P2P Markets Report: Latin American and Hungarian Volume Surges

P2P Markets Report: Latin American and Hungarian Volume Surges

Latin American peer-to-peer (P2P) markets have seen an influx of volume in recent weeks, with the Localbitcoins markets of Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela posting significant spikes in volume. In other news pertaining to international P2P markets, the Hungarian Localbitcoins markets produced near-record volume in recent weeks, whilst Canada’s recent surge in volume appears to have subsided.

Also Read: Japan Tax Agency Says Individuals Earning $1,800+ in Crypto a Year Will Declare Tax

Latin American P2P Trade Volume Increases

According to data published by Coin.dance, the Localbitcoins markets of numerous Latin American nations have posted an influx of volume this past week.

Argentina posted a new record for the fiat-value of weekly P2P trading last week – with nearly 6.05 million Argentine Pesos (approximately $220,000 USD) worth of trade taking place during the week of the 7th of July. Despite just 31 bitcoins changing hands via the Argentine P2P markets, the week saw the strongest weekly volume for ARS trading on Localbitcoins since August 2017.

The week of the 7th of July also saw significant market action taking place on the Brazilian Localbitcoins markets – with the 3.2 million Brazilian Real (roughly $830,000 USD) worth of BTC traded comprising the third highest fiat-denominated weekly volume in the market’s history. With 128 bitcoins exchanging hands, the week also comprised the strongest volume since September 2017 for Brazil’s P2P markets.

This week, Venezuelan trading on Localbitcoins established a new volume record for the eighteenth time in the last twenty weeks, with nearly 11.75 trillion Venezuelan Bolivars (approximately $98 million USD) worth of BTC exchanging hands during the week of the 14th of July.

 

Despite the consistent records, the 590 BTC traded on the Venezuelan P2P markets comprises the ninth strongest weekly volume witnessed in the history of the Venezuelan Localbitcoins markets.

Hungarian Localbitcoins Markets Rally

Hungarian P2P trading enjoyed a sudden spike in activity in recent weeks, with Hungarian Localbitcoins trading producing the second and third highest weekly volume candles during two of the last three weeks.

During both the weeks of the 30th of June and the 7th of July, Hungarian Localbitcoins listing facilitated 7.3 million Hungarian Forint worth of BTC changing hands. Despite the seemingly significant volume when measured in forint, both weeks saw only 4 BTC (approximately $26,500) worth of trade.

Canadian Surge in P2P Trading Subsides

Trade volume on the Canadian P2P markets appears to have normalized, with between 70 BTC and 80 BTC (roughly $600,000 – $700,000 CAD or $450,000 – $530,000 USD) worth of trade taking place for the fourth consecutive week.

The apparent stabilization has occurred following several months of anomalously strong trading activity on Canada’s P2P markets – with between $4 million CAD (approximately $3.05 million USD or 900 BTC) and $12 million CAD (roughly $9.15 million USD or 1265 BTC) worth being posted weekly from mid-March until late-May.

What do you think caused the sudden spike in Canadian P2P trading? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin.dance


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Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions

India’s central bank has responded to a representation about its crypto banking ban. The Supreme Court gave the central bank seven days to reply following a hearing last week of the petition by the Internet & Mobile Association of India against the ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI’s Response

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsIndia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has responded to a representation submitted by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), as directed by the country’s Supreme Court.

Nischal Shetty, the CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, told news.Bitcoin.com that the representation is “a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function,” noting that it was “made with the belief that if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.”

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsThis representation was sent to the central bank on July 3 during the IAMAI petition hearing. The Court ordered the central bank to reply within seven days. On July 11, RBI finally sent its response to the association.

According to Sohail Merchant, the CEO of Indian crypto exchange Pocketbits, RBI’s reply is a “2 page generic response.” While stating that “as of now the response cannot be made public” but there is “not much to read though,” he commented:

IAMAI received the response from RBI as directed by SC [Supreme Court], the response is generic with the same language as the public circulars. They have not even given deliberate thought to the points made by us, all the basis of their arguments is ‘Investor Protection.’

Shetty reiterated, “RBI has responded to IAMAI…They aren’t changing their stand.”

Until Next Hearing on July 20

The central bank issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrencies, including crypto exchanges.

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsRBI gave banks three months to sever their relationships with crypto businesses. As the ban went into effect on July 5, banks began closing accounts of crypto exchanges. One by one, the exchanges stopped supporting fiat deposits and withdrawals.

To bypass banking restrictions, a number of exchanges are launching peer-to-peer (P2P) trading services. Koinex and Coindelta are reportedly launching their P2P services on July 15. Wazirx, on the other hand, already launched its P2P service. The company wrote, “Wazirx P2P goes live today, 10th July at 3PM. With Wazirx P2P, a buyer and seller can buy and sell cryptos for INR directly with each other.”

Meanwhile, industry participants and stakeholders are trying to get the RBI ban lifted by filing petitions with the Supreme Court, which will all be heard on July 20.

Do you think RBI will soon lift the banking ban on crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, IAMAI, and the RBI.


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Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are forging ahead with their solutions to the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. A growing number of exchanges have stopped fiat support as they ramp up peer-to-peer and crypto-to-crypto trading.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI Ban in Effect

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanThe crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect at the end of last week. The central bank issued a circular three months ago, banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrencies. The industry was hopeful that the Supreme Court would grant a stay on the ban on July 3 but the court did not and the RBI ban subsequently went into effect.

Wazirx announced on July 4, “We’ve discontinued INR deposits with immediate effect,” adding:

Our banking partner has abruptly stopped supporting our bank account. This is due to the recent RBI circular banning banks from providing support to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanKoinex announced on July 7 that users can “submit INR withdrawal requests till 02.00 PM on July 9, 2018 (Monday) after which no further INR withdrawal requests will be accepted.”

Buyucoin announced last week that “Deposit and Withdrawal will be halted until further notice due to RBI circular by midnight 5th of July’18.”

Three of the first crypto exchanges to announce a suspension of fiat deposits and withdrawals were Zebpay, Pexo, and Coinome, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Another major exchange, Unocoin, has yet to announce that it has stopped fiat support at press time.

P2P Trading

Amid RBI’s ban, Indian crypto exchanges have been ramping up their solutions to continue business after the ban. Among them is P2P trading, where the exchange acts as an escrow service between two customers for each fiat to crypto trade.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanWazirx has been preparing to launch a P2P trading service. The exchange announced on July 8, “WazirX P2P is launching in a few days.”

Koinex is also gearing up to launch its P2P service called Loop. Citing that “the INR/crypto trading corridor may be discontinued over the next few days with prior notice,” the exchange revealed on July 7, “after that, users will be able to trade via Koinex Loop and True USD corridors for fiat stability.” The exchange elaborated:

Loop is a peer-to-peer transaction network for digital assets using fiat currency. Koinex users will automatically find their KYC-verified Loop accounts ready upon release. Loop is in the final stages of development and will be released before July 15, 2018.

Crypto-to-Crypto Trading

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanMeanwhile, a number of exchanges have ramped up crypto-to-crypto trading services, similar to Binance and Poloniex.

Unocoin recently launched its crypto-to-crypto platform, Unodax. On July 4, the exchange announced more trading pairs for the platform. It now offers 9 BTC trading pairs, 4 ETH trading pairs, and 4 XRP trading pairs. Unocoin emphasized:

Unodax, India’s leading blockchain and cryptoasset company is introducing 17 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Zebpay also offers 19 cryptocurrencies and over 35 trading pairs on its platform now that it has dropped fiat support.

What do you think of RBI’s ban and crypto exchanges’ solutions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Unocoin.


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Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban – Effective in 2 Days

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 Days

The Indian Supreme Court heard one petition against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank today. However, the court did not grant a stay and the ban is set to proceed as planned, prompting crypto exchanges in the country to start implementing their solutions for banking alternatives.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

No Stay Granted by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India heard one petition against the crypto banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday, July 3. This petition is by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) whose members include major crypto exchanges in the country such as Unocoin, Zebpay, and Wazirx.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 DaysThe central bank issued a circular on April 6, banning all financial institutions under its control from servicing cryptocurrency companies. The ban is set to take effect on July 5. A number of industry participants have petitioned against the ban. Other than the petition by IAMAI, there are four other petitions which the Supreme Court will hear on July 20.

Wazirx’s founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com after Tuesday’s hearing that the Supreme Court did not grant a stay on RBI’s crypto banking ban. The IAMAI petition will now be heard along with the rest of the petitions on July 20. “All eyes are on the 20th now,” he emphasized, elaborating:

The IAMAI had [also] submitted a representation to the RBI which was a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function. The RBI has said it will respond to that within 7 days….The representation was made with the belief that if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.

RBI’s Ban Effective July 5 – What Will Banks Do?

Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, industry participants were hopeful that the court may grant a stay on the RBI ban. Nonetheless, major crypto exchanges in the country have been trying to find banking alternatives.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 DaysWazirx is preparing to launch a P2P crypto transfer service to allow its customers to buy and sell crypto through its escrow service, bypassing the RBI ban. Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com that the new service will launch when banks stop providing services to crypto exchanges. He detailed:

If banks stop providing services after July 6th then we’ll need to launch P2P. All eyes are on banks now to see what they will do. Do they wait for the July 20th hearing or do they go ahead and implement the ban on transactions from July 6th onwards?

Crypto exchange Koinex is also preparing to launch their own P2P network called Loop. The exchange has already launched a crypto-to-crypto trading platform, as did Unocoin and Zebpay.

Unocoin’s CEO and co-founder, Sathvik Vishwanath, also told news.Bitcoin.com last week that his exchange is working on banking alternatives. “Due to the RBI’s recent notification on ‘Prohibition on Dealing in Virtual Currencies’, our banking relationships are likely to be disrupted on or before July 5th, 2018. We are in the process of deploying new mechanisms for INR deposits and withdrawals,” his exchange announced.

What do you think of the Supreme Court’s decision today? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wazirx.


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Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services – Bypassing RBI Ban

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI Ban

With the impending banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India, cryptocurrency exchanges in the country are scrambling to find banking alternatives. Two Indian exchanges have announced that they are launching P2P crypto trading services which will allow traders to buy and sell crypto legally even after the central bank’s ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Wazirx’s P2P Service

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI BanWith the banking ban by the central bank set to take effect on July 5, Indian crypto exchange Wazirx has been working on a solution for users to buy and sell crypto without needing a banking service.

The exchange announced last week that it is launching a P2P crypto transfer service which it claims to be “the most legal way to buy/sell cryptos in India after the RBI ban”. CEO Nischal Shetty described:

The buyer and seller can deal with each other directly while Wazirx acts as an escrow account for holding the cryptos during the transaction so that neither party cheats the other.

Wazirx releases the crypto to the buyer upon receiving a confirmation from the seller, he noted. “We verify the KYC details of every user before allowing them to trade on Wazirx, and keep a record of each and every transaction that occurs on our exchange.”

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI Ban

Launched in March, Wazirx currently supports the trading of 37 cryptocurrencies against INR and 17 BTC trading pairs.

Speaking to news.Bitcoin.com, Shetty shared, “we have 35 coins listed in just 3 months of launch”. With over 100,000 users currently, he added that his exchange is the “fastest to list those many coins in India in such a short span of time.”

Planning for RBI’s Ban

The P2P trading service will launch once the RBI ban takes effect, Shetty explained. According to the central bank’s circular, the ban prohibiting banks from servicing crypto businesses will commence on July 5.

“We will launch it whenever banks completely stop providing their services to crypto exchanges…tentatively 6th July but we’ll need to wait and watch,” Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com, noting:

People have been worried about how they would convert their fiat (INR) to crypto and vice versa. As soon as we announced P2P there was a big sigh of relief as users in India realized there are alternatives to the ban.

Five known petitions have been filed with the courts against the RBI ban. The supreme court will hear all cases on July 20, except for one petition which was filed by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). This petition will be heard on July 3. “After considering the urgency, the supreme court decided to hear this one out on 3rd which is before the RBI deadline,” Shetty detailed. Wazirx is a member of this association as are some other major crypto exchanges such as Unocoin and Zebpay.

Koinex’s P2P Service

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI BanAnother Indian crypto exchange, Koinex, also announced last week that it is launching Loop, “a peer-to-peer network for digital assets transactions using fiat currency”. The new service will be integrated into the Koinex web platform and the mobile app. Koinex users will automatically have access to it, co-founder Rahul Raj detailed, elaborating:

In conjunction with the crypto/crypto trading corridors on Koinex, the peer-to-peer transaction network will allow all users to exchange their fiat currency into a digital asset and vice versa without compromising on the seamless experience that they are used to.

What do you think of Indian exchanges launching P2P trading? Do you think RBI will find a way to stop this? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wazirx, Koinex, the Economic Times.


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XBT

xbt

XBT and BTC – How Were these Acronyms Adopted?

XBT or Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Satoshi Nakamoto did not specify any abbreviation for Bitcoin and BC was the acronym originally adopted. Exchanges specified Bitcoin as BTC, and it caught on. ISO 4217 standard is a non-governmental organization that specifies currency codes and non-governmental assets like gold (XAU) and silver (XAG). The organization is independent of any national agenda and mainly works as a voluntary group that approves three-character codes for countries and non-governmental units.

ISO 4217 Standard

According to the ...

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ICOs are becoming funds

What does a startup do with $48 million? $130 million? $1.7 billion? This question – one integral in the whole ICO craze – hasn’t quite been answered yet but it’s going to be far more interesting as ICOs and cryptocurrencies transform from purely product-oriented companies into actual funds.

Take the news that the creator of the TRON token bought BitTorrent for $140 million purportedly to lend legitimacy to the platform. “One shareholder we spoke to says there are two plans,” wrote TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden. “First, it will be used to ‘legitimize’ Tron’s business, which has met with some controversy: it has been accused of plagiarizing FileCoin and Ethereum in the development of its technology. And second, as a potential network to help mine coins, using BitTorrent’s P2P architecture and wide network of users.”

Given a $4.8 billion market cap, the cost of buying a beloved network brand, even one as tainted by controversy as BitTorrent, is miniscule. Further, it allows TRON to fill its war chest with solid businesses even as its own efforts end laughably with ham-handed announcements about non-existent partnerships and failed pumping by the idiosyncratic John McAfee.

In short, all of those massive ICO raises aren’t going to Aeron chairs and food truck rodeos in the company parking lot. Those smart enough to machinate their way into an ICO raise aren’t interested in product, no matter what they claim. They are interested in becoming investors, gobbling up products and people in order to gain a stranglehold on the space. Further, these ICOed organizations are often already registered as broker-dealers in various jurisdictions and have all of the legalities in place to take and invest large sums of cash. In short, if you think any successful ICOed company will deliver actual product before it would buy itself into multiple iterations of that same product I have a few tokens to sell you.

Startups start small for a reason. None of the current crop of successful ICOs have any technical merits, no matter how dense their white papers. While PhDs and computer scientists have great ideas, ultimately their ideas fail when dashed against the realities of the market. Most startups die because they are underfunded but they are underfunded because the risk associated with their ideas are far too high to ensure a win.

ICOs on the other hand are wild bets that a person who is connected to the crypto space will know better what to do with unearned crypto riches than the owners of those riches. It is a bet that the ICOing org is willing to work a little harder to make 10,000 Ether or a few hundred Bitcoin pay off in the long run and it’s a bet that the congregation of all that crypto wealth will bring the true sharks out to help turn a small investment into a big one. And you never get rich releasing a single product. You get rich buying and controlling multiple products.

The other important consideration? VCs will soon find themselves fighting for deals with ICOed companies. While it won’t happen soon and perhaps the big houses won’t feel it at all, expect smaller VCs to lose LPs as those LPs dump their cash into Maltese ICOs and not Sand Hill Road. It’s an interesting and overdue turnaround.

So don’t expect these ICOed companies to invest in fancy offices and ping pong tables (although they will.) If you’re a startup founder expected these ICOed companies to invest in you.

Matter App Provides a Long-Form Blogger Platform Powered by BCH

Matter App Provides a Long-Form Blogger Platform Powered by BCH

Just recently a new on-chain social media application has entered the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem called Matter — another decentralized blogging community that’s fueled by the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain. Matter is the third social media platform that follows behind Blockpress and Memo, allowing users to store arbitrary data on the BCH chain.

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

Matter: Bitcoin Cash Powered Long Form Blog Posts

Another blogging site called Matter has been introduced to the BCH community, and the platform’s actions are all powered by the Bitcoin Cash network. Matter claims to have no access to the user’s key and explains keys are stored only in your browser. Now Matter does have its differences compared to the Blockpress application and Memo, as Matter users can publish arbitrarily long-form posts. Essentially due to the fact the miner’s fee using bitcoin cash is so minimal Matter users can store any document in the BCH chain in an immutable fashion.

Matter App Provides a Long-Form Blogger Platform Powered by BCH

Signing up for the website is fairly intuitive for anyone already familiar with cryptocurrency wallets and social media in general. When registering for Matter the app gives you a private key and a twelve-word mnemonic phrase which is needed to log into the platform. From here the application resembles the Blockpress app and you are able to add your name and add a profile picture. One thing worth noting is when performing such actions Matter asks you to confirm that you are aware that “all of the information will be permanently stored on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain.”

Matter App Provides a Long-Form Blogger Platform Powered by BCH

More Characters Per Satoshi

Now as we stated above the biggest difference between the other social media apps and Matter is the fact you can add long-form posts to the chain. With Blockpress you are only allowed 217 characters, and writing longer posts can get cumbersome much like Twitter’s character limit. On June 9, 2018, we were able to add Timothy May’s entire 1988 piece ‘The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto’ and all my actions were recorded on the BCH chain. Now May’s phenomenal writing isn’t too long but it is still 500 words and the entire entry cost less than ten cents. You can also title the post, add bold lettering and other format functionalities.

Matter App Provides a Long-Form Blogger Platform Powered by BCH

In essence, Matter allows a decentralized way to bypass centralized clouds and corporations who sell and censor data. The new app had caused a discussion about whether or not adding large amounts of arbitrary data into the blockchain was a good idea. A few bitcoin cash proponents didn’t like the idea of all this data being applied to the chain, however many other BCH fans have favored these new on-chain publishing concepts.

What do you think about the Matter application? What do you think about individuals storing much longer forms of data using the Bitcoin Cash protocol? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this social media platform. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content.


Images via Shutterstock, and the Matter platform. 


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Not just another decentralized web whitepaper?

Given all the hype and noise swirling around crypto and decentralized network projects, which runs the full gamut from scams and stupidity, to very clever and inspired ideas, the release of yet another whitepaper does not immediately set off an attention klaxon.

But this whitepaper — which details a new protocol for achieving consensus within a decentralized network — is worth paying more attention to than most.

MaidSafe, the team behind it, are also the literal opposite of fly-by-night crypto opportunists. They’ve been working on decentralized networking since long before the space became the hot, hyped thing it is now.

Their overarching mission is to engineer an entirely decentralized Internet which bakes in privacy, security and freedom of expression by design — the ‘Safe’ in their planned ‘Safe Network’ stands for ‘Secure access for everyone’ — meaning it’s encrypted, autonomous, self-organizing, self-healing. And the new consensus protocol is just another piece towards fulfilling that grand vision.

What’s consensus in decentralized networking terms? “Within decentralized networks you must have a way of the network agreeing on a state — such as can somebody access a file or confirming a coin transaction, for example — and the reason you need this is because you don’t have a central server to confirm all this to you,” explains MaidSafe’s COO Nick Lambert, discussing what the protocol is intended to achieve.

“So you need all these decentralized nodes all reaching agreement somehow on a state within the network. Consensus occurs by each of these nodes on the network voting and letting the network as a whole know what it thinks of a transaction.

“It’s almost like consensus could be considered the heart of the networks. It’s required for almost every event in the network.”

We wrote about MaidSafe’s alternative, server-less Internet in 2014. But they actually began work on the project in stealth all the way back in 2006. So they’re over a decade into the R&D at this point.

The network is p2p because it’s being designed so that data is locally encrypted, broken up into pieces and then stored distributed and replicated across the network, relying on the users’ own compute resources to stand in and take the strain. No servers necessary.

The prototype Safe Network is currently in an alpha testing stage (they opened for alpha in 2016). Several more alpha test stages are planned, with a beta release still a distant, undated prospect at this stage. But rearchitecting the entire Internet was clearly never going to be a day’s work.

MaidSafe also ran a multimillion dollar crowdsale in 2014 — for a proxy token of the coin that will eventually be baked into the network — and did so long before ICOs became a crypto-related bandwagon that all sorts of entities were jumping onto. The SafeCoin cryptocurrency is intended to operate as the inventive mechanism for developers to build apps for the Safe Network and users to contribute compute resource and thus bring MaidSafe’s distributed dream alive.

Their timing on the token sale front, coupled with prudent hodling of some of the Bitcoins they’ve raised, means they’re essentially in a position of not having to worry about raising more funds to build the network, according to Lambert.

A rough, back-of-an-envelope calculation on MaidSafe’s original crowdsale suggests, given they raised $2M in Bitcoin in April 2014 when the price for 1BTC was up to around $500, the Bitcoins they obtained then could be worth between ~$30M-$40M by today’s Bitcoin prices — though that would be assuming they held on to most of them. Bitcoin’s price also peaked far higher last year too.

As well as the token sale they also did an equity raise in 2016, via the fintech investment platform bnktothefuture, pulling in around $1.7M from that — in a mixture of cash and “some Bitcoin”.

“It’s gone both ways,” says Lambert, discussing the team’s luck with Bitcoin. “The crowdsale we were on the losing end of Bitcoin price decreasing. We did a raise from bnktothefuture in autumn of 2016… and fortunately we held on to quite a lot of the Bitcoin. So we rode the Bitcoin price up. So I feel like the universe paid us back a little bit for that. So it feels like we’re level now.”

“Fundraising is exceedingly time consuming right through the organization, and it does take a lot of time away from what you wants to be focusing on, and so to be in a position where you’re not desperate for funding is a really nice one to be in,” he adds. “It allows us to focus on the technology and releasing the network.”

The team’s headcount is now up to around 33, with founding members based at the HQ in Ayr, Scotland, and other engineers working remotely or distributed (including in a new dev office they opened in India at the start of this year), even though MaidSafe is still not taking in any revenue.

This April they also made the decision to switch from a dual licensing approach for their software — previously offering both an open source license and a commercial license (which let people close source their code for a fee) — to going only open source, to encourage more developer engagement and contributions to the project, as Lambert tells it.

“We always see the SafeNetwork a bit like a public utility,” he says. “In terms of once we’ve got this thing up and launched we don’t want to control it or own it because if we do nobody will want to use it — it needs to be seen as everyone contributing. So we felt it’s a much more encouraging sign for developers who want to contribute if they see everything is fully open sourced and cannot be closed source.”

MaidSafe’s story so far is reason enough to take note of their whitepaper.

But the consensus issue the paper addresses is also a key challenge for decentralized networks so any proposed solution is potentially a big deal — if indeed it pans out as promised.

 

Protocol for Asynchronous, Reliable, Secure and Efficient Consensus

MaidSafe reckons they’ve come up with a way of achieving consensus on decentralized networks that’s scalable, robust and efficient. Hence the name of the protocol — ‘Parsec’ — being short for: ‘Protocol for Asynchronous, Reliable, Secure and Efficient Consensus’.

They will be open sourcing the protocol under a GPL v3 license — with a rough timeframe of “months” for that release, according to Lambert.

He says they’ve been working on Parsec for the last 18 months to two years — but also drawing on earlier research the team carried out into areas such as conflict-free replicated data types, synchronous and asynchronous consensus, and topics such as threshold signatures and common coin.

More specifically, the research underpinning Parsec is based on the following five papers: 1. Baird L. The Swirlds Hashgraph Consensus Algorithm: Fair, Fast, Byzantine Fault Tolerance, Swirlds Tech Report SWIRLDS-TR-2016-01 (2016); 2. Mostefaoui A., Hamouna M., Raynal M. Signature-Free Asynchronous Byzantine Consensus with t <n/3 and O(n 2 ) Messages, ACM PODC (2014); 3. Micali S. Byzantine Agreement, Made Trivial, (2018); 4. Miller A., Xia Y., Croman K., Shi E., Song D. The Honey Badger of BFT Protocols, CCS (2016); 5. Team Rocket Snowflake to Avalanche: A Novel Metastable Consensus Protocol Family for Cryptocurrencies, (2018).

One tweet responding to the protocol’s unveiling just over a week ago wonders whether it’s too good to be true. Time will tell — but the potential is certainly enticing.

Bitcoin’s use of a drastically energy-inefficient ‘proof of work’ method to achieve consensus and write each transaction to its blockchain very clearly doesn’t scale. It’s slow, cumbersome and wasteful. And how to get blockchain-based networks to support the billions of transactions per second that might be needed to sustain the various envisaged applications remains an essential work in progress — with projects investigating various ideas and approaches to try to overcome the limitation.

MaidSafe’s network is not blockchain-based. It’s engineered to function with asynchronous voting of nodes, rather than synchronous voting, which should avoid the bottleneck problems associated with blockchain. But it’s still decentralized. So it needs a consensus mechanism to enable operations and transactions to be carried out autonomously and robustly. That’s where Parsec is intended to slot in.

The protocol does not use proof of work. And is able, so the whitepaper claims, to achieve consensus even if a third of the network is comprised of malicious nodes — i.e. nodes which are attempting to disrupt network operations or otherwise attack the network.

Another claimed advantage is that decisions made via the protocol are both mathematically guaranteed and irreversible.

“What Parsec does is it can reach consensus even with malicious nodes. And up to a third of the nodes being malicious is what the maths proofs suggest,” says Lambert. “This ability to provide mathematical guarantees that all parts of the network will come to the same agreement at a point in time, even with some fault in the network or bad actors — that’s what Byzantine Fault Tolerance is.”

In theory a blockchain using proof of work could be hacked if any one entity controlled 51% of the nodes on the network (although in reality it’s likely that such a large amount of energy would be required it’s pretty much impractical).

So on the surface MaidSafe’s decentralized network — which ‘only’ needs 33% of its nodes to be compromised for its consensus decisions to be attacked — sounds rather less robust. But Lambert says it’s more nuanced than the numbers suggest. And in fact the malicious third would also need to be nodes that have the authority to vote. “So it is a third but it’s a third of well reputed nodes,” as he puts it.

So there’s an element of proof of stake involved too, bound up with additional planned characteristics of the Safe Network — related to dynamic membership and sharding (Lambert says MaidSafe has additional whitepapers on both those elements coming soon).

“Those two papers, particularly the one around dynamic membership, will explain why having a third of malicious nodes is actually harder than just having 33% of malicious nodes. Because the nodes that can vote have to have a reputation as well. So it’s not just purely you can flood the Safe Network with lots and lots of malicious nodes and override it only using a third of the nodes. What we’re saying is the nodes that can vote and actually have a say must have a good reputation in the network,” he says.

“The other thing is proof of stake… Everyone is desperate to move away from proof of work because of its environmental impact. So proof of stake — I liken it to the Scottish landowners, where people with a lot of power have more say. In the cryptocurrency field, proof of stake might be if you have, let’s say, 10 coins and I have one coin your vote might be worth 10x as much authority as what my one coin would be. So any of these mechanisms that they come up with it has that weighting to it… So the people with the most vested interests in the network are also given the more votes.”

Sharding refers to closed groups that allow for consensus votes to be reached by a subset of nodes on a decentralized network. By splitting the network into small sections for consensus voting purposes the idea is you avoid the inefficiencies of having to poll all the nodes on the network — yet can still retain robustness, at least so long as subgroups are carefully structured and secured.

“If you do that correctly you can make it more secure and you can make things much more efficient and faster,” says Lambert. “Because rather than polling, let’s say 6,000 nodes, you might be polling eight nodes. So you can get that information back quickly.

“Obviously you need to be careful about how you do that because with much less nodes you can potentially game the network so you need to be careful how you secure those smaller closed groups or shards. So that will be quite a big thing because pretty much every crypto project is looking at sharding to make, certainly, blockchains more efficient. And so the fact that we’ll have something coming out in that, after we have the dynamic membership stuff coming out, is going to be quite exciting to see the reaction to that as well.”

Voting authority on the Safe Network might be based on a node’s longevity, quality and historical activity — so a sort of ‘reputation’ score (or ledger) that can yield voting rights over time.

“If you’re like that then you will have a vote in these closed groups. And so a third of those votes — and that then becomes quite hard to game because somebody who’s then trying to be malicious would need to have their nodes act as good corporate citizens for a time period. And then all of a sudden become malicious, by which time they’ve probably got a vested stake in the network. So it wouldn’t be possible for someone to just come and flood the network with new nodes and then be malicious because it would not impact upon the network,” Lambert suggests.

The computing power that would be required to attack the Safe Network once it’s public and at scale would also be “really, really significant”, he adds. “Once it gets to scale it would be really hard to co-ordinate anything against it because you’re always having to be several hundred percent bigger than the network and then have a co-ordinated attack on it itself. And all of that work might get you to impact the decision within one closed group. So it’s not even network wide… And that decision could be on who accesses one piece of encrypted shard of data for example… Even the thing you might be able to steal is only an encrypted shard of something — it’s not even the whole thing.”

Other distributed ledger projects are similarly working on Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (AFBT) consensus models, including those using directed acrylic graphs (DAGs) — another nascent decentralization technology that’s been suggested as an alternative to blockchain.

And indeed AFBT techniques predate Bitcoin, though MaidSafe says these kind of models have only more recently become viable thanks to research and the relative maturing of decentralized computing and data types, itself as a consequence of increased interest and investment in the space.

However in the case of Hashgraph — the DAG project which has probably attracted the most attention so far — it’s closed source, not open. So that’s one major difference with MaidSafe’s approach. 

Another difference that Lambert points to is that Parsec has been built to work in a dynamic, permissionless network environment (essential for the intended use-case, as the Safe Network is intended as a public network). Whereas he claims Hashgraph has only demonstrated its algorithms working on a permissioned (and therefore private) network “where all the nodes are known”.

He also suggests there’s a question mark over whether Hashgraph’s algorithm can achieve consensus when there are malicious nodes operating on the network. Which — if true — would limit what it can be used for.

“The Hashgraph algorithm is only proven to reach agreement if there’s no adversaries within the network,” Lambert claims. “So if everything’s running well then happy days, but if there’s any maliciousness or any failure within that network then — certainly on the basis of what’s been published — it would suggest that that algorithm was not going to hold up to that.”

“I think being able to do all of these things asynchronously with all of the mathematical guarantees is very difficult,” he continues, returning to the core consensus challenge. “So at the moment we see that we have come out with something that is unique, that covers a lot of these bases, and is a very good use for our use-case. And I think will be useful for others — so I think we like to think that we’ve made a paradigm shift or a vast improvement over the state of the art.”

 

Paradigm shift vs marginal innovation

Despite the team’s conviction that, with Parsec, they’ve come up with something very notable, early feedback includes some very vocal Twitter doubters.

For example there’s a lengthy back-and-forth between several MaidSafe engineers and Ethereum researcher Vlad Zamfir — who dubs the Parsec protocol “overhyped” and a “marginal innovation if that”… so, er, ouch.

Lambert is, if not entirely sanguine, then solidly phlegmatic in the face of a bit of initial Twitter blowback — saying he reckons it will take more time for more detailed responses to come, i.e. allowing for people to properly digest the whitepaper.

“In the world of async BFT algorithms, any advance is huge,” MaidSafe CEO David Irvine also tells us when we ask for a response to Zamfir’s critique. “How huge is subjective, but any advance has to be great for the world. We hope others will advance Parsec like we have built on others (as we clearly state and thank them for their work).  So even if it was a marginal development (which it certainly is not) then I would take that.”

“All in all, though, nothing was said that took away from the fact Parsec moves the industry forward,” he adds. “I felt the comments were a bit juvenile at times and a bit defensive (probably due to us not agreeing with POS in our Medium post) but in terms of the only part commented on (the coin flip) we as a team feel that part could be much more concrete in terms of defining exactly how small such random (finite) delays could be. We know they do not stop the network and a delaying node would be killed, but for completeness, it would be nice to be that detailed.”

A developer source of our own in the crypto/blockchain space — who’s not connected to the MaidSafe or Ethereum projects — also points out that Parsec “getting objective review will take some time given that so many potential reviewers have vested interest in their own project/coin”.

It’s certainly fair to say the space excels at public spats and disagreements. Researchers pouring effort into one project can be less than kind to rivals’ efforts. (And, well, given all the crypto Lambos at stake it’s not hard to see why there can be no love lost — and, ironically, zero trust — between competing champions of trustless tech.)

Another fundamental truth of these projects is they’re all busily experimenting right now, with lots of ideas in play to try and fix core issues like scalability, efficiency and robustness — often having different ideas over implementation even if rival projects are circling and/or converging on similar approaches and techniques.

“Certainly other projects are looking at sharding,” says Lambert. “So I know that Ethereum are looking at sharding. And I think Bitcoin are looking at that as well, but I think everyone probably has quite different ideas about how to implement it. And of course we’re not using a blockchain which makes that another different use-case where Ethereum and Bitcoin obviously are. But everyone has — as with anything — these different approaches and different ideas.”

“Every network will have its own different ways of doing [consensus],” he adds when asked whether he believes Parsec could be adopted by other projects wrestling with the consensus challenge. “So it’s not like some could lift [Parsec] out and just put it in. Ethereum is blockchain-based — I think they’re looking at something around proof of stake, but maybe they could take some ideas or concepts from the work that we’re open sourcing for their specific case.

“If you get other blockchain-less networks like IOTA, Byteball, I think POA is another one as well. These other projects it might be easier for them to implement something like Parsec with them because they’re not using blockchain. So maybe less of that adaption required.”

Whether other projects will deem Parsec worthy of their attention remains to be seen at this point with so much still to play for. Some may prefer to expend effort trying to rubbish a rival approach, whose open source tech could, if it stands up to scrutiny and operational performance, reduce the commercial value of proprietary and patented mechanisms also intended to grease the wheels of decentralized networks — for a fee.

And of course MaidSafe’s developed-in-stealth consensus protocol may also turn out to be a relatively minor development. But finding a non-vested expert to give an impartial assessment of complex network routing algorithms conjoined to such a self-interested and, frankly, anarchical industry is another characteristic challenge of the space.

Irvine’s view is that DAG based projects which are using a centralized component will have to move on or adopt what he dubs “state of art” asynchronous consensus algorithms — as MaidSafe believes Parsec is — aka, algorithms which are “more widely accepted and proven”.

“So these projects should contribute to the research, but more importantly, they will have to adopt better algorithms than they use,” he suggests. “So they can play an important part, upgrades! How to upgrade a running DAG based network? How to had fork a graph? etc. We know how to hard fork blockchains, but upgrading DAG based networks may not be so simple when they are used as ledgers.

“Projects like Hashgraph, Algorand etc will probably use an ABFT algorithm like this as their whole network with a little work for a currency; IOTA, NANO, Bytball etc should. That is entirely possible with advances like Parsec. However adding dynamic membership, sharding, a data layer then a currency is a much larger proposition, which is why Parsec has been in stealth mode while it is being developed.

“We hope that by being open about the algorithm, and making the code open source when complete, we will help all the other projects working on similar problems.”

Of course MaidSafe’s team might be misguided in terms of the breakthrough they think they’ve made with Parsec. But it’s pretty hard to stand up the idea they’re being intentionally misleading.

Because, well, what would be the point of that? While the exact depth of MaidSafe’s funding reserves isn’t clear, Lambert doesn’t sound like a startup guy with money worries. And the team’s staying power cannot be in doubt — over a decade into the R&D needed to underpin their alt network.

It’s true that being around for so long does have some downsides, though. Especially, perhaps, given how hyped the decentralized space has now become. “Because we’ve been working on it for so long, and it’s been such a big project, you can see some negative feedback about that,” as Lambert admits.

And with such intense attention now on the space, injecting energy which in turn accelerates ideas and activity, there’s perhaps extra pressure on a veteran player like MaidSafe to be seen making a meaningful contribution — ergo, it might be tempting for the team to believe the consensus protocol they’ve engineered really is a big deal.

To stand up and be counted amid all the noise, as it were. And to draw attention to their own project — which needs lots of external developers to buy into the vision if it’s to succeed, yet, here in 2018, it’s just one decentralization project among so many. 

 

The Safe Network roadmap

Consensus aside, MaidSafe’s biggest challenge is still turning the sizable amount of funding and resources the team’s ideas have attracted to date into a bona fide alternative network that anyone really can use. And there’s a very long road to travel still on that front, clearly.

The Safe Network is in alpha 2 testing incarnation (which has been up and running since September last year) — consisting of around a hundred nodes that MaidSafe is maintaining itself.

The core decentralization proposition of anyone being able to supply storage resource to the network via lending their own spare capacity is not yet live — and won’t come fully until alpha 4.

“People are starting to create different apps against that network. So we’ve seen Jams — a decentralized music player… There are a couple of storage style apps… There is encrypted email running as well, and also that is running on Android,” says Lambert. “And we have a forked version of the Beaker browser — that’s the browser that we use right now. So if you can create websites on the Safe Network, which has its own protocol, and if you want to go and view those sites you need a Safe browser to do that, so we’ve also been working on our own browser from scratch that we’ll be releasing later this year… So there’s a number of apps that are running against that alpha 2 network.

“What alpha 3 will bring is it will run in parallel with alpha 2 but it will effectively be a decentralized routing network. What that means is it will be one for more technical people to run, and it will enable data to be passed around a network where anyone can contribute their resources to it but it will not facilitate data storage. So it’ll be a command line app, which is probably why it’ll suit technical people more because there’ll be no user interface for it, and they will contribute their resources to enable messages to be passed around the network. So secure messaging would be a use-case for that.

“And then alpha 4 is effectively bringing together alpha 2 and alpha 3. So it adds a storage layer on top of the alpha 3 network — and at that point it gives you the fully decentralized network where users are contributing their resources from home and they will be able to store data, send messages and things of that nature. Potentially during alpha 4, or a later alpha, we’ll introduce test SafeCoin. Which is the final piece of the initial puzzle to provide incentives for users to provide resources and for developers to make apps. So that’s probably what the immediate roadmap looks like.”

On the timeline front Lambert won’t be coaxed into fixing any deadlines to all these planned alphas. They’ve long ago learnt not to try and predict the pace of progress, he says with a laugh. Though he does not question that progress is being made.

“These big infrastructure projects are typically only government funded because the payback is too slow for venture capitalists,” he adds. “So in the past you had things like Arpanet, the precursor to the Internet — that was obviously a US government funded project — and so we’ve taken on a project which has, not grown arms and legs, but certainly there’s more to it than what was initially thought about.

“So we are almost privately funding this infrastructure. Which is quite a big scope, and I will say why it’s taking a bit of time. But we definitely do seem to be making lots of progress.”

hodl Meaning

hodl meaning

The term “HODL” is generally seen on cryptocurrency Reddit threads, telegram groups, WhatsApp messages, in memes, and slack channels. The most experienced cryptocurrency users would know what this means, while beginners would be left puzzled.

HODL Meaning

Certainly, most of the users assume that the term “hodl” is a misspelling of the word “hold”. But it’s not. It first appeared exclusively in a Bitcoin talk forum in 2013 in a post named “I AM HODLING” from a user named GameKyuubi— a Japanese crypto community member.

 

HODL essentially means; “Hold ...

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Former Booking.com Manager has Joined WONO, the P2P Platform for Rentals and Freelancing

WONO

Accommodation and travel expert Benedict O’Leary, who previously worked for Booking.com as a key account manager and business developer, joined WONO startup as an advisor.

“I’ve read the WONO whitepaper and strongly believe that a tax-free platform such as this, that also skips the middleman, can change the market of accommodation, making it more affordable for tenants and profitable for landlords at the same time. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to share my 15-year experience in accommodation and travel with the WONO team” – commented Mr. O’Leary.

WONO is the decentralized P2P ...

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After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Minister Says

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers Says

Viber may be treated like Telegram if security services are not able to obtain its encryption keys, Russia’s telecom minister said. The app offers end-to-end encryption, and is the most popular messenger in several Eastern European countries. Recently, its CEO, Michael Shmilov, said the company would not be able to hand over the keys.

Also read: Six Alternatives to Telegram for Cryptocurrency Communities

“Can’t Give What We Don’t Have”

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers SaysRussian authorities may try to block Viber if the Federal Security Service (FSB) does not gain access to its encryption keys, according to comments made by the Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media, Nikolai Nikiforov. “This matter concerns the FSB which has the powers to implement an order to provide the encryption keys. If the security services have problems with acquiring the keys, they can turn to the court and obtain a similar decision,” Nikiforov said, quoted by ITAR-TASS.

The minister was confronted with a question about the future of Viber after Russian authorities have been trying to block Telegram since April 16, following a decision by the Tagansky District Court of Moscow from April 13. So far, their attempts have been unsuccessful but the messaging service, widely used within the crypto community, has been experiencing issues while trying hard to circumvent imposed restrictions.

In March, the chief executive officer of Viber Media, the operator of the messenger, told RBC that Viber would not be able to fulfill a request to hand over the encryption keys. Michael Shmilov said the company cooperates with law enforcement agencies in many countries but stressed that it would not do certain things. And, handing over encryption keys is one of them. “We cannot give them something that we don’t have. They can ask the users for their keys. We can’t see them, and we don’t stored them,” he explained.

End-to-End Encryption Offered

Viber was launched as an instant messaging and voice over IP service in 2010. The software was originally developed by the Israel-based Viber Media, which was bought by the Japanese company Rakuten in 2014. Last year the corporate name was changed to Rakuten Viber. The company is currently based in Luxembourg.

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers SaysThe messenger, which claims to have 900 million users, is very popular in Eastern Europe and is the top messaging app in countries like Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. In Russia, it’s currently the second most popular application, after Whatsapp. According to a survey conducted by the Russian Modern Media Research Institute in January, Facebook owned Whatsapp has a share of 59% of the Russian users, while Viber is used by 36%. The messenger of the Russian social network Vkontakte is third, with 32%. Telegram is used by 19% of the Russians, and Facebook Messenger – by 14%.

According to the company’s website, Viber uses end-to-end encryption by default for text messages, in both private and group chats, and also for voice calls – a feature that was introduced as standard setting in 2016. It claims it doesn’t have access to conversations and does not store delivered messages on its servers. Keys to encrypt/decrypt data are kept only on client devices, according to Viber’s privacy policy.

What’s Next, Whatsapp?

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers SaysThe clampdown on private messaging in Russia started when the country’s telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor, tried to restrict access to Telegram by blocking IP addresses used by the app. Despite some interruptions in its services, authorities have not been able to completely prevent the use of the massager. Roskomnadzor blocked about 20 VPN and proxy services which offering access to Telegram servers.

IP-addresses of ordinary Internet users may be blocked as a result of the conflict between the messenger and the regulator, warned Dmitriy Marinchev, Russia’s Internet Ombudsman. “Sooner or later, Telegram may switch to a peer-to-peer network and Roskomnadzor will have to block all their users’ IPs,” he explained.  Marinchev added that everything now depends on how far Telegram will go in rewriting its software.

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers SaysSkype is a messenger which started as a peer-to-peer and client-server system, features that were part of its appeal. After changing hands several times, however, the platform hasn’t kept much from the original P2P concept. In 2011, Skype was acquired by Microsoft which transformed it into a centralized service based on MS’s cloud computing platform Azure. Leaked documents revealing mass surveillance of global communications showed that the company had granted American intelligence unrestricted access to Skype. This year, the messenger announced it is going to offer end-to-end encryption for audio calls, text and multimedia messages through Private Conversations. The feature, however, will not be set as a default option and won’t be available for video chats.

The measures against Telegram have created difficulties for many Russians, even including those who are not using Telegram. Large Internet companies – including search engine, Yandex, and social media networks, Vkontakte, and, Odnoklassniki – have been affected. In April, Russian Viber users also complained about interruptions. According to the company, the issues were related to the blockade of Telegram. On May 1, Viber announced it had restored full access to its platform. Russian media have been asking the question “What’s next?” hinting about the most popular messenger in the country – Whatsapp. It uses end-to-end encryption for calls and messages in its latest versions.

Which messenger do you most often use for private conversations? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

The Localbitcoins markets of several nations have produced significant spikes in recent weeks, with the peer-to-peer (P2P) markets of Hungary, Peru, and Venezuela establishing new all-time highs for volume when measuring in trade in fiat currency.

Also Read: Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Outage Downs Telegram, Bitcoin Shines on a Bank

P2P Markets of Latin America Surge

The P2P trading volume of numerous South American markets have shown considerable strength in recent weeks, with many markets producing among the strongest weeks of trading in recent history when measuring volume in fiat currency.

Peru set a new record for weekly volume for the second week in a row when measuring against fiat currency, with 1,944,396 PEN (nearly $600,000 USD) worth of bitcoin exchanging hands this past week – an approximately 14% increase from last week’s record of 1,705,992 PEN.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

When measuring volume in BTC, the last two weeks both posted approximately 71 bitcoins – the second largest number of BTC traded in a single week for Peru’s P2P markets since the 80 bitcoins traded during the week of the 19th of December 2017.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

The Brazilian Localbitcoins markets produced a spike in volume during the week of the 14th of April, with trade volume reaching 3,158,258 BRL (approximately $905,000 USD), comprising the third largest weekly volume candle in the history of Brazilian P2P trade.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

Argentinian and Venezuelan Peer-to-Peer Markets Rally

Argentina’s P2P markets also rallied during the week of the 14th of April, spiking to comprise the fourth most traded week in the history of Argentinian Localbitcoins trade. The week of the 14th posted a trading volume of 4,506,932 (almost $220,000 USD).

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

When measuring volume in bitcoins, the 29 BTC traded during the 14th comprises the largest number of bitcoin traded in a single week since August 2017; however, it is dwarfed by the more than 150 BTC regularly traded on a weekly basis via Argentina’s P2P markets during 2015.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

Venezuela’s Localbitcoins markets have produced a new record for weekly trade volume when measuring trade in Venezuelan Bolivars for the seventh time in eight weeks.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

When measuring trade in bitcoins, volume has actually declined for two weeks in a row – despite both weeks producing new all-time volume highs when measuring in Bolivars.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

Hungarian Localbitcoins Trade Produces New Volume Record

During the week of the 14th of April, Hungary’s P2P markets produced record trading volume of 7,473,600 HUF (approximately $28,800 USD). Despite comprising a record when measured in fiat currency, only 4 bitcoins changed hands during the week of the 14th of April – a relatively small weekly volume when compared to Hungarian P2P trade in 2015. Still, the 4 BTC was the most bitcoin traded in a single week since July 2017.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

Swedish trading on Localbitcoins also surged during the week of the 14th of April, posting 14,189,350 SEK (approximately $1,618,600 USD) worth of trade – the fourth largest volume candle posted in the history of Sweden’s P2P markets. When measuring trade in BTC, the 231 bitcoins that exchanged hands is the highest in a single week since November 2017, however, is dwarfed by the volume consistently produced by the Swedish bitcoin markets between 2015 and 2016.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

Canada’s P2P markets have continued to produce substantial trading volume – posting the third largest weekly volume candle of 7,784,463 CAD (almost $6,075,000 USD) this week. When measuring in BTC, this past week’s volume of 893 bitcoins is the third largest in history. The most recent four weeks of trade currently comprises the four largest weeks for Canadian Localbitcoins trading.

Hungarian and Peruvian Localbitcoins Markets Post Record Volume

Do you trade using the P2P markets? Discuss your trading preferences in the comments section below!


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Bitcoin Was the Ninth Most Popular Wikipedia Article Last Year

Bitcoin Was the Ninth Most Popular Wikipedia Article Last Year

Its seems users who frequent the online encyclopedia platform Wikipedia read the ‘Bitcoin’ article hosted on the site a lot. According to statistics, the Wiki Bitcoin page was the ninth most read article on Wikipedia last year.

Also Read: Binance Exchange Founder Sued by VC Fund Sequoia Capital

Bitcoin Article on Wikipedia Was the Ninth Most Popular Last Year

Last year lots of people were inquiring about the cryptocurrency bitcoin and the word itself was one of the topmost trending words searched in 2017 according to Google Trends data. Another area where bitcoin was searched frequently was the website Wikipedia. The website hosts a free encyclopedia that is openly editable, while educational resources are also provided in 299 different languages. Wikipedia recently published its “Annual Top 50 Report” which includes a curated list of the top fifty most popular articles on Wikipedia throughout 2017.

Bitcoin Was the Ninth Most Popular Wikipedia Article Last Year
The Wiki Bitcoin article was the ninth most popular last year on Wikipedia.

According to Wiki’s data, the ‘Bitcoin’ article was the ninth most popular encyclopedia post last year just below the ‘United States’ articles and just above the Netflix drama series ‘13 Reasons Why.’ Bitcoin stands among other top ten editorials documenting Donald Trump, Game of Thrones, and Queen Elizabeth II. The introduction in the Wiki Bitcoin article states:   

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary.

Bitcoin Was the Ninth Most Popular Wikipedia Article Last Year
The Wiki Bitcoin article is just below the ‘United States’ article, and above the Netflix original show ’13 Reasons Why.’

Wiki Senior Editor: ‘Bitcoin the Much-Hyped “Future of Money”’

Last year the ‘Bitcoin’ article accumulated over 15 million views and the page peaked in traffic on December 8, 2017. In the annual report Wiki Senior Editor JFG gives the article a bit of an odd introduction.

“For our dear readers who can’t make heads or tails of this novelty: Bitcoin is as good as gold, shinier than lead, bubblier than tulips, held deep in the mines, and driving people nuts,” explains the Wiki editor.  

Gold has enriched adventurers and bitcoin has held fools to ransom. You may dive in a pool of gold, but lose it all at war. Strangely, while you can still buy gold today and forget about it until your great-grandchildren cash it out, the much-hyped “future of money” has turned into the most speculative intangible asset of all time, while proving totally unsuitable as a means of payment.

Within the archives of 5,000 most popular articles from last week according to the Wiki page ‘User:west.andrew.g/popular pages,’ Bitcoin ranks at number 354. The page is aggregated from raw data which displays articles with at least 1,000 hits in a seven day period and only the most popular are published through the feed. Ethereum just makes the cut at 3710, Cryptocurrency 1273, and Blockchain slides ahead at 312. All of the data showing how popular digital currencies are on Wiki is derived from the company’s content consumption metrics which shows datasets of raw dump files and page views.

What do you think about the Bitcoin article on Wikipedia placing 9th most popular in 2017? How do you think it will fare in 2018? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Wiki Commons, and Wikipedias Top 50, and User:west.andrew.g/popular pages raw data.


Bitcoinocracy is a free and decentralized way to measure the Bitcoin community’s stance on a given proposition. Check vote.Bitcoin.com.

The post Bitcoin Was the Ninth Most Popular Wikipedia Article Last Year appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Exchange Hodl Hodl Doesn’t Require KYC

The Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Exchange Hodl Hodl Doesn't Require KYC

This week as people hear about the peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins requiring identification for traders who deal in “significant” trade volumes, many of them are scouring the internet in search of decentralized exchanges that don’t require Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification. One such trading platform called ‘Hodl Hodl’ launched its beta version this past February allowing traders to swap cryptocurrencies without the need for regulatory compliance protocols.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: ICO Scares Investors with Ghost Prank  

The Peer-to-Peer Multi-Sig Escrow Exchange ‘Hodl Hodl’ Doesn’t Require KYC Verification

There’s a new peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange called ‘Hodl Hodl,’ a platform that launched this past February, allowing traders to trade digital assets without the need for a third party. The trading platform creates a multi-signature escrow system that sets a predetermined trading time for both participants. At the moment Hodl Hodl is in its beta form and only has two cryptocurrencies available for trade at the moment which include BTC, and LTC. The creators of the exchange state more features will be launched when the platform comes out of beta in the summer of 2018.

The Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Exchange Hodl Hodl Doesn't Require KYC

Hodl Hodl is very similar to Localbitcoins and the platform Bitquick as it allows deals between buyers and sellers. The trading platform does not require users to verify their identities. Moreover, there are many options available for payments such as Moneygram, Skrill, various credit cards, Venmo, Western Union, Alipay, and many more. In order to sell BTC or LTC, a user simply fills out the trade requirements which include location, the amount they want to sell, a payment window, and the payment type. On the buyer side, users choose which cryptocurrency trades and the specific requirements look enticing to them. For instance, certain payment options for purchasing BTC on Hodl Hodl are higher than other options available. Credit card purchases show a price of over $9,000 per BTC while other options are still a few hundred dollars more than the current spot price.

Peer-to-Peer Review and Reputation System to Curb Counterparty Risk

Because the platform is still in beta users can experiment with the Hodl Hodl testnet exchange first. When the peer-to-peer platform comes out of beta, the exchange will be charging a maximum of 0.6 percent per trade. However, right now up until the beginning of July 2018 the exchange is waiving fees for users. Hodl Hodl claims they do not hold funds and basically provide traders with “secure multi-signature (P2SH) contracts, and you control the key to the funds in escrow.”

The Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Exchange Hodl Hodl Doesn't Require KYC

Additionally, the platform offers two-factor authentication (2FA), and a dispute resolution system as well. Hodl Hodl does not require KYC verifications but does have a trader review and reputation system. The exchange explains the rating system is used so counterparties can be trusted among other traders.  

“It shows whether he is fulfilling his obligations to other parties, whether he makes the payment fast, and whether he is responsive,” explains Hodl Hodl. “The Rating system is a useful tool for traders — it is information about how the trader behaved in the past and a reason/incentive to continue to act properly in the future.”

The Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Exchange Hodl Hodl Doesn't Require KYC

Hodl Hodl Doesn’t Leave Beta Until the Summer of 2018

Overall the Hodl Hodl system’s cryptocurrency trades function similarly to peer-to-peer ‘escrow-like’ trading platforms. Much like Bisq, Barterdex, and the other exchanges that facilitate trading activities without KYC in a decentralized manner — the Hodl Hodl platform doesn’t have a ton of action as far as volume. At the moment there are users selling BTC in various increments up to $10,000 USD, but some have caps between $300-1,500. The development team has explained that more cryptocurrencies will be added in the future alongside improving its mobile interface.

Have you tried the peer-to-peer exchange Hodl Hodl? Let us know what you think about this platform in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse this product/service. Readers should always do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images via Shutterstock, Jamie Redman, and Hodl Hodl. 


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Tanzanian, Venezuelan, and Peru’s P2P Bitcoin Markets Witness Record Volume

Tanzanian, Venezuelan, and Peru's P2P Markets Witness Record Volume

The trading volume for Tanzanian bitcoin pairings on Localbitcoins has spiked to establish a new record high this week. The sudden spike in volume has occurred after several months of increasing warnings regarding virtual currencies from Tanzania’s central bank. Certain South American markets have also seen spikes in trading activity, with Peru and Vietnam also seeing record trading volume this past week.

Also Read: Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: The Tax Man Effect 

Record Trading Volume in Tanzania

The Tanzanian peer-to-peer (P2P) markets on Localbitcoins have exploded this past week, with the markets producing record trading volume approximately three times that of its preceding fiat-valued volume record.

Tanzanian, Venezuelan, and Peru's P2P Markets Witness Record Volume

During the week of the 14th of April 2018, Tanzania’s P2P markets witnessed roughly 295,000,000 Tanzanian shillings (TZS), approximately $130,000 USD, worth of bitcoin change hands. The Tanzanian markets also set a record for the number of bitcoins traded in a single week (17) – with more bitcoin being exchanged in seven days than during the preceding four weeks.

Tanzanian, Venezuelan, and Peru's P2P Markets Witness Record Volume

Thirsty Whale or Response to Regulatory Concerns?

The spike appears to have occurred without a specific news catalyst, as no major events appear to have occurred with regards to Tanzania’s cryptocurrency sector in the last week. Tanzania’s central bank has, however, issued a number of statements regarding cryptocurrencies in recent months.

Last month, the Bank of Tanzania (BOT)’s director of national payment systems, Bernard Dadi, indicated that the central bank is currently researching different potential legislative models for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. “Bot is currently studying internet currencies with a view to finding a permanent regulatory solution […] The bank of Tanzania is, in the meantime, taking a cautious approach by warning members of the public on the risks associated with internet currencies,” Mr. Dadi said. “There is no mechanism to prevent the public from accessing cryptocurrencies outside Tanzania’s jurisdiction without blocking public access to the Internet,” he added.

In January, the Bank of Tanzania also described bitcoin as comprising a potential threat to the East African Community (EAC)’s plans to develop a regional currency.

P2P Markets of Peru and Venezuela Witness Record Volume

Trading between the Peruvian Sol (PEN) and bitcoin on Localbitcoins spiked to set a record of 1,704,657 PEN (approximately $530,000 USD) this past week.

Tanzanian, Venezuelan, and Peru's P2P Markets Witness Record Volume

The spike saw roughly 71 bitcoins exchange hands – which is the second highest number of bitcoin traded for PEN in a single week on Localbitcoins. The record was set during December 2015, when 80 bitcoins were traded for PEN – then equating to just $36,800 worth of trade.

Tanzanian, Venezuelan, and Peru's P2P Markets Witness Record Volume

Venezuela’s P2P bitcoin markets have continued to produce accelerated momentum, establishing a new record for weekly trading volume for the sixth time in seven weeks when measured in Venezuelan Bolivars (VEF). 2,789,991,957,138 VEF was traded this past week, dwarfing the preceding week’s record of 1,744,669,576,098 VEF.

Tanzanian, Venezuelan, and Peru's P2P Markets Witness Record Volume

Venezuelan Volume Records Representative of Bolivar Hyperinflation

In many instances, Venezuela’s recent P2P trading volume highs (when measured against VEF) have been more indicative of the extremity of the hyperinflation besieging the nation than it has surging demand for bitcoin.

When measuring Localbitcoins trade volume in BTC, one can see that the 652 bitcoins traded comprised a slight decline from 663 bitcoins traded during the prior week of the 7th of April. Whilst the price of bitcoin has increased by approximately 22.3% since April 7th, such does not account for the approximately 60% increase in trade volume when measured against VEF.

Tanzanian, Venezuelan, and Peru's P2P Markets Witness Record Volume

Do you trade on the P2P markets? Tell us why in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin.dance


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