Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI Ban

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI Ban

A growing number of crypto exchanges in India have announced the return of fiat deposit and withdrawal support despite the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. Several other exchanges in the country also allow their users to use Indian rupees to buy and cash out cryptocurrencies through their exchange-escrow peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

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

Exchanges Say INR Support Is Back

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanSince the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect in July, crypto exchanges in the country have been deprived of banking services. Many of them subsequently shut down their INR support, disallowing users to make deposits and withdrawals in Indian rupees. The Supreme Court of India is scheduled to hear petitions against the ban next week.

However, recently at least three crypto exchanges in the country have announced the return of INR deposit and withdrawal support despite the RBI ban.

On Wednesday, September 12, crypto exchange Koinex announced that it has brought back INR deposits and withdrawals through its P2P system, stating:

We are happy to announce the revival of INR in the crypto universe through a new peer-to-peer deposit and withdrawal mechanism for INR transactions…Just like the old times, users will be able to deposit and withdraw funds directly from their INR wallets.

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanAnother crypto exchange, Coindelta, announced on August 31 that it had resumed INR support. “We have resumed back the INR deposits and withdrawals on Coindelta. Not only this, your old favourite INR markets are back where you can trade with your INR,” the exchange wrote.

In addition, news.Bitcoin.com recently reported on another exchange, Giottus, offering a creative way of allowing users to deposit and withdraw Indian rupees using its P2P platform.

Other Exchanges With Similar Services

The three aforementioned exchanges are utilizing their exchange-escrowed P2P services to facilitate deposits and withdrawals in Indian rupees. Each has its own set of rules including the number of coins supported, the deposit and withdrawal process, and the time it takes to withdraw INR using their systems.

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanThere are several other exchanges with similar P2P services that allow users to both purchase cryptocurrencies and cash out in Indian rupees.

Crypto exchange Wazirx, for example, recently celebrated its six-month anniversary of launching its P2P service. The exchange claims “We’re seeing our trading volumes increasing every day.” Vouching for the popularity of P2P trading, CEO Nischal Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com “We see more than 1 match per minute on our P2P.”

Another exchange, Instashift, has been offering P2P trading of over 80 coins. “Since the last set of RBI related developments in the past couple of months, we have continued to see strong 20-25% growth in trading volumes month on month over the last 2 quarters of our operation,” CEO Rahul Chitale shared with news.Bitcoin.com.

Coindcx also offers P2P trading on its Dcxinsta platform. “We guarantee any 50+ cryptocurrencies purchase directly with INR in less than 60 seconds,” CEO Sumit Gupta claims.

Other fiat-enabling systems outside of the P2P services are also being used in India such as the Dabba trading system which uses the Telegram messaging app to facilitate the trades.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of the way Indian crypto exchanges offer fiat support despite the RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Decentralized Exchange Bisq Launches Mobile App, Holds Market Kickstart Event

Decentralized Exchange Bisq Launches Mobile App, Holds Market Kickstart Event

Fully decentralized peer-to-peer crypto exchange Bisq has launched a mobile notification app for both Android and iOS systems. The platform saw record growth last month and is holding a market kickstart event as a way to boost liquidity.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Bisq Mobile App Launched

Decentralized Exchange Bisq Launches Mobile App, Holds Market Kickstart EventBisq, a fully decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto exchange that allows users to trade fiats against cryptocurrencies, has launched a mobile notification app for both Android and iOS systems.

The project’s developers announced on Sunday, September 9, that “The Bisq mobile notifications app for iOS is now available from the app store.” This announcement came two days after the team announced, “The initial release of the Bisq mobile app for Android is now available.”

Decentralized Exchange Bisq Launches Mobile App, Holds Market Kickstart Event

Both the Android and iOS versions of the app allow users to customize alerts for trades, offers, disputes, and prices. The app is linked to the desktop software where all trading is done, in a P2P environment.

Bisq’s latest version, v0.8.0, has a number of new features such as “Local / face-to-face trading, iOS and Android mobile app notifications, Halcash as a new payment method, [and] privacy improvements,” according to the developers.

August Was Record Month for Bisq

Bisq continues to grow in the number of users and trades this year. On September 4, the team shared the platform’s growth statistics for August, revealing:

August was a massive month for Bisq, setting a new record of 358 BTC traded…That’s a 26% increase over the previous record month of June 2017, and at a much higher average BTC/USD price…Also, 13,000 trades as of today.

Decentralized Exchange Bisq Launches Mobile App, Holds Market Kickstart Event

Bisq developer Christoph Atteneder added that, in August, the total number of trades was 926 and the average number of trades per day was 30.

Decentralized Exchange Bisq Launches Mobile App, Holds Market Kickstart EventSince Shapeshift announced its move to a new membership model that requires know-your-customer (KYC) information from its users, Bisq has been highlighted as an alternative to Shapeshift. The Bisq developers tweeted on September 5, “Big news. Shapeshift bowing to KYC regs could mean many more users coming Bisq’s way soon.”

September Market Kickstart Day

The Bisq team is not solely relying on Shapeshift’s policy change to grow their userbase. To help build the liquidity of the platform’s order book, they are preparing for an event dubbed the “September Market Kick-Start Day.” The developers explained:

On September 20th 2018 we will try to get as many people as possible to place offers on Bisq as a way to kick-start liquidity after the summer and also launch the newest release.

They elaborated that “If we can reach 300 offers published on one day we will see a new high in [the] number of trades,” noting that participants who make at least one offer on that day will be rewarded 10 BSQ, the project’s own token designed to help fund platform development.

What do you think of Bisq’s development? Would you use Bisq? What do you think of their market kickstart event? Let us know in the comments section below.


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RBI Ban Hearing in Two Days – What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

The Indian supreme court will hear all petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday. News.Bitcoin.com talked to the CEOs of several Indian exchanges to find out what they are expecting from the hearing, trader sentiment, their exchanges’ current trading volumes, and how they see the court’s ruling affecting the crypto community.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

The Beginning of the Journey

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingAll eyes in the Indian crypto community are on the supreme court (SC) hearing on Tuesday, September 11, when all petitions related to the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be heard. The country’s central bank issued a circular on April 6, banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses.

In response to the ban, a number of crypto exchanges operating in India have come up with methods to allow users to continue to deposit and withdraw Indian rupees. Among them are Wazirx, Instashift, and Coindcx exchanges which offer services based on the exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) model.

Wazirx’s CEO, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com:

The SC hearing is not the end of the road but the beginning of the crypto journey in India…If the outcome is positive then it will definitely boost trading volumes. If the outcome is negative then I don’t think there would be much impact on the existing trading volumes.

Rahul Chitale, CEO of Instashift, told news.Bitcoin.com that “The ruling will surely have some bearing and the SC’s views will shape a lot of the regulatory thinking, but it’s unlikely to have an immediate tactical impact.” Citing that similar regulatory hurdles are seen globally, he described:

Crypto will continue to thrive regardless of the government view, like we have seen worldwide. Any ruling which forces the government to precipitate taking a view on this will only benefit crypto in India in the long run.

Sumit Gupta, CEO of Coindcx, explained to news.Bitcoin.com that “All Indian exchanges and crypto traders are eyeing the SC ruling.” In the long run, however, he believes that “Indian traders will eventually find ways to invest in cryptocurrencies via some innovative channels.” Emphasizing that “a negative ruling will just shift users to P2P trading platforms,” he asserted:

A positive ruling will boost crypto trade in the Indian market like we have seen in Q3 of 2017 and we will see lakhs of new users joining exchange platforms and volumes can shoot up even higher than it was before in the next bullish run.

Trading Volumes Rise Amid RBI Ban

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingDespite the banking ban, Shetty revealed that trading has been increasing on Wazirx, largely due to the increase in popularity of the exchange-escrowed P2P service. “Our trading volumes have been growing every week,” he said. “We were pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the way users have acclimatised themselves to P2P.”

For Instashift, Chitale described that “since the last set of RBI related developments in the past couple of months, we have continued to see strong 20-25% growth in trading volumes month on month over the last 2 quarters of our operation,” adding:

There is a lot of trader money still parked on the sidelines, and we continue to see a lot of it return back to the market, even in spite of the current downturn in nearly all major coins.

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingGupta is also seeing a rise in trading volumes on Coindcx “due to its crypto-crypto nature.” However, he clarified that in general “that’s not the case,” elaborating that “Most of the Indian crypto investors are either hodling or trading rarely and hence the decline in overall volumes across exchanges. We observed that many people are also waiting to hear the SC verdict before they invest as this is also going to move crypto prices in India.”

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, Unocoin, recently shared a similar sentiment with news.Bitcoin.com. He revealed that on his exchange, “The volumes have significantly come down as this [RBI’s ban] is not only restricting the new users joining the platform but it is also hurting the sentiments of the present users.” Unocoin currently does not offer P2P trading.

What Exchanges Are Expecting from the Ruling

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingRegardless of the outcome of the supreme court’s hearing, “It’s business as usual for us at Instashift,” according to Chitale. He added that “Our users are mostly retail investors who are into it for the long run, and while trading volumes may fluctuate up or down…we don’t see investor demand diminishing in the shorter timeframe.”

Wazirx is also prepared for whichever direction the ruling may take. If a stay order is granted on the RBI ban, “we’ll immediately resume bank deposits and withdrawals for all our users,” Shetty confirmed, emphasizing that, otherwise, Wazirx’s P2P solution “is already working great for all the users in India.” He further detailed:

Crypto has now reached a stage where everyone has started taking it seriously in India and the majority of the young generation sees crypto as a way to invest their money…I’m banking on the SC releasing a directive asking the government to lay out regulations for crypto in India as that would enable every Indian to trade safely in crypto in the future.

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingSharing the sentiment, Chitale explained, “We are hopeful that the ruling will cause the government to prioritize its stand and clarity on a number of aspects of crypto,” such as regarding “taxation, classification, resolve any duality in state/center views, and so on.” He reiterated that “In short, this can only lead to clarity. Any clarity will lead to trader and investor confidence thus boosting the overall market.”

Citing that “as an asset class, ‘new money’ into crypto will come on the merit of crypto and other macro factors (like capital controls, taxation etc),” he concluded that “Broadly, we don’t expect trader and retail investor sentiment to diminish in that regard.”

Similarly, Gupta confirmed that Coindcx is “already prepared for the worst and have backup plans no matter which way the ruling swings.” Nonetheless, he said:

We are hopeful and believe that the government’s careful evaluation of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space will bring out a positive ruling that protects the interests of Indian crypto traders and investors. However I strongly feel that this space will eventually get regulated in India and we will see India as one of the global leaders in the blockchain space in the next 3-4 years.

What do you think the supreme court will do and how will the ruling affect the crypto community? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto Trading

Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto Trading

India’s central bank has released its latest annual report which includes a section dedicated to cryptocurrency. The Reserve Bank of India outlines the risks posed by crypto and emphasizes the need to monitor crypto development in anticipation that some trading may shift from exchanges to peer-to-peer (P2P) mode.

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

Risks to Monetary Policy

Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto TradingThe Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, published on Wednesday its 268-page annual report for 2017-18.

While asserting that “the cryptocurrency eco-system may affect the existing payment and settlement system which could, in turn, influence the transmission of monetary policy,” the central bank wrote:

Though cryptocurrency may not currently pose systemic risks, its increasing popularity leading to price bubbles raises serious concerns for consumer and investor protection, and market integrity.

A Shift to Peer-to-Peer

Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto TradingThe annual report also confirms that the government and the central bank “are keeping a close watch on cryptocurrency.”

Referring to the circular it issued in April banning all financial institutions from providing services to “any individual or business entities dealing with or settling in virtual currencies,” RBI reiterated:

Developments on this front need to be monitored as some trading may shift from exchanges to peer-to-peer mode, which may also involve increased usage of cash. Possibilities of migration of crypto exchange houses to dark pools/cash and to offshore locations…require close watch.

Since the RBI ban, crypto exchanges in India have come up with solutions to continue providing Indian rupee deposit and withdrawal services to their customers. One solution that is growing in popularity is through exchange-escrowed P2P trading.

RBI Sees Additional Risks

Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto TradingRBI claims that cryptocurrencies are “prone to hacking and operational risk” because they are stored in electronic wallets. In addition, the central bank sees “a high possibility of its usage for illicit activities, including tax avoidance.”

Emphasizing that crypto lacks an “established framework for recourse to customer problems/ dispute resolution as payments by cryptocurrencies take place on a peer-to-peer basis without an authorised central agency which regulates such payments,” RBI detailed:

The absence of information on counterparties in such peer-to-peer anonymous/pseudonymous systems could subject users to unintentional breaches of anti-money laundering laws (AML) as well as laws for combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).

Furthermore, the report mentions that a number of central banks around the world are exploring central bank digital currencies. “In India, an inter-departmental group has been constituted by the Reserve Bank to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency,” the report reads.

What do you think of RBI’s opinions? Let us know in the comments section below.


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P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in India

P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in India

Since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, banned banks from providing services to cryptocurrency businesses, traders are increasingly trading on peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. Local crypto exchanges have come up with a number of exchange-escrowed P2P solutions.

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

Localbitcoins

Trading volumes in both the Indian rupee (INR) and BTC increased on Localbitcoins between the week of April 7, when the RBI issued its circular, and the week of August 18. The INR trading volume increased 25 percent, from 68 million rupees (~US$974,561) to 85 million rupees (~$1,218,201). The number of BTC traded increased about 23 percent from 150 BTC to 184 BTC.

P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in India

Earlier this month, news.Bitcoin.com reported that Indian traders have also found some other creative ways to trade cryptocurrencies amid RBI’s ban including Dabba trading via Telegram.

Exchange-Escrowed Marketplaces

P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in IndiaThe Mumbai-based Koinex is offering an exchange-escrowed P2P service called Loop for the trading of BTC, ETH, and XRP. Founder and CEO Rahul Raj explained to Inc42 that “buyers and sellers on Loop can create their own listings (like a marketplace) or explore existing listings to choose their best trades.”

He elaborated, “while it’s still early days, Loop has been very well received by the Indian trading community and we are seeing increasing traction every day,” adding:

Other key aspects of Loop include a user rating mechanism, cancellation option for sellers, listing modification, dynamic pricing, cleansing of stale listings, and a host of other features to ensure only genuine and legitimate trading on the platform.

Another crypto exchange, Coindelta, has created an exchange-escrowed P2P system called Flux. BTC, ETH, XRP, and USDT can be transferred directly between Coindelta and Flux, but other cryptocurrencies must be converted to USDT on Coindelta before sending to Flux.

Auto-Matching Orders

P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in IndiaThe Wazirx P2P system uses USDT in transactions. Sellers convert their cryptocurrencies to tether and sell them for rupees and buyers convert their rupees into tether to trade on the exchange. “Wazirx acts as an escrow account for holding the cryptos during the transaction,” the exchange described.

Orders are automatically matched by the exchange, CEO Nischal Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com:

The auto-matching open order book in P2P has never been attempted before and people love the ease.

Furthermore, Wazirx tweeted on August 25, “Wazirx has the cheapest price for crypto in India.”

Incentives for Depositing INR

Crypto exchange Bitbns also recently launched P2P transaction functionality which has been updated several times. Last week, the company announced an incentive scheme for anyone depositing INR in order to speed up order matching. The exchange explained:

We have introduced an option that allows withdrawers to tip depositors as per their wish. The tip could be anything in the denominations of 0.1 i.e 0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, and so on up to 1% of the transaction amount.

However, some users have complained on social media about not being able to withdraw funds. Some also said that they have been scammed on the exchange’s Telegram group by people pretending to be Bitbns’ admin.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Huge Demand for ‘P2P’ Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI Ban

Huge Demand for 'P2P' Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI Ban

Exchange-escrowed trading directly between cryptocurrency buyers and sellers is growing in popularity in India following the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. One local exchange, in particular, is seeing “tremendous” response from Indian traders for this service as “tens of thousands of new users have signed up” in a month.

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

Indians Warming Up to New Solution

Huge Demand for 'P2P' Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI BanSince the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banned banks from providing fiat service to crypto companies, local cryptocurrency exchanges have come up with solutions for their users to be able to withdraw Indian rupees. One popular solution is exchange-escrowed trading which local exchanges call peer-to-peer (P2P) trading.

Indian crypto exchange Wazirx launched this service about a month ago. CEO Nischal Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com that the response from traders for this service has been “tremendous,” stating:

People love P2P…Everyone had their doubts whether P2P would work or not, the convenience etc…[But now] We’re seeing above 1 trade match every minute happening in P2P…we’re talking about peer-to-peer transactions at a rate of more than 1 per minute.

He further revealed, “tens of thousands of new users have signed up on Wazirx after we introduced P2P. In fact we got more signups in the last 2 weeks than we got in the last 2 months.”

Platforms With Similar Services

Huge Demand for 'P2P' Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI BanThe Wazirx P2P system was built “to replicate how a traditional order book in an exchange behaves,” the CEO described. It uses tether (USDT) in transactions. Sellers convert their cryptocurrencies to USDT and sell them for rupees. Buyers convert their rupees into USDT which can be used to trade any cryptocurrencies on the exchange. “Wazirx acts as an escrow account for holding the cryptos during the transaction,” the exchange detailed.

“The P2P system has replaced the previous system of depositing fiat into Wazirx account and in return getting INR balance in your account,” Shetty explained to news.Bitcoin.com. “What happens now is that you deposit the fiat into another user’s account and get USDT in return…After you get USDT, you can trade in our USDT market in the regular way (non P2P).”

Furthermore, orders are automatically matched by the exchange. “The auto matching open order book in P2P has never been attempted before and people love the ease,” he noted, elaborating:

In most cases, P2P is even faster than the traditional method of deposits and withdrawals people here were used to because in P2P if the person is active online then they would immediately do the money transfer to the peer’s bank account.

Huge Demand for 'P2P' Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI BanA few other exchanges also offer similar solutions. Coindelta, for example, launched its P2P exchange called Flux on July 26. Users can transfer their BTC, ETH, XRP and USDT between the main Coindelta exchange and Flux. Other cryptos must be converted to USDT on the Coindelta exchange first before sending to Flux.

A popular exchange-escrowed service in the country that uses a classified-style order book listing is Loop by Koinex crypto exchange. Currently, only BTC, ETH, and XRP are listed on the platform for trade.

Zecoex and Giottus crypto exchanges also offer services where users can make offers to sell from their crypto balances and then wait for buyers to select them from a list of available offers. Another exchange for Indians, Instashift, offers a platform for users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies between each other for five fiat currencies, including the Indian rupee.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of how Indians are bypassing RBI’s ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Sagewise pitches a service to verify claims and arbitrate disputes over blockchain transactions

Sometimes smart contracts can be pretty dumb.

All of the benefits of a cryptographically secured, publicly verified, anonymized transaction system can be erased by errant code, malicious actors, or poorly defined parameters of an executable agreement.

Hoping to beat back the tide of bad contracts, bad code and bad actors, Sagewise, a new Los Angeles-based startup has raised $1.25 million to bring to market a service that basically hits pause on the execution of a contract so it can be arbitrated in the event that something goes wrong.

Co-founded by a longtime lawyer, Amy Wan, whose experience runs the gamut from the U.S. Department of Commerce to serving as counsel for a peer-to-peer real estate investment platform in Los Angeles, and Dan Rice, a longtime entrepreneur working with blockchain, Sagewise works with both Ethereum and the Hedera Hashgraph (a newer distributed ledger technology, which purports to solve some of the issues around transaction processing speed and security which have bedeviled platforms like Ethereum and Bitcoin).

The company’s technology works as a middleware including an SDK and a contract notification and monitoring service. “The SDK is analogous to an arbitration clause in code form — when the smart contract executes a function, that execution is delayed for a pre-set amount of time (i.e., 24 hrs) and users receive a text/email notification regarding the execution,” Wan wrote to me an email. “If the execution is not the intent of the parties, they can freeze execution of the smart contract, giving them the luxury of time to fix whatever is wrong.”

Sagewise approaches the contract resolution process as a marketplace where priority is given to larger deals. “Once frozen, parties can fix coding bugs, patch up security vulnerabilities, or amend/terminate the smart contract, or self-resolve a dispute. If a dispute cannot be self-resolved, parties then graduate to a dispute resolution marketplace of third party vendors,” Wan writes. “After all, a $5 bar bet would be resolved differently from a $5M enterprise dispute. Thus, we are dispute process agnostic.”

Wavemaker Genesis led the round, which also included and strategic investments from affiliates of Ari Paul (Blocktower Capital), Miko Matsumura (Gumi Cryptos), Youbi Capital, Maja Vujinovic (Cipher Principles), Jordan Clifford (Scalar Capital), Terrence Yang (Yang Ventures) and James Sowers.

“Smart contracts are coded by developers and audited by security auditing firms, but the quality of smart contract coding and auditing varies drastically among service providers,” said Wan, the chief executive of Sagewise, in a statement. “Inevitably, this discrepancy becomes the basis for smart contract disputes, which is where Sagewise steps in to provide the infrastructure that allows the blockchain and smart contract industry to achieve transactional confidence.”

In an email, Wan elaboraged on the thesis to me writing that, “smart contracts may have coding errors, security vulnerabilities, or parties may need to amend or terminate their smart contracts due to changing situations.”

Contracts could also be disputed if their execution was triggered accidentally or due to the actions of attackers trying to hack a platform.

“Sagewise seeks to bring transactional confidence into the blockchain industry by building a smart contract safety net where smart contracts do not fulfill the original transactional intent,” Wan wrote.

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI Ban

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI Ban

Indian crypto traders have found some creative ways to trade cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, to circumvent the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. The Reserve Bank of India has banned financial institutions from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrency.

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

Money Finds a Way

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI BanFollowing the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which went into effect last month, Indian traders are finding multiple ways to bypass the ban.

One of the methods they are using is referred to as Dabba trading, Business Today recently reported:

Ever since the banks were stopped from providing financial services to digital exchanges, the trade of bitcoin through Dabba trading has increased manifold.

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI BanIn Dabba trading, brokers do not execute trades on a “system connected with commodity or stock exchange,” the news outlet described. Instead, they transfer “money through hawala network” and trade “using an overseas bank trading account,” most of which are based in Europe, especially the UK and Dubai.

While “mostly used for trading in stocks,” the publication explained that this method “has seen an upsurge as traditional Dabba operators are accepting bets on bitcoin too, giving a boost to their overall earning,” adding:

Such traders are based out of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Kolkata and Mumbai. They work as a bridge between a customer and foreign trading company. The broker accepts money in cash, buys bitcoins using an overseas trading account and sells them when the bet placed in India is settled. The difference is paid in cash to the customer.

Where are the Deals Happening?

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI BanMost Dabba deals are done “via messaging app Telegram, cloud-based instant messaging service with end-to-end encryption and the money in cash is routed through the hawala channels,” the publication detailed.

Citing that “such deals are also happening through official channels like brokers who maintain bank accounts in India as well as overseas,” the news outlet elaborated:

The money is then routed through official or unofficial channels to the foreign account where bitcoins are bought and sold. The money is usually paid in cash or cheque to the investor following the deduction of commission or any loss.

Cash and P2P Markets

The use of physical cash for crypto trading has also surged since the RBI ban took effect, the news outlet noted. “The cash market existed way before the RBI diktat on cryptocurrencies but it has now flourished as people with illicit cash are using it to earn more money.”

In addition, a number of crypto exchanges in India have launched peer-to-peer (P2P) trading solutions to circumvent the ban. News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on a few crypto exchanges launching P2P trading services – Koinex, Wazirx, and Coindelta. A few others such as Giottus, Instashift, and Zecoex also offer some forms of P2P systems. Furthermore, Chinese exchange Huobi has reportedly said that it will launch P2P trading in India.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of Indians using these methods to bypass RBI’s ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India

Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India

Following several announcements of plans for global expansion, this week crypto exchange Huobi has reportedly informed Indian users of its intentions to present them with a P2P platform that allows trading in Indian rupee. The email notice published by local media promises zero transaction fees for exchanging BTC, ETH, and USDT.

Also read: 3 Million Brits Invested in Crypto via Exchanges, Few Sought Advice

Reports: Huobi to Launch P2P Platform for Indians

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has announced in an email to Indian users its decision to offer peer-to-peer trading services in their country, local crypto media reported. The notice states that they will be entitled to zero transaction fees for trades in bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and tether (USDT). Users will be able to buy and sell these cryptocurrencies with support for transactions in Indian rupees (INR), according to a copy of the correspondence published by Crypto News, India.

The exchange says that “[…] we do think it’s time that we provide a solution of buying/selling digital assets with INR for all Indian users: Huobi OTC – a proprietary peer-to-peer (P2P) platform that allow[s] users and merchants to trade digital assets with your local currencies.” The crypto company also notes that “every registered Indian user of Huobi can log in to https://otc.huobi.com to trade digital assets with INR.” Customers are also advised to transfer to Huobi Global if they want to trade more cryptocurrencies with high liquidity.

Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India

The announcement was made after Huobi recently sent a questionnaire to its Indian users. In another email, the exchange also invited them to become “Global Merchants”. The message read, “After becoming a global merchant of Huobi OTC, you will be entitled to: post-fiat-to-token advertisements to gain more earnings during “Buy & Sell” processes; enjoy zero transaction fee and obtain 24/7 customer support.”

The launch of the Indian P2P platform has yet to be officially announced by Huobi with a release expected on its social media channels. However, the authenticity of the emailed message has been confirmed already by a spokesperson reached by Crypto News: “For OTC supports INR currency. Yes. It’s legit,” the representative is quoted as saying.

Peer-To-Peer Trading Expands After Ban, Before Regulation

Huobi’s announcement comes in difficult times for the Indian crypto community. In recent months, Indian companies and individuals working with cryptocurrencies had to deal with a bank crackdown that followed a ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank. The measure came into force on July 5, after the Supreme Court upheld it in a hearing on July 3, when it did not grant a stay before the compliance deadline, and then in another one on the 20th, when it did not overturn the ban. The final hearing on the matter was scheduled for September 11.

In April, the RBI ordered regulated financial institutions to quit providing services to entities and citizens dealing in cryptocurrency. The restrictions have since forced Indian crypto exchanges to suspend fiat transactions and offer crypto-to-crypto trading options. Comprehensive regulatory guidelines are expected in September, as news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this week. A draft has been prepared already and consultations are underway to finalize the framework.

Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India

Until the important decisions are made this fall, P2P platforms are offering a viable option for Indian traders who want to exchange cryptos with rupees. Cryptocurrency exchanges, Koinex and Wazirx, are already offering peer-to-peer trading services.

If Huobi fulfills its promise to Indian users, the launch of its P2P platform will become the latest in a series of moves aimed at expanding its global reach. Huobi’s plans include Europe, Asia, America, and Australia. In June, the Singapore-based exchange confirmed its intentions to open an office in London. In early July, the third largest crypto trading platform launched a platform in Australia with 10 pairs against the AUD. Huobi is also eyeing opportunities in Toronto, San Francisco, and São Paulo.

Do you trade cryptocurrencies on P2P exchanges? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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Openbazaar Users Can Now Trade 1500 Cryptocurrencies With No KYC

Openbazaar Users Can Now Trade 1500 Cryptocurrencies With No KYC

This Friday the decentralized marketplace Openbazaar announced the release of its 2.2.2 version which adds a variety of new features and improvements. One particular feature added to the latest Openbazaar release allows users to trade 1,500+ cryptocurrencies with no fees. Moreover, all the swaps are peer-to-peer trades between two parties with no KYC process. 

Also Read: Bitcoin Unlimited Merges Graphene Block Propagation Technology

Openbazaar Launches Version 2.2.2 With Two New Important Features

Openbazaar Users Can Now Trade 1500 Cryptocurrencies With No KYC The Openbazaar development team has released a new version of the platform that adds a few new features and bug fixes. Openbazaar version 2.2.2 was released on July 27 and the application allows for peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trades with a vast quantity of different digital assets. The developers explain that the release includes two major protocol improvements within the Openbazaar environment.     

“The first is the ability for users offering to trade coins to mark up or discount their price — Instead of only being able to offer a trade at market price, they can choose to add a markup, which will automatically increase the price to the buyer based on the percentage they choose,” explains Openbazaar’s announcement blog post.  

They can also choose to offer a discount from market price — The software constantly is updating the market price of the cryptocurrencies involved in the trade, and will add the markup or discount at the moment the trade happens.

The Ability to Trade 1,500+ Cryptocurrencies With No Fees and No KYC/AML Processes

The announcement further details that the second feature includes the major update to how many cryptocurrencies can be traded on Openbazaar. The development team notes that prior to the 2.2.2 release there were about 60 different coins available to trade. Openbazaar has implemented price feeds from the data site Coinmarketcap and there are now 1,500+ coins that can be traded.

Openbazaar Users Can Now Trade 1500 Cryptocurrencies With No KYC “If you want to see if a specific coin is available, download Openbazaar and start the process of creating a cryptocurrency listing,” the Openbazaar developers detail.

As always, there are no fees to pay and no accounts to sign up for — It’s a direct swap of cryptocurrencies between you and the other party, and if you choose a moderated payment (highly recommended) then there’s a third party available in case of dispute.

The cryptocurrency community seemed to like the latest Openbazaar announcement across social media and digital asset focused forums. The biggest plus for most digital currency proponents is the means to buy and sell coins without fees — But people really appreciated the ability to trade without all the annoying KYC/AML processes tethered to more than 90 percent of exchanges out there today.

What do you think about Openbazaar adding 1,500+ different cryptocurrencies to the platform for peer-to-peer trading? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.  


Images via Shutterstock, Openbazaar logo, and the OB Blog. 


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The quantum meltdown of encryption

The world stands at the cusp of one of the greatest breakthroughs in information technology. Huge leaps forward in all fields of computer science, from data analysis to machine learning, will result from this breakthrough. But like all of man’s technological achievements, from the combustion engine to nuclear power, harnessing quantum comes with potential dangers as well. Quantum computers have created a slew of unforeseen vulnerabilities in the very infrastructure that keeps the digital sphere safe.

The underlying assumption behind nearly all encryption ciphers used today is that their complexity precludes any attempt by hackers to break them, as it would take years for even our most advanced conventional computers to do so. But quantum computing will change all of that.

Quantum computers promise to bring computational power leaps and bounds ahead of our most advanced machines. Recently, scientists at Google began testing their cutting edge 72 qubit quantum computer. The researchers expect to demonstrate with this machine quantum supremacy, or the ability to perform a calculation impossible with traditional computers.

Chink in the Armor

Today’s standard encryption techniques are based on what’s called Public Key Infrastructure or PKI, a set of protocols brought to the world of information technology in the 1970’s. PKI works by generating a complex cipher through random numbers that only the intended recipient of a given message, the one in possession of the private key, can decode.

As a system of encoding data, PKI was sound and reliable. But in order to implement it as a method to be used in the real world, there was still one question that needed to be answered: how could individuals confirm the identity of a party reaching out and making a request to communicate? This vulnerability left the door open for cybercriminals to impersonate legitimate servers, or worse, insert themselves into a conversation between users and intercept communications between them, in what’s known as a Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack.

The industry produced a solution to this authentication problem in the form of digital certificates, electronic documents the contents of which can prove senders are actually who they claim to be. The submission of certificates at the initiation of a session allows the parties to know who it is they are about to communicate with. Today, trusted third party companies called Certificate Authorities, or CAs, create and provide these documents that are relied upon by everyone from private users to the biggest names in tech.

The problem is that certificates themselves rely on public-key cryptographic functions for their reliability, which, in the not too distant future, will be vulnerable to attack by quantum machines. Altered certificates could then be used by cyber criminals to fake their identities, completely undermining certificates as a method of authentication.

Intel’s 17-qubit superconducting test chip for quantum computing has unique features for improved connectivity and better electrical and thermo-mechanical performance. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

 

Decentralizing the Threat

This isn’t the first time we’ve had to get creative when it comes to encryption.

When Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity is still unknown, revealed his revolutionary idea in a 2008 white paper, he also introduced the beginnings of a unique peer-to-peer authentication system that today we call blockchain. The brilliantly innovative blockchain system at its core is an open ledger that records transactions between two parties in a permanent way without needing third-party authentication. Blockchain provided the global record-keeping network that has kept Nakamoto’s digital currency safe from fraudsters. Blockchain is based on the concept of decentralization, spreading the authentication process across a large body of users. No single piece of data can be altered without the alteration of all other blocks, which would require the collusion of the majority of the entire network.

For years, blockchain and Bitcoin remained one and the same. About five years ago, innovators in the industry began to realize that blockchain could be used for more than just securing cryptocurrency. Altering the original system designed for Bitcoin could produce programs to be applied in a wide range of industries, from healthcare, to insurance, to political elections. Gradually, new decentralized systems began to emerge such as those of Ripple and Litecoin. In 2015, one of the original contributors to the Bitcoin codebase Vitalik Buterin released his Ethereum project also based on blockchain. What these new platforms added to the picture was the ability to record new types of data in addition to currency exchanges, such as loans and contractual agreements.

The advantages of the blockchain concept quickly became apparent. By 2017, nearly fifteen percent of all financial institutions in the world were using blockchain to secure aspects of their operations. The number of industries incorporating decentralized systems continues to grow.

Digital security key concept background with binary data code

Saving PKI

The best solution for protecting encryption from our ever-growing processing power is integrating decentralization into Public Key Infrastructure.

What this means essentially, is that instead of keeping digital certificates in one centralized location, which makes them vulnerable to being hacked and tampered with, they would be spread out in a world-wide ledger, one fundamentally impervious to alteration. A hacker attempting to modify certificates would be unable to pull off such a fraud, as it would mean changing data stored on enumerable diversified blocks spread out across the cyber sphere.

Decentralization has already been proven as a highly effective way of protecting recorded data from tampering. Similarly, using a blockchain-type system to replace the single entity Certificate Authority, can keep our digital certificates much safer. It is in fact one of the only foreseeable solutions to keep the quantum revolution from undermining the foundation of PKI.

 

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today but RBI Ban Stays

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban Stays

India’s Supreme Court heard the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today. After hearing some arguments from both sides, the court decided to set another hearing date, allowing some of the regulators involved to respond to the petitions.

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

Supreme Court Hearing on July 20

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThe long-awaited hearing at which the Supreme Court of India was scheduled to address all of the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank has finally taken place.

Today’s hearing follows the hearing on July 3 of the petition by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The court did not grant a stay against the ban at that time. Last week, the central bank responded to a representation by the association but did not change its stance on crypto.

The latest chapter of the courtroom saga did not see an overturn of the ban. The court also did not hear all arguments by both sides. Crypto Kanoon, a platform engaged in crypto regulatory analysis, legal awareness and news, detailed:

Limited arguments were advanced on behalf of IAMAI and RBI today.

Another Hearing Date Set

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThere are at least five writ petitions filed against the RBI ban. However, according to Crypto Kanoon, “SEBI [the Securities and Exchange Board of India] and few others have not filed their response to the petition seeking regulation…All (remaining) parties to file their reply within 4 weeks.”

Sohail Merchant, CEO of crypto exchange Pocketbits, commented on the outcome of today’s hearing:

Final hearing [is] slated for 11th of September. Now that is the Judgement Day.

According to lawyers familiar with the case, the central bank has been challenged on two grounds. They concern article 19(1) (g) and article 14 of the Indian constitution. The former “allows citizens to enjoy the right to carry on any occupation, trade, or business,” Quartz explained, adding that the latter “prohibits discrimination and mandates equal protection under the law for all.”

P2P Services Live

In response to the RBI banking ban, a number of crypto exchanges in the country have set up peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysKoinex launched its P2P platform called Loop on July 17. “Loop is a peer-to-peer fiat to crypto trading platform where registered users can trade in cryptos with other registered users in INR,” the exchange described.

“To ensure user safety, a built-in escrow system is employed which releases the cryptocurrency only after the seller double confirms the exact payment of the trade.” According to its website, the service currently offers the buying and selling of BTC, ETH, and XRP without network or transaction fees.

Last week, Wazirx launched its P2P service, also without network or transaction fees. The exchange recently claimed to have 125,000 users on its main platform after operating for four months. Meanwhile, Coindelta is also preparing to launch a P2P service called Flux.

What do you think of the Supreme Court hearing today? Do you think RBI’s ban will eventually be lifted? Let us know in the comments section below.


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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 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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Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features

A few months ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on the platform Localbitcoincash.org growing popular and adding a few new features. Now the website has revamped its user interface and the website’s developer has added services like a direct crypto-to-crypto exchange and a shopping section where users can post items to sell for Bitcoin Cash.

Also read: The Exahash Era: SHA-256 Mining is a Significant Achievement in Computer Engineering 

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps the Site Again With Newly Added Features

Localbitcoincash.org offers an escrow service so buyers and sellers can trade Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in a peer-to-peer fashion. The platform was launched in October 2017 in its beta stage and has seen a lot of changes since then. Localbitcoincash (LBC) pretty much offers the same services as its BTC counterpart Localbitcoins but also has a variety of other options for users. Since our last review, the website looks and feels completely different as the colors are now green and black in contrast to its older orange look. The front page shows a step-by-step walkthrough detailing how to use LBC alongside a list of buyers and sellers below this field.

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features
The Localbitcoincash.org exchange.

LBC’s Fiat and Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange

The sidebar to the left has a bunch of different options which include the fiat exchange where users can swap BCH for fiat currencies. Looking at the list of buyers and sellers on Localbitcoincash shows the platform seems to be getting a fair share of users. People from various locations all around the world are selling increments of BCH for their local currency. At the time of publication, prices range from the current spot market price found on online exchanges and some traders are selling for a few hundred more per BCH.

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features
The Localbitcoincash.org fiat exchange.

The peer-to-peer LBC platform also has a crypto-to-crypto exchange that operates just like Shapeshift or Changelly but without fees.

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features
The peer-to-peer platform also has a crypto-to-crypto exchange that operates similarly to Shapeshift, and Changelly.

Peer-to-Peer Escrow Shopping

Similarly to the operations of the aforementioned platforms, LBC gives registered users a deposit and receiving address so they can swap BCH for cryptocurrencies like BTC, Dash, Ethereum, Smartcash, Steem, and more. Under this feature on the sidebar is the send BCH by email service which allows users to easily send BCH to someone in this mannner. Furthermore, on May 30, the LBC developer announced the addition of a peer-to-peer shopping section where users can sell items for BCH.

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features
LBC’s newly added shopping section that allows people to sell goods via escrow.

“After many weeks of hard work, we are really excited to announce the launch of our peer to peer online shopping platform,” explains the LBC representative. “This means that anyone can trade with anyone freely, instantly and safely via escrow. Anyone can be a seller today and sell physical or digital products — There are no commissions at all by the platform and we don’t have any restrictions built in so users are welcome to message the sellers directly to deal outside of this platform.”

All these additions fit with our objective of allowing anyone to earn a living online, especially people from failed states and corrupt countries. In many of these places, citizens had to suffer from the consequences of the failed government for many decades — Our hope is that with Bitcoin Cash, this will change and help lift someone up from poverty into economic freedom and equality.

The fiat exchange shows traders selling BCH are located all around the world but some have a cap on how much they are willing to sell. A great majority of the peer-to-peer trading arrangements on Localbitcoincash are ‘Meetup’ swaps where individuals meet in person to trade fiat for BCH. In order to get a scope of what type of trade an individual is offering simply hit the ‘view’ tab to read the trader’s arrangements. The developer of LBC is adding to the website regularly and with each visit the trading portal seems to be more user-friendly over time.

What do you think about the exchange Localbitcoincash? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Localbitcoincash.org.


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Openbazaar Enables Decentralized Peer-To-Peer Trading of 44 Cryptocurrencies

Openbazaar Enables Decentralized Peer-To-Peer Trading of 44 Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies can now be traded on the peer-to-peer online marketplace Openbazaar in addition to physical goods, digital goods, and services. Initially, 44 cryptocurrencies are supported but the development team plans to add more over time. There is no fee for trading cryptocurrencies and no need to register with any service.

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

Crypto Trading on Openbazaar

Openbazaar Enables Decentralized Peer-To-Peer Trading of 44 CryptocurrenciesPeer-to-peer e-commerce platform Openbazaar’s development team, OB1, announced this week that fully decentralized, fee-free cryptocurrency trading is now available on the platform with the release of Openbazaar version 2.20. The platform previously had three types of listings: physical goods, digital goods, and services. “We’re now adding a fourth: cryptocurrency,” the team emphasized, elaborating about the new software version:

The biggest new feature is the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Vendors are now able to use a special new listing type to sell cryptocurrencies on Openbazaar. They can choose from 44 different cryptocurrencies right now and more will be added over time.

The main benefits of using Openbazaar to trade crypto, as detailed in the announcement, is that there are “no fees, no need to register with any service, and no threat of an exchange getting hacked,” so users “aren’t forced to reveal any identifying information.”

Openbazaar Enables Decentralized Peer-To-Peer Trading of 44 Cryptocurrencies

“We’ve released this new feature with the goal of listening to the community about how they believe cryptocurrency trading on Openbazaar can be improved. We plan to rapidly iterate as we receive feedback from users,” the OB1 team conveyed. They also shared that since the launch of the crypto trading option, “we’ve seen users on the Openbazaar network from more than 60 different countries.”

Not an Exchange, No Order Book

However, the platform is “completely peer-to-peer” so “this is not an exchange,” Openbazaar developers admitted, adding that “the new feature only allows people to trade cryptocurrencies directly with each other at market prices.” It does not “include an order book with the ability to choose a target price for buying or selling,” the OB1 team clarified.

Openbazaar Enables Decentralized Peer-To-Peer Trading of 44 CryptocurrenciesCurrently, the platform uses 3 different cryptocurrency payment types: Direct, Offline, and Moderated. “If a buyer trusts a seller they can just send their coins directly to them in a direct payment,” the developers described. For sellers who are offline at the time of payment, the Offline option allows them to claim their coins when they return. The Moderated option can be used when buyers do not know or trust the vendors.

For crypto trading, the team reiterated:

“Payment must be settled in whichever coin they [vendors] have chosen for their Openbazaar store, either bitcoin, bitcoin cash, or zcash.”

What do you think of Openbazaar’s crypto trading option? Will you trade cryptocurrencies on Openbazaar? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Openbazaar.


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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.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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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.

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Canadian and European Bitcoin P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

Localbitcoins trading volume has witnessed volume spikes across miscellaneous markets in recent weeks, with global volume bouncing to $75 million USD this past week. The Canadian and European markets both produced record volume this past week – after both markets produced seemingly anomalous spikes in trading activity.

Also Read:Capitalization of Cryptocurrency Markets Loses 59% in Q1 2018 

Europe and Canada’s Localbitcoins Markets Set Weekly Volume Records

The weekly global trading volume on localbitcoins has bounced to $75 million (8,586 BTC), following spikes in volume across several markets during the week of the 31st of March.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

EUR/BTC trading on Localbitcoins smashed it’s prior volume record of approximately $9 million EUR, with nearly $11.5 million EUR worth of BTC changing hands this week. The trade volume of 1,617 BTC is the largest number of bitcoin exchanged in a single week in the EUR/BTC markets since March 2016.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

 

The Canadian peer-to-peer (P2P) markets set a new record for trade volume the third time in three weeks – with almost $8 million CAD worth of bitcoin exchanging hands. During the week of the 10th of March, CAD/BTC trade was valued at nearly $2.5 million CAD – almost $1 million more than the previous record of $1.475 million. The week of the 17th of March saw volume fall back to $1.6 million CAD, before trade ramped up to again set a new record of over $5 million during the week of the 24th of March.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

When measuring trade in bitcoin, last week’s volume of 904 BTC set an all-time record, beating the previous high of 706 BTC from the week of the 30th of May, 2015.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

A Number of P2P Markets Produced Surged in Recent Weeks

Trade between the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) and bitcoin produced record volume of $580 million IDR during the week of the 17th of March on Localbitcoins. The same week saw Vietnamese P2P trading experience its second highest volume ever, with a sudden rush in trading bring volume to $3.725 billion VND.

Localbitcoins trade between bitcoin and the Mexican Peso surged at the start of the month, with record volume $10.6 million MXN being recorded for the week of the 3rd of March.

Tanzania’s Localbitcoins market also saw its third highest weekly volume ever this week, with $90 million TZS worth of bitcoin changing hands.

Venezuelan Trading Volume Continues To Spike

Venezuela’s P2P bitcoin markets have continued to surge during 2018 thus far, with Bolivar to bitcoin trading setting new volume records for seven of the thirteen weeks that have passed this year. This past week saw Bolivar/BTC trade fail to set record volume for the first time in five weeks, following the preceding week’s record volume of over 1 trillion VEF worth of trade.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

Peruvian P2P trade has also performed well in recent, producing more than $1 million PEN worth of transactions for eight of the last nine weeks.

Do you think that we will continue to see volume records set by the Localbitcoins markets in recent weeks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin.dance


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Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

Coinfloor have announced their group of cryptocurrency exchanges will now include Coinfloorex, a bitcoin futures exchange. Offering “institutional grade risk management and governance,” traders, hedge funds, and miners will get bitcoin futures “at scale” through “specifically designed cryptocurrency contracts and operational controls.”

Also read: Québec Premier: We’re Not Really Interested in Bitcoin Mining

Coinfloor Launches Physical Bitcoin Futures

“Our mission is to build a bridge between Fiat currency and cryptocurrency,” Obi Nwosu, CEO of Coinfloor stressed, “to drive the stability and sustainability of cryptocurrency. Numerous market participants are calling on existing cryptocurrency exchanges that provide futures contracts to switch from cash to physical settlement. However, making that transition will be very difficult for them to achieve. We understood this requirement from the start, and have worked for over two years to bring this functionality to market. Now, institutional investors and traders can capitalise on market dynamics, within their own risk parameters and in line with their individual trading strategies.”

As such, Coinfloor claims to have launched the “first physically delivered cryptocurrency futures contract” through its newly created crypto exchange, Coinfloorex. The contracts were “created to protect investors and traders against price slippage on positions at time of settlement, as well as concerns of market manipulation.”

Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

The company is well-known in the ecosystem, having been around since early 2013, using a peer-to-peer crypto exchange model. Bitcoin vetted brokers are connected to investors in bitcoin. Using a local bank, buyers are able to send money directly to sellers. They were also an early adopter of solving the normal two-step conversion between fiat and bitcoin. Coinfloor was one of the first to try a no-fee trading model, but later reinstated fees at the end of last year. It also continues to play an active role in courting regulators to take crypto seriously.

The innovation this time around seems to be the “physical delivery” aspect of bitcoin futures. “Settlement is based on physical delivery rather than an index price from across other exchanges, which provides maximum pricing transparency. Access to Coinfloor’s spot exchange enables investors to easily convert Bitcoin to Fiat currency post-physical delivery, creating opportunities for longer-term currency appreciation or through meeting Bitcoin-denominated obligations,” the company explained.

Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

For any crypto exchange, hacking is an issue. Anticipating such worries, “Security of the exchange is underscored by 100% multi-signature cold storage cryptocurrency custody
facility, safeguarding client portfolios from theft, loss or other security issues associated with partially online or online only storage of assets. Coinfloor also provides monthly solvency audits of Bitcoin balances, which gives institutional investors assurance that Coinfloorex has sufficient Bitcoin liquidity to manage market fluctuation,” the announcement explained.

Ultimately the product is aimed at more savvy “sophisticated investors.” April of this year is the date physical delivery of the bitcoin futures contract (XBT) is to be made. 

What are your hopes, if any, for British bitcoin futures? Let us know in the comments!


Images via Pixabay, Coinfloor. 


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