Bitcoin in Brief Monday: From New York to Historic Istanbul Market

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: From New York to Historic Istanbul Market

The stories covered in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief hail from all across the globe. In New York a major cold storage company has received a Bitlicense, in China there are new signs of crypto mania, and in Turkey bitcoin has made an appearance at a historic Istanbul market.

Also Read: Etoro Is Launching an OTC Crypto Trading Desk for Institutions

Xapo Receives Bitlicense

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: From New York to Historic Istanbul MarketThe New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has announced it granted a virtual currency license to Xapo, the company providing wallet, cold storage, and bitcoin-based debit card services estimated to hold around $10 billion worth of BTC. With the Xapo approval, DFS has in total approved eight firms for virtual currency charters or licenses.

The regulator says it has conducted a comprehensive review of Xapo’s application, including the company’s anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, capitalization, consumer protection, and cybersecurity policies. According to the license, Xapo will be authorized to offer a digital wallet and a vault service, and be subject to ongoing supervision by DFS. Xapo President Ted Rogers said: “We are very pleased with the approval of Xapo’s BitLicense application. It is the end result of much hard work, not just by Xapo personnel but by the DFS and its staff.”

2000 New Chinese Crypto Foundations?

If anyone really expected that the Chinese government could keep its hordes of cryptomaniac citizens out of the market, they’re due for a rude awakening. According to reports from the giant Asian economy, at least 2,000 new crypto foundations have been set up by Chinese people in offshore jurisdictions, most of these to facilitate the trade of new ICO tokens. The main hubs for this activity are said to be in places offering quick and easy registrations such as Singapore, the Cayman Islands, and Malta. The size of each such foundation is estimated to range from tens of millions to tens of billions of Chinese yuan.

Would-Be Bitcoin Robbers Indicted

According to media reports from the state of Georgia, a group of would-be bitcoin thieves we previously reported on has been indicted by the Superior Court of Forsyth County on charges of conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery. The five young men, Justin Ellison, Trivette Adams, Matthew Schwartz, Jacob South, and Michael McDermont, conspired to break into a local home and steal nearly $1 million in bitcoin. They were formally charged last Monday, June 11, with counts of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to commit robbery by force.

Bitcoin Grand Bazaar

An image posted to Reddit a few days ago shows that bitcoin is now available in one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. A retail currency exchange shop has placed a bitcoin sign to attract the many shoppers and tourists that visit the Grand Bazaar every day. Turkey could be an ideal location for bitcoin adoption as the local fiat, the Turkish lira, has been on a downward spiral for a while now and the country is an international nexus for trade.

Bitcoin accepted in 550 year old Istanbul market! from r/Bitcoin

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


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Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Coins for Drivers, Prisoners, and Conservationists

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Coins for Drivers, Prisoners, and Conservationists

Today’s Bitcoin in Brief features several examples of digital coins entering all spheres of life. A leading German auto manufacturer has revealed its cars may soon be fitted with onboard cryptocurrency wallets. A company now offers crypto payments for inmates in prisons across America. And in South Africa, a new token will support rhino conservationists, while fighting poachers.  

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief: Halting 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?

VW Teams with IOTA to Offer Crypto Wallets in Cars

It’s a trademark of the Cebit expo in Hanover to entertain visitors with ingenious ideas on how to further digitize our world. The crypto ecosphere has become a new source of inspiration for designers and engineers. One of this year’s surprises: German auto manufacturer Volkswagen has revealed a concept model equipped with a cryptocurrency wallet. The car can pay for its carwash and fill up its tank without the driver moving a finger.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Coins for Drivers, Prisoners, and Conservationists

The “Cryptocurrency for the Internet of Things,” IOTA will be embedded in new cars developed by VW. The European automotive giant has announced it wants to integrate crypto technology in its upcoming products. Distributed ledger will be used to handle, store and transfer data between the motor vehicles and their producer, and an IOTA wallet may also be incorporated to facilitate contactless payments using the MIOTA tokens.

The cooperation between IOTA and Volkswagen is based on the Proof-of-Concept of IOTA’s Tangle system for autonomous cars. Tangle can transfer software updates and will be interconnected with Volkswagen’s own smart system “Connected Cars”. Each automobile will receive its own, unique Car ID that will be checked by IOTA’s Tangle. The integration of the wallet software is an option that can be added as well.

Cellblocks Introduces Crypto Transactions in Prisons

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Coins for Drivers, Prisoners, and ConservationistsA new digital payment system aims to address some of the issues with monetary systems currently used in US prisons and correctional facilities, like high fees charged by third-party financial institutions, limited access to funds, and waiting times.

Cellblocks, a cryptocurrency designed to be used by inmates, offers a solution that will put money directly into their hands, its creators promise. They say the system provides a fast, efficient, and secure way for families and prisoners to exchange funds.

Inmates will be able to use the cryptocurrency through kiosks that will be installed in the prisons as part of the project. This will allow them to spend their coins in the prison commissary, cover court costs and fees, pay other inmates, and receive money from friends and family. Each user will have a digital wallet to store their funds. Transactions will be made in real time and at minimal fees, the company said in a press release.

The new crypto payment system offers several other benefits over the traditional systems. For example, outside parties won’t be able to withdraw money without the inmate’s consent. Wages and other funds can be easily deposited in wallets through any digital access point, such as a laptop or a smartphone. Wallet holders will have total control over their funds at all times. Last but not least, the cryptocurrency can be cashed in for fiat money when the inmate is released.

‘Rhino Coin’ to Support Conservation and Fight Poaching in South Africa

A “cryptocurrency with a conscience”, as its creators describe it, Rhino Coin aims to generate sustainable income for rhino conservation efforts in South Africa by supporting the legal horn trade and fighting poaching. According to its founders, Alexander Wilcocks and Jacques du Randt, the new crypto, which has been built on ethereum, “attempts to give value to the legal rhino horn by converting it to cryptocurrency in a 1 coin per 1 gram ratio.”

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Coins for Drivers, Prisoners, and ConservationistsRhino Coin is meant to “unlock the value of ethically obtained, stockpiled rhino horn, creating a new stream of revenue for conservation”, as well as a trading opportunity for coin holders, local media reported. Wilcocks and Du Randt explained that a holder of the digital token can either trade it or redeem it. Earlier this week, Rhino Coin was selling for around R119 (~$8.8 USD), which represents a 25.26% price increase since the day of its launch, June 7, when it was trading at R95 per coin (~7 USD).

Most of the Rhino Coins will be distributed to conservationists to sustain their operations. Although there are many fundraising projects, very little of the money actually reaches the private conservationists. Around a third of all rhinos in South Africa are currently in private care. Each conservationist will be able to obtain Rhino Coins in return for their rhino horn, which can then be traded. “By providing communities with a better means to receive a sustained income, we hope to lower the benefit and temptation of participating in illegal poaching in the immediate areas,” Du Randt explained.

What are your thoughts on today’s topics in Bitcoin in Brief? Tell us in the comments section below.  


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Bitcoin in Brief: Halting 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?

Bitcoin in Brief: An End to 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?

The last 24 hours have been action-packed for the cryptocurrency markets, with digital assets rising off the SEC’s pronouncement that ethereum is not a security. But while most hodlers were toasting the agency’s announcement, one top five coin that failed to respond favorably was ripple. In today’s Bitcoin in Brief we consider where the SEC’s statement leaves XRP and examine a proposed solution to 51% attacks.

Also read: Get Them While You Can Gamers, Graphics Cards Prices Have Crashed

While Cryptos Leap, Ripple Stagnates

We live in strange times when an agency tasked with stamping out market manipulation is responsible for causing the biggest green candle in weeks. Two years ago, many cryptocurrency traders would have struggled to tell you what the SEC did, let alone named its chairman Jay Clayton. But in this new era of blanket regulation, not only is the crypto community familiar with the inner workings of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, but they’re dependant on it to boost their flagging portfolios.

Bitcoin in Brief: A Solution to 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?

Around the same time an SEC executive was opining that ethereum does not constitute a security, EOS finally reached the 15% voting threshold required to launch the network. This dual infusion of bullish news saw most major cryptos leap in price, with ETH and EOS the biggest beneficiaries. But while crypto hodlers partied, one altcoin community was left to stew in a corner. Ripple has seen a slender increase of just 0.5% in the past 24 hours, as the SEC’s definition of securities has left its status unclear.

Bitcoin in Brief: A Solution to 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?
XRP was one of the few coins that failed to respond positively to the SEC’s news

The full speech from the SEC’s head of the Division of Corporate Finance William Hinman includes a series of questions for identifying whether an asset is likely to be deemed a security. These include:

  • Is there a person or group that has sponsored or promoted the creation and sale of the digital asset, the efforts of whom play a significant role in the development and maintenance of the asset and its potential increase in value?
  • Has this person or group retained a stake or other interest in the digital asset such that it would be motivated to expend efforts to cause an increase in value in the digital asset?
  • Has the promoter raised an amount of funds in excess of what may be needed to establish a functional network, and, if so, has it indicated how those funds may be used to support the value of the tokens or to increase the value of the enterprise?
  • Does the promoter continue to expend funds from proceeds or operations to enhance the functionality and/or value of the system within which the tokens operate?
  • Do persons or entities other than the promoter exercise governance rights or meaningful influence?

It’s unlikely that the SEC is going to start making a habit of naming which coins do and don’t constitute a security. But it’s also unlikely, going by those questions, that ripple could be interpreted as as utility token.

Bitcoin in Brief: A Solution to 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?

An End to 51% Attacks?

Another altcoin that had a very good Thursday was Zencash. It’s bounced back from a recent 51% attack, jumping 17% off the news that Grayscale, led by Barry Silbert, will be making the coin its ninth investment. The group’s portfolios start at $400 million, rising to over $1.2 billion for bitcoin core. The Grayscale news helped the price of ZEN soar, but the more important story was the new whitepaper the team released on Thursday, which has implications for all Proof of Work coins.

Bitcoin in Brief: A Solution to 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?

In the document, Zencash propose changing Satoshi Consensus, also known as the longest chain rule, to a method that makes it “both technically infeasible and economically disastrous to attempt double spending”. ZEN aims to achieve this by introducing a penalty “in the form of a block acceptance delay in the amount of time the block has been hidden from the public network”. The team now hopes that other PoW coins will adopt this proposal with a view to mitigating further 51% attacks.

Bestmixer on the Difficulties of Maintaining Anonymity

Bitcoin in Brief: A Solution to 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?
Bextmixer has responded to concerns about its mixing technology

You won’t find KYC on Coinmarketcap, but in the SEC-led compliance era, you’ll find that abbreviation at most on and off-ramps to the world of cryptocurrency. A couple of weeks ago, we reported on Bestmixer, a new bitcoin tumbler trying to restore privacy to cryptocurrency users who desire it. The team behind the project has since contacted news.Bitcoin.com to reassure users that Bitmixer’s coin mixing code is not used to track them.

They explain: “This functionality is necessary for any mixer…without such functionality any mixer can not be considered anonymous…We have to mark transactions because without marking transactions, we would not understand whether it is your money or not when you repeat mixing; it would be technically impossible. Thus, we protect our clients from return of their old coins to them during subsequent mixing. The marking excludes our clients’ deposit from the common pool, so that they can not use it if the BestMixer code is applied.”

They add: “The BestMixer code is necessary to protect a client from getting his old coins back under any circumstances – this is one of the key points on which the system is based. As for the use of the [premium service] Gamma pool there is no need to use the BestMixer code in this pool at all, since it is a separate pool, not tied in any way to either Alpha or Beta pool. How are the funds formed in this pool? It’s either investors’ money or our own reserves. And this pool is really going to be a big problem for startups like Chainalysis.”

Bitcoin in Brief: A Solution to 51% Attacks and Where Now for Ripple?

Today Was a Good Day

All told, this week has ended a lot better than it began for cryptocurrency holders, unless you’re one of the five Floridians indicted for an $800,000 bitcoin home invasion robbery. Elsewhere, with decentralized cryptocurrencies such as BTC and ETH reveling in their non-security status, Xapo relishing its New York Bitlicense, and Zencash hopeful of a breakthrough in defending 51% attacks, there’s a lot of reasons to be cheerful right now. Don’t get too comfortable though: tomorrow’s a new day, with the potential to bring joy or jet lag to the restless cryptocurrency markets. As always, you’ll find the best and worst of it here in Bitcoin in Brief.

Do you think ripple is a security token and what are your thoughts on Zen’s proposal for stopping 51% attacks? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and Digital IDs

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

The city of Zug, home of the Swiss Crypto Valley, will invite its residents to take part in an experimental blockchain-based vote. They are expected to share opinions on several questions of local importance, including the fireworks display during the annual Lakeside Festival and the use of digital IDs to borrow books and pay parking fees. This and other fintech and crypto-related stories from the Alpine nation and other corners of Europe are featured in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief.   

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: POT Saves World, Coinbase Pumps ETC, Binance Wants EUR

Zug Experiments with Blockchain-Based Vote

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsAuthorities in the Swiss city of Zug plan to ask local residents to participate in a consultative blockchain-based vote this month utilizing the city’s electronic ID system. They will be able to vote via their smartphones by downloading and installing an app. The experimental vote will be held between June 25 and July 1. Citizens will be asked if they are in favor of setting alight fireworks during the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library, pay parking fees, and for identification on regular referendums.

According to Swissinfo, the results of the vote will be non-binding. Nevertheless, the initiative, which aims to test whether blockchain can be used on a broader scale, highlights again the positive attitude of Swiss authorities towards cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology. The canton of Zug, dubbed Switzerland’s Crypto Valley, has become home to many fintech startups and even established crypto companies like the Chinese giant Bitmain, which has opened an office there.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsFor some time now, Zug has been accepting cryptocurrency payments for municipal services, including company registrations using bitcoin and ether. The city introduced its eID system to provide citizens with digital access to council services. The pilot phase of the project started last fall. The system is based on blockchain technology.

New Swiss Body to Simplify Capital Markets

In another example of Switzerland’s serious approach to fintech innovations, leading representatives of the country’s financial, technological, academic and legal sectors have recently formed the new Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) to facilitate the use of blockchain in financial markets. In a press release, they noted that “the blockchain technology has the potential to reduce the complexity of the capital markets system and lower the barrier of entry for startups.”

According to CMTA’s founders, the lack of legal certainty is slowing and can potentially compromise development in the field. They hope to facilitate access to funding for new businesses by defining a set of industry-supported open standards. These should ultimately contribute to value creation throughout the economy said Jacques Iffland, CMTA’s chair and partner at Lenz & Staehelin, the largest Swiss law firm.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

Swissquote Bank Ltd, a leader in online banking, and Temenos, which specializes in banking software, are also behind the initiative. CMTA promises to work to create toolkits that can be used by new or established companies, businesses and startups to access funding and raise capital securely and efficiently, using new technologies and leveraging digitalization. The association is based in Geneva.

Irish Blockchain Startup Delivering Aid to Refugees Raises €1m

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsAn Irish startup, using blockchain to facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid, has raised an estimated €1 million from investors, according to industry sources quoted by The Irish Times. The Dublin-based Aid:tech is working in refugee camps, often in hotspots like the Middle East. On Wednesday, Enterprise Ireland and SGInnovate, the venture capital arm of the Singaporean development authority, announced simultaneous investments in the Irish company. This is the first time both state-backed organizations have allocated funds to support a blockchain business, the Irish daily notes. Amsterdam-based Blue Parasol Investments and Tin Fu Fund, a closed private equity fund managed by Shenzhen Capital Group, also took part in the funding round.

Aid:tech aims to increase transparency in the distribution of aid, welfare, remittances, donations, and healthcare services through digitizing their delivery using blockchain technology on its platform. According to the company, only a fraction of the estimated €306 billion (~$360 billion) transferred each year by non-governmental aid organizations is currently delivered via transparent systems which, the startup claims, are extremely expensive to administer. The blockchain technology employed by the Irish firm would allow all international aid to be accounted for, including the distribution of medicine, food and other essentials, the publication details.

Government-Backed Platform to Promote Ireland as a Blockchain Hub

In an attempt to highlight Ireland’s capabilities in the blockchain ecosystem, authorities in Dublin have launched a new government-backed platform. Blockchain Ireland, founded in partnership with a young company called Consensys, aims to create conditions for greater cooperation between startups working in the sector, both on national and international level. The platform was launched by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group and backed by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Department of Finance, leading members of the country’s blockchain industry and representatives from a number of academic institutions.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

The online platform is a source of useful information about the Irish blockchain ecosystem. It will be used to promote the country as a blockchain hub by highlighting the Irish technology sector and business environment which turn Ireland into an ideal location for blockchain-enabled business, Silicon Republic reports. The services it will be offering include providing information on setting up a new company and support for blockchain projects in Ireland. Its activities, however, will stretch beyond Irish borders. Blockchain Ireland will be working to develop the European and international blockchain ecosystem as well.

What are your thoughts on today’s topics in Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments below.


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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Korean Exchange Hack Takes a Toll on Crypto Markets

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Korean Exchange Hack Takes a Toll on Crypto Markets

The news of another hacked South Korean crypto exchange, widely blamed for the drops across the markets, is the main story in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Other subjects covered include a hospital where you can pay with tokens and a “blockchain” based cultural center established by a gangster.

Also Read: Women’s Interest in Crypto Trading Has Doubled, UK Exchange Reveals

$40 Million Coinrail Hack

Coinrail, a lesser known Korean trading venue, has reportedly been the victim of a hack – costing the clients of the exchange over $40 million worth of ICO tokens. The hacker stole $19.5 million in NPXS (Pundi X’s ICO tokens), $13.8 million of Aston X, $5.8 million in tokens of Dent, over $1.1 million of Tron, and at least five other tokens, all just from exchange users not the projects themselves. In response to the event, Coinrail has announced it suspended trading and moved the remaining 70% of its client assets to cold storage, as well as notified the police. While the figures involved are much smaller than past events, many link this incident to the markets bleeding red over the weekend.

Doctor Satoshi Will See You Now

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Korean Exchange Hack Takes a Toll on Crypto MarketsIn much more positive news from South Korea, a hospital in the country’s capital is now accepting tokens as payment. KMP Health Care Seoul, which offers outpatient treatment, health check-ups, stem cell treatments and cosmetic surgeries for locals and foreigners, has begun accepting cryptocurrency according to Business Korea.

“With the aim of introducing medical services to patients of various classes and overseas patients by utilizing the latest blockchain technology, KMP Health Care Seoul has built a system to take LCGCs (Life Care Global Coins issued by GCM) instead of cash,” the hospital staff said. “We plan to continue expanding our services and technology platform to enable many people in Korea to enjoy excellent medical services and help overseas patients easily access Korean medical services,” they added.

Over $10 Million Stolen in Wallet Hack in Japan

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Korean Exchange Hack Takes a Toll on Crypto MarketsShopin, a universal shopper profile ICO project, has released a statement that the police in Japan has been made aware that a “significant token distributor” was hacked, resulting in a loss of more than $10 million in tokens. According to the statement, this incident took place on June 1st and involved a “Japanese syndicate” that had gathered participants for Shopin’s Token Generation Event using a hot Myetherwallet containing a large amount of various tokens, including Ethereum, Level Up, Orbs, and 61 million Shopin Tokens. Shortly after receiving the allotment of participant tokens, the wallet was hacked by what authorities believe was “someone with credentialed access.”

“We are deeply saddened by this news and send our empathy to all of the Japanese members of our Shopin community who have been affected by this stressful news,” said Eran Eyal, CEO and Co-Founder of Shopin. “We were recently informed that the syndicate lead was not storing our tokens in a cold storage or hardware wallet and that it was clearly vulnerable to an attack. We have taken all immediate measures to have the incident investigated, and we remain hopeful that the informed authorities will be able to trace the trail of the hack.”

Chinese Triad Cultural Center

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Korean Exchange Hack Takes a Toll on Crypto MarketsWan Kuok-koi, who is described as “a famous gangster in Macau” and commonly known by the nickname ‘Broken Tooth’, has a new venture in the crypto space. According to reports from China, he is planning to “leverage blockchain technology” in order to “build a Chinese cultural town in Cambodia”. This center will serve as headquarters from which the plan is to spread Chinese culture to communities of ethnic Chinese in the diaspora. The triad boss was previously linked by the New York Times to Dragon Coin, the casino gamblers’ ICO token.

Central Bank of Zimbabwe Defends Crypto Ban

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has defended its ban on crypto business in the case of the Golix exchange before the court on Friday. The claim by the RBZ is that it has the authority to order banks to refuse services to the exchange. According to a report from the country, the central bank told the court that: “The Banking Act gives the Bank the powers to supervise banks and prescribes a variety of supervisory actions that the Bank may take as a measure to correct any conduct that may be a threat to the smooth operation of the banking and financial sectors. It is as a result that the Bank directed banks not to deal with the applicant (Bitfinance (Pvt) Ltd) as the latter’s activities were not only unregulated and illegal, but presented all kinds of risks, including but not limited to fraud, money-laundering, evasion of the country’s exchange, terrorism financing” [regulations].

What do you think about today’s news? Were there other reasons for the market drop? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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The Daily: Swiss Vote on “Sovereign Money”, Russian Banker Against Crypto Ban

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Switzerland Votes on “Sovereign Money” Referendum, Russian Banker Warns Against Crypto Ban

Swiss voters will decide this Sunday whether to turn back on fractional-reserve banking and support a “sovereign money” concept for the nation’s finances. Proponents of the initiative prescribe deeper centralization to remedy the shortcomings of the traditional financial system – a vision quite different from the decentralization that came with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, following the 2008 global financial crisis. In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, we also cover a statement by a prominent Russian banker who warns that tight crypto regulations would hamper the development of blockchain technologies.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Bitpanda Offers New Coins, Microsoft Dips Data Center in the Sea

Switzerland Decides Fate of Fractional-Reserve Banking

Decentralization vs deeper centralization – the two alternative visions on how to respond to the 2008 financial crisis have been competing for attention and support in the past decade. The first strategy has been at the core of the crypto revolution. It is the remedy prescribed by both the growing global bitcoin community and the supporters of the small government/low taxes concept, like the followers of the Tea Party movement in the U.S. The proponents of the second approach have advocated granting more power and even greater responsibility to centralized financial authorities.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Switzerland Votes on “Sovereign Money” Referendum, Russian Banker Warns Against Crypto Ban

On Sunday, June 10, Swiss voters will be asked to support “Vollgeld,” a radical reform aimed at further centralizing financial authority in the hands of the country’s central bank. On the “sovereign money” referendum, the Alpine nation will decide whether to ditch the fractional-reserve banking system, which allows banks to create money by lending far more than what they hold in deposits, Quartz reports. The proposal is to give the Swiss National Bank a monopoly over this function, while commercial banks will be required to lend only what they have.

The initiative would centralize money creation at the central bank, but also concentrate there the corresponding profits and the decisions on who should or shouldn’t receive loans. Its opponents claim that the referendum is a populist response to the previous financial crisis and warn that if it succeeds, that will lead to a new crisis and even spark Brexit-like panic in the country’s huge banking sector. This, however, is an unlikely result. The predominant expectations are that Swiss citizens will vote for more of the same, until the next crisis.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Switzerland Votes on “Sovereign Money” Referendum, Russian Banker Warns Against Crypto Ban

In recent years, Switzerland has become a crypto-friendly jurisdiction, where many crypto businesses are headquartered or represented. The Chinese mining giant Bitmain opened a branch there, and one of Russia’s largest banks, Gazprombank, announced plans to test cryptocurrency deals in the Alpine confederation. The country has established a crypto valley in the canton of Zug and has been formally considering the possibility to issue a state-backed cryptocurrency.

Banker Warns, Tighter Crypto Regulations Will Hurt Blockchain Development

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Switzerland Votes on “Sovereign Money” Referendum, Russian Banker Warns Against Crypto Ban
German Gref (right)

A ban on cryptocurrencies on state level would endanger the development of blockchain technologies and prevent the disclosure of the full potential of digital currencies, according to German Gref, a prominent banker and former minister of economy and trade of the Russian Federation. Although he admits he does not use cryptocurrencies, Gref notes that he considers them a source of financing for the blockchain development. In April, he said the technology was still “unripe and overvalued.”

German Gref is the president of Sberbank, which is the largest bank in Russia and among the biggest in Europe. Earlier this year, reports suggested that Russia’s “savings bank” was planning to circumvent local regulations and offer clients overseas crypto-trading services.

Gref also shared his opinion that the majority of countries do not recognize cryptocurrency because of its decentralization. “No state will part with the monopoly on money issuance. Most governments believe that cryptocurrency is a property and, like any other property, must be taxable,” he said, quoted by Kommersant, a leading Russian business daily. The banker also cautioned that investing in digital assets is associated with high risks.

New Telegram Trading Bots Announced

The Intelligent Trading Foundation (ITF), a developer of an artificial intelligence-powered crypto trading assistant, has announced two new trading bots for Telegram. They will provide users with important trading signals and notifications about market opportunities.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Switzerland Votes on “Sovereign Money” Referendum, Russian Banker Warns Against Crypto Ban The Intelligent Trading Bot, which comes with both free and premium subscriptions, sends users trading signals and suggest strategies based on technical analysis signals such as Simple Moving Average, Relative Strength Index and Ichimoku Cloud Breakout. The data covers hundreds of cryptocurrencies, offering traders valuable insight.

The other free option displays brief information about a specific cryptocurrency on request from the members of a Telegram Group that has enabled the service. The Intelligent Trading Infobot can be added to any group in the messenger, and will offer current price and trading volume data, as well as the latest trading alerts for hundreds of coins and pairs on three crypto exchanges.

What are your thoughts on today’s Bitcoin in Brief topics? Tells in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Bitpanda Offers New Coins, Microsoft Dips Data Center in the Sea

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Bitpanda Offers New Coins, Microsoft Dips Data Center in the Sea

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief we cover a recent announcement by a leading European crypto exchange – Bitpanda is adding two new coins, IOTA and Komodo. While on the Old Continent, Microsoft has immersed a whole data center off the coast of Scotland. And in Japan, a startup uses artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain technology to create a “virtual human agent.”

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: New Tech and a Quick Way to Make a Fortune in Crypto

Bitpanda Lists IOTA and Komodo

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Bitpanda Offers New Coins, Microsoft Dips Data Center in the SeaBitpanda, one of Europe’s established cryptocurrency exchanges, is adding two new coins – IOTA (MIOTA) and Komodo (KMD). The announcement comes after the successful launch of Bitpanda 2.0 and the team is promising new listings on a regular basis. Initially, both cryptocurrencies will be offered through a trade only, buy and sell option.

“Our Integration Team has been working hard the past few months and we are now happy to announce that Komodo will be added on June 12, 2018 to the Bitpanda platform, and IOTA will follow on June 14, 2018. To speed things further up, we will offer new cryptocurrencies on a regular basis to our users,” Bitpanda said.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Bitpanda Offers New Coins, Microsoft Dips Data Center in the SeaThe trading platform noted that the integration of IOTA comes in response to popular demand within the Bitpanda community. The listing has been confirmed by the IOTA team, too. Bitpanda and the IOTA Foundation are working closely to set up an IOTA wallet on the exchange, which will be supporting withdrawal and send functions.

Komodo, which is also among Bitpanda’s partners, will be one of the platforms for the Pantos meta token (PAN). The project aims to provide instant transfers between supported blockchains. The exchange plans to offer KMD wallet in the near future.

Microsoft Experiments with an Underwater Data Center

One of Microsoft’s data centers is now operating at about 100 ft (~30 m) below the surface of the North Sea, not far from the British Orkney Islands. Project Natick is powered by renewable energy generated by wind, solar, and tidal installations which meet completely the energy needs of the archipelago situated close to the Scottish shore.

The data center is made up of 864 servers in a container that sits on the sea bottom about 14 miles (~22 km) from the coast. Its electricity is supplied through an undersea cable using the green energy produced on the islands. The data center is designed to fit into a standard shipping container and can be easily relocated. May be that’s an idea crypto miners should consider.

Natick is a pilot project and Microsoft will operate the data center for a period of 12 months, Quartz reported. The company says bringing data centers close to hubs of computing power benefits customers by cutting down the back-and-forth between users and servers. The software giant points out that nearly half the world’s population lives within 120 miles (~150 km) of the ocean.

Another strong argument in favor of the project is the opportunity to bring cooling costs down, as deep sea waters maintain lower temperatures which help the cooling of the hardware. “It’s our belief that this type of data center could lead to reduced costs and simpler structures that incorporate fewer materials, requiring less maintenance and electricity,” a Microsoft representative commented.

Initially, the servers will be put through a series of tests aimed at evaluating power consumption, humidity, noise creation, and temperature levels. On the second stage, customers will be allowed to use the data center. If the project is successful, Microsoft plans to keep operating the servers and continue to provide access to users.

Tokyo Company Creates Virtual Human Using AI, AR and Blockchain

A Japanese startup called Cougar is working on a project to create a “Virtual Human Agent” (VHA). The company is using artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and blockchain technology to realize the project. According to CEO Atsushi Ishii, this is the first tech combination of this kind.

A video released by Cougar shows how the VHA can momentarily jump from one device to another, from a PC to a smartphone in this case, when asked to do so. “That’s a nice chair,” the female character also says, demonstrating her abilities to use AI-driven image recognition to assess the surroundings.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Bitpanda Offers New Coins, Microsoft Dips Data Center in the Sea

Couger is a small business, with fewer than 15 employees, according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review. Its team of engineers is involved in game consoles development. The company, however, has pans in many other fields, including robotics and the internet of things. Its management dreams of creating “a world where devices act autonomously,” an ambition which requires the confluence of multiple technologies.

The Tokyo-based startup has been working on a gateway called Connectome, promising to design a “smart space” by seamlessly linking different devices and technologies. The project should pave the way for more innovations. The Virtual Human Agent has been created as part of the effort to develop Connectome.

Couger stresses the importance of linking two technologies in particular – artificial intelligence and blockchain, the distributed ledger underpinning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. AI learns by combing through huge volumes of data, identifying patterns and assessing new information. Couger wants to store the learning records on a blockchain. Knowing what data has been used to teach the AI would allow developers to trust its judgments.

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


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Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: New Tech and a Quick Way to Make a Fortune in Crypto

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: New Tech and a Quick Way to Make a Fortune in Crypto

The most important thing about bitcoin is the new freedom-enhancing innovations that the technology enables, but we know that’s not what everyone is looking for these days. So in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we also feature a surefire way to make a quick fortune in cryptocurrency.

Also Read: Coinmint to Invest up to $700 Million in New York Mining Center

How to Make $120,000 in a Week

Are you too cautious to bet on ICOs? Sure they are all just bug-ridden trash, other than the outright scams. So why not make money off of that?

Guido Vranken, a software security auditor (white-hat hacker) from the Netherlands, has earned a cool $120,000 in just one week of hunting for bugs on the EOS code. He reported 12 vulnerabilities, for $10,000 each. As the EOS ICO brought in a whopping $4 billion, and evidently no shortage of bugs, this seems like a great way to fatten your wallet if you are willing to do the work. You can find their bug bounty program policy here to see what they cover and what not.

Ledger Wallet for Desktop Is Coming Soon

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: New Tech and a Quick Way to Make a Fortune in CryptoLedger, the producer of the popular hardware wallet Nano Ledger, has announced that the release date of the new version of the Ledger Wallet desktop edition is now scheduled for July 9th, 2018. It will be available as native desktop application, supporting Windows, macOS, and Linux, so that users won’t require accessing the wallet via Google Chrome or Chromium anymore.

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

Block Broker is the latest ICO to fall off the map, deleting all its social media presence and leaving investors to wonder if it was all an exit scam from the start. What makes this case interesting is that it was meant to “completely eliminate ICO fraud by creating a 100% safe investment environment.” The project promised a decentralized ICO investment platform to “ensure that fraudulent ICOs don’t get an opportunity to tarnish the booming industry.” Of course if you are going to trust a “team of experienced professionals” to somehow safely handpick investments for you in a decentralized way, you better make sure they aren’t scamming you first.

Strong Demand for Chinese Ghosts

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: New Tech and a Quick Way to Make a Fortune in CryptoAnd speaking about dishonest ICOs, reports from China indicate that there is still high demand for ghostwriters to produce Chinese whitepapers, despite the ban on the practice in the country. In fact, there are also many people advertising their services as ICO writers in China, offering a whitepaper for an average of 15,000 yuan (about $2,350), according to Securities Daily.

“One 20-page whitepaper in Chinese will cost 15,000 yuan, and the one that has 45 to 50 pages will cost 40,000 yuan,” one provider reportedly said. “An additional 7,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan will be charged for an English version. The service usually takes 7 to 10 days to complete,” the whitepaper provider added.

Virtual Crypto Technologies’ New Two-Way ATM

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: New Tech and a Quick Way to Make a Fortune in Crypto
NetoBit ATM

Virtual Crypto Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: VRCP), an Israeli tech startup dedicated to making cryptocurrencies accessible to the public, announced that it will launch its bitcoin ATM at the Tech Crunch Tel Aviv event today. The Neto Bit ATM is a two-was machine that enables users to both buy and sell cryptocurrencies with fiat money.

Alon Dayan, CEO of Virtual Crypto, commented: “We continue to set standards for the burgeoning cryptocurrency sector. Our proprietary algorithm reduced the typical transaction time from [between 10 and 60 minutes] to [only] several seconds. At this stage, Neto Bit ATMs combine that speed with the convenience of an ATM, giving customers the ability to buy and sell bitcoin with fiat money. The result is a vastly improved trading experience for customers, which we believe will be attractive to our business partners as well as consumers.”

Bitcoin Cash on Money Week

Dominic Frisby, Money Week’s commentator on gold and commodities, and the author of ‘Bitcoin: the Future of Money?’ has written in the UK magazine yesterday about his impression of meeting BCH developers when looking for sponsors for his financial game-show. “I was deeply impressed with the ambition of the enterprise. They are really pushing this thing. In the coming weeks there are big deals for payments with major international merchants to be announced. They are building an enormous and ambitious payment infrastructure across all six continents. Owning the coin is like owning shares in the network, a network which is rapidly growing and well marketed. They want bitcoin cash to be used as widely as possible as a means of payment: to make sure it is actually used.”

Advising his readers if they should get BTC or BCH, he added that: “Bitcoin cash is more volatile and the downside risk is greater, but if you ask me which of the two is more likely to go up ten times from current prices, I’d have to say bitcoin cash.”

What do you think about today’s news updates? Are you going into bug hunting or ICO ghostwriting to make some change? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: German Banks Trade Cryptos, US Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge Funds

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: German Banks Trade Cryptos, US Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge Funds

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, regulators in Berlin have revealed that at least six German financial institutions are involved in cryptocurrency trading. Also, it has been reported that American universities have started investing in crypto hedge funds. The investments are on a limited scale but nevertheless indicate a growing interest from academic institutions. And, authorities in Belgium warn the public about crypto scams with a “Too good to be true” website.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Exchange ETF Action and Wozniak Wants Bitcoin to Rule World

Financial Authorities in Germany Find Six Institutions Trading Cryptos

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: German Banks Trade Cryptos, US Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge FundsAt least six financial institutions in Germany trade cryptocurrencies, the country’s Federal Ministry of Finance revealed. The information emerged from an answer to a question filed by Bundestag member Thomas Lutze. The figure is based on findings of the German financial regulator Bafin, which supervises the financial sector and is also expected to monitor crypto trading activities. The banks involved were not named.

There is no case registered with Bafin against financial institutions suspected of any breach of money laundering regulations, due diligence requirements, nor reporting obligations regarding cryptocurrencies, the Bundesfinanzministerium said, quoted by Reuters. Each such institution, which has permission to trade properties, also has the right to set up mechanisms allowing the exchange of bitcoin to euros and vice versa, the ministry noted.

The Finance ministry also said that the issuance of a digital central bank money is currently not an option in the Eurozone, “given the wide range of unresolved issues and significant risks associated with unclear benefits.” According to the report, the Federal government in Berlin does not see crypto-related risks to the stability of the financial markets due to the low market capitalization of cryptocurrencies and the limited interdependence with the financial sector.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: German Banks Trade Cryptos, US Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge Funds

East Coast Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge Funds

Academic institutions in the US have started making small investments into cryptocurrency hedge funds, according to a lawyer working in the industry. These universities are getting involved on a limited basis for strategic reasons, the founder of Capital Fund Law Group, John Lore, told Business Insider. “I can’t say the names because that’s attorney-client but we have people mostly on the East Coast that have begun doing investments in this space on a fairly modest basis,” he added.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: German Banks Trade Cryptos, US Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge FundsThe New York-based law group specializes in providing legal services to the hedge fund industry. According to Lore, at this point investors are putting in very small percentages of their net worth into these new funds. He doesn’t expect institutional investors, such as pension funds, to invest in crypto soon, with one notable exception – university endowment funds, some of which have already begun to invest on a limited scale. “We see academia as a tie between these somewhat young and enthusiastic fund managers and capital raising,” the lawyer said.

Cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technologies have seen a growing interest from universities. Leading academic institutions, such as Cambridge and Oxford, have introduced crypto and blockchain related courses. In December, the Belarusian National Technical University announced a diploma course covering cryptocurrencies, derivatives, and ICOs, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. In April, the Fundacao Getulio Vargas University in Sao Paulo launched “Brazil’s first Master’s degree in cryptofinance.” It has been reported that North Korea’s Pyongyang University is also offering educational courses on cryptocurrencies.

Belgian Regulators Warn About Crypto Scams with New Website

Financial authorities and regulators in Belgium have launched a website dedicated to warning the public about crypto scams and raising awareness about the associated risks. The move comes in response to substantial increase in interest towards investing in cryptocurrencies and related products. The site, temooiomwaartezijn.be (“Too good to be true”), can also be used to report suspicious offers and projects in the crypto space.

Belgians can find there useful tips on how to avoid fraudulent schemes. The site advises investors to make sure they know who they are dealing with, check if a project is registered as a scam and never share sensitive personal data. Regulators say people should always request clear and understandable information, take their time to critically evaluate an offer before accepting it and be wary of promises of excessive profits. “If the return seems too good to be true, it usually is. Profit is never guaranteed,” they warn.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: German Banks Trade Cryptos, US Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge Funds

Scam-related losses of almost €2.2 million have been reported to financial authorities in the country, with at least 118 victims having contacted Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA). Belgian regulators claim only 4% of the cases are reported. According to their estimates, the total financial loss from fraud related to cryptocurrencies amounts to around 130 million euros annually. In March, the financial watchdog published a list of 19 cryptocurrency trading platforms showing signs of fraud. Last month, the FSMA expanded its blacklist including more businesses reported by customers.

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


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Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Exchange ETF Action and Wozniak Wants Bitcoin to Rule World

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Wozniak Wants Bitcoin to Rule the World

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we feature news about a Dubai-based exchange returning to accept local fiat deposits, another exchange launching an ETF-like product and the response by a popular wallet to a cyber attack. But the big story, without a doubt, is Woz’s undying commitment to the idea of bitcoin.

Also Read: Crypto Point-of-Sale Devices Begin Roll-Out in Indonesia Despite Ban

Apple Co-Founder’s High Hopes for Bitcoin

Steve Wozniak, the genius co-founder of Apple Computers, has once again spoken about his fascination with the tech and principles of bitcoin. “Bitcoin is mathematically defined, there is a certain quantity of bitcoin, there’s a way it’s distributed… and it’s pure and there’s no human running, there’s no company running and it’s just… growing and growing… and surviving, that to me says something that is natural and nature is more important than all our human conventions,” he told CNBC. “Only bitcoin is pure digital gold… and I totally buy into that,” Woz added.

Okex’s New Exchange Traded Tracker (ETT)

Okex, the Chinese-run cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, has joined the recent trend of trading platforms creating their own ETF-like investment tools for their users. It launched its first exchange traded tracker (ETT) on June 5, which was fully sold out within just three minutes. It includes six coins (BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, EOS, and OKB) and requires USDT to subscribe. The minimum subscription for the instruments is 100 units.

A couple of days ago, we reported that Huobi, the Singapore-headquartered exchange, has decided to create its own ETF style instrument based on an index of ten assets.

Bitoasis Resumes Dirham Transactions

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Wozniak Wants Bitcoin to Rule the WorldLast month, Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitoasis enacted a suspension of deposits and withdrawals in UAE dirhams. This Monday, without explaining what was the cause of the issue, the company announced that transactions are reinstated. In a letter to its clients, quoted by Arabian Business, Bitoasis apologized for the inconvenience and said that now “users can deposit and withdraw their funds in AED as usual, without any interruption.”

“In light of the recent inconsistency of service across our payment options, we will be revising and updating the options available to our customers on the platform to ensure continuity of our services,” the Bitoasis statement continued. “We will be notifying our customers with the update on our new payment options soon.”

Myetherwallet Attack Blamed on Russian Hackers, Uneducated Users

Myetherwallet (MEW), the web’s most popular client-side ethereum wallet, has been compromised by a DNS attack on April 24, 2018. Today the team behind the wallet issued a response to the event, further explaining what happened and detailing the steps taken to prevent its reoccurrence.

They say that the attack was carried out by a native Russian speaker, which was able to phish only about $150,000 worth of ether from MEW users. They quote Internet Security experts as explaining that the “financial resources required for such an attack likely exceeds the amount of funds taken.”

The team added that it is a lack of safety education that led some clients to fall for the fraud. “We hope that from this experience, every single person who interacts with cryptocurrencies and the blockchain will understand how important self-education is. In the end, you and only you are responsible for your security.”

What do you think about today’s news? Is bitcoin going to be the world’s single currency in ten years? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief – Zencash has lost $550,000 in two double-spend transactions following a 51% attack on the network. Developers have taken measures to increase the difficulty of future attacks. The event-ticketing platform Ticketfly is also trying to recover from a hijack. 26 million accounts have been reportedly compromised by a hacker who asked for bitcoin ransom.

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Digital Money Makes the World Go Round

Zencash Attacked with Two Double-Spends

The Zencash network has been targeted in a 51% attack on Saturday, June 2. The attacker managed to successfully perform two double-spend transactions while reorganizing the blockchain multiple times and reverting 38 blocks in the longest reorganization.

According to a released statement, the Zencash team received warning of potential attack from a pool operator and took measures to raise the difficulty of future attacks on the network, contacting exchanges to increase confirmation times and recommending a minimum of 100 required confirmations.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

The attacker(s) caused the reorganizations of the blockchain between blocks 318165 and 318275. They performed the double-spend attacks in blocks 318204 and 318234 – for 13,000 and 6,600 ZEN, respectively, worth more than $550,000 at current prices.

According to the forensic analysis conducted with the affected exchange, the suspect pool address is znkMXdwwxvPp9jNoSjukAbBHjCShQ8ZaLib and the suspect exchange deposit address is zneDDN3aNebJUnAJ9DoQFys7ZuCKBNRQ115.

At the time of the attack the network’s hashrate was 58MSol/s. Developers believe that the attacker has a private mining operation large enough to conduct the attack and/or supplement with rental hash power. Zencash is a proof of work coin based on the equihash algorithm. All equihash-based networks are exposed to possible influx of new equihash power, the team noted.

Ticketfly Hijacked by Hacker, Trying to Recover

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for RansomTicketfly has been reportedly attacked by a hacker who breached its website last week and demanded a ransom in bitcoin to release it. The event-ticketing platform is still trying to recover from the “cyber incident.” “We’re working to bring ticketfly.com back up as soon as possible,” its team said, notifying users that the site is offline.

In correspondence with Motherboard, the supposed hacker claimed to have warned Ticketfly of a vulnerability that allowed him to take control of its database and website. The hijacker asked for 1 bitcoin (BTC) to explain the issue in details but did not receive a reply. According to the publication, after no ransom was paid, the attacker posted the user data online.

“We have learned that some customer information has been compromised as part of the incident, including names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers of Ticketfly fans,” the company admitted without revealing how many accounts have been affected. According the data breach tracking website haveibeenpwned.com, more than 26 million accounts have been compromised, Marketwatch reports.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

It’s unclear whether any event tickets have been stolen but a number of promoters, clubs and upcoming shows have been affected by the breach. Ticketfly is owned by San-Francisco based Eventbrite, which bought the platform from Pandora Media in a $200 million deal about a year ago.

Avalon Blockchain Unwinds Acquisition of Crypto Assets

Avalon Blockchain Inc., formerly known as World Mahjong Ltd., has announced it has reached an agreement with Avalon Life S.A. to unwind the acquisition of crypto mining assets and cryptocurrencies it has previously bought. According to a press release, the two sides have not been able to reach a consensus in regards to the holding, conversion, trading, and arbitrage of the acquired digital currencies.

World Mahjong Limited, a provider of online games and entertainment services, decided to enter the crypto sector through the acquisition of crypto mining abilities and cryptocurrency assets from the mining and community knowledge network Avalon Life SA and Avalon Projects Canada Inc. More than 27,000 ASIC mining machines were purchased, along with a number of Dash, Vivo, and Pura coins.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

Earlier this year it was reported that the company had also changed its name to Avalon Blockchain. In its latest statement, however, it said it was unable to execute its proposed business plan involving these crypto assets. Following the agreement with the vendor, Avalon Blockchain will return them to Avalon Life SA and will arrange the cancellation of 120,000,000 common shares that have been issued.

Avalon Projects Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Avalon Blockchain, has completed the offering of 37,154,502 subscription receipts, at a price of $0.50 each. The company now intends to allow subscribers to rescind their subscriptions. All of them will be offered the option and will be entitled to a full refund of all subscription proceeds tendered to the company.

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


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Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

All parties represented in the Spanish Congress have voiced support for a new draft legislation introducing favorable crypto regulations in the country. We’ve covered the details in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Also, Slovenia adopts a crypto action plan, Estonia drops plans to issue a national cryptocurrency, and Hungary claims it’s ready to join the global blockchain market.  

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish Month

Spanish Parties Call for Favorable Crypto Regulations

Lawmakers in Spain, who have earlier this year reviewed proposals to introduce incentives for crypto companies, have now issued a unanimous call for adopting regulations that favor the implementation of crypto and blockchain technologies. These should be introduced to the market “through controlled testing environments.” A draft legislation aimed at achieving the goal, proposed again by the ruling People’s Party, has just won support from all parliamentary groups in the Finance and Public Function Committee of the Spanish Congress.

The legislative initiative calls for promoting the advantages of the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, including cost savings through the elimination of intermediaries in payments and transfers and the benefits it offers when it comes to raising capital, especially for startups. Its sponsors urge support for projects to build authorized blockchain technology networks, Europa Press reported.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

The draft approved by Spain’s leading parties also turns attention to the perils associated with crypto-related operations, calling for “adequate dissemination of information about the risks” assumed by investors, as well as their rights and the guarantees they can rely on. According to Spanish deputies, the approach will help to avoid “economic damages that are impossible to repair”, such as those linked to high-risk financial products.

Lawmakers call on the government in Madrid to support the initiative and join the efforts of the National Securities Market Commission and the Bank of Spain in that direction. They also insist on reaching a common position in regards to the use and the regulation of cryptocurrencies on European level and ask the executive branch of power to work with other EU countries and institutions to achieve that.

Slovenia Adopts Crypto and Blockchain Action Plan

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action PlanThe government in Ljubljana has adopted an action plan to underpin the implementation of blockchain technology in Slovenia and create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. According to the Economy Ministry, the plan entails a series of measures designed to also regulate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Slovenian authorities hope to establish a safe and stable legal environment to help the creation, growth and development of blockchain technology-based projects and startups.

Another goal is to transpose in the national legislation the legal provisions adopted by European and other relevant institutions, STA reported. Local officials believe that the application of blockchain technologies can improve the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy. The government also backed the creation of a European Blockchain Hub as a link between public and private stakeholders in the field, both in Slovenia and within the EU. On Thursday, the Slovenian Ministry of Economy was tasked to get actively involved in the hub.

Estonia Backpedals on Plans for National Crypto

Estonian officials have scaled down plans to issue a national cryptocurrency, which were criticized some time ago by both the European Central Bank and local banking authorities. According to Siim Sikkut, who is in charge of the country’s IT strategy, Estonia has dropped its intentions to peg the Estcoin to the common European currency and offer it to all citizens. The digital tokens will instead be distributed as an incentive to e-residents of the Baltic country, Sikkut said in an interview, Bloomberg reported. These are foreign nationals who use Estonia’s electronic identification system to remotely sign documents and set up companies.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

The tech-savvy former Soviet republic was one of the first European nations to come up with plans for a national cryptocurrency. Similar initiatives have been discussed in Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, the UK, and other countries. The idea, however, was not appreciated by the ECB management. In September, the bank’s president, Mario Draghi, criticized the proposal declaring that “No member state can introduce its own currency. The currency of the Eurozone is the euro.”

“We agreed in discussions with politicians that Estcoin will proceed as a means for transactions inside the e-resident community. Other options aren’t on the table. We’re not building a new currency,” Siim Sikkut said. This was confirmed by the author of the Estcoin plan, Kaspar Korjus, who also noted that the details are still being analyzed for potential benefits. Estcoin “would definitely not be a national ‘cryptocurrency’,” he emphasized. Estonia’s e-residency program has so far issued ID cards to more than 35,000 foreigners. The majority of the participants are from Finland, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Hungary Prepared to Join the Global Blockchain Market

Blockchaineum 2.0, arguably the largest blockchain summit in Central and Eastern Europe, recently gathered major stakeholders in Budapest to discuss blockchain-based solutions and other hot topics related to the implementation of the technology around the world. While many in Europe are just starting to take blockchain seriously, Hungary has been preparing for some time and now claims it’s ready to join the global blockchain market.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan“Many regulatory rules have been laid down recently on European level, and it is in Hungary’s best interest to make use of them in order to become a regional center. Although, this won’t happen because of regulation, but rather on purely market basis,” said Tamás Czeglédi, quoted by the Budapest Business Journal. He is one of the organizers of the event and is working to put his country on the European blockchain map.

Hungarian business wants to jump on the blockchain bandwagon ahead of regional competitors and it has created a Blockchain Competence Center (BCC) earlier this year to prove its intentions. “Whereas the EU had been focusing on regulation until around a year ago, the past few months saw a shift towards a more practical approach,” said Péter Benedek, the CEO of BCC. “The newly established Ministry for Innovation and Technology, along with the enhanced national digital wellbeing strategy, can help local blockchain players embrace innovative solutions and improve their fundraising potential,” he added.

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


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Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20-GPU Mining Motherboard

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20 GPU Mining Motherboard

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we feature news from all over the world. These stories include a new multi-GPU mining motherboard from Taiwan’s Asu; a Singaporean businessman acquiring a Japanese exchange; some ripple-loving alleged Russian hackers shaking down Canadian banks; and a Colombian soccer star launching his own coin.

Also Read: Austrian Financial Market Authority Stops ‘Active Managed Mining’ Operation

H370 Mining Master

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20 GPU Mining MotherboardAsus (TWSE: 2357), the Taiwanese computer hardware manufacturer, has announced a new motherboard that increases density with support for up to 20 graphics cards, designed specifically for crypto miners. The H370 Mining Master greatly replaces its predecessor’s x1 slots with banks of vertical PCIe-over-USB ports that let riser cables plug directly into the motherboard.

The company explains that: “Mining is a numbers game; it’s only worthwhile if the value of the cryptocurrency you generate exceeds the cost of producing it. Increasing the number of graphics cards per node is a great way to stack the deck in your favor.” The motherboard includes several more mining-enhancing features including a suite of diagnostic features designed to make a rig easier to manage. Chief among them is GPU State Detection, which scans the system at boot and indicates whether each riser port is empty, connected to a functional graphics card, or whether it’s experiencing problems. It will be unveiled at Computex 2018 in Taipei, June 5-9.

Real Estate Entrepreneur Buys Bittrade

Singaporean property entrepreneur Eric Cheng has announced the acquisition of two Japanese companies for S$67 million, giving him a 100% controlling stake in FX Trade Financial and its affiliate Bittrade. Bittrade is one of only sixteen Japanese FSA-regulated cryptocurrency trading platforms. Speaking on the acquisition, Cheng commented: “The cryptocurrency industry is growing exponentially. Against this backdrop, the key to capturing the rising demand is having a well-regulated and licensed outfit. With this Japanese FSA-licensed platform, I will work closely with the regulators to scale this platform globally.”

Ripple Loving Bank Hackers

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20-GPU Mining MotherboardHackers and ransomware cyber criminals usually prefer privacy coins such as monero, or just BTC to avoid having to explain too much about the crypto markets to their victims. But a new group, possibly from Russia, has been more successful with Ripple’s XRP. According to a report from Canada, an address with about $5 million in XRP is controlled by hackers who recently attacked two banks.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Simplii Financial revealed personal information about 90,000 clients of the two banks was being held hostage for $1 million, to be paid in XRP. The hackers, using a Russian email service, explained that the banks’ lack of education security has enabled the situation. “They were giving too much permission to half-authenticated accounts which enabled us to grab all this information,” they said, adding that the system “was not checking if a password was valid until the security questions were input correctly.”

$30 Million Gumi Cryptos

Gumi Cryptos is a new $30 million investment fund meant to help crypto ventures crack the Japanese market. It is led by Hironao Kunimitsu, founder and CEO of Tokyo-based mobile gamer publisher Gumi, and Miko Matsumura, founder of U.S.-based exchange Evercoin.

“We’ll be bringing startups from outside of Japan to the Japanese market,” Matsumura told Gamesbeat. “We like early stage. We invest in equity or tokens. We like financial services. We like game technologies, and we believe there is a strong connection between gaming and crypto.” He added that “Having advised top global cryptocurrency startups alongside some of the best investors in the world, I’ve come to realize that all of them struggle to break into Japan, the largest cryptocurrency market in the world. I’m excited to join Gumi and their well-respected network in Japan.”

James Rodriguez Coin

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20 GPU Mining MotherboardColombian soccer star James Rodriguez, currently attacking midfielder for Bayern Munich Football Club, has announced he decided to create a new coin for fans to capitalize on his brand. The JR10 token, developed in collaboration with Selfsell, is planned to be used for exchange of match tickets, souvenirs, and exclusive merchandise as well as the opportunities to participate in Rodriguez’s fan club activities.

Previous crypto collaborations by soccer stars include Leo Messi promoting an ultra secure mobile phone for paranoid cryptocurrency users.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Asus.


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Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: China Fights Impersonators and Fraudsters

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: China Fights Impersonators and Fraudsters

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we feature stories that show cryptocurrency is still a hot topic in China, for better or worse. Additionally covered are market awareness in Germany, a mosque that accepts bitcoin donations, a new green mining farm and an MMA champ’s love for crypto.

Also Read: Dominance of Big Banks in UK Means London Might Miss the Boat on Bitcoin

Mao Impersonator Enrages Chinese Netizens

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: China Fights Impersonators and FraudstersChinese social media has erupted in anger this week after the use of a Mao impersonator at the Boao Blockchain Forum for Asia in Hainan province on Monday. “You are worthy of being called the great sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, and I thank you in the name of Mao Zedong,” the actor greeted the audience, but it appears the public disagrees.

Mao is still officially revered in the country as the father of communist China and the law forbids using his image for promoting commercial goods and services. “The Boao Asia Blockchain Forum organizing committee expresses sincere apologies to all audiences, for the disturbance of public opinion caused by the conference,” a following apology statement explained.

China Confiscates ¥1.7 Billion From Onecoin Scheme

According to reports from the region, a local Chinese procurator’s office has prosecuted 98 people and recovered 1.7 billion yuan (about $270 million) in an alleged Onecoin pyramid scheme. The case is thought to involve up to 15 billion yuan, and had been under investigation since July 2016, supervised by the Ministry of Public Security.

The Onecoin scheme involved twenty provinces in the country, according to South China Morning Post . Details of the case are “complicated,” and the amount involved is “huge”, and the final four suspects in the case had been prosecuted, the reports said. Around the end of 2017, 33 defendants were sentenced to four years in prison and fined between 10,000 and 5 million yuan.

85% of Germans Have Heard of Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: China Fights Impersonators and FraudstersThe majority of Germans have heard about bitcoin and even think they understand the term. This according to an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, in which 2051 persons participated between 11/05/2018 and 14/05/2018. The results were weighted and said to be representative of the German population over 18 years of age.

The stats show that 85% of Germans have heard of cryptocurrencies and say they know what the term means. 38% believe that their importance will increase and 21% foresee a loss of significance. 8% percent even say that they would invest all or the larger part of their available money in cryptocurrencies rather than in equities. 53% believe that cryptocurrencies would become more attractive, and 25% do not.

Ramadan Kareem

The Shacklewell Lane Mosque in Dalston, East London, UK has reportedly decided to accept cryptocurrencies as charity. “For a donor that already has a bitcoin or an ethereum account, the effort of converting cryptocurrency into say British pounds or dollars can be quite burdensome. The mosque effectively takes the burden on themselves,” said consultant Lukasz Musial. “For the donor, it’s just the click of a button to transfer to an account provided by the charity. From the mosque’s perspective, it opens a new stream of donations coming from all over the world,” he added.

Greenhouse Mining

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: China Fights Impersonators and FraudstersUnited American Corp, a Florida-based company, has announced it completed the construction of its first “Blockchain Dome Heat Station” and greenhouse in the Canadian province of Quebec and that all 1,000 mining rig heat generation modules are in full service. Heat coming out of the rigs is used to warm the facility instead of letting that energy go to waste.

“The Blockchain Dome was built on budget, on-time and to our specification. The results we can see and measure are overwhelming and beyond our expectations,” said CEO Benoit Laliberte. “We will provide further information to the market soon, but we can already state that we have set new efficiency and performance standards for this type of operation going forward,” he added.

The sustainable use of mining-generated heat has been a hot topic for a while now. Earlier this year we reported about a similar venture after a photo of ‘Cryptomatoes’ went viral.

Crypto Champ Strikes Again

On Monday, we reported that Rory MacDonald, the current Bellator MMA Welterweight World Champion, has shared a clip of himself training in a BCH shirt. And on his latest interview on The MMA Hour the champ explained his decision to support cryptocurrency in general and bitcoin cash in particular.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Now live, Satoshi Pulse. A comprehensive, realtime listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

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Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Positive Predictions Meet Negative Prognosis

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Positive Predictions Meet Negative Prognosis

In times when cryptocurrency markets are experiencing a relatively significant dip, some influential voices continue to sound optimistic. We cover these opinions in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Of course, positive predictions are almost always balanced by some negative expectations; in this case they are part of a short-term prognosis.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Poloniex Responds to Frozen Accounts Complaints

McAfee Sees Bitcoin Beyond $15,000 in June

Soon after tweeting that “institutional investors are preparing to enter the cryptocurrency market with a vengeance,” cybersecurity guru John McAfee issued another bullish prediction. Focusing on short term analysis this time, which he admits is not his favorite, he turns attention to several events that may influence the cryptocurrency market – which, in his words, “will turn before June 12.”

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Positive Predictions Meet Negative PrognosisAccording to McAfee, the “Korea deal is done and Trump will sign the documents in Singapore on 12 June […] The various noises being made are propaganda for domestic consumption,” he notes. After Singapore, the software businessman expects a visit by the US President to Japan, where “talks on creating a gold backed US currency will commence.”

Bitcoin (BTC) will surpass $15,000 in June, but will dip in July, McAfee predicts. His post also features several altcoins like golem, docademic, bezop, bitcoin private, and EOS. McAfee, who is a known supporter of cryptocurrencies and their adoption, has previously stated that the price of bitcoin will reach $1 million per coin by the end of 2020.

In recently recorded video, the internet security expert also talks about “the war we are all engaged in.” The banks, the government and the US Securities and Exchange Commission have declared war on crypto, in his judgement. In a rather calm tone, McAfee advises crypto enthusiasts to take action – write their congressmen and press banks and credit card companies with demands for crypto transactions. John McAfee calls on his followers to also write the SEC and ask “to leave us alone, because we are not a security […] we are a currency.”

Bitcoin Still a Buy, Good for Store of Value

McAfee is not alone in the optimists’ camp. According to blockchain venture capitalist Spencer Bogart, bitcoin is still worth buying, despite its continued losses. The increased number of use cases is a proof that BTC is becoming more institutionalized, he told CNBC. “Every major bank is trying to do something in the space,” Bogart said, noting that banks are either going to be offering bitcoin to their clients, they’re working on a custody platform, or are opening up a trading desk. Spencer Bogart advised investors to sell coins like cardano, tron, IOTA and NEO, but said they should hold cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum, ripple, and EOS.

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Positive Predictions Meet Negative Prognosis

According to Matt Hougan, Global Head of Research for Bitwise Asset Management, the most compelling use case for bitcoin today is as a store of value, although he admits the idea is often dismissed because of the volatility of the cryptocurrency. “Gold is solid. Bitcoin is volatile. It’ll never work – these statements are ignorant of gold’s history and devoid of imagination,” Hougan recently wrote in an op-ed piece for Forbes.

“Before 1971, the US dollar was hard-backed by gold, and gold’s value was effectively vouchsafed by the full faith and credit of our government. When Richard Nixon took the US off of the gold standard, it set gold loose from its moorings,” Matt Hougan explains. “What followed was a period of huge volatility, as gold fought to establish itself as an independent store of wealth. In 1974, for instance, gold bullion prices rose 73%, before falling 24% in 1975. In 1981, gold lost 33% of its value, after being up 121% just two years prior,” he details.

Russian Experts Expect Further Decline in Prices

Crypto experts contacted by Russian media are not so optimistic, at least in the short run. The value of bitcoin core (BTC) will continue to drop, even below the psychological $6,000 USD threshold, they claim. At the time of writing, BTC is trading at around $7,450, while bitcoin cash (BCH) holds over $900.

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Positive Predictions Meet Negative PrognosisThe downward trend is largely due to decisions and statements made by regulators in a number of countries, points out Vladislav Antonov, analyst at Alpari. Several factors have caused the weakening of bitcoin, according to the expert. Recently, the US Department of Justice launched a criminal investigation into supposed price manipulations in the cryptocurrency markets. News came out that authorities in India may impose 18 percent tax on crypto trading.

Speaking to RIA Novosti, Antonov also mentioned the crackdown on fraudulent ICO projects and suspicious crypto activities, part of the coordinated “Operation Crypto-Sweep” in North America. Another event that has influenced the prices is the expiration of CME bitcoin futures on May 25th.

Igor Zartdinov, co-founder of the ICG crypto fund, says the decrease in the value of bitcoin occurs on a neutral-to-positive news background. He thinks that market manipulation is a possible explanation, as big players usually earn at the expense of small investors. “That’s what we are seeing now,” Zartdinov believes.

What are your predictions about the future of crypto markets? Share your expectations in the comments section below.


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

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

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

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

Crypto-Based Hiring Platform Supports Instant Pay Option

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

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

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

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

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

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

Distributed Ledger to Be Used For Welfare Delivery

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

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

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

Slovak Tax Authority Eyes Blockchain for Efficient Collection

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Luxury Purveyor White Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash

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

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

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

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

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

Cheapair Introduces Payments in Three Cryptos, including BCH

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

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

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

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

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

Bitun Releases Cold Wallet for Institutions

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

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

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitun.


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

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

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

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

Small Banks Love Bitcoin

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

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

Deutsche Börse “Deep at Work” With Bitcoin

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

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

Huobi Pro Launches Crypto Market Index

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

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

US Megabanks Less Safe Than Crypto?

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

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

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto Venture

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto Venture

The upcoming implementation of a major regulatory push by the European Union to control how companies can operate on the Internet has killed another venture in the cryptocurrency sphere. This story, astrology-based financial investment, and many more feature in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief.

Also Read: Marvel, The Simpsons Go Crypto

Parity Shuts Down ICO Passport Service

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto VentureThe team behind Parity Technologies, the developers of the Parity multi-signature wallet, have announced they are shutting down PICOPS, a service used by ICO campaigns to comply with KYC/AML regulations by validating that the owner of an Ethereum wallet has already passed an ID background check. The reason for the closure is a new EU dictate called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is meant to bring a new set of “digital rights” for EU citizens and guard their personal data. The regulation that will come into force this Friday has already killed other services in the crypto space such as the P2P exchange Cointouch and has forced others to change the way they do business such as Localbitcoins.

The Parity team explained that: “GDPR creates new and untested challenges when storing personal information on the blockchain. These challenges make running a service like PICOPS more difficult. We are looking at ways of resolving the uncertainty and making PICOPS compliant with GDPR while keeping it useful. However, as things stand, the solutions we have identified restrict the service to a very limited set of features. Because of this, the significant resources required to make PICOPS GDPR-compliant, and the fact that PICOPS is not part of our core technology stack, we have decided to discontinue the service, despite overwhelming market needs and demand.”

Indian Ban Case Shifts to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India has taken over the cases of Coin Recoil and others challenging the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ban on local banks from dealing with bitcoin companies. The next hearing of this now combined case is planned for July 20, 2018.

Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner at Khaitan & Co., commented: “The Supreme Court has recently transferred the entire batch of petitions pending at High Court level with respect to the contentious issue of RBI effectively banning transactions in cryptocurrencies. This decision highlights the importance of this issue at a national level from not just a legal, but also an economic standpoint. We strongly believe that the RBI’s circular to effectively discourage the business of cryptocurrency exchanges is an arbitrary decision against the freedom of the right to trade guaranteed by the Constitution. We are hopeful that justice will be meted out at the Supreme Court level.”

Written in the Stars

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto VentureAstrology-based financial investment is apparently a thing, and many practitioners are using it to navigate the tumultuous seas of the cryptocurrency markets. This is according to a Marketwatch report that cited a number of astro-investors and even a professional astro-analyst talking about the practice as well as their predictions.

This matter came into the forefront recently after ex-NFL star Ricky Williams shared his use of the of study of celestial objects with CNBC. “When I look at things, I tend to look at astrology to get insight. The insight that got me interested in Bitcoin was the planet Uranus is about to enter into Taurus,” he explained.

Roboforex to Compete with Wallets

Roboforex, an IFSC (International Financial Services Commission of Belize) licensed financial firm offering crypto CFDs, has introduced a new service for its clients to buy BTC with fiat directly from the broker. The company believes that its regulated status will convince users to use their accounts over existing wallets.

Denis Golomedov, Chief Marketing Officer at Roboforex, said: “Providing the ability for clients to deposit into their accounts in Bitcoin is not only an additional service, which expands clients’ opportunities, but also a standalone product, which significantly dominates over its market counterparts. Security has become very significant issue recently, as more and more information appears about hacking cryptocurrency exchanges and stealing users’ assets. Using the cryptocurrency is much more convenient and safer for clients within the framework of their trading and investment activities, using products and services provided by a regulated broker”.

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


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

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