Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

There’s a new Point-of-Sale (PoS) service the Bitcoin Cash community has been talking about called, Bchpls.io, an app that enables any brick n’ mortar merchant to accept BCH with just two devices by providing a customer screen, and a cashier view. Bchpls is currently in open beta which means the public can test the software at their own discretion, so news.Bitcoin.com decided to test the program’s feature services.

Also read: Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

Giving the New PoS System Bchpls.io a Test Run

This week we decided to test out a new PoS system specifically designed for merchants who want to accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH) at any physical location. The application called Bchpls.io is free, and there are no servers needed as all it takes is an internet connection and two devices (cashier & customer). Merchants can accept the funds into any wallet of their choice and set up the name of their business on the invoice. Funds are sent to a one-time-only address as a new address is used for each sale so incoming revenue is kept private.

Setting Up a Store Name and Fiat Currency Pair for Pricing

When entering the website users are greeted with a purple-orange themed page that asks the user to sign up. After hitting the register tab the merchant enters a valid email address and sets a strong password to set up their account. The next screen asks the merchant to add the store name and the fiat currency they wish to use to calculate BCH invoices. Following this step the user has to tether a Bitcoin Cash wallet to the store account and Bchpls uses the Xpub (extended public keys) to generate a receiving address on the cashier side.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

Tethering a Wallet to Bchpls.io With Extended Public Keys

Using the Bitcoin.com Wallet simply create a new wallet with the store’s name and go to the section called “wallet information.” The next screen will reveal the BCH wallet’s Xpub keys, after scrolling down to the bottom. Tap the Xpub section and the Bitcoin.com Wallet will automatically copy and paste the extended public keys. Paste this text into the Bchpls page where it says ‘derivation path,” and hit next.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

After that, the merchant is all set, and a page is created which shows information for an access key, cashier screen, and the customer screen. Both screens provide a URL with a QR code created on the invoice page. Unfortunately, there is no address section yet available to copy and paste, as the invoice only supplies a QR code that needs to be scanned.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

After the merchant set-up is complete the account holder simply registers a sale on the platform which calculates a new invoice every time. Merchants can also cancel the invoice as well before it is paid just in case there happened to be an error during the process.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

The Softwares’ Roadmap and Monetization Plans

The Bchpls developer explains in the future they plan to monetize by adding custom features or the “ability to operate more than one PoS session at the same time.” Down the line, Bchpls plans to add products management, custom designs, receipts, multiple PoS, and a merchant directory.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

Currently, the beta program is not open source nor does it offer a client-side (trustless) option but the developer says he will provide these things soon.

“This is not available on Github at the moment — It is currently a hosted service — The site does not store any private keys or BCH on your behalf,” explains the Bchpls developer. “You provide your Xpub (public key), then any orders made will be made directly to addresses generated from your Xpub.”

Note that this is not an e-commerce payment gateway solution, it is a POS system for a brick-and-mortar setup. It is also not a solution for people who want automatic settlement into Fiat. It only settles in BCH directly into your wallet — The client-side-only implementation will be open sourced once it is ready.

Bchpls is yet another application that helps promote Bitcoin Cash infrastructure and adoption and most BCH proponents seem to like the platform. Some individuals will likely wait for a more reliable release and others will also wait for a client-side open source version. All in all, Bchpls was extremely easy to set up and any brick-and-mortar business could start using it at their shop.

What do you think about Bchpls.io? Let us know your thoughts about this PoS system in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, BCHPLS.io, and Jamie Redman.


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Wendy McElroy: The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 3: Decentralization
Chapter 8, Part 3
The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

First we must realize that all actions are performed by individuals… If we scrutinize the meaning of the various actions performed by individuals we must necessarily learn everything about the actions of the collective whole. For a social collective has no existence and reality outside of the individual members’ actions.

–Ludwig von Mises

In 1963, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote a book Eichmann in Jerusalem, about “the banality of evil,” which redefined that concept forever. Evil is not usually committed by sadistic monsters, she argued, but by ordinary people who relinquish personal responsibility for their actions and obey the orders or rules of a corrupt system. (Here, evil is defined as deliberately and callously inflicting great harm on innocent people.)

Arendt reached this conclusion while reporting for The New Yorker on the trial of high-ranking Nazi Adolf Eichmann, which occurred in Israel. As a German Jew who fled the rise of Hitler, she should have been appalled to be in the same room with Eichmann. Instead, Arendt was fascinated by him. There was no guilt, no rage, no sense of responsibility, nothing exceptional. As her book explained, Eichmann kept repeating that, “He did his duty…; he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law.” He was also assisted by a vast network of average people—clerks, railroad workers, low-ranking soldiers—who sent innocent others off to prison or worse fates, without a second thought. It was the law.

Cryptocurrency confronts the banality of an economic system for which the word “evil” is not too strong a word. Opening with Arendt may seem like hyperbole, but it captures something important. The central banking system and the other economic controls imposed by government seem benign because they are so familiar; people grew up with them. And bank clerks can be very pleasant as they demand Know Your Customer data; if the customer objects, they answer “I am doing my job, and it is the law.” Nothing benign occurs in the system. Hard-working people are robbed of their wealth through measures like inflation and the monopoly of fiat currency; food is taken from the mouths of children; innovators who could produce a better world are shackled; in some nations, people die for want of nourishment or medical care.

Venezuela is an extreme example of economic evil, as well as an example of the remedy. When the economy collapsed in 2014, many people’s lives were ruined while many others survived by using the only alternative they had to worthless fiat: cryptocurrency. President Nicolas Maduro was well aware of the dynamic. That’s why he issued the first-official state crypto—the Petro—which was announced last December (2017). The Petro is doomed,  of course. When centralized in Maduro’s hands, it will become just another form of fiat. But the Petro indicates one of the main ways the economic system will try to defuse the threat of crypto—namely, centralize crypto by either issuing coins or regulating a few institutions approved to handle it, such as exchanges.

Two main factors in how long the Petro will last are the centralization of power, and how many average people will accept the official status quo because it is (or will become) the law. These are the people who will work in the financial system, or turn in a neighbor for mining, or vote to ask for regulation. They are the banality of economic evil, without which the system could not exist.


Methodological Individualism

The harm done to freedom by those who act against decentralized-market crypto is more than just a denial of financial independence to others. Free-market crypto  fortifies some of the most important concepts of liberty. One of them is “methodological individualism,” which is the exact opposite of what Arendt called “the banality of evil.” Instead of individuals relinquishing their responsibility for actions to an institution, like central banking or the military, individuals are entirely accountable for their own behavior.

The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises rested much of his philosophy on methodological individualism. He declared that, ultimately, only individuals exist; only individuals act. Even within the dynamics of a collective, such as the state or society, it is individuals who comprise the structure and carry out all actions. Mises famously stated, “The Hangman, not the state, executes a criminal.” Individuals who look at the hangman [and] see the state in action do so only because they have created an abstraction known as ‘the state’ in order to provide a context. The hangman may be pressured to perform his job, but the performance is ultimately his choice. Equally, people never truly see or hear a group conversation. All they see or hear are individuals speaking, and then they label the sum of the exchange as ‘a group conversation’.”

Mises argued that collectives-such as family or society–were valuable abstractions that people used to describe their interactions with others within a specific context. He did not deny the worth of many collectives. Quite the contrary. He explained, “Methodological individualism, far from contesting the significance of such collective wholes, considers it as one of its main tasks to describe and to analyze their becoming and their disappearing, their changing structures, and their operation. And it chooses the only method fitted to solve this problem satisfactorily.” Individualism was the key to understanding collectives.

What does this have to do with cryptocurrency?

The most difficult area in which to implement methodological individualism is  finance, which is one of the most powerful collectives in existence. Central banks, tax agencies, and reporting forms are ubiquitous types of evil. Governments do not produce any wealth. And, yet, they need vast amounts of it to finance bureaucracy, the military, and the other centralized trappings of power. This means governments need to steal vast amounts of wealth. But to do so directly would cause resistance. So they issue fiat and bonds, and force all finance to go through institutions they control. For a long time, for most people, there was no viable path around the centralization.

And, Then: Cryptocurrency

Free-market crypto is methodological individualism writ large in an essential area of life. Methodological individualism is an incredibly powerful challenge to the centralized control of economics. It was designed to be so.

The concept arose in response to the theory of social holism that became popular in the early twentieth century. Social holism claims that systems must be viewed as wholes rather than as collections of their parts. It maintains that a collective has a dynamic that differs from the sum of its parts. In short, the collective is greater than the individuals who comprise it.

Marxists often accuse those who espouse methodological individualism of being atomistic, or unable to bow to the greater social good. Some go so far as to assert that the individual, and not society, is the true abstraction. That is, individuals do not exist without society. As Mises observed, “The notion of an individual, say the critics, is an empty abstraction. Real man is necessarily always a member of a social whole.”

Karl Marx argued this point by using a Robinson Crusoe example. An individual who had been born and immediately abandoned on a desert island, he contended,  would not be a human being at all. His point was that human beings are social organisms-social constructs, if you will-who cannot be lifted from their defining context and still remain human. Reversing Misesian logic, Marx claimed that society created its individual members. To create the “right” type of people, all social institutions had to be thoroughly regulated for the social good, however that was defined. The brutal conformity of communism is an example of centralization. So is the expression, “I was only following orders.”

Classical liberals argued that a person raised in utter isolation would still be a human being with human characteristics. For example, he would have a scale of preferences, and he would act to achieve the highest one first. Without social interaction, of course, huge parts of the person’s humanity would never develop. But this would not make the individual less human. Collectives do not define humanity. Human beings define collectives.


Conclusion

Coerced centralization is so inculcated into the culture that it is considered to be normal and healthy. Public schools, central banks, public works, tariffs, …many people cannot envision society through any other lens. But coerced centralization demands that people surrender their moral compass to a collective authority. It is the source of Arendt’s banality of evil.

Methodological individualism is the cure, especially through the dynamics of a  free crypto, which is implemented through decentralization. But how does a decentralized society create the free-market institutions valued by Mises? The answer is another key concept of liberty: spontaneous order.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters


Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

European cryptocurrency holders have reason to be cheerful. Slowly but surely it’s becoming easier to spend BTC, BCH, and a range of other cryptos throughout the continent, with payment services like Wirex and Paytomat leading the charge. It’s now possible to spend bitcoin in hundreds of restaurants and stores throughout Eastern Europe, as well as anywhere that accepts Visa in the whole of mainland Europe and the UK.

Also read: SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”

Wirex Rolls Out Its New Crypto Debit Cards

When crypto debit cards were cancelled in Europe last year, with a Visa subsidiary to blame, tens of thousands of cryptocurrency holders were left clutching worthless pieces of plastic. But as crypto companies have forged new alliances with payment processors, crypto debit cards have started to return, and hopefully this time they’re here to stay. In the past two weeks, Wirex has begun dispatching physical cards to UK and mainland European customers who were on its waiting list. News.Bitcoin.com had a chance to put one of the cards to the test, topping it up with BTC and then spending it in-store and online, and was impressed with the results.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat
Processing a cryptocurrency payment with Paytomat

A full review of the Wirex crypto debit card follows below, after a quick look at what Paytomat have been up to. The cryptocurrency payment system supports 11 cryptos including bitcoin cash and zencash, and has support from over 330 restaurants and stores at present, mostly in Eastern Europe. It’s since expanded into Western Europe, however, with a launch that took place in an Amsterdam soup kitchen earlier this month.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

Paytomat CEO Yurii Olentir said: “Amsterdam is one of the most crypto-friendly places, so we chose it for our kick-off in Western Europe. With millions of tourists visiting every month, cryptocurrencies can be a very convenient payment method. For example, a transaction in Bitcoin Cash takes just a couple of seconds and the fee is miniscule.”

In total, Paytomat supports BCH, ZEN, XEM, DASH, WAVES, LTC, ETH, NANO, DCR, XZC and BTC, and as a video demonstration shows, paying for a meal with bitcoin cash is quick and easy:

A Quick Look at the Wirex Crypto Card in Action

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and PaytomatI applied for a Wirex card weeks ago, and succeeded after several failed attempts at address verification. At one point I feared I was never going to convince their KYC I lived where I claimed to live, but a stamped bank confirmation letter finally did the trick. The team’s customer support was helpful throughout, to their credit. Last week, Wirex announced that its cards were finally ready to ship. Mine arrived in a beautifully packaged sleeve that folds out to reveal the slogan “The most versatile payments card in the world” accompanied by a heart emoji face.

If I thought the presentation was good, the activation turned out to be even slicker. With the Wirex app already installed on my phone, all I had to do was hold the card in proximity to the device and the NFC chip automatically extracted the last four digits of the card and the CVV number. I clicked the verification email link and that was it: my card was good to go. Wirex accepts BTC and LTC, but no BCH or ETH unfortunately. Hopefully they’ll add more cryptocurrency support in due course. For now, I fired over some BTC, and not long afterward a notification informed me that my coins had arrived.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

A Few Hiccups, But Otherwise Impressive

For users who don’t already have cryptocurrency to hand, Wirex enables you to top up your card using your existing bank account; transfers reportedly clear within a few hours. With my BTC loaded, I tried to transfer the balance to GBP so I could spend it, but accidentally swapped into LTC instead; the process is a little confusing. At the second time of asking, I worked out how to complete the swap, and within seconds my litecoin had been exchanged for British pounds. My daughter had been pestering me to buy more reading credits for her iOS app, and so my first £10 of crypto went on purchasing virtual gems.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

I planned to test the card at a restaurant next, but when it came to pay the bill realized that I didn’t know the PIN for the Wirex card, and was forced to use an alternate method to settle up. Back home, I searched through every submenu of the Wirex mobile app and desktop platform to find where the PIN number was located. I got there, eventually, though it wasn’t intuitive at all. This minor grumble aside, the card works perfectly, and there’s even 0.5% in cashback to be earned on all purchases – paid in BTC.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat
Every time you use your Wirex card, you’re credited cashback in satoshis

Naturally, Wirex make their cut in terms of the exchange rate you’re offered every time you switch from fiat to crypto and vice-versa. This is still preferable to having to cash out crypto through Localbitcoins.com or similar every time you need to spend money in the “real world.” On first impressions, the Wirex card looks very good. My only concern is that now my kids and girlfriend have a direct line to my bitcoin, I fear for my crypto.

Do you use a crypto debit card and if so what’s your experience of it? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wirex, and Paytomat.


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Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down Under

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down Under

Instant crypto-denominated salaries and blockchain-based social security payments feature in Saturday’s Bitcoin in Brief. Reports about these promising developments in the labor market and the public sector come from Australia. Also, the Slovak tax authority intends to use blockchain technology for more efficient tax collection.  

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Crypto-Based Hiring Platform Supports Instant Pay Option

A new employment service offers to cut out banks and pay workers in real-time using cryptocurrency. Another feature will rate employees using a blockchain-based reputation and review process, designed to ensure that higher quality work gets paid better. The “Pay As You Go” system has been launched recently in Australia.

Sergei Sergienko, the entrepreneur behind the project, claims that instant salary payments are possible with cryptos, tokens, and thanks to the underlying technology – blockchain. His “global job platform” Laborx is developed to do exactly that – pay employees while they are working, so that everyone can start spending on the way home.

“The way for people to be remunerated is based on pre-Industrial Revolution kind of wages – you spend the time in the factory, and you get paid,” he said, quoted by Business Insider Australia. “If you look around, everything else has changed. And it’s really, really weird that the way people get paid for their services, for their time, for their work, has not gone through any revolution of sorts,” Sergienko noted.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down Under

The businessman, who owns a successful labor hire, staffing and training company called the Edway Group, believes that the revolution comes in the form of the “Labour-Hour Tokens” (LHT) and the hiring ecosystem of Laborx, which is now live in beta version. Using it, companies can hire anyone – from top experts from around the world, to local fruit pickers – and pay them instantly with cryptocurrency. “A fair hour’s pay for a fair hour’s work” has been promised.

Laborx also features a tokenized reputation system. Its developers say that it combines dozens of candidate data points and stores the information on a blockchain. The platform is said to ensure job seekers get their best market rate, while also eliminating payment delays and disputes. “If your reviews are consistently good, you can charge more per hour for your services. And the person who hires you knows you’re worth it,” Sergei Sergienko explains. Other cryptocurrency projects to be trialing this model include time-based “knowledge transfer” service Whenhub, founded by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

Distributed Ledger to Be Used For Welfare Delivery

While the private sector has been developing a crypto-hiring platform, Australian authorities have been planning to employ blockchain technology to improve the welfare payments delivery in the country. The intentions were made public recently by the Digital Transformation Agency, a government body tasked with the digitization of public services and government institutions. The project to put social security payments on blockchain will pilot the wider implementation of the technology.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down Under“Our plan is to look for use cases across the Commonwealth with an initial focus on the welfare payment delivery system. Then, working with our digital service standard, we’ll conduct user research with a view to having a prototype by the end of next financial year,” said DTA’s acting CEO Randall Brugeaud during the Cebit Australia conference in Sidney last week.

Recently, The DTA received AU$700,000 from the 2018-19 budget to probe the implementation of distributed ledger technologies in the public sector. Brugeaud commented that the funds will give his agency an opportunity to explore innovative ways to securely and efficiently deliver government services using blockchain.

Slovak Tax Authority Eyes Blockchain for Efficient Collection

The Financial Administration of Slovakia aims to become a pioneer in blockchain technology implementation. The tax authority in Bratislava intends to use it to streamline its processes and procedures. The main objective is to make tax collection more efficient, the president of Finančná Správa, František Imrecze told Hospodárske Noviny.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down UnderThe technology, which underpins most cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, will be implemented in Slovakia’s taxation system to initially process about 2 percent of all tax payments, the publication details. The use of blockchain technologies is expected to increase the trust of taxpayers and protect their personal data. Authorities also hope to increase the transparency of tax collection, reduce red tape and minimize costs, Imrecze explained.

Members of the local crypto community and the non-government sector are not sure about the prospects of the project. According to Martin Lindák, analyst with the liberal think-tank F. A. Hayek Foundation, the transparency and security of blockchain applications are there only when they are decentralized. A blockchain lacking this key feature would be just an overpriced database for the public administration, Lindák warned in conversation with the newspaper.

Do you think crypto and blockchain technologies can be successfully implemented in public services and labor relations? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”

SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”

Cryptocurrencies don’t meet the requirements of money, according to the South African Reserve Bank which has decided to call them by a different name. It’s one that does not imply either currency or cryptography. “We prefer to use the word ‘cyber-token’,” said a high-ranking official of the central bank in Pretoria, adding another entry into a long list of substitutes favored by financial authorities over the original term.  

Also read: The Government Dilemma: How To Tax Something One Pretends Does Not Exist

Cyber Tokens – But Why?

It’s not unusual for officials around the world to refrain from uttering the word. For many of them, “cryptocurrency” probably sounds like a bad omen. Central bankers are the worst – “crypto” is usually a “no-no” in their financial vocabulary. But the spread of cryptocurrencies has forced policy makers and government experts to demonstrate some linguistic ingenuity. Many now speak more and more often about them with artificially invented synonyms. The list of generic terms is growing and we owe the latest entry to the South African Reserve Bank.

“We don’t use the term ‘cryptocurrency’ because it doesn’t meet the requirements of money in the economic sense of the stable means of exchange, a unit of measure and a stable unit of value,” the central bank’s Deputy Governor, Francois Groepe, told reporters in Pretoria this week. “We prefer to use the word ‘cyber-token’,” he added, quoted by Bloomberg.

SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”

The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been growing exponentially around the globe and South Africa is no exception. Regulators in the country, like many of their colleagues abroad, are finding it hard to keep up with the pace of crypto progress. SARB has recently set up a special unit tasked to review its position on “private cryptocurrencies.” The main goal is to prepare a policy framework that would lay the foundation for the future regulatory regime to govern the fintech sector.

As part of the discussions on the upcoming crypto regulations, a self-regulatory approach has been proposed by legal experts working with the industry. Whether the SARB team will listen to these calls is yet to be seen. So far, authorities in the country have mostly discussed cryptocurrencies in the context of taxation. In April, the South African Revenue Service announced it expected all crypto gains to be reported by taxpayers. Obviously, the fact that “cyber tokens” like bitcoin are not regarded as currencies is not an obstacle to collecting taxes on their transactions.

A Long List of Nicknames

SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”Government officials and central bankers invent nicknames for cryptocurrency probably because they fear that using the original term would amount to an unwanted recognition of the decentralized digital money. At the same time, they seem to turn a blind eye to the fact that taxation is a recognition of both their existence and their characteristics as means of exchange, unit of account and store of value. Nevertheless, the long list of synonyms continues to grow.

Authorities in Ireland have recently clarified their position on crypto taxation. For the sake of objectivity, the Irish revenue service has referred to digital coins with their real name – cryptocurrencies. Despite that, decentralized cryptos have been denied currency status, with one notable exception – bitcoin is currency only for VAT purposes.

Russia has been preparing its crypto regulations for quite some time. Of the three draft laws that hit the floor of the State Duma this week, only one mentions and defines cryptocurrency directly. In the other texts, and during the preceding discussions, cryptos and tokens have been called “digital money,” “digital financial assets,” “digital rights,” “other property,” “electronic property,” “money surrogates,” and what not.

“Virtual currency”, however, remains by far the most popular generic term among politicians and financial officials around the world. It has been used in place of the colloquial and original “cryptocurrency” in countries, unions, and organizations, including the US, the EU, the IMF, Mexico, Malta, the Philippines, and many more.

Why do you think government officials and central bankers avoid using the term “cryptocurrency”? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitun.


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The post SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens” appeared first on Bitcoin News.

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

Investigations are all about the crypto ecosystem, but a recent report regarding a US Department of Justice price manipulation crackdown was widely said to be the cause of market caps falling, and by a lot. Fundstrat, the ecosystem’s favorite financial professional crypto bull, is on record as welcoming government regulation, what it calls “adult supervision.”

Also read: Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision of Crypto

Legacy media, thanks to a Bloomberg article, ran wild with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) this week, regarding a supposed US Department of Justice investigation of price manipulation. Weaker hands in response effectively sent bitcoin core (BTC) well below $8K, heading for 7, and the entire crypto market cap slid accordingly.

Debate about regulation in the US and around the world has raged the entirety of cryptocurrency’s near decade-long life. Bitcoin licensing in New York, senate hearings, G20 central bankers urging global crypto laws, the requisite jockeying and lobbying for exclusive access to regulators, taken together, seems to be slouching toward something major coming down from financial minders. And well-publicized recent hacks haven’t helped confidence. There seems to be a new initial coin offering scam daily. 

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

Rumors the DOJ is teaming with US bitcoin futures regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and possibly patching-in the US Securities and Exchange Commission can spook animal spirits, of course. Anecdotal evidence abounds. Add to that six rather frightening words, when strung together by regulators, that make speculators’ ears perk, “neither confirm nor deny an investigation” becomes all the evidence anyone needs to dump positions. Even large exchange Bitfinex has been subpoenaed by the CFTC.

The ecosystem’s favorite bull, Thomas Lee of Fundstrat, in a client letter, put a finer point on happenings: “These stories have pressured the crypto market, as regulatory action (and related headline risk) reduces risk appetite and also is a further deterrent for near-term inflows from new investors. However, these actions signal that adult supervision is coming to crypto and adding such oversight incrementally improves the structural integrity and legitimacy for crypto-currency investor. In other words, in order for institutional investors to be more actively engaged in crypto markets, such adult supervision is a necessary precondition.”

Regulation is an Anathema to Bitcoin

Prior to welcoming crypto regulation, Mr. Lee ate a giant, warm slice of humble pie following his Consensus conference bump prediction of many thousands in BTC price increase. Just the reverse, of course, happened, and Mr. Lee, to his credit, reappeared on as many shows to take his medicine. He acknowledged getting it badly wrong, but ultimately attributed the decline due to unforeseen regulatory rumors and, ironically, saturation at the conference of hype.

In a slide presentation graphic, Fundstrat continued to use “welcome,” as in crackdowns being “welcome and also widely anticipated.” On price specific manipulation investigations, they urged “this probe is again, a very welcome development.”

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

To crypto enthusiasts, they are decidedly torn. On the one hand, nearly everyone will agree bitcoin was developed to essentially leave government regulatory environments. Government regulations are not issued out of benevolence toward the hoi polloi. No, rather they’re instead an effort to pick winners and losers in terms of which sector of businesses lobbied the hardest, greasing wheels of states in their direction. Regulations enforce burdens often on startups, insulating more established and connected businesses from too much competition. Corruption, then, can and does become institutional. Present day banking is proof enough. Bitcoin, in Satoshi’s vision, releases adopters from financial cartels, at least in theory. To invite regulators goes against everything crypto stands for.

On the other hand, regulation does seem to be inevitable. And if it is, shouldn’t the ecosystem get out in front? Seems rational enough, and that’s a generous reading of Mr. Lee and Fundstrat’s comments. Nevertheless, the company remains bullish on bitcoin core (BTC). They point to Coinbase in particular and its staggering growth to 20 million customers, and BTC related wallet downloads of more than 3.5 million. They do, however, hold to a degree of caution if headlines remain negative and mining rewards/price reach parity.

Do you think regulation of crypto is inevitable? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Fundstrat.


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Alleged BTC-e Mastermind Confesses to Russian Money Laundering Charges

Alleged BTC-e Mastermind Confesses to Russian Money Laundering Charges

According to regional publications in Russia, the alleged BTC-e mastermind and prisoner in Greece, Alexander Vinnik, has allegedly confessed to charges of fraud and money laundering on May 24, 2018. Reports reveal a signed document details that Vinnik admits to committing financial fraud between 2011-2017 through the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange.

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Ghost Scares Markets, Facebook Mulls Coin

Russian Federation Receives an Admission of Guilt from the Alleged BTC-e Mastermind Alexander Vinnik

Russian media sources such as Interfax and Vinnik’s lawyer, Ilias Spirliadis, have reported that Alexander Vinnik has signed a paper that admits to wrongdoing, in regard to money laundering and other cyber crimes. The publication Crime Russia explains that the Russian Federation’s Prosecutor General’s Office received the admission document and passed it on to higher law enforcement officials in Moscow.

The document appears to be a “full confession” to financial fraud using the BTC-e exchange between 2011-2017. The fraudulent activities had caused Russian residents to lose upwards of 750 million rubles ($12.4Mn USD) the document details. Further regional media sources report that Vinnik also confessed to other crimes tethered to computer hacking. Sources say this document may give the Russian Federation the means to extradite Vinnik. The United States government had previously attempted to extradite Vinnik to the U.S. but the motion was challenged.

Alleged BTC-e Mastermind Confesses to Russian Money Laundering Charges
Photo of the accused BTC-e administrator Alexander Vinnik. The Russian citizen has been dubbed the ‘Russian Cryptocurrency King’ by the media.

Vinnik’s Lawyer Ilias Spirliadis: The Russian Federation Will Likely Follow Up With Another Extradition Attempt

Last week officials from the Greek prison where Vinnik is locked up, uncovered a plot that aimed to kill Vinnik. The suspect now has “special security measures,” including not eating and drinking products given to him from unfamiliar individuals. It’s still uncertain at the moment what Greek court officials will do if Russia attempts to extradite Vinnik again after his admission. The document is now in the hands of officials from the police department in the Ostankino district of Moscow.

Vinnik’s lawyer Ilias Spirliadis confirmed the admission document was legitimate and also emphasized that the Russian Federation will likely submit another request for extradition.

What do you think about Alexander Vinnik Confessing to Money Laundering Crimes? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Crime Russia, and AM 880 The Biz.


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2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

In the heady days of 2017, Revolut Ltd promised it would continue to add cryptocurrency choices for its customer base. The future promise was made after its rollout of onboarding bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and ether (ETH) to eager users. Just this week, the England-based company made good by further adding bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP).

Also read: Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Revolut Adds Bitcoin Cash and Ripple to its Crypto Offerings

In a series of questions and answers format for their unconventional press release this week, the company asked itself “Why did you only add XRP and BCH?” The answer was “Simple – these were the two most popular cryptocurrencies our community wanted, so we rolled up our sleeves and made it happen.” They went on to stress how they’re looking to do even more crypto-related service in the future, asking customers “make some noise and let us know what you want us to add next. We’ll take care of the rest.”

2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

London’s Revolut kept its promise. Following eager anticipation of its initial embrace of three cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, LTC), and successful implementation, the skyrocketing financial technology company announced this week it is now implementing bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP) to its basket of cryptos.

The three year old digital bank has a popular prepaid debit card, peer-to-peer payments platform, and both currency and cryptocurrency exchanges for its two million customers. To stay competitive, Revolut operates a loss leader fee structure for many of its services (free). Its proprietary application allows fiat-to-crypto in over two dozen government currencies, serving at over 100 countries worldwide. The company’s backend transactions are managed by crypto exchange heavy Bitstamp.

Open and Available to Everyone

“With hundreds of thousands of customers now actively exchanging cryptocurrencies in the app,” Revolut explained in a cheeky announcement, “the popular view was that we needed to add more digital currencies in addition to bitcoin, litecoin and ether. After months of debate and hard work, we’re extremely proud to welcome XRP and BCH to the Revolut app, which means you can now instantly exchange any of our 25 supported fiat currencies directly into XRP and BCH.” 

2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

And even though many establishments balk at direct crypto commerce and trade, Revolut customers will be able to use either their Mastercard or Visa regardless. Revolut does all the conversions instantly which could go a long way in enabling the currency aspect of cryptocurrency. Premium customers are provided a concierge-like service along with 1% crypto cashbacks.  

“We have always believed that the world of cryptocurrencies should be open and available to everyone, and not reserved for the tech savvy and digital currency enthusiasts,” the company detailed. “So, back in December, we launched a product that would allow millions of our customers to instantly buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies at the touch of a button. No exchanges. No private keys. No cold storage. Just instant exposure at your fingertips.”

Do you think Revolut will dive more? Let us know what you think of this subject in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Revolut, Bitstamp.


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Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

First it happened to verge. $1.8m of cryptocurrency swiped in a matter of hours. Then to bitcoin gold, plundered in an $18m double spend attack. Then to verge again, this time to the tune of $1.7 million. Along the way, monacoin is also believed to have been hit. Someone is methodically working their way through Proof of Work coins, controlling their hashrate, and then launching 51% attacks. Other PoW teams are now on high alert for signs that their coin could be next.

Also read: Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

Following a Spate of Attacks, PoW Teams Batten Down the Hatches

Verge Struck By Second PoW Attack in as Many Months51% attacks, in which a malevolent miner controls the majority of the network hashrate and then uses it to force through fraudulent transactions, are commonly discussed but rarely encountered. That all changed on April 4 when verge was hit by a 51% attack. At the time, the incident was put down to the general fog of incompetence that surrounds verge; the exploit was quickly patched and everyone moved on. Then, just over a month later, verge was hit again along with bitcoin gold and possibly monacoin too. The spate of attacks has caused a crisis of confidence in Proof of Work coins and forced their development teams on the defensive.

Although called a 51% attack, in reality it’s often possible to control the network with a much lower hashrate. Because verge uses five different hashing algorithms, for example, the attacker was able to reduce the mining difficulty for just one algorithm and focus all their firepower on that, armed with just one fifth of the hashpower they would otherwise have needed. The second time around, they modified their attack slightly and targeted verge with a dual blast using two different algorithms. Bitcoin gold, meanwhile, was targeted due to its equihash algorithm, the same one used by such coins as zcash and komodo.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

The Cost of Staging a 51% Attack

Following the run of 51% attacks, teams have rushed out updates to reassure the community that their coin is safe, and to deter would-be attackers. The cost of attacking ethereum classic has been estimated at $70m, for example, and estimates have been made for doing the same with the top 10 PoW coins. BTC is priced at $2.2 billion to attack, whereas zcash comes in at $87m. In his blog post, Husam Abboud claims that “If a zCash miner with +8% of Nethash [switches] to mine Bitcoin Gold, he is +51% BTG nethash, that brings the cost of 51% attack on BTG to 580 ZEC/day ~$200k”.

Because bitcoin gold has a much lower hashrate than coins such as zcash, it is a far easier target to pick off. Now that the feasibility of double spending a recognized PoW coin has been proven, aspiring attackers are calculating the costs of renting hashing power from a provider such as Nicehash and using it to take over a target of their choosing. This is one of the dangers with an altcoin using an existing algorithm: it’s easy for an attacker to switch from mining one to another at the flick of a switch, leaving low hashrate PoW coins vulnerable to hostile takeover without warning.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

There’s a Storm Brewing

PoW teams are hitting back, and have enacted various measures to thwart future attacks. On request, Binance has upped the number of confirmations required to deposit equihash-based coins onto the exchange. The more confirmations that are required, in theory, the more likelihood there is of detecting and thwarting a 51% attack. Maidsafe, meanwhile, has proposed a new consensus mechanism called PARSEC, though some believe it may be vulnerable to other threats such as Sybil attacks, which are a recurring theme with staking algorithms.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

For the coins that are committed to remaining with Proof of Work, most of which descended from Bitcoin at some point in time, it’s a case of remaining on high alert for possible signs of foul play. One PoW altcoin team has set up a script to constantly monitor their hashrate. In the event of a spike of over 10%, they will be automatically notified. Should the newly added hashrate emanate from an unknown pool, or be in danger of tipping an existing pool over 50%, they have a large quantity BTC on standby with Nicehash ready to purchase their own firepower to counter the attack. It’s a high stakes game and PoW teams can’t leave anything to chance. No one wants to be the next bitcoin gold.

Do you think the spate of 51% attacks is over for now, or is there more trouble ahead? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

On May 23 the cryptocurrency portfolio and risk management platform Caspian Tech announced a partnership with the Seychelles based trading platform the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (Bitmex). The move aims to bring Caspian closer to being an all-in-one platform with access to multiple exchanges.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Full Stack Portfolio Management Firm Caspian Partners With Bitmex

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services The firm Caspian is making partnerships across the cryptocurrency ecosystem in order to become an all-in-one institutional, investor-focused portfolio management system. This week the firm partnered with Bitmex so now Caspian customers will have a unified trading module with more liquidity. Additionally, the firm provides Order and Execution Management System (OEMS), Risk Management System (RMS), and a Portfolio Management System (PMS).

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder of Bitmex, says the collaboration with Caspian makes sense because “Bitmex employs the latest in multi-factor security, inside and out.”

Bitmex offers quite a bit of liquidity as in the last 30 days the exchange has managed to swap $3Bn in trade volume. The firm offers leveraged trading and futures for multiple cryptocurrencies and claims to have “300 percent more Bitcoin/USD liquidity than any other platform.” Robert Dykes, CEO of Caspian, believes the company can leverage the firm’s multi-factor security – which is an issue of increasing interest to the company’s target market.               

“Our aim at Caspian is to drive exponential growth in crypto-trading participation amongst institutional and sophisticated investors,” Dykes explained during the announcement.

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services
Bitmex states they have 300 percent more Bitcoin/USD liquidity than any other cryptocurrency trading platform.

Caspian Has Also Partnered With the OTC Fund Octagon and the Gemini Exchange

Essentially Caspian is a joint venture tethered to the firm Tora which provides an OEMS global trading platform alongside a blockchain firm called Kenetic. The company says its main mission is to offer sophisticated traders bank-grade security and trading technology. This month Caspian has been making partnerships with market makers like Bitmex as the firm recently partnered with Octagon, Asia’s largest OTC crypto-fund, and the Gemini exchange on May 4. The news follows many cryptocurrency exchanges looking to offer institutional grade financial services within their platforms while Caspian hopes to provide a Swiss army knife of exchanges.

What do you think about the Caspian services partnering with exchanges to offer a sophisticated trading service for institutional investors? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Caspian, and Bitmex. 


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Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin in Brief today features a couple of announcements adding to the growing number of bitcoin cash adoptions. A luxury cryptocurrency concierge now accepts BCH for the items it offers to the crypto rich – a logical step, according to its founder. An online travel agency is introducing three new coins to its payment options, including bitcoin cash, after “a huge uptick in the number of customers requesting alternative currencies”. Also, a cold wallet for institutions hits the market soon.   

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall Street

Luxury Purveyor White Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash

A US-based luxury crypto concierge service is now accepting bitcoin cash (BCH). The White Company, founded by former executive at Formula 1 and LVMH, Elizabeth White, offers high-end products and luxury brands, including fine watches and sports cars. It has become the latest business to take advantage of the benefits of BCH payments, which include substantially lower transaction fees.

This business is trying to fill the market niche for services to those rich customers who want to acquire luxurious items, like private jets, Lamborghinis, and famous artworks, in a more discreet way. That’s why the White Company accepts only cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

It all started with payments in bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC) and ethereum (ETH). However, the exponential growth of the business, of crypto wealth, in general, and the growing popularity of bitcoin cash, in particular, have led to the introduction of BCH payments. It comes as a recognition of the lower transaction fees and faster processing times of the bitcoin cash network, in comparison to legacy cryptocurrencies. The New York headquartered company has also decided to discontinue the LTC option.

Noting that “trust is vital in this space,” Elizabeth White was quoted as saying: “I have watched with interest both the growth and the early-adopters of bitcoin cash and I can see that the White Company and BCH are natural partners.” And, according to a corporate press release, the partnership represents a logical next step for the development of the business.

Cheapair Introduces Payments in Three Cryptos, including BCH

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin CashOnline travel agency Cheapair.com has also announced it is now accepting bitcoin cash for booking flights and hotels. “It’s official!” the California-based company said in a post on Twitter, confirming it has added BCH to the available payment options, along with two other cryptocurrencies – litecoin (LTC) and dash (DASH). “Help us spread the word #cryptocurrency fans!” tweeted the agency, which also accepts bitcoin core (BTC).

According to Cheapair, the list of the supported cryptocurrencies has been expanded in response to customer demand. The company noted the development of a number of new cryptocurrencies aimed at avoiding some of the challenges that have emerged with BTC, whose network has previously been stressed by higher transaction volumes. In different ways, bitcoin cash, litecoin and dash all promise improved transaction potential over their predecessor, being either faster or with lower fees attached, Cheapair explained.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

“Our cryptocurrency customers tend to be very vocal about what they want, something we appreciate very much. Over the last six months, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of customers requesting alternative currencies, so we’ve worked hard to integrate the three that were most requested,” Cheapair CEO Jeff Klee commented.

Klee added that the company has already streamlined the process of converting the accepted cryptocurrency to fiat money, which is then paid to airline and hotel suppliers. “That made adding litecoin, bitcoin cash, and dash a relatively minor endeavor for our development team, but a huge benefit for our crypto customers,” he said.

Bitun Releases Cold Wallet for Institutions

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin CashAn enterprise-level cryptocurrency cold wallet hardware has been displayed at the 2018 Global Summit in Japan this week. Developers at Bitun, a private bank of blockchain assets, claim that their product is different from any traditional cold wallet. It is completely isolated from the internet and employs a military anti-corrosion technique. The hardware CPU adopts the Secure Boot and Efuse mechanisms, combined with data encryption chips, they said.

The security level is recognized by licensed exchanges, according to a PRnewswire report, quoting Bitun representatives. The cold wallet also incorporates technologies such as NFC, face and iris recognition, and it’s verified simultaneously with the smart authorized device for signature. The user can also complete the multi-level approval in the signature process on the mobile hotspot APP. The official release of Bitun’s cryptocurrency cold wallet is scheduled for July this year.

What are your thoughts on the stories in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitun.


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Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

One of the largest energy suppliers in the Czech Republic has recently announced plans to start accepting cryptocurrency from its customers. The bitcoin payment option should be available as early as next month, its management said. The company is about to join a growing number of Czech businesses processing crypto payments by introducing them to the energy sector.  

Also read: Poll: Bitcoin More Popular With Czechs than the Euro

Reaching Out to the Young People

The firm in question, Pražská Plynárenská, is not new to the concept of diversification. It is one of the major suppliers of natural gas in the Czech Republic, serving 420,000 homes and businesses. The company is also an electric and heating utility which installs photovoltaics and gas-operated boilers, its website shows. According to its Bloomberg overview, Pražská Plynárenská is engaged in assembling and maintaining telecommunications equipment, servicing motor vehicles, and many more business endeavors, including IT services. The latest project – bitcoin payments.

Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

“In June, we are opening a payment gateway, which will automatically transfer our bitcoin payments into regular currency, so that we don’t have to speculate with cryptocurrency. But if anyone wants to pay in an alternative way, we want to allow them to do that,” said Pavel Janeček, chief executive officer of the Prague-based company. According to Hospodářské Noviny, Pražská Plynárenská will pioneer cryptocurrency payments in the country’s energy sector.

Janeček also said that the introduction of bitcoin (BTC) as a payment option will make his company more attractive for the younger generation. This is obviously a priority as the management has also organized rentals of cars running on eco-friendly CNG especially for Youtube vloggers. “We are trying to reach out to the young customers,” he reiterated, those who buy everything with their mobile phones.

Crypto Payments on the Rise in the Czech Republic

A growing number of Czech businesses are turning to cryptocurrencies as an alternative and modern payment option. Although for some companies this might be merely a marketing move, with few of their customers paying in crypto and the merchants immediately converting the coins to fiat, others are more serious about cryptocurrency.

Last year, the largest online retailer in the country, Alza.cz, started accepting bitcoin (BTC) on its platform, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. According to Jan Sadílek, head of internet marketing at Alza.cz, the number of orders and the crypto turnover have increased significantly over the past months. Customers are paying with cryptocurrency for a variety of products, including the popular hard wallet Trezor offered by the Czech-based Satoshilabs. Since February this year, Alza also accepts litecoin, praised for faster transactions and lower fees.

Other examples include several Subway stores and the Paralelní Polis café in Prague, which is popular among members of the Czech crypto community. According to the local press, it is actually accepting only cryptocurrency for your coffee.

Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

On the other hand, several banks have been trying to block crypto-related transactions of Czech businesses. One of them, Mbank, has explained its restrictive policies with an argument often used by traditional financial institutions around the world – money laundering concerns. Others, like Komerční bank, have imposed strict controls on operations associated with cryptocurrency. Raiffeisenbank has alerted its clients that transactions with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are unsafe.

However, a survey conducted earlier this year indicated that the popularity of digital coins is growing in the Czech Republic now, when the fiat koruna is free-floating again. Czechs are more inclined to store value in cryptocurrency than in euros, according to the February Ipsos poll among 525 people. When asked about their intentions to acquire foreign cash, twice as many respondents said they were interested in buying bitcoin rather than acquiring US dollars.

Do you expect more utility companies to introduce crypto payments in the near future? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Zimbabwe High Court Reverses Central Bank’s Cryptocurrency Ban

Zimbabwe High Court Reverses Central Bank's Cryptocurrency Ban

Just recently news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Zimbabwe-based exchange Golix filing a lawsuit over the recent Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) ‘cryptocurrency ban’ that was issued in a financial guidance circular earlier this month. Now, according to numerous regional reports, the Zimbabwe High Court has ruled in favor of the trading platform’s argument because the RBZ failed to show up to the trial.  

Also read: India’s Supreme Court Keeps Ban on Banks’ Crypto Services, For Now

Harare High Court Reverses RBZ Cryptocurrency Ban

Multiple regional news outlets and individuals on social media have reported that the Zimbabwe High Court has lifted the RBZ ban against cryptocurrency activities taking place within the country. The local digital asset exchange Golix decided to take the case to the High Court stating the RBZ had no right to enforce such laws and only the country’s parliament can issue a financial ban.

Zimbabwe High Court Reverses Central Bank's Cryptocurrency Ban

After the bank issued its Circular to Banking Institutions No. 2/2018: Virtual Currencies, many people thought the central bank effectively banned all cryptocurrency activities. Today, Golix and its legal team managed to get High Court judge Justice Alphas Chitakunye to overturn the ban.

On May 24 one of the legal team members, and a constitutional lawyer, Fadzayi Mahere, announced the victory to her Twitter followers stating:

RBZ ban on cryptos lifted by the High Court. Administrative justice is alive and well in this jurisdiction. Section 68 of the Constitution is our best friend.

Zimbabwe High Court Reverses Central Bank's Cryptocurrency Ban
The legal team fighting against the recent RBZ ruling in Zimbabwe.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Representatives Fail to Attend Harare High Court Trial

Alongside Fadzayi Mahere, the Golix team was represented by another attorney named Hopewell Chitima. The legal team used Section 68 of the country’s constitution but no representatives from the RBZ showed up to the trial. Regional reports state that because of this action, the Harare High Court justice ruled in favor of the Golix team. High Court judge Alphas Chitakunye’s ruling states:

The ban issued by the Respondents [RBZ] through letter dated 15 May 2018 against Applicant directing it to cease operations, shut down its virtual currency exchange business and ordering the closure of its bank account with its banks is hereby reversed and set aside.

At the time of publication, there have been no statements made by the RBZ, the central bank’s registrar Norman Mataruke, or the RBZ governor, John Mangudya.

What do you think about the High Court lifting the RBZ ban? Do you think the central bank will respond to this ruling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Fadzayi Mahere’s Twitter page, Shutterstock, and Pixabay. 


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Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million

Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million

It appears Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has been double spend attacked over and over again, totalling something in the neighborhood of $18 million at current prices. BTG forums seem to have been tracking the hack, going as far back as last week, monitoring the controversial coin’s hashrate, ultimately determining a 51% attack was under way.

Also read: Roger Ver and Ryan X. Charles Reveal the Future of Cash

Bitcoin Gold Gets $18 Million Haircut

“An unknown party with access to very large amounts of hashpower is trying to use ‘51% attacks,’” Bitcoin Gold forum poster Mental Nomad announced a week ago, “to perform ‘double spend’ attacks to steal money from Exchanges. We have been advising all exchanges to increase confirmations and carefully review large deposits.”

A founding economic principle of bitcoin was its alleviation of the double spend problem. It was a main stumbling block in the historical race to create a viable cryptographic monetary form – foiling a great many coders along the way. Satoshi Nakamoto solved it through a decentralized, distributed ledger confirmation process (blockchain). Going as far back as its genesis block from early 2009, users can be confident transactions aren’t rebroadcast. Like clockwork, 6 times an hour, blocks are added – copied to nodes within the universal network.

Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million
The offending wallet, according to the BTG team.

One way to achieve double spending is known as a 51% attack. It’s accomplished by bogarting the network’s computing power. With a majority, bad actors can get between the Nakamoto solution and transaction confirmations. By stymieing block completion in the usual manner, all sorts of mischief can arise: blockchain mining rewards redirected, users’ transactions reversed, etc. Not too long after, a double spending attack can commence, acting as the fiat equivalent to counterfeiting. Needless to type, any crypto suffering from such a problem is certain to immediately lose user confidence.

Such attacks are interesting for another reason, as Mental Nomad is careful to point out. “There is no risk to typical users or to existing funds being held. The only parties at risk are those currently accepting large payments directly from the attacker. Exchanges are the primary targets,” he assured last week. “It appears that actions on the part of the exchanges have deterred the attacker, for now.” And hitting exchanges tends to elicit little sympathy, at least initially, due to users being insulated. Exchanges are particularly vulnerable because they generally covet large deposits, which only compounds the problem in cases like these.

Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million

GTNjvCGssb2rbLnDV1xxsHmunQdvXnY2Ft

Over period of days, batches of BTG were deposited into exchanges supporting the forked coin, only to be sent back to the depositor’s wallet. The lag between such a transaction and some exchanges’ discovery is sufficient enough to nab tokens, doubling the filthy lucre. Exchanges trading bitcoin gold have responded by upping transaction confirmation filters, but evidently to no avail as the attacker gains ever-more BTG network control.

Bitcoin Gold team members seem to have communicated with some exchanges. “Requiring more confirmations greatly increases safety,” the forum details. “Until now, some Exchanges were operating with less than five confirmations required. We have been urging higher limits to prevent such an attack, and urging manual review of large deposits of BTG before clearing the funds for trading.” Indeed, according to BTG, “One of the targeted Exchanges reported that they strongly believe this attacker attempted to hit them with a double-spend of BTC in the past. In their words, ‘we are 100% sure that it is the same person, we found many associations between the accounts.’”

Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million
The traditional way BTC has been able to thwart double spend attacks.

Evidence put forward by the BTG team points to address GTNjvCGssb2rbLnDV1xxsHmunQdvXnY2Ft as the attacker’s wallet; mined coins, according to the forum post reside at GXXjRkdquAkyHeJ6ReW3v4FY3QbgPfugTx. More than 388,201.92404001 BTG were funneled through the wallet, totalling more than $18 million according to Bitcoin Gold Explorer. That a top thirty crypto by market cap can be so easily troubled is a giant of enough problem, but it could also take exchanges down in the process – something the ecosystem is very sensitive to since Mt. Gox. And though, for now, BTG is confident enough to suggest users are not at risk, history shows that can quickly be the case as an exchange freezes withdrawals in an effort to stop hemorrhaging.

Bitcoin Gold has been beset by controversies since its birth fork late last year, including a recent dust-up between BCH advocate Craig Wright and BTG founder Jack Liao. To be fair, however, it is not the only blockchain to suffer a 51% attack. Mere days ago, recently Chinese government highly rated coin verge (XVG) was made to heel, again. These pages reported XVG, “On the morning of May 22, Suprvona, one of the largest altcoin mining pools, informed its 19,000 Twitter followers that verge was suffering yet another 51% attack, causing all blocks to be rejected.”

Do you think the BTG hack spells doom for the coin? Let us know what you think of this subject in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, BTG Block Explorer.


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US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin Market

US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin Market

Have you ever felt that someone is controlling the crypto markets, increasing prices to lure you in and crash it all as soon as you buy? Well, US authorities have apparently heard your whining because they are now reportedly suspicious manipulation is indeed occurring.

Also Read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall Street

Spoofing and Wash Trading

US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin MarketThe US Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly launched a criminal investigation to determine if big money traders are manipulating the prices of Bitcoin, Ether and possibly other cryptocurrencies. The illicit trade tactics that the DOJ is looking into include spoofing and wash trading, and federal prosecutors are working in collaboration with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on the investigation, this according to “four people familiar with the matter” cited by Bloomberg.

Spoofing refers to creating false buy orders to attract other traders (usually bots) to get in, with the intention of manipulating the market price in order to make a profit by actually selling. The Dodd-Frank Act defines spoofing as “the illegal practice of bidding or offering with intent to cancel before execution.” Similarly, wash trading is when someone simultaneously sells and buys the same financial instruments to create misleading activity, meant to make it appear as if an asset has more trade volume than it really does.

Why Now?

US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin MarketUS authorities are reportedly concerned that cryptocurrency markets are prone to manipulation for a number of reasons including doubts that all trading venues are on the lookout for fraudsters, massive price swings that make it possible to steer valuations and a lack of strong regulations on crypto exchanges.

While many will surely applaud the DOJ for its diligence in protecting crypto investors, skeptics might wonder if US authorities are not doing this also in an effort to further cool the market down by frightening investors. They are not generally known to be welcoming toward the field, and only recently it was revealed that American regulators also took part in a crackdown on what they call “fraudulent ICOs and crypto-asset investment products.”

Are cryptocurrency prices manipulated and is it the US DOJ’s job to investigate these global markets at all? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

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Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

The Institute for Justice (IJ) bills itself as the national law firm for liberty. IJ works to slow the growth of government in the US in all its forms: economic freedom, education, private property, freedom of speech, not to mention amicus briefs to the Supreme Court. Now bitcoiners can help support IJ’s valuable work, a real world use case, through Bitpay and bitcoin cash (BCH).

Also read: Roger Ver and Ryan X. Charles Reveal the Future of Cash

Freedom, a Use Case for Bitcoin Cash

This year started very well for The Institute for Justice, a national law firm taking the terribly unsexy cases where government encroachment upon average folk goes largely unnoticed. The venerable Pineapple Fund donated to “only 58 charities so far selected to receive a grant,” including the IJ. In response to the January notice of receiving a grant, the Institute noted it would use the money to “help us defend and secure the rights of hundreds of thousands of people like those you will read about in this issue of Liberty & Law, protecting them from government abuse and enabling them to live as free and responsible individuals.”

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

The Pineapple Fund was a foundation of sorts lasting less than half a year. Started by a bitcoin core (BTC) whale, it garnered widespread praise in the cryptocurrency ecosystem for promoting the idea at least some of the recent years’ gains ought to be set aside for causes working for a brighter future. And it became yet another connection between crypto and the Institute for Justice.

A Thirty Year History Meets Money’s Future

In fact, the IJ has come to terms with crypto payment provider Bitpay, allowing supporters to donate in bitcoin cash (BCH) as well. The higher fees and lag times of bitcoin core (BTC) made it less hospitable toward microtransactions such as lower-level giving. A hundred bucks worth here, twenty there, were simply eaten alive by transaction costs. A much better match, at the moment, is BCH for those very reasons. And all donations are tax deductible.

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Supporting work of the sort IJ does is something crypto enthusiasts can feel good about. A cursory gloss over the cases during their near 30 year history is proof enough. Eminent domain, whereby governments bully property owners into selling, or worse, under the rubric of the ‘greater good’ are causes rarely heard by other groups. IJ regularly fights them.

Crypto fans are especially sensitive about the subject of licensing and certification, as they’re often frictions and barriers to entry into the polite, proper economy — something enthusiasts can empathize with. The IJ is a lone advocate in this regard, making sure those who wish to simply offer a nice meal or a haircut are protected from petty bureaucrats. The IJ is also keen on providing support for landmark cases via amicus briefs, as in the case of Carpenter v. United States. The Carpenter case deals with the 4th Amendment violations and may be instrumental towards the pending Ross Ulbricht Supreme Court petition as well.  

For the BCH Gang, giving to important causes is yet another perk of decentralized cash. Groups such as EatBCH are “collecting bitcoin cash donations for the past few months and have been using the funds to purchase food and feed Venezuelans who are in need of assistance. Nearly every single day for over three months the group’s Twitter handle shows pictures of children and adults getting all kinds of food — and it’s all paid for with bitcoin cash,” these pages reported. The Institute for Justice is yet another use case.

Do you donate crypto? Is it a good way to spread adoption? Tell us in the comments below! 


Images via Shutterstock and Pixabay.


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Cryptocurrency Exchange Verification Is Getting Weird

Cryptocurrency Exchange Logins Are Getting Weird

Back in the day, before cryptocurrency was worth anything, an email address and a password was all you needed to login to an exchange. Then came 2FA, using email verification or Google Authenticator. Then came the third generation of secure sign-in methods, and that’s when things started getting weird.

Also read: Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery

From Fit the Puzzle to Make the Gesture

Cryptocurrency Exchange Logins Are Getting WeirdAs attackers have gotten more sophisticated, so have the measures cryptocurrency exchanges have taken to keep them at bay. These are designed to fulfill a range of objectives, including spam and bot deterrence, as well as to perform increased due diligence for legal reasons.

Binance with its “Fit the puzzle piece carefully” which has spawned numerous memes, and kept its customer support busy attending to users who can’t fit the puzzle. Kucoin, meanwhile, began asking odd questions of its customers a few weeks ago, and then repeating those questions every time they went to login, much to their annoyance.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Verification Is Getting Weird
Kucoin asks the important questions

Bittrex will force you to log in twice after clicking a link in your email, stating that it doesn’t recognize your IP – even when you’re signing in from your usual location on your usual device. The quirks of logging into major exchanges have been assimilated into cryptocurrency culture, and while users may grumble, they accept that these measures are in place for their own benefit. Gate.io’s latest verification trick, though, has gotten traders talking:

Cryptocurrency Exchange Logins Are Getting Weird
Gate.io’s new KYC

Prove You’re Human

Completing KYC for Gate.io in a public place is no longer viable, but perhaps that’s part of the plan: to embarrass users into upping their opsec by logging in at home. As part of the verification process, users are required to recreate four out of a possible nine gestures before their webcam. From a security perspective, it’s certainly effective: bots have yet to master human gestures while pulling gang signs.

In no other industry would the public tolerate such bizarre security measures. Cryptocurrency is different though. Undergoing unorthodox procedures is the price that must be paid for trading on an exchange. Traders can complain, but if they want to withdraw their funds, they have no option other than to comply.

Do you think enhanced verification measures heighten exchange security, or do they simply inconvenience users? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Binance, Gate.io, and Kucoin.


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Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall Street

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall Street

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we feature stories that show how fast and nimble banks that support cryptocurrency-based businesses are benefiting at the expense of the larger players that have yet to enter the market, how more financial institutions want to join and how crypto ventures are making it easier for them.

Also Read: Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, Mining

Small Banks Love Bitcoin

With major US banks too afraid to serve all American bitcoin users and businesses, smaller banks are picking up the slack and making a fortune doing so. New York-based Metropolitan Bank for example was able to build up deposits from crypto business without building costly new branches, and more than triple yearly fee income in 2017, largely from crypto transactions.

And San Diego-based Silvergate Bank nearly doubled its assets to $1.9 billion in 2017, mainly because of 250 cryptocurrency-related businesses the privately-held company now serves. Silvergate Chief Executive Alan Lane told to the Wall Street Journal that “At what point as a banker do you pull your head out of the sand? Every banker should be learning about the technology.”

Deutsche Börse “Deep at Work” With Bitcoin

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall StreetDeutsche Börse AG, which operates the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, is actively examining its options for launching cryptocurrency derivatives. This was revealed in London on Wednesday by Jeffrey Tessler, CEO of the post-trade services provider owned by Deutsche Börse Clearstream and member of the group’s executive board, responsible for Clients, Products & Core Markets, at an event organized by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe.

“Before we move forward with anything like Bitcoin we want to make sure we understand the underlying transaction which isn’t the easiest thing to do,” explained Tessler. “We are deep at work with it,” however, “not at the same stage” [as the CME]. “We want to understand the volatility and make sure clients are in line and make sure regulators are in line.”

Huobi Pro Launches Crypto Market Index

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall StreetHuobi Pro has announced on Wednesday the launch of a new benchmark called the Huobi Main Force Index. The company explains that it will select 10 top traded digital assets with high market capitalization and strong liquidity that reflect the market performance of Huobi Pro, in terms of USDT. The assets will be divided into four categories: Coins, Platforms, Applications and Physical Assets tokens, depending on the transaction volume value of the previous quarter. Huobi further states that the main force index will be published by Bloomberg and other communication organizations later on, and users may view the index by logging in on their devices.

“The goal here is to provide a complete and organized tool which will help enhance the overall knowledge of the blockchain industry. We are committed to bringing more insights and data so key stakeholders can make the most knowledgeable decisions when it comes to their investments,” said Leon Li, founder and CEO of Huobi Group.

US Megabanks Less Safe Than Crypto?

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall StreetAmericans now have a new reason to consider moving their money away from big banks to cryptocurrencies – the expected decision by banking regulators to water down the Volcker Rule, which restricts the ability of banks to engage in proprietary trading with depositor funds. This according to the latest analysis by Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings. They explain that due to the rule changes, banks will now be able to gamble more freely in a scheme that gives them the quick profits but gives depositors the ultimate risks. In contrast, holders of cryptocurrencies are not exposed to those kinds of risks as they can control their money directly with no custody by third parties and no need to trust a central authority.

“With this rule change, the authorities will make it easier for megabanks to take big risks with other people’s money. But they are making the change precisely when global debt levels imply record risks,” the authors argue. “In the future, cryptocurrencies will do such a fundamentally better job as a safe depository of funds it’s difficult to envision a world in which this technology does not become a game-changer for money and banking.”

What do you think about today’s news updates? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

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Coinbase Acquires Decentralized ERC-20 Trading Platform Paradex

Coinbase Acquires Decentralized ERC-20 Trading Platform Paradex

On Wednesday, May 23 the San Francisco based exchange Coinbase announced the acquisition of a decentralized digital token relay-trading platform called Paradex. Alongside adding the decentralized exchange (Dex), the firm has also revealed it is retiring the name GDAX and that platform will soon be known as ‘Coinbase Pro.’

Also Read: Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

Coinbase Exchange Acquires Decentralized Token-Relay Platform Paradex

Coinbase has revealed some interesting decisions today as the cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage service purchased a peer-to-peer Dex that allows users to swap “hundreds of tokens” like ERC-20s. According to various reports, Coinbase plans to “enhance” the Paradex protocol and launch the service to international customers located outside of the U.S. Reuters details that Coinbase purchased the platform for an undisclosed sum.

Coinbase Acquires Decentralized ERC-20 Trading Platform Paradex

Basically, the Paradex development team of ten, explains the platform allows the peer-to-peer relay of ERC-20 tokens on top of the Ethereum blockchain. The system is entirely decentralized by utilizing the 0x protocol which provides “handling settlement without necessitating user accounts or taking custodianship of users’ funds,” explains the Paradex team.

Today the Paradex website states:

We know we’ve been a little quiet, but we’ve been hard at work, and we’re incredibly excited to share that Paradex is joining Coinbase — While we work to integrate with Coinbase, the Paradex app will be temporarily unavailable, starting today, May 23, at 3pm ET. This doesn’t change our commitment to our users — We’re still working hard to build the best relayer, now with a larger team and more resources.

GDAX Will be Overhauled Into ‘Coinbase Pro’

Coinbase also told the press it would “eventually” provide Paradex services to U.S. customers but it needs to make compliance changes first. The firm headquartered in San Francisco also announced the same day that it was completely overhauling and rebranding the GDAX exchange. This summer GDAX will be known as ‘Coinbase Pro’ the company explained on Wednesday.

Coinbase Acquires Decentralized ERC-20 Trading Platform Paradex
The Coinbase Pro Trading Interface.

David Farmer, the General Manager of Coinbase Pro, detailed the trading platform will be more intuitive with a simplified deposit and withdrawal process. Further, the exchange will offer improved charts and access to historical data while also offering a new portfolio feature called ‘My Wallets.’

“As the decentralized ecosystem advances, we expect there will be many more opportunities for customers to interact with digital assets in new and unique ways,” Farmer states.

The news follows the trading platform’s plan to offer institutional custody services, and purchasing the website Earn.com.

What do you think about Coinbase purchasing Paradex? What do you think about GDAX turning into Coinbase Pro? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Coinbase, Paradex, and GDAX blog. 


Been looking for a cryptocurrency exchange? Look no further, Bitcoin.com has you covered with our comprehensive list of global exchanges.

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Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery

The website Rapture Market has been down for well over a week for users who frequent the darknet, causing concern that another DNM has committed an exit scam. Currently, the market’s customers and some vendors are freaking out as the online marketplace was gaining in popularity and enjoying solid ratings with decent uptime. However, Rapture Market hasn’t been around for very long and people are starting to believe another DNM has bitten the dust for a number of speculated reasons.

Also read: Darknet Markets: Learning How to Get There is Half the Battle

Darknet Marketplace Rapture Becomes Unavailable for Over a Week—Users Begin to Worry

It has been over eight days since the Rapture Market and its associated forums have been online, and patrons are growing concerned. According to the Deep Dot Web publication, the market is suffering from downtime and its 98 percent uptime rating has dropped to 97 percent. The marketplace hasn’t been around for as long as elder markets like Dream, and Wall Street, as Rapture was created this past January. Since the inception of Rapture, the market has received very good reviews and had a ‘trusted vendors’ referral system and affiliate program, alongside over 500 narcotic listings and other materials. Rapture accepted both Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Monero (XMR) and incorporated a forum and messaging system which have also been non-operational for over a week.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
The Rapture darknet marketplace established in January 2018. 

Lots of Speculation, While Reliable DNM Information Is Harder to Gather These Days

These days it’s harder to find out information on the reputation and whereabouts of DNM vendors alongside down darknet markets since Reddit recently removed the most popular DNM forum. However, patrons searching for information about Rapture’s demise are still communicating through the r/darknetmarketnoobs subreddit and other areas on the clearnet.

“Has anyone been in contact with any staff or is there a Rapture PGP signed message about downtime?” One Rapture patron writes on May 15. “I’ve looked but couldn’t find anything. It’s been down a day and a half now, just wondering if anyone knows if its legit downtime or possible exit scam?”

Some Rapture users said the site will return soon and also revealed that the webpage was suffering from DDoS attacks, among other issues. After a few months of decent reviews on the website Deep Dot Web, a bunch of new reviews appeared last week, with people asking why the DNM was not available.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
The Deep Dot Web’s DNM chart shows Rapture is down and unresponsive.

“The market is under DDoS owners are trying to get it back up no need for panic,” a user writes four days ago. The very last reviewer explains they have ‘inside’ information on why the site is non-operational and states:        

For security reasons I can not reveal how I have this information but I have very credible sources and the site is fixing some bugs and taking the market offline; bugs are minor but there are a few so it is better to take offline and take care of them all at once. So just chill out it could take a couple of weeks to fix according to sources but the market may be online before then but I do not have that information.

The DNM ‘Exit Scam’ Is the Oldest and Most Lucrative Tricks in the Book

No one has any solid information about the exact reasoning Rapture is down and annoyed patrons are therefore speculating. As usual the ‘exit scam’ is always the most dominant theory. An exit scam is when the marketplace administrators suddenly ‘disappear’ after accumulating a lot of customers’ money that sits in escrow alongside a large collection of vendor bonds that have been collected.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
It’s uncertain if Rapture’s downtime means it is officially an ‘exit scam.’ However, the ‘exit scam’ is the oldest trick in the book.

It’s safe to assume that the Deep Dot Web and other DNM sites will remove Rapture if the market remains unavailable and classify it as an exit scam, but for some patrons, there’s still hope for a Rapture revival.

What do you think about Rapture being down for so long? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Darkowl, Deep Dot Web, and Pixabay. 


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