Unofficial Report Confirms Tether’s Tokens Are Fully Backed by US Dollars

Tether Hired Former FBI Director’s Law Firm to Vet Finances

Tether Ltd., which issues a stable coin allegedly tied to U.S. dollar reserves, claims it has hired Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP — a law firm co-founded by FBI Director Louis Freeh — to confirm its bank deposits and assure investors that its cryptocurrency is backed by USD. While the law firm did not perform an official audit, it did have access to Tether’s bank accounts and has released data regarding how much money the company holds.

According to Tether CEO Jan Ludovicus van der Velde, the amount confirmed by Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan is equal to the $2.54 billion in coins Tether claims to have in circulation. This reportedly confirms that all Tethers were sufficiently backed by USD as of June 1, 2018.

Van der Velde said, “We’re glad to have independent verification of this to answer some of the questions posed by the public. We are by no means done with our efforts to promote increased transparency at Tether. We are planning to build on this report moving forward and, despite the challenges of applying current accounting and assurance standards to cryptocurrency clients, we continue to discuss these issues with potential audit partners.”

A full audit cannot be obtained, according to Tether’s general counsel Stuart Hoegner. He states that the cryptocurrency market looks “too nascent for large accounting firms to consider taking on clients who offer digital coins” and that “the big four firms are anathema to that level of risk. We’ve gone for what we think is the next best thing.”

Tether has been the subject of mass controversy over the last week after a 66-page document was issued by University of Texas finance professor John Griffin. It alleges bitcoin’s spike to $20,000 in December 2017 was the result of price manipulation orchestrated by Tether.

Griffin claims he reached his conclusions by examining transactions that took place via cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. He says that Tether was used to purchase bitcoin at key points when it was declining, which helped to “stabilize and manipulate” the currency’s price.

“I research things that are potentially illegal, and there are a lot of rumors surrounding potential questionable activity in cryptocurrencies,” Griffin proclaimed. “That’s why it’s useful to see what the data says — data speaks.”

Van der Velde responded to the accusations by commenting, “Tether is, nor has it ever been, engaged in any sort of market or price manipulation.”

Some questions remain unanswered regarding the cryptocurrency’s status, however. For one thing, the two banks holding the company’s accounts have not been named, primarily because “banking relationships are private,” as stated by Hoegner.

It is also understood that Eugene Sullivan — one of the law firm’s partners and a formal federal judge — is on an advisory board to one of the institutions in question, and that the investigation relied primarily on in-person and over-the-phone interviews with Tether and its bank representatives to come to its present findings.

The firm’s official report states that investigators did not perform “the above review and confirmations using generally accepted accounting principles,” and that they have not made any conclusions regarding Tether’s activity before or after the set date of June 1.

The document ends by stating the investigators have “assumed, without further inquiry, that the bank personnel providing the confirmations were duly authorized to provide such confirmations, and that the confirmations were correct.”

This is not the first time Tether has passed an unofficial audit. Last September, the company released a report conducted by U.S.-based auditor Friedman LLP which states that, at the time, Tether’s reserves matched the amount of USD in circulation. It was later pointed out that the document did not constitute a full audit, and Tether had ended its relationship with Friedman LLP before this could occur. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) later subpoenaed Tether for more information.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Blockchain-Based Community Currencies to Be Launched in Kenya

Blockchain-Based Community Currencies to Be Launched in Kenya

Bancor has announced today it will launch a network of blockchain-based community currencies in Kenya. The new project is expected to combat poverty through the stimulation of local and regional commerce and peer-to-peer collaboration.

By using the Bancor Network, disadvantaged communities in Kenya will be able to create digital currencies that can hold one or more balances in a connected way such that integrated currencies can be swapped for one another without needing a counterparty.

Bancor will launch the new currencies by contributing capital from the proceeds of its $153 million token sales in 2017.

In correspondence with Bitcoin Magazine, Galia Benartzi, Bancor’s co-founder, said, “Bancor will serve as one of several donors in the program providing initial capital to fund the token balances contained within each of the community currencies. In addition, Bancor will provide in-kind operational support, including technical and integrations work, marketing and hardware to get the currencies distributed and operational.”

The company will partner with Kenyan nonprofit foundation Grassroots Economics, who has experience developing community currency programs in Africa.

Grassroots Economics founder Will Ruddick, who is also the newly appointed director of community currencies at Bancor, will oversee the launch of the community currencies from Nairobi. The team will use Bancor Protocol to expand the current paper currency system used by local businesses to reduce poverty and create stable markets.

Ruddick believes that when “communities have the same right as nations to create and manage currencies, they will unlock their full potential.”

Kawangware and Kibera are the focal points for the pilot launch. These communities, which happen to be the largest slums in Kenya, will be used to circulate the currency by incentivizing customers to use it.

Bancor expects that as more people in the community buy and hold the local currency, its market cap can increase, which will create more wealth and a higher purchasing power for the holders.

Community members and supporters of the initiative will have the option to buy and sell the local currencies via the open-source Bancor Protocol using any of the popular cryptocurrencies or a major credit card.

Before its partnership with Grassroots Economics, Bancor had launched a similar program in Israel. The pilot program, aimed at mothers, was processing over 1,000 daily transactions before activities peaked due to the difficulty of transferring wealth outside of the community.



This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain’s Official Account

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

This week the Twitter handle @Bitmaintech was locked down because Twitter administrators claimed the account belongs to a 4-year-old. The Twitter handle’s owner and Bitmain’s head of marketing have complained to the social media company’s support team and Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey. The account lockdown marks the second high profile bitcoin-related account that’s been banned from Twitter in just a few months.

Also Read: Study Reveals ASIC Miners Represent 30% of the Equihash Mining Hashrate

The Official Bitmain Tech Twitter Account Has Been Suspended

On June 14 Bitmain Tech’s head of marketing Nishant Sharma tweeted to his followers that the company’s official Twitter account @Bitmaintech had been banned from Twitter. At the moment the Twitter account is completely inaccessible to the public and the Beijing-based company’s active ad campaigns have been paused.   

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account
The official @Bitmaintech Twitter account was locked on June 14, 2018.

Bitmain’s account accumulated thousands of Twitter followers over the past four years and now the account is unable to post or utilize the social media platform in any manner until the case is resolved.          

“The @Bitmaintech account is temporarily inaccessible because apparently, Twitter thinks that the people behind the account are as old as Bitmain i.e. 4 years old,” says Sharma.

It should be back soon (and long before Bitmain turns 13). @Jack help please. Case# 85911059

The Recent @Bitcoin Account Suspension

The account removal comes at an awkward time for the Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, who has been asked to address multiple issues tied to the social media platform. For instance, just recently the @Bitcoin account was banned and the topic was very controversial. The account with over 750,000 followers was initially suspended and then the account was restored with a much lower follower count than it had prior to the ban. Some people accused Dorsey of being biased and showing a conflict of interest towards supporters of the Lightning Network (LN) by allowing the banning of the @Bitcoin account. The reason for this speculation is due to Dorsey’s recent investment into the LN project.

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

 Legitimate Accounts Banned, but ETH Bot Impersonation Thrives

Twitter users within the cryptocurrency industry are also dealing with the vast amounts of scamming ETH bots that have cloned nearly every well-known person in the crypto-community. The ETH bots have managed to scam millions worth of ether because Twitter will not remove the fraudulent accounts impersonating digital currency luminaries. So essentially people are pretty frustrated that Twitter has managed to ban and censor legitimate users like @Bitcoin and @Bitmaintech, while allowing fraudulent scammers to run amuck all over the platform.

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

The case of Bitmain losing it’s official account, because Twitter admins believe it belongs to a four-year-old, seems absurd, but Twitter has been a whacky place lately, and the company hasn’t been very responsive. The issues with Twitter also follows the recent accusations and admissions stemming from other social media platform CEOs abusing their powers. Back in 2016, the Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted to editing comments on the pro-Donald Trump subreddit, r/the_donald. This year Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been scrutinized for selling user data to Cambridge Analytica. And now Twitter users are complaining about banned accounts and censorship and many of them are pointing their fingers at Jack.   

What do you think about Bitmain’s Twitter account getting banned because admins believe the account belongs to a four-year-old child? Do you think Jack Dorsey and Twitter have a lot of explaining to do? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Bitmaintech, the Twitter logo, @bitcoin, @bitmaintech, @laurashin 


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain’s Official Account appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Jeff Garzik on His Newest Venture and Keeping Time With an Evolving Space

Jeff Garzik on His Newest Venture and Keeping Time With an Evolving Space

Jeff Garzik first tuned the world into his latest venture in the fall of 2017. The Bloq co-founder unveiled Metronome (MET), a cryptocurrency he founded alongside Matthew Roszak, at the Las Vegas Money 20/20 conference in late October, and the project caught the attention of Bloomberg and Fortune at the time.

What makes Metronome interesting is that it promises its users cross-chain portability. It also purports to offer a consistent rate of inflation and “no undue influence from founders after launch.” These three promises — Metronome’s mantra of self-governance, reliability and portability — set lofty expectations for the new company; anyone acquainted with Bitcoin and blockchain technology is likely to watch and see if it can deliver.

Garzik has stated in past interviews that he created Metronome as a new beginning, a project that embodies what he would do differently after building on Bitcoin for a number of years. Metronome’s differences seem to suggest that the search for hyper-decentralization was Garzik’s touchstone for starting over. Imagine a coin being so intrinsically opposed to centralization, for instance, that it isn’t beholden to a single blockchain.

Of course, as an ERC20 token, it is fundamentally tied to Ethereum; but the team claims that via smart contracts, users can swap the coin from chain to chain. From the get-go, this transferability will only be open to Ethereum Classic, Rootstock and QTUM. From there, it will be up to community coders to free up avenues to other chains. Keeping with the team’s commitment to zero-to-no influence, Metronome will rely on the volunteer work of disparate developers to expand its offerings and improve its protocol.

As for the rest, there’s little about the coin that speaks to convention. Instead of launching an initial coin offering (ICO), the project is holding a week-long descending-price auction. Unlike the more popular English-style auction, in a descending-price auction, price action descends as the auction progresses. For Metronome’s, the price of 1 MET will start at 2 ether (ETH) and decrease each minute until all of the auction’s 8,000,000 MET are sold or the sale ends.

Since the coin doesn’t have — or, in the future, will separate from — a native chain, it offers no mining rewards. To circulate supply, then, Metronome will feature daily descending-price auctions after its initial token sale. According to the project’s FAQ, “MET is added to MET’s Daily Supply Lots (‘DSL’) every 24 hours, at the rate that is the greater of (i) 2,880 MET per day, or (ii) an annual rate equal to 2.0000%.”

Besides the MET to be sold in the initial and daily auctions, 20 percent will be allocated to what the project calls “authors” — its team and advisors. Of these coins, 25 percent will be available immediately upon release, while the other 75 percent will be unlocked incrementally throughout a 12-quarter period.

Smart contracts control coin supply and issuance, as well as coin migration between chains, and the team has pledged to keep its hands free from directing development or swaying governance. “After its launch,” one Metronome FAQ answer reads, “authors will have no more control over MET than any other member of the MET community.”

We had the opportunity to interview Jeff Garzik to learn more about his latest project.

Bitcoin Magazine: The first thing that stands out is the cross-blockchain portability. Namely, how will this be accomplished, and does it really mean that I’ll be able to swap my MET from Ethereum’s chain to, say, QTUM’s or Stellar’s?

Jeff Garzik: Exporting one’s MET to another blockchain is a process where the owner chooses a target blockchain when initiating the export, and then receives a Merkle root receipt proving they have the MET that they are exporting. The process “burns” or destroys the MET on Blockchain A, and when the owner provides that receipt to the contracts on Blockchain B, they will have the same amount of MET minted for them on that blockchain. The burning of Blockchain A’s MET is to ensure that global supply remains constant.

So, we are careful to not describe it as a “swap,” per se, because it’s actually the opposite of a swap — the asset itself is moving, just as if you were moving gold from one safe to another.

BM: Metronome’s FAQ states, “As the community continues developing MET, it may be compatible with even more blockchains.” Does this mean that community developers will be able to build on the protocol to make it interoperable with other chains?

JG: Regarding ongoing development, Metronome is completely open source, and there is no foundation deciding its trajectory — that responsibility is with the community. Consider Bitcoin: there was no “foundation” in the beginning. Similarly, we don’t want to create enshrined leaders of Metronome, which is what a foundation does. Creating a Metronome author-run foundation at the outset bakes in community dependence on that foundation, which is a centralizing force we wish to avoid.

The community can choose a chain they wish to develop compatibility for and work toward that. In the very near term, you’ll be able to transfer from the Ethereum chain to Ethereum Classic, QTUM or another chain using the Ethereum Virtual Machine. From there? Time will tell.

BM: Is coin migration done automatically through the smart contract? Or does some miner/intermediary manually execute this function for a user?

JG: The answer is key to governance. The user holds and controls that “receipt” received when MET is exported from one blockchain. The user chooses when to export/import and must manually initiate that action.

BM: How is the team ensuring that Metronome’s smart contracts and wallets are going to be stable? There have been so many hacks of wallets and bugs in contracts, especially with ERC20 tokens and Ethereum-based smart contracts.

JG: As to the stability of Metronome’s contracts, they have been rigorously reviewed by four independent auditors. The team has gone the extra mile to ensure that those contracts will be as rock-solid as humanly possible at launch. As to the wallet, being standards-compliant with ERC20 of course means that you inherit all of that standard’s characteristics — mostly favorable in terms of compatibility and interoperability — as well as its limitations and those of the cryptocurrency category in general.

BM: Where did the idea for Metronome come from? What compelled you and Matthew Roszak to migrate to new projects from your current projects?

JG: Two answers: first, I have been in the cryptocurrency space for a long time as one of the first to start contributing to Bitcoin. The ensuing years have given me enough perspective to ask, “Knowing what I now know about cryptocurrencies and how the communities around them operate, how would I redesign a cryptocurrency from scratch that would be enduring and satisfy the most use cases?” With Metronome, we have built a cryptocurrency intended to serve as a store of value, method of exchange, machine-to-machine payment medium and other applications.

The second answer, though, is a bit more philosophical. I’m a big fan of ideas like the Long Now Foundation, which aims to encourage civilizations to think in terms of generational scale rather than months, quarters and years. That kind of spirit inspired the cross-blockchain idea. For a currency to be truly multi-generational in scale, it cannot be tied to a single, native ledger.

BM: Governance and reliability are key to the project, it seems. How will Metronome’s governance protect itself from the control of its authors/founding members?

JG: Once launched, Metronome is completely autonomous. There is no foundation where the proceeds from auctions are hidden away for founders, and there is no centralized group defining Metronome post-launch. Even if the founders wanted to manipulate and control Metronome (we don’t), we simply would not be able to.

Additionally, by rewarding the founding team with tokens (rather than proceeds) and slowly disbursing them according to a mechanical rule, we assure the community that the founding team is properly motivated in Metronome’s early years.

BM: For issuance, what will it do differently to ensure a steady, unmanipulated inflation rate?

JG: Metronome’s issuance is locked in at launch, and any new contracts must accept the issuance logic. (The rate is the greater of 2,880 MET per day or whatever amount necessary to achieve a steady 2 percent annual rate.) Issuance is based on time, not on hash or staking power, since both are subject to fluctuations that create variability over time for circulating supply.

BM: It seems as if Metronome’s modus operandi is its commitment to community control. Is Metronome trying to “fix” decentralization and reintroduce it into a space that continues to grapple with centralizing forces?

JG: Greater decentralization is something we have been fixated on since we started this journey in spring of 2017. The current cryptocurrency landscape (especially when considering new cryptocurrencies) is not all that decentralized. Small groups of developers and foundations largely define the course, scope and goals of a cryptocurrency.

Metronome is looking to return to the original promises of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin, where updates and goals are community driven without too much customary deference to a small group. Metronome does this through a unique take on community governance through self-governance.

BM: In a Medium post, Metronome’s team says that the coin is “being built to last.” What features do you think make this a coin for the long run?

JG: We believe that every aspect of Metronome makes it more durable. Self-governance allows the community to define and build Metronome, not a far-off foundation. A reliable and a highly predictable issuance allows owners and purchasers to calculate supply at any point in the future with high confidence. Portability allows Metronome owners to move their MET to any compatible blockchain for whatever reason they see fit, rather than locking themselves into a set of rules and chain permanence. These characteristics make Metronome both flexible and resilient — two necessary attributes for the long haul.

In sum: we are introducing a wholly new concept — a token that is not tied to a blockchain. Other tokens are tied to a single network, a single technology and a single blockchain. Metronome is something new. We’re very proud of the results and are looking forward to seeing where the crypto and fintech ecosystem takes it.  


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Vote Threshold Is Met: EOS Can Finally Launch Its Platform

Fifth-Largest Cryptocurrency Finally Launches Its Blockchain

According to data from EOS Authority, EOS has finally acquired the minimum votes required for its network to go live.

After EOS failed to launch its platform on its projected launch date of June 2, a live-stream vote was called, where users voted “Go” to launch the blockchain network. But while the network got the green light, it couldn’t go live until it was activated with the EOS tokens held by investors.

Things didn’t go as planned as token owners became reluctant to weigh in with the minimum vote required to activate the blockchain. For the EOS blockchain to go live, 15 percent of the total EOS tokens in supply had to be used to elect the network’s 21 EOS block producers.

Votes

Also known as supernodes, block producers operate as part of EOS’s delegated proof of stake (DPoS), where they serve a function similar to Bitcoin miners who secure proof-of-work systems. The candidates for the supernodes include local crypto enthusiasts such as EOS Canada, who is currently leading with just over 42,000,00  token votes at press time, followed by EOS Authority, the entity that started up EOS, in second place with about 39,400,000 votes. Blockchain heavyweight Bitfinex is currently eighth with a bit under 32,000,000 EOS votes, and EOS HuobiPool is in the eleventh spot with just over 30 million token votes.

To vote for the supernodes, token owners have to go through a process of proving ownership, which requires using their private keys.

The most noteworthy voting software is CLEOS, a command-line tool created by Block.one, the creators of EOS. This software requires a lot of programming knowledge, which left non-technical voters with crowdfunded projects like EOS Portal and other desktop tools.

As much as users were eager to activate the mainnet, they were equally nervous that the process might jeopardize their holdings.

EOS’s inability to get the required number of tokens staked led to the mainnet launch being stalled for days. There were also some reports that a general, widespread distrust in third-party software available to owners, coupled with the complexity of the voting process, led to voter apathy.

Vulnerabilities

Despite the success of its ICO, the EOS team has not been able to find a lasting solution to the vulnerabilities that have riddled it from the start. Some weeks back, Chinese internet research firm Qihoo 360 discovered a vulnerability that could be used by hackers to remotely manage codes on nodes and attack any cryptocurrency built on the network.

EOS launched a bug bounty program that rewards developers for discovering security vulnerabilities, with the most significant reward going to Dutch ethical hacker Guido Vranken, who was paid a hefty $120,000 for discovering 11 new vulnerabilities. EOS’s HackerOne profile shows that vulnerabilities are still being discovered.

EOS is currently up by 14.4 percent, trading at $11.32.



This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Clearing Up Misconceptions: This Is How Tether Should (and Does) Work

Clearing up Misconceptions: This Is How Tether Should and Does Work

There is substantial controversy surrounding Tether, a cryptocurrency that claims to be pegged to the U.S. dollar. According to Tether, each Tether token is backed by one U.S. dollar, held in the full reserve of Tether. But the existence of the U.S. dollars pegging Tether has been called into question. Moreover, worries exist that Bitfinex has been using Tether to the prop up the price of Bitcoin.

Research into Tether shows that misconceptions exist regarding how Tether functions. These misconceptions, in turn, may be contributing in part to the existing controversies. By better understanding how Tether functions, it may be possible to provide some clarity. Analysis of how Tether functions, for example, shows that it is not possible to prop up the price of Bitcoin on Bitfinex through Tether — regardless of whether or not these tokens are backed.

Tether and Bitfinex

Whereas most cryptocurrencies have a finite supply of tokens, Tether does not. According to Tether’s white paper, new Tether tokens can be issued when customers buy tokens by depositing the underlying fiat currency — U.S. dollars or Euros — in Tether’s bank account. However, it is not currently possible to register at Tether; in fact, registrations have been closed since December 2017. During this time, the amount of Tether tokens more than doubled, peaking at 2.5 billion tokens at the time of writing.

For Tether to function as a so-called stablecoin, each Tether token — trading under the ticker USDT — has to be backed by one U.S. dollar. Tether, therefore, needs to hold the underlying fiat of all Tether tokens in their reserve. In their white paper, Tether promised to deliver regular audits to show Tether holds the necessary funds in reserve, but the company has not delivered a complete audit since March 2017. Tether published an audit in September 2017, but the document is an internal memo issued by Friedman LLP, their auditor at the time. No further audit is expected anytime soon as the relationship with Friedman LLP was dissolved in January 2018 and Tether has not yet obtained a new auditor.

The Paradise papers showed that Tether and Bitfinex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, are run by the same management team. Bitfinex has been accused of propping up the price of bitcoin through issuing Tether tokens to buy bitcoins. Whenever Bitfinex’s wallet ran out of Tether tokens, new tokens would be issued.

These increases in Tether tokens may be linked to coinciding increases in the price of bitcoin.

In January, a report posted anonymously online showed that the price of bitcoin mostly went up in the hours after new Tether tokens were issued and sent to the Bitfinex wallet. The report furthermore concluded that it is highly unlikely that Tether is growing through any organic business process, but that Tether tokens are printed in response to market movements in order to be used to buy bitcoin and, thereby, increase its price.

In an academic paper published on June 13, 2018, John Griffin and Amin Shams, both associated with the University of Texas, analyzed both Tether and Bitcoin blockchain data to determine whether Tether tokens were issued following market demand or were instead pushed onto the market. Their results suggest that Tether tokens are used to support certain thresholds — a price floor — for bitcoin when prices are falling, stabilizing bitcoin’s price.

Analyzing Tether Issuance

Whenever new Tether tokens are issued, the tokens are sent to the Bitfinex wallet. Tether’s white paper mentions that Tether tokens may be purchased from Bitfinex and that Bitfinex supports the deposit and withdrawal of Tether tokens. Moreover, Tether tokens are always issued and sent to the Bitfinex wallet in round numbers. For example, the latest issuance on May 18, 2018, was exactly 250,000,000 Tether tokens.

These new, large Tether issuances in round numbers moving to Bitfinex have, in part, drawn suspicion. Since Tether registrations are closed and all Tether tokens issued are transferred to Bitfinex’s wallet, the issuance of Tether tokens in round numbers makes it unlikely that these are direct purchases by customers of Tether. Questions have, therefore, been raised asking who could realistically be behind these issuances.

Based on analysis of the issuance and movement of Tether tokens, the answer is that there is currently only one possible customer, in the sense of how the word “customer” is used in Tether’s white paper: Bitfinex.

Instead of buying tokens directly from Tether, Bitfinex’s users can buy Tether tokens on the exchange using U.S. dollars. However, Tether tokens cannot be used to trade on Bitfinex itself. Bitfinex offers Tether as a withdraw-only option to its users. When Bitfinex’s users use Tether as their withdrawal option, they use their U.S. dollar balance on Bitfinex to buy the Tether tokens. Subsequently, withdrawals of Tether tokens from Bitfinex result in a decrease of the Bitfinex wallet’s balance.

When purchasing Tether tokens on Bitfinex, customers are not purchasing them directly from Tether; rather, they are buying from the supply Bitfinex “purchased” earlier as Tether’s “customer.” The issuance of new Tether tokens therefore occurs when Bitfinex runs out of Tether tokens they can sell to their users — when Bitfinex’s wallet runs empty — and purchases new Tether tokens by depositing the underlying fiat in Tether’s bank account. As a result, all Tether tokens in Bitfinex’s wallet are owned by Bitfinex and are available for users to withdraw.

Paolo Ardoino, Bitfinex’s chief technology officer, confirmed in an interview that Bitfinex is a direct customer of Tether and is currently the only gateway in and out of Tether. According to Ardoino, Bitfinex and Tether decided on this change in late 2017 to put less strain on the banks processing Tether purchases. Ardoino added that the company’s plan is to offer more gateways to Tether — suggesting up to 20 — in the near future. To establish these gateways, Tether is expected to hire a new chief compliance officer to oversee Tether’s compliance program, including its due diligence procedures for onboarding new customers.

Whenever Tether tokens are withdrawn from Bitfinex, the tokens are transferred to other cryptocurrency exchanges supporting Tether, such as Binance, Bittrex and Kraken. The Tether tokens on these exchanges are owned by users of those exchanges, not the exchanges themselves, although the exchanges do obtain some tokens through trading fees. Tether is, therefore, a source of liquidity for these exchanges and Bitfinex currently functions as its gateway. For these exchanges, Tether is just another cryptocurrency that their customers bring to the exchanges and trade with. Bittrex and Kraken confirmed that Tether is just like any other token on their exchange, adding that there was no fee involved for listing Tether on either exchange.

Access to Fiat Banking

The implication of Tether tokens only being purchasable at Bitfinex is that the two entities are further intertwined than previously understood: Besides the fact that Tether and Bitfinex are run by the same management team, Tether would not be able to function as it currently is without Bitfinex serving as its gateway to fiat deposits and withdrawals.

For Bitfinex to function as this gateway, however, it needs access to fiat banking itself. In March of 2017, Wells Fargo ended its relationship as a correspondent bank to Bitfinex and Tether. Bitfinex has kept details of its banking relationships a closely guarded secret ever since — a lack of transparency that has further fueled the controversy surrounding Bitfinex and Tether.

On May 24, 2018, Bloomberg reported that Bitfinex and Tether held bank accounts at Noble Bank in Puerto Rico. Furthermore, Bloomberg reported that Bitfinex had partnered with Panama-based financial institution Crypto Capital Corp and used its bank accounts to maintain access to fiat deposits and withdrawals after being cut off by Wells Fargo.

Access to fiat banking is necessary for Bitfinex in order to offer its users U.S. dollar trading. Ardoino confirmed that all balances and USD trading pairs on Bitfinex are in U.S. dollars (USD) instead of in Tether tokens (USDT) and that the dollars and Tether tokens are not mixed together.

Verified Bitfinex users are thus credited with U.S. dollars on Bitfinex when making deposits. Users can use their U.S. dollars when choosing Tether as a withdrawal option. In doing so, they purchase Tether tokens from Bitfinex.

When users instead deposit Tether tokens to Bitfinex, they are similarly credited with U.S. dollars, one U.S. dollar for each Tether token (USDT). Effectively, verified users are redeeming the Tether tokens by selling the tokens back to Bitfinex.

Since Tether is only available as a withdrawal option and cannot be used in trading pairs on Bitfinex, it is, therefore, not possible to prop up the price of bitcoin using Tether tokens on Bitfinex. This conclusion, however, does not disprove the theory that Tether has been used to prop up the price of bitcoin elsewhere. In their previously mentioned paper, Griffin and Shams analyze how Tether tokens are moved to other exchanges and have been used to stabilize the price of bitcoin on these exchanges.

tether chart

Tether’s Price and Peg

Given each Tether token is offered for and credited with one U.S. dollar on Bitfinex, why does the price of Tether show fluctuations? For example, Coinmarketcap and investing.com offer charts that show Tether’s price (USDT) fluctuating around one U.S. dollar. Investing.com explained that their “Tether index” chart is based Kraken’s and EXMO’s USD/USDT trading pairs. Coinmarketcap did not respond to a request to explain what data is used to create their graph.

The price of Tether is not maintained through these trading pairs, however. The price of Tether is guaranteed by Bitfinex offering and crediting each Tether token for one U.S. dollar per token. As long as Bitfinex credits each Tether token with one U.S. dollar, the price of Tether is fixed at one U.S. dollar. Thus, USDT/USD trading pairs may offer insight into how much people trust Tether.

The fact that Bitfinex always values one Tether token at one U.S. dollar probably explains why the USDT/USD trading pairs hardly ever fluctuate far from one U.S. dollar. Whenever the price on the trading pair drops to 98 cents, for example, arbitrage traders — verified on Bitfinex — can buy tokens at 98 cents and deposit them to Bitfinex to be credited one U.S. dollar.

Tether’s Business Model

How does Tether create revenue? Revenue here can be distinguished in two forms: revenue generated by Bitfinex and revenue generated by Tether.

Bitfinex’s function as the gateway to Tether sheds light on how the use of Tether creates revenue for Bitfinex. For other exchanges supporting Tether, Tether is an important source of liquidity as the exchanges do not offer direct fiat withdrawals or deposits. In a way, Bitfinex functions as the fiat withdrawal and deposit gateway for these exchanges, although only for verified users.

To purchase Tether tokens from Bitfinex, users are required to have U.S. dollars deposited to Bitfinex. Similarly, the only location where holders of Tether tokens can redeem their tokens for U.S. dollars is on Bitfinex. For both deposits and withdrawals of U.S. dollars, Bitfinex charges a 0.1 percent fee. To use the Tether withdrawal option on Bitfinex, users are charged $20, regardless of withdrawal size. Deposits of Tether tokens, on the other hand, are free. The revenue created this way is therefore generated on and by Bitfinex, not by Tether itself.

The only source of “revenue” generated by Tether itself is the interest gained on the U.S. dollars held in its reserve. The U.S. dollars backing the Tether tokens are stored in a full reserve bank account, with recent reports suggesting that they are being held at the Noble Bank in Puerto Rico. According to Ardoino, the interest gained on the reserve covers Tether’s expenses while also leaving room to invest in improving Tether’s structure, marketing and compliance program.

Audits

Given Tether’s business model depends on the amount of U.S. dollars held in its reserve, Tether’s “revenue” heavily depends on the existence of all U.S. dollars needed to back the Tether tokens in circulation. Moreover, the model stands or falls on the premise that Bitfinex transfers all U.S. dollars to Tether’s bank account in order to not issue unbacked Tether tokens. Without the existence of the U.S. dollars backing Tether tokens, there is no way to gain interest on those amounts.

In turn, the existence of a full reserve determines whether or not each token should be valued at one dollar; that is, whether all Tether tokens are actually backed by U.S. dollars. If Tether is instead functioning on a fractional reserve, a bank-run on Bitfinex — wherein users deposit back large amounts of Tether tokens at the same time — would crash the price of Tether.

Although recent reporting suggests at least a large amount of the dollars are stored at the Noble Bank, only an independent audit — as promised in Tether’s white paper — can prove that all the U.S. dollars purported to be backing Tether exist.

When asked about the lack of audits, Ardoino acknowledged that an independent audit is needed to prove the existence of the full reserve to the community. “What we want to do is not [audit] the bank balances as of now, but we want to demonstrate to the community that we had the money at the end of every single month, since a reasonable date like January 2017 and on.” He added that talks are ongoing to find a new auditor.

However, this may not be enough to prove Tether was always fully backed. In their paper, Griffin and Shams analyzed whether it is possible that Tether only maintained a full reserve at the end of the month. If true, a coinciding decline of the price of bitcoin could also be expected at the end of each month to create the necessary reserve in U.S. dollars. Their analysis shows that the price of bitcoin did indeed show large declines at the end of every month in which a large amount of new Tether tokens were issued. This correlation seems to suggest that these declines in bitcoin’s price may have been related to Bitfinex’s need to raise reserves at the end of those months.

Although some misconceptions regarding Tether are addressed in this article by analyzing how Tether works, it is likely that the controversy surrounding Tether will continue until Tether and Bitfinex provide full transparency and independent, conclusive audits.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

A New Cryptocurrency Radio Broadcast Launches on Boston’s FM 104.9

A New Cryptocurrency Radio Broadcast Launches on Boston's FM 104.9

Over the past six months, cryptocurrencies have been steadily entering the mainstream world more and more by being featured on billboards, newspapers, radio broadcasts and television shows. Now, this July residents from the New England region will be able to hear a weekly radio broadcast called Cryptomania which aims to educate the masses about the benefits of cryptocurrencies and broadcasts every Saturday on Boston’s FM radio signal 104.9.

Also Read: Canadian Exchanges to Report Transactions Over $10k per Proposed Regulations

New England Blockchain Group Launches Cryptomania Radio Broadcast on Boston’s FM 104.9   

Residents from Boston, New Hampshire, and the North Shore will soon be able to tune in to an FM radio broadcast every Saturday that will feature discussions about bitcoin and cryptocurrency solutions. Listeners can set their dials to the FM radio signal 104.9 this July as the Massachusetts-headquartered organization New England Blockchain LLC (NEB) will launch its first show “Cryptomania – Bitcoin & Beyond.”

The show was created by the NEB founder Dana McIntyre who will also host the show with his sidekick Jameson Rust. The two say that the broadcast will feature a “simple and humorist explanation of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology.” The show aims to educate the public and show them how cryptocurrencies operate and detail how easy it is for anyone to purchase a small fraction of bitcoin.

“Hosting the first weekly FM radio show on Cryptos in America is a real honor for us and highlights our commitment to bring relevant, cutting-edge content to our listening audience and the mainstream public,” McIntyre stated this week.

A New Cryptocurrency Radio Broadcast Launches on Boston's FM 104.9
Cryptomania will air every Saturday at 9:30 EDT starting this July on Boston’s FM 104.9.

Every Saturday Two Million North Shore Residents Can Tune In

The show will air every Saturday at 9:30 Eastern Standard and can be listened to in other areas in the world by tuning into Northshore1049.com. The show will have a large audience to entice as the FM radio signal 104.9 reaches areas in southern New Hampshire and North of Boston and Merrimack Valley regions of Massachusetts which accounts for a population of over 2 million residents.

The announcement for the new radio show in Boston follows other mainstream broadcasts announced over the past few months. For instance, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Youtuber Jason Appleton planning to launch his Crypto Crow Show on “CBS, the CW and Roku to over 47 million homes.” Another example is when the post-cable network Cheddar announced this past March it would be broadcasting a thirty-minute show about cryptocurrencies called Crypto Craze.

Bitcoiners are sure to welcome the new radio broadcast Cryptomania that’s dedicated to teaching people about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the Boston region. However, the NEB organization’s upcoming broadcast this July is not the first weekly FM cryptocurrency radio show in the U.S. as the Austin based Crypto Show has been airing on 89.1 FM for years now.

What do you think about a radio broadcast about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies airing throughout New England’s North Shore region? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock and 104.9 FM  


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The post A New Cryptocurrency Radio Broadcast Launches on Boston’s FM 104.9 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Korean Firm Keypair Launches Credit Card-Shaped NFC Hardware Wallet

Korean Firm Keypair Launches Credit Card Shaped NFC Hardware Wallet

A new hardware wallet has been launched by the South Korean financial tech firm Keypair. The company’s Keywallet Touch has an interesting design as it’s shaped like a credit card and utilizes NFC technology. The company says the device’s smart card chipset supports cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash, ethereum, bitcoin core and litecoin, while also providing FIDO Universal 2nd Factor Authentication (U2F).

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Innovation Continues with the First On-Chain Atomic Bet

South Korean Firm Keypair Launches Keywallet Touch Hardware Wallet  

There’s been a slew of new cryptocurrency hardware wallets coming into the ecosystem and the South Korean company Keypair has launched a new model. This past March news.Bitcoin.com reported the firm’s previous design, the Keywallet Classic, and a few new hardware wallet manufacturers stemming from South Korea as demand for the devices has grown exponentially in that region. The Keywallet Classic debuted this January at the CES Electronics Show and the product has also been selling on Ebay. The company’s latest device the Keywallet Touch is a hardware wallet shaped like a credit card, similar to the Coolwallet device we reported on a few weeks ago.

Just like a credit card, the Keywallet Touch is 85.60 × 53.98 mm with rounded corners and built-in NFC technology that interacts with a mobile phone (Android). The phone application recognizes the card allowing users to send and receive bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin core (BTC), ripple (XRP), ethereum classic (ETC), and ERC20 tokens. The Keywallet Touch is $69.99 USD which is cheaper than a lot of other hardware wallets, but if you want to use a PC then you’ll require a USB connected reader ($69.99) that is not yet available to the public.

Korean Firm Keypair Launches Credit Card Shaped NFC Hardware Wallet
The Keywallet Touch specs.

Credit Card Shape and No Batteries

CEO Kevin CK Lee of the hardware-based security solution company explains the new hardware wallet card comes with “first-class” security. “The card is built with Secure Element and its OS and Crypto libraries made by the firm. It also has CC and Eal5+ and CMVP ready product,” Lee noted during the launch.

The company believes cryptocurrency enthusiasts will appreciate the credit card shaped feature so it can be carried easily, and the fact that the device has no batteries adds to the wallet’s overall durability. The Keywallet Touch software can be found at the Google Play store and the user interface acts like a portfolio if you hold multiple cryptocurrencies.

Korean Firm Keypair Launches Credit Card Shaped NFC Hardware Wallet
The Keywallet Touch connects to mobile phones using NFC technology and to connect to a PC users need the Keywallet reader which is not yet available. 

Keypair says that a traditional wallet OS or mobile phone platform keeps the private keys in “insecure areas (HDD, Flash Memory, etc.)”. Furthermore, Keypair explains that an iOS version of its wallet client is on the way, and mobile phones with built-in fingerprint sensors can be used with the Keywallet Touch. One thing to note is this hardware wallet is very new, just like the Coolwallet hardware wallet which has the same credit card shaped design, which means both of these wallets don’t have many reviews online. Some people will want to wait until this product is mass produced and reviewed by reputable third parties. 

What do you think about the Keywallet Touch? Let us know your thoughts on this new hardware wallet in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse this product. Bitcoin.com and the author are 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 with this hardware wallet platform. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content.


Images via Shutterstock, and the Keywallet web portal. 


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 Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Number of Japanese Bitcoin Spenders Slowly but Steadily Increasing Says Bic Camera

Number of Japanese Bitcoin Spenders Slowly but Steadily Increasing Says Bic Camera

A year after the Japanese government recognized cryptocurrency as a legal form of money, bitcoin payments are steadily going mainstream. Bic Camera is one of the most profitable electronic, cosmetic and duty-free goods stores in Japan. It has now revealed that even though less than 1% of payments have been made in BTC since it started accepting bitcoin last year, the number of Japanese bitcoin spenders is slowly and steadily increasing, it observed. 

Also read: Media Frenzy in Japan as Bic Camera Starts Accepting Bitcoin

Bic Camera’s Year-Long Relationship with BTC

Bic Camera started taking bitcoin in a limited capacity shortly after the Japanese government came up with new regulations around digital currencies and the exchanges that are handling them in April 2017. In an interview with news.Bitcoin.com, Masanari Matsumoto, Bic Camera’s PR and IR Chief, revealed that the average bitcoin spenders were younger Japanese males.

“When Bic Camera first installed the Bitcoin payment system in its stores, we expected that the customers paying in Bitcoin would mostly be foreigners,” he said. But it turned out to be quite different. “We noticed that Bitcoin was becoming very popular. Then the government announced that Bitcoin was officially legal, so we finally felt more comfortable introducing Bitcoin as a method of payment in our stores,” Matsumoto explained. “Bic Camera always aims at responding to its customers’ demands, and there was a huge demand at the time.”

When Bic Camera started taking BTC in April of 2017 at two of its largest stores in central Tokyo, they noticed an increase in demand from customers. They later expanded the option in their entire 40 stores nationwide and conducted a test overall to study who was using bitcoin. The results of this research showed that the Japanese sales were higher than foreign customers’ tax-free sales, Matsumoto explained. “We also asked our cashier staff to look out when they processed a Bitcoin payment, and we found out that the majority of Bitcoin users were Japanese males in their 30s.” They mostly bought computer tablets, digital cameras, small items, and alcohol, he added.

Number of Japanese Bitcoin Spenders Slowly but Steadily Increasing Says Bic Camera
Bic Camera Yurakucho store

Bitcoin Payments Less Than 1% Compared to Fiat But Spenders Are Increasing Over Time

In 2017, Bic Camera made a profit of JPY 790 billion (USD 7,200,000,000). The percentage of bitcoin payments was less than 1% compared to payment in fiat, but the research also showed that the amount of bitcoin spenders is steadily increasing over time. Back in 2014, people in Japan and worldwide holding accounts in bitcoin exchanges were mostly non-Japanese. Reportedly less than 1% of Mt. Gox creditors were Japanese nationals.

“Back then, [when Mt. Gox’s scandal hit the news in February 2014] I think the average Japanese people’s opinion on Bitcoin was that it was something suspicious and shady, because it was associated with the darknet and crime,” Seiji Tashima (67), a retired computer engineer, extrapolated. “Bitcoin circulated a bad image in Japan and mostly, people simply didn’t know what it was. But now it’s different, probably because it made bad news at first then the government recognized it as a legal form of currency later.” The Japanese crypto community even offers training to seniors on how to invest in the industry.

Bic Camera says they are not concerned about security issues, as they partnered with Bitflyer, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange and bitcoin payment processors in Japan. “Bitflyer stands between our company and our customers. We have faith in Bitflyer and we are confident. Furthermore, they are a cryptocurrency platform approved by the Financial Service Agency,” the Bic Camera PR and IR chief added. Although the recent Coincheck heist poured a cold shower on the general excitement, as JPY 58 billion (USD 530 million) in NEM cryptocurrency vanished, companies are still jumping into the industry. More than 100 companies have expressed an interest in running cryptocurrency exchanges, according to the government. At the time Coincheck was hacked, it wasn’t a government approved cryptocurrency exchange. Bic Camera will not be introducing any other cryptocurrency than BTC at the moment.

What do you think about Bic and the store’s experience with accepting BTC for over a year? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below. 


Images via Bic Camera, and Nathalie Stucky


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The post Number of Japanese Bitcoin Spenders Slowly but Steadily Increasing Says Bic Camera appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend Beating

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend Beating

Cryptocurrency markets are suffering from deep losses today, on June 10, 2018, as most digital assets are seeing 24-hour declines between 9 and 25 percent. The number one position, held by Bitcoin Core (BTC), dropped more than a $1,000 just a few hours ago, from $7,600 to $6,600, but prices have rebounded back to $6,787 per BTC. The fourth highest valued market, held by Bitcoin Cash (BCH), dropped around $225 in value after hovering around $1,150 for a while. The currency is now averaging $933 per BCH. It’s safe to say market participants are shaken and many are curious about why the market keeps sliding.

Also Read: CFTC Subpoenas Leading Exchanges for Trading Data

Crypto Markets Take a Jab to the Gut This Weekend

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend BeatingA dump took place today that hit markets below the belt, as most cryptocurrencies lost significant values. Last week, towards the beginning of the weekend, markets were pretty stable and consolidating tightly into a triangular formation. Then, on Saturday, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Justice Department revealed they had subpoenaed four major exchanges while looking into their cryptocurrency price manipulation investigation. Just before that moment on June 9, just like last time when U.S. regulators initially announced the manipulation probe, markets slid about 1-hour before the announcement. Today’s drop was harder to put the blame on as it could have been an after effect from yesterday’s announcement, the fact that market volumes are extremely thin, or some blamed it on the small exchange from South Korea Coinrail being hacked this weekend for $40Mn worth of ICO tokens.

BTC Market Action

On Sunday, June 10, Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets are down 9.8 percent and over the past seven days, BTC markets are under by 11 percent. This means most of the losses have taken place this weekend as BTC volatility was fairly nonexistent at the beginning of the week. Right now BTC’s overall market capitalization is around $115Bn with a dominance level of around 38 percent. Trade volume is super weak and this is why a lot of traders are skeptical these days because 24-hour volumes today were around $4Bn, but since the last drop volumes jumped to $5.5Bn over the past hour. The top exchanges today swapping the most BTC are Bitfinex, Binance, Okex, Huobi, and GDAX. The Japanese yen is dominating BTC currency pairs big time commanding more than 60 percent of BTC trades at the time of publication. This is followed by the USD (19.2%) tether (USDT 13.5%), EUR (2.7%), and the KRW (2.2%). Of course, there was a significant drop in South Korean won-BTC pair action today.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend Beating

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the charts shows BTC bulls had mustered up some strength to push above the $6800 zone but the fight was a real struggle. 4-hour charts show the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) have a good sized gap between them with the 200 SMA well above the 100 SMA trendline. This means bearish sentiment may continue during the short term and markets are very close to a triple bottom. After the last push the MACd is heading downwards and RSI levels are very low too (15.78) indicating oversold conditions. Daily Bollinger Bands (B-bands) are seeing a significant coil and buyers below the current vantage point are itching for lower prices. Looking at order books shows bears will see pit stops around $6,400 and the triple bottom $5,900 region. If bulls can heal right now, after that intense beating, then they need to overcome big walls around $7,300 and 7,800 to at least catch some fresh air from the onslaught.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend Beating

BCH Market Action

After a few solid weeks of BTC being the dominant pair with Bitcoin Cash (BCH), today tether USDT has taken the lead at 31.77 percent. This is followed by BTC (31.5%), USD (21.9%), KRW (9.1%), and the EUR (1.9%). Bitcoin Cash has lost around 16.4 percent over the last 24-hours and 19 percent over the last seven days. This Sunday, the total market capitalization for BCH is around $15.9Bn with about $693Mn in 24-hour trade volume. The top trading platforms exchanging the most Bitcoin Cash today include Okex, Binance, Huobi, Bitfinex, and Lbank. The losses in BCH values have been very much correlated with BTC market tumbles but prices have still remained around 0.14 BTC per BCH.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend Beating

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at BCH charts on Bitfinex shows similar indicators, as the two Simple Moving Averages have a decent gap like BTC with the 100 SMA below the long-term 200 SMA. Again, this indicates the path of least resistance will be towards the downside. RSI levels show oversold conditions (30) and the MACd is sliding southbound as well at the time of writing. Daily B-bands are also extremely tight, showing a massive consolidation period taking place. Looking at order books indicates that bears will have a hard fight until 910 and then another pit stop at $860. If things go lower than that, markets are going to look ugly all around. BCH bulls need to recharge and bust past $985 but buyers will also be deterred around $1,020, as sell orders are piling up around that region.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend Beating

The Top Cryptocurrency Markets

Overall, the top cryptocurrencies are down, except for ‘stablecoins’ like tether and the various others allegedly pegged to the USD. The second largest market valuation today belongs to Ethereum (ETH) but its markets are down 13.9 percent. One ETH is trading for $517 and the currency is the most swapped coin on Shapeshift today, but traded for BTC. The third largest market, Ripple (XRP), is down 13.8 percent and one XRP is trading for $0.57 cents per token. Lastly, the fifth highest valued market commanded by EOS is down significantly at 21 percent this Sunday. At the moment, EOS is trading around $11.25 per coin and holds the fourth largest trade volume over the last 24-hours.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend Beating

The Verdict: Skepticism and the Search for That Confounded Bottom

You can probably guess what our market verdict is today without reading the sub-title above, as things are looking bearish and everyone knows this fact. Because markets keep sliding, then recovering, then sliding downwards, even more, has caused enthusiasts and traders to be skeptical of any bullish signals. Most traders are looking curiously for ‘the bottom’ and when that time will be, so right now many are just playing musical chairs looking for the right positions.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


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The post Markets Update: Crypto Prices Take a Weekend Beating appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income

Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income

Cryptocurrencies have become very popular, and over the past few years, and due to new applications and infrastructure they’ve become easier to spend compared to the early days. Nowadays, individuals are starting to be paid for their services in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash or other digital assets, and living off of cryptocurrencies is the next step towards having a stress free crypto-based income.

Also read: Ledger Nano S Review: Can This $65 Device Top Trezor?

Living Off a Crypto-Income

Today we’re going to talk about people being paid in cryptocurrencies, and how to maintain the same lifestyle you did when you were being paid in fiat currencies. Unfortunately, right now, digital assets like bitcoin cash (BCH) haven’t seen mass adoption yet, and there aren’t as many merchants as we’d like to see all around the world. So people who opt to be paid in BCH or another cryptocurrency, need to know how to pay for everyday items with their assets and settle their monthly bills as well.

Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income

The Gift Card Method

As far as paying for things with cryptocurrencies there are a few options available. One of them is using platforms like e-Gifter and Gyft to purchase gift cards to a wide variety of stores. There are a few hundred merchants who sell their gift cards on these sites, and customers can purchase cards from places like iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy, Whole Foods, and a slew of other establishments and restaurants. There are also other sites that sell gift cards for cryptocurrencies, and our Bitcoin.com store sells Amazon cards for bitcoin cash. For years now, individuals who get paid in cryptocurrencies have purchased gift cards to buy things at their favorite stores.

Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income

Looking for Merchants Who Accept Crypto Directly

Finding merchants who accept cryptocurrencies directly is another option for buying things for everyday living, as you might find a merchant near you that fits your needs. Most of the most popular digital assets out there have online directories that show a list of merchants and their locations. For instance, bitcoin cash fans can utilize the ‘Accept Bitcoin Cash Initiative,’ which is a curated list of merchants who accept BCH directly. With a simple Google search, individuals can also find a merchant directory for cryptocurrencies like dash, monero, and bitcoin core. Some people find that purchasing items directly helps the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole because these merchants accepting digital assets like BCH directly are not immediately selling for fiat.

Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income
Looking to go shopping with cryptocurrencies? Check out our directory here, and also click over to the Accept Bitcoin Cash Initiative. 

Sell the Crypto to Exchanges

Another way you can live off of cryptocurrencies is by selling them to people on peer-to-peer exchanges like Localbitcoincash.org, or the various exchanges available online. However, a large majority of online exchanges will require you to verify your identification, because they are required by law to follow KYC and AML regulatory guidelines. This means you will have to verify a few things like your phone number, a picture of your license, and some exchanges also ask for proof of your address.

Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income
Check out our list of recommended exchanges here.

This process could take as little as two minutes or it could take weeks depending on the exchange and how busy they are, and some may deny you for specific reasons. However after jumping through a few hoops with a particular exchange, selling your cryptocurrencies is very simple and most platforms are fairly intuitive. Keep in mind when you sell on an exchange you are exposing your income to another party, and they may even ask you if you have paid your taxes in order to continue using their services. There are a few decentralized exchanges, but most of them (minus a few) only swap crypto-to-crypto assets.

Crypto-Infused Debit Cards

One popular way of living off a cryptocurrency income is the use of debit cards that allow users of these cards to purchase things wherever Visa or Mastercard is accepted. There are crypto-infused debit cards provided by companies like Wagecan, Bitpay, Shift (Coinbase), Wirex, and many more. Most of these cards support a bunch of the most popular cryptocurrencies, and when using them users can pay for bills or shop virtually anywhere. Some cryptocurrency cards are used just like your debit card after loading up some of your digital assets. Some cards operate differently too, like with the Bitpay card you pretty much sell your bitcoin cash for USD or EUR, and the value doesn’t fluctuate. But the Coinbase Shift card operates differently, because it deducts the exact value of the purchased item from whatever value your holdings are at the time.

Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income
Check out our list of recommended crypto-debit cards here.

Get a Backup Method and Ask Your Co-Workers How They Live Off a Crypto-Income

There are many ways you can learn how to live off of bitcoin, and these are just a few examples of how you can get started. It’s worth noting that using multiple exchanges and cards and having a backup plan on hand is highly recommended. Sometimes things happen and your provider may not be able to process your request when you need them. So having a backup provider on hand (like another exchange, another crypto-debit card, or another idea) so you can get by if your processor or merchant experiences downtime, is a pretty good idea.

Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income
The holy grail for most cryptocurrency enthusiasts is the hope that someday every merchant will accept digital assets.

Another good avenue to take when you start getting paid in cryptocurrencies is talking to your co-workers who have been paid in digital assets for years, and ask them how they live and pay bills. They may tell you some good tricks of the crypto-trade so you can move forward towards the digital age.

What do you think about the various methods available so people can live off of a crypto income? Are there any methods that we forgot? Let us know about your methods in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, e-Gifter, Bitpay, and Wiki Commons. 


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 Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Paid in Bitcoin? Learn How to Survive Off a Crypto-Income appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: New Apps, Announcements and Developments

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: New Apps, Announcements and Developments

This week, the decentralized cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash has seen some market gains and there’s also been a slew of new announcements and development over the past couple of weeks. Currently, the price per BCH is around $1,120 after dropping below the $1K range the week prior. Moreover, since the fork this past May the BCH-ecosystem has seen all types of application development and community projects launched with a new announcement nearly every day.

Also Read: IMF Says Bitcoin Could Create Less Demand for Regular Debt-based Fiat Money

Today’s Bitcoin Cash Statistics

It’s been over 10 months since the August 1 fork and today the BCH chain is roughly 7201 blocks ahead of the Bitcoin Core (BTC) chain. Since then, the decentralized cryptocurrency ecosystem has performed two successful hard forks, one of which changed the currency’s difficulty algorithm, while the other fork added new OP_Codes, and raised the base block size to 32 MB. Over the past year, the BCH hashrate has grown exponentially and this week the hashrate is averaging close to 5 exahash per second between roughly 12 different mining pools. This Friday, June 8, the Bitcoin Cash chain is 1.5% more profitable to mine according to Coin Dance statistics. Further Coin Dance data details that it is 5.95x more expensive to transact on the BTC network today.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: New Apps, Announcements and Developments

Market data shows that BCH is down 2 percent today but has gained 13 percent over the last seven days. The market has a lot more trade volume today than a few days prior with $516Mn BCH swapped over the past 24-hours. The top exchanges trading the most BCH liquidity include Okex, Binance, L Bank, EXX, and Huobi. Bitcoin Cash is the fourth highest market capitalization still but also holds the fourth highest trade volume for June 8, 2018. The strongest currency pair with BCH is BTC which captures 41 percent of trades. This is followed by tether (USDT 30.8%), USD (15.1%), KRW (7.9%), and ETH (1.3%).

New Platform Announcements, the Miners Choice Initiative, and Development Funding

Overall, the sentiment within the BCH community has been very positive, as there have been lots of announcements over the past couple of weeks. For instance, this past week 100+ coders met in China to develop BCH-based applications and organizers detail the event was a huge success. The Cryptonize.it team announced the launch of a new BCH-centric wallet called Cash Pay that allows anyone to purchase anything online. A few days later, the Cryptonize.it founder Ari explained to news.Bitcoin.com about how his team helped an anonymous developer create a new decentralized fundraising platform called Lighthouse.cash.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: New Apps, Announcements and Developments

Earlier this week, we reported on a “Miners Choice” initiative started by the mining pools operated by Nchain, and Coingeek which aims to remove the BCH dust limit if 546 satoshis, alongside allowing some free transactions per block. Nchain’s Dr. Craig Wright spoke with news.Bitcoin.com about the initiative and he encouraged other mining pools to join the cause. So far since we reported on the topic, the mining pools Bitcoin.com and Viabtc have pledged to support the initiative. In addition to this, the Bitcoin.com pool has started to donate a fraction of block rewards to BCH development and has donated the funds to the Bitcoin ABC development team this week.

Bitcoin Cash Community Energy Still at Full Throttle

Other BCH announcements include the popular streaming gaming platform Twitch now allows BCH tips by utilizing the Streamlabs app tethered to their Coinbase accounts. An encrypted messaging service was launched this week that’s tethered to the BCH network called Keyport. Bitcoin Cash was featured in the UK’s popular financial magazine Moneyweek two days ago in an editorial detailing why investors should invest in BCH. Last but not least, the trading platform Boaexchange has added BCH as their base currency and default values. The Coinex exchange is another trading platform that also offers BCH trading pairs with other popular cryptocurrencies.

The trading platform Boaexchange offers BCH pairs.

Overall, the BCH community is optimistic about the future and pleased with the latest developments and announcements concerning the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem. One unique headline this week came from the Philippines, as there’s a decked out customized BCH Jeepney that drives between Philcoa in Quezon City and T.M. Kalaw in Manila every day. The BCH Jeepney project was initiated by 20 BCH community members who donated 0.5 BCH each, and the bus plans to accept bitcoin cash in the near future.  

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: New Apps, Announcements and Developments
The customized BCH Jeepney that drives throughout Manila.

There’s been a lot going on which has invoked a positive energy around the entire community, so far this fervor has been at full throttle.

What do you think about the BCH market and infrastructure the past few weeks? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below.


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Three Luxury Apartments Sold for 420 BTC in the Coastal Region of Montenegro

Three Luxury Apartments Sold for 420 BTC in the Coastal Region of Montenegro

This week three luxury apartments located in Budva, Montenegro sold for 420 BTC (3.2Mn USD) according to Notary Office and the firm Astra Montenegro Investment Association (AMIA). Furthermore, the AMIA has been successfully promoting the use of digital currencies in Budva and has convinced the neighboring Dukley hotel, Beach Lounge, and Marina to accept BTC.

Also Read: Mike Hearn’s Crowdfunding Project Has Been Resurrected — Meet Lighthouse.cash

Montenegro Real Estate, and Three Establishments Welcome Cryptocurrency Acceptance

Three apartments have sold in the region of Budva, Montenegro, a country located in Southeastern Europe. The luxury apartments were located near the coastal area on the Adriatic Sea and the region is well known for its tourism. According to AMIA executive Nila Emilfarba and the Notary Office, the living quarters were sold for approximately 420 BTC. The Dukley Gardens sale is also just part of Budva favoring digital currencies.

Emilfarba says the sale was the biggest so far for the country and the firm has been persuading merchants in Budva to accept digital currencies. In addition to being able to purchase real estate, Emilfarba and AMIA have also convinced the Beach Lounge restaurant, Dukley hotel, and the Dukley Marina to accept BTC as well.

“Our company, unlike many who have doubt in cryptocurrency, is the first in the region that started selling real estate for the cryptocurrencies,” explains the AMIA.

We acquired brand new clientele — In the world, and especially in Europe, there is only a limited number of real estate that can be bought with BTC.

Three Luxury Apartments Sold for 420 BTC in the Coastal Region of Montenegro
The apartments purchased with BTC were located in The Dukley Gardens but the Beach Lounge restaurant, Dukley hotel, and the Dukley Marina also accept BTC. 

The Apartment Sales Were Closed Quickly and Witnessed by the Budva Notary Office  

One of the customers was a 25-year old native from France explained the settlement process was quicker than traditional residential closings. The sale was witnessed by the Budva Notary, Pantović’s Law office, and attorneys from Prelević’s Law. After the official papers were signed and the BTC was transferred the funds were immediately converted to Euros.

Real estate purchases using cryptocurrency has been a trend that’s been growing in number since early 2017 when digital assets reached all-time price highs. These large transactions have been taking place in Miami, Amsterdam, Dubai, Manhattan and all over the world. With three establishments and real estate being sold for cryptocurrency it looks like Montenegro is becoming a friendly region in regard to the digital asset economy.

What do you think about the three apartments in Budva, Montenegro being sold for BTC and the three establishments accepting the cryptocurrency for services? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


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Cryptocurrencies Not a Risk to Stability, Russian Study Concludes

Cryptocurrencies Not a Risk to Stability, Russian Study Concludes

A study has found that despite their volatility, cryptocurrencies do not endanger the financial system and the economy of Russia, as the risks are offset by the highly concentrated ownership of digital assets. Crypto fluctuations are not believed to affect consumption either. Russian residents have controlled cryptocurrency worth between $7.5 and $14 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to estimates published in the report.

Also read: Russian Railways Eyes Crypto for Tickets, Blockchain for Cargo

Coins Compared to Commodities, Less Volatile than Some

Cryptocurrencies Not a Risk to Stability, Russian Study ConcludesThe volatility of cryptocurrency rates is comparable to the price dynamics of foods, considered some of the most volatile commodities. Prices of products like meat, milk, and sugar can actually be much more volatile, according to a new study quoted by Russian media. It concludes that cryptocurrencies are not a threat to Russia’s financial stability.

Crypto volatility can affect the Russian economy much like the depreciation of the ruble, which leads to revaluation of the debt denominated in foreign currency, increased cost of borrowing, inflation expectations, and counterparty risks. The authors have calculated that crypto market fluctuations can increase the interest rate on domestic borrowings by about 1%, but that’s only if the share of virtual currencies in the structure of corporate debt reaches 4 trillion rubles, or at least 6% of the total.

According to the Russian Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA), the high volatility of cryptocurrencies can potentially create risks for the country’s financial stability, but these are balanced by the high concentration of ownership of the digital assets. ACRA estimates that the market value of the cryptocurrency attributable to the Russian economy or controlled by Russian residents has been between $7.5 and 14 billion in the first quarter of 2018. That’s only 1-2% of the M2 money supply in Russia. The global ratio is even lower at 0.5%.

Cryptocurrencies Not a Risk to Stability, Russian Study Concludes

The study is based on statistics measuring the Russian share of the global economy and money supply, as well as data about the structure of the turnover registered on crypto exchanges. The researchers note that it is still quite difficult to accurately estimate the share of cryptocurrencies against the money supply in the country, as the assessment is limited by the opacity of the cryptocurrency markets, the anonymity of crypto users and the use of cryptocurrency in cross-border settlements.

The authors point out that a number of factors can influence the volume of cryptocurrency owned by the residents of a given country. These include the level of development of financial markets and venture investing, the central bank’s policies, the stability of the national fiat currency, the inflation dynamics, and the rigidity of government regulations. They believe that the increase of market capitalization of cryptocurrencies, their acceptance as unit of account, the introduction of liberal regulations for ICOs and crypto payments can stimulate growth in the sector.

Consumption Not Affected by Crypto Fluctuations

The experts at ACRA see very little chance of crypto volatility affecting consumption in Russia. They claim consumption will decrease only by about 1% if cryptocurrency price shocks cause a 6% drop in the volume of liquid savings. In current prices, this corresponds to approximately 1.5 trillion rubles. “However, due to the huge distortion in the distribution of crypto assets, their volatility is not reflected in consumer spending,” notes the report, quoted by Kommersant.

Cryptocurrencies Not a Risk to Stability, Russian Study Concludes

The analysts also say that if the use of cryptocurrency increases in Russia, the Central Bank can employ the same monetary policy instruments it currently applies in regards to foreign currencies. In case crypto markets remain opaque, digital currencies can be treated like foreign cash, and if the bank is successful in tracing crypto transactions, digital coins can be regarded as electronic foreign currency funds.

The Central Bank of Russia has previously opposed the legalization of cryptocurrencies as legal tender and unit of account. The legislation currently under review in Russia’s parliament can change that to a certain extent. It has been reported that some texts allow the use of tokens and coins in settlements, although, unlike the ruble, cryptos will not be considered a mandatory means of payment in the country.

Of the three drafts approved on first reading by the State Duma, the bill “On Digital Rights” deals with crypto payments. The other two, “On Digital Financial Assets” and “On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms”, aim to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs), crypto mining and taxation. The proposed legislation describes cryptocurrencies and tokens as electronic property created with cryptographic tools.

Do you think price volatility hampers the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities Laws

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities Laws

In recent regulatory news, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has rejected a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the subpoenas recently received by Bitfinex and Tether; the United States Securities and Exchanges (SEC) Chairman, Jay Clayton, has indicated that the regulator will not alter existing securities legislation to cater to cryptocurrencies. Maria Vullo, the Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York, has praised the regulatory efforts made by the CFTC and SEC in the arena of initial coin offerings, and the SEC has announced Valerie Szczepanik as the commission’s new Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation.

Also Read: Coinbase Acquires Investment Firms to Offer Regulated Crypto Securities

CFTC Rejects Freedom of Information Request

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities LawsIt has been reported by media that the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission has rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act for access to the subpoenas delivered to Bitfinex and Tether on the 6th of December.

The FOIA request, dated June 5th, requested “subpoenas issued to Ifinex inc. also known as Bitfinex and its subsidiary companies, as well as subpoenas issued Tether Limited and its subsidiary companies.”

The anonymous individual who submitted the request claims that the CFTC responded stating that it had discovered “thousands of responsive records, all of which are exempt from the FOIA’s disclosure requirement,” adding that “Some records are exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(A), 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(A), because disclosure of that material could reasonably be expected to interfere with the conduct of the Commission’s law enforcement activities.”

The CFTC also reportely stated that “Some records were obtained on the condition that the agency keep the source of the information confidential. Those records are exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(0), 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(D). That exemption is intended to ensure that “confidential sources are not lost because of retaliation against the sources for past disclosures or because of the sources’ fear of future disclosures.”

SEC Will Not Modify Securities Regulations to Cater to Cryptocurrencies

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities LawsIn a recent interview with CNBC, the chairman of the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, firmly rejected the suggestion of modifying existing securities legislation in order to adapt regulations to cryptocurrencies. Mr. Clayton stated “We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time. We’ve been doing this a long time, there’s no need to change the definition.”

The SEC chairman also sought to clarify the regulator’s jurisdiction regarding virtual currencies. “Crypto-currencies: These are replacements for sovereign currencies, replace the dollar, the euro, the yen with bitcoin. That type of currency is not a security. A token, a digital asset, where I give you my money and you go off and make a venture, and in return for giving you my money I say ‘you can get a return’ that is a security and we regulate that. We regulate the offering of that security and regulate the trading of that security.”

New York Officials Praise U.S. Authorities for ICO Regulations

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities LawsAt a recent event organized by the Council on Foreign Relations titled “Legal Tender? The Regulation of Cryptocurrencies,” Maria Vullo, the Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York, praised the efforts of U.S authorities to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Mrs. Vullo stated “I think the SEC has done the best job possible in its efforts to regulate token sales,” adding, “in many ways, this is no different than other types of banking-related services where you have the state regulators, you have the public companies that are also regulated by the SEC and the CFTC.”

Mrs. Vullo added “I think a lot of these token sales run afoul of the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law. But we have to be careful not to lump them all together.”

Valerie Szczepanik Named SEC’s Senior Advisor for Digital Assets

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities LawsThe SEC has announced Valerie Szczepanik as the regulator’s new Senior Advisor for Digital Assets, and Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance. Mrs. Szczepanik has worked with the SEC since 1997, most recently serving as an Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit.

Chairman Jay Clayton stated “Valerie’s thought leadership in this area is recognized both within the Commission and across financial regulators in the United States and abroad. With her demonstrated skill, experience, and keen awareness of the importance of fostering innovation while ensuring investor protection, Val is the right person to coordinate our efforts in this dynamic area that has both promise and risk.”

Ms. Szczepanik stated “I am excited to take on this new role in support of the SEC’s efforts to address digital assets and innovation as it carries out its mission to facilitate capital formation, promote fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and protect investors, particularly Main Street investors. I look forward to working closely with staff across the agency, our regulatory partners, and the public as we provide a coordinated and strategic response to developments.”

What are your thoughts on the current regulatory climate surrounding bitcoin and cryptocurrencies? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


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Twitch Streamers Can Now Tip With Four Cryptocurrencies

Twitch Streamers Can Now Tip With Four Cryptocurrencies

Users of the popular video game streaming application Twitch can now tip each other using a variety of cryptocurrencies. The integration is made possible by a firm called Streamlabs who have built a protocol that can send tips through a user’s Coinbase account.

Also Read: Decentralized Exchange Compendium ‘Index’ Lists Over 200 Dex Platforms

Twitch Users Can Now Tip Each Other With Four Different Cryptocurrencies

Twitch Streamers Can Now Tip With Four Cryptocurrencies The well-known video game stream website Twitch is extremely popular, the page sees millions of visitors every month. Now users of the platform can tip each other with four cryptocurrencies including bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and bitcoin core (BTC). Essentially Twitch streamers can get a Streamlabs account tied to their Coinbase account which enables crypto-infused tips with no additional fees. Streamlabs representative Tom Maneri revealed the integration on Sunday, June 4.   

“It’s time to give one of your Lambos a wash, because all Streamlabs broadcasters can now accept cryptocurrency tips,” Maneri details.

Twitch Streamers Can Now Tip With Four Cryptocurrencies
In order to tip on Twitch users need to have a Coinbase and Streamlabs account.

Integrating Streamlabs With Coinbase to Tip Using Twitch

In order to integrate cryptocurrency tipping in Twitch users need to have a Coinbase account and head to the Streamlabs ‘donation settings page’ to select the ‘Coinbase option.’ From there you need to log in, and tether your Coinbase account to the Streamlabs platform. After that, a tip page will now show up for viewers, and, just like fiat, cryptocurrency tips work with your alerts as well so you can be notified when receiving a tip. Moreover, there are no fees involved with the process minus the network fee associated with the specific cryptocurrency chosen for tipping.

“Streamlabs does not charge a fee, but some network transaction fees may apply depending on the currency being used,” Maneri explains.

Cryptocurrency proponents are quite pleased with the tipping integration as Twitch is extremely popular gaming site that has millions of unique users and is one of the top 50 most trafficked websites in the world.

What do you think about being able to tip people with cryptocurrency using the streaming video game platform Twitch? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


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Decentralized Exchange Compendium ‘Index’ Lists Over 200 Dex Platforms

Decentralized Exchange Compendium 'Index' Lists Over 200 Dex Platforms

Since the creation of bitcoin and the hundreds of other cryptocurrencies in existence individuals have been trading their assets for profit or for other coins. A great majority of people use centralized exchanges, even though many of them require strict identification policies or have lost funds due to hackers infiltrating their platforms. Over the past couple of years, there has been a proliferation of decentralized exchanges (Dex) that allow digital currency trading without relying on a third party to hold a user’s funds. Unfortunately, people might not be aware that there have been over 200 Dex platforms launched over the past few years, and a Github repository called ‘Index’ allows people to get a comprehensive overview of each decentralized exchange.

Also Read: Testing Cryptocurrency Atomic Swaps With Barterdex

A List of Decentralized Exchanges of Cryptographic Assets, and Their Protocols

Decentralized Exchange Compendium 'Index' Lists Over 200 Dex Platforms

When people think about trading cryptocurrencies they often think about exchanges like Gemini, Coinbase, Bitstamp, and others. These exchanges are deemed centralized because they hold a customer’s funds and the data associated with the person’s account. A decentralized exchange, otherwise known as a ‘Dex,’ the protocol is basically a ‘trustless system’ because it doesn’t hold a user’s funds or require any data. There are a lot of popular Dex platforms that people have been hearing about more recently, and now there’s also a Github repository that gives an in-depth look at all 200+ trading platforms. The repository called ‘Index’ was created by the software developers Hanni Abu, Steven Hatzakis, Manfred Karrer and Elio Osés.

“This is a list of decentralized exchanges of cryptographic assets (cryptocurrencies, tokens, derivatives, futures) and their protocols, without a central entity,” explains the repository.   

The architecture of these and their protocols can be quite different from one another. In some cases, they are built projects entirely open source — In other cases, they are closed in some aspects, but still implemented open or decentralized tools or mechanisms like smart contracts that are publicly verifiable. Other projects have chosen to create their own distributed ledger technology (DTL) in order to build a protocol for exchange.

Decentralized Exchange Compendium 'Index' Lists Over 200 Dex Platforms
The Index lists the decentralized exchange name, URL, repo, documents, Dex grade, status, protocol, reference, asset, DLT, ORG.

The Benefits of Dex Platforms Are Great But These Projects Have a Limited User Base and Weak Liquidity  

Dex platforms listed on the Index repository include Airswap, Altcoin Exchange, Atomicdex, Bisq, Bancor, Barterdex, Hodl Hodl, Counterparty Dex, Etherdelta, Localcoinswap, Raiden, QTUM Dex, and many more. The list also tells whether or not the Dex is operational, whether the platform has issues, and other types of characteristics.

Decentralized Exchange Compendium 'Index' Lists Over 200 Dex Platforms
Some exchanges are considered “fully” decentralized while others are not operational.

For instance, the Index list features exchanges that offer accountless registration, a decentralized DNS, trustless order matching, and many more methods of decentralization. Out of the 200+ Dex platforms, there are a bunch that are either in their very early beta stages, or some that have been defunct or “dead” for quite some time. There’s still a good handful of “fully” decentralized projects, and Index also details their specific protocol layers and the type of cryptocurrency assets used.

Decentralized Exchange Compendium 'Index' Lists Over 200 Dex Platforms
There are 200+ Dex platforms listed on Index but many of them have very little users and lack liquidity.

The advantages of using a Dex are profound and allow people to trade in a trustless fashion. The chances of losing your money due to an exchange hack is slim to none and you don’t have to reveal your identity which makes your transactions far more private. The disadvantage to Dex platforms right now is mostly lack of traders, and liquidity is also slim to none even on the most popular and fully operational exchanges. However, as more lose money to fallen exchanges and theft, people are slowly starting to migrate to Dex platforms that offer decentralized features.

It’s likely centralized exchanges will never go away but a lot of cryptocurrency proponents hope the majority of crypto-trades will take place on these trustless platforms. Lastly, if decentralized exchanges do dominate the way we trade value, then the technology will surely revolutionize our current monetary systems — And it’s a nice day for a revolution. 

What do you think of the Github repository Index that features a great variety of Dex platforms? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, ARTS1840, the Index list, and Github.  


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