× Home News Event Podcast

Latest Crypto News

bitcoinmagazine News

icon

Op Ed: Bitcoin Is a Declaration of Our Monetary Independence

bitcoinmagazine | 12-14-2018

Nick Spanos is an early adopter and innovator in the blockchain space. He is best known for launching Bitcoin Center NYC, the world’s first live cryptocurrency exchange, in 2013, right next to the New York Stock Exchange — as immortalized in the Netflix documentary “Banking on Bitcoin.” As part of Bitcoin Magazine’s series of interviews and op eds leading up to the 10th Anniversary of Bitcoin, Nick shares his thoughts an early Bitcoin adopter.Before Bitcoin, I worked tirelessly for liberty-minded political candidates for many years. These candidates, the most prominent of whom was Dr. Ron Paul, spoke out against the Federal Reserve Bank because of its role in inflating the money supply which devalued the life savings of hard-working people. In almost every case, the mass media would sharply (and often unfairly) attack the image of the candidate with half-truths and misinformation, decimating our poll numbers, until they were sure that we would be defeated on Election Day. No matter how hard we worked or how much money we raised, we were no match for what I call the political bosses of today, the mainstream media.After two decades of struggle, I thought I had wasted my life fighting unwinnable battles. Then one day, I read the Bitcoin white paper. I read it half a dozen times and I thought, “Finally, I have a weapon that cannot be destroyed on Election Day.”Bitcoin for me is not an instrument for financi...

Categories: BTC|Exchange|Fiat|ICO|Blockchain
icon

Finland Hands Over Info for 2,700 Danish Traders to Denmark’s Tax Agency

bitcoinmagazine | 12-14-2018

Finnish tax authorities have handed over information on 2,700 bitcoin traders to its Danish counterpart, Skattestyrelsen (SKAT).According to a press release, the traders used an undisclosed Finnish exchange to collectively purchase and sell some $15.65 million worth of bitcoin (102.7 million kronor) between 2015 and 2017. A handful of these investors traded amounts between $1,105 and $110,450 (10,000 to 1,000,000 kronor), while the overwhelming majority traded an amount equal to or less than $1,105. Very few traded amounts over $110,450.“Right now we are identifying the individual citizens … If something does not match, we will contact them and ask for more information,” SKAT tax director Karin Bergen said in a statement.“This is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Although it is a relatively small bitcoin exchange, the information is a very valuable source, which clearly shows trends and patterns in the area. The knowledge we gain about data mining, segments and methods in general will make us wiser in the area and benefit from our guidance and control work,” Bergen continued.Bitcoin is a taxable asset under Denmark’s 1903 Tax Act, which requires that taxes be paid on any goods purchased and resold for profit, and it is subject to a 53 percent capital gains tax, a hefty sum in line with other investments.The news calls to mind a 2016 order the IRS issued to Coinbase, which asked that the U.S.-based e...

Categories: Regulation|BTC|Exchange|Business|Mining
icon

After $4M Funding Round, BlockFi Eyes Savings Account, Crypto Credit Cards

bitcoinmagazine | 12-13-2018

BlockFihttps://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/blockfi-gives-hodlers-another-option-borrow-against-crypto-assets/, the New York-based startup that provides crypto collateralized loans, has raised additional funds to expand its services. The startup announced that it has received an additional $4 million in its recent funding round in a company blog post.The recently revealed funding round comes some months after the company raised $52.5 million in a round led by Galaxy Digital, including $1.55 million in funding from ConsenSys Ventures and PJC prior.Akuna Capital led today's funding round, with participation from other investors, including Digital Galaxy Ventures, Susquehanna Government Products, Morgan Creek Digital and others. The startup, who recently expanded overseas, says the funding would be used to grow its workforce and launch exciting new products, including a crypto savings account that earns interest and crypto-backed credit cards.Zac Prince, BlockFi CEO, spoke with Bitcoin Magazine, on the funding and the new product lines.He said the company plans to launch two separate credit cards. One would be similar to a prepaid card, where users will be able to spend funds that they receive from taking out a crypto-backed loan from BlockFi’s platform.“[The first] is like a debit or prepaid card where users can receive and spend loan proceeds from BlockFi. The amount they have access to will vary based o...

Categories: BTC|ICO|Business
icon

Bitwala Is Offering German Citizens Joint Crypto and Fiat Banking Accounts

bitcoinmagazine | 12-12-2018

German blockchain startup Bitwala has launched crypto banking in Germany.After securing €4 million (roughly $4.5 million) from VC firms Earlybird and Coparion in September of 2018 to develop a crypto banking solution, the company has allegedly amassed a waiting list of 30,000 potential users.Bitwala's new banking solution, which it claims was built to "close the gap between crypto and traditional banking,” was developed in partnership with local fintech startup SolarisBank, which has a banking license and is fully regulated by the German financial regulatory authority Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the European Central Bank (ECB).With the launch of this new banking solution, users would be able to manage "both Bitcoin and Euro deposits in one place with the safety and convenience of a German bank account." The accounts would also come with the usual perks that accompany bank accounts like a debit card, as well as a bitcoin wallet with added functionality to swap between bitcoin and the euro freely. “We built the new account putting our customers first. No longer do you have to wire your liquidity to separate exchange accounts with frail fund protection measures outside of Germany. No longer do you have to accept excessive fees for trading. Trading with Bitwala is fast and reliable and our pricing highly competitive,” Bitwala’s chief technical officer and co-founder, Ben Jones, said ...

Categories: Fiat|BTC|Trading|Exchange|ICO
icon

This New Lightning Wallet Allows You to Receive Tips Without Running a Node

bitcoinmagazine | 12-12-2018

A new program to set up Lightning Network micropayments, tippin.me, has recently entered beta testing.The developer for this project described some of its details on a Reddit thread to the r/Bitcoin subreddit. The dev says that it “allows you to receive tips (micro-payments) over the Lightning Network, anytime, anywhere, without needing a LN node,” by means of “a simple web custodial wallet.” Upon signup, tippin.me “gives you a personal tippin' link to be shared that contains a fresh QR Invoice with an undefined amount to be paid. If anyone sends you money to that QR Invoice, this amount will appear in your tippin.me dashboard.” The overall plan is for people to “share it to receive tips across webs, blogs, patreons, forums, etc. using Lightning Network.”It should be noted that, since payments must be routed through the program, the wallet is custodial. If you’re going to use it, you’re temporarily trusting your funds to the developer, so some might find it less secure than a trustless, non-custodial solution.The project is still in beta and, as a result, it hasn’t been adopted by or extended to blogs, forums or other third-party platforms. However, the developer claimed that such functionality can be implemented later down the line if there is sufficient demand.Shortly after the project’s announcement, the lone, semi-anonymous developer announced that the website was operational, as his “personal contr...

Categories: BTC|ETC
icon

The World’s First ERC-20 and Bitcoin Atomic Swap Has Taken Place

bitcoinmagazine | 12-12-2018

At the December 7, 2018, TenX Summit, a group of developers showcased an industry first: an atomic swap between a non-native asset, TenX’s PAY token, and a native asset, bitcoin.By non-native, the team is referring to an asset/coin that is not the base currency for the network. For Ethereum, for example, the native asset is ether, while any token that is built on the protocol is considered a non-native asset. CoBloX, a TenX research and development lab, is responsible for the achievement. Demonstrating their work to a tightly packed audience of summit goers, the team used the Lightning Network and their proprietary software COMIT to swap 10 PAY for 71,240 satoshis. The team published a blog post on December 12, 2018, to confirm the news and satify what it calls “the gossip factory” of he-said-she-said following the summit. In the post, the team delves into their process, explaining outright that this swap was not as simple as the first-ever ether and bitcoin atomic swap they tested nearly six months ago. Whereas this swap’s hashed time lock contract (HTLC) only required a single use smart contract, the PAY to bitcoin swap took an extra step. Reason being, the PAY token itself is managed with an additional smart contract known as the transfer ownership function. Because of this, the HTLC had to be separated into two transactions: one to deploy the swap contract and another as a transfer call for the PAY ...

Categories: BTC|ICO|ETH|Blockchain|Trading
icon

Prosecutors Seek 10-Year Jail Sentence for Karpeles Over Mt. Gox Embezzling

bitcoinmagazine | 12-12-2018

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles has run into trouble in the Japanese legal system, and prosecutors are pursuing a 10-year jail sentence for alleged embezzlement during his tenure at Mt. Gox.According to a local Japanese news outlet, Karpeles is under indictment for embezzling 341 million yen ($3 million USD) of customer funds into his own personal account. The indictment apparently also alleges that Karpeles “manipulated data on his company's trading system to pad the balance.”As Mt. Gox was based in Tokyo, it has been the responsibility of the Japanese legal system to prosecute Karpeles, just as it placed Mt. Gox into bankruptcy proceedings in 2014. By the end of the company’s shutdown, they’d lost 48 billion yen worth of bitcoin and 2.8 billion yen in fiat. Karpeles has claimed that such losses were due to a hack.Mark Karpeles is a notorious name in the crypto space, a long-term player who has been involved with some of the most infamous business ventures of bitcoin’s first major price spike. In Mt. Gox’s heyday in 2013, it was the largest functional crypto exchange. In addition to his stewardship of Mt. Gox, of particular note to Karpeles career is his alleged bankrolling of the Silk Road, the now-defunct darknet marketplace. As federal agents began trying to take down the website for narcotics trafficking violations, agents on the case directly notified Karpeles who was able to cover his involvemen...

Categories: Fiat|BTC|Regulation|Trading|Exchange
icon

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bear Pennant Breakout Puts $1,700 Price in Sight

bitcoinmagazine | 12-11-2018

Another week, another low. Bitcoin’s market has been bleeding relentlessly for weeks and now, after falling 50% in value in just one month, the market has managed to break south of a major bearish consolidation pattern called a bear pennant:Figure 1: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Bear Pennant BreakoutThis is a massive bear pennant with a staggering $2,000 measured move. In layman's terms: The price target for this breakout would be approximately $1,700, after all is said and done. Now, it’s important to note this is just a projection and it isn’t a guaranteed trajectory, but this setup should not be underestimated. However, if we look at a macro view of bitcoin price levels, the $1,700 price range is confluent with a strong support level:Figure 2: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Price TargetAs mentioned in previous market analyses, bitcoin has begun to march down all its previous untested support levels, one by one. As each support level proved to be unsustainable, the market has decided to test lower and lower throughout the current downtrend with very little relief for the eager bulls:Figure 3: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Previous Support LevelsFigure 3 shows all the previous support levels and how they have also coincided with the previous shakeout periods during the parabolic run-up last year. Although we have yet to test new lows this week, something that is slightly concerning is the general lack of volume on thes...

Categories: Trading|Market|BTC
icon

Coinbase Might Be Behind Those 856,000 BTC Worth of Transactions

bitcoinmagazine | 12-11-2018

Last week, it was reported that a Bitcoin whale had moved thousands of bitcoin into different wallet addresses. Between December 1 to December 6, 2018, the whale split 856,000 bitcoin between 107 wallets, sending an equal 8,000 BTC into each wallet.Speculators have formulated different hypotheses since the monstrous sum was moved. Was it a market whale moving funds to Over-the-Counter (OTC) markets? Could the sender be the Foundation for Economic Education (Fee.org)? (This second theory is highly improbable as the listed address on the organization’s website reveals it has only ever received a total of 2.2 BTC.)According to a report published on 8BTC, it’s likely the “whale” was merely Coinbase conducting routine maintenance on its infrastructure. 8BTC’s hypothesis is based on a Coinbase announcement that mentioned the exchange was going to make "monitored movements" two days prior to the transactions being made.U.S digital asset platform Coinbase had announced a scheduled maintenance on November 29, 2018. "Over the next seven days, Coinbase will be running scheduled maintenance across our platform that may cause movements on all Coinbase-supported blockchains. These are controlled, closely monitored movements that are being performed in order to provide enhanced security and protection for our customers."Inactive AddressThe commotion surrounding these coin movements began on December 4, 2018, when 66,4...

Categories: BTC|Market|ETH|Exchange
icon

Crypto Holiday Guide: Gifts for Every Bitcoiner on Your Shopping List

bitcoinmagazine | 12-11-2018

The holiday season is here. And even if crypto prices are on the coal heap, you can still have fun spreading some holiday bitcoin cheer.For the bitcoiners in your life, this could mean a crypto-related gift as a token of solidarity. After all, what better way to commiserate with fellow HODLers than decking their holiday halls with bitcoin-themed gifts? What better way to say “we’re in it for the long haul” than with a hardware wallet? Or “I’ve got your back — literally” than with a bitcoin t-shirt?From wallets to node-hosting hardware to general swag, here’s a list of some of our favorite gifts for bitcoiners of all kinds — from newbies to early adopters, moon shooters to techies, and everyone in between.Give BitcoinOf course, one of the best gifts you can give is bitcoin itself. Maybe take some time and walk a friend through the process of setting up a wallet and then send them their first satoshis.If you want to wrap up a bitcoin gift, consider putting some funds on an Opendime stick. Opendime is a single-use, disposable bitcoin hardware wallet. This USB wallet functions sort of like a gift card that you can load with bitcoin using your existing wallet — then you pass it on to someone else. The private keys are generated in the wallet itself and are never revealed to anyone, not even to the person who loads the wallet with funds. Using the public key, the recipient of the Opendime can still read how m...

Categories: BTC|Market|ICO
icon

The Next Quantum Leap in Financial Trading - [BTC Media Sponsor]

bitcoinmagazine | 12-11-2018

A common narrative in today’s financial world is that cryptoholders are often unable to execute trades without paying large amounts ofcommissions and fees. Traditional markets are loaded with retail brokeragesthat bet against their clients with artificially adjusted prices, spreads andunrealistic fees.Enter Quantfury, an emerging enterprise that’son an ambitious quest to reshape this landscape for everyday cryptocurrencyholders and others who enjoy trading the markets.  Founded in April 2017 with offices in Torontoand Singapore, Quantfury offers a state-of-the-art trading app for both iOS andAndroid that allows traders to utilize their cryptocurrency holdings to tradeequities, cryptocurrencies, fiat pairs and commodities, in fiat amounts.Fueled by the smartphone revolution, cryptocurrency owners nowhave the ability to trade both traditional financial instruments andcryptocurrencies without commissions or other types of fees.It’s here where the Quantfury trading app delivers anexquisitely well-designed interface for both platform traders and tokenholders, all in the palm of their hands, free of fees and through real marketprices. Crypto holders can register on the app within minutes, select and posttheir crypto collateral amount and begin trading.Through the use of the Quantfury app, all financial instrumentsare quoted in real time, in their nominal currency and with best bid and askprices delivered dire...

Categories: Trading|BTC|Market|Fiat|Asia
icon

Bitmain Follows Industry Trend, Shutters Operations in Israel

bitcoinmagazine | 12-10-2018

Chinese-based cryptomining firm Bitmain is shutting down the operations of Bitmaintech Israel, its research and development (R&D) center in Ra'anana, Israel, according to reports from local news outlet Globes.The R&D center, which produced Bitmain's first Israeli mining pool ConnectBTC, was launched in 2016 to explore meaningful use cases of blockchain technology, as well as artificial intelligence for the company's Sophon project. As the market continues its bearish run, Bitmaintech will reportedly close down its operations and lay off 23 of its employees, including Gadi Glikberg, Bitmain's vice president of international sales and marketing, who held a managing role at the center.“The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation," Glikberg revealed to employees.As the downward trend of the cryptocurrency market continues, blockchain companies are having to make do with layoffs to stay viable. Last week, Ethereum studio ConsenSys said it was cutting 13 percent of its staff as the startup made moves to refocus its priorities.“Excited as we are about ConsenSys 2.0, our first step in this direction has been a difficult one: we are streamlining several parts of the business including ConsenSys Solutions, spokes, and hub services, leading ...

Categories: Market|Mining|Blockchain|Business|BTC
icon

SFOX Posits Factors Behind November Crypto Volatility in Recent Report

bitcoinmagazine | 12-10-2018

SFOX, an institutional crypto trading platform, recently released a comprehensive, data-packed analysis on the possible causes of the volatility in the cryptocurrency space over the month of November.The report, which SFOX released on their website, covers a large amount of raw data, looking at factors such as price fluctuation on a day-to-day basis and trading volume. With the data, SFOX presents arguments on the overall volatility of various prominent cryptocurrencies, and their methodology includes the volatility of the S&P 500 and gold for comparison.A press release shared with Bitcoin Magazine claims that there are “four factors that contributed to November’s wild ride.” Not only was the “market uncertainty leading up to the Bitcoin Cash fork” a huge point of uncertainty for the space, but the “hash war” between Bitcoin Cash ABC (now recognized solely as Bitcoin Cash) and Bitcoin Cash SV also led to the current instability. These analyses seem supported by the data that SFOX gathered, as the Bitcoin Cash volatility seems far-and-away to have the highest volatility of the cryptocurrencies studied in the report. ETH, LTC and BTC also showed a steady increase in volatility over this period, but the S&P 500 and gold markets remained consistent by comparison.The value of cryptocurrencies has become as volatile now as it was during the beginning of the 2018 crash in February, so it should come as...

Categories: BTC|Trading|Market|Fiat|ETH
icon

Cherry on Top: Bitcoin ABC, Bitmain, Ver Target of Suit Following BCH Split

bitcoinmagazine | 12-09-2018

As if the drama surrounding the recent Bitcoin Cash split needed a sequel, the vaudevillian sideshow has reached a new stage: the legal arena.A suit spearheaded by United American Corporation (UnitedCorp), a telecom company with a little-known blockchain subsidiary, BlockNum, is taking legal aim at Bitmain and its cofounder Jihan Wu; Bitcoin.com and its CEO, Roger Ver; Kraken and its CEO, Jesse Powell; and others. The suit “is seeking injunctive relief,” alleging that the defendants engaged in “collusion for the purpose of control of the [Bitcoin Cash] network.”The suit indicates that it was filed on behalf of the plaintiff, UnitedCorp, and was launched on December 6, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.“We are bringing this suit on behalf of UnitedCorp because we believe strongly in the value and integrity of democratic, distributed and decentralized blockchain networks which will become more important with time. In order to maintain confidence in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash, no person or entity can be allowed to control them,” Benoit Laliberte, president of UnitedCorp, stated in a press release.An Attempt to ControlThe lawsuit claims that during the recent November 15 Bitcoin Cash split, the defendants acted in unison to hijack the network and force an undemocratic protocol change.“This action involves a scheme by a tight knit network of individuals and orga...

Categories: BTC|Regulation|Blockchain
icon

BitGo Hires Trust Company Veteran as CEO of Its Custody Arm

bitcoinmagazine | 12-07-2018

BitGo has a new CEO for its custody business.The cryptocurrency solution provider has recruited Richard Corcoran as its new chief executive officer. Having retired some years back after over 30 years in the traditional banking and finance industry, Corcoran has come out of retirement to lead the BitGo Trust Company, BitGo's crypto custody arm.BitGo received approval from the South Dakota Division of Banking in September 2018, empowering it to act as a qualified custodian of digital assets for its institutional investors. At the time it was launched, BitGo Chief Compliance Officer Shahla Ali said that BitGo's custody would deliver “modern security for modern assets.”  BitGo CEO Mike Belshe highlighted the influence Corcoran would have on the firm, noting in the press release that he possesses a “deep understanding of the opportunities and value creation that BitGo offers to its institutional customers.”Corcoran, who brings over 30 years of wealth management experience to BitGo, will be based in South Dakota, a state he knows well, having attended undergrad in South Dakota and spent most of his professional career working in the state. As a trained attorney, Corcoran cut his teeth with business law firm Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith, where he spent 10 years, before switching to the First National Bank as executive VP of Wealth Management, both roles were in South Dakota. As VP, Corcoran led a team res...

Categories: Business|BTC|Regulation|Fiat
icon

TrueUSD Is Now a Base Pair on Binance

bitcoinmagazine | 12-07-2018

Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance has added TrustToken’s TrueUSD (TUSD) as a base currency, expanding the stablecoin’s available trading pairs. Adding to TUSD’s original BTC pair, Binance will add the following trading pairs: BNB/TUSD, ETH/TUSD, XRP/TUSD, EOS/TUSD and XLM/TUSD.The addition of TrueUSD as a quote currency offers more options to traders on the platform, who previously could only use Tether (USDT) as a trading hedge against other top altcoins on the platform.Chief growth officer at Binance, Ted Lin, noted that the exchange had been impressed with the growth of TrueUSD since the stablecoin was first listed in May 2018. At the time, Binance had listed TrueUSD, but traders could only exchange it for ETH, BTC and BNB.“Now with a market cap approaching $200M, it’s clear the market values their product and we’re happy to support their continued growth. They believe as we do that operating in a trustworthy and transparent way is critical to the future development of the crypto ecosystem,” Lin said.Tory Reiss, co-founder of TrustToken, told Bitcoin Magazine that Binance chose TrueUSD as a quote pair due to the liquidity and trust that it is able to bring to the market. “TrueUSD is currently the largest regulated stablecoin, which will allow traders to actually have enough supply to securely trade with a price stable cryptocurrency," he said.TrueUSD is one of the most popular stablecoins i...

Categories: Exchange|BTC|Trading|Market|USDT
icon

U.S. SEC Delays Decision on VanEck's Bitcoin ETF Until February 2019

bitcoinmagazine | 12-07-2018

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision to approve or disapprove the VanEck/SolidX bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Per an official document published by the agency, the new deadline to review the VanEck proposal has been shifted to February 27, 2019, which the regulator claims would afford it the time needed to review the potential rule change further.The SEC stipulates that the commission must either approve or disapprove a proposal no later than "180 days after the date of publication of notice of the filing of the proposed rule change." However, there is a special clause that permits the agency to extend this period by 60 days. Since the proposed rule change was initially published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2018, December 29, 2018, would have made it 180 days. The extension to February 27, 2019, falls within the 60-day special consideration.The statement from the SEC reads:“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”The director of Digital Asset Strategy at VanEck/MVIS, Gabor Gurbacs, remains optimistic despite the delay from the financial regulator. He sent out a tweet saying while today's delay was expected, the SEC's concerns are being worked on and rectified in the form of "im...

Categories: Regulation|BTC|Exchange
icon

Nydia Zhang of the Social Alpha Foundation: Using the Blockchain for Good

bitcoinmagazine | 12-06-2018

As chairman and co-founder of the Social Alpha Foundation (SAF), Nydia Zhang has left a solid mark on the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, though, as a young art student at the University of Washington in 2011, blockchain was far from the direction she saw her life taking.Zhang earned her bachelor's degree in art history in 2015 and spent the next few years carving out a career for herself in the field of art management. After working for several museums around the world, including Pearl Lam Galleries, Seattle Art Museum and Vermillion Art Collections in Hong Kong, she ended up at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she served as a research manager and board member. In a recent interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Zhang explained how she got involved in the blockchain arena, what started the Social Alpha Foundation, what the company’s goals are and how the blockchain stands to affect global operations in the future. Founded in 2017 in Hong Kong, SAF is a not-for-profit, grant-making platform that seeks to support blockchain education and outreach by empowering communities to utilize blockchain technology for social good. The organization offers no-strings funding to companies and projects that educate communities on blockchain technology for social change. SAF also provides grant money to non-commercial blockchain applications that focus on improving public health, education and the environmen...

Categories: Blockchain|ETH|BTC|Asia|Technology
icon

R3 Announces Global Payment App With XRP as Base Currency

bitcoinmagazine | 12-05-2018

R3 has unveiled a new app on their international blockchain, a global payment platform that uses Ripple’s XRP as its initial base currency.The app, dubbed Corda Settler, continues R3’s track record for pursuing  ambitious blockchain projects, and it is allegedly “purpose-built to allow for payment obligations raised on the Corda blockchain platform to be made through any of the world’s payment systems, both traditional and blockchain-based.” The press release clarifies that XRP will be the first cryptocurrency specifically supported by Settler, but also stated outright that it would not be the only one in the foreseeable future.In the release, Richard Gendal Brown, R3’s Chief Technology Officer, offers some clarification on his company’s choice of XRP specifically.“The deployment of the Corda Settler and its support for XRP as the first settlement mechanism is an important step in showing how the powerful ecosystems cultivated by two of the of the world’s most influential crypto and blockchain communities can work together,” said Brown in the press release, adding that “while the Settler will be open to all forms of crypto and traditional assets, this demonstration with XRP is the next logical step.”R3’s Corda blockchain has already demonstrated its ability to handle a variety of different apps for different use-cases, and the Settler app will continue to operate on the same standard. According to the r...

Categories: XRP|Blockchain|BTC|ICO|Technology
icon

Binance Showcase Decentralized Exchange Progress in Latest Video

bitcoinmagazine | 12-05-2018

Binance just offered its users an in-depth sneak peek of its forthcoming decentralized exchange (DEX). Announced in March of 2018, the decentralized exchange will be built on Binance’s own Binance chain, the soon-to-be base layer for BNB, Binance’s trading currency that is currently an ERC-20 token.A December 4, 2018, YouTube video posted by Binance’s official channel showcases the work the Binance DEX has undertaken on the project since its last update.Displaying the exchange in a testnet view, a representative from the Binance DEX team gives viewers a rundown of its main features: its web wallet, reading interface and built-in block explorer. The DEX, he reveals, will be available for users to trial “on a testnet soon.”The developer opens the presentation by demonstrating the DEX’s wallet function. So far, it houses two options, allowing users to create a new wallet with a store file and password or by generating a mnemonic (a.k.a seed) phrase.In addition to these two, more options are in the works, the representative promises, though it’s unclear what form they will take (such as a hardware wallet or MetaMask integration, which are popular options for other decentralized exchanges). Keeping with a DEX’s promise to give coin holders control over their funds, users will be able to export their private keys from the exchange. The video then dives into the exchange’s actual trading interface, which is a ...

Categories: Exchange|Trading|BTC
icon

Bitfury Is Implementing Lightning Into Crypto Payment Platform Paytomat

bitcoinmagazine | 12-05-2018

The Bitfury Group has recently announced a partnership with crypto payment processing system Paytomat, working to bring the Lightning Network to Paytomat’s participating merchants.According to a recent Medium post made by LightningPeach, “Bitfury’s in-house specialized Lightning Network engineering team,” the Bitfury Group is pouring its resources into Paytomat’s wallet and vendor system, enabling “users and merchants on the Paytomat system to send and receive bitcoin payments over the Lightning Network almost instantly.” “Both Bitfury and Paytomat participated in the Blockchain Expo in Amsterdam in June, and, after meeting, we began discussing our potential partnership opportunities,” Pavel Prikhodko, the head of LightningPeach, told Bitcoin Magazine. The partnership between the two companies seems like a natural fit. Bitfury specializes in building blockchain hardware and tools (such as mining chips), and Paytomat has a large base of customers and merchants already lined up. Per the partnership, Bitfury will be incorporating Lightning directly into Paytomat’s platform. As Prikhodko described it, “Bitfury’s LightningPeach team integrated Lightning Network in Paytomat. Bitcoin Lightning payments are now built in to Paytomat’s merchant dashboard, allowing users to make instant and low-fee payments in Bitcoin.” The Lightning Network has generated a great deal of fame in the cryptocurrency space for its pr...

Categories: BTC|Blockchain|Mining
icon

BitGive Launches Bitcoin Donation Platform GiveTrack 1.0 on Mainnet

bitcoinmagazine | 12-05-2018

Having announced the beta version of its blockchain-based donation platform GiveTrack in 2017, the BitGive Foundation has now launched the GiveTrack 1.0 on the mainnet.The GiveTrack platform was created to bring transparency to the donation process. Using the platform, donations can be made with bitcoin, allowing donors to track the progress of the funds in real time, ensuring donations make it to the intended charities and get used for their intended causes.The latest version of GiveTrack, which was launched at the Latin American Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference in Chile, is an upgrade to the beta product, featuring a brand new technology stack and easy onboarding for donors and nonprofits.BitGive is the first bitcoin-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that uses bitcoin to support global charity projects. The foundation has funded numerous projects in the past, such as the Maternal & Neonatal India Program and the Chandolo Primary School Water Project."We are very excited to launch GiveTrack 1.0 after many months of hard work from our team. It is an honor to launch with four amazing NGO partners who are doing important work around the world, and a pleasure to have this occasion at the Latin American Bitcoin Conference where we have always received a tremendous amount of support," Connie Gallippi, founder and executive director of BitGive, remarked in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine. In addition ...

Categories: BTC|ETH|Blockchain|Technology
icon

As It Ramps Up Enforcement, the SEC Has Been Looking Abroad for Assistance

bitcoinmagazine | 12-04-2018

2018 has been a hallmark year for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s enforcement against cryptocurrency companies/articles/secs-end-fiscal-year-report-reveals-heavy-action-against-ico-related-fraud/, and, according to one director, international collaboration with other regulatory agencies has played a supporting role in the SEC’s recent regulatory actions.Steven Peikin, co-director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC, has credited international collaboration as a useful weapon in the agency's arsenal for bringing fraudulent or unregistered actors to justice. Peikin made this opinion known at a speech he delivered at the Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems (PIFS) for Regulators of Securities Markets on December 3, 2018.Peikin leads a team of attorneys and accountants who investigate and prosecute civil violations of U.S. federal securities laws. According to him, his division has the "daunting task of ferreting out misconduct and, where appropriate, recommending civil enforcement actions that variously seek injunctions or cease-and-desist orders, penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, suspensions and bars of bad actors, and the temporary suspension or delisting of securities." They have been involved in cases like the recent settlement of charges against music producer DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather Jr., who were both charged for touting crypto of...

Categories: Regulation|BTC|Exchange|Market
icon

Bitcoin’s Tech Trends of 2018: What This Year Brought Us (Part 1)

bitcoinmagazine | 12-04-2018

Where 2017’s dizzying price highs embedded “hodl” into the public consciousness, 2018 was the year in which “buidl" became a trend in the crypto-industry — and Bitcoin was no exception.Anticipated in Bitcoin Magazine’s first cover story of 2018, Bitcoin’s technological progress only accelerated this year. Improving Bitcoin from around the world, developers and entrepreneurs furthered Segregated Witness adoption, rolled out the Lightning Network, released privacy solutions, realized sidechains and made progress on a Schnorr signature solution — all of which were still around the corner only a year ago. Following up on January’s cover story, 2018’s closing two-parter cover story explores how these five technologies progressed throughout the year.In part one: Segregated Witness and the Lightning Network.Segregated WitnessThe Segregated Witness (SegWit) soft fork that activated in August 2017 was arguably Bitcoin’s biggest protocol upgrade to date. Fixing the long-standing malleability bug, it better enabled second-layer protocols while replacing Bitcoin’s block size limit with a block weight limit. Transactions that utilize SegWit are partly stored in a new part of Bitcoin blocks, allowing the network to process more than one megabyte of transaction data per 10 minutes.Back in 2017, SegWit adoption was off to a somewhat slow start. By the end of the year, most wallets had not integrated the upgrade yet — a...

Categories: BTC|Trading|Blockchain|Technology
icon

South Korea Is Trialing Blockchain Voting — Here’s What That Means

bitcoinmagazine | 12-04-2018

South Korea will test out a new blockchain voting system this month, sources close to the developments have confirmed to Bitcoin Magazine. Developed by the country’s National Election Commission (NEC) and its Ministry of Science and ICT, the distributed ledger system is based on IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric and will be used to authenticate voters and save voting results in real time.South Korean officials believe a blockchain voting system will increase both security and transparency, thereby improving people’s trust in digital voting. The NEC initially ran an online voting system dubbed “K-voting” back in 2013, but, despite 5.64 million users, trust remained low due to fraud and hacking concerns. The system will be trialed in the private sector by Handysoft Consortium, which provides collaboration systems for smart work environments. The NEC says the trial is a pilot test designed to determine the viability of blockchain technology, wherein a small sample of users will use the pilot to answer a questionnaire.With the pilot, the voting system will be used to gather responses from surveys issued by the Korea Internet and Security Agency — the region’s official internet content watchdog — on user experience, including satisfaction among trial participants. Their personal information is then collected from the user group administrator and uploaded directly to the blockchain system, where it is stored for the n...

Categories: Blockchain|Asia|BTC|Technology|Wallet
icon

Bitfinex Gives Tether Competition, Adds Four of Market’s Top Stablecoins

bitcoinmagazine | 12-04-2018

Cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Ethfinex now support trading for all six of the market’s major stablecoins. Adding to its support for MakerDao’s Dai and Tether’s USDT, the sister platforms recently listed USD Coin (USDC), TrueUSD (TUSD), Paxos Standard Token (PAX) and Gemini USD (GUSD). All stablecoins available on the exchanges will be traded against the U.S. dollar.Launched in 2018, Ethfinex is Bitfinex’s ERC-20 exchange arm. Built for trading Ethereum tokens, the exchange is centralized at the moment, but the team plans to transform it into a decentralized exchange in the future. Bitfinex made the announcement in a December 4, 2018, blog post stating:“From today, customers of Bitfinex and Ethfinex will be able to trade all six major stablecoins on both exchanges. At Bitfinex and Ethfinex, we’re dedicated to providing a high quality, unbiased meeting place for every ecosystem and customer,” the post reads. Bitfinex’s promise to remain “unbiased” is notable given the exchange’s intrinsic ties to Tether. Both Bitfinex and Tether share a CEO, and the interoperations between both entities, which critics have regarded as opaque, have called Tether’s credibility into question, paving the way for the competing projects that Bitfinex has just listed. One of the biggest issues stemming from the cryptocurrency space is volatility. Many digital assets are known for experiencing wild price swings that can c...

Categories: Exchange|USDT|Trading|ICO|BTC
icon

Bitcoin’s Network Just Experienced Its Second Largest Downward Adjustment

bitcoinmagazine | 12-03-2018

As the market continues to tumble (and mining profits have dwindled), Bitcoin’s mining difficulty dropped by its largest percentile in seven years — the second largest downward correction in the cryptocurrency’s lifetime.The last time bitcoin experienced an adjustment on par with this recent one was on October 16, 2011, when it dropped 13.1 percent. Just over two weeks later, the network would experience its most significant difficulty decrease, falling by 18 percent on November 1, 2011.Now, on December 3, 2018, the network’s mining difficulty has fallen by 15.1 percent as mining profitability has waned in response to struggling prices. #Bitcoin just had its second largest drop in mining difficulty in history: -15.1%. This is the current ranking:2011-nov-01: -18.0%2018-dec-03: -15.1%2011-oct-16: -13.1%2012-dec-27: -11.6%2011-mar-26: -9,5%2013-jan-26: -8.6%2011-dec-01: -8.5%2012-may-25: -9.2%— Fernando Ulrich (@fernandoulrich) December 3, 2018Since bitcoin plummeted from its months-long support at $6,000, community buzz has centered on anxieties of bitcoin’s mining profitability. If the price drops too low, the worry goes, then miners will stop mining, the network will struggle and things will only get worse.Designated for every 2,016 blocks, Bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment is the network’s self-correcting mechanism to ensure that miners can continue to find hashes below a specific target (i.e.,...

Categories: Mining|BTC|Market|Trading
icon

This Year's G20 Put an Emphasis on Cryptocurrency Regulation

bitcoinmagazine | 12-03-2018

Global leaders walked away from the latest G20 Summit with a rough game plan for crypto regulation.This year’s G20 Summit took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from November 30 to December 1. International government officials, as well as some of the world’s largest corporations including Bank of America, Inter-American Development Bank, the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization, gathered to discuss topics ranging from infrastructural development to sustainable food sourcing. Among the topics examined at the summit included the creation of an open and resilient financial system that followed international laws and supported sustainable economic growth for all participants, at which point the subject of cryptocurrencies was brought up.Eager to battle both money laundering and fraud in the financial market, leaders explained that they are looking to imprint stronger regulatory tactics on both cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses.“We will regulate crypto-assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in line with FATF [Financial Action Task Force] standards and we will consider other responses as needed,” a summary of the summit reads. Members also explained that they would explore the extradition of individuals responsible for stealing assets to regions where the offenses took place. Leaders of the summit say they’re now tasking relevant international ...

Categories: Regulation|Fiat|BTC|Market|Blockchain
icon

Trading Platform Paxful Completes Construction for Second School in Rwanda

bitcoinmagazine | 12-03-2018

Children in the Rwandan village of Kasebigege are being given a greater chance to pursue a sound education as construction on a new school, developed by bitcoin marketplace Paxful, has been completed.Located in the Bugesera District, the school is a primary institution designed for children between the ages of 6 and 15. It's Paxful's second Philanthropic endeavor in the village, and construction was finished roughly one year after the company built a nursery education center in December 2017. In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Ray Youssef — CEO and co-founder of Paxful — says it has always been one of his dreams to build schools for underprivileged children. “You will see more of this, especially schools where they’re most needed like in Africa and in rural villages where people don’t have access to education or clean water,” he explains. “We want to build 100 schools in Africa fully funded by cryptocurrency. This is just the beginning and we’ve only built two out of the 100.” The school is in the heart of the village where Rwanda’s infamous genocide began roughly 20 years ago. Youssef says that the area glows with an aura of healing and forgiveness and thus seemed like the natural place to begin rebuilding the country. “We believe that education is key to sustaining a community, but that’s not the way you start,” he comments. “When you go to a place with absolutely no infrastructure, you must start...

Categories: BTC|Trading
icon

Wyoming Passes Bill to Secure Banking Relations for Blockchain Companies

bitcoinmagazine | 12-03-2018

The state of Wyoming has passed a blockchain bill that allows banks to provide banking services to blockchain companies in the state. According to the legislative document, the new bill would create a new banking category called the Special Purpose Depository Bank, a group of financial institutions in the state that provide banking services to blockchain-based businesses.The bill was passed unanimously by the state's legislative committee 13-1, and it seeks to remedy the banking problems faced by blockchain businesses in the state. "The rapid innovation of blockchain technology, including the growing use of virtual currency and digital assets, has resulted in many blockchain innovators being unable to access secure and reliable banking services, hampering the development of blockchain services and products in the marketplace," the document states.Traditional banks have not been friendly to blockchain companies in the "Equality State," depriving them of secure and reliable banking services to the sector due to the strict banking regulations governing the state. "Authorizing special purpose depository banks to be chartered in Wyoming will provide a necessary and valuable service to blockchain innovators, emphasize Wyoming’s partnership with the technology and financial industry and safely grow this state’s developing financial sector," the document reads.The banks under this category are expected to maint...

Categories: Blockchain|Technology|BTC|Fiat
icon

Ohio Technology Funds Announce $100M Support for Blockchain Startups

bitcoinmagazine | 12-03-2018

Recently, the CEO of Ohio-based nonprofit JumpStart Inc. announced that his company, along with six others, would invest vast sums of money into Ohio’s blockchain startups.As covered in Cleveland-based news organizations, JumpStart Inc.’s CEO Ray Leach initially announced this donation. Collectively, the seven different funds, which are all based in Ohio, are commitmed “to invest $100 million in early-stage startups that focus on using blockchain technology for business or government.” Leach claims that, further down the line, the funds will establish “additional investment teams [that] plan to make $200 million available for blockchain companies that take advantage of Ohio’s ‘Opportunity Zones.’” These zones apparently give tax incentives to spur economic development in poorer neighborhoods, which has so far shown inconclusive evidence nationwide that the practice will aid public services and, instead, will accelerate gentrification. Still, from this news, Ohio is quickly turning into a real safe haven for blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. A week before this announcement, Ohio’s State Treasurer Josh Mandel also declared that businesses could pay taxes using cryptocurrency. This pilot program was the only crypto tax scheme he could set up without consulting the legislature or governor’s office. Combining this new system of tax payments with institutionalized tax breaks may lure many companies into...

Categories: Regulation|Blockchain|Technology|BTC|Business
icon

Op Ed: From Gray To Black and White: Traditional Regulations Come to Crypto

bitcoinmagazine | 12-03-2018

For nearly a decade, participants in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space have operated in a regulatory compliance gray zone. Recent developments — at both the federal and international levels — signal that the time for plausible deniability or unregulated freedom is coming to an end and more traditional regulations are moving to the forefront.Currently, whether a cryptocurrency-related business is subject to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its related regulations is a painstaking, case-by-case analysis. Recently, however, the primary criminal enforcement arm of the United States’ financial regulatory authorities, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the international commission tasked with providing financial regulatory guidance to its 37 member jurisdictions, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), have moved toward promulgating clear-cut anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) rules and regulations.Pending U.S. Legislation and Its Impact on Recent GuidancePending legislation proposes to amend FinCEN’s statutory duties to include combating “anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering initiatives … involving emerging technologies that substitute for currency.” If passed, this legislation would solidify FinCEN’s position that it is tasked with regulating AML and KYC issues in cryptocurrency. But what would that mean for the industry?FinCEN has long guided that cryptocurr...

Categories: Regulation|BTC|Market|Blockchain|Fiat
icon

Week 2: How the Bitcoin Cash “Hash War” Came and Went and Not Much Happened

bitcoinmagazine | 12-01-2018

In what may well have been the most watched cryptocurrency event of 2018, Bitcoin Cash two weeks ago “hard forked” (split) into two different coins. The “big block” project that itself forked away from the Bitcoin blockchain in August 2017 fragmented into “Bitcoin Cash ABC” (BCHABC) and “Bitcoin Cash SV” (BCHSV).In this third and final overview: the main takeaways and latest developments of the second week since the Bitcoin Cash split.Hash War OverThe Bitcoin Cash split drew as much attention as it did in part because Bitcoin SV proponents had announced a “hash war.” Where previous “coin splits” were relatively peaceful — both sides of the respective disputes went their own way — nChain chief scientist and Bitcoin SV frontman Craig Steven Wright threatened that miners would 51% attack a potential Bitcoin Cash ABC chain out of existence.But as the coin forked and the world watched, nothing irregular happened. Possibly because Bitcoin Cash proponents brought in additional hash power to secure their side of the chain, no 51% attack took place.One day after the split, Wright said Bitcoin Cash SV miners would instead maintain an “endurance attack.” If and when more miners left the Bitcoin Cash ABC network, the 51% attack(s) would commence. For well over a week, both chains did attract more hash power than their respective block rewards warranted, suggesting that miners were losing millions of dollars in a se...

Categories: BTC|Blockchain
icon

VanEck, Cboe and SolidX Meet With SEC to Discuss a Bitcoin ETF

bitcoinmagazine | 11-30-2018

Having met the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August 2018, officials of VanEck, SolidX and Cboe BZX Exchange have met with the Commission again, in the latest attempt to convince the regulator to approve the nation's first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), according to an official presentation submitted to the SEC.The firms gave the pitch to the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, and Office of General Counsel.The presentation given to staffers of the agency was focused on comparing the cryptocurrency market to other markets that already have exchange-traded funds, including silver and gold markets. The promoters of the VanEck/SolidX ETF hammered on its long-held view — that the bitcoin market is ready for an ETF.Using the vector error-correction (VEC) model to compare pricing data between exchanges over an extended period of time, the proponents argued that bitcoin’s price between the futures market and the spot market are connected. They then compared these price correlations to the markets for commodities like gold and silver, which also function as money substitutes to indicate that bitcoin features a "well-functioning capital market.""The empirical evidence indicates that the spot and futures prices are cointegrated. This indicates that the spot and futures prices are tightly linked."On the issue of market manipulation, one issue that the SEC ...

Categories: Market|BTC|Regulation|Trading|Exchange
icon

“Enforcement by Guidance”: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

bitcoinmagazine | 11-30-2018

On November 27, 2018, a California judge turned back the SEC’s request for an injunction against token company BlockVest, a company the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pursuing for allegedly conducting an unregistered securities offering. The judge, however, ruled that BlockVest’s token distribution, which was conducted via airdrop, was given freely and received without expectation for returns, so it didn’t constitute an investment contract.While the judge’s ruling is not a law-binding verdict, it was still a victory for BlockVest and the wider ICO industry, something that’s been a rarity for the SEC’s mounting list of token sale targets.Among other regulatory developments, 2018 has been one extended game of cat and mouse between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and any number of initial coin offerings (ICO) that have sprung up in the investing exuberance of 2017’s bull market. And the SEC has been catching its fair share of mice.Back in last year’s unprecedented boom, which saw the crypto market’s assets increase threefold, many ICOs attempted to evade the SEC’s scrutiny by self-labeling their products as utility tokens. If they could prove their tokens were built to serve a function rather than exist as an investment vehicle, then they could avoid a securities classification and continue their sale without registering with the SEC.The SEC, though, didn’t buy the distinction...

Categories: ICO|Regulation|Exchange|BTC|Market
icon

“Guidance by Enforcement”: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

bitcoinmagazine | 11-30-2018

On November 27, 2018, a California judge turned back the SEC’s request for an injunction against token company BlockVest, a company the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pursuing for allegedly conducting an unregistered securities offering. The judge, however, ruled that BlockVest’s token distribution, which was conducted via airdrop, was given freely and received without expectation for returns, so it didn’t constitute an investment contract.While the judge’s ruling is not a law-binding verdict, it was still a victory for BlockVest and the wider ICO industry, something that’s been a rarity for the SEC’s mounting list of token sale targets.Among other regulatory developments, 2018 has been one extended game of cat and mouse between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and any number of initial coin offerings (ICO) that have sprung up in the investing exuberance of 2017’s bull market. And the SEC has been catching its fair share of mice.Back in last year’s unprecedented boom, which saw the crypto market’s assets increase threefold, many ICOs attempted to evade the SEC’s scrutiny by self-labeling their products as utility tokens. If they could prove their tokens were built to serve a function rather than exist as an investment vehicle, then they could avoid a securities classification and continue their sale without registering with the SEC.The SEC, though, didn’t buy the distinction...

Categories: ICO|Regulation|Exchange|BTC|Market
icon

What Is Cryptocurrency? “Jeopardy!” Features Entire Category on Crypto

bitcoinmagazine | 11-30-2018

Is cryptocurrency becoming more mainstream? It could be if one of America’s most prominent game shows features an entire category devoted to it.The November 29, 2018, episode of “Jeopardy!” — which has been on the air since 1964 — offered five unique questions centered around cryptocurrencies and their technology to test out its contestants’ knowledge on the subject: The results reveal that they did indeed know their fair share.The “cryptocurrencies” category occurred in the game’s first round, with answers worth $200, $400, $600, $800 and $1,000 depending on their order and level of difficulty. The category was also among the final two to be tackled by the players, suggesting they may have felt a little less confident heading into it. The first clue, selected by Phil Tompkins, a portable restroom service technician from Indiana, was a rather basic one: “An altcoin is any unit of cryptocurrency other than this original one.” Chris Williams, a consultant from New York, responded with the correct answer: “bitcoin.” The contestants then moved to an entirely new category before Adriana Ciccone, a data scientist from San Francisco, jumped back to “cryptocurrencies” with less than a minute to go in the round. In true cryptocurrency fashion, the stakes suddenly got higher when the selected clue turned out to be a “daily double” — meaning she was able to risk any or all of her accumulated winnings on the result...

Categories: BTC|Technology|Altcoin
icon

EU Workers Now Have the Option to Take Their Pay in a Euro Stablecoin

bitcoinmagazine | 11-30-2018

Blockchain Payroll Platform WorkChain.io has partnered with tokenization platform STASIS to enable euro-backed crypto paychecks for its European Union (EU) users with the EURS stablecoin. EURS becomes the second stablecoin selected for use on the WorkChain.io platform but the first one collateralized in euros. The platform also supports TrustToken's TrueUSD stablecoin, which is a fiat-collateralized stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar.Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, WorkChain.io CEO Ryan Fyfe said the inclusion of EURS payment on the platform means "anyone who gets paid in Euros can now choose to get their paycheck in cryptocurrency. And, being a stablecoin, it protects workers and employers from volatility. With the volatility of the cryptocurrency market in recent days, the need for stablecoins has become even more apparent."WorkChain seems to be entirely different from a host of blockchain-based payroll services like Bitwage, the U.S.-based payroll and wage payment platform. Whereas Bitwage offers the typical payroll model with an option to convert monthly payments into bitcoin or ether, WorkChain disrupts the pay period, allowing workers to choose when they want to get paid and in which currency."So, instead of waiting weeks or up to a month to get their paycheck, workers can choose when their payday comes — every day if they want. It’s their paycheck on demand. This gives people more financial con...

Categories: BTC|Market|Blockchain|Fiat
icon

Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Receives Honorary Doctorate

bitcoinmagazine | 11-30-2018

Vitalik Buterin left academia four years ago to pursue a career in crypto. Now, the Ethereum founder’s contributions to the industry (and the computer science field at large) have earned him an honorary Ph.D. — in the same year he might have eventually completed his undergrad degree.In 2014, disenchanted with academics, Buterin accepted a Thiel Fellowship for his preliminary work on Ethereum and dropped out in his freshman year at the University of Waterloo to work on the smart contract platform.Today, the University of Basel's Faculty of Business and Economics has awarded him an honorary doctorate. The distinction was given at the Dies Academicus celebration, an annual event that commemorates the opening of the university.Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel, Prof. Dr. Aleksander Berentsen calls Buterin's blockchain innovations "game-changing," adding that he has "blazed a trail for science and industry to follow and work together.""I’m honored to have received an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel the oldest university in Switzerland. Switzerland is well known for its innovative blockchain research,” Buterin stated.Buterin first introduced his concept for the groundbreaking Ethereum in a white paper titled "A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform" in 2013, wherein he proposed the development of a new platform with a more flexib...

Categories: ETH|Blockchain|Business|BTC
icon

Coinbase Launches Zcash Trading Services on Coinbase Pro

bitcoinmagazine | 11-29-2018

Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is launching Zcash (ZEC) trading on its professional trading platform Coinbase Pro. The announcement made via Coinbase’s blog page states that inbound transfers of the currency will begin at 10 p.m. PST on Thursday, November 29, 2018, though early deposits have already begun.The blog reads, “Once sufficient liquidity is established, trading on the ZEC/USDC order book will start. ZEC trading will initially be accessible for Coinbase Pro users in the U.S. (excluding New York), the U.K., the European Union, Canada, Singapore and Australia. Additional jurisdictions may be added later.” At press time, ZEC is not yet available on Coinbase.com or on the company’s mobile apps. The blog says a separate announcement will be made once ZEC is active on these platforms.Zcash is a cryptocurrency that offers users additional privacy. The asset comes in two forms: shielded and transparent, with the former encrypting transaction information to ensure it remains unseen by third parties. Coinbase Pro says it will support deposits from both the shielded and transparent forms of ZEC, though only withdrawals to transparent addresses will be permitted.“In the future, we’ll explore support for withdrawals to shielded addresses in locations where it complies with local laws,” Coinbase’s blog states.The launch is set to occur in four stages. The first,“transfer-only” stage went live at 10...

Categories: ZEC|Trading|BTC|Exchange|Asia
icon

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Wait and See Where Recent Signs of Strength Lead

bitcoinmagazine | 11-29-2018

This week realized a big gain as bitcoin enjoyed a 25% rally from its local bottom before topping out around $4,400. Support currently appears to be established in the mid-$3,000s as the market remains indecisive over its next move:Figure 1: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Current Support LevelFigure 1 shows the relevance of the current support level as it represents a previous support level that was never properly retested during last year’s parabolic bull market. At the moment, we are currently seeing some resistance around the macro, 78% Fibonacci retracement of the parabolic run-up. To date, bitcoin has realized a whopping 82% devaluation from its all-time high to the current low in the mid $3,500s. If our current support holds, we should expect to see a battle over the 78% retracement values where, if the overhanging retracement level breaks, we will likely encounter another level of resistance in the $5,000 region. But, for now, the market needs to tackle the 78% Fibonacci before worrying about the overhanging resistance levels.On the lower time frames, we can see bitcoin is finding nice support on its 23% retracement which also happens to be the previous high:Figure 2: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Current Low Time Frame Support LevelThe lower time frames are consolidating on top of the previous high and just below the macro 78% retracement. Off the $3,500 low, we saw a decently strong rally with high volume ...

Categories: BTC|Market|Trading
icon

U.S. District Judge Turns Back SEC Request Regarding ICOs

bitcoinmagazine | 11-29-2018

A new development has arisen in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) efforts to regulate ICOs: a District Judge has turned back a request for an injunction.According to a recent legal briefing, San Diego District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has been presiding over a case between the SEC and the startup company Blockvest. On November 27, 2018, although Judge Curiel had previously “granted the SEC’s ex parte request for a temporary restraining order and froze the assets involved in the ICO,” he has now stated that the SEC couldn’t demonstrate that buyers of Blockvest’s ICO expected to receive a profit. The SEC’s regulations regarding ICOs are a tricky and largely unresolved legal area, but this case and others have explicitly cited one 1946 court case: SEC vs. W.J. Howey Co. This case first codified into law that certain assets can be considered securities, and become subject to securities regulations, based on the way that sellers and customers handle them. One of the critical criteria for an offering such as an ICO to become a security under the Howey statute is for customers to demonstrate an expectation that they will eventually make more money from the purchase. According to Curiel’s recent comments, customers of the Blockvest ICO were under no such illusion. Curiel’s comments by themselves do not constitute a legal verdict, and the case is by no means sealed. The briefing went on to state th...

Categories: Regulation|ICO|BTC|Exchange|Business
icon

AriseBank CEO Charged in $4 Million Alleged ICO Scam

bitcoinmagazine | 11-29-2018

Jared Rice Sr., CEO of the Dallas-based bank AriseBank, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, and charged with six counts of securities fraud and wire fraud. Rice is accused of scamming investors out of more than $4 million through a cryptocurrency scam that promised federally insured accounts and brand-name credit cards.Earlier this year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) regional office in Fort Worth, Texas, received an emergency court order to stop AriseBank’s initial coin offering (ICO) for the cryptocurrency AriseCoin, which Rice falsely claimed had raised a whopping $600 million. According to the court filing, Rice reportedly lied to investors, saying that the bank — which he called the “first decentralized banking platform” — could offer customers FDIC-insured accounts, as well as traditional banking services such as Visa-brand credit and debit cards. Erin Nealy Cox — the U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Texas — states that AriseBank was not FDIC insured, nor did it have the authority to conduct banking operations in Texas. It also did not have an official partnership with Visa. Rice spoke of AriseBank’s allegedly non-existent benefits online and through press releases while spending investor funds on hotel stays, clothing, meals, Uber rides, a family law attorney and guardian ad litem. Prosecutors also ac...

Categories: ICO|Business|Fiat|BTC|Exchange
icon

Report: Crypto Exchanges Are Recording Impressive Revenues

bitcoinmagazine | 11-29-2018

Cryptocurrency exchanges are catching up to their traditional counterparts, a new study suggests.According to a report released by global professional services company Accenture, revenue from cryptocurrency exchanges is now matching that of traditional exchanges. Some of the changes discussed in the document, “Capital Markets Vision 2022,” include the rise and growth of cryptocurrencies, and how blockchain technology could potentially help traditional firms unlock value and add new levels of efficiency to their operations. Traditional exchanges typically generate solid pre-tax margins, but their growth prospects tend to be modest at best, the document explains. Thus, many traditional firms have begun finding ways to bring cryptocurrency trading to their customers as a means of potentially increasing their revenue while offering investors the chance to build more diversified portfolios. The report says that cryptocurrency exchanges and servicing hold a 64 percent pre-tax margin. The authors say that, in just a few short years, crypto exchanges have “exploded from virtually nowhere” and now represent a substantial amount of revenue, matching that from traditional exchanges with a discrepancy in composition of margin and turnover that differs by a factor of roughly 1,000. Markus Boehme — co-author of the report and managing director at Accenture Strategy — explains, “Adapting a trillion-dollar industry for...

Categories: Business|BTC|Market|ICO|Blockchain
icon

Coinbase Launches OTC Trading for Institutional Investors

bitcoinmagazine | 11-29-2018

Major U.S. digital asset platform Coinbase has launched an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk dedicated to institutional investors, live-streaming site Cheddar reports.From Coinbase Prime to its Custody service, the exchange has been laying the groundwork for institutional investors for a while now. Earlier this year, Coinbase announced it was on track to be a broker-dealer regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The exchange also acquired securities dealer Keystone Capital and others, in a bid to expand its offerings to include crypto securities trading, margin trading and OTC trading.Coinbase Head of Sales Christine Sandler said that the increasing demand for OTC crypto trading made the move a must-have for the exchange. “We launched our OTC business as a complement to our exchange business because we found a lot of institutions were using OTC as an on-ramp for crypto trading.”According to Sandler, the launch will enable clients to leverage Coinbase’s crypto exchange and OTC service. There is also the possibility of the crypto trading platform combining its OTC service with its custody business.Coinbase joins a list of businesses currently offering OTC trading services, such as Circle, Genesis Trading, itBit, Kenetic Capital and others. When asked what makes Coinbase's OTC trading desk unique, Sandler stated:“Circle and a number of others have complementary products, but they also t...

Categories: Trading|Exchange|Business|BTC|ICO
icon

Huobi Is Rolling Out Futures Trading on a New Platform

bitcoinmagazine | 11-28-2018

At this year’s CryptoFrontiers Conference in New York City, digital currency exchange Huobi announced that it will begin offering derivatives contract trading. The service will be available via Huobi’s Derivative Market (Huobi DM) to customers of select countries and will allow them to open both short and long positions for a handful of coins.In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Joshua Goodbody, general counsel of Huobi’s global institutional team, said, “Our derivative contracts are agreements to buy or sell an asset on a specific future date and at a specific price. Once the derivative contract has been executed, both counterparties will buy and sell at the agreed-upon price irrespective of the actual market price.”When buying and selling these futures contracts, traders will have the option of 5X, 10X and 20X leverage. At press time, Huobi DM is in beta testing mode, and its services are unavailable to users in the U.S., Singapore, Israel, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria. Goodbody says, “We are taking things slowly, but we are working with our lawyers and the relevant regulatory authorities to assess the requirements in each jurisdiction, and we will take the necessary steps required to offer this in a compliant manner.” Huobi has sought to limit both risk and uncertainty for its customers by utilizing 24-hour exchange monitoring. It also provides an insurance fund of up to 20,000 BTC to any cust...

Categories: Trading|BTC|Exchange|Market|Asia
icon

Amidst Dwindling Prices, Steemit Lays Off 70% of Workforce

bitcoinmagazine | 11-28-2018

Blockchain-based social media platform Steemit Inc., the company behind popular open source website Steemit.com, has announced a structural reorganization which will entail laying off 70 percent of its workforce as it looks for new ways to cut costs and remain sustainable as a business.In a heartfelt post published by Steemit's co-founder and CEO Ned Scott, the rest of the team will stay on to work on reducing the cost of running the Steemit platform and the company's public APIs.Scott attributed the decision to lay off the overwhelming majority of Steemit’s workforce to "the weakness of the cryptocurrency market, the fiat returns on our automated selling of STEEM diminishing, and the growing costs of running full Steem nodes.""We have conducted our first all-hands meeting and are prioritizing all the cost reduction solutions we can accomplish in the near term, including replacing steemd plugins with hivemind, pitchforking Steem to prune the chain state size from 160gb to 0gb, AWS usage projections, DevOps solutions, reduction of Staging and Testing nodes, and eliminating redundancies," Scott continues in the post.Steem is Steemit's native token, which was created in 2016 as a micropayment currency for tipping authors on the Steemit platform. The Steemit platform was created to be a decentralized version of Reddit, where contributors could be rewarded with steem for their posts. Other decentralized plat...

Categories: Market|BTC|ICO|Fiat
icon

In Cautionary Speech, Chairman Clayton Parrots SEC’s Bitcoin ETF Concerns

bitcoinmagazine | 11-28-2018

Speaking at the ongoing CoinDesk's Consensus Invest conference in New York, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton spoke on why his agency hasn’t yet approved a bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). But the rationale behind his words is nothing his crypto-friendly audience hasn’t heard before.Clayton explained that his agency might not approve a bitcoin ETF anytime soon as the agency's issues are yet to be addressed by market operators. Clayton singled out theft and manipulation of cryptocurrencies as two issues that need to be sorted out before the commission can give its blessings to an ETF, something that prior rejection orders have repeated ad infinitum. In these rejection orders, the SEC claims that each applicant has failed “to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that its rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices,” continuing to say that “novel systems intrinsic to this new market provide unique additional protections that are unavailable in traditional commodity markets,” namely “traditional means of identifying and deterring fraud and manipulation.”These “traditional means” are surveillance sharing agreements, something the rejection orders stress as one of the avenues through which a product might win approval. In his own talk, Chairman Cla...

Categories: BTC|Exchange|Regulation|Market
icon

A First: U.S. Treasury Makes Bitcoin Addresses Focal Point in Sanctions

bitcoinmagazine | 11-28-2018

For the first time, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has traced illicit bitcoin activity to the public addresses of two sanctioned individuals.According to a November 28, 2018, press release, the department is bringing action against Ali Khorashadizadeh and Mohammad Ghorbaniyan for their alleged involvement in the SamSam ransomware scheme. The two men reportedly helped the hackers behind SamSam convert millions of dollars of ransomed bitcoin to Iranian rials.“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons that are in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within or transiting the United States are blocked, and U.S. persons generally are prohibited from dealing with them,” the release states.These charges coincide with the U.S. Department of Justice’s indictment of Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri, the ringleaders behind the 34-month long SamSam ransomware attack. Beginning in 2015, the ransomware affected some 200 international entities, including hospitals and government departments in California, Colorado, Georgia and Kansas. The malicious actors used the ransomware to gain administrative control over the victims’ IT servers and sensitive documents, and they leveraged this control to demand bitcoin as ransom.Khorashadizadeh and Ghorbaniyan helped Savandi and Mansour process some $...

Categories: BTC|Regulation
icon

U.K. Startup Launches Crypto-themed Toys; Oh, and They’re on the Blockchain

bitcoinmagazine | 11-28-2018

Just in time for the holidays, a U.K. startup is launching a line of crypto-themed toysConcerned about the absence of provenance and authenticity for designer toys, CryptoKaiju has launched a set of uniquely collectible toys that are traceable on the blockchain. Its flagship first figure, designed to illustrate a monster with a Bitcoin theme, is dubbed “Genesis,” a nod to the first block in a blockchain. The monster is on sale now for $55 plus shipping.For each Genesis toy purchased, the buyer will get a unique token that sits within a smart contract. The token will detail the toy's metadata, including birth date, color, gender, a brief description and personality traits — which is where the scarcity comes in, creating a varying demand for the toys, as no single toy will ever be alike.CryptoKaiju will also be floating a subscription service that will launch a week after the toys ship out to customers. The subscription service will reward subscribers with a unique Kaiju every month, along with a corresponding ERC-721 token. Users have the option to subscribe for a 6-or 12-month period.CryptoKaiju was founded by Coin Journal's Oliver Carding along with David Moore, James Morgan and Andy Gray, the three co-founders of digital art marketplace Known Origin. In an email correspondence with Bitcoin Magazine, Carding said the founders were inspired by the authenticity issues they had experienced in the past col...

Categories: BTC|ICO|Blockchain|Mining