As more people become open to the idea of cryptocurrencies, tokens like bitcoin will gain even wider acceptance than they are currently enjoying.
In fact, there are more retailers accepting bitcoin payments now because of the availability of technology as well as the ease of transactions. Bitcoin payments online or offline are as simple as your regular payments using your debit cards.
For people who intend to use bitcoin for more transactions and retailers who want to receive more of them, there’s the option bitcoin payment gateways that will help make the transactions smoother and faster.
For those who don’t know what a bitcoin payment gateway is, it’s simply a means –usually an available technology- that helps senders and recipients transact with bitcoin.
And when the recipients –in this case, primarily merchants- receive their payments, they often have the option to either accept in their local currency or as bitcoin without any loss in value. This is an incredibly important feature seeing as cryptocurrency tokens are often volatile in nature.
While this technology isn’t yet commonplace, it’s gaining grounds fast and becoming a favorite for retailers, particularly those looking to get into the cryptocurrency game.
With these payment gateways, bitcoins can be quickly converted into local currencies and payments in bitcoin can also be automated. For instance, you can set it up to automatically pay your rents every month, and the landlord will receive the payment in their local currency.
Many retailers are still on the fence about accepting bitcoin payments. This is not surprising seeing as the process can be somewhat overwhelming for those who aren’t tech savvy.
For instance, most mom and pop stores are run by senior citizens who already find the process of using computers for payments challenging. Adding an extra challenge, particularly one that isn’t backed by traditional financial institutions is often too much.
However, when you consider the pros of accepting bitcoin, it’s easy to see how they are missing out on this huge opportunity. Some of the benefits of accepting bitcoins as a retailer, landlord or business person include:
If you’re now convinced about the importance of accepting bitcoin, let’s help make it easy for you by showing you the best bitcoin payment gateways. These are all secure, established payment processing outfits and services with a proven record of keeping your money safe and instantly remitting it to you.
This is currently the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange and boasts of the largest volume of bitcoin exchange as well. So far, it is considered the world’s safest and most secure exchange platform.
This makes it about the most reliable bitcoin exchange service. As a result therefore, it is also a regular exchange platform for fiat currencies too. With its gateway, fiat to bitcoin conversions and vice versa are instant and seamless.
Even better, withdrawals are processed immediately, with the funds showing up in your account in 72 hours. The only downside to Coinbase is the service is only limited to a few countries –primarily North American countries for now.
Maybe they’ll open their membership to other countries in the near future. For now though, if you’re resident in North America and want to start accepting bitcoin payments, this is the preferred option.
Coingate is a great payment gateway that allows retailers accept bitcoin payments as well as about forty other altcoins too. Retailers can either choose to accept their payments in their local currencies or stay with bitcoin.
It also allows crypto-to-crypto payments, which means buyers can pay with ethereum, which is them converted to bitcoin at your end. Even better retailers can use the mobile app in tracking payments right from their mobile devices, with the payments processed within 60 minutes. The service only charges 1 percent for all transactions carried out on the platform.
Another payment gateway, retailers can select their preferred cryptocurrency on this platform. While this works for bitcoin, it also works for ethereum and Litecoin payments.
Transactions in Alfacoins are converted into the retailer’s preferred crypto or fiat currency and a transaction fee of 0.99 percent is charged. This service is available to all but two countries in the world –North Korea and Iran- and allows the withdrawal of funds in the USD or Euros.
As one of the leading ecommerce platforms in the world, Shopify has integrated crypto payments into their shopping carts, thus making it possible for merchants to receive their payments in bitcoin.
As we speak, many ecommerce stores on the Shopify platform are currently accepting bitcoin payments. The setup process is easy on this platform and can be done in a few hours. All it takes or requires is a merchant account with them.
Another leading cryptocurrency exchange platform, Bitpay offers a payment gateway service that allows retailers and merchants accept bitcoin payments easily and effortlessly. Users who sign up enjoy zero transaction fees for the first $10k transactions.
After that, all transactions attract a 1 percent transaction fee. While Bitpay is great, its use is only available to residents of about 38 countries. These are the only countries where they can take direct deposits from. Visit their site to see if your country is on the list.
This is an excellent payment gateway that offers its users a simple way to integrate their stores and carts. Its plugins can be easily integrated with many ecommerce platforms, thus making it a favorite among merchants.
This payment processor offer a world class customer support and has great reviews. As with all other services, they charge a 1 percent fee on all transactions. Merchants though, can only withdraw their funds in dollars.
This service is primarily targeted at EU residents and offers the lowest transaction fees in the industry. Right now, they only charge a 0.80 percent transaction fee and offer withdrawals in Euro, ESD as well as a few other local currencies in the European Union.
Payments can be made to retailers’ bitcoin wallets as well as direct to their banks using the platform. BitcoinPay can be easily integrated into most ecommerce platforms, making it the perfect bitcoin payment processor for merchants residing in Europe. Withdrawals are also processed quickly and available to the merchant within 48 hours.
This is perfect for the unbanked merchant who also wants to partake in the new global economy. With Goulr this payment processor, all you need is a bitcoin wallet or debit cards.
Transactions carried out through this processor are often highly anonymous, making it popular among bitcoin users who love their privacy. Payments are available to retailers within a minute of the senders executing the transfer. The cons though include a relatively higher transaction fee as well as no direct bank transfers.
If your business is dependent on Paypal for survival, you really should check this payment processor out.
Their payment processor integrates easily with all online stores and their charges are at the industry standard of 1 percent. If you’re looking for a PayPal alternative that accepts bitcoins, this is it. It also accepts payment in other cryptos like ethereum and Litecoin.
This is great for merchants looking for even more flexibility and payment options regarding cryptos. It offers a bitcoin debit card and mobile wallet, thus making it easy to receive and make bitcoin payments on the go.
It can be easily integrated into most online shopping platforms, thus making it a good option for retailers. Bitcoin payments on this platform are instant and conversion to preferred currency is fast.
At the end of the day, these bitcoin payment gateways are designed to improve the ease of doing business as well as open up new frontiers for retailers and merchants who want to make more money.
All of these payment gateways have standard military grade encryption technology that ensures that all transactions on the platforms are secure and protected.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume, is set to launch a beta version of its decentralized exchange (DEX) by early 2019.
Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance better known to the community as CZ, said on Saturday:
“Just had a productive meeting for Binance DEX (decentralized exchange), where BNB will be native gas, and the exchange don’t control user funds. Aiming for a public beta end of the year/early next year. Yes, we work on Saturdays, non stop.”
In July, on CNBC Crypto Trader hosted by Ran Neuner, CZ stated that he personally believes decentralized exchange is the future of crypto.
In the long-term, CZ explained that users will be able to utilize non-custodial wallets to trade cryptocurrencies in a peer-to-peer manner with full control over their funds.
“I believe that decentralized exchange is the future. I don’t know when that future will come yet. I think we’re at an early stage for that so I don’t know if it’s a year, two years, three years, or five years. I don’t know but we got to be ready for it,” he said.
Binance Coin (BNB)
As a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, most of its revenues and profits are generated by the fees charged by the exchange. But, decentralized exchanges can also charge a native fee embedded into the smart contracts utilized by the platform to broadcast transactions to the mainnet of public blockchain networks like Ethereum.
“I think the EtherDelta model for developers getting paid is underrated,” he said.
At the time, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency user recommended Binance to Buterin on Twitter, mentioning its low 0.05% fee. Buterin responded that to use centralized exchanges, a process of setting up accounts is required. On decentralized exchanges, users can utilize existing wallets like MetaMask to trade.
“That requires setting up an account. I like EtherDelta precisely because it doesn’t. Just visit the site with MetaMask on and start using it. Not slow at all. I don’t give a damn about split-second trading. To me, speed includes login, deposit, withdrawal, logout time,” Buterin explained.
According to CZ, Binance is probably a more secure alternative to decentralized exchanges because of its strong architecture and infrastructure. Binance has never been hacked since its launch in 2017.
CZ emphasized that the real merit of using decentralized exchanges is in the freedom and control over user funds. On a decentralized exchange, users do not have to create user accounts or file withdrawal requests. Every trading activity is done on the blockchain with a non-custodial wallet.
Eventually, as the adoption of cryptocurrencies increases and fiat becomes less relevant in the cryptocurrency exchange market, traders will likely shift from centralized platforms to decentralized exchanges.
The Binance team remains uncertain when the change will happen but as CZ said, the company is getting ready for it.
The Coinbase Bitcoin exchange is suspected of having carried out a not inconsiderable proportion of their trades within the staff. Now, a stock exchange official told the New York Procuratorate to clarify the matter.
Coinbase, a stock exchange on which Bitcoin and other crypto currencies can be traded, is suspected of performing trades in its own interest. Because a report from the New York prosecutor's office reveals that 20 percent of the trading volume are activities that went out of employees of the stock exchange. This now denied the allegations.
The argument revolves around an excerpt from a report for which the stock exchange has voluntarily provided data. It says:
"Coinbase [hereby] discloses that nearly 20 percent of the executed volume on its platform can be attributed to its own trading."
Apparently, the prosecutor had confused the terms "own trading" and "proprietary trading". In the latter case, banking is the purchase or sale of goods (or securities) executed on its own account.
This ultimately led the prosecutor to doubt the credibility of the crypto exchange. Therefore, the Attorney General said:
"Such high levels of proprietary trading raise significant questions about the risks that consumers are taking on such platforms."
To clarify this misunderstanding, the Coinbase CPO responded promptly. Mike Lempres then states in a blog post:
"Coinbase is not acting for the benefit of the company in terms of proprietary trading. To provide an easy-to-use user experience, our users can specify a price and quickly complete the order on our Exchange platform. This benefits from the high liquidity of the Coinbase ecosystem. "
In other words, according to Chief Policy Officer Lempres, the allegations are merely the result of conceptual confusion. Instead of trading for their own benefit, the crypto exchange only provides its customers with the necessary funds. Therefore, Lempres emphasizes:
"When Coinbase trades, it does so for Coinbase's clients, not for itself."
China has become a very hostile nation for cryptocurrency. It is a very worrisome trend, but it appears there is nothing that can be done about it. In another crackdown, the country is now targeting WeChat content pertaining to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
WeChat Cryptocurrency Content Is DisallowedWeChat Cryptocurrency Content Is Disallowed
It is evident the ongoing ‘ban’ on cryptocurrency in China is causing all kinds of worrisome consequences. Although trading cryptocurrencies against one another is still allowed in the country, there is no convenient way of converting the Chinese yuan to either Bitcoin or altcoins as of right now. This situation has been in place for several months now, and it appears things will not be reversed anytime soon.
To make matters even worse, the Chinese government is now actively cracking down on any public discussion involving cryptocurrencies. WeChat has been forced to remove a lot of content and accounts in the past few weeks, although it is unclear if this was a one-time deal or something that will continue for the foreseeable future.
Because of this new harsh action, it appears cryptocurrency discussions are the next thing to be ‘banned’ in China. Under pressure from internet regulators, WeChat had virtually no other option but to comply with these demands. There were concerns that these accounts were involved in spreading news and rumors violating the Interim Provisions on the Development of Public Information Services for Instant Messaging Tools.
Some of the removed accounts were quite popular, all things considered. Huobi News is one of the victims, as it had three separate accounts shut down in quick succession. This harsh action shows there is still a hefty grudge against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in China. This mainly stems from a lack of proper understanding of how this technology works and what it brings to the table.
It is evident Chinese officials are more intent on embracing blockchain technology than cryptocurrency itself. That comes as no real surprise, as this biased attitude has been clearly visible for several years now. By cracking down on companies active in this space, the government may very well achieve the completely opposite effect.
By going after public messaging tools such as WeChat, another point of no return has been reached by the Chinese government. It is evident censorship is more important to the government than letting people gain access to a new financial paradigm. That is a very unfortunate situation, but things will only get worse from here on out.
The crypto-exchange BitMEX gives the all-clear. The trading platform, on which, among other things, derivatives for Bitcoin and Ether can be traded, was at short notice under a DDOS attack. About their Twitter account, the company gave the all clear - so everything is back in the green. Not so with the users, who apparently are largely bounced. There is talk of manipulation.
The crypto exchange BitMEX, on which one can trade among other things Bitcoin derivatives, stood briefly under a DDOS attack, has now however again everything under control according to own data. It all started with the announcement of "maintenance" on the website:
The first signs of inconsistencies were evident in the company's Twitter account when it reported on August 22 that many users reported login issues:
Shortly afterwards BitMEX realized that they had fallen victim to an attack, but the login had stabilized again:
On the same day, however, came the all clear. So BitMEX has the situation under control again and everything could go back to its usual gear:
While the login was not possible at short notice, many users were given the opportunity to dissolve their short positions or to act at all. So the community reacted little enthusiastic. The allegations eventually went so far that a user called the stock market a "shame for the whole ecosystem":
In the meantime, the Bitcoin price had risen $ 400 to $ 6,800, coinciding with the liquidation of a large number of short positions.
The liquidation of the short positions coincided with the brief maintenance of BitMEX - which has already left many traders with no opportunity to act. However, since these had apparently been announced, users would not have been surprised. Rather, it was the debacle that followed what baffled the traders so much. A - even if it is so short-term - suspension of the login Trader could already cost a large amount of capital. Worse yet, the delay caused by the (alleged) DDOS attack eventually resulted in many users being unable to access their accounts for a long time. So they became unable to act. The fact that the maintenance of the stock market, the short-term rise in prices and the attack followed in such a short time, can therefore be doubtful,
Ultimately, there are such recurrent security vulnerabilities and manipulation allegations that testify to the immaturity of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Targeted regulation and regulated exchanges would offer investors much more security.
Addendum: As it turns out, BitMEX has rented the entire 45th floor of the "World's Most Expensive Offices" in Hong Kong, according to Bloomberg . The Cheung Kong Center is also home to affluent companies such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Barclays, Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg LP and billionaire billionaire Li Ka-shing's empire.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued rejections to bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETFs) proposals from ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares.
In three orders published on August 22, the rejections came ahead of previously reported deadlines arising from the SEC's public-facing approval process.
Coinbase have released their five key principles related to their new range of institutional products. Coinbase Custody, which was launched in May this year (2018), is geared towards institutional cryptocurrency adoption, based on a minimum of $10 million held in deposits per account.
Now, to establish a clear path to success, Coinbase have announced these principles, along with action points, via a Medium post by Vice President & General Manager Adam White.
In this, Coinbase mention ongoing monitoring in terms of maintaining a healthy, liquid market, but also monitoring in terms of detecting and reducing fraud.
Coinbase are clearly aiming at quelling any doubts that institutions might have over the storage of large amounts of funds in cryptocurrency. Their “institutional-grade tools” will be federally compliant, as well as forward-thinking and constantly developing. The blog says “This includes geographically distributed storage vaults, guaranteed accessibility to funds and insurance of stored assets”.
This principle once more mentions ongoing monitoring of “deceptive trading practices”, restating the overall theme of this blog post, which is certainly security-focused. The other key takeaway from this principle though, is that Coinbase will look to make all trading rules, limits and incentives clear, transparent and easy to follow for newer entries into the market.
Simply put, this principle states that all clients will have the same information and data available to them, to ensure that there is no market bias.
Once again, this is focused on transparency and making data and governance processes equally available to all.
The overall point of this mission statement then, is that Coinbase are looking to establish trust with institutional investors, by showing that they will be compliant, vigilant and transparent at all times – perhaps the main aspects of the crypto world that newbies are concerned with. All that remains to be seen is whether they are able to deliver the level of service that companies are used to in the “traditional” financial world.
A review of payments received by the world’s 17 largest crypto exchanges has shown that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use in commerce has decreased, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainanalysis, Bloomberg reported August 20.
A group of analysts from Chainanalysis found that BCH payments dropped to $3.7 million in May from $10.5 million in March, while the volume of Bitcoin (BTC) payments was estimated $60 million in May, down from a high of $412 million in September. Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg:
“There are fewer users of Bitcoin Cash, fewer holders.”
This year, the BCH price decreased by 75 percent, while BTC dropped by about 55 percent. Grauer sees “concentrated ownership” as the reason for the low BCH adoption rate, where almost 56 percent of the cryptocurrency is controlled by 67 wallets that are not located on exchanges.
Between 10,000 and 100,000 BCH are held by two wallets. Grauer said it is possible that “the wealthiest holders are the ones sending a lot of the traffic to merchant services.”
BCH appeared a year ago after a hard fork from the BTC blockchain. While the launch of BCH caused controversy in the community, BTC.com vice president of business operations, Alejandro de la Torre told Cointelegraph about the importance of the fork:
“The ability to make forks while keeping the community aligned was a great achievement. By providing much greater bandwidth per block by first increasing to 8 MB and then again to 32 MB. This additional room is more than what is needed right now, but BCH seems to be looking ahead and getting ready to process high volumes of traffic. The greater block size also enables BCH to store more information in each transaction, giving the lockchain space to write smart contracts on-chain at low costs.”
According to data from Coinmarketcap, even with the recent decline BCH is still the fourth largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization over $9 billion. At press time, BCH is down almost 9 percent and is trading around $522.
Yet another blockchain investment fund is set to launch in South Korea. Messaging giant Line furthers its foray into the field of cryptocurrencies and is dedicated to streamlining early-stage startup investments with a $10 million fund. Additionally, the company announced the successful listing of TRON to its cryptocurrency exchange.
SOUTH KOREA SEES SERIOUS INVESTMENTS IN BLOCKCHAIN
Line, the Japanese messaging company harboring over 200 million users announced August 15, that is set to launch a $10 million investment fund through its Korea-based blockchain subsidiary Unblock Corporation.
With this initiative, LINE will become one of the very first publicly traded companies to formalize investments in tokens through a dedicated corporate fund. The fund aims to “boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.” Furthermore, the announcement also made it clear that the fund is “expected to expand in the future.”
Just yesterday Bitcoinist reported that the government of South Korea has budgeted upwards of 1 trillion won with a “focus on promoting big data and AI, developing blockchain technology to ensure data management security and boosting the share economy.”
Earlier in June, Line announced that it will launch a cryptocurrency exchange through its Singapore-based subsidiary. The venue dubbed BITBOX is already live and has listed TRON to its lists of available cryptocurrencies.
TRON (TRX) has become the very first coin project which has managed to pass BITBOX’s review process carried out by their open-listing committee.
As a celebration for TRX’s listing on the cryptocurrency exchange, a total of 9 million TRX coins will be airdropped to BITBOX’s users in an event which runs until August 22nd.
Speaking on the matter, Youngsy Ko, CEO of LINE’s subsidiary in Singapore, which operates the cryptocurrency exchange said:
Integrating TRON (TRX) with BITBOX will enable us to connect with the world’s fastest-growing blockchain project. […] TRON has a solid tech platform, especially know it has joined forces with BitTorrent.
Tron’s Justin Sun acquired BitTorrent on June 11.
Ripple has added three cryptocurrency exchanges to its cross-border payments settlement product, according to a press release published August 16.
Ripple has partnered with U.S.-based Bittrex, Mexican Bitso, and Philippine Coins.Ph cryptocurrency trading platforms within its initiative to build a “healthy” ecosystem of digital asset exchange.
The new partners will enable Ripple’s xRapid payments solution to move between XRP and U.S.dollars, Mexican pesos, and Philippine pesos respectively. Ripple explained the operational principle like this:
“A financial institution (FI) that has an account with Bittrex would initiate a payment in U.S. dollars via xRapid, which instantly converts into XRP on Bittrex. The payment amount in XRP is settled over the XRP Ledger, then Bitso, through its Mexican peso liquidity pool, instantly converts the XRP into fiat, which is then settled into the destination bank account.”
XRapid is a liquidity solution for Ripple’s blockchain-based real-time gross settlement system, which is developed to facilitate international fiat transfers between financial institutions. Ripple Chief Market Strategist Cory Johnson said:
“We’ve seen several successful xRapid pilots already, and as we move the product from beta to production later this year, these exchange partners will allow us to provide financial institutions with the comfort and assurance that their payments will move seamlessly between different currencies.”
In May, financial institutions who participated in the pilot of xRapid platform, which tested payments between the U.S. and Mexico, reported transaction savings of 40-70 percent. Additionally, the participants noted an improvement in transaction speed from 2-3 days to “just over two minutes.”
Although the testing showed solid product performance, Ripple chief cryptographer David Schwartz claimed that banks are unlikely to deploy blockchain to process international payments, citing low scalability and privacy problems.
Earlier this week, Cointelegraph reported that Ripple is considering breaking into the Chinese market to speed up international payments with blockchain technology. Jeremy Light, vice president of European Union strategic accounts at Ripple, said that “China is definitely a country and region of interest.”
Yet another dire security flaw was unveiled Tuesday with potential ripple effects across the tech world, including for cryptocurrency projects seeking to leverage certain hardware devices.
Following a pair of bugs unveiled earlier this year, the Foreshadow vulnerability impacts all Intel's Software Guard Extensions (SGX) enclaves, a special, supposedly extra-secure region of chip often used for storing sensitive data.
The good and the bad
"But as foreshadow demonstrates, attacks only get better," McCorry remarked.
Is Facebook Preparing to Launch Its Own Crypto Exchange?
Why would there be a conflict of interest between Facebook and Coinbase? Facebook is a social network and Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange. There would only be a conflict of interest if Coinbase was preparing to launch its own social network or – what seems more likely – if Facebook was building a crypto exchange.
“The second and most important story though is this; The Head of Blockchain Research at Facebook, David Marcus, has left his position on the Board of Directors at Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and arguably, the biggest potential rival for a future Facebook made cryptocurrency exchange. The resignation of Marcus is alleged to have been inspired by an appearance of a conflict of interest.”
The second piece of evidence proposed by Nezvisky is this:
It’s not unusual for a major corporation to explore how a new technology could be integrated into their business. However, the second piece of evidence proposed by Nezvisky is more significant, and it indicates a Facebook-backed crypto project could be right around the corner.
We’ve known about Facebook’s blockchain research group for about a year. Since last year, Facebook has assigned a team of employees to exploring blockchain technology, including how blockchain could improve Facebook’s various business processes.
“…firstly, we know Facebook now have a blockchain working group, a team of employees dedicated to exploring and researching blockchain technology.”
That report comes from Mark Nezvisky at Crypto Daily, who cites two key points as evidence that Facebook could be launching its own cryptocurrency exchange:
We’ve heard rumblings for several months that Facebook could launch its own cryptocurrency – like a Facebook Coin. But now reports are suggesting that Facebook could take it a step further by launching its own crypto exchange.
Coinbase is one of the world’s largest and most influential crypto exchange platforms and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Some have suggested that Facebook isn’t looking to compete with Coinbase or launch its own token. Instead, Facebook is preparing to buy Coinbase. Facebook could see potential in integrating its social network technology with Coinbase’s existing exchange platform.
Nezvisky cautions that this is all just speculation:
“As it stands, Facebook claim that they are only exploring blockchain technology and have no plans to develop a cryptocurrency exchange, nor do they wish to acquire one, so a Coinbase acquisition is probably off the cards for now.”
Facebook has a history of making outside-the-box acquisitions. They famously acquired Oculus, for example, which makes the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. However, acquiring Coinbase would seem to be a little too far outside the box.
The cryptocurrency world surged with growth in 2017 as most people worldwide heard about it for the first time.
That surge would pale in comparison to the growth if Facebook launched its own cryptocurrency exchange. Overnight, over 2 billion people – nearly one third of the world’s population – would have easy access to cryptocurrencies.
If you believe Nezvisky, then we’re facing three possible outcomes here:
Of course, there is also a fourth option: Facebook does nothing. They shut down their blockchain research division after finding no discernable benefits to their business. People forget about the potential launch of a Facebook Coin. We move on.
The more optimistic take, of course, is that where there’s smoke there’s fire. Facebook and Coinbase have a conflict of interest, and it seems unlikely that Coinbase would launch its own social network.
The lightning network is due for a privacy boost.
First conceived by zcash founders Matthew Green and Ian Miers in 2016, the code is inspired by the bitcoin scaling solution, lightning network, and seeks to unlock high levels of transaction throughput while adding payment confidentiality.
"The lightning network has solved the initial issue with scalability, and now that gives us the opportunity to deal with the privacy problem. That is the strength of the BOLT design," Akinyele told CoinDesk.
Monero (XMR) is up over 6% over the last twelve hours, as it enters a reversal from weekly losses of 22%. Despite the overnight growth, the current coin price takes Monero back to lows last seen on November 6th, 2017.
At the same time Monero has leapfrogged a few coins ahead of it to propel itself up the rankings, and may be feeling renewed interest with the rollout ofin the last couple of days.
Monero Jumps Into Top Ten
For the third time in the last one-month Tether has issued $50 million in USDT tokens as the company’s circulating market cap reaches $2.5 billion.
On Tuesday, August 13, Bitcoin climbed over $6500 mark showing up a minor recovery in its price. Considering the extreme volatility over the past few weeks, there can be multiple reasons for the price rise like OTC trades or other things. However, the latest price surge has been in synchrony with the issuance of new Tether (USDT) tokens.
The USDT token is a dollar-pegged “stablecoin” that is created by the controversial digital currency startup Tether. On Saturday, August 11, Tether has supposedly issued 50 million USDT tokens which amount to $50 million influx in the cryptocurrency market, according to the data from Omni Explorer.
The data on the Tether Rich List shows that these new tokens have been transferred to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. This is for the third consecutive time this month when Tether is said to have issued $50 million in USDT tokens to Bitfinex. Moreover, Tether’s “transparency” page goes to show the company’s circulating marketcap of $2.5 billion. The page data also shows that Tether currently holds $500 million in reserves, meaning that the company has another $500 million worth funds available for distribution.
On the 12th of August, Bitcoin Superstore, a crypto-only store announced that they now accept TRX as a payment option and customers can purchase from “nearly any retailer with Tron [TRX].” Having more than 200,000 retail stores, customers can pay using any of the 7 cryptocurrencies accepted by them.
Some of these stores include multi-national franchises like Starbucks, Amazon, Google, Express, Walmart.com. The company claims to have a customer userbase throughout the process of accepting the orders, ensuring the purchase, transporting and delivering to the customers. The team would also be managing returns if necessary. Moreover, the company promotes the purchase of gift cards for brands like Starbucks, Nike, Gamestop, and Best Buy.
In order to purchase any product or service from the store, the customers must first sign into the Bitcoin Superstore, paste the particular URL of the product, enter the delivery details and the mode of payment, which will have an option to choose which cryptocurrency the customers would want to choose. Further, the company takes care of the product delivery.
In response to the announcement, a Twitterati said:
“Nicely done, you guys will be taking over real soon.”
Another Tweet in response said:
“Amazing news. Tron is really making waves in this space.”
The social media giant is reportedly talking with a number of crypto companies to discuss potential opportunities.
According to Business Insider:
Wall Street strategist and co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors Thomas Lee has developed a ‘contrarian index’ that lets investors know how ‘miserable’ Bitcoin (BTC) holders are based on current prices, CNBC reports.
The index is called the Bitcoin Misery Index (BMI) and was designed as a trading tool for investors to take advantage of volatility in BTC exchanges. BMI is calculated on a scale of zero to 100, taking into account factors such as volatility and the number of winning trades out of the total. When the indicator is low, the buying opportunity is at its best, and vice versa.
“When the bitcoin misery index is at ‘misery’ (below 27), bitcoin sees the best 12-month performance. A signal is generated about every year,” Lee explained to CNBC in a Friday report. "When the BMI is at a 'misery' level, future returns are very good."
At the moment, the Bitcoin index is at 18.8, which is an absolute minimum since Sept. 6, 2011, the report said.
Lee’s comments follow a significant cryptocurrency market fall in which BTC lost almost 27 percent just after hitting a weekly high of $11,675 on Monday, March 5. A series of negative news resulted in heightened concerns about more regulations on crypto markets.
On March 7, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement saying that all platforms trading securities are required to register with the agency as an exchange. Additionally, Japanese authorities temporarily halted the activities of two cryptocurrency exchanges and issued “punishment notices” to seven more, as reported on March 8.
Despite Bitcoin currently trading at more than 50 percent of its December 2017 high of over $20,000, Lee has not abandoned his optimistic forecast of $25,000 by the end of 2018.
Tom Lee is known for his bullish outlooks for BTC and as the “only major Wall Street strategist to issue regular reports and formal price targets on bitcoin”, according to CNBC.
Vitalik Buterin: "I definitely hope centralized exchanges burn in hell as much as possible"
Vitalik’s fiery comments stemmed from his annoyance towards centralized exchanges wielding “stupid king-like power” as they have the power to dictate which cryptocurrencies “become big” after making projects pay extortionate “$10 to $15 million dollar [exchange] listing fees.”
During an interview at Tech Crunch Sessions: Blockchain 2018, Ethereum Founder, Vitalik Buterin hoped “centralized exchanges burn in hell as much as possible” as he strongly advocated for the use of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges.
Buterin’s comments caused quite a stir within the crypto community invoking a response from Binance Founder, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao on Twitter.
Zhou fired back by highlighting several flaws in Buterin’s arguments by stating that:
“There is no absolute decentralization. Projects with core teams still have centralization. Today, Vitalik probably has more king-like powers than anyone else in this industry, and has used it, by serving as advisors to projects, therefore helped to decide their fate, at least fate of their ICOs to a large extent.”
Zhou further remarked that “Decentralization” is not safer by default” and this was clearly evidenced by the recent hack of decentralized exchange Bancor with the less of $12m worth of Ether as well as EtherDelta also falling victim to a phishing attack late last year.
On the same day, CZ shared his response, Buterin chose not to reply publicly instead opting to respond to a cheeky Tweet from a new French cryptocurrency exchange Blockchain.io that asked whether their “decentralized settlement feature” would send them to purgatory.
Buterin surprisingly — or perhaps not so surprisingly — responded in French saying:
“It’s much better than a fully centralized exchange, but it doesn’t solve the other problem, as centralized exchanges have a lot of control over the market and can choose which currencies become the most popular etc etc.
In all, I think this is a very good idea and I hope that more cryptocurrency exchanges will use this semi-centralized method.”
IDEX, arguably one of the most popular semi-centralized crypto exchanges as they offer features from both centralized and decentralized exchanges is currently ranked #91 in terms of total trading volume for all crypto exchangesin a 24 hour time frame.
Aside from IDEX, there are only a handful of decentralized exchanges ranking within the top 100 overall trading volume for crypto exchanges with the majority of the chart being dominated by centralized exchanges.
There is clearly a long way to go until decentralized exchanges begin to gain greater traction and adoption however, at the end of the day, it does seem both Buterin and CZ agree that decentralized exchanges will be the best option moving forward.
In March, Binance announced their intentions to launch a decentralized exchange along with a public blockchain:
“Centralized and Decentralized exchanges will co-exist in the near future, complementing each other, while also having interdependence.” — Binance
In the near future, it’s possible that we may see centralized exchanges shift more and more towards offering hybrid solutions similar to what IDEX offers and what Blockchain.io proposes to do.
The gradual shift will likely be necessary for the wider community to witness greater levels of decentralization in crypto exchanges resulting in less actors who may wield “stupid king-like powers”.
Similar to the short-term trend outlined by CCN yesterday, the Bitcoin price has dropped by mid-$6,000 as it failed to demonstrate a recovery in its volume.
Yesterday, CCN reported that the volume of BTC and the rest of the crypto market have dropped substantially since late July, by more than 30 percent. Given the failed recovery of Bitcoin’s volume and the overly strong downtrend of the crypto market, CCN reported that the price of Bitcoin will likely drop to mid-$6,000.reported
“The overall demand for crypto has declined in the past several days and market activity has subsided. From here, if the volume of BTC fails to pick up and rebound to $4 to $5 billion in the next few days, a drop to mid-$6,000 is inevitable, which may play into to the prediction offered by BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes last month,” CCN reported.
Many investors and analysts have attributed to the sudden decline in the price of BTC on August 8 to the decision of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delay the approval of the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) of VanEck and SolidX.
Under normal circumstances, most analysts would have claimed that the delay of the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF was expected and the foreseen decision of the SEC to delay the approval of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF is simply not enough to trigger such a steep fall in the valuation of the crypto market.
However, in leading cryptocurrency exchange markets such as Japan and South Korea, so-called “influencers” and “traders” have been establishing a narrative around the VanEck and Cboe Bitcoin ETFs, boldly claiming that the Bitcoin price will achieve previous highs in August, upon the approval of the first Bitcoin ETF.
Especially, in South Korea, widely recognized traders and cryptocurrency researchers with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and followers on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have been claiming that the SEC’s decision in August will lead to a large spike in the price of BTC.
It is possible, given the massive hype and false hope created by many of these influential traders and researchers, that the market overreacted to the delay in the approval of the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF.
It is also plausible that the decision of the SEC coincided with a large sell-off in the over-the-counter (OTC) market, which experts believe it to be at least two to three-fold larger than the cryptocurrency exchange market.
Lastly, another possible scenario is that a large group of bears, who have intended to sell-off a large chunk of BTC over the past few days, found a reason to do so with the decision of the US SEC and initiated a short-term panic sell-off.
All of the scenarios above are all both directly and indirectly affected by the decision of the US SEC and as such, it can be said with certainty that the delay of the VanEck Bitcoin ETF caused the price of BTC to fall.
However, as some analysts explained, if the rejection of a Bitcoin ETF can have such a large impact on the valuation of the crypto market, in contrast, the approval of a Bitcoin ETF can also have a massive positive effect on the mid-term price trend of major cryptocurrencies.
While Telegram has become the de facto standard for crypto communities wanting to chat, StatXlooks to challenge the status quo with an app dedicated for the crypto and blockchain market.
Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Article
Telegram Focuses On Talking, StatX On Info
A major difference StatX claims to have over Telegram is that the popular messaging app is “conversation-centric” while the California based startup will be “information-centric”, with users of the app able to “expect a well presented, simple and elegant dashboard offering company financial and status information.”
Prasad Raje, StatX co-founder, and CEO offered these words on StatX and it’s growing network;
“Our secret sauce is the unique way StatX combines information and conversation to drive a higher quality and higher value user experience. It’s gratifying to see that our approach has been validated in the marketplace by a growing number of crypto industry innovators such as Boosto, Decred, Foleum, MediBloc, ZCoin and many others.”
This dashboard can highlight market cap, price, token distribution, social reach, and product roadmap milestones. It is able to also show situational information such as an update for airdrops or bounty programs. Users can also set alerts that will notify them if any changes to price, market cap, etc. are detected.
Some of the leading altcoins have already expressed support for the new app, including Decred and ZCoin among others.
Noah Pierau, Community Builder at Decred, (a top 30 cryptocurrency with a focus on governance) had this to say about StatX;
“While there are many pure chat applications, StatX has the unique ability to combine technical indicators such as exchange rate and PoS info conveniently with chat functionality, all in one beautiful mobile app. StatX improves the signal to noise ratio in the blockchain community.”
While Reuben Zap, COO of Zcoin, had this to say about the company’s partnership with StatX;
“Zcoin is happy to partner with StatX to deliver Zcoin price and blockchain metrics to our community via StatX. We want this to be a high-quality information and conversation channel with all parties interested in Zcoin.”
Another key factor that separates StatX from Telegram is several measures implemented to mitigate against unwanted spam and scammers. For example, API’s are only available to group admins, to ensure only wanted third-party services take advantage.
Companies like Boosto, also a supporter of the app, are using this feature to their advantage.
Boosto CPO Rock Zhang stated;
“By presenting the metrics and company data that we want to share and driving the conversation around that, StatX provides an excellent tool for proactively building and controlling our brand online,”
StatX is also for more than just users looking to join crypto communities, with use cases for Crypto Fund Managers, Developers, and even blockchain creators able to take advantage of the tools this app offers.
Person A: Look at the Lightning Network, it’s amazing & it’s growing so fast!
Person B: Look at those central hubs, doesn’t look that amazing to me!
Person C: Well, Lightning is still in its infancy, people don’t want to “risk” their Bitcoin on the off-chance the software glitches. Or maybe they just want to wait until they can actually use it for something they specifically find useful, which doesn’t exist yet because these kinds of things grow organically, and merchant adoption will take just as much time as Bitcoin originally took.
Person B: No you don’t understand…LOOK at those HUBS, just look! You can SEE them! They’re right there! *proceeds to circle them in MS Paint*
People who have no idea what they’re looking at, even if they think they do.This is a reoccurring sequence of events, and it’s gotten to the point where I figured I should just throw something together that people can reference when this comes up. It happens so often because it’s easy to do, and it appeals to the lowest common denominator of people:
The easiest way to counter pictures that do things like this is to mention what I said on that Reddit post above, that it’s a visual illusion. Then demonstratethat visually, so people see what you mean, just like they saw the original incorrect information. I’ve done it a few times already, but I never have the last one handy, so I always end up doing everything below again. This time we all have this article handy.
No? Well what about this “hub”:
Both of these are equal in size or larger to the ones that stand out that are circled above, but you can’t see them at all unless you select them. The fact of the matter is, this network graph actually does a really terrible job of presenting the Lightning Network to you. It’s pretty and fun to play with, but it does everyone involved an analytic injustice. I’ve made multiple fragmented attempts in the past to reconcile this, but nothing has been solid and void of critique. My first attempt to redistribute the network topology in a digestible format was when the network was rather small, and it was kind of just thrown together during some downtime I had. I wanted to draw attention to the fact that a single node going offline would have a very marginal effect on the “net”work that routes payments.
I ended up redoing that diagram and added some labels for clarity, where I make that same effort to show that there are many other nodes with a lot of channels, but they just don’t stand out.
To be completely fair, this user actually presented some useful data that shows the network improving with time. The 1st is the original, and the 2nd is one I requested that excluded nodes with a single channel from data, much like my “infographic” did. In the future, you’ll either be using a Lightning wallet, or running a node that routes. The one you choose is up to you, but the important data in this regard won’t be the majority who opt for 3rd party support/access to Bitcoin (like Coinbase users now), it will be the set of nodes that are routing, and the amount of them that exist that matter (similar to Full-Node maintainers now).
The data above, while nice, still doesn’t do what I was aiming to do. Here’s a simple question you can think about while watching the next clip: If there are 10,000 different Lightning “hubs”, will you still call the Lightning Network centralized?
Pointing and saying you can see the hubs forming is a low-level argument that I like to believe that video does a good job dismissing, but I decided I was going to go even further and completely remodel the network. Every Lightning node maintains a list of nodes and channels that exist so they can effectively route payments when they receive an invoice. The network explorer above uses this same list to render its graph, so I pulled that list from my Lightning node and plugged it into a program called Gephi, where I was free to manipulate it to my liking.
I did a couple different variations. This was the best one in my opinion:
There’s a couple things going on here that really define the differences between this and node explorer from earlier. Let’s go over them:
Nodes with only 1 channel are green, and if there are many of them connected to the same node, they bundle up into groups. I particularly like this because it moves them out of the way so they aren’t scattered randomly throughout the graph. It also helps highlight which nodes are popular to initially connect to. For example, Blockstream’s node has a lot of peers that have only opened channels with them, likely because there’s a tutorial that points to their node, and they have a Lightning store you can purchase from.
Larger nodes are no longer hidden. You can see all of them, and they’re more appropriately distributed in the center. They’re sized in proportion to the amount of channels they have open (will touch on this later), and are all distinctly red. You can call them hubs if you want, but as time moves forward this distinct set of nodes will continue to grow. You won’t be calling them hubs when they’re in the thousands.
This next one is a much better retake of the “hubs” infographic, with some extra information. The nodes are ordered & colored by the amount of channels they have, and the channel width is scaled to represent how many duplicate channels exist between two nodes. You’ll see in the bottom right of the image, there’s a single node with many duplicate channels with three other nodes. If I recall correctly, it had 18 channels opened with that node that’s sitting outside the perimeter.
This final one I’m going to show is similar, but it stacks all nodes with the same amount of channels on top of each other. You can see the column of nodes with a single channel, nodes with two channels next to it, and so on. You can also see that the distribution of total channels is forming a sort of natural curve among the set of nodes. Take important note of this kind of distribution, because it’s always going to exist, and it’s not a bad thing.
At some point when the network has matured and is sufficiently large enough, any reasonable person has to give in and finally say “okay fine, there’s a ridiculous amount of nodes with many channels”. If you’re a bit keen you might ask: But how many of those channels have an amount of funds worth considering? What about wealth centralization? Is the Lightning Network susceptible to being controlled by the wealthy?
Shilling has been widely discussed, yet nobody seems to agree on its effects. Meanwhile, new reviews are constantly popping up and declaring that recently issued coins will become the only currency worth trading tomorrow, if not today. This digital economy is setting new challenges for the crypto community as a lot of unverified information overwhelms users. It is time to shed light on the sources that are damaging the upcoming decentralized future.
To clarify, shilling is the digital activity of spreading information around a specific coin to trigger community excitement and, as a result, to make prices go up. When an information bubble is overheated and pops, the prices go down and the trust of (and in) the community might be lost. This essentially happens because bad actors are more interested in pumping and dumping than they are in creating sustainable investments.
In the digital world information has become an asset. Information may help build bridges between communities, but it can just as easily make the walls of a fortress collapse. Despite the fact that crypto-communities are spread all over the globe, they are still unfortunately fragmented in small groups. Policy makers seem to be constantly adopting regulations that contradict each other, and other countries, all over the world. As Singapore continues blockchain propagation, China is taking the technology under control. The war between privacy coins ETH and EOS is still far from a happy end. Thus, unbiased and easily accessable information about crypto technologies is needed to engage more users and make the digital economy more stable.
New to a crypto community participants are looking for absolutely every piece of information, from Whitepapers to One Pagers, official social networks available online and more to make a decision on which coin to invest in. This information is hard to extract and compare as because it is not structured. The number of Blockchain wallet users worldwide doubled in the last year and overcame 24 mln in 2018. As new investors enter the digital world, they are often relying on the format that used to be most common, bloggers. Bloggers give an overview on risky assets with a high rate of return in a friendly way without complicated linguistic turnovers and specific terms. This is the best time (and easiest path) for shillers to enter the game and give advice to stack the odds in favor of the specific coin they are investing in and trying to push.
Bloggers act as a third party that delivers unique content while sharing their experience and helping people to navigate through information. The most popular social network, Facebook, has more than 2 bln users. Youtube follows Facebook in popularity with 1.5 bln active users. Twitter only has 300 mln users, but it also benefits from greater interaction within the community.
Based on our own research using YouTube analytics and personally approaching influencers for their services, we’ve compiled the following data in conjunction with sources that wish to remain anonymous:
One of the most popular crypto blogs on Youtube is followed by over 300k users. On average a blogger is followed by 50k active users who are driven by the desire to find out where to invest. As anticipated, investing advice is delivered in a friendly way that is coupled with promises.
Diving deeper, it appears that bloggers are spreading unverified information in a fruitful format to inspire crypto community to follow a coin and to invest in it. Why did they pick a particular coin if they don’t have expertise in financial analysis or the industry they are promoting? A video production is sponsored by a client, specifically a coin owner who ordered media coverage for a particular price. A blogger is available in social networks for further negotiations on price, length of the video, and additional features.
Prices for a review start from $1000 and can reach $50,000 for a media campaign. Different packages for services are available depending on the options a client wants to have. Basic review videos on Youtube made by a blogger with 20k followers and an average of 2,000 views per video costs $4,000. A client is free to add animation and effects for $6,000 to make the project look more shiny.
If a client wants a coin to be placed on other social platforms with more than 50k followers, the price might reach $25,000. This includes one full review video, sponsorship audio disclaimer removal, two 30 second placements at the beginning of two different daily crypto updates and 5 promotional tweets. A client might choose one platform where to advertise. Posts on Twitter cost $3,000 in a community followed by 3,500 users.
This might seem like a fair price for expanding a community and helping a coin to trend, if bloggers complete the research that investment funds are doing on a regular basis. However, all that bloggers are asking for is a link to a project website and prepayment in a liquid currency.
What was posted in the Internet will always be there. Bloggers do not monitor the project they shilled, however, and dead coins are tracked and listed on many websites.
Bitpaction was announced to be a fully decentralized international blockchain assets exchange. Almost 15 thousand followers trusted and were likely to invest in the project, and it was recently listed as a scam. What made crypto wallet users invest in such a project?
How could one resist the temptation to follow the project after reading such positive feedback? This tool is far more powerful and convincing than an article on a crypto media website as these bloggers have the same background.
Have a look at the accounts – they are consistently promoting other coins that might be the next to be listed as scam coins.
To protect potential investor from unverified information one is advised to go to websites that publish scam projects and see if these projects were reviewed in the blog that seemed so shiny at first glance. This easy step might save time, money, and trust in the crypto community. Crypto investors are trying to monitor new projects entering the market, although it’s hardly possible without rating systems based on blockchain technology to take the best of the data retrieved from user experiences.
We’ve created an infographic to better explain this idea to you:
A recommendation system is a good source of information if it is not biased due to emotions, which social networks tend to be filled with. In order to make a decision on whether a coin is worth investing in or not, structured information is needed to be properly analyze the project.
Rateonium is on its way to become a third party that connects companies and followers on a scalable feedback platform. The network eliminates social media effects that propagate shilling: here’s how.
The network approves only reviewers who’ve tried out a project to post their feedback on the platform. Those users are motivated to share their opinion rather than to promote a project. The feedback is structured to provide a powerful tool for statistical analysis as the sample is representative to accurately reflects preferences of the audience. The rating platform has a particular scale of parameters such as date, location and other key criterias approved by a company for reviewers to assess a project. These parameters help to exclude emotional posts encouraging others to invest without conducting research.
As a result the network becomes truly transparent and reliable for decision makers. Blockchain technology is used to guarantee protection of personal information with an encryption processes it uses and to redistribute rewards for providing feedback. When a review is submitted, a rating algorithm automatically generates tokens to transfer them to a user’s wallet from a company’s deposit.
Rateonium provides the market with a solution to monitor reviews of a project that eliminates biased reviews.
Verified users who bought a coin and proved it in the Rateonium platform by submitting anonymously their first-hand experiences of using, for example, an alpha service or communicating with a project team. There is a reward transferred inside the platform in Rateonium coins (RTO). Afterwards, project owner can analyse reviews to continue developing a project in respect to the given feedback.
The insurance of trust concerning verified reviews made systematically and driven by economic desires to share real knowledge about a project is a key component of the crypto world. Rating systems based on blockchain technologies are able to eliminate information asymmetry for crypto investors, helping them to make a final decision based on data rather than on emotions.
Also, Rateonium systems could expand way further than the crypto world. It could make it possible to review companies registered on the platform from almost every industry ranging from oil manufacturers to high-tech corporations. If a company cares about the exponential growth of its community, there can be a place where the feedback coming from each client is heard and is taken seriously.
Information is spreading way faster than consequences are taking place. Today’s profit converts into tomorrow’s loss.
The digital economy is accelerating with investment decisions based on data and verified information that was parsed from decentralized sources,. Only when we start seeing the whole picture, not just the aggregated bits that depict the huge potential of the project, will we become truly informed investors in this digital economy.
Hedera Hashgraph, a U.S. based distributed public ledger that plans to offer a cryptocurrency, a file storage service and a smart contract platform, has raised $100 million from institutional and has announced a valuation of $6 billion.
Hedera Hashgraph, a U.S. based distributed public ledger that plans to offer a cryptocurrency, a file storage service and a smart contract platform, has raised $100 million from institutional and has announced a valuation of $6 billion.
The company announced on Twitter that it is currently offering tokens at $0.12, the same amount that investors – including institutional investors, employees and management – paid in its recent funding round. The price offering reflects a $600 million valuation as a 10% first-year circulating supply.
A company source noted in response to a tweeted question that the source code will be open review, but not open distribution. The distribution will be limited to ensure stability and prevent forking.
The platform plans to launch its network in the next month and provide early access to certain partners.
Crowdsale Targets $20 Million
The current crowdsale hopes to raise $20 million, the company noted on its website. The accredited investor verification process began on Aug. 1 and will complete by Aug. 1 or when the target is reached. The offering will be conducted according to SEC regulations as a private placement.
Some tweeters questioned how a $6 billion valuation can be justified for an unproven technology.
Nearly 200 Hedera Hashgraph “ambassadors” have run over 80 meetups in cities worldwide, reaching 5,000 attendees, the company noted on its website.
The platform recently joined the Trusted IoT Alliance, an open source software consortium organized to create a secure and scalable Things (IoT) ecosystem.
Working through the consortium, Hedera Hashgraph plans to work with Fortune 500 companies and startup companies to leverage its consensus algorithm to scale and secure IoT ecosystems.
Zaki Manian, the alliance’s executive director, said the alliance has noticed “tremendous demand” from its members to test Hedera Hashgraph, especially to deliver a virtual twin for each IoT device in its ecosystem.
Creating a virtual twin for each device on a distributed ledger will allow organizations to build a trusted IoT ecosystem linking metadata, device identities and cryptographic registration, Manian said. Such trust is critical for payment, government, and enterprise applications that stand to benefit from a trusted IoT.
TrakInvest, a virtual trading platform to issue tokenized academic certifications, data systems and reputation systems, has announced it will use Hedera Hashgraph to develop different features on its app. TrakInvest plans to create a virtual decentralized system to bring academic certifications to Asian institutions will utilize the Hedera Hashgraph DLT.
“[Bitcoin has] had a pretty good run from $5,800 up to $8,300, $8,400 or so. So while it might seem crazy to the legacy markets and the bitcoin world, this is just a normal correction.” He further added: “I think this is a good environment. I think the holdup is structural within the ecosystem. It’s just not quite ready for prime time yet.”
“We’ve seen multiple companies like Fidelity, like BlackRock looking into it. There’s definitely more of a buzz of more money coming into this sector.”
“We’re in an environment where there’s less regulation and this is the best opportunity to get something new through.”
“I think at the end of the day that the SEC wants to keep people interested in the financial markets and if retail continues to ask for these particular products (ETFs), at some point they are going to have to approve one of them.”
“In fact, the first time that I met the Chairman, I walked into a heated discussion he was having with an attorney in my office about the legitimacy and viability of cryptocurrencies. I was taken aback, honestly, about how much thought he had given to this space and the issues surrounding that. And what I have learned in the time working with him is that he has given every single issue that he has confronted that same dedication and thought process.”
“I want to go back to separating ICOs and cryptocurrencies. ICOs that are securities offerings, we should regulate them like we regulate securities offerings. End of story.”
“From my perspective, we need to be mindful of what our role is, and it’s not to be the ones who decide which innovations and which technologies get through and which ones don’t. I think that’s a very dangerous position to put ourselves in, and I think it really does harm investors because it denies them opportunity.”
“I’m not taking a view whether bitcoin is going to succeed or fail. I’m excited by the fact that people are thinking of new ways to do things. Bitcoin is one of those things, blockchain is one of those things, other cryptocurrencies – but again I’m not weighing on any particular innovation or any particular asset.”
“If someone is trying to raise money for a legitimate project, as long as the person explains what he’s trying to do and what he’s going to do with the money that reveals everything material that investors need to know – I don’t think we should stand in the way.”
Canaan Creative, also known as Avalon, unveiled the world’s first Bitcoin mining TV in its newest product release on July 31st.
The TV will be equipped with a built-in bitcoin mining chip, complete with an Android compatibility for mobile control. Listing by Canaan shows that the TV will use A3210 16nm ASIC chips, which hold a hashrate of 2.8 Terahash. For comparison, Canaan’s most powerful rig can process 11 trillion hashes per second. The Canaan Creative AvalonMiner Inside TV set can be controlled by voice commands and can calculate mining profitability in real-time. The ‘solo mining‘ based television product will also be 43 inches and 4K, meaning that it will feature more than 8 million pixels.
The announcement comes after the company submitted an IPO application in Hong Kong in May, which is expected to raise up to $1 billion. The TV set forms part of Canaan’s plan to build a broader user base and enable more home appliances to be used as part of the next generation of blockchain technology. Additionally, the company mentioned the risk of having a single product line in its Hong Kong filing. The addition of the TV to its portfolio can be seen as a way to combat this risk.
Canaan generated 1.3 billion yuan (about $205 million USD) in revenue in 2017, a 27-fold increase from the year earlier. Its profit in 2017 was 361 million yuan, up more than 230-fold from 2015, according to its filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. I 2017, Canaan sold almost 300,000 Avalon mining machines, tripling the number from a year ago. The US and Sweden were among its biggest overseas markets, which accounted for 8.5 percent of its sales for the year.
Their much bigger rival Bitmain was also reportedly seeking a listing in Hong Kong, with a US$12 billion value at a pre-initial public offering funding round. If you ever thought bitcoin mining was a passing fad, just look at the growing hashrate power being contributed from around the world as well as the world's most valuable cryptocurrency-related company Bitmain and their $1.1 billion profits.
Thomson Reuters, a well established mass media company based in Canada, has entered into a partnership with CryptoCompare, a crypto tracking resource. Thomson Reuters, which has an impressive international presence in media will now receive trading information on 50 distinct crypto coins from CryptoCompare.
This data is necessary for the financial platform, Eikon belonging to Thomson Reuters which is directed towards the institutional investors. In the press release, Reuters' strategy in innovation and blockchain director Sam Chadwick has mentioned, “decline in the price of many of the leading cryptocurrencies during 2018” has not laid any impact on the “increasing demand from our customers for pricing coverage of the major names.”
The data would provide the users to get a holistic view of the market based on crypto assets. This would facilitate proper price prediction with much accuracy and probability. It has been stated in the press release by the CEO of CryptoCompare, Charles Hayter, "As the digital asset markets mature, we see a fast-growing demand from the institutional investor community for comprehensive, real-time and global market data, which can be trusted as the basis for investment decisions, said Charles Hayter, CEO and Founder of CryptoCompare. We are excited to enter into this partnership with Thomson Reuters, as we have always sought to provide transparency to this market. This partnership provides a great opportunity for the institutional investor community to access not only our data, but also to benefit from our experience and insight."
An upsurge in interest has, indeed, been seen among the institutional investors in the current year. Reuters and MarketPsych Data have already entered into a distinct partnership for conducting supervision of cryptocurrency. This has eventually enabled tracking of 100 digital currencies with the help of the data in sentiment data pool of this media company since the last month.
As informed by the press release, the data of Reuters would be derived from “wide variety of trusted exchanges”without mentioning timeframe of the commencement. In March 2018, Bitcoin [BTC] sentiment data was launched by Reuters to the MarketPsych Indices [TRMI]. This enables to deduce data since 400 media sites and news are scanned which are linked with cryptocurrencies.
The reason behind Heart being so deeply upset can be linked to his upsetting experience with IOTA, where he has lost his money. “I have literally seen my money appear and disappear with my own eyes.” A mere “testnet” as he calls it, Heart is of the opinion that it makes people lose millions of their dollars, which they never get back.
“It is not a wallet. It does not store anything. It is a piece of node software," the crypto investor said.
Insecure number generator will make individuals lose all the money if they invest in the same. It has a node interface, “where you somehow magically generate your own key. So, you generate your own key with your extremely weird perimeter that doesn’t make any sense and then that’s now not only the seed that generates your future private keys in public key pairs but also, it is how you enter your public key wallet,” the serial entrepreneur added.
Money management firm VanEck has responded to the SEC’s concerns over bitcoin exchange-traded funds (bitcoin ETF) in a letter to the regulator made public on the agency’s website.
Addressed to Dalia Blass, director of the SEC’s division of investment management, the letter tackles the five points of order from the SEC’s previous communication with the industry, namely: valuation, liquidity, custody, arbitrage, and potential manipulation.
On this issue, the company states that it does not see valuation as a “novel issue” for a futures-based bitcoin ETF because it is already common practice to use futures to build an investment profile in an asset.
The valuation of such contracts VanEck says, is a well-established practice, with more than 100 exchange traded products currently listed on U.S. exchanges basing their value on futures contracts. In the company’s opinion, prices from CBOE and CME are enough to adequately determine an ETF’s net asset value (NAV).
Responding to concerns about the proposed ETF’s liquidity, VanEck points out that the bitcoin market is a very liquid one, with an average trading spread of less than five basis points. It also makes the point that the bitcoin futures market has been efficient against the physical bitcoin market, with the total volume of the CBOE and CME coming up to $200 million.
The company also mentions that it has no intention for its proposed ETF to invest in physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts should they become available.
Moving on to custody, VanEck restates that its ETF will not invest in physically settled bitcoin contracts, but it could engage with market players to find a solution to satisfy direct custody requirements. Until such arrangements are possible and viable, it says, the status quo remains in effect.
Speaking on the subject of arbitrage trading, VanEck’s letter states that the diversified, decentralised nature of bitcoin exchange activities allows for arbitrage trading due to price differentials and inefficiencies across different exchange platforms.
In VanEck’s opinion, bitcoin markets are not significantly more volatile than gold miner stocks or comparable equities.
An excerpt reads as follows:
“We believe that neither the volatility nor the current volume in the bitcoin futures market will inhibit the creation and redemption process by authorized participants and that these creations and redemptions will keep the proposed ETF’s market price in line with its NAV.”
In the company’s opinion, such risks with its ETF are overwhelmingly mitigated by its nature as a regulated product traded on a US exchange.
A quote from the letter reads:
“While one cannot rule out manipulation in the underlying spot market, we believe that, due to the diversified ownership and volume of trading, the market does not have major, structural vulnerabilities. Therefore, the Commission’s increased enforcement and regulatory actions can reduce the number of bad actors in a basically sound market.”
In its most significant move to achieve its goal of becoming Asia’s blockchain and FinTech hub, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), a Philippine economic zone, on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NEM, a smart asset blockchain firm.
The agreement was signed at the De La Salle University Business Law Conference 2018 held in Manila.
The MoU marks a major development in the Philippine blockchain space as it signifies NEM's penetration of the domestic market and a change in the economic ideologies. This is because even if CEZA is aggressively pushing for blockchain development inside the ecozone, market regulators, like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking at the space from a different perspective.
Last May, SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong said his agency and the BSP are nearing completion of unified cryptocurrency and blockchain rules. He made the revelation during the second general assembly of the Philippine Association of Digital Commerce and Decentralized Industry (PADCDI) as he asked stakeholders to provide input to draft an “appropriate” regulation.
This is in contrast with CEZA’s open-arms policy to blockchain projects and cryptocurrency trading and exchanges policies inside the ecozone which aims to promote the area as a FinTech hub.
On Thursday CEZA announced the issuance of a financial technology solutions and offshore virtual currency (FTSOVC) provisional principal license to Apsaras Group’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary Liannet Technology Ltd. This is the third FTSOVC issued by the SEC out of hundreds of applicants. CEZA said it would limit the number of crypto exchanges inside the zone to 25.
CEZA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Raul Lambino said that his dream of transforming the country like Silicon Valley's counterpart in Asia is now a step closer than before.
Lambino said he expects all the blockchain and fintech projects in CEZA to create an estimated 20,000 jobs.
NEM.io Foundation Director for expansion in New Zealand and Australia commented on the agreement:
“We want to be able to attract software developers, startups and the wider blockchain community to explore and develop use case of the NEM blockchain technology platform.”
Cryptocurrency exchange Cryptomkt announced this week that over 5,000 stores now accept three cryptocurrencies.
Chilean payment platform Flow has integrated the exchange’s payment solution, Cryptocompra, into its system. Customers shopping at merchants using Flow can now choose to pay with cryptocurrencies during the checkout process.
Flow claims to currently provide service to over 5,000 stores with over 180,000 monthly transactions and over 20,000 customers.
Available now for businesses in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Europe, Cryptocompra “allows merchants to accept payments in bitcoin, ethereum and stellar cryptocurrencies quickly and easily,” Cryptomkt detailed, emphasizing:
Chileans today can access various products and services in more than 5,000 stores affiliated to Flow.cl using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through Cryptocompra.com … Client pays in cryptocurrencies, trade receives pesos, reales or euros.
On its website, Flow lists a fee of 0.90% for next-business-day payment with cryptocurrencies. By comparison, paying with credit cards using Webpay Plus or Onepay costs 4.99% to receive payment the next business day.
“You do not need to have contracts with the means of payment, Flow does it for you,” the company wrote. “Each time someone pays you, we will notify you of the payment made: We will indicate the detail of the payment made and the date on which we will transfer your money.”
Crypto exchanges in Chile have been battling with banks over the closure of their bank accounts. In April, Chile’s Court for the Defense of Free Competition (TDLC – Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia) ordered three banks to reopen the accounts of crypto exchanges, including Cryptomkt. In May, Banco Estado complied and reopened the account of the exchange.
Earlier this month, the Fourth Chamber of the Court of Appeals of Santiago ruled in favor of cryptocurrency exchange Orionx against Banco Estado for closing its account.
With the lowest amount required to become an Antiguan Barbudian via an investment being US$100,000, you now only need a little over 12 bitcoins to pay for that at current prices.
This is after Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program Act was amended by the country’s parliament allowing payments to be made using bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies. The resolution was announced by the country’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance & Corporate Governance & Public-Private Partnerships, Hon. Gaston Browne, according to Antigua News Room.
According to Browne, the decision was made with a view of making it convenient for citizenship seekers who own cryptocurrencies. And by adding this method of payment, the program will be able to attract more people from across the globe.
“And the truth is too, it expands your market because we have a number of cryptocurrency investors who may be quite willing to take up our citizenship but would only pay in cryptocurrencies,” Browne told the country’s parliament. “If you do not accept the cryptocurrency then you would be literally locked out of that market.”
Per Browne, payments made in cryptocurrencies will be converted daily to US dollars to avoid losses that may arise from volatility.
To be eligible for citizenship via Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program Act, individuals can choose to either invest in the country amounts ranging between US$400,000 and US$1.5 million or make a contribution totaling US$100,000 to the country’s National Development Fund. Additional amounts are also required to be paid based on the number of dependents one has.
As CCN has previously reported, the West Indies island state has initiated various efforts aimed at enabling a crypto-friendly environment. Last year in April, for instance, the country’s attorney general was instructed by the cabinet to draft legislation that would allow government services to be paid for using bitcoin.
At the time the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Immigration, Everly Paul Chet Greene, argued that the immutable nature of blockchain allowed for transactions to be traced and would thus serve to soften the reputation of the island state as a tax haven.
Due to its thriving financial sector as well as a large internet gaming industry, the island state has been viewed as being particularly susceptible to money laundering and other financial crimes. Greene also argued that allowing government services to be paid for using bitcoin would solidify Antigua & Barbuda’s reputation as a trailblazer in the region.
China’s Center for Information Industry Development has released its third ranking of crypto projects. Out of 31 projects, EOS remains at the top of the list while both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash have improved slightly from the previous month.
The Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, officially released its third crypto project ranking last week. The new list consists of 31 crypto projects.
The center began ranking 28 crypto projects in May. The following month it added 2 moreprojects: EOS and Nebulas. This month, one more is added, making a total of 31 crypto projects on the list. Gxchain is the latest addition.
For the latest ranking, EOS remains at the top of the list, followed by Ethereum, just like the previous month. Similarly, NEM stays at the bottom of the list. Bitcoin has moved up from the 17th place to the 16th place while Bitcoin Cash from the 28th place to the 25th place.
Debuting in fourth place, Gxchain, is a “blockchain-based decentralized data exchange” built on a stable, Yuan-linked cryptocurrency, its whitepaper describes. It is designed as a “bridge between data sources released on different platforms,” according to its website.
CCID’s ranking is based on a “comprehensive investigation and evaluation of the public chain from three aspects: basic technology, application and innovation,” according to China Electronics News Agency (Cena), the media agency headed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
“The basic technology [aspect] mainly assesses the technical level of the current public chain, including evaluation of functions, performance, security and decentralization,” the media agency detailed. “In terms of basic technical sub-indicators, EOS scored the highest.”
“The application [aspect] mainly examines the comprehensive ability of the public chain to support practical applications, including node deployment, wallet application, development support and application implementation,” Cena described. Ethereum was the CCID’s pick for this aspect.
“The innovation assessment focuses on continuous innovation in public chain open source code, including the number of contributors, code updates, and code impact,” the publication wrote, adding:
Bitcoin ranked first in terms of its global influence and high innovation activity.
Singapore Airlines, one of the world’s leading and best-rated airline operators, has launched KrisPay – a digital blockchain wallet that allows frequent fliers to convert airmiles into digital currency.Announced on Tuesday, the digital wallet app will be accessible for users of the airline’s ‘KrisFlyer’ frequent flyer program and will use blockchain technology to enable travelers to spend their air miles at retail establishments, hotels, petrol stations and other partner merchants in the island nation.
As reported previously in February, SIA will use its own private blockchain developed with technology partner Microsoft. The airline operator completed a successful proof-of-concept trail of the application in KPMG’s Digital Village in Singapore.
Available as an app on both Apple and Android platforms, SIA has laid claim to KrisPay being ‘the world’s first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet.’
Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong stated:
“By creating a miles-based digital wallet which integrates the use of miles into their daily lives, KrisFlyer members have yet another way to use miles instantly on everyday transactions.”
The blockchain-based digital wallet will allow members enable transactions ‘using as little as 15 KrisPay miles (equivalent to about S$0.10) to pay for their purchases at partner merchants, either partially or in full’, the announcement added.
Singapore’s national airline has roped in 18 merchants including retailers, restaurants and fuel stations who will accept KrisPay miles at launch.
Other endeavors in the global airline industry has seen Brisbane International Airport accepting cryptocurrencies like bitcoin at retail establishments within its terminals. German airline giant Lufthansa has invested and is partnering Swiss blockchain startup Winding Tree to use a decentralized and public Ethereum blockchain to build travel applications. Air New Zealand has followed suit in partnering Winding Tree toward developing a B2B marketplace on a public Ethereum blockchain.
The Maltese machine is located at the Quickelts head office on the Sliema seafront and opened to an event reportedly attended by a variety of market experts and blockchain enthusiasts. At the event, a demonstration on how to use the island nation’s first bitcoin ATM was provided.
As reported by Times of Malta, the ATM “allows users to both sell and purchase cryptocurrencies in real time and currently offers bitcoin and litecoin,” with more cryptocurrencies expected to be added in the not-so-distant future. Interested Maltese residents new to the cryptocurrency market may now easily supply themselves with a paper wallet and both public and private keys.
Stated Quicklets founder and CEO Steve Mercieca:
Quicklets has always been at the forefront of supporting new technologies in the market. This is the second cryptocurrency ATM the QLZH Group is hosting in its offices. We believe that this is a vision in the future showing us what one day will become an everyday means of transaction.
The ATM machine is operated my Moon Zebra, a Maltese startup specializing in the setup and operation of cryptocurrency ATMs. Mercieca said of the company:
When we were approached by Moon Zebra to set up this ATM in our head office we were immediately convinced as this falls perfectly in line with the prop-tech strategy we run our business on.
Malta isn’t the only place installing new Bitcoin ATM machines.
2133 cryptocurrency ATMs currently exist in the United States. As noted by Detroit Free Press, there were 80 bitcoin ATMs in metro Detroit and about a dozen elsewhere throughout Michigan.
Meanwhile, Canada houses 602, the United Kingdom has 166, and Austria has 144.
On June 20, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport confirmed the installation of a cryptocurrency ATM offering both Bitcoin and Ethereum — thus becoming the first European airport to offer cryptocurrency exchange options via an ATM.
While not every country in the world has a Bitcoin ATM, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find one which fits that criteria.
Gibraltar’s Stock Exchange has launched a crypto trading platform through its subsidiary the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) which has just gone live and is now open to the public.
After going through the usual AML/KYC, individuals will be able to trade bitcoin, eth and GBX’s own token, Rock (RKT), against the dollar.
Against bitcoin and eth there are a number of cryptos that can be traded in addition, including BCH, ETC and LTC.
“We have made concerted efforts to ensure that upon our public launch the GBX would host a number of leading cryptocurrencies and tokens to ensure utility for the trading community,” Nick Cowan, CEO of the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange says before adding:
“We are already looking forward to making significant additions to this offering in the future as we continue to make sustained progress in offering users the most comprehensive trading options possible.”
They appear to be open to the global public, with the platform being a Digital Asset Exchange as well as “a global listing and token sales springboard for utility tokens that have satisfied a strict due diligence and admissions process.”
They held an ICO earlier this year, with RKT’s market cap currently standing at $30 million. That token has a number of uses in the platform. Trustnodes is told:
“The primary medium of exchange for trades on the GBX platform will be the GBX-generated Rock Token (RKT).
RKT are ERC-20 compliant utility tokens and can be used to pay trading fees; listing and sponsor fees; and for issuer staking on the GBX.
They shall also grant holders early access to token sales hosted on the GBX GRID and reduced trading fees on the Digital Asset Exchange.”
They further say that “the platform can now bring token sale projects from inception, through the token sale, and all the way to listing on the exchange,” with token sales performed through their platform potentially also listed on the exchange.
The Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) is a European Union regulated stock exchange, suggesting that any such token sale would pass relevant regulations, with this being the first platform of its kind where token sales and trading is offered in one.
In a Twitter post made by Co-Founder of Hong Kong Bitcoin Association (HKBA), Leo Weese, it has been noted that an Iran hotel booking agency will now be accepting cryptocurrencies. As for the reason why Iran arrived to this decision comes from Americans, as the latter has placed “sanctions on Iran’s banking system”.
Upon being invited for an interview by CryptoSlate, Weese confirmed that the Iranian hotel booking agency is none other than HotelsInIran. While most individuals are fully aware of the difficulty bitcoin and altcoins are having in terms of mainstream adoption, Weese believes that those who are in need and have no other means to conduct such transactions will be the first ones to implement the use of bitcoin.
In particular, he shared that,
“My main takeaway is that we are often looking at cryptocurrency adoption from our perspective as privileged users of the modern financial system,” he also added that most consumers have access to payment methods like “credit cards, and the companies we interact with accept them”.
Continuing on cryptocurrency adoption, Weese said that it is likely to
“increase in the upcoming years – especially if the process of obtaining efficient and secure financial services from regulated banking instituitions become difficult”.
An interesting point that was made during the interview was that the acceptance of cryptocurrency at times will be done so by force. That is, while many still refuse to use Bitcoin, there are many people that are “getting into the situation where they have to use cryptocurrencies as their only payment option”. This is exactly the case for Iran, as America pulled out of the Nuclear Deal.
Head of Iran’s Parliamentary Commission of Economic Affairs (IPCEA), Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi had voiced in a previous interview that Iran will be considering the likes of cryptocurrencies. He also discussed the possibility of switching from the SWIFT system, one that empowers sending and receiving information related to transactions of global institutions.
As per Pourebrahimi’s citation:
“[Cryptocurrency] is one of the good ways to bypass the use of the dollar as well as the replacement of the SWIFT system. They [Russia] share our opinion. We said that if we manage to promote this work, then we will be the first countries that use cryptocurrency in the exchange of goods.”
Like many countries, Iran was one to oppose cryptocurrencies altogether, but now it looks like it might be the first country to fully embrace the digital assets.
Ordinarily, an investment by one moneymaking organization into another would scarcely deserve mention, except for one fact: ownership of Founders’ Bank will rest on the blockchain, with equity issued in the form of digital tokens. News of the “decentralized and community-owned bank” rippled through the blogosphere, although no one seems quite sure what that means.
A press release accompanying Binance’s announcement declared that the new bank would hold an “Equity Token Offering” through Neufund, a blockchain company which specializes in tokenized assets. A scroll through Neufund’s platform shows several other companies tokenizing their equity.
Founders’ Bank will not be alone for long. In a just-announced partnership with the Maltese Stock Exchange, Neufund announced its intent to create a “decentralized stock exchange” for tokenized company shares. “It is the first time in history,” said Newfound CEO Zoe Adamovicz, “that security tokens can be offered and traded in a legally binding way.”
This represents a very big step for cryptofinance. For regulatory reasons, most ICOs lean as far away as they can from giving their tokens any indication of ownership or dividends, and that distance rather dilutes their value as investments.
Ironically, equity and security are often considered more logical candidates for tokenization than the average utility coin. Most shareholder functions would fit very comfortably into a blockchain smart contract. Using equity tokens, Neufield says, “it is possible to hold votes for legally binding resolutions, issue updates and reports, open further fundraising rounds, enable secondary trading of equity tokens, and perform other functions necessary for responsible corporate governance.”
Although Founders’ Bank is located in Malta, Neufund’s Token Offerings will be issued under German law. According to Neufund’s FAQ, this allows offerings from any company worldwide, and to every class of investor–however, “due to regulatory uncertainty” the platform is off-limits to US entities.
Virtual enterprises have come up before, usually in the context of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO’s) or or Companies (DAC’s). DACs were first envisioned by Dan Larimer, as a kind of corporation whose charter exists in code.
“Think of a crypto-currency as shares in a Decentralized Autonomous Corporation (DAC) where the source code defines the bylaws,” Larimer wrote in Let’s Talk Bitcoin in 2013. “The goal of the DAC is to earn a profit for the shareholders by performing valuable services for the free market.”
The most famous of these was The DAO, an enterprise so colossal and infamous that it still merits the definite article. The DAO was imagined as a giant venture capital fund, with token holders voting on investments and receiving dividends in Ether. Whether that would be a good idea or bad was never determined, as the DAO was cut short by the $70 Mln hack which ruptured the Ethereum network.
Even if it hadn’t been hacked, The DAO would likely have fallen afoul of regulators. Other decentralized bodies have also struggled with to interface with real-world economies and laws; we’ve previously reported on Dash Ventures, a prospective capital fund whose biggest hurdle is finding a way to repay investors without actually paying dividends.
Those are problems Founders’ Bank will likely have to worry about, even if it does get regulatory approval. But there’s no indication that Founders’ Bank is pushing that far into decentralization, and Neufield’s Equity Token Offering will stay well within the boundaries of European Securities laws.
If it works out—and if the regulators allow it—the Bank could become a model for decentralized corporate governance.
Samsung is reportedly accepting cryptocurrency payments in several Baltic States using crypto payment platform CopPay.The Lithuania-based company made the announcement today. Customers in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, and Kaunas in the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania will be able to purchase Samsung smartphones, tablets, laptops, TV sets, and more with cryptocurrency.
The South Korean multinational conglomerate will be accepting crypto payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Dash, NEM, and Steem. In Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, there are three Samsung shops which take cryptocurrency payments. In Latvia’s Riga and Estonia’s Tallinn there is one Samsung store in each country. In addition to the three Baltic States, CopPay also has several merchants using its platform in Portugal. The company also announced via press release that cryptocurrency will also soon bcome an accepted method of payment on Samsung’s online stores.“There is a growing trend toward business digitalisation and allowing customers to pay for goods and services in cryptocurrency, whether at global retailers or local restaurants,” CopPay said in light of the news.Samsung is no stranger to the cryptocurrency world. In January, the electronics company revealed that it was entering the crypto mining chips industry by making them. It made the announcement in its earnings report where Samsung said growing demand for mining chips would help to boost its earnings. In April, the firm revealed a 58 per cent year-on-year growth in its operating profits in Q1 2018, which was partly driven by the demand for cryptocurrency mining chips.Not only that, but Samsung sees the potential that the blockchain has. So much so, that it is using the technology to manage its global supply. In an April report from Bloomberg, the electronics company said that the blockchain could track global shipments worth tens of billion of dollars a year. It could also cut shipping costs by as much as 20 percent.This latest move from Samsung comes at a time when the crypto market is steadily gaining mainstream ground. The market has also risen in recent days, pushing Bitcoin back up to $7,460, according to CoinMarketCap, representing a more than 19 percent increase in seven days. Such a surge in value follows Bitcoin dropping twice below $6,000 last month.However, Arthur Hayes, co-founder and co-CEO of BitMEX, doesn’t think the worst has been seen so far. In an interview with CNBC’s ‘Fast Money,’ yesterday, he said:“I think the current rally will top out close to but not greater than $10,000. Then we will fall and test $5,000. If that holds then we can rally to $50,000 by year end.”According to a February study, small business owners think cryptocurrency payments will become a reality on the high street within two years. Whereas, eToro and the Imperial College London have published new research indicating that cryptocurrencies have the potential of becoming a mainstream form of payment in the next 10 years.
Barry Silbert’s Grayscale Investments has released an income report which defies the theory that lower Bitcoin prices mean less cash flowing into cryptocurrency.
The rate of investment, especially in Bitcoin, actively increased throughout Q1 and Q2 — despite Bitcoin prices decreasing by over 50 percent during the same period. “As the investment community knows, over the last six months, the digital asset market experienced one of the largest price drawdowns since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009,” the report summarizes, continuing:
However, what is more interesting, and somewhat counterintuitive, is that the pace of investment into Grayscale products has accelerated to a level that we have not seen before […] Bitcoin continues to be the most popular position for Grayscale investors, with 63% of inflows into Bitcoin Investment Trust and 37% into Grayscale products tied to other digital assetsTweeting about the news, Silbert said he was “thrilled” by Grayscale’s performance, the vast majority of investments being for the group’s Bitcoin Investment Trust.
Twitter is on a banning spree, deleting fraudulent accounts in the millions. Yet there are still a significant number of Ethereum (ETH) scammers running fake and lookalike accounts on the platform.
Scammers often use accounts with lookalike names, which piggyback off crypto conversations on Twitter. Some of the scams are incredibly simple, asking users to send 5 ETH and get 50 ETH back.
While this might look obvious to more savvy readers, there is little doubt the scammers are profiting heavily from these frauds. And with many of these accounts posting the same comment, endlessly, throughout the day, some have suggested Twitter could be more proactive in eliminating this problem.
Samuel C. Woolley, of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, said Twitter isn’t doing enough to combat these scammers. In an interview with The Washington Post, Woolley said, “When you have an account tweeting over a thousand times a day, there’s no question that it’s a bot,” noting that “Twitter has to be doing more to prevent the amplification and suppression of political ideas.”
The scams often copy the names of notable figures from the cryptocurrency space, as well as celebrities, athletes, musicians and other high profile people. Recently, a tweet from Elon Musk received several responses from an account using his name that promoted an ETH giveaway.
Even Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver wasn’t spared. In Ver’s most recent tweet, a fake Binance account replied that it has an “upcoming partnership” with the noted angel investor.
According to media reports, Twitter has removed as many as 70 million fake user accounts from its site in May and June, as part of a concerted effort to crack down on frauds and scams on the social network.
Cryptocurrency scams of this kind have the potential to scam unsuspecting victims out of thousands of dollars, yet they persist with high visibility across crypto discussions and elsewhere on the site. While Twitter maintains they are cleaning up their act, it looks as though the ETH scammers are, as always, one step ahead.
The UK is well-placed to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy, according to a new report.
Britain has all the required resources, as well as industrial and governmental will, to become a global hub for the technology by 2022, according to analysis by the Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global and Deep Knowledge Analytics.
Blockchain is a digital ledger that provides a secure and public way of making and recording transactions, agreements and contracts; its best-known use is bitcoin, the virtual currency. The database is shared across a network of computers and becomes a long list of chronological transactions that have taken place since the beginning of the network.
Sean Kiernan, the chief executive of DAG Global, said the gap would close in the UK between the traditional financial system and the crypto economy.
“The UK is a major global financial hub and in recent years has become a fintech leader as well. At the same time, it is starting to demonstrate significant potential to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy,” he said. “The gap between the two worlds of traditional finance and crypto economy remains, but in the coming years we can expect this to lessen and eventually disappear.”
The report’s authors considered the £500m-plus worth of investments into UK blockchain companies that were made in 2017-18 and concluded Britain had the potential to become a world leader in the digital and crypto economy ecosystem within the next few years. The research was carried out in coordination with the all-party parliamentary group on blockchain.
“Blockchain has been recognised by the UK parliament as a very important and disruptive technology, and it has shown commitment to support the accelerated development of the digital economy via a variety of government initiatives,” said Birgitte Andersen, chief executive of the Big Innovation Centre.
“We are still at the early stages of the blockchain industry’s development and the huge impact it undoubtedly will have in Britain and globally.”
Trading Technologies, a firm based in Chicago, has recently announced a new partnership with a group of crypto exchanges to try to finish manipulation on their platforms. Trading Technologies has already worked with Coinbase to let professional clients trade Bitcoinfutures, so the company is not necessarily new to the crypto space.
The main company partner of the company in this new enterprise will be Coinfloor, a company from the United Kingdom. The firm will use the Score technology of Trading Technologies, a program invented to monitor the markets for any kind of unusual activityincluding manipulation.
Score also uses machine learning technology to adapt to new practices and find ways to discover people abusing the system. Score is also used by prop traders, brokers, hedge funds and other institutions that deal with the financial market.
According to the CEO of Trading Technologies, Rick Lane, a partnership could draw more professional investors to the crypto space because they could trust the environment more.
According to him, Coinfloor could use the Score technology to ensure that the integrity of its market and this could bring the people that the exchanges are more interested in: the institutional and professional traders.
Times are really changing in the market as it is becoming increasingly more regulated. As new players are entering this industry, manipulation is becoming a concern of more companies. Coinbase, as reported, is already using Trading Technologies to build new ways to supervise trading.
Another exchange, Femini, is using Nasdaq’s Smarts, a type of surveillance technology that has been used widely among Wall Street companies and it looks for criminal user behavior.
Cases of manipulation in the industry are not hard to find. While Kraken denies it, there were more than 50,000 red flags in Bitcoin trades made on the company recently and there is a study that believes that Tether was used to manipulate the price of Bitcoin last year and take it to $20,000 USD.
Coinbase said Friday that it’s looking into letting users trade five new digital coins -- Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar, Zcash and Ox -- but can’t guarantee it will list the tokens. If it does add the assets, the move would signal a turning point for Coinbase, which currently only lets customers trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin. The announcement doesn’t mean the firm has determined that the five coins aren’t securities, Coinbase said, noting that some of the assets may only be available in certain countries for legal reasons.
Former Ivory Coast captain and current Phoenix Rising striker Didier Drogba enjoyed a long and illustrious football career so far. Now he is set to become an ambassador for a cryptocurrency platform called all.me, which pledges to share advertising revenue with users.
Didier Drogba has taken on many roles both on and off the pitch. The two-time African Footballer of the Year was once the captain of Ivory Coast’s national football team.
His country also asked him to serve on a truth and reconciliation commission to help heal divisions after a civil war in 2011.
Now the former Chelsea goal scoring icon is taking on another responsibility – working with a virtual currency platform.
Drogba is now an ambassador for all.me. Founder Artak Tovmasyan described the project as:
The first ever digital platform that combines a social network with a cryptocurrency bank and a trading floor. While before digital platforms took all advertising income for themselves, now we share up to half of it with the users – depending on how active they are.
Drogba said he believes in the project “a lot” and spoke to Russia Today while wearing an all.me t-shirt.
According to the project’s website, users will get rewards for their activity, popularity, and content. Those using the platform will be able to activate an advertising account through their profile and then have ads seen by followers.
Users will get rewards in ALL.ME tokens based on a percentage of the ad cost paid by a client per view.
The company said the ALL.ME token can be used to buy things like profile themes, stickers, gifts, and monthly music subscriptions. Users can also sell tokens or exchange them for Bitcoin.
The project’s website says they were able to raise about $30.5 million dollars through four pre-sales. The ICO was postponed until Q4 2018 because the team was already able to raise enough money for the project’s implementation.
A growing number of professional football players have expressed interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi has reportedly been “digging deeper into blockchain and decentralized systems.”
Former Brazilian international Ronaldinho recently published an update about his Ronaldinho Soccer Coin (RSC). Some of his plans include creating 300 stadiums using AI, virtual reality, and blockchain, and building a soccer betting platform.
Colombian international James Rodriguez also released his new JR10 token early in the summer. Partnering up with SelfSell, Rodriguez said the offering was designed to help him cultivate new types of relationships with supporters.
The digital currency seemes to be an instant hit. Reports said the first pre-sale batch sold out in 12 seconds.
A lot of people understand the idea of investing in cryptocurrency, but what about trading? The two require different ways of thinking. For investing, it boils down to how well the technology will hold in the future. So if you’re looking to save up for your retirement fund, or want profit much further in the future, that’s where HODLing works well. That’s when you need to look at the fundamentals of a cryptocurrency and decide how you can benefit from it in the long run.
For those looking to make money now, you use a short-term strategy. That means looking for stable, high liquidity cryptocurrencies, buying when the price drops, and selling at its peak height. This is the main reason everyone touts when explaining why crypto is so lucrative, it’s much more volatile than trading stocks or traditional currency, so the potential profit (and risk) increases that much more.
This is what crypto trading is, and it does get complex, which is why there are so many crypto trading tools are out there. Here’s what’s out now and what’s coming up that can improve how you trade in crypto.
There are a lot of tools out there, and yes, you’re going to want to use a variety of them in combination, whether you’re just investing, or trading. There are lots of types of tools, exchanges where you buy crypto, wallets to store them, tools that help you keep track of your digital assets, and then more complex tools that aid in buying and selling decisions.
“Strategy is everything in crypto and part of strategy are the tools in your arsenal.”
-Peter Borovykh, RoninAi Platform
Here’s a breakdown of the types of tools out there and what’s coming up.
Exchanges are the places where you can either exchange your fiat currency for cryptocurrency, or exchange your cryptocurrency for other cryptocurrency. There are already a lot of exchanges available, as it’s the first thing you need to get into the space it makes sense that these were among the first tools developed.
There are decentralized and centralized crypto exchanges. At the moment centralized exchanges handle the vast majority of transactions but this ratio will likely to be changing.
Trades on a distributed exchange are less vulnerable to hacking, but they’re more difficult to use. Examples of decentralized exchanges are Radar Relay and Ether Delta. For beginners, Coinbase is a solid choice, but you should always look up the differences between the exchanges before getting started. There are pros and cons to all of them.
Exchanges can be vulnerable to attacks, which is why a lot of traders choose to store their cryptocurrencies in a secure wallet. Some are free, some cost money. The ideal wallet is secure, accessible, hard to lose, affordable, and easy to use. You’re going to want to figure out which features are most important to you because the perfect wallet doesn’t exist yet, though this year has seen vast improvements.
This is the fun (and scary) part. This type of tool is going to let you track the overall performance of your crypto, in other words, how much money you’re making or losing. Some exchanges and wallets have built this feature into them, but if yours doesn’t have it you’ll want to get one.
Having a way to track your portfolio is going to become necessary if you have a lot of different types of coins, or if you do frequent trades. Although it’s always a good idea to know where things stand. For those greatly concerned with security, there are manual trackers, or if that’s not an issue, automatic ones that are more convenient. Make sure you track your crypto, and there is great nifty little tool for that TrackMyCrypto, it is a chrome add on and very straightforward. A trader should use something more advanced like CoinTracking.
You don’t need advanced tools to make crypto trades, but you will want them if you’re serious about generating short term and higher long term profits. These are tools that help you make smarter decisions and minimize risk as you explore the crypto trading space. A lot of the best advanced tools are new or coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled for these tools that’ll aid in making smarter trades.
Finding a good analysis tool is really tricky. What exactly is it analyzing and what is that analysis based on?
For crypto trading you want an analysis tool that can tell you the strength of a coin, assess the bullish/bearish sentiment of a coin, how updates to blockchain protocol will affect it, and so many other factors with the ultimate goal of figuring out if it’s going to go up or down in price. When a stable coin is down, you buy knowing it’s cheap now and going to go up in price later, when it’s up a lot, you sell, knowing it’ll inevitably drop again.
That sounds a lot like the stock market, which is why so many tools like TradingView run on the same premise as stock trading tools, but crypto isn’t stock. It’s much more volatile, harder to predict, and affected by more factors and more heavily. Also keep in mind that trading stock is already complicated and those tools were never meant for beginners so unless you have extensive stock trading experience with technical analysis tools, it’s going to be difficult to fully utilize at first.
Something easier to grasp is social sentiment. If everyone thinks it’s doing well and are positive about a coin, it’s likely to go up, and vice versa for when it’s bearish (negative). Ai and machine learning work really well for assessing that much data in a brief amount of time. Analysis tools for crypto are starting to get more sophisticated, and there are going to be better ones out there that can actually interpret data for you and self-adjust algorithms for changing markets.
Right now the only one that seems to analyze and interpret both technical, crypto specific, and social data are RoninAi whose saas platform is launching this summer.
“The opportunities on the quant side are very appealing, especially if you have a team that is strong on both crypto, quantitative trading, and machine learning. You can do arbitrage, long/short, etc.”
-Paul Veradittakit, Panterra Crypto Hedgefund
Some of the portfolio management and analysis tools have this built in, but there are tools strictly meant to notify you of market changes. It’s actually much more handy to have than it sounds, especially since can’t be looking at the market 24/7. These tools are usually associated with bots (not to be confused with machine learning Ai) and run on static algorithms to serve a specific purpose. While bots can’t interpret or adjust to market changes they are highly functional for simply reporting these changes.
For people that trade without analysis tools or limited tools, this can help you spot trends. When a coin dips a couple times, especially a big dip, it likely won’t recover immediately. It might be time to sell as the trend will continue for a bit. Same with when it goes up. But do keep in mind, this is not the optimal strategy. The theory is to buy as low as possible, sell as high as possible to maximize gains. Predicting this is hard though, so notifications are one way of spotting the patterns yourself.
You can also use a crypto news aggregator like CoinBuzz for the same purpose.
Some of the above-mentioned tools have risk management built in, which is really important. If you have a stop-loss of 5% for example, then you’ll sell a coin before you lose more than 5% when it starts to dip, minimizing loss. That doesn’t work if you bought during a dip and it kept going down though, because in that case you’ll want to hold onto it for when it goes up, and then sell. Knowing when to set up this sort of automation, or notification will be extremely helpful when you’re doing heavy trades or trading several cryptocurrencies at a time.
These advanced tools aren’t meant to make crypto trading harder, even though it does sound complex. Rather, crypto trading itself requires a lot of discipline and understanding, plus the time that most of us just don’t have. These tools are meant to make crypto trading easier, but always make sure it’ll be suitable for you. If you’re beginning, experiment with what works for you carefully, don’t go all in until you get a better grasp of what your strategy will be.
One thing is certain: if you buy and sell crypto even occasionally having an external set of eyes and understanding on your trading strategy (or lack thereof) using tools can help you enhance your trades and profit.
NDAX is the National Digital Asset Exchange, a new platform in Canada that was launched on June 23. Since their launch, the team at NDAX added an option to exchange fiat currency for XRP, and they will continue to improve their portfolio by adding new cryptos on a regular basis.
NDAX has a few features that make the platform a bit different from a traditional crypto exchange platform Cryptoglobe says that “One of the interesting things about NDAX is that clients’ fiat deposits (CAD) are held in a ‘segregated bank account at a trusted Canadian banking institution.’ Another is the offer of zero deposit fees for the remainder of 2018.”
Cryptoglobe continued and said that “other competitive advantages cited by NDAX include: ‘low trading and withdrawal fees, instant ID verification, institutional level security, and deep liquidity for large transactions.’ For expedited settlement, it offers the following options: Interac e-Transfer, wire, bank draft, certified cheque and EFT/direct deposit.”
NDAX is currently supporting Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecon and XRP as well.
It’s also giving traders a lot of options for trading ahead of other competitors in Canada which have not yet secured listings for the likes of XRP.
NDAX is registered by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, and this means that investors and traders can be sure that their assets are safe and the exchange is operating within legal boundaries.
This will make sure that the community gets some solace given the increase in crypto crime that seems to be lurking around crypto exchanges for the moment.
The introduction of NDAX basically marks the new era for the crypto revolution in Canada.
As the crypto grows in Canada, the country will become famous in the crypto space, and this will provide crypto business a chance to increase their operations. This way, crypto will have a better chance for mass adoption.
Kris Marszalek, CEO and co-founder of blockchain-based startup Crypto.com is at the TechCrunch conference in Zug, Switzerland discussed his company’s new MCO Visa card that allows users to spend their cryptocurrency at over 40 million locations while offering the user benefits that he says reviles the world’s best credit cards.
Marszaleck was interviewed by CNN money about the new card which he said he had just used to buy two coffees while holding up the signature obsidian black elite card. He explained that by downloading their app which contains a wallet for both crypto and fiat currency users will be able to use the cards anywhere Visa is accepted.
The CEO spoke of Crypto.com’s mission “to accelerate the global development, adoption, and transition to cryptocurrency,” and added that with the MCO Visa card they are not only bringing utility to holders of cryptocurrency but also providing a gateway for those interested in but as yet hesitant to get into the space because of its technical aspects or volatile nature.
In addition to the standard MCO Visa card, Crypto.com is also introducing an exclusive cryptocurrency concierge service, MCO Private. This will be offered to high-net-worth clients in the crypto space, offering both specialized services and access. A few of these perks include dedicated customer service over the phone, exclusive access to crypto related events and advice and guidance through the platform.
The cards come in ice white available to those who purchase 5,000 MCO tokens or the elite, obsidian black for 50,000 MCO. The standard cards will provide benefits as well, such as; cash back rewards, referral bonuses, and airport lounge privileges.
The Crypto.com domain was first registered by University of Pennsylvania professor of computer and information science Matt Blaze in 1993 who held onto the name until he sold out to Monaco recently. Though the purchase amount has been kept confidential experts have estimated it may be worth as much as $10 million.
Speaking about the purchase of the name and the rebranding of the company Masrszeleck said:
“We will strive to deliver impact worthy of the name and build infrastructure that enables growth of the ecosystem, delivering on the promise of a decentralised future.”
For now, the MCO Visa card is finishing testing prior to availability in Asia, Europe, and the US. Its official launch is planned for later this summer.
Every month more than 300 ICOs are listed on ICObazaar. In May 91 ICOs closed public sales raising $ 2,5 bln. In Part 1 we give data on the main trends of ICO process: duration increases and more funds are coming from private and pre-sales. Part 2 is an overview of emerging fundraising methods, marketing and legal aspects.
In 2017 according to TokenData and FabricVentures report from 913 projects that had tokensale, only 435 (48%) were successful raising $5,6 bln. 131 (14%) didn’t survive this stage 347 (38%) ICOs stayed unreported with no data displayed and even websites disappearing. As a result — low trust to blockchain industry.
In 2018 the hype is over. Less startups assume they need an ICO and industry tends to get realistic. Laws and regulations are emerging, everything tends to come in order to protect investors and give project teams a more powerful foothold for development.
In May 2018 there were 195 ongoing ICOs on ICObazaar planning to close sales. In fact only 91 public sales were closed with $ 2 566 588 843 raised.
The average duration of projects in May 2018 was 42 days. While 51% of ICOs prefer to close token sale within one month, others tend to organize longer sales in several stages.
Palladium, which wants to build a regulated cryptocurrency exchange in Malta, will seek to distribute $150 million in tokens in the ICCO, scheduled to begin July 25.
Proceeds will be used to support the three core blocks of Palladium’s solution: 50 percent will go towards the acquisition of a controlling interest in a European bank; 35 percent into the formation of a regulated crypto exchange and the development of a clearing and settlement blockchain platform; and 15 percent into strategic investments in financial services and blockchain companies complementing Palladium’s business.
“We expect this project, which will create more than 100 job opportunities, to be a historic landmark and to bridge the gap between traditional financial services and cryptocurrencies,” founder and chairman Paolo Catalfamo commented.
An ICCO differs from an ICO in that investors will be able to convert tokens into company shares at a later date - in Palladium’s case, three years after the sale.
The Palladium crypto exchange will be the result of a partnership between Palladium, Unikrn and Bittrex, the premier U.S.-based digital trading platform and a leader in the global blockchain revolution. Bittrex’s technology is designed to build and power crypto trading platforms that provide reliability, scalability and security. Currently, Bittrex lists almost 200 digital tokens and works with token teams around the globe to incubate some of the world’s most innovative blockchain projects.
“We’re committed to advancing blockchain technology and identifying projects that highlight its potential benefits,” said Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara, who attended the launch event. “Our partnership will launch a new trading platform powered by Bittrex technology, and its customers will have access to the large selection of innovative utility tokens listed on Bittrex, which we chose using our industry-leading token review process. We’re excited that this project will help further increase adoption of blockchain technology and continue to expand our business globally.”
Palladium is also drawing on leading personalities in business, technology, financial services and blockchain to sit on its Board and Advisory Board. Among them are the former CEO of Microsoft Ventures, a former attorney at the US Securities Exchange Commission, and the former managing director of Credit Suisse.
Rahul Sood – founder of Unikrn, a shareholder in Palladium, and former CEO of Microsoft Ventures – said, “There's nothing like this in the history of banking or cryptocurrency. Palladium has found a way to solve some of cryptocurrency's biggest drawbacks with a single solution within existing regulations.”
Zac Cheah, the CEO at Pundi X, a crypto PoS (point-of-sale) machine manufacturer and developer, has said that the global cryptocurrency sector will be equipped with more than 100,000 crypto PoS machines by 2021.
In an interview with ZDNet Korea, Cheah said:
“In the next three years, at least 100,000 crypto PoS machines will be distributed. In the past six months, merchants have requested 25,000 crypto PoS machines from Pundi X.”
As Starbucks chairman Howard Schwartz previously said, multi-billion dollar conglomerates outside of the cryptocurrency and finance sector are currently skeptical toward digital assets like bitcoin and ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain protocol, due to their lack of merchant adoption. He said:
“I personally believe that there is going to be a one or a few legitimate trusted digital currencies off of the blockchain technology. And that legitimacy and trust in terms of its consumer application will have to be legitimized by a brand and a brick and mortar environment, where the consumer has trust and confidence in the company that is providing the transaction.”
Currently, merchants have three key issues that are preventing mainstream retail adoption of cryptocurrencies:
2.High fees / scalability
3.Lack of cryptocurrency support from existing machines
By creating PoS machines that can both support various cryptocurrencies and existing payment methods like credit card transactions, Pundi X has solved the issue of cryptocurrency integration. But, volatility and high fees still remain as key issues.
As for the high fees of cryptocurrencies, most public blockchain protocols including Bitcoin and Ethereum have made significant progress in the development of two-layer scaling solutions that are capable of processing micro-transactions or extremely small payments with nearly zero fees.
Hence, in the mid-term, the first two issues of digital assets pertaining to volatility and high fees will most likely be solved.
Cheah said that crypto PoS machines can be useful in regions like South Korea and China that already have nearly 90 percent adoption of credit cards and mobile payment applications such as Alipay, Samsung Pay, and KakaoPay, because Pundi XPOS supports mobile payment apps including Alipay, Samsung Pay, and WeChat Pay, while facilitating payments from bank-issued cards.
But, simply supporting cryptocurrencies will not be sufficient to convince merchants to switch from their existing payment infrastructure to crypto PoS machines. Cheah noted that the company’s product depends on its belief that digital assets will become the default payment method of the global economy in the long-term.
As a leading crypto exchange market that accounts for nearly 35 percent of global crypto trades, Cheah said that South Korea is one of the few key markets Pundi X will focus on in the near future.
“Given that South Korea accounts for 35 percent of global crypto trades, the demand for cryptocurrency acceptance by merchants from local investors will increase rapidly,” said Cheah.
Bitcoin investors and speculators don’t often spend their cryptocurrency holdings on goods and services. For those times it does happen, it appears luxury and expensive items are in high demand. As such, various car dealerships now accept Bitcoin payments. Stephen James BMW Group is the latest dealership to have embraced cryptocurrency.
Getting consumers and investors to spend Bitcoin is a very big challenge. Considering that the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fluctuates quite a bit every single day, there is never a good time to spend one’s holdings, by the look of things. Even so, there are a few niche markets which tend to attract a lot of Bitcoin users regardless.
Buying luxury items with Bitcoin makes perfect sense to some investors and holders. As such, various luxury good vendors have introduced the Bitcoin payment option in stores and on their websites. Ranging from jewelry to expensive cars, there are many things one can buy with Bitcoin. Assuming, that is, that one has the required BTC balance.
Speaking of cars, cryptocurrency holders have shown a strong liking to one specific brand. Lamborghinis are considered to be a status symbol in the world of Bitcoin and altcoins. Most people who have purchased any cryptocurrency or digital token in recent years hope to strike it rich and obtain a Lambo in the process. Not everyone has been successful in this regard, although there is still plenty of room for future profits.
For those Bitcoin holders looking at different car makers, buying a BMW is now an option as well. Stephen James BMW Group, a relatively large car dealership in London and Kent in the UK, now accepts Bitcoin payments for its products. This is a rather surprising development, as it seemed most of the cars-for-Bitcoin deals were found within the United States, whereas the rest of the world was lagging a bit behind.
It is interesting to note that the dealership is accepting Bitcoin through BitPay. That firm remains the world’s leading Bitcoin payment processor at this time, and it even added support for Bitcoin Cash transactions not that long ago. It is unclear whether Stephen James BMW Group will accept BCH as well, but doing so is not a top priority for the company right now.
This news brings another use case for Bitcoin to market, albeit one that will remain out of most people’s reach for some time to come. Buying an expensive car is very difficult with any form of money, and given Bitcoin’s price decline in 2018, it seems that currency isn’t offering many benefits in this regard. Even so, it is an interesting development for the cryptocurrency industry.
The year 2018 will be remembered by a global scandal around Facebook and the transfer of user data to third parties.
At first, the market was shaken by the information that the most popular social network gave access to user data to third-party applications, in particular to the UK-based Cambridge Analytica, suspected of using this information to interfere in the presidential elections in the USA in 2016. Later it became known that Facebook раssed the data of its users to 60 major tech producers such as Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft and others.
Information, especially personal information, becomes a highly liquid asset, in great demand with the companies that use it for marketing. In this case, the users do not get any advantage from the transfer of their data.
Another new issue related to personal data is the burden for the budgets of the companies that are often obliged to preserve the information about their customers either on paper on in cloud storages which are, similar to any other centralised service, more vulnerable to hacker attacks and data leaks.
The Deloitte consulting company studied the expenditure of financial companies relating to execution, verification and preservation of paper documents on the example of a South African bank and discovered that the cost of paperwork, requiring manual input and verification of information, as well as keeping them, amount to 350 million rands ($25.8 million) yearly. Almost 40% of this amount is spent on the execution of documents.
The cоst of paperwork for American companies is at least $8 billion per annum. According to the estimate of PWC, on the average the execution of one document costs American agencies $20. At the same time, verification of many types of data such as certificates, diplomas, and contracts, is made difficult by the absence of an integrated database. The multilevel blockchain platform ENDO aims to solve both issues and make information exchange safe, comfortable and profitable to all the parties, including those whose data is used for the aims of marketing.
ENDO is a decentralised platform allowing safe custody and transfer of data whose authenticity is guaranteed by the public blockchain. The business will be able to reduce paperwork costs, making such documents as acts, invoices, bills of exchange and letters electronic and cryptography-protected, and private persons will be in a position to certify their identification documents, marriage and birth certificates, driving permits and diplomas with the help of the ENDO blockchain platform. The platform provides increased information security: thanks to the cryptography and decentralised storage, the risk of leaks is minimised. The ENDO company carried out an experiment, connecting a freight company to its corporate service ENDO Workflow. In just two months, the use of platform reduced the probability of cargo loss to 15%.
The ENDO blockchain platform follows the DPoS (Delegated Proof Of Stake) algorithm and Byzantine Fault-tolerant Consensus, characterised by high bandwidth and, besides than, enabling cheap storage and blockchain data processing. Two ENDO solutions, ENDO Docs and ENDO Base, are based on the Graphene blockchain platform. Besides, there are plans to deploy future solutions based on the fork of the EOS platform, launched in early June 2018. For private networks, the Hyperledger blockchain will be used.
A key difference between ENDO and a great number of other projects that promise to protect data storage by cryptographic methods is that data would be stored both in centralised cloud services (Dropbox etc.), local services and decentralised ones (Filecoin, Sia etc.). It is the company that chose to join the ENDO platform that would make the choice.
Such services are already partially offered by other blockchain projects: for instance, several Greek universities choose Cardano blockchain for diploma verification and storage, and IBM launched the TrustChain blockchain platform to track diamonds, enabling its participants to create, update and check records of provenance and participation in purchase and sale of precious gems and metals. However, ENDO stands out by being universal and having a simple interface. The architecture of the platform makes it easy to use and applicable in many fields: from visa centres, insurance companies and banks to hospitals, law enforcement agencies and educational institutions.
The users that agree to participate in marketing campaigns will also touch their benefit from offering their personal data. They will get a share of the money that the company earns by selling the result of its research. The final decision to participate in market research will be taken by the users themselves: they are free to refuse their personal data being sent to the third party.
Rank and file users will also find useful the ENDO Reviews application, to be launched in 2019. This is a service of feedback about companies, products and services that records the feedback in the blockchain and does not allow deleting and editing them, as dishonest sellers on popular traditional websites often do.
The EToken (ET) will the the unit of measure in the ENDO ecosystem. The general amount of tokens issued will not exceed 100 million. 40 million tokens will be distributed during the token sale that would continue until 25 August 2018. During the token sale, tokens are sold $0.375 apiece, with special discounts of up to 30% for early or large investors. After the end of the token sale, coins would be sold $1 apiece.
Unlike many other blockchain projects, the ENDO company enters the world market with a partially created service. The private launch of the test platform and first integrations with companies took place in 2017. In the beginning of 2018, over 20 organisations cоnfirmeed their willingness to join the platform.
The project team brings together IT specialists and businessmen from other branches of economy – real estate, marketing, investment business. The founder of ENDO is Yan Palmachinskiy, an IT entrepreneur whose portfolio includes the creation of the international IT company “Take IT Easy”.
CCN reported in June that Australian blockchain startup Blockbid pioneered a new risk management and identity verification system that substantially reduces the risk of identity fraud. Using data aggregated from a 1.4 billion-strong identity database held by ThreatMetrix with a LexisNexis database of potentially high risk identities, the service establishes customer identities so as to satisfy strict KYC and AML conditions.
Blockbid CEO David Sapper is an experienced tech industry founder who has successfully exited two tech startups he previously founded. I wanted to know what makes him particularly confident about Blockbid, and I also wanted to pick his brain about some wider issues in the crypto market, so I had a chat with him recently.
CCN: A lot of the cryptosphere started out explicitly to further the cause of privacy and anonymity. Blockbid is going in the exact opposite direction. How is this going down with your contemporaries in the cryptosphere, and do you think that crypto is going to have to reinvent itself some day?
With cryptocurrency in order to bridge to fiat, there always needs to be a level of identification when interacting with regulated currency such as AUD, USD…etc. Until now the bridge has always been a bit blurred and many exchanges have allowed multiple accounts for a single user or haven’t confirmed their identity/bank accounts for users attached to profiles on their exchange, which has allowed fraudulent activity to occur. We endeavour to be one of the first exchanges to be able to provide the bridge between fiat and crypto that is compliant with regulations for ourselves as a business, bank requirements and user privacy requirements. LexisNexis risk solutions provides us the ability to weed out any bad actors. This partnership was a key ingredient for protecting our users and to provide a solid platform for regulatory oversight, which we feel is needed to provide the security and peace-of-mind for new users entering this industry.
CCN: What are your thoughts about the future of cryptocurrency as a whole, and specifically about crypto trading? Are we likely to see a mass entry in to the market by traditional capital anytime soon?
In the past twelve months alone we have seen over 40 cryptocurrencies exceed a market cap over $1 billion and more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies launch since April – It is easy to see that popularity in the market is growing and therefore so too will intrigue around crypto trading. However, with popularity comes added security risks.
Exchanges will continue to be vulnerable only if they fail to implement the correct security regulations but for those taking the right steps in order to protect both themselves and their users, growth of the market will no doubt continue for the foreseeable future. Cryptocurrencies are being acknowledged by the masses as future of financial liquidity and a faster, cheaper solution for transferring money globally. This will only continue to grow.
CCN: Tell us a bit about the watchlists and datasets that are used in Blockbid’s partnership with LexisNexis solutions. Where do they come from, how do they work and why can users be sure that the system is fool-proof?
No system is fool-proof but we’re working with industry leaders in order to create best-practice principles and guidelines. The recent acquisition of ThreatMetrix by LexisNexis Risk Solution provides us with the ability to merge physical and digital identification as a first of its kind for cryptocurrency exchanges. We find that these type of biometric, device identification, behavioural analyses, which is all part of solutions implemented by banks and financial institutions today is the best-practice solution that we can implement and bring to the cryptocurrency market in order to put ourselves ahead of our competitors as a major differentiator, in-line with our principle of allowing our users to ‘Trade with Confidence’.
CCN: When you fully launch later in the year, what do you expect to happen in terms of your impact on the crypto trading space?
We’re entering in to what is an already crowded market, however we are doing so with a very different offering – not only do we implement strict security protocols, but we’re designed to facilitate the highest volume of trades from the most cryptocurrencies on one platform, all with a single login. Our features are what really set us apart from the current offering.
Our main points of differentiation are our security protocols and insurance, 24 hour support desk, low fees, and our high number of crypto and fiats available with unlimited deposits and withdrawals.
CCN: What are your thoughts about the Australian cryptosphere? Is it on its way to becoming a hub of blockchain-based innovation like South Korea? What role is Blockbid playing in the development of the crypto economy in Australia?
As a proudly Australian owned and operated company, we feel that it is important to foster the growth of the Aussie cryptocurrency and Blockchain industry as much as we can by providing greater accessibility to the market. Therefore, our aim is to list as many Australian coins as possible to make it easier for Aussie traders to buy and sell local coins in AUD. We’re listing 19 Australian projects, and providing a pair directly to AUD for each. This is more than any other exchange worldwide and for some of the coins listed they will be the only exchange these coins are trading on. We’re also focused on building strong strategic partnerships within the blockchain/crypto community in Australia with industry and government bodies such as AUSTRAC, ADCA, Blockchain Association of Australia, and community leaders such as Nugget News and The Crypto Den, as well as many others.
It's no secret that most mainstream economists don't think too highly of cryptocurrencies. Not only have Bitcoin, Ethereum and the rest produced the "greatest bubble in history," but they're "neither a serious method of payment nor a good way to store capital" — at least according to the Bank of America and Nouriel "Dr Doom" Roubini, respectively.
However, while traditional financial experts have spent countless hours complaining that the volatility of cryptocurrencies renders them unviable as actual currency, it is possible to use them as money in a wide variety of places and to spend them on everything from pizzas to shoes.
But which cryptocurrency is the most usable as money? Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer to this question is Bitcoin, simply because it's accepted as a payment more widely than any other cryptocurrency. But as this analysis will show, other currencies are being increasingly accepted by retailers and companies, and given their superior scalability, they may end up overtaking the original cryptocurrency in the coming months and years.
There's no single authoritative list of all the companies in the world that accept cryptocurrencies as payment, although there are a number of aggregators and websites that offer a general overview of who is accepting what. The most helpful is arguably Virtual Coin Squad, since even though it doesn't quite boast the most extensive catalogue of merchants now accepting cryptocurrencies, it actually lists companies together with all the cryptocurrencies they accept. As such, it provides a clear insight into which cryptocurrency is the most widely used as a means of payment.
54 major companies currently accept cryptocurrencies, according to Virtual Coin Squad (although the real number is much higher), and only two of them — MazeFit (sportswear) and Shiny Leaf (cosmetics) — don't accept Bitcoin. The other 53 – including Microsoft, Expedia, Mozilla, and Shopify – all accept BTC, while 25 accept Litecoin, 13 accept Ethereum, 14 accept Bitcoin Cash, 12 accept Monero, and 15 accept Dogecoin. In other words, Bitcoin is the most usable cryptocurrency as a method of payment, for the simple reason that any merchant that accepts any crypto is almost certain to accept Bitcoin, while the same can't be said for other coins.
Of course, a list of only 55 companies isn't exactly exhaustive, but there are other, more extensive resources which corroborate this picture. UseBitcoin is a directory of over 5,000 businesses and retailers that accept Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies), and while these aren't viewable in a table that displays which merchants accept which currency, dipping in and out of specific listings reveals much the same principle: virtually all of them accept Bitcoin, but most of them don't accept other cryptocurrencies.
The same goes with the information provided by Coinmap, which enables users to search a map of the world for businesses that accept cryptocurrencies. Here, a search of New York City, for example, reveals 136 such businesses within the central area of the city — overlapping Manhattan and Brooklyn. Many of these deal exclusively in Bitcoin, such as a number of delicatessens — e.g. Brooklyn's Tony Deli, Big Boy Deli, and G Line Deli — that house their own Bitcoin ATMs.
Admittedly, a growing number of businesses worldwide are now accepting more than just Bitcoin, as explained to Cointelegraph by Bach Nguyen, the community manager at the Prague-based SatoshiLabs, which runs the Coinmap website:
"If I can speak for Prague and Czech Republic, we have been witnessing wider acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Places that have accepted Bitcoin before started accepting Litecoin or Ethereum. There are even ATMs which offer Bitcoin Cash. Though, Bitcoin is still dominant — it is the cryptocurrency that gets implemented first."
Not only does this growth in acceptance of altcoins testify to the growing public familiarity with crypto, but it also results from the increasing prominence of cryptocurrency payment services tailored for businesses — such as Coinbase Commerce, which launched in February and which enables merchants to accept payments in multiple digital currencies. However, such merchants still remain in the minority — for the most part — once again signalling that if you want to pay your way though the world using only one cryptocurrency, your best bet is still Bitcoin.
There's a variety of other less direct evidence that also reveals the superior popularity of Bitcoin in comparison to other cryptocurrencies. For instance, Cambridge University published its Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study in April 2017, which for the first time provided a systematic study of alternative payment systems. While it didn't focus exclusively on payments by consumers to companies, it nonetheless discovered that 86 percent of cryptocurrency payment companies use Bitcoin as their primary payment rail for cross-border payments.
Such payments cover a variety of uses — from international money transfers to business-to-business payments and merchant services — so they don't directly equal evidence that, say, Bitcoin is accepted by 86 percent of the companies that let customers pay using cryptocurrency. Still, they indicate that Bitcoin is the most used cryptocurrency for payments, which in turn would indicate that anyone wanting to buy something with crypto would be best advised to hold on to some Bitcoin, since the system is currently geared more for dealing with Bitcoin payments than with those in any other digital currency.
That said, it may not stay this way for long. Aside from the increasingly popular range of payment services that let companies charge using a number of cryptocurrencies, moves have been made in various nations that would promote the use of crypto more generally for use with payments. In South Korea, the country's largest exchange, Bithumb, has been securing partnerships with a number of online platforms, including WeMakePrice and Yeogi Eottae. Under the terms of these deals, the platforms involved will be able to accept payments in a range of currencies (including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and ICON), while Bithumb is also pushing hard for such deals and initiatives to be accepted elsewhere in South Korea.
In the U.S., a handful of states have also been considering legislation that would enable citizens to pay their taxes and license fees in cryptocurrencies. In Arizona, a bill was passed in May that compels the state to "study whether a taxpayer may pay the taxpayer's income tax liability by using a payment gateway, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin or any other cryptocurrency." A very similar bill was introduced in Georgia in late February and in Illinois in April, and while neither have been passed yet, their acceptance would be a considerable a boost for cryptocurrency in general as a means of payment — not just for Bitcoin.
Even though Bitcoin leads the pack when it comes to the number of merchants actually using it right now, this also doesn't necessarily make it the most 'usable' cryptocurrency, at least not when its inherent technical properties are considered.
Take its scalability issues, which have been waiting for a lasting solution ever since the currency blew up 2017. Forgetting its Lightning Network upgrade — which has been launched only as a beta and so isn't yet widely used — it can process a maximum of seven transactions per second, leaving it quite far behind Visa's maximum of 24,000. Most recently, this led the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) to issue a report which concluded that cryptocurrency — specifically proof-of-work currencies such as Bitcoin — aren't scalable enough to serve as money in a global economy.
It therefore can’t be guaranteed that Bitcoin will be usable at an appreciably large scale, and that one of its rivals won’t overtake it at a certain point as the most functional cryptocurrency. For example, Bitcoin Cash — which was born when developers forked away from the main Bitcoin blockchain on August 1, 2017 — now has a 32MB block size limit. This is 3200 percent bigger than Bitcoin's block size of 1MB, giving it a maximum capacity of around 224 transactions per second.
It was largely in view of its superior speed that entrepreneur and Bitcoin-Cash cheerleader Roger Ver said in April:
"Bitcoin Core is having negative merchant adoption around the world. Bitcoin Cash is having positive merchant adoption around the world."
However, Bitcoin Cash has a few drawbacks of its own — e.g. its transaction fees aren't always cheaper than Bitcoin's — and it isn't the only rival to Bitcoin's crown of being the crypto-payment method of choice. Ripple, for instance, doesn't use mining in its consensus mechanism and can handle a maximum of 50,000 transactions per second, while Litecoin — which is a fork of Bitcoin Core — is four times faster than its older counterpart, due to its shorter block interval time. Similarly, May saw Ethereum release the first version of a system that will see it move to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which could potentially see its scalability and transaction speed increase significantly.
While the foregoing shows that other cryptocurrencies may hold the key to the future, it doesn't necessarily address the popular conception among some high-profile critics that Bitcoin and its rivals aren't 'real money.' In a now (in)famous blog post trashing blockchains, for instance, Kai Stinchcombe wrote in April that the "number of retailers accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment is declining," basing this sweeping assertion on a single Morgan Stanley report which found that, out of 500 "top online merchants," the number of them accepting Bitcoin as payment decreased — between 2016 and 2017 — from five to three.
However, Bach Nguyen of SatoshiLabs informed Cointelegraph that the overall number is actually increasing. “A year ago, there were 9085 venues registered [with Coinmap],” he states. "Today, there are 12,801 venues registered.”
This translates to a rise of 3,716 in a single year, and while 12,801 is probably a drop in the ocean compared to the total number of businesses in the world, it shows that crypto is being used — and increasingly used — as real money, regardless of its status in the eye of the law or among financial experts.
That said, widespread, mass adoption of crypto as a method of payment is still many years away, although some analysts believes it's only a matter of time. EToro crypto analyst Mati Greenspan tells Cointelegraph:
"It is inevitable and is already happening in some parts of the world. Over time economies tend to go through periods of prosperity and hardships. As long as things are stable, there isn't much need for an independent currency. But in places where trust in the government and banks is low, that's where cryptocurrencies tend to thrive."
This observation is born out in Turkey, for example, where inflation of the Turkish lira has reached double-digit figures this year and where more people own crypto than in any other major European nation. This goes to show that cryptocurrencies have the rare opportunity to succeed at the expense of ineffectual governments. And while their scalability issues would indicate that they aren’t completely prepared to make the most of this opportunity right now, their early use in payments already provides them with a secure foundation on which to grow in the future.
On July 3, Binance exchanged a syscoin worth $ 25 cents for 96 bitcoins worth $ 624,000. This caused a panic, since behind the transaction a hack was suspected. The stock market responded promptly with a temporary closure and even changed its policy : In the future, there should be a special security fund called Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU), which protects users in extreme cases against losses.
In response to the supposedly illegal trades, all existing API keys have now been invalidated by Binance and external programmers need to generate new keys.External programmers receive so-called API keys, which allow them access. For example, trading bots on a trading platform such as Binance. API stands for "Application Programming Interface" and refers to the interfaces with which external programs can connect to an existing software system. Apparently, there were several 'unusual' trades that could be based on a hack of API interfaces. The trade of the 96 Bitcoins was probably only the tip of the iceberg.
Also, the 'unusual' trades - including trading in the 96 Bitcoins - has been reversed. The potential victims are thus completely compensated.
It is unknown if the 96 bitcoins have already been withdrawn and Binance thus remains sitting on the losses. As the world's largest trading platform, Binance will be able to get over the comparatively small loss. In order to protect itself and the users against such attacks in the future, the aforementioned "Secure Asset Fund for Users" (SAFU) has now been launched. 10 percent of the trading fees go into a special pot, which in extreme cases should help Binance to compensate victims of hacks.
As further compensation, all API users who experienced problems will be able to trade without trading fees until July 14th. All other Binance users will also receive a 70 percent discount on all trades that they can cash out in BNB during the same period.
The Binance team also commented on the incident:
"In the first year, our trading platform has grown rapidly. But this enormous growth also brings problems. We will face it, learn from it and improve constantly. It is clear to us that we will test again and again over and over again. However, we believe that every challenge further strengthens us. Only if we all fight together can we bring the crypto industry forward. "
To date, there are more than 200 cryptocurrency exchanges that support active trading, and the combined 24-hour trade volume of the top ten is more than $6.5 billion.
Below, take a closer look at some of the major exchanges operating today.
Coinbase: San Francisco, California
|24-hour trading volume||N/A|
|Fees||Purchase fees 1.49%-3.99%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $14.90|
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a wallet, an exchange, and a set of tools for merchants, all built on the same platform. Most consider it to be the blue-chip among crypto platforms. Users can buy, sell, store, and trade tokens, and Coinbase partners with companies like Expedia, Overstock.com, and Dish who want to accept bitcoin payments.
Coinbase was one of the first exchanges to find mainstream popularity in the United States. It was also the first cryptocurrency startup to attain “unicorn” status (a valuation of more than $1 billion). The platform is easy to use and popular with beginners, and it now has more than 20 million accounts. Coinbase’s sister platform, GDAX, is intended for more advanced traders and has far lower fees per trade (see below). GDAX will become Coinbase Pro later this month.
In June, the company announced plans to enter the Japanese crypto market, and it recently acquired Keystone Capital in a bid to become an SEC-regulated broker-dealer. In May, Coinbase also announced that it had acquired Paradex, a decentralized exchange platform that allows users to trade tokens directly between their wallets without the assistance of a third party. The company plans to offer this service to international users before making it available to US customers.
Regulation: Licensed to engage in money transmission in most US jurisdictions. Registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN. Late last year, the IRS got Coinbase to agree to share user account information with it. Tax dodgers, beware.
BitMEX: Hong Kong
|24-hour trading volume||$1.71 billion|
|Fees||Maker/taker fees -0.05%-0.25%; typical $1000 bitcoin contract cost: $0.75 (without leverage)|
|Margin trading||Yes, up to 100x|
BitMEX is the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, a platform intended for dedicated traders rather than retail investors. It consistently processes over $2 billion in transactions in a 24-hour period. The platform offers very high leverage on trades, up to 100x.
BitMEX is unique in that it offers leveraged contracts (futures contracts and perpetual contracts) that are bought and sold using bitcoin rather than direct ownership of coins themselves. This means that even if users trade in altcoins, all profits and losses will be in realized in bitcoin. BitMEX does not handle fiat currency and is not available to customers in the United States.
Regulation: Registered in the Republic of Seychelles. Little regulation.
Binance: multiple locations in Asia
|24-hour trading volume||$1.26 billion|
|Fees||0.1% trading fee; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $1|
Launched just last year by Changpeng " CZ" Zhao, Binance has quickly become one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges. After moving its offices out of China and its servers offshore, Binance now supports more than 130 coins and consistently processes over $1 billion in transaction value over a 24-hour period. It has both beginner and advanced trading modes, and while users are not currently able to exchange fiat currency for coins, news reports indicate that a separate but affiliated fiat-to-cryptocurrency platform, based in Malta, is in the works.
Binance also supports its own token, the Binancecoin (BNB). Users who hold BNB in their wallets on the platform can receive a discount on fees when they use BNB. The coin’s market cap currently stands at more than $1.7 trillion, according to Coinmarketcap data.
Regulation: Little regulation. Has been warned by regulators in Japan and Hong Kong.
OKEx: Hong Kong
|24-hour trading volume||$1.15 billion|
|Fees||Maker/taker fees 0.02%-0.2%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $2|
|Margin trading||Yes, 3x, 10x, and 20x|
OKEx, based in Hong Kong and helmed by CEO Chris Lee, is a robust trading platform with access to 145 coins. The exchange announced in May that it will expand to Malta, citing the country’s “comprehensive blockchain initiatives.”
The platform also issues its own token, the OKB, which gives users a discount on trading fees, voting rights in the company, and other premium services like fiat trading and margin trading for verified traders. The exchange also manages trades of about $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin futures daily, according to its website.
OKEx does not serve customers certain countries, including Hong Kong, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Bolivia, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, and the United States, due to regulatory issues.
Regulation: Not governed by U.S. entity. Will be subject to Maltese regulations following upcoming move.
Huobi: Multiple Asian offices, United States office
|24-hour trading volume||$685.60 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fees 0%-0.2%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $2|
|Margin trading||Yes, on certain pairs and with higher fees. For Huobi pro users.|
Huobi was founded in China in 2013 by Leon Li and is now headquartered in Singapore with offices in the United States, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. It is not available to US users due to regulatory uncertainty.
There are several versions of Huobi; the Huobi OTC platform allows consumers to trade fiat currency for digital tokens without any fees, while Huobi Pro offers an exchange platform that supports more advanced trading between cryptocurrencies.
Huobi recently announced HB10, a cryptocurrency ETF that will allow users to invest in a diverse basket of digital assets. Huobi Pro offers 24/7 customer service.
Regulation: Registered in the Republic of Seychelles. Little regulation.
Bitfinex: Hong Kong
|24-hour trade volume||$424.61 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fees 0%-0.2%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $2|
|Margin trading||Yes, up to 3.3x|
Bitfinex, founded in 2012 and headquartered in Hong Kong, is also unavailable to US customers due to an uncertain regulatory environment. It has also been the subject of widespread scrutiny in recent months thanks to a high-profile hack and price-manipulation scandal.
In 2016, Bitfinex lost more than $70 million in bitcoin after the exchange was compromised by hackers. And late last year, Bitfinex and Tether, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, were subpoenaed by the SEC amid speculation that the reserve funds that were said to support the Tether stablecoin did not exist. Bitfinex and Tether shared the same CEO at the time, according to a Bloomberg report. A research paper released this month suggests that Tether was used to manipulate the price of Bitcoin on the Bitfinex exchange.
Bitfinex users are not required to verify their identities before trading cryptocurrencies, but they must do so to deposit or withdraw fiat currencies.
Regulation: Incorporated in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Little regulation.
Bithumb: South Korea
|24-hour trading volume||$266.51 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fee 0.15%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $1.50|
Based in Seoul, Bithumb was founded in 2013 and is today one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea. Bithumb is a fiat-to-crypto exchange, and does not support crypto-to-crypto trades. The exchange only accepts local users who must use the South Korean Won for transactions.
On Wednesday, June 20, Bithumb confirmed that hackers had stolen around $31 million in cryptocurrency from the exchange. According to a Coinbase report, the XRP currency was targeted. Bithumb has confirmed that it will pay back customers using its own reserves.
Along with several other Korean exchanges, Bithumb was raided by the Korean government in January for alleged tax evasion, according to Reuters. At the time, the government had announced plans to ban cryptocurrency trading, which it has since walked back.
Regulation: Subject to strict South Korean regulations.
UPbit: South Korea
|24-hour trading volume||$265.75 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fee 0.05%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $0.50|
UPbit is another top South Korean exchange. It was formed through a partnership between Kakao Corp., the Korean mobile and internet giant, and Bittrex, a US-based crypto trading platform, and launched in late 2017. The exchange is only open to Korean users.
News reports in May indicated that UPbit was under investigation by the South Korean police for alleged fraud. According to Coindesk, UPbit was suspected of selling cryptocurrency that it did not hold to customers. The exchange’s activities have not been affected by the investigation.
The exchange’s website lists 142 tokens and 272 markets.
Regulation: Subject to strict South Korean regulations.
HitBTC: Hong Kong
|24-hour trading volume||$263.93 million|
|Fees||0.01% maker rebate, 0.1% taker fee; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $1|
|Margin trading||Yes, 3x|
HitBTC launched in 2013 and is currently based in Hong Kong. It bills itself as the “most advanced cryptocurrency exchange,” and offers features like a rebate system for market makers and an advanced matching algorithm.
Users cannot trade with fiat currency nor connect a bank account, but they are able to purchase bitcoin on the platform using a credit card.
On June 3, HiTBTC announced that it would suspend trading services for residents of Japan in response to regulatory changes by the Japanese Financial Services Agency. The exchange said it is in the process of establishing a licensed subsidiary in the Japan.
Regulation: Little regulation. Preparing to launch a licensed subsidiary in Japan.
|24-hour trading volume||$261.35 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fees 0.06%-0.2%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $2|
|Margin trading||Yes, 3x|
ZB.COM, registered in Samoa and focused on the Chinese market, launched in November of 2017.
Users must verify their identity in order to trade on the platform, and those who invite their friends to complete successful trades save 10% on transaction fees. Users who pay the transaction fee with ZB, the exchange’s own coin, receive a discount.
The trading platform has both simple and advanced interfaces and its website is available in both English and Chinese.
Regulation: Not regulated. Registered in Samoa.
Bit-Z: Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore
|24-hour trading volume||$226.78 million|
|Fee||Maker/taker fee 0.1%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $1|
Bit-Z was founded in 2016 and has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Singapore. It caters to Chinese customers. According to CoinMarketCap, the exchange hosts 105 active markets. Bit-Z’s native token is the DKKT. As of June 19, the top token trading on Bit-Z was APIS.
Bit-Z also hosts over-the-counter trading.
Regulation: Not regulated.
Bibox: China, with global operations centers
|24-hour trading volume||$205.97 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fee 0.1%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $1|
|Margin trading||Yes, 3x|
This Chinese exchange launched in 2017 and quickly grew. In less than a year's time, Bibox is consistently on the list of top exchanges by 24-hour trading volume. The exchange supports five base currencies: BTC, ETH, USDT, DAI, and BIX. It has established operation centers in Estonia, the United States, Canada, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan.
The platform’s native token is the BIX, which was available for purchase during Bibox's ICO in October 2017. Users who pay fees with BIX get a 50% discount.
The exchange advertises AI algorithms that optimize trades.
Regulation: Not regulated.
Kraken: San Francisco, California
|24-hour trading volume||$135.69 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fees 0%-0.26%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $2.60|
|Margin trading||Yes, up to 5x on Bitcoin|
On the Kraken platform, users can deposit and withdraw funds using several fiat currencies, including the Euro, US Dollar, the British Pound, the Yen, and the Canadian dollar. An account must be verified before a user can begin trading. Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the earliest American cryptocurrency exchanges.
Kraken offers proof-of-reserves audits and is a partner in the first cryptocurrency bank.
Following the massive hack of the Toyko-based exchange MtGox, Kraken was appointed to assist in the investigation into the missing bitcoins, receiving claims, and distributing assets to creditors.
Regulation: In April, Kraken’s CEO Jesse Powell made headlines when he publicly refused to comply with an inquiry sent to 13 cryptocurrency exchanges by the New York Attorney General. The company has stated that it remains committed to working with regulators.
GDAX: San Francisco, California
|24-hour trading volume||$130.14 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fees 0%-0.3%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $3|
GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) is the advanced trading platform managed by Coinbase. While the Coinbase platform is intended for newcomers to cryptocurrency and retail investors, GDAX is built to handle the needs of more serious traders. It is backed by the New York Stock Exchange, Andreessen Horowitz, and Union Square Ventures, among other investors.
Users can instantly transfer funds between their Coinbase and GDAX accounts, and GDAX fully insures all coins held in online storage up to a value of $250,000 per customer.
At the end of June, GDAX will become Coinbase Pro and the GDAX name will be retired.
Regulation: Bitlicense from the New York Department of Financial Services.
Gemini: New York, New York
|24-hour trading volume||$21.97 million|
|Fees||Maker/taker fees 0%-1%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $10|
Gemini is the trading platform developed by venture capitalists Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. It launched in 2015 and now provides services to customers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Both individual investors and institutions can use the platform.
The exchange has a relatively small selection of coins but is known for its commitment to cooperating with regulators. As such, it does not offer short selling or trading on margin. The exchange holds US Dollar deposits in FDIC-insured banks. Digital assets are held in a trust on the customer's behalf.
Regulation: New York trust company regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).
Qiwi, one of Russia’s largest payment services providers, has launched a crypto investment bank. The bank will be known as HASH and will provide ICO issuers and crypto startups assistance, especially with fundraising. The executives behind HASH are mainly from Qiwi’s blockchain arm, Qiwi Blockchain Technologies (QBT) and will be looking to leverage their experience and knowledge in the blockchain and crypto industries to safely guide young startups through the murky fundraising stage. HASH will aim to attract international funds that focus on digital assets and lower the high risks associated with investing in startups in the blockchain industry.
HASH will be the first crypto investment bank in Russia and will seek to leverage the rising popularity of cryptos in the country. Citing data from market experts with whom he has interacted, HASH’s project manager pointed out that out of the over 500 ICOs that have raised over $12 billion this year, 60-80 percent of them have involved Russian participation. This shows just how vast the Russian market is and presents a great untapped market for HASH.
Yakov Barinsky, who will serve as the head of HASH, informed local media that the company will get its commissions after the startups it assists raise funds in the market. HASH will be involved throughout the duration of each project, including deciding how the token will work, what it will be used for, and how it will be distributed. After the development, HASH will work to attract international funds interested in investing in digital assets, with Barinsky revealing that HASH is already working with ten such funds, with the largest having a turnover of $100 million.
HASH is also going to have a team that will handle market analysis which, according to Barinsky, is necessitated by the extremely volatile nature of the industry. This volatility is keeping long-term investors from entering the sector, as no one is certain how technological or regulatory developments will affect the industry.
The CEO and majority shareholder of Qiwi, Sergey Solonin, is in full support of the venture. He is interested in becoming a strategic investor in the bank, but he decided to first observe its development from the sidelines, Barinsky said. QBT is also looking into opening a crypto exchange platform, but that will be postponed to 2019 as the company seeks the necessary licensing.
The Russian financial services industry is cautiously optimistic about HASH. According to one of the sources cited by the report, the investment banking world and the crypto industry are ideally quite different, and that may cause substantial challenges down the road. The second-largest bank in Russia, VTB Group, believes that this is the first of many investment banks targeting the crypto industry. According to a press release by the bank, investment banks will continue turning their attention to the young industry, especially as regulation in the industry improves. VTB also believes that blockchain technology will play a major role in the future operations of both investment banks and the traditional banking institutions.
The crypto investment bank is just the latest in a series of moves that Qiwi has taken to cement its place as the leading mainstream investor in the blockchain industry. In March of last year, the company formed QBT, its blockchain subsidiary, which develops blockchain solutions and offers consultation services. Qiwi committed $1.6 million to the project, and with the company specializing in instant payment services, the integration of blockchain with its operations could help it stay ahead of its competitors.
Forget about a Lambo and get yourself a Mustang. An American custom car builder now accepts payments for its built-to-order and officially licensed vehicles in bitcoin and additional cryptocurrencies, including BCH, BTC, LTC, ETH and more.
Classic Recreations is a Yukon, Oklahoma based custom car builder licensed by Ford Motor Company and Shelby American to fabricate licensed Ford Mustang restorations and continuation cars. It recently announced that, in an effort to reach a more global client base, it will start accepting payments for its vehicles in a variety of cryptocurrencies, including but not limited to, BCH, BTC, LTC, ETH and MTC.
“My entire life I have had a strong fascination for technology and its evolution,” statedJason Engel, owner of Classic Recreations. “Cryptocurrencies have come a long way and continue to solidify themselves as a legitimate currency on the global market. The true beauty of accepting cryptocurrency is the universal aspect of it which allows Classic Recreations to connect with consumers from anywhere in the world.”
The company has been in business for more than fifteen years and each of its built-to-order vehicles takes approximately four months (nearly 2,500 man hours). Additionally, all of its high-performance vehicles are handcrafted and built in-house, according to the company’s website.
Buying cars has long been a common way of exhibiting wealth among the luckier members of the bitcoin community, showing off Teslas, Lamborghinis or even a whole fleet of F1 supercars as a testament to getting into the market as an early adopter. As such, luxury car dealerships have sprung up that cater to this segment specifically.
But it isn’t just whales that are buying cars with bitcoin. In Japan, where bitcoin payments are perhaps more widespread and accepted than anywhere else in the world thanks to welcoming regulations, even used cars are being sold for bitcoin. Back in November 2017 it was reported that a couple of Japanese automotive groups, including one of the largest in the country, have begun to enable bitcoin payments at their dealerships across the country.
Line and Kakao, two of the largest messaging applications in Asia alongside WeChat, with more than 90 percent of the market share in Japan and South Korea respectively, are battling for dominance in the blockchain sector with unique partnerships and decentralized applications.
Last week, Line, a Japanese messaging app that has more than 200 million active monthly users, disclosed its finalized plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange by the end of July, pursuing the path of running a digital asset trading platform for short-term profitability.
Taking a contrasting approach, Kakao announced that it is seeking to secure business alliances with blockchain startups and projects to create applications on the blockchain that are practical and easy to use.
Ground X Corp, the blockchain venture arm of Kakao established in Switzerland, initially planned to conduct an initial coin offering (ICO) outside of South Korea to circumvent the country’s ban on domestic ICOs. In South Korea, investors are permitted to invest in foreign ICOs but are not allowed to participate in domestic token sales.
However, Choi Jong-ku, the chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), South Korea’s main financial watchdog, said that the government would not permit Kakao to run an ICO outside of South Korea and may consider it to be a fraudulent operation. At a press conference, FSC chairman Choi emphasized that the government was not in support of Kakao’s ICO, stating:
“Even if there is no prohibition on cryptocurrency or digital asset trading, there is a possibility that it [Kakao’s ICO] may be regarded as fraud or multi-level sales according to the issuance method. Since the risk is very high in terms of investor protection, the government has a negative stance on the ICO.”
Chairman Choi responded negatively to Kakao’s plan to run an ICO in Switzerland because the FSC believed it could set a precedent across the industry. If a multi-billion dollar company that has absolute dominance over the fintech, messaging, finance, online stock brokerage, and ride hailing industries in the country was permitted to circumvent local regulations and conduct an ICO, other medium to large-size companies would follow.
Instead, Choi said that both minor and major companies are encouraged to wait until the government releases its guideline on ICOs. Currently, the government of South Korea is planning to legalize ICOs with proper tax policies in place. A source within the FSC told The Korea Times:
“The financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry and other relevant government offices about a plan to allow ICOs in Korea when certain conditions are met.”
Last week, in an interview with Bloomberg, Kakao’s Ground X Corp CEO Jason Han said that the subsidiary would focus on building decentralized applications (DApps) that are accessible to newcomers and beginner cryptocurrency users.
Han expressed his concerns regarding the lack of commercially successful products in the blockchain sector and vowed to introduce applications that could maximize the blockchain’s potential.
“The biggest problem with blockchain right now is that there isn’t a single service that an average person would use. Our services are going to be more practical. We’re going to create a service that people can use without having to learn the language of crypto,” said Han.
Still, Ground X Corp’s CEO noted that Kakao was not late to the blockchain party and could evolve into a frontrunner in blockchain-related product and DApp development, adding:
“We aren’t late here. We know we’re not frontrunners of blockchain technology. But the industry is still developing.”
Currently, the focus of Line, the rival company of Kakao, is set on its cryptocurrency exchange called BitBox. But, with its partnership with South Korea-based blockchain ICON, it has also begun to develop decentralized applications and blockchain solutions, competing against Kakao.
Singapore-based startup Cryptology is aiming to make crypto transactions simpler and cheaper by building a “next generation” cryptocurrency exchange, which would be among the few that combine crypto and fiat transactions on a user-friendly platform, and offers the additional option of a mobile app. The company also expects to have an edge over rivals by partnering with a payment system that will help seamlessly integrate fiat and crypto transactions and lower fees for users.
The company says that the web version of the platform is comfortable to use and “absolutely intuitive.” All the trading operations are “secure and easy to carry out both for experts and newbies.” Verification is quick with support team available 24/7.
The startup has also focused on developing a mobile app, seeing it as a platform of choice in today’s era. It launched an iOS version and an Android version in March, ahead of the desktop website. It has also optimized the mobile app for seamless performance and additional features. For example, according to Cryptology, the app can ensure verification of bank cards in 30 seconds, allowing users to top up their wallets and start trading in mere minutes.
Cryptology has support for Visa and MasterCard for fiat transactions. Deposits into crypto accounts can be made from both cards, but withdrawals will be supported only in Europe through bank transfers. The company plans to add a number of other methods of converting from fiat to crypto and vice versa.
Margin trading is also in the cards, after the completion of an ongoing risk assessment and securing of financing.
Cryptology has set its sights on the global market. According to the company, it is already serving the European markets and working on plans to launch in the Japanese and U.S. markets.
At the outset, Cryptology is supporting Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, with more cryptocurrencies to be added in the future. The company says that it is in talks to list a number of cryptocurrencies on its exchange, broadening options for investors.
Among fiat currencies, Cryptology transacts U.S. dollars and euros. The tokens listed on the platform are based on the ERC-20 framework.
Cryptology has established three verification levels for investors, complying with Know Your Customer procedures in various countries. A basic verification level involves a short questionnaire with personal data. Additionally, the second level requires a photo ID and a selfie — a process that takes a couple of hours. The third level for full verification will need proof of address in addition to the other documents.
Currently, users need to be verified in order to deposit fiat. For higher limits, advanced verification may be required, which includes a photo ID and a selfie.
For withdrawals to a user’s bank account, Cryptology will charge a fee of 7 EUR (SEPA). For crypto withdrawals, the fee ranges from 0.002 percent to 0.005. Wire transactions for depositing are available free of charge.
Cryptology has set trading fees at 0.15 percent for makers and 0.25 percent for takers. The minimum order size is $0.01 of fiat currency or the equivalent of $0.01 in cryptocurrency.
Today, the famed Alibabacoin Foundation released their highly-anticipated Multicrypto Wallet in response to the overwhelming community support for the project. The Multicrypto Wallet is the one of the cryptocurrency wallet in the world that can store, secure, and exchange 10 unique cryptocurrencies simultaneously, all with the convenience and protection of a blockchain integrated facial recognition service—another world first.
To commemorate the historic launch, Alibabacoin is holding a one-time-only Airdrop event with massive rewards at stake.
The success of the Multicrypto project and the resulting Aidrop event stem directly from the overwhelming success the foundation has earned in 2018. The lofty ambitions of the company have often inspired doubt among critics, but time after time those doubts were silenced by the company’s transparency and devotion. It is exactly because of this level of commitment that the community has grown so quickly.
The Multicrypto Wallet project would not have been so successful were it not for the laser-focus the Alibabacoin team paired with the trust of thousands of intelligent investors. The foundation has proposed any ideas that seemed overly ambitious or downright impossible, but these projects continually succeed, the community grows, and the value of the ABBC coin soars. The earliest backers of the company believed in the business plan laid out in the well-formulated Whitepaper. It was this vision that so many came to believe in leading to the unexpected success of the ICO event.
Alibabacoin received far more funding than predicted due to the investor’s excitement and trust. Those funds went directly into making their plans a reality, forfeiting a chance to seize quick profits to instead invest in advanced technologies, going above and beyond their obligations.
The funding provided by the passionate investors has gone into the expansion of infrastructure, the upgrading of software systems, and the hiring of new developers, economists, and team leaders. Alibabacoin’s investment into their own vision has made their dream a reality, to develop the most advanced crypto-wallet in the world, the Multicrypto Wallet.
This day marks a historic event in the world of blockchain technology. The release of the Multicrypto Wallet will shape the future of cryptocurrencies and set a standard for all companies who follow it. By downloading a single free application for Android or i0S, users will have the most versatile coin storage and exchange platform in the world at their fingertips.
There is no need for multiple wallets or third-party exchangers because Alibabacoin’s wallet works with ABBC, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Z-Cash, Otum, Tether, and Verge. All 10 of these coins can be managed, exchanged, and transferred within the simple, intuitive app, without the need for a traditional password, and with an unparalleled level of protection from the advanced facial recognition software.
The Alibabacoin Foundation worked extensively with industry leaders to pioneer this technology and incorporate it with the blockchain. With their new platform, forgetting passwords is a thing of the past. The facial recognition software integrated into the application easily allows users to get into their account while keeping criminals out
To give back to the passionate community that made this all possible, the Alibabacoin Foundation is giving away 50,000,000 ABBC. Anyone can receive rewards in this airdrop by downloading the Multicrypto Wallet application for free. The first 500,000 people to open the application will be given 100 ABBC. Users can earn additional ABBC by referring friends. Each referral a user makes will earn an additional 20 ABBC.
This is an amazing system for growing the community and extending the amazing functionality of the Multicrypto Wallet to coin investors worldwide. The airdrop runs from July 2nd to July 31st, so be sure to not miss out on the opportunity to get free coins from one of fastest growing cryptocurrencies before the price skyrockets.
With their amazing track record of success, it is easy to see why the launch of this new technology has garnered so much attention. The Alibabacoin Foundation is truly an innovator in the industry and has never ceased to please their investors.
Blackmoon, which is a blockchain fintech company that establishes and runs tokenized funds, has reportedly offered Xiaomi to sell digitized tokens for its stock on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The payment options could include Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) or Litecoin (LTC). Blackmoon will ostensibly apply the income to subscribe to Xiaomi’s $4.7 billion IPO in Hong Kong, which will commence July 9 on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Last week upon the expiry of a four-day offer period to retail investors that saw its shares overbought by 8.5 times, Xiaomi set the price of its shares at HK$17 ($2.16) each. This estimates the smartphone manufacturer at $54 billion, which is a half the initially sought value of $100 billion. The token price offered by Blackmoon is reportedly linked to the performance of Xiaomi shares. Sergey Vasin, Chief Operating Officer at Blackmood, said:
“The price of the Xiaomi token is determined by the IPO price of Xiaomi’s shares, with applicable fees. We only accept crypto, so it would be the equivalent amount in US dollars or Hong Kong dollars.”
According to Blackmoon, holders will be able to buy the tokens on a monthly basis. After redemption, Blackmoon will trade the Xiaomi stock in the portfolio equal to the value of tokens purchased. Token holders will subsequently get their investment in digital currency, though Blackmoon is reportedly working on payments options. Oleg Seydak, Chief Executive at Blackmoon, said that after conducting a poll on social media, it emerged that “many people said that they are interested in participating in the IPO through tokens.”
A Xiaomi spokesman told the South China Morning Post that the token sale offered by Blackmoon had not been yet been approved or endorsed by the smartphone producer, while Vasin declined to disclose the quantity of tokens sold. The tokens are not available in Hong Kong or mainland China.
Blackmoon is not the first token project that has piggybacked on the name or brand of a well known company.
The national currency of Iran, the rial, is expected to lose at least 57 percent of its value by the end of 2018 amidst a correction worse than that of bitcoin, and the holders of the Iranian rial are said to lose more than half of their savings stored in fiat.
Due to an amalgamation of a variety of factors including strict sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on Iran, the national currency of the country has been on a steep decline since the beginning of 2018.
Since its all-time high at $19,500, the bitcoin price has fallen by 70 percent, replicating the correction it experienced in 2014. But, if the cryptocurrency market moves similarly to its correction in 2014, which was the worst correction in the market’s history, the price of major digital assets like bitcoin and ethereum would bottom out at a 75 to 80 percent drop.
Although the Iranian rial also experienced a substantial drop in its value throughout the past six months. the drop of the rial’s value was not as intense as the correction of bitcoin, and while the dominant cryptocurrency is expected to recover from the $5,000 region, the value of the rial is expected to decline by 57 percent based on mathematical data and its hyperinflation rate at 132 percent.
The inflation rate of the Iranian rial is not as harmful to the economy as the extreme hyperinflation rate of Venezuela at over 30,000 percent. The difference between the Iranian rial and the Venezuelan bolivar is that the former is still being used as a store of value and a medium of exchange within the country and amongst its allies, while the people of Venezuela have stopped using the bolivar due to its lack of monetary value.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, the native currency of the Ethereum blockchain protocol, have evolved into proper alternatives to failing national currencies. Even the government of Iran has expressed its intent and mid-term plan to utilize cryptocurrencies to transfer money amongst its allies, most notably Russia.
Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, the head of Iran’s Parliamentary Commission of Economic Affairs [IPCEA], said:
“[IPCEA has already] obliged the Central Bank of Iran to start developing proposals for the use of cryptocurrency. Over the past year or two, the use of cryptocurrency has become an important issue. This is one of the good ways to bypass the use of the dollar, as well as the replacement of the SWIFT system. They [Russia] share our opinion. We said that if we manage to promote this work, then we will be the first countries that use cryptocurrency in the exchange of goods.”
It is possible for both governments and the people that suffer from failing national currencies to move onto cryptocurrencies that do not fall under the global financial network and cannot be censored by leading economies.
This year, the U.S. government strengthened its sanctions on Iran by preventing the country from transacting with financial institutions and entities outside of the country. The imposed control on Iran’s financial network led the value of the rial to plummet.
To avoid such sanctions, governments that oversee monetary systems that are not considered as reserve currencies could potentially utilize decentralized and public cryptocurrencies to transact money in the future, even at the risk of the market’s high volatility.
Blockchain technology has many benefits that lend themselves nicely to capital markets. As fears of disruption and job losses begin to subside, smart traders and asset managers are waking up to the possibilities. Even staunch Bitcoin critic UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti recently stated that blockchain technology was “almost a must” for banks.
And as blockchain-based investment marketplaces start to pick up speed, investors of all shapes and sizes are diversifying their portfolios. The demand for alternative asset management is on the rise, estimated to reach over $15 trillion by 2020. Even off-chain companies are beginning to tokenize their assets to gain access to new sources of capital.
The Vice President of HighCastle, Ulyana Shtybel, Ph.D., says, “Blockchain will have a tremendous impact on the capital market infrastructure.” As the world’s biggest blockchain-based investment marketplace, HighCastle provides access to over 12,000 projects with a combined value in excess of $5 billion.
Aiming to bridge the gap between investors and founders, HighCastle is tokenizing securities to enable the smooth trading of global alternative аssеts.
“Blockchain has the potential to radically change the way that companies raise capital,” Shtybel explains. “Blockchain implemented by exchanges and alternative capital market operators could reduce settlement times and organize financial transaction data, making it more transparent and efficient.”
Beyond removing intermediaries and allowing for a shared view of permissioned data, blockchain simplifies many areas across the board, from asset servicing and accounting to allocations and administration. According to Shtybel, these are the top seven ways that blockchain can benefit capital markets:
Decentralized transaction processing becomes a tool for transparent and automated verification of holdings. This makes for faster and more secure trading.
Securities issuance processes on the blockchain are automated. This erases the need for the central clearing of real-time transactions and reduces operational complexity.
Transaction data recorded at the cash and assets ledgers is trusted and acceptable for automatic reporting and provides greater transparent supervision for market authorities.
Blockchain provides an unprecedented opportunity to access securities trading anytime from anywhere without needing to close the market.
Private securities are generally illiquid assets. This means that individuals and institutions who invest through crowdfunding platforms or private placement deals don’t have an organized secondary market allowing them to exit their investments.
With blockchain technology and the proper legal structuring of tradable security tokens, this market can finally be created. This liquidity greatly enhances the attractiveness of investing in alternative assets.
Blockchain also integrates with external databases, allowing the automation of AML checks and KYC due diligence. By using an automated criteria-based decision-making protocol, clients’ profiles can be analyzed faster.
Blockchain increases trust and transparency in dividends and interest payments as payment instructions are automatically generated in the cash ledger based on the obligations computed by the smart contract at maturity.
The meteoric rise of ICOs has clearly demonstrated the popularity of this type of investing. Regular investors can access innovative projects like never before and companies can gain access to funding.
However, with the fear of regulatory compliance, businesses and investors alike are seeking legal options that meet the requirements of regulators.
Compliant alternative investment marketplaces allow innovative companies and traditional businesses alike to offer tokenized securities. This means that investors can hold traditional shares or bonds in their crypto wallets, along with their Ether and Litecoin.
Line, popular Asia-based messaging app, has confirmed the upcoming launch of its own cryptocurrency exchange, named BitBox.
Line, a social media app with over 200 million users, has confirmed that it plans to open up a Singapore-based exchange, BitBox, during July.
For the time being, the exchange will offer the trading of thirty cryptocurrencies at a 0.1% fee, with the press release only mentioning the largest cryptocurrencies offered. These being Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, which should go without saying.
It is highly speculated that Line chose Singapore as its base of operations due to the crypto-friendly sentiment held in the Asian city-state. Despite friendly regulatory sentiment, the press release mentioned that the exchange will not support fiat to cryptocurrency trading, and will only support crypto to crypto exchanges.
Due to the fact that BitBox will not support a fiat on-ramp, the exchange will be open globally, offering its services to consumers in all countries but Japan and the U.S.
The social media company was unable to secure the proper licensing to offer exchange services in Japan, as the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has been imposing harsher regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges. After the $550 million hack of the now notorious Coincheck exchange, the FSA reasoned that it would be logical to impose stricter rules, ensuring that a hack wouldn’t occur again.
By excluding Japan from BitBox’s area of operation, Line misses out on a large percentage of its customer base, as Line has become the messaging app of choice in Japan.
The introduction of a cryptocurrency exchange to Line’s lineup of services was welcomed by many, as the technology company wishes to expand to new sectors. The opening of BitBox will also allow for Line to stand out in the crowd of messaging platforms, offering a unique service for its 200 million users.
The release noted:
“With the need to trade cryptocurrencies rising around the world, LINE has been preparing to provide opportunities for users to do so securely, and as the secure system is in place now, the company will be offering the service.”
There is currently a large gap in the industry for mobile cryptocurrency trading, as Binance has slowed development on its mobile app. The press materials, including a picture of the proposed exchange platform, has shown a minimalistic cryptocurrency trading app that sports many features that a fully-fledged exchange should offer. Hopefully, BitBox will be able to fill the growing need for on the go cryptocurrency trading.
However, some users were disappointed to see that BitBox would not be supporting a fiat on-ramp, as regulators have been increasing regulatory requirements for exchanges all across the world. Line probably does not have access to proper licensing and financial services that would allow it to accept and transact government-issued currencies for cryptocurrencies.
Despite this setback, the social media company still hopes to make an impact in the growing cryptocurrency industry, with the aforementioned release stating:
“LINE will continue to transform all users’ financial experience by providing friendly and innovative financial services to close the distance between people and money. As the society heads toward cashless and wallet-less future, LINE will be actively involved in undertaking initiatives and creating systems to accelerate the development of its businesses and reinforce its services as it strives to become a leader in the FinTech business.”
The world has its eyes fixed upon Line, as many await the arrival of the BitBox cryptocurrency exchange.
Transactions involving both fiat and cryptocurrencies remained high during the first three months of 2018 in the Philippines, revealed new figures released by the country’s central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). This happened despite the warnings to the public issued by the central bank about the risks involved with the instruments, which were meant to discourage the acquisition, possession and trading of cryptocurrencies.
BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier announced that conversion of cryptocurrencies into the local peso as well as other fiat currencies by monthly average amounted to $24.16 million, while conversion from peso and other fiat currencies to cryptocurrencies reached $36.74 million in the first quarter of the year, as The Philippine Star reported. In the last quarter of 2017, Fonacier said the average monthly transactions involving conversion of cryptocurrencies to peso and other fiat currencies reached $24.79 million, while conversion from peso and other fiat currencies to cryptocurrencies amounted to $38.27 million.
The Philippines has a population of over 100 million people, and it has a couple of factors that make it a fertile ground for bitcoin adoption. Its growing economy is heavily reliant upon remittances from overseas Filipino workers and international tourism is an also important sector of the local industry, both of which stand to greatly benefit from reduced costs on cross-border transfers enabled by cryptocurrency.
Moreover, unlike other locations in Asia, the local financial authorities have not banned fiat to cryptocurrency transactions and the BSP even authorized the operation of a few exchange platforms in the country including Rebittance Inc, Betur Inc (Coins.ph), and Bloom Solutions Inc. As we reported last month, Coins.ph reached a whopping five million users in May for its mobile payments app and hot wallet.
There were problems upgrading Exchange Binance. For example, trading in and payment of cryptocurrencies was temporarily suspended longer than planned from the outset. Meanwhile, however, the problems have been resolved.
Crypto-Exchange Binance has scheduled a previously announced upgrade on June 26th. Already on the weekend , it was announcedthat this Tuesday at 2 clock UTC temporarily suspend the trading and withdrawals. Overall, the process should take about 4 hours. However, it has apparently come to complications. So the functions of the site remained blocked for much longer than announced.
During the day, they announced that the upgrade had been extended. It was said that the team was working to get the system up and running again as soon as possible. The users of the platform were given 30 minutes to take back existing orders before resuming trading.
At about 9:30 UTC it was announced that the update was completed. However, the trading activities could not then be carried out as usual. A short time later, Binance issued another message . There it was said:
"We will postpone the resumption of trades and payouts as a result of a warning about a prior review of our risk management system. Please stay tuned for more information. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience. "
Only an hour later came the message that all functions become active again. So the trading started at 20 clock UTC, withdrawals were scheduled for one to two hours later.
What exactly caused the complications is not clear from the announcements of Binance. However, on the morning of June 27, the Exchange website was working properly again.
Research company Ipsos on behalf of ING Bank B.V. has conducted a study on how cryptocurrencies are perceived across Europe, Australia and the U.S., which reveals that interest in the technology is expected to double in the future.
While only 9 percent of respondents own crypto, 25 percent said they will own some in the future. The highest percent (18 percent) of crypto ownership is reported in Turkey, while the lowest (4 percent) is in Luxembourg.
The survey is reportedly conducted several times a year and takes into account gender, age and population in each country, while consumer figures are an average. The latest study, which was carried out between March 26 and April 6, 2018, compared 15 countries, with about 1,000 respondents surveyed in each.
According to the study, 66 percent of Europeans have heard of cryptocurrency, of which 77 percent are men and 55 percent are women; 35 percent agreed that crypto is the “future of spending online,” while 35 percent said it will increase in value in the following 12 months.
The share of awareness of crypto is equal to or exceeds 50 percent in every surveyed country, with the highest rate in Austria (79 percent) and Poland (77 percent). In the U.S., 57 percent of respondents have heard of cryptocurrency.
Fewer than one in ten in Europe owned crypto, with similar figures in the U.S. and Australia. The survey revealed that people in Europe who are mobile bankers are much more likely to own crypto (12 percent) than those who are not mobile bankers (4 percent).
The study revealed that most respondents recognize crypto as a riskier investment than cash, real estate, government bonds, or the stock market. Among preferred sources of information on potential Bitcoin (BTC) investments in 11 of 15 countries, people chose specialist websites. Respondents from Spain, France, and Luxembourg preferred to rely on financial or bank advisors, while Italians said they would prefer both specialist websites and professional advisors.
Earlier this month, consulting firm Capgemini found in its World Wealth Report 2018 that interest in cryptocurrencies has notably grown among high-net-worth individuals. According to the report, nearly one-third of surveyed individuals expressed high interest in cryptocurrencies. Interest in crypto was much higher among younger investors, with 70 percent of respondents under 40 attaching great importance to having their wealth managers provide information crypto, compared to only 13 percent of respondents 60 and over.
Cyber theft and eavesdropping are common problems in today’s connected world. But innovations in blockchain-powered phone security could make it that much harder for criminals to hack our mobile devices.
The blockchain is viewed as a decentralized database but its disruptive applications now include protecting our digital identities and securing data. Mobile is indispensable to our busy lives. However, smartphones aren’t just communication gadgets anymore. They’ve become powerful digital wallets that store our bank info, credit card numbers and bitcoin passphrases. Thus, a hacked phone can be comparable to getting robbed and losing your IDs and money.
For years, tech giants like Apple have incorporated biometrics into phone systems to improve security. Fingerprint and eye scans, as well as, facial ID are becoming common ways to authenticate a valid user. But online fraudsters are also finding creative ways to gain unauthorized access. For example, there are over 5,000 known security flaws in smartphone operating systems, all of which threaten your data. Other mobile applications, such as Bluetooth, give criminals an opportunity to control smartphones. Within the past year, security experts found a WPA2 Wi-Fi bug that puts devices at risk of hijacking and eavesdropping.
Blockchain records are immutable, which means they can’t be changed or manipulated once they are recorded. Security experts believe that biometric data stored on the blockchain makes devices safer and more secure. Hoyos Integrity is creating a blockchain-powered smartphone (BIBLOS) with advanced biometric features and operating system. A spokesman says their phone is ideal for organizations — such as banks and government agencies — that routinely transmit highly-sensitive information. Hoyos’s device runs on Hoyos Risen coin (currently in pre-sale).
Cyber criminals can’t hack a smartphone when the device ID and user’s biometrics are stored on the blockchain itself. In the case of Hoyos Integrity, the company offers both a public and private blockchain. Private blockchains are common in commercial applications; a private version keeps internal transactions viewable only for pre-approved audiences. For example, a government agency may not want to disclose its communications with foreign diplomats or a bank may want to keep private its investing activities. In such instances, records are stored on internal servers on a client’s private intranet.
“In the digital age, we’ve become dependent on smartphones to stay connected to friends, family, and work,” says Omar Hoyos, VP of Marketing for Hoyos Integrity. “But mobile devices also create a constant need to protect our privacy and data. Smartphone security must be adaptive because everything we do on mobile is vulnerable to evolving threats.”
Hoyos’s whitepaper gives the following use-case of how blockchain can protect financial data. “A financial institution can issue BIBLOS Smartphones to their traders. Before making each trade, the employee must biometrically authenticate using the device. Then the trade is executed using our Secure Transaction service and an audit trail of all the specifics is permanently logged in the blockchain, including the amount, time, trader identity, and other pertinent information. Any legal document that requires access from multiple parties and may have a resulting action based on approval by all parties can be managed as a Secure Transaction ‘Smart Contracts’.”
Hackers are always seeking ways to access key information. But they’ll have a hard time overcoming blockchain-based security, a disruptive technology designed specifically to secure data.
In the past four years, the value of a single bitcoin has soared from approximately $500 in 2014 to a current value of $6,000 and has worked its way into every type of financial transaction, from buying phone credits to shopping for clothes online. Now, researchers led by Stevens Institute of Technology show that Bitcoin's value can be manipulated by public sentiment, verifying, for the first time, that social media and Bitcoin prices are linked—but not without a surprise.
The work, led by Feng Mai, a professor at Stevens School of Business, shows that periods of increasingly positive social media commentary do, in fact, significantly influence the rising price of Bitcoin, but the surprise? It's the silent majority, not the vocal minority, who move these prices.
In other words: comments and tweets from very active users did not move Bitcoin's price much at all. Rather, the silent majority—infrequent users who took the time to comment on the cryptocurrency's prospects—moved prices more, as much as ten times more, when they posted positive comments.
"They are the ones investors watch," says Mai, whose work appears in the Journal of Management Information Systems.
Mai, working with the University of Cincinnati, Dickinson College and Ivey Business School, collected and analyzed two years' worth of forum posts on the world's most popular public Bitcoin forum, Bitcointalk.
The team classified comments into positive, negative and other sentiment categories using natural-language processing techniques. They also collected two months' worth of Twitter data, including more than 3.4 million tweets about Bitcoin.
Mai's team then compared changes in Bitcoin's price with the chatter around the cryptocurrency. But just as chatter can affect the price, Bitcoin's value can affect the sentiment around it, so the team also factored in daily rises and falls in indicators such as the S&P 500 stock index, gold prices and volatility indexes to better understand the two-way relationship.
"This was the first robust statistical finding to verify that social media and Bitcoin prices are actually linked," Mai says. "It may be intuitive, but positive sentiment moves Bitcoin prices."
But the Stevens-led team didn't stop there. They went a step further by dividing Bitcoin tweeters and posters into two groups: those who were posting very frequently and those who were not in order to see what kinds of commenters affect prices most.
They found that rather than the vocal users driving changes in Bitcoin price, the price instead changed in proportion to the comments made by users who were infrequent posters. "Vocal users of social media may sometimes have a certain agenda, in this case hyping or boosting the price of Bitcoin because they themselves have invested in it," says Mai. "So, if most of the social messages around Bitcoin are generated by people who are biased, the sentiments on social media may not accurately reflect the currency's actual value."
Mai and his colleagues suggest that Bitcoin investors recognize these potential conflicts of interest and discount them.
"The silent majority are the real influencers in driving the value of Bitcoin," says Mai. "It seems like investors get that."
Conio, an Italian startup providing cryptocurrency and blockchain services, has raised US$3 million in its Series A2 round at a valuation of more than US$40 million, the company announced last week.
Founded in 2015 in San Francisco by Italian natives Christian Miccoli and Vincenzo Di Nicola, Conio is a blockchain startup with offices in both the US and Italy that provides consumers with a mobile app called the Conio Bitcoin Wallet that allows them to purchase, sell, hold, send and receive bitcoins directly on their smartphone.
In addition to its consumer app, Conio’s solutions and digital wallets are also offered in white and private label versions to companies and banks. The company provides financial institutions, banks and insurance companies with integrated solutions for digital asset management, from digital wallets to manage cryptocurrency holdings, to the integration of blockchain protocols within cards and smartphone payment services.
Commenting on the fundraising, Christian Miccoli, co-founder and business development director of Conio, said the new capital will be used to further develop the company’s services offering to support its retail and corporate clients in the use of blockchain protocols and crypto asset management.
“Banks, insurance companies, enterprises and institutions may find in Conio today an even stronger partner to support their growth strategies in the new digital assets markets all over the world,” Miccoli said.
Additionally, the funding will allow Conio to ramp up its research and development activities in key industries including e-commerce, telecom, and smart insurance contracts, said Vincenzo Di Nicola, co-founder and technology director of Conio.
“In each of these markets, we are striving to be able to meet the growing demand of partnerships that we are getting from banks and insurance companies, enterprises and institutions,” Di Nicola said.
Alongside Conio’s two co-founders, the company’s other shareholders include Italian postal services provider Poste Italiane, which invested EUR 3 million in 2016 for a 20% stake in Conio. New shareholders joining in are Banca Finanziaria Internazionale, Fabrick, Boost Heroes, the Italian Angels for Growth network, David Capital, and several angel investors.
Fabio Cannavale of Italian venture capital firm Boost Heroes, said:
“Our mission is to support a culture of innovation in our country by making it easier for our startups and our conventional companies to engage with each other. Conio’s proprietary technologies make it possible to securely integrate the blockchain protocols the promise to disrupt whole areas of transactional activities."
Major sporting events always attract a massive amount of attention across the world and it is encouraging to see cryptocurrencies being integrated into the many aspects of the event.
We’ve seen this happen at the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics in the past six months, so it’s not surprising that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are becoming far easier to use in the many industries involved in these major events — from hospitality to gambling.
Every four years the global sporting community feasts on a festival of football at the World Cup, as the world’s most popular sport takes centre stage.
Football, in its current form, was birthed around 1863 in England, but its origins stem from numerous games played throughout history, according to FIFA. Over the past 100 years the game has taken hold in countries around the world, in part due to its simplicity and ease of access.
Given its status as the biggest sport in the world, the FIFA World Cup has inevitably become the most watched sporting event and fans travel the world to support their teams, wherever the tournament is being hosted.
The 2018 World Cup is currently underway in Russia, with 11 cities and 12 stadiums playing host to 64 matches during the month-long spectacle.
The country is expecting more than 570,000 international visitors over the duration of the competition — with the influx of foreign tourists also expected to provide a boost to the Russian economy.
Travelling tourists provide a need for adequate accommodation and foreign exchange facilities, and this is where cryptocurrencies have come to the forefront at the World Cup.
In the four years since the last World Cup, cryptocurrencies have grown immensely. The proliferation of the industry came to a head last year, as Bitcoin, Ethereum and a number of altcoins reached all time highs.
With that being said, football fans were able to bet on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with Bitcoin using Bitkup’s platform.
This seems to be the case at the World Cup in Russia. Another factor is that Russia is still operating under economic sanctions.
Put simply, cryptocurrency gives visitors and fans the ability to quickly and easily withdraw rubles — the Russian currency — using cryptocurrency.
In the build up to the tournament, Kaliningrad hotel chain Apartments Malina announced that customers would be able to book and pay for accomodation using Bitcoin.
The manager of the chain, Anna Subbotina, said the move was a forward-thinking initiative that could blaze the trail for the hotel industry:
"Cryptocurrencies are now enjoying increased interest. Gradually, they will come into use as a means of payment. And we decided that the fans should be able to pay for our services with the help of this innovative technology. It may very well be that other hotels awaiting [sic] our example for the forthcoming football holiday.”
Accomodation is not the only thing that tourists can use cryptocurrencies for during the World Cup. Killfish, a chain of bars in Russia, is accepting Bitcoin for booze as part of an extensive promotional program that promises great discounts.
Getting to Russia in the first place was also possible with cryptocurrencies. Cheapair has been accepting Bitcoin as a payment method since 2013, and with flights to Russia available through the airline, people could have easily made their way to the country using the cryptocurrency.
Travel agency Destinia also accepts Bitcoin as a payment method for its clients, and football fans using the service provider to get to Russia had another avenue to spend their BTC to enjoy the tournament.
With many sports, betting has become part and parcel of the experience. Die-hard fans are willing to put plenty of money on the line in hopes of striking gold in terms of their luck — and they can also do it using cryptocurrency.
There are a number of sport betting platforms that have adopted cryptocurrencies as a payment and betting option. Intertops and Bodog are two examples of betting websites that accept cryptocurrency bets as well as normal fiat betting.
The market is still one that needs a lot of development, but a number of platforms are working hard to become leaders in the cryptocurrency sports betting space.
Once you’ve found a platform you feel comfortable with, you still need to do some research before you start putting down bets on the outcomes of games. With this in mind, a US-based platform is working hard to provide a blockchain-powered solution for reputable betting tips.
More recently, developers have produced Blockchain-based applications (Hero, Winstars, Dragon Inc.) that provide betting advice to their users. Such platforms record predictions of sporting events on a blockchain, providing transparent public records of betting predictions. Users are able to access all records, which allows them to check other bettors track record to ensure validity of betting odds and advice.
By the time the next World Cup rolls around, far more service providers could be actively using and accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method.
As previously mentioned, betting with Bitcoin was possible at the 2014 World Cup — so the sky is, quite literally, the limit when it comes to the possibilities of crypto adoption and blockchain solutions being far more prevalent in 2022.
With the next football global showpiece being hosted in Qatar, there is even more reason for cryptocurrency development and adoption in the Middle East.
Trilliant aiming to have 500 next generation cryptocurrency ATMs in operation by 2019 to cater to the growing need of consumers who wish to purchase cryptocurrency tokens.
The increasingly prevalent cryptocurrency ecosystem has historically been devoid of one integral transactional facility – the ability to purchase cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, with FIAT currencies using ATMs. Trilliant aims to rectify this problem by installing next generation ATMs across Europe.
This represents a giant leap towards the mainstream introduction of Bitcoin, and associated currencies, as everyday currency – and is surely one of the most significant moments in the blossoming crypto economy.
Trilliant was launched in 2008 as an investment vehicle and is based out of Zurich, Switzerland. Operating under the Crypto Capital AG umbrella, Trilliant focuses on ATM operations as opposed to facilitating trading platforms for investors, both institutional and casual.
This focus on ATM operations gives Trilliant stability within a cryptocurrency market that has in the past suffered from unpredictability. ATMs profit from market volume as opposed to market value. Therefore, Trilliant offers a different kind of cryptocurrency investment – one that promote stability in the face of market spikes or crashes.
Trilliant has stated that they intend to have the first ATM operations in place in late 2018. Their goal is to have at least 500 ATMs operational by 2019 – a goal that doesn’t seem overly ambitious considering that the next generation ATMs offer more value to cryptocurrency investors than the 2,700 cryptocurrency ATMs currently in-place across the globe.
Founder and CEO, Sebastian Korbach said, ‘Our aim is to have 500 ATMs operating by 2019.’ He goes on to state, ‘In the long run, we want our machines visible on every corner, creating greater awareness for cryptocurrencies in general.’
In keeping with the truly next generation nature of Trilliant’s ATMs, the business is offering investors the opportunity to purchase Fractional Ownership Units. These units cost upwards of $100 and will be sold on the Trilliant website, with a pre-sale commencing on July 10th, 2018. This provides both institutions and casual investors the opportunity to purchase partial ownership of Trilliant’s operating cryptocurrency ATMs.
Such Ownership Units are similar to Profit Sharing Agreements and give consumers the chance to enjoy the benefits of Trilliant’s highly lucrative business. There is are no added responsibilities as Trilliant will manage the day-to-day operations of ATMs across Europe. It is this inclusive and simple ethos that is generating significant buzz in the cryptocurrency sector.
Sebastian Korbach has been the first to point out that whether the cryptocurrency market goes up or down, investors behaviour hardly alters – they still buy and the still sell cryptocurrency. He has also stated that he believes the ‘average Joe’ without any knowledge of the cryptocurrency world can use Trilliant’s services to generate a steady income. This confidence solidifies investor confidence.
The Trilliant token public presale begins in a little over 5 weeks. Any contributors will be directed toward the purchase of Trilliant ATMs. It’s expected that every future hardware unit that becomes operational will fuel an even great demand for the TRIL Token.
Wikileaks' Julian Assange boycotted the US crypt market Coinbase . The Disclosure Platform was removed as a customer without notice and without giving reasons. Previously, the products of the Wikileaks shop could be paid for using various cryptocurrencies. Also donations in crypto form were possible. But Coinbase is currently under fire for other reasons. Recently, no fewer than 115 claims were filed for attempted fraud by their own customers.
Observers speculate that the decision could be justified by the fact that Coinbase is currently seeking a broker license. Therefore, the termination without notice seems like anticipatory obedience. Probably you do not want to mess with the authorities rather and Wikileaks has therefore removed as a precaution. A more detailed explanation of why Julian Assange & Co. was thrown out was owed to the activists. Years ago, organizations such as Amazon, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, or Bank of America terminated the collaboration after the first major revelations. The well-known in the crypto community lawyer Andreas M. Antonopoulos believesthat the story is repeating right now. What the credit card providers, web hosts and banks did in 2010 is now done by Coinbase. Then as now, the measure hits the disclosure platform very hard. Because many do not want to be able to follow the path of their donations, the use of cryptocurrencies is very important.
From a temporal point of view, the lawsuit of the Democrats in the Federal Supreme Court of the USA is also fitting. Assange & Co. is accused of campaigning in favor of Donald Trump. The lawsuit alleges that Russian hackers have invaded the Democratic Party network in 2015 and 2016. The data copied was sensitive. They were later published by Wikileaks to decisively weaken Hillary Clinton, candidate of the Democrats.
Coinbase under attack: 115 lawsuits for fraud
The operators of Coinbase are currently not only struggling with insider trading. US media reports 115 lawsuits filed by former Coinbase users alleging that they have used their credit, The commissioned lawyers have therefore already informed the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC and other US authorities. Users describe in the complaints their problems with the provider, which made the contents of their wallets disappear easily. On their support request, they were always put off. Seven times in a row you have told a customer that you are taking care of the matter, but nothing has happened yet. Another user complains that they have deliberately locked him out in order to rob him of his assets. A Coinbase spokesman told Mashable that the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies leads to significant additional work on processing the requests of its 20 million customers. Accordingly, unfortunately it would also come to unwanted long-term delays. Coinbase has meanwhile announced a number of new products. Critics suggest that more attention should be paid to clarifying and solving growing problems rather than introducing new services.
Within two hours, 200,000 individuals registered to download the alpha app of Tatatu, reaching maximum capacity for the alpha stage.
John Couch, a former Apple executive, has joined to oversee the advisory board. He was hired by Steve Jobs.
“Two time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (“Avengers,” “The Hurt Locker”) is the subject of the first original documentary from TaTaTu. Another greenlit movie is the upcoming Lamborghini biopic starring Antonio Banderas and Alec Baldwin, which TaTaTu is co-producing and co-financing,” they tell us.
Then we have a Prince, Felix of Luxembourg. We have a Lady, Monika Bacardi. We have a somewhat decently known Italian-Canadian film producer as the CEO, Andrea Iervolino, who co-produced The Merchant of Venice. And we have a sale of $575 million worth of Tatatu tokens.
If that is not enough, Tatatu is working with Patricio Slim, son of Carlos Slim, who is backing the Tatatu movie “The Sound of Freedom” starring Jim Caviezel and Mira Sorvino – one of several movies the platform is now producing.
Is this the next Youtube? Or much namedropping? The elite jumping on the blockchain to much fanfare? Or an intriguing idea that might bring in a new paradigm shift?
“It’s time for social media and entertainment content providers and consumers to get rewarded fairly and promptly for the value they continuously generate,” said Allan Cassis, founder and CEO, Lvna Capital. “We are proud to be joining Andrea and the Tatatu team in the development of a platform that will achieve this grand vision.”
And the vision is grand, yet simple. Taking a leaf from Brave Browser, they are pioneering the better than free model by paying you to watch movies, then later on perhaps also “music, sports, and games.”
The token is a sort of co-ordinator. Advertisers pay for ads, you get some of that payment. The blockchain, the manager of it all.
And since we have a blockchain and we have a token we can potentially replicate the experience of cinema watching on an online platform with the token potentially serving as a ticket, in addition to a value transfer method.
That’s through their smart contracts based Digital Management Rights for creative works. The whitepaper says:
“TaTaTu plans to utilise Ethereum’s smart contracts to create intelligent representations of existing rights records that are stored within individual nodes on the network.
The contracts will be constructed to contain metadata about the record ownership, permissions, and data integrity.”
Advertisers know everything about you, they say. They’ll continue to do so, but now you get paid for your data. That too is through the blockchain, with almost everything of course held on a proprietary website which acts as a sort of oracle or data feed when it comes to payments distributions. They say:
“The smart contract will take information via a proprietary platform from the TaTaTu user database and process payments exceeding the set threshold. TTU will then be sent from the reserves wallet to the users and content providers.
Management intends that TaTaTu will manage the reserve wallet to ensure tokens are available to reward both users and content providers fairly and in a timely manner.”
Later on they may allow individuals to upload their own videos, and of course get paid by a share of advertising.
On the other end movie studios can license the latest blockbuster to the platform, but what we would find much more intriguing is whether the blockchenized digital rights management can actually work to effectively replicate the cinema model.
We may find that soon enough once the platform fully launches, iterates and experiments in response to real usage data, but even the better than free model by itself would be a paradigm shift.
Free has long been held as king, yet now being paid for your attention is being seriously considered. It is an experiment in the true sense of the word because if advertising was not sufficient to fund content creators, then slashing that advertising by sharing it with individuals who only consume might make it not sufficient squared.
On the other end, advertisers might be willing to pay more as the platform might have considerable bargaining power, but intricate details of how the advertising system would work are not shared.
Questions such as can they choose on what specific movie they advertise, or for how long, or can they target the audience, and so on, are left in the air.
With the platform itself so having a very difficult task of managing sufficient income for producers, while paying consumers, all from just advertising.
Yet there are a lot of things that can be tried with half a billion dollars of funding, including seeing whether consumers would pay for movies with the free tokens they are given.
As they are received for free, you’d think they would consider these tokens as a sort of plaything, as points if you like that unlock things, rather than as real money they earned and can spend on avocado sandwiches.
So it might actually work, perhaps even better than the current online advertising system where producers’ bargaining power has dropped to almost zero. Yet whether it will, only time can say.
It's a moveable feast of cheaper, cooler, greener electricity for building blockchains
Shipping containers are wonderful things that have changed the world; they are secure boxes that can be shipped anywhere through a vast shipping and handling infrastructure of trucks, trains and ships.
Blockchains and cryptocurrencies may turn out to be wonderful things; Don and Alex Tapscott suggest that "this new digital ledger of economic transactions can be programmed to record virtually everything of value and importance to humankind."
But right now they seem to be not much more than a giant energy suck. As we noted in our earlier post, it takes a huge amount of electricity to run the "proof of work algorithms"; the Digiconomist estimates that this year it will assume 71.12 Terawatt-hours, which is more than Switzerland uses but slightly less than Austria. We previously noted that Bitcoin mining is using as much power as 5,699,560 American households.And it isn't all lovely green hydro and wind power either.
That is why Nordcoin has such an interesting idea; they takee 240 of the little power hungry mining computers and put them in a steel shipping container that can go where the cheap green power is. This often changes, and the companies that supply it are often monopolies. So being able to move your crypto-farm is a real asset. Nordcoin writes:
NordCoin’s Mobile Mining Containers wrap up the difficulties of individual crypto-mining processes and transforms it into a simple, straightforward service. We believe that future crypto-mining operations should be decentralized, mobile and independent from any single government, as well as placed in a region with a surplus of electricity production.
They are based in chilly Estonia and note that the Nordic countries are a very good place to be for crypto-mining; much of the electricity is green and it costs a lot less to keep things cool up there. The modular "mobile mining clusters" are each connected up to 300 kw of power and move 13,000 litres per second of air. Four of them are running now at a power plant in eastern Estonia.
The containers were refurbished and modified with mining unit modularity in mind. Each container has been fitted with active airflow controllers and a custom electrical system designed for the distribution of up to 300kW among individual mining units.” said Hermes Brambat of NordCoin.
One doesn't buy a Mobile Mining Centre; you buy a token that is used to rent a fraction of the output, itself an Ethereum Smart Contract. The token coin is called an NRDC, and I wonder if the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will be investing.
Assuming that Blockchain is as wonderful as the Tapscotts say in their book, "Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World", it might well make a difference in our lives. But while they suggest that it will help make buildings and cities more sustainable, the process of building a blockchain is anything but.
Perhaps putting all those crypto-mining computers in a container that can chase the cleanest, cheapest electricity across the north might make a difference. Hermes Brambat says "Mining simply isn’t profitable without the right environment and energy prices." The right environment should be one with carbon-free renewable electricity or the Blockchain will be a disaster for everyone.
A long running European parking company that started operating in Italy in 1995 and now claims to have 2.5 million yearly customers, has announced they are ICO-ing with the aim of raising $10 million.
They say the funds would help them further expand across Europe beyond the main locations in Italy, Germany, France and other countries. They also say the funds might allow them to incorporate blockchain technology in their many services.
“With GOToken you have a preferential lane at ParkinGO. Dedicated check-in priority in the shuttle from parking to the airport and vice versa; and discounts on services (car wash, luggage wrapping, car valet, transfer of cars between airports),” they say before adding:
“The token will give access to exclusive services with priority, for example, one of the most important is the availability of parking spaces even when the parking results full for other customers.”
They argue the offering is a utility token and not a security, with the company to use Eidoo’s ICO Engine according to a statement.
Europe, however, has a $10 million exception for crowdfundings in any event, unlike US which caps the exception at only $1 million.
Fabrizio Perra from GOToken says the company had a turnover of €22 million in 2017. In regards to profits, Perra was unwilling to disclose an exact number but said that there was “with any doubt a profit.”
One interesting aspect about this project, besides being only one of very few established companies to go the ICO route rather than Venture Capital (VC), is their plan to use a private chain as a second layer of sorts.
“An address on public blockchain (ETHEREUM) has to be provided by each protagonist. An address on private blockchain (GOTnet) will be assigned to each player. All incentives and rewards processes are registered on the private, in-house developed, blockchain (GOTnet)…
Each player can request the payout from the private GOTnet on its public address only when the transaction value reaches 50 GOTokens,” they say.
Explaining this choice of a public-private hybrid, they say the use of the private blockchain is more economical as they would not have to pay transaction fees or lack capacity, while on the other hand benefiting from the public blockchain when customers reach a certain amount of tokens.
Plasma plans to allow that same sort of service the private chain provides here, but while running on top of ethereum, so constantly benefiting from its security and trustless aspect. However, Plasma is not yet out.
So making the private-public hybrid an interesting temporary solution, but as far as the project itself is concerned it is difficult to say whether they are worth $10 million while lacking profit figures.
It does however show that ICOs are still very much a thing and in some ways are maturing, with the public funding method continuing to attract interest.