainable economy.”

Not Your Average Congressional Candidate

The backstory of Agatha Bacelar is a little different to most would-be politicians – just 3% of House Representatives currently come from a STEM background, for starters. As well as her experience with blockchain, she’s worked for social change organization Emerson Collective and Hope Credit Union, a banking institution that provides financial services to low-income applicants. Bacelar’s father is Herb Stephens, a software entrepreneur who, having worked in the nonprofit sector for a number of years, now acts as her Finance Director.

Trump rode to the White House on a hubristic ticket, with an oft-repeated boast that – unlike the other candidates – he “knew money.” Perhaps Bacelar could also profit from knowing the future of money – cryptocurrency – and having an awareness about how the underlying technology could inform the body politic. “I would like to be a member of Congress that makes decisions informed by how people would vote on an open-source digital platform in real time,” she says, “because right now there isn’t accountability in our politics. There isn’t transparency, and people are writing off politics and or feeling so frustrated with it. But I think people can represent themselves or proxy their vote to people they trust and know in their community.”

The Injustice of the Silk Road Trial

At one stage in the discussion, Bacelar segues from addressing the absurdity of criminalizing drugs like marijuana to discussing Silk Road. “Ross Ulbricht is incarcerated right now for two life sentences plus 30 years for nonviolent crime, where he didn’t even do any of the drug transactions on there.”

As an enthusiastic pro-crypto voice, Agatha Bacelar is a breath of fresh air. Whether she has a realistic chance of turfing out Pelosi remains to be seen. Whatever the outcome, you get the sense that Bacelar recognizes the ability of cryptocurrencies – and blockchain technology more generally – to fundamentally reshape society. For public ledgers to introduce greater accountability in corporations and government agencies. For sound access to finance to be available to all. For profit-offshoring, money laundering and tax evasion to be effectively addressed.

The final word goes to Bacelar: “We need to decentralize power and get people to participate in our democracy. A democracy is strongest when most people engage in it.”

What are your thoughts on Agatha Bacelar’s take on Silk Road and the benefits of bitcoin? 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.

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Ridiculous Crypto Regulations Are an Enemy of Bitcoin

Par Jamie Redman

One of the biggest privacy issues in today’s society revolves around the use of overreaching know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. Despite the fact that many cryptocurrencies were designed to avoid these invasive practices, KYC and AML guidelines bolstered by political parasites and their followers have perverted the original crypto-anarchist ideologies espoused by the cypherpunks.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Captured 90% of October’s Crypto Spending in Australia

KYC/AML Are the Real Cryptocurrency Scams

When people talk about scams in the cryptocurrency industry they usually look at a certain project or the initial coin offerings (ICO) that raised billions in 2017 and 2018. However, the biggest scam in the blockchain ecosystem is how some members of the community and bureaucrats have pushed their statist ideals into the crypto industry. KYC/AML practices have increased a great deal and influencers want politicians to bless and define digital currencies like BTC. The financial regulations known as know-your-customer and anti-money laundering laws require crypto-based businesses to verify the identity of their clientele and also make sure customers are paying taxes by flagging unusual behavior. Even though these practices are immoral, unethical and cause significant friction, bureaucrats and law enforcement use these methods to track and monitor every financial transaction they can observe.

Ridiculous Crypto Regulations Are an Enemy of Bitcoin

Probably the biggest qualm with KYC/AML regulations is how businesses and large corporations track and store data that hackers can exploit. Thousands of companies hoard vast amounts of important information about a person’s identity, residence, social security numbers, and credit information on centralized servers. These servers are breached by hackers and opportunists on a regular basis and because of severe leaks, people’s private information can be sold on the black market. Data stemming from the Risk Based Security researchers’ 2019 mid-year data breach report shows that 4.1 billion records were compromised in the first six months. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were built to avoid invasive KYC/AML practices and if these regulations did not exist, collateral damage like massive breaches would be dramatically reduced. However, there are many services invading the crypto industry right now and rough-shodding KYC/AML standards into our everyday practices.

Politicians Have Ushered in Digital Currency Compliance Standards

On November 4, the New York Times reported on how “Little-known companies are amassing your data.” In the report, columnist Kashmir Hill got access to a secret consumer score which disclosed things like “all the messages I’d ever sent to hosts on Airbnb; years of Yelp delivery orders; a log of every time I’d opened the Coinbase app on my iPhone.” The 400 pages of data derived from a company named Sift and the data collected on the journalist’s everyday affairs are quite shocking.

“Sift knew, for example, that I’d used my iPhone to order chicken tikka masala, vegetable samosas, and garlic naan on a Saturday night in April three years ago,” Hill wrote. “It knew I used my Apple laptop to sign into Coinbase in January 2017 to change my password. Sift knew about a nightmare Thanksgiving I had in California’s wine country, as captured in my messages to the Airbnb host of a rental called ‘Cloud 9.’”

There are also accidents like crypto exchange Bitmex slipping up and doxxing nearly every customer’s registered email. The trading platform’s problems didn’t end there because, after the leak, hackers sold the leaked info via Telegram channels. The Bitmex Hack Group on Telegram welcomes visitors with a message that says “Thank you Arthur Hayes.” Data breaches have disrupted the crypto industry since the early days and KYC/AML info only makes it worse for end-users.

Ridiculous Crypto Regulations Are an Enemy of Bitcoin

‘Arise, You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Barbed Wire Fences’

When Bitcoin was first unleashed by Satoshi Nakamoto, the cypherpunks at the time cherished the fact that it could be used as a medium of exchange outside the existing regulatory frameworks. Cryptocurrencies were embraced by people holding strong anarchist and libertarian beliefs because the assets can mitigate government regulation and essentially remove any coercion and violence that stems from the state. In fact, many cypherpunks believe that digital currencies are a tool meant to bolster free markets and self-governance.

“Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions,” the cypherpunk Timothy C. May wrote in 1988.

Ridiculous Crypto Regulations Are an Enemy of Bitcoin
Digital currency users can tighten their operations security (opsec) with tools like Tor, Tails, and Cashshuffle.

Nowadays, however, there are many cryptocurrency supporters begging for traditional institutions and governments to accept bitcoin. They are blatantly allowing corporate fascism and regulatory capture in order to spread the network effect, knowingly understanding the original cypherpunk values are fading. What these politicking parasites don’t want you to know is that you can still access digital currencies and move outside the traditional financial system.

Ridiculous Crypto Regulations Are an Enemy of Bitcoin
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.

Cryptocurrency users can still transact with digital currencies in an extremely private manner by utilizing tools like Tor and VPNs. They can get to know and understand the privacy-centric operating system Tails and PGP email encryption. There are encrypted messaging applications like Signal, Viber, Dust, Threema, Wickr, and Cyphr. Decentralized trading platforms like local.Bitcoin.com, Localethereum.com, Bisq, Barterdex, Radarrelay, Kyberswap, and Uniswap. Other tools can be used like Openbazaar, Haven Privacy, and installing Whonix. Bitcoin cash (BCH) users can shuffle their UTXOs using the decentralized mixing platform Cashshuffle.

Ridiculous Crypto Regulations Are an Enemy of Bitcoin
Digital asset proponents can use encrypted messengers services, encrypted email, and decentralized marketplaces like Openbazaar.

The fact of the matter is that there are still plenty of people who hold the cypherpunk ideals of the past and hope to separate money from the state in the same manner the church was removed. There’s an abundance of tools that can keep people off the KYC/AML radar and these invasive acts can be avoided. There’s been a bunch of fraudulent digital currency projects over the last decade that prey on ignorant investors but the biggest scammers in the entire crypto industry are those who embrace the existing status quo and have helped usher the surveillance state (KYC/AML) into the cryptocurrency industry.

Want to learn more about Bitcoin? Check out our getting started page. Looking to hear more about freedom, liberty, voluntaryism, the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), and more? Check out the links below.

What do you think about the relationship between cryptocurrencies and freedom? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Op-ed Disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Twitter.


Do you want to keep an eye on moving cryptocurrency prices? Visit our Bitcoin Markets tool to get real-time price updates, and head over to our Blockchain Explorer tool to view all previous BCH and BTC transactions.

 

 

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FBI Says Bitcoin Concern Is Getting ‘Bigger and Bigger’

Par Graham Smith
FBI Says Bitcoin Concern Is Getting 'Bigger and Bigger'

In a recent U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs hearing, Senator Mitt Romney expressed concerns about Bitcoin’s potential as a threat to national security. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray replied that cryptocurrency is a concern that’s “going to become a bigger and bigger one.”

Also Read: Crypto Secularizes Wealth by Returning Power to the People

What Mitt Doesn’t Know Might Affect Crypto

As more nations begin to experiment with or talk about development of their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and regulation of crypto in general, the topic of truly permissionless crypto like bitcoin is becoming hotly debated. According to a report from Forbes, the Republican senator from Utah was admittedly in the dark about the nature of cryptocurrencies, but nonetheless concerned at the hearing Tuesday. Addressing Homeland Security, National Counterterrorism Center and FBI leaders, Romney stated:

I’m not in the Banking Committee. I don’t begin to understand how cryptocurrency works. I would think it is more difficult to carry out your work when we can’t follow the money because the money is hidden from us…

The FBI Director noted that the agency views crypto “from an investigative perspective including tools that we have to try to follow the money.” Though citing the increasing efficiency with which criminals are able to utilize emergent tech and anonymizing tools, Wray was nonetheless reticent to commit to any statements about proposed regulations saying, “Well certainly for us cryptocurrency is already a significant issue and we can project out pretty easily that it’s going to become a bigger and bigger one. Whether or not that is the subject of some kind of regulation as the response is harder for me to speak to.”

Republican Senator Mitt Romney

Libra, Permissionless Money, and CBDCs

As Facebook’s ongoing battle for Libra seems to demonstrate, U.S. regulators are in no hurry to let just anybody come out with their own digital money. Even some generally opposed to Facebook couldn’t help but take small pity on CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he faced an hours-long bipartisan grilling at an October 23 hearing. Questioned on Facebook’s record of invading user privacy and other shortcomings, Zuckerberg put forth his case, stating of Libra:

The vision here is to make it so that people can send money to each other as easily and cheaply as it is sending a text message.

The topic of easy-to-use digital money is gaining popular currency these days, and even central banks are jumping on the bandwagon. There is political pressure being applied by lawmakers to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, urging openness to the possible development of a U.S. digital currency, and at least 40 other countries working on or considering the development of digital currencies worldwide, according to a study by the Bank of International Settlements.

While central bank digital currencies and Libra are both in the spotlight, the real focus of much government unease seems to be around bitcoin and other decentralized, permissionless variations of digital money. Romney, like other lawmakers in the nation, is concerned with compliance and crime. While CBDCs would be easily monitored and centrally controlled, making things like money laundering and tax evasion challenging, permissionless crypto enables easier disobedience to established laws. Romney stated at the recent hearing “[I] wonder whether there should not be some kind of effort taken in our nation to deal with cryptocurrency.”

What are your thoughts on Romney and the FBI’s remarks? Let us know in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Aaron-Schwartz, fair use.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post FBI Says Bitcoin Concern Is Getting ‘Bigger and Bigger’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Market Outlook: Crypto Whale Tales and China’s Blockchain Hype

Par Jamie Redman

During our last market outlook, cryptocurrency prices had found new foundations after the massive rally on Friday, October 25. Since then digital currency prices have been meandering roughly in the same positions after coins like BTC failed to break upper resistance on various occasions.

Also read: China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List

Crypto Prices Hold Foundational Support But Fail to Break Upper Resistance

At the time of publication, the market capitalization of all 3,000+ digital assets is hovering around $260 billion on Thursday, November 7. Currently, the top 15 coins with the largest market caps are down a few percentages between 1-5%. BTC is currently trading for $9,240 per coin and the market has an overall valuation of $166 billion today. The digital asset is down 1.44% in the last 24 hours but it’s up +0.16% for the week.

There’s around $22.7 billion in global trades today with BTC and 76% of those trades are paired against tether (USDT). ETH is swapping for $187 per coin and is down 1.74% today but ETH is up 2.3% over the last seven days. ETH has a market valuation of around $20.3 billion and roughly $9.1 billion in trade volume worldwide. XRP has lost more than 3% on Thursday and 1.11% for the week as each coin is trading for $0.29. Lastly, the stablecoin tether (USDT) is holding the fifth-largest market cap today and is capturing roughly two-thirds of all trades within the cryptoconomy.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

The fourth-largest market valuation is held by bitcoin cash (BCH) on November 7 and each BCH is swapping for $291 per coin. BCH is down 3.3% today but is up around 2.7% over the course of the last seven days. There’s about $2.28 billion in global BCH swaps and the cryptocurrency has a market cap of around $5.28 billion. Yesterday digital currency analyst John Isige noted that BCH prices re-entered the $300 range and after conquering that price point “bitcoin cash has changed focus to $400.”

“In the meantime, [BCH] is trading at $304 after a 4% gain on the day. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) breaching 70 to show that the bullish action’s momentum is at its peak,” Isige wrote on November 6. “The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) also puts emphasis on the bullish action.” The following day on November 7 shows 62% of the BCH trades are being swapped with tether (USDT). This is followed by BTC (16.8%), USD (13.8%), ETH (3%), and KRW (2.6%).

Whale Watch

Over the last two weeks, there’s been a lot of fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD) surrounding the topic of whales. First, there was a research study that was widely debunked concerning one single BTC whale allegedly manipulating the market in 2017. Then many others have been watching giant whale wallets and onchain movements that showcase massive BTC transactions. The latest bitcoin whale discussion is centered around the Twitter account @whale_alert which has noticed a dormant BTC address housing 80,000 BTC.

“That address alone — if that is actually a whale who’s been holding their coins for so long without doing anything with them — if they decide, ‘Okay, let’s go sell them,’ it would crush the market completely,” Whale Alert explained in a recent interview. “But it’s really hard to say anything about the status of that address: Are those keys lost? Is that person even still alive? … It’s just waiting to see if anything happens with those addresses,” the Twitter account added. Meanwhile according to data stemming from the crypto analysis site Coin Metrics, the Bitcoin Rich List (BTC holders with 1,000 or more) has grown by 30% in the last year.

China Embracing Blockchain Could Be Bearish or Bullish

As news.Bitcoin.com’s Lubomir Tassev reported on November 6, the new edition of China’s Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog has removed bitcoin mining from the unwanted industries list. Since the General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping, lauded blockchain in a recent speech, digital currency markets have seen a massive boom and many people believe the new outlook from China is optimistic. There has been a huge shift from Chinese residents transitioning from the over-the-counter marketplace Localbitcoins to Paxful after localbitcoins.com published strict KYC/AML policies.

Moreover, Chinese traders are using other avenues like Localethereum and local.Bitcoin.com as well. However, various pundits believe that China will build a digital currency that will hurt public cryptos like bitcoin in the future. Gold bug and economist Peter Schiff believes a gold-backed digital currency stemming from China will be “bearish for bitcoin.” Schiff tweeted his opinion on November 1 saying:

According to Max Keiser, I’m an idiot because I think gold is better money than bitcoin. He also claims China is about to launch a cryptocurrency backed by gold. This is bullish for gold and bearish for bitcoin. A crypto backed by gold is much better than one backed by nothing.

BTC Is Not a Great Medium of Exchange’ Says Facebook’s Crypto Boss

On November 6, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency subsidiary Calibra, David Marcus, told participants at the New York Times Dealbook Conference that BTC is an investment and not a currency.

Facebook’s crypto boss, David Marcus says BTC is not a good medium of exchange.

“I don’t think of bitcoin as a currency — It’s actually not a great medium of exchange because of its volatility — I see it as digital gold.” Moreover, Marcus highlighted that BTC basically conformed to the traditional status quo investment environment because it’s not considered a medium of exchange. Marcus said a key reason that Bitcoin has not been regulated out of existence is because it is not perceived to be a medium of exchange. “It’s an investment class that’s decorrelated from the rest of the market — Why feel threatened by that?”

Will Bullish Markets Continue or Are We Seeing a Fake-Out?

Overall cryptocurrency fans and observers are watching market movements, but things have been quiet lately as far as big price movements are concerned. Some people believe crypto markets will break through the upper resistance and continue the bullish trend that started on October 25.

I am being asked about a Head Fake on the six hour $btcusd chart. The setup up is near perfect all that is needed is completion, a hard down bar. https://t.co/6GmgDiy3yz I'll be talking about these in Milan for Swissquote this Friday. @Swissquote_it

— John Bollinger (@bbands) November 5, 2019

Others believe the current jump could be a fake-out, and after a few attempts, BTC’s market value could see the $7-8K price ranges again. Digital currency markets are seemingly at a pivotal position once again as traders hope and pray they played their positions correctly.

Where do you see the cryptocurrency 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.” Cryptocurrency prices referenced in this article were recorded at 9:15 a.m. EST.


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Bitcoin.com Markets, Getty, Coinlib.io, Wiki Commons, bitcoinblockhalf.com, and Pixabay.


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Turkey Becomes the Latest Nation to Work on Digital Fiat

Par Lubomir Tassev
Turkey Becomes the Latest Nation to Work on Digital Fiat

Trade wars, sanctions, fear from private and decentralized cryptocurrencies. Regardless of the motive, a number of governments have recently taken the path of creating their own digital money. Turkey has become the latest country to announce plans for the issue of a “blockchain-based” national currency.

Also read: China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List

Digital Lira to Be Tested as Ankara Builds Fintech Ecosystem

The project to develop a digital lira has found a place in Recep Erdogan’s Annual Presidential Program, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. According to the recently published document, Turkey is set to launch the coin as soon as it completes the design, development and testing phases. The program explicitly notes that a “blockchain-based digital currency” will be introduced.

Tests with the Turkish crypto are expected to commence as early as 2020 but the leadership in Ankara doesn’t stop there. The wider plan is to adopt a roadmap for the development of а full-fledged fintech ecosystem in the country. As part of these efforts, the presidential program envisages the establishment of a “financial technopark” in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and economic capital.

Turkey Becomes the Latest Nation to Work on Digital Fiat
Istanbul

The digital lira initiative comes at a time when Turkey is facing mounting economic and financial challenges. Soured relations with the U.S. over Ankara’s rapprochement with Moscow and other independent moves by Erdogan’s administration have even led to a threat from President Trump to “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.”

Over the past few years Turkey was also struggling with high inflation of the paper lira, which has greatly increased the popularity of decentralized cryptocurrencies in the country. A fifth of the Turkish respondents in a study conducted this year stated they owned digital coins. The inflation trend has been reversed in the past months, however, with the rate dropping from over 20% in January to below 9% in October.

Last month, the Central Bank of Turkey cut interest rates to 14% from 16.5% in September and is expected to announce another cut in December. The issue of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) fits in with Ankara’s broader objective to improve and strengthen the country’s economy as well as to build a more stable financial sector with plans for Turkey to become a global financial center. These goals have also been specified in the new presidential program.

States Competing to Issue Digital Currencies

The Turkish government is not the only one working on a digital version of its fiat currency. According to a report published earlier this year by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), 70% of 63 surveyed central banks are exploring options to introduce CBDCs. According to another report by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum think tank, as part of which officials from 23 central banks were polled, the first CBDC will be produced within five years, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

The BIS study was quoted in a letter sent by two congressmen to the Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell in September. The lawmakers, democrat Bill Foster and republican French Hill, urged the Fed to consider creating a national digital currency, noting that 40 countries are already looking into developing CBDCs. Pressure on the U.S. government to put out a digital dollar has been mounting amid fears of possible decline of the greenback as the world’s reserve currency in competition with private and government-issued digital currencies.

Turkey Becomes the Latest Nation to Work on Digital Fiat

Similar concerns have been expressed in the European Union as well. A recent report by Reuters quoted a draft EU document stating that the European Central Bank should think of introducing a public digital currency to counter Facebook’s project to issue a private coin for users of the social network. The document, prepared by the Finnish presidency for next month’s meeting of EU finance ministers, also urges the Union to develop a common approach and increase regulatory efforts regarding cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has been working on a digital yuan for some time, with the People’s Bank of China recently posting a recruitment notice for six professionals with cryptographic and related experience. A project to issue a Chinese digital currency is part of the recently prioritized blockchain development of the country. A digital yuan would potentially give China an edge in the intensifying competition for global dominance with the U.S. and other major geopolitical players.

Do you expect Turkey to launch a digital version of the lira as early as next year? Share your thoughts 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.

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Bitcoin History Part 19: Wikileaks and the Hornet’s Nest

Par Kai Sedgwick
Bitcoin History Part 19: WikiLeaks and the Hornet’s Nest

“WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.” With those 13 words, Satoshi Nakamoto stepped into oblivion, leaving a blizzard of unanswered questions that would enshroud his disappearance. That ominous message was to prove his penultimate forum post, dispatched a day before his final entry. What happened to put Wikileaks in the crosshairs of Bitcoin’s creator?

Also read: Bitcoin History Part 18: The First Bitcoin Wallet

Wikileaks Shines a Light on Bitcoin

Satoshi’s words were freighted with such a sense of foreboding that many believe they signified the writing on the wall; a sign that Nakamoto’s tenure as Bitcoin figurehead had reached its inevitable end. His remark that Wikileaks had “kicked the hornet’s nest” referred to the possibility of the controversial whistleblower website turning to bitcoin, after the U.S. government forced companies like Visa, Mastercard and Paypal to blockade the organization. According to an earlier post by Satoshi, the bitcoin project needed “to grow gradually so the software can be strengthened along the way,” and the association with Wikileaks came too early in its development.

As a disoriented Julian Assange attempts to fight extradition to the U.S. in the British courts, having earlier claimed to have made a 50,000% return on bitcoin in the years following Satoshi’s disappearance, it’s interesting to look back to that period – December, 2010 – when Satoshi’s retreat began and Wikileaks’ investment in bitcoin started being seriously discussed. This was a true fork in the road, significant not only to the history of bitcoin but also to state surveillance and those who would kick back at it.

Bitcoin History Part 19: WikiLeaks and the Hornet’s Nest

The Man Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

You might wonder why Bitcoin’s founder was so alarmed by the news that Wikileaks was seeking to raise funds using the decentralized payment system. After all, bitcoin was designed to bypass gatekeepers and obviate the need for a central authority – and here was a perfect use case to prove its merits.

In response to a forum member positively touting Wikileaks’ embracement of bitcoin, published exactly one week before his final forum post, Satoshi said: “No, don’t “bring it on”… Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage.”

The problem was very clear, as Satoshi saw it: unwanted government interest in the nascent digital currency was the last thing it needed at that point in time. And since just about every other payment gateway was refusing to process donations to Wikileaks, Julian Assange’s solicitation of donations via bitcoin seemed to be a matter of time. At the very least, Satoshi wanted such a move to be discouraged – and he conveyed as much to Assange, as recounted by the latter in a 2014 Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session and also in his book “When Google Met WikiLeaks”:

WikiLeaks read and agreed with Satoshi’s analysis, and decided to put off the launch of a Bitcoin donation channel until the currency had become more established. WikiLeaks’ Bitcoin donation address was launched after the currency’s first major boom, on June 14, 2011.

Interestingly, the besieged organization opened the floodgates for bitcoin donations just two months after Satoshi’s last ever correspondence – an email to collaborator Gavin Andresen.

Bitcoin History Part 19: WikiLeaks and the Hornet’s Nest

The rest, as they say, is history: Wikileaks received tens of millions of dollars in bitcoin donations between 2011 and 2018 (the exact figure continues to be disputed), Assange spent years in London’s Ecuadorian embassy before being arrested, and in Satoshi’s absence, Bitcoin was to kick many more hornets’ nests only to emerge, each time, stronger.

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 18 here.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Hong Kong Now Offers Opt-In Regulation to Crypto Exchanges

Par Kevin Helms
Hong Kong Now Offers Opt-In Regulation to Crypto Exchanges

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has established a new regulatory framework that allows crypto exchanges to opt-in to be licensed and regulated. Starting Wednesday, centralized trading platforms can apply for a license, providing they meet certain requirements including adequate measures for the safe custody of assets, insurance, hot and cold wallets, and private key management.

Also read: 23 Central Banks Divulge Their Digital Currency Requirements

An Opt-In System

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published a new regulatory framework for crypto exchanges on Wednesday. CEO Ashley Alder explained that the commission met with a number of crypto exchange operators after unveiling a conceptual framework that could be used to regulate crypto exchanges last year. “After an in-depth examination of the unique technical and operational features of these platforms, we finally concluded that some could be regulated by us,” he remarked.

Hong Kong Now Offers Opt-In Regulation to Crypto Exchanges
SFC CEO Ashley Alder

The commission has been focusing on whether to regulate crypto exchanges. Alder elaborated, “We saw this as a priority because this type of platform has proliferated in Hong Kong and up to now has largely escaped any form of regulation,” adding that it is largely because crypto assets fall outside the legal definition of securities and futures contracts. Since bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not securities and “nothing in our new framework alters this position,” he admitted that the SFC can only regulate those platforms that choose to include at least one security crypto asset or token for trading. “But once this happens our new rules will apply to all platform operations, even if the vast majority of other virtual assets traded on the platform are not securities.” The CEO clarified:

So this, essentially, is a framework allowing a platform operator to opt-in to regulation … Once licenses are granted to those platforms which choose to opt-in, investors will then be able to distinguish easily between properly regulated platforms, and all the rest.

Hong Kong Now Offers Opt-In Regulation to Crypto Exchanges

What the Regulation Entails

The SFC detailed in its “Position Paper” published on Wednesday the rules and requirements for crypto trading platforms to be regulated. The commission also emphasized that only centralized platforms in Hong Kong that provide crypto trading, clearing, and settlement services will be considered for licensing. Applications from peer-to-peer marketplaces will not be accepted at this time. The SFC confirmed:

As from 6 November 2019, a firm which operates a centralized virtual asset trading platform in Hong Kong and intends to offer trading of at least one security token on this platform may apply for a license from the SFC for Types 1 and 7 regulated activities.

The Type 1 license is for dealing in securities and the Type 7 is for automated trading services (ATS) activities. The commission also requires all trading activities of its licensees, including those conducted by their group companies, to be carried out under a single, SFC-licensed legal entity. The regulator explained that not only will it allow for comprehensive oversight, but it also “minimizes any uncertainty about which parts of the business are licensed and supervised by the SFC.”

Hong Kong Now Offers Opt-In Regulation to Crypto Exchanges

Further, licensees are required to obtain prior written approval from the SFC for any plan or proposal such as for introducing or offering a new or incidental product or service, or to make a material change to an existing service or activity. Licensees must also provide monthly reports to the commission and engage an independent professional firm to review their activities and operations annually.

The Position Paper also outlines licensing conditions, the first of which details who can trade on licensed platforms. The SFC noted:

The licensee must only provide services to professional investors.

The definition of a professional investor is extensive; it includes an individual, a partnership or a corporation with a portfolio of at least 8 million HKD (~$1 million) or equivalent, or a trust corporation with total assets of at least 40 million HKD or equivalent.

For the safe custody of assets, the SFC requires licensees “to ensure that an insurance policy covering the risks associated with the custody of virtual assets held in both hot storage (full coverage) and cold storage (a substantial coverage, eg, 95%) is in effect at all times.” Licensed platform operators and their associated entities must also store 98% of client crypto assets in cold wallets and limit the amount stored in hot wallets to 2%. The commission also expects them “to set up and implement strong internal controls and governance procedures for private key management to ensure all cryptographic seeds and keys are securely generated, stored and backed up.” Moreover, the SFC added:

A virtual asset trading platform operator, upon becoming licensed, will be placed in the SFC Regulatory Sandbox. This would typically mean more frequent reporting, monitoring and reviews.

There are many more conditions that must be met, including complying with the SFC code of conduct and having adequate measures for know-your-client (KYC), anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), preventing market manipulation and abusive activities, accounting and auditing, and risk management.

What do you think of Hong Kong’s opt-in regulation for crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Asianinvestor.


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.

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Meet Flowee the Hub: A Feature-Rich Bitcoin Cash Validator

Par Jamie Redman
Meet Flowee the Hub: A Feature-Rich Bitcoin Cash Validator

Bitcoin Cash development has been growing wildly over the last year between third party services and infrastructure. Since the inception of BCH, there’s been a number of full node clients that not only distribute important binary data but offer a variety of different features as well. One such project is the Bitcoin Cash validator and database created by Tom Zander called Flowee the Hub, a BCH client that aims to be a multi-service node that offers a myriad of functionality.

Also Read: Video: Will Bitcoin Crash or Double in Price After the Halving? Miners Have Their Say

Flowee the Hub

When Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin codebase in 2009 he wrote the protocol using the programming language C++, but Bitcoin itself can conform to any language and any full node implementation that follows the consensus rules. Bitcoin Cash has 1,525 public nodes running BCH and there are five different BCH full nodes, according to Coin Dance statistics. At the moment there’s Bitcoin ABC, BCHD, Bitcoin Unlimited, Bitcoin Verde, and Flowee the Hub. The project Flowee is a BCH validator and database created by blockchain developer Tom Zander.

Meet Flowee the Hub: A Feature-Rich Bitcoin Cash Validator

The full node client validates BCH transactions so users and organizations can verify the data as factual. The software can forward transactions and provide a record of incoming transactions as well, giving the Flowee user real-time data. Beyond the full node operations, Flowee also offers foundational support for applications. Essentially Flowee’s ‘Hub’ is a full suite of application program interfaces (APIs) or a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building with Bitcoin Cash.

Meet Flowee the Hub: A Feature-Rich Bitcoin Cash Validator

When Zander introduced the platform to the BCH community he explained how he created Flowee in order to produce an infinitely scalable client that can “talk to the blockchain in an easy to understand API.” “No fussing with other people’s software or unreliable third parties,” the platform’s website explains. “Flowee lets you process or create Bitcoin Cash payments within your own applications.” The developer known as ‘Imaginary Username’ described Flowee in a very succinct way when the project was first established. The software engineer stated:

For the people needing a TL;DR: Tom Zander is looking to build a “full-service” BCH node that integrates various useful functions at a more basic level (that make explorer et. al. easier to deploy and run), has native multithreading to get over the block/tx validation problem, has memory-mapped blocks to reduce RAM usage (so gigabyte blocks can be deployed painlessly) and can be easily managed. Imagine having the Bitpay infrastructure under one roof, on a GPL license.

Meet Flowee the Hub: A Feature-Rich Bitcoin Cash Validator

Bitcoin Cash Can Scale

Flowee has four different paths: the hub, an indexer, a transaction ‘vulcano,’ and a point-of-sale system called the Flowee Cashier that’s under construction. Essentially, the indexer allows people to obtain indexes from the BCH chain in a fast manner. “Indexer is a stand-alone service you can deploy on one (or more) machines and they create an index of the most important details of the transactions database that the hub stores,” the indexer documentation details. “This allows you to ‘follow the money,’ as it were. Any department that wants to do any sort of client followup towards payments will want to have access to an indexer.” The transaction vulcano (txVulcano) is a test tool designed to “create massive amounts of transactions.” According to the documentation, the transaction vulcano’s main focus is to mine blocks and use the block reward to create more transactions with more inputs. The vulcano process continues in a repetitive cycle in order to process extremely large blocks.

In March, the Flowee developer revealed that the project was “stress tested and used to create big blocks for a week.” Zander added:

1.2 million transactions in 400MB processed in 45 seconds.

Meet Flowee the Hub: A Feature-Rich Bitcoin Cash Validator

Flowee the Hub is open source and the code can be found on Gitlab and reference documentation is available on docs/hub. Just recently Flowee published the 2019-09 release, which offers APIs and features support for the November 15 upgrade. The latest Flowee version specifications can be reviewed here and people are urged to upgrade the software as soon as possible before the upgrade. Zander noted on November 6 that installing the latest Flowee release was a breeze. “I installed Flowee the Hub on a simple server last night and the initial block sync took only 2 hours,” the developer tweeted. “Processing the entire 11-year block history — I think this is a good prove that Bitcoin Cash can scale already very well, thanks.”

Meet Flowee the Hub: A Feature-Rich Bitcoin Cash Validator

Flowee is a BCH implementation that has been out for quite some time and the software aims to bolster scaling while also offering a suite of services. While Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin Unlimited are the dominant nodes, other BCH clients offer people a choice while providing different sets of features as well. For example, BCHD is a full node BCH implementation written in Go (golang) that provides an advanced API, adjustable blocksize cap, BIP 157/158, BIP 68, and other features. Bitcoin Verde is a full node client that was built from the ground up and offers a block explorer and library. Multiple clients like Flowee and other BCH implementations can provide developers creating BCH apps and other types of platforms the tools they need to create robust products and services while speeding up their workflow. If you are interested in what Flowee has to offer, check out the project’s getting started page.

What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash platform Flowee the Hub? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Flowee the Hub, and Pixabay.


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.

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Kim Dotcom Token Sale Postponed Over ‘Regulatory Uncertainty’

Par Jamie Redman
Kim Dotcom Token Sale Postponed Over 'Regulatory Uncertainty'

In 2017, Kim Dotcom, the founder of the now-defunct file hosting service Megaupload, revealed a similar service called K.im that planned to give anyone the ability to upload files, documents, code, videos, and music files and get paid in crypto for their work. Since then, Dotcom’s team disclosed there would be an exchange sale for Kimcoin token on the digital asset exchange Bitfinex. However, Bitfinex and the K.im platform team say that “regulatory uncertainty” has caused them to postpone the sale.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Captured 90% of October’s Crypto Spending in Australia

Kim Dotcom’s K.im Token Sale Delayed Indefinitely

The token sale for the K.im platform is being postponed according to a blog post from the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. K.im is a project that was created by the notorious Kim Dotcom, the New Zealand resident who once operated the popular file-sharing site Megaupload. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) seized the website and charged Dotcom with copyright infringement. Since then, Dotcom has been a popular socialite on Twitter and is well known for his appreciation for cryptocurrencies like BTC.

Kim Dotcom Token Sale Postponed Over 'Regulatory Uncertainty'
During the crypto bull run of 2017, Kim Dotcom announced his content monetization platform called K.im.

For instance, on October 31, the 11th anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper, Dotcom tweeted that “crypto is all about freedom.” Over the last few years, the former Megaupload boss has been working on a project called K.im, a platform designed so users can upload content and be rewarded with small fractions of bitcoin micropayments. News.Bitcoin.com was invited to privately demo the application in August 2017 but the K.im project hasn’t been officially released and people can only demo the app.

Kim Dotcom Token Sale Postponed Over 'Regulatory Uncertainty'

Dotcom’s team also used the fundraising platform bnktothefuture.com and raised $1,061,696 from 330 investors. The project’s elevator pitch explained that Dotcom’s blockchain platform would aim to provide better privacy and leverage the BTC chain to glue the foundation together. Additionally, the K.im platform and Bitcache would use other blockchain solutions like storj and maidsafe. In September 2019, the project’s whitepaper disclosed that the K.im project would use a native token called Kimcoin to facilitate access to the content held on the network. The whitepaper revealed that Kimcoin was not going to be mined but minted using the Liquid network, a federated sidechain developed by Blockstream. The file-sharing platform would allow users to utilize BTC payments but Kimcoin was said to have more of an advantage because it’s less cumbersome. Kimcoin would also have other perks and a rewards program.

Kim Dotcom Token Sale Postponed Over 'Regulatory Uncertainty'

Bitfinex and the K.im Team Mutually Agree Not to Hold Token Sale at This Time

Kimcoins were supposed to be sold on Bitfinex on October 22 and the coin would eventually be listed on the exchange in Q3 2020. However, on November 5, Bitfinex told potential investors that the token sale would be delayed because of regulatory concerns. “Since we announced the debut of Kimcoin on the Bitfinex Token Sale platform, the regulatory environment has rapidly evolved,” the exchange wrote. “The risks associated with raising funds for the K.im token sale have become clear, and we must put our community’s best interest first and foremost.” The news follows the recent SEC fines given to projects like EOS and Siacoin. The project Igobit and its founder was charged by the DoJ on November 6 for “participation in an investment scheme tied to a purported digital coin offering.” The Kimcoin token sale organizers may have decided to cancel after the domino effect of ICO-based criminal charges and court settlements in recent weeks.

“After careful evaluation, we regret to announce that Bitfinex Token Sales and the K.im team have mutually agreed not to hold the token sale at this time,” Bitfinex disclosed. “K.im will defer any decision on whether to create tokens on, or undertake a token issue in relation to the K.im platform until it is fully functional,” Bitfinex added:

In the meantime, the K.im platform project itself will continue and it is likely that an equity-based offer will be made some time in the near future to qualifying investors who wish to become involved at this stage of the project.

Kim Dotcom Token Sale Postponed Over 'Regulatory Uncertainty'
K.im platform roadmap according to the whitepaper.

Dotcom’s platform has been in the making for a very long time and has seen quite a few hurdles along the way. For three years, people have been waiting to see the project unfold but now have to wait even longer because of the regulatory opacity. The project’s roadmap shows that with the token sale being pushed off, it may delay other projected accomplishments like Liquid network integration slated for Q1 2020, K.im application services and prototyping, and the official Kimcoin launch that was supposed to happen in Q3 2020.

What do you think about Kim Dotcom’s K.im token sale delay? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, software, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Independent, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, the K.im platform, and white paper, and Pixabay.


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Conceal and Reveal: The Evolution of Privacy Coin Technology

Par Kai Sedgwick
Conceal and Reveal: The Evolution of Privacy Coin Technology

Privacy can assume many forms and occur on many levels. The technologies that blockchain architects originally envisioned for privacy coins are now being utilized by an array of crypto stakeholders, from enterprises to exchanges. What began as a means of transacting anonymously has spawned a burgeoning industry, built upon technologies designed to conceal, but which can also be programmed to reveal to a select few.

Also read: Chinese Communist Party Reportedly Filling Roles at Top Exchange Huobi

zk-Snarks

zk-Snarks are best known for their use in privacy coin protocols such as Zcash. These “zero knowledge proofs” have far broader applications than simply masking the sender and receiver when transmitting crypto via a public ledger. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that a statement is true, without revealing any information about the statement itself.

To break this down into a simple analogy, imagine that Farmer Bob is selling some livestock at the market. He wishes to prove to the auctioneer that there is a cow in his trailer, but without opening the door (cos then the creature would escape). Using a heat sensor installed inside the trailer, Bob can prove that there is a living, breathing animal inside, but the auctioneer will have no way of knowing which cow it is, or even whether the animal is a cow (unless it moos and gives the game away). That, essentially, is how a zk-Snark operates: proof that something is true, while disclosing zero knowledge about the thing in question.

As for how zk-Snarks can be deployed outside of privacy coin transactions, look no further than smart contracts. Quras, for example, is using the technology to provision privacy-enabled smart contracts that run on its eponymous VM. Applications include concealing information pertaining to credit history; enabling healthcare and medical information from IoT devices to be shared confidentially; and facilitating sealed auctions that are executed using smart contracts.

Conceal and Reveal: The Evolution of Privacy Coin Technology

Mohammad Mazen is the CEO of Burency, a cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain research and development platform. Expounding on why private smart contracts are desirable, he told news.Bitcoin.com: “Smart contracts have the potential to automate business processes ranging from calculating insurance premiums to powering decentralized synthetics markets, but for this to happen, there needs to be privacy built in. Broadcasting information on-chain nullifies any benefits that might otherwise have been gained through using blockchain, since publicly verifiable smart contracts enable observers to frontrun markets and steal competitors’ proprietary algorithms. Privacy technology provides a means to conceal the secret sauce that’s in a smart contract, while still enabling its integrity to be verified.”

Mimblewimble

zk-Snarks aren’t the only privacy technology whose applications extend far beyond those originally envisioned by its pseudonymous creator. The origins of Mimblewimble don’t need retelling again, but its evolution does. Although utilized by both Grin and Beam – and soon Litecoin too – it is the Beam iteration of Mimblewimble that has applications for the broadest range of users. Understanding how Mimblewimble works isn’t easy, unless you’re au fait with elliptic curve cryptography. Even Beam’s attempt at explaining the process via a series of dumbed down metaphors takes some digesting.

What’s relevant here isn’t so much the way in which Mimblewimble works, but the fact that it can provide complete transactional anonymity between parties while being compatible with implementations such as Beam that enable optional audibility. Digitally signed documentation can be attached to transactions, giving an approved auditor permission to view the transactions associated with a particular key. For cypherpunks intent on concealing their activity from snooping governments, that ability will be of little interest, but for businesses that wish to conceal their day-to-day affairs from the public (paying staff, contractors, and purchasing goods) while still remaining compliant from an accounting perspective, it’s extremely useful.

Conceal and Reveal: The Evolution of Privacy Coin Technology

Bulletproofs

Bulletproofs are actually part of the zero-knowledge proofs family and allow multiple range proofs from different parties to be aggregated into one proof. What this means, in practice, is that bulletproofs allow for information to be significantly compressed without compromising its validity. When integrated into Monero last year, for example, bulletproofs slashed transaction fees through reducing the average size of each transaction.

There is a number of interesting applications for bulletproofs outside of facilitating confidential transactions. They can be used in proof of solvency, for instance, with one research paper noting: “A Bitcoin exchange with 2 million customers needs approximately 18GB to prove solvency in a confidential manner … Using Bulletproofs and its variant protocols … this size could be reduced to approximately 62MB.” The same paper lists a total of eight use cases for bulletproofs, including smart contracts and crypto derivatives.

Privacy coin tech follows the same adoption curve as other disruptive technologies: first it’s used by criminals, outlaws, and geeks. Then by enterprises, ordinary end users and even governments. Just as it was with encryption, so it is proving to be with privacy-preserving tech: from unknown to ostracized to indispensable in under a decade.

What other privacy technologies have broad applications beyond simply enabling anonymous transactions? 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.

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China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List

Par Lubomir Tassev
China Takes Bitcoin Mining Out of Unwanted Industries List

Inspired by its new fascination with blockchain, China now seems to have changed its mind about cryptocurrency mining. The latest version of a national macroeconomic plan indicates that the government in Beijing has given up intentions to suppress the bitcoin mining industry, in which Chinese companies have become global leaders.

Also read: Another Chinese Lender Bailed Out After Bank Run

Mining Not to Be ‘Eliminated’

The Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog, issued by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has lost a reference to crypto mining activities. This is actually good news as a draft released earlier this year had mining among industries that Beijing wanted local administrations to get rid of. “That doesn’t mean mining is legal, but it is less illegal,” a Chinese miner contacted by news.Bitcoin.com remarked confirming the news.

China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List

The final version of the document, which was published this week, will enter into force in January 2020. The catalog lists industries that regional authorities are advised to encourage, restrict or eliminate. The initial policy proposal prepared by the central government agency in April reportedly mentioned virtual currency mining in the ‘eliminate’ category.

NDRC, formerly the State Development Planning Commission, is responsible for macroeconomic management. It operates under the State Council, which is China’s main administrative authority controlling the country’s economy. The commission formulates policies for economic and social development and guides restructuring efforts. With around two dozen departments and agencies under its umbrella, it effectively functions as a mini version of the Chinese government.

China’s Dominance in Bitcoin Minting

Cheap electrical energy and suitable climate have turned China into a hotspot for the business of minting digital coins. The People’s Republic is a global leader in bitcoin mining with Chinese pools controlling around 70% of the BTC network’s collective hashrate. The most populous country is home to the world’s largest mining operations and mining hardware manufacturers such as Beijing-based Bitmain.

China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List

The Chinese government has treated various crypto-related business activities differently. While cryptocurrency exchanges and coin offering projects were effectively banned from the mainland, authorities have largely turned a blind eye to digital currency mining. What’s more, in regions such as Sichuan, mining farms utilize electricity from state-owned hydropower plants even under contractual arrangements, as news.Bitcoin.com reported during the rainy season this summer. This year’s crypto market recovery made bitcoin mining profitable again and anyone can participate without having to acquire mining equipment thanks to services offered by platforms such as the Bitcoin.com Pool.

China’s role, both in the traditional economy and the crypto space, has been growing for years but the ongoing trade war with the U.S. forced the country to intensify the search for alternative paths of development. A recent Politburo speech by the General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping, indicated that Beijing has decided to put blockchain in the focus of these efforts. And although China has never been particularly friendly to decentralized cryptocurrencies, it’s developing a digital yuan instead, and crypto markets have reacted positively to the move that many in the industry view as a bullish step.

Do you expect the removal of crypto mining from the list of unwanted industries in China’s macroeconomic plan to have a positive effect on the bitcoin mining industry? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can earn BTC and BCH through Bitcoin Mining? If you already own hardware, connect it to our powerful Bitcoin mining pool. If not, you can easily get started through one of our flexible Bitcoin cloud mining contracts.

The post China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Video: Bitcoin Cash Lets You Buy Equity Over the Counter at a Bar

Par Avi Mizrahi
Video: Bitcoin Cash Lets You Buy Equity Over the Counter at a Bar

With all the talk about investing in digital assets new people to the scene might not know that cryptocurrency is still being used as peer-to-peer electronic cash as it was intended. The latest video from Bitcoin.com shows how BCH is used to buy anything from drinks at the bar to equity in a venture safely and easily.

Also Read: Video: Will Bitcoin Crash or Double in Price After the Halving? Miners Have Their Say

Using Cryptocurrency at the Bar

The Bitcoin.com team recently attended a bitcoin cash meetup at Brewdog in London to sample some of the BCH-fueled nightlife the British capital has to offer. A short video with highlights from the event showcases how cryptocurrency is used by real people to make payments today for everyday purchases such as drinks at the bar.

The London meetup also gave a chance for new people to learn about using the Bitcoin.com Wallet for fast, cheap and reliable payments firsthand. They got on the spot, real money demonstrations from the team including the company’s top leadership of Executive Chairman Roger Ver and CEO Stefan Rust.

Watch the video on the official Bitcoin.com Youtube channel, subscribe and make sure to leave a comment to join the discussion.

Equity for Punks

One interesting highlight from the Brewdog meetup video is seeing how CEO Stefan Rust bought shares in the craft brewer with bitcoin cash right at the bar. In July of this year Brewdog, which had already been selling beers for BCH since 2018, revealed that the public can also invest in the company using cryptocurrency. It has a crew of over 1,500 employees, 80 locations worldwide with two breweries in Ellon, Scotland and Columbus, Ohio that export to 60 markets globally.

The brewery’s crowdfunding project, “Equity for Punks,” has been extended until April 2020 and accepts bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), omisego (OMG), qtum (QTUM), augur (REP), 0x (ZRX), bitcoin SV (BSV), ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and ripple (XRP). Shares in Brewdog cost £25 each and can be redeemed through the company’s website. It had already raised over £72 million from more than 114,000 people around the world before opening up the crypto option.

Video: Bitcoin Cash Lets You Buy Equity Over the Counter at a Bar

James Watt, Captain of Brewdog, stated at the time: “Our Equity Punks are our community, our shareholders and our friends and the driving force behind our business. The growth BrewDog has shown over the last decade could only have been achieved with their encouragement and support and together we have shown the city slickers what can be achieved with taking charge of something you believe in. Cryptocurrency is exactly the same. If you embrace change to subvert the mainstream we are in your corner; whether your weapons of choice are malt, hops, yeast and water or blockchain.”

Join a Bitcoin Cash Meetup

If you want to join a similar event, you’ll find many local bitcoin cash meetups available all over the world at Bitcoin.com’s Events page. You can use the map tool to zoom in on your area to see what meetups are available nearby, or just search the directory listing them by continents, countries, cities and so on.

You can also create a new bitcoin cash meetup yourself. If you need help with this, on the same page you have the option to contact the Bitcoin.com team for support in setting up your new group and getting more people to join meetings based on their experience. Offering drinks for crypto can probably help with getting more people onboard.

An additional way to find bitcoin cash meetups or to see how successful ones are organized is to follow @BCHMeetups on Twitter. This profile routinely publishes posts on BCH gatherings happening in many different countries, information on where people can find meetups in their area, as well as pictures and stories from events that have already taken place.

What do you think about using cryptocurrency as a payment method to buy equity at a bar? 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 Video: Bitcoin Cash Lets You Buy Equity Over the Counter at a Bar appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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