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.


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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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Circle launches a Coinbase competitor in the U.S.

Circle is launching Circle Invest in the U.S. except in NY, MN, HI and WY. The app is now available in the App Store and Play Store and lets you instantly trade the most popular cryptocurrencies without any fee.

Circle Invest isn’t exactly an exchange as the app hides most of the complexities that you can find on full-fledged exchanges. You can’t submit limit orders or look at the order book. You can only deposit and withdraw money, buy and sell cryptocurrencies at market prices.

Circle Invest currently supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin. The company will need to overcome some regulatory challenges to roll out its product in the last four states.

In other words, Circle Invest is more like Coinbase — a simple service that lets you buy cryptocurrencies without any complex option. But the main difference with Circle Invest is that the new service doesn’t have any fee.

ACH transfers from your bank account to your Coinbase are free, but exchanging USD on your Coinbase account into a cryptocurrency costs 1.49 percent.

On Circle, ACH transfers are also free, and you can start buying cryptocurrencies instantly for transfers below $10,000. If you transfer more than that, you’ll have to wait a few days. After that, exchanging USD on your Circle account into cryptocurrencies is free.

But what about spread? Yes, the price is different if you buy or sell bitcoin (for instance). Circle doesn’t try to hide that and says you can expect a 1.5 to 2 percent spread between buy and sell price.

Just like on every stock market, nothing is free even if there isn’t any fee. Coinbase also says that you can expect a spread of 0 to 2 percent.

While most people already know Circle for its consumer-facing Circle Pay app, the company operates a trading desk called Circle Trade. This product connects to multiple exchanges and provides liquidity to those exchanges and large cryptocurrency investors.

According to a recent Fortune report, Circle Trade manages $2 billion a month in transactions and recently generated $60 million in revenue in just three months.

And this is key to understanding Circle’s strategy. The company also acquired Poloniex and will launch its own full-fledged exchange soon. All of those products are powered by the company’s own over-the-counter trading desk.

While companies like Robinhood or Revolut also promise zero-fee cryptocurrency trading, they don’t have their own exchange. They only act as a broker with other exchanges. Circle is slowly building a full-stack blockchain company, from the trading desk to the peer-to-peer payment app in fiat currencies.

Disclosure: I own small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

Hashgraph wants to give you the benefits of blockchain without the limitations

The spotlight on the distributed ledger space to-date is primarily focused on blockchain . Yet, blockchains come with limitations by design. Consensus mechanisms using proof of work (POW) are by their nature slow, so the community can come to agreement and throw away the blocks they don’t agree on. This design also includes inherent inefficiencies […]

PR: Betex Blockchain P2P Binary Options Platform Launches the Main Token Sale

Betex Blockchain P2P Binary Options Platform

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Betex, the blockchain peer-to-peer binary options platform has launched its main ICO campaign on March, 1st, after successful completion of the two preliminary rounds. Betex is bringing transparency and fairness to the financial derivatives trading through the use of Ethereum smart contracts and letting the users bet against each other in a peer-to-peer way. The platform’s official launch is planned for the end of March, as of which the investors’ profits will already start accumulating.

The model of Betex is claiming to return credibility to the binary options market and has many key advantages compared to the traditional models. As a platform provider, Betex cannot engage in betting, which makes the process unbiased and immutable. Betex users get instant access to all of its functions and features without having to make any kind of deposits first. Moreover, the payments are automatically released by smart contracts straight to the users’ ETH wallets, ensuring immediate withdrawals without delays or cancellations. Users are forming one large common pool of liquidity for each underlying asset in order to maximize the overall gain. In order to clearly demonstrate the concept, Betex has already developed 2 MVPs. There are 3 trading pairs and 6 trading intervals available within the MVP framework.

Betex is the only platform where as much as 95% of funds are distributed among traders who succeed. Betex only profits from collecting service commission of 5% (thereby, 2.5% are transferred to the holders of BETEX tokens). Contrary to many other ICOs that are raising funds backed by an idea only, the official launch of the Betex platform is planned already for March 2018, which means that the profits of investors will start accumulating since then.

Within the main token sale, the price of BETEX tokens is fixed and equals $3. The token sale will last from March 1st to March 31st, 2018. 30% of tokens total (3,000,000 BETEX) will be available during the main token sale. The minimum purchase amount is 0.5 ETH or 0.05 BTC.

Finally, Betex has also introduced a special affiliate program, within which you can get 10% of the investment amount of the referred users. According to the program, the payouts will be executed in ETH and BTC within 7-10 days. Apart from that, Betex offers a bounty campaign for promoting its token sale.

To participate in the Betex token sale and the affiliate program, users should simply register on the official website and follow the instructions in an intuitive dashboard.

Contacts:

https://betexlab.com/

Alex Kerya

pr@betexlab.com

Contact Email Address
pr@betexlab.com
Supporting Link
https://betexlab.com/

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

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PR: Trading Platform FundFantasy ICO Launches in a Few Hours! 50% Bonus for First 48 Hours

Trading Platform Fundfantasy

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Valetta- With FundFantasy’s presale having been sold out, and their public token sale coming up today, the FundFantasy project has made tremendous advancements, and have made some interesting changes to their bonus structure. The new model is simpler and is designed to avoid congestion on the Ethereum network.

FundFantasy is a Daily Fantasy Trading (DFT) Platform featuring peer-to-peer, blockchain-based, simulated investing contests that relies on real market data. Users on the FundFantasy platform compete for crypto and other prizes by trying to craft the ultimate portfolio. It bears some resemblance to the Daily Fantasy Sports industry, hence the name FundFantasy.

In contrast to other ICO’s, FundFantasy have already developed their MVP, and it is available to explore on the official FundFantasy website.

New bonuses:
First 48 hours –
50% bonus for any purchase of 1 ETH and above (Presale investors of over 1 ETH will have their bonus updated to 50%).
25% bonus for purchases over 0.1 ETH and under 1 ETH.
The full duration of the token sale – 50% bonus for any purchase over 100 ETH or equivalent in other currencies.

The FUNDZ token sale will start in less than 24 hours, on Sunday the 25th of February at 12:00pm GMT. The bonus period* will last 48 hours, here’s a list of local times:

Los Angeles – 04:00 (4am) local time
New York – 07:00 (7am) local time
Sao Paolo – 09:00 (9am) local time
London – 12:00 (12pm) local time
Paris – 13:00 (1pm) local time
Moscow – 15:00 (3pm) local time
Abu Dhabi – 16:00 (4pm) local time
Tokyo – 21:00 (9pm) local time
Seoul – 21:00 (9pm) local time
Melbourne – 23:00 (11pm) local time

To participate, go to https://ico.fundfantasy.com

Contact Email Address
tal@fundfantasy.io
Supporting Link
https://ico.fundfantasy.com

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

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Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms from Latvia and Bulgaria

Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms from Latvia and Bulgaria

While European institutions are issuing another series of warnings about the risks and sins of dealing with bitcoin, crypto communities on the Old Continent are trying to preserve freedoms not granted by Brussels. Two exchanges from opposite corners of New Europe have announced plans to offer peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading. Latvia-based Hodlhodl has launched its new P2P platform in beta-mode, and Bulgarian Crypto.bg is developing its own service that may replace the fiat medium with a token.  

Also read: Global P2P Crypto Markets Experience Record Volume Throughout December

Going Global

Intensive work to develop decentralized and unregulated crypto markets has been going on in the EU periphery, where memories of excessive regulation and centralization, political and economic, are still vivid. Two exchanges from both ends of (New) Europe have announced preparations to offer full-fledged P2P services to their users, with global aspirations in mind, as well.

Latvian exchange Hodlhodl has just launched a beta-version of its new platform designed to accommodate safe and secure peer-to-peer transactions of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Users can now open accounts, fill out their profiles, set up two-factor authentication, create offers and study available functionalities. Contracts are currently disabled but developers hope to complete the order book and launch them within a week, the company shared in a blog post.

Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms in New Europe

In the first stage of the project only bitcoin (BTC) and litecoin (LTC) will be traded. The exchange will operate in beta-mode until July 2018 with 0% commission. A fee of max 0.6% per trade will be applied after that. “The P2P Bitcoin exchange that doesn’t hold funds” will introduce multisig (P2SH) contracts that will allow users to control their funds in escrow. Hodlhodl offers support of native Bech32 Segwit addresses and P2SH-P2WSH Segwit multisig escrow addresses. The exchange services will be decentralized and no KYC (Know Your Customer) or AML (Anti-Money Laundering) procedures will be applied. Passing an “absolutely voluntary verification”, however, will lower commissions to 0.5%.

Plans for the future include introducing support for Lightning Network micropayments and other cryptocurrencies. The website menus are now available in English and Russian, but other languages will be added. Hodlhodl will be working on optimizing transaction fees and increasing security for its users, while offering integration with wallet providers and a mobile version of the platform. Its team promises a “truly global” P2P cryptocurrency exchange.

Every Action Has a Reaction

In the opposite corner of Europe, in Bulgaria, a leading crypto trader has also announced that it is working on a P2P platform, after facing multiple issues with the traditional financial system. Crypto.bg was affected by a sudden crackdown last year when Bulgarian banks blocked access to accounts used by local exchanges. It ceased operations in early December, and then restarted trading before going offline again around Christmas. In January, Crypto.bg announced it was forced to suspend trade “indefinitely”.

This month the exchange posted on its website that it was exploring options to offer services without going through a bank. Now it is planning to trade Bitcoin on a new peer-to-peer platform that is currently under development. A new medium of exchange will be used instead of fiat currency – CryptoLev (Lev is the Euro pegged BGN). It will probably be an ERC20 token based on the Ethereum blockchain, founder and CEO Stamen Gorchev revealed in the company’s forum. He also mentioned Ethereum Classic as a cheaper alternative.

Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms in New Europe

The new system will offer the opportunity to trade through Cryptolevs backed by a certain amount of bitcoin “locked” in a public address. A foundation modelled on the Ethereum Foundation in Switzerland may provide further guarantees in the future. Other Bulgarian exchanges have been invited to join the project. Xchange.bg, Altcoins.bg, and Cix.bg have also reported interruptions in their activities quoting various reasons including changing bank accounts.

Bank transfers will be made on a peer-to-peer basis and banks will not be able to tell if such transactions are bitcoin-related. Traders will actually be buying and selling Cryptolevs, used to purchase bitcoins. In addition to locally available services, payment options like Paypal and Skrill may also be added in the future, potentially opening the platform to global markets.

Relentless Euro Warnings

While both exchanges are working on their P2P platforms, European institutions have issued new warnings about bitcoin. Up to $5.5 billion of criminal money is being laundered in Europe using cryptocurrency, according to Europol. “It’s growing quite quickly and we’re quite concerned,” the agency’s director Rob Wainwright told the BBC. “The police cannot monitor those transactions. And if they do identify them as criminal, they have no way to freeze the assets unlike in the regular banking system”, Wainwright said.

This week, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) alerted European investors about the perils of obtaining cryptocurrencies in the absence of legal mechanisms of protection. The regulator charged with “safeguarding the stability of the European Union’s financial system” shared its concerns over the growing number of citizens buying cryptos while ignoring the risks. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the financial stability, financial services and the capital markets union, has expressed support for ESMA’s warning.

Do you think that peer-to-peer platforms will dominate cryptocurrency trade in the near future? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 


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PR: BCShop.io Aids Ethereum Business Adoption

BCShop.io Aids Ethereum Business Adoption

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Blockchain revolution is happening. Sure, we are in first days yet, in “stone age” of cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, practical business solutions are already emerging. One of the most known and functional is Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum not only enables online payments; it is also capable of running any decentralized application’s programming code. As such, it can greatly help businesses by making transactions more efficient. Here are some of the ways it does so:

Ethereum ensures data security and accuracy

Ethereum keeps business transactions secure as they are encrypted and employed in a closed peer-to-peer system. This ensures that they are protected from fraud, theft, and privacy violations.

In addition, Ethereum provides a system for the accurate maintenance of records. It prevents them from being modified after they are added to the ledger and it adds a timestamp, making the ledger more reliable and accurate than databases and spreadsheets. This in turn enables the company to earn the trust of both their employees and clients.

Ethereum makes it easier for businesses to increase their reach

With Ethereum, businesses are able to save on the costs incurred from sending and receiving payments from other countries. They are also able to minimize the delays that are usually experienced with international transactions, in turn making more people and companies want to work with them.

Ethereum makes it easier to form agreements

Unlike traditional contracts that must be notarized, Ethereum enables the creation of smart contracts without the need for middlemen. These smart contracts define and enforce the terms and penalties that come with the agreement.

How to Integrate Cryptocurrency Payments into Your Business

There are indeed many benefits to enabling cryptocurrency payments into your business. It ensures that your transactions are kept secure and accurate. It allows you to save on costs, particularly when making or receiving payments from other countries, as well as on the costs incurred from middlemen. In addition, it enables you to create smart contracts, which helps ensure the enforcement of business agreements, in turn preventing business conflicts. In summary, cryptocurrency use can help you provide better customer service and can give you a competitive advantage.

There are many platforms that will allow you to integrate cryptocurrency payments into your business. You just need to sign up for a merchant account at your chosen cryptocurrency wallet. However, the manner by which businesses use cryptocurrencies today tend to inconvenience users. The underlying issues can be easily improved, though, and this is what BCShop.io offers.

BCShop.io is an innovative platform for e-commerce and e-payments where one can offer products and services in exchange for cryptocurrencies: Ethereum and tokens. It also provides an easy-to-use interface so that even cryptocurrency newbies will have no difficulty learning about and using the platform.

If you want to try and get a feel of using Ethereum payments for your business, then you can do so at public testnet version: https://testnet.bcshop.io/ for free. As an example, several business cases were already implemented, bitcoin.com and ICOAlert.com are worth to mention among others. For more information, visit https://bcshop.io/.

Contact Email Address
32mve32@gmail.com
Supporting Link
https://bcshop.io/

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

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