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Coinbase Ditches Its Index Fund in Favor of a New Retail Feature

bitcoinmagazine | 10-13-2018

Coinbase – one of the largest digital currency exchanges in the U.S. – is nixing its index fund designed for accredited investors and shifting its focus to a new retail product, The Block reportshttps://theblockcrypto.com/2018/10/11/coinbase-is-shutting-down-its-fund-aimed-at-big-investors-as-it-pivots-to-a-new-retail-product/. Coinbase first announced its fund back in March of 2018. The project was designed to give institutional investors easy access to the digital currency market by offering them an index that represents a basket of Coinbase’s listed assets. During this time, Coinbase representatives stated that they were “seeing strong demand from institutional and high net worth individuals.” However, now the index fund has failed to attract an appropriate number of clients. Coinbase was reportedly unable to garner necessary revenue from the project and has since decided to move on to other endeavors. The latest retail product entitled the Coinbase Bundle, launched at the end of September. Using the feature, investors can purchase an assortment of the coins offered on Coinbase with one click. Minimum purchases begin at $25. Differing from an index fund, Coinbase Bundle does not offer fixed methodologies, nor does it provide rebalancing options. This is not the first feature of its kind. Circle introduced its clients to a similar product entitled Circle Invest, which allows users to buy up to 11 diff...

Categories: Market|Business|BTC|ICO
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Singapore-based Blockchain Consortium Buys Majority Share in Bithumb

bitcoinmagazine | 10-12-2018

Singapore-based BK Global Consortium has paid 400 billion won (approximately $350 million) for a majority stake in South Korean Bithumb, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, according to a local news outlet.BK Global Consortium is a blockchain investment firm under BK Global, a Singapore plastic surgery medical group owned by Kim Byung-Gun. The Consortium had held a minority position in Bithumb for a while and was the exchange's fifth largest shareholder until today's announcement.The new deal will see the consortium acquire a “50 percent plus one share” of the holdings of Bithumb's largest investors, BTC Holdings Company. The move, once finalized, would give the Consortium a controlling stake and make Kim the largest shareholder of Bithumb.Bithumb is presently the largest digital asset platform in South Korea by trading volume. South Korea emerged as one of the hottest spots of the crypto market last year. Investors were so crypto-hungry that they had to pay a premium on every digital currency they purchased compared to investors in other parts of the world.The Consortium, under the leadership of Kim, has plans to create a stablecoin for the exchange in the near future, according to the news outlet. There are also plans to launch a global decentralized crypto exchange (DEX) in partnership with blockchain firm One Root Network and a blockchain e-commerce payment system with the aim of redu...

Categories: Blockchain|Exchange|Asia|Business|BTC
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Coinbase Has Just Added ZRX, Its First ERC-20 Token

bitcoinmagazine | 10-12-2018

Making good on a promise it made back in March of this year, Coinbase has just added its first ERC-20 token. ZRX, the token of the 0x (pronounced “zero x”) protocol began trading on Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX), the exchange’s professional trading platform, on October 11, 2018.  "Once sufficient liquidity is established, trading will begin on the ZRX/USD, ZRX/EUR and ZRX/BTC order books. ZRX trading will be accessible for users in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the state of New York," Coinbase Pro general manager David Farmer wrote in a blog post spelling out the details of the launch.Coinbase said trading of ZRX would happen slowly and in stages. “If at any point one of the new order books does not meet our assessment for a healthy and orderly market, we may keep the book in one state for a longer period of time, or suspend trading…” Farmer wrote. Per the exchange’s policy, new coin trades on Coinbase Pro first. The exchange said it would make a future announcement when ZRX began trading on coinbase.com and the Coinbase mobile apps.Last year, the popular San Francisco exchange crafted a strict new asset listing policy after getting itself into hot water when a botched bitcoin cash (BCH) listing led to accusations of insider trading.  A lot has changed for Coinbase since. At one point during the crypto bubble, the exchange boasted a user base of 13 million. Foll...

Categories: Trading|Exchange|ICO|BTC|Market
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Crypto Cybercrime Has Tripled Since 2017; Nearly $1 Billion Lost in 2018

bitcoinmagazine | 10-12-2018

Most digital exchanges are unregulated and therefore unqualified to safely process cryptocurrency transactions. They don’t employ necessary know-your-customer (KYC) tactics, and roughly $1 billion in digital asset funds have been stolen since the start of 2018.These are the unsettling claims made by a new report released by blockchain and virtual currency forensics firm CipherTrace.The most popular target currency still appears to be bitcoin, and one of the document’s key findings is that roughly 97 percent of bitcoin used in illegal transactions or that stem from criminal activity are sent to unregulated digital exchanges that enforce weak anti-money laundering (AML) tactics. An exchange is considered lacking in AML mechanisms if it does not regulate illegal drug dealing, maintain records over time, report suspicious or large transactions, or enforce KYC regulations, the report details.In addition, nearly 5 percent of all bitcoins received by unregulated exchanges come from criminal transactions, and some of the world’s top exchanges have laundered as much as $2.5 billion in BTC. To uncover these findings, researchers at CipherTrace examined over 45 million cryptocurrency transactions through roughly 20 of the world’s largest and most dominant exchanges. A transaction was marked as “criminal” if it came from a dark market website or through means of extortion, ransomware, malware or terrorist financing...

Categories: BTC|Exchange|Market|Blockchain
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Roubini Faces Off With Coin Center’s Van Valkenburgh at Senate Hearing

bitcoinmagazine | 10-12-2018

Nouriel Roubini, an economist best known for his predictions of the 2008 housing bubble, and Peter Van Valkenburgh, Coin Center’s director of research, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Community Affairs in a hearing on cryptocurrency and blockchain on October 11, 2018.“We need to sort through the static,” said Banking Committee Chair Idaho Republican Mike Crapo, describing a need to better understand both the opportunities and the challenges in cryptoland. The testimony comes at a time when bitcoin has lost two-thirds of its value since the beginning of the year and U.S. regulators are trying to figure out how to regulate thousands of ICOs that have flown in the face of decades old securities laws. Roubini wasted no time in firing off his salvos. He called crypto the “mother and father of all scams and [now busted] bubbles.” Among his list of other criticisms: blockchain is overhyped; Bitcoin cannot scale and it is not decentralized; only criminals and terrorists use bitcoin; crypto is a libertarian’s dream; and utility tokens will return us to the Stone Age. “Even the Flintstones knew better than crypto — they used clamshells as their own one currency,” he said, in one bewilderingly anachronistic statement. In stark contrast, Van Valkenburgh hailed bitcoin as “revolutionary” for its ability to function as a payment system without a trusted middleman. He referred to bit...

Categories: BTC|Regulation|ICO|Blockchain
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SEC Obtains Emergency Court Order to Halt Questionable ICO

bitcoinmagazine | 10-11-2018

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained an emergency court order issuing the stoppage of a recently planned initial coin offering (ICO) by Blockvest LLC and its founder Reginald Buddy Ringgold III, who falsely advertised that the token sale was approved by the SEC. According to the SEC, Blockvest has repeatedly violated both anti-fraud and securities registration provisions by incorrectly claiming that its ICO had obtained regulatory approval from Commission officials. The order further states that Ringgold — who also works under the name Rasool Abdul Rahim El — was using the SEC seal without the organization’s permission. In addition, the SEC says that Ringgold often touted the ICO as being “licensed and regulated,” and that he promoted the event through a false agency known as the “Blockchain Exchange Commission,” which used graphics similar to the SEC seal and boasted the same address as the SEC’s headquarters. Robert A. Cohen, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, comments, “We allege that this ICO is using both the SEC seal and a made-up crypto regulatory authority to trick investors into believing the ICO was approved by regulators. The SEC does not endorse investment products, and investors should be highly skeptical of any claims suggesting otherwise.” Furthermore, Ringgold is being accused of misrepresenting Blockvest’s alleged ties to the National Futures A...

Categories: Regulation|ICO|Exchange|Business|BTC
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“This Isn’t How We Saw This Going”: Civil’s Token Sale Is Treading Water

bitcoinmagazine | 10-11-2018

Despite a flurry of media attention surrounding the project, Civil, an Ethereum-based platform aiming to save journalism, can’t seem to get enough buyers for its token.The project released a transparency report showing the figures behind its CVL token sale, which ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, October 15, 2018, and the numbers do not look good. “This isn’t how we saw this going,” Civil founder Matthew Iles wrote on October 10. “We don’t know if it will work.” The project needs to raise $8 million to meet its “soft cap” goal, but, so far, it has only raised $1.3 million from 680 people since September 18, 2018, when the sale started. The ICO money would have supported grants for Civil newsrooms, as well as original journalistic work. Civil has said in the past it will refund people if it can’t raise enough to meet its goal. Most of the tokens ($1.1 million worth) were bought by ConsenSys, a blockchain venture studio run by Joseph Lubin, an Ethereum cofounder. ConsenSys purchased the tokens in two separate buys last month, the report said. The venture studio also backed Civil with $5 million in funding in October 2017. ConsenSys is the project’s sole investor to date.Civil has a fixed supply of 100 million tokens. The project is holding on to 33 million tokens. Some of that will go to employees and advisors who contributed to the project early on. Another 33 million tokens will go to “mission-aligned p...

Categories: ICO|BTC|ETH|Blockchain|Business
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Report Links 74% of Bitcoin Mining to China, Sees Threat to Network

bitcoinmagazine | 10-10-2018

Bitcoin, the world’s most sought-after cryptocurrency, could be at the wish and whim of Asia’s economic giant.A recent study titled “The Looming Threat of China: An Analysis of Chinese Influence on Bitcoin,” jointly researched by Princeton University and Florida International University researchers, suggests China’s mining scene has an overwhelming influence over Bitcoin, something that could invite network manipulation.China, which the researchers refer to as the “most powerful adversary to Bitcoin,” has long been known as the country with the largest numbers of miners in the world and the home to Bitmain — the company responsible for mining roughly half the world’s bitcoins. Bitcoin's network is largely dependent on miners, who use a vast amount of computing power (hash rate) to verify transactions, find blocks to continue the network’s ledger and mint new bitcoin — and 74 percent of that computing power currently resides in China, according to the study.The Bitcoin community is privy to this worrisome trend and has been wary of a potential attack that could be spurred by external factors. Controlling 51 percent of the network’s hash rate opens the threat of a 51% attack, a scenario where miners can modify transactions on the ledger for their own economic gain. According to the report, the Chinese government is keeping its eye on all of the Bitcoin-related activity going on in its domain, and, given t...

Categories: BTC|Mining|Asia|Wallet|Market
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Blockchain Business in Crypto Valley Has Doubled Since Last Year: Report

bitcoinmagazine | 10-10-2018

The number of blockchain-related companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein has doubled in the last year, according to a new study published by CV VC.The Zug-based firm, in partnership with Strategy& (PwC’s global consulting arm) and inacta, compiled information about the top 50 blockchain and digital asset companies between the two countries. The report also highlights blockchain activity in Zug, Switzerland’s Crypto Valley — a moniker it’s earned for its resemblance to the United States’ own Silicon Valley. While Crypto Valley originated in Zug, it has since expanded to include much of the surrounding territories, including the whole of Switzerland and neighboring Lichtenstein. And that moniker seems more relevant now than ever. The report reveals that there are over 600 blockchain-related companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and that over 3,000 individuals are employed by them. The top 50 listed ventures covered by the report sport a combined market cap of roughly $44 billion, and five startups are valued at over $1 billion each.  To earn a coveted spot in the report, companies were required to meet specific guidelines, the first being that blockchain technology must be part of their core business. The second was that a venture must employ at least one person either in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, while the third was that it must somehow contribute to the growth and expansion of Crypto Va...

Categories: Blockchain|Business|BTC|Market|Technology
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Blockstream’s Liquid Network for “High Value” Bitcoin Payments Is Live

bitcoinmagazine | 10-10-2018

The Liquid Network is up and running.More than a year after its conceptual introduction at the Blockchain Association of Canada's Government Forum in Ottawa, Blockstream’s bitcoin scaling solution made its public debut on October 10, 2018, after going live among its partners on September 27.Described by its creators as “an inter-exchange settlement network,” Liquid is Blockstream’s complement to Lightning. However, whereas Lightning is designed for micropayments, Blockstream’s COO Samson Mow told Bitcoin Magazine, “Liquid is designed to facilitate fast and reliable high value transfers.”“Liquid allows parties to send funds to any destination, without the need to establish channels ahead of time. Funds in Lightning are ‘hot’ (private keys are online), whereas you can store Liquid Bitcoin in both hot or cold wallets. Liquid also has the ability to have Lightning added as a second layer as well, so we view these two technologies as complementary and both important for the ecosystem.”Unlike its counterpart in Lightning, which is a secondary layer, Liquid was built as a Bitcoin sidechain. Though not exclusive to Bitcoin, you can think of a sidechain as an extension of the Bitcoin blockchain. It allows users to swap coins from the main blockchain to its sidechain in a 1-to-1 parity, usually to tap into a feature that the main network doesn’t provide.For Liquid, that feature is fast transactions with a special...

Categories: BTC|Blockchain|Trading
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Japanese Internet Monolith GMO to Launch Yen-Pegged Stablecoin

bitcoinmagazine | 10-09-2018

GMO Internet Group is working to launch a stablecoin by 2019. In an announcement released on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, the Japanese IT conglomerate said it is putting all gears in place to begin building its stablecoin, called the GMO Japanese Yen (GJY).Banking on success on its home turf, GJY will look to penetrate the Asian market via Z.com once the fiscal year of 2019 is in full swing. GMO launched Z.com as a cryptocurrency exchange subsidiary in its relentless bid to penetrate the cryptocurrency industry.The company made headlines in December of 2017 when it announced that it would open up a salary option that allowed employees to earn half of their pay in bitcoin.The news signals the entry of another potential player in the yen-pegged stablecoin market, which already includes Hong Kong’s Grandshores Technology Group.For a company that already has a foothold in the crypto exchange and mining business, launching a stablecoin, which offers price stability, would help it support “borderless cryptocurrency transactions.” Among efforts to expand its scope of operation, the company also partnered with Aozora Bank Group and others to launch a blockchain-powered online bank. The web bank is expected to provide a portal that leverages blockchain technology for making cross-border settlements. GMO is also keen on bridging the gap of international remittances via its financial corporations in Japan.“We have ba...

Categories: Fiat|Exchange|Market|Technology|BTC
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Forbes Enters Blockchain Game, Partners With Civil

bitcoinmagazine | 10-09-2018

Civil, an Ethereum-based platform with a heady bid to save journalism, has partnered with Forbes to help the 100-year-old publisher keep its stories free from meddling hands.Matt Coolidge, Civil cofounder, made the announcement today, October 9, 2018, in a blog post. He called the partnership a “major milestone for blockchain-based journalism.” Salah Zalatimo, senior vice president of product and technology at Forbes, said the partnership would allow the media company to provide “unprecedented transparency” around content.  Forbes plans to try out the Civil system next year. Kicking off the process, Forbes will integrate Civil’s software with its own custom-built content management system known as Bertie. Once that process is complete, journalists working under the Forbes umbrella will be able to upload metadata (information pertaining to who published a story and when) to the Civil network at the same time they upload their stories to Forbes.com. The hope is that publishing this metadata onto the blockchain will help to establish the author’s identity and credibility. For added assurance, a Civil “badge” will appear next to articles as a signal that the content’s metadata has been recorded to the blockchain. Forbes will start experimenting with a sampling of content (starting with its blockchain-related stories) in Q1 of 2019. If all goes well, the media company will begin uploading metadata from all o...

Categories: Blockchain|Technology|BTC|Regulation
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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Consolidation Primes Market for Big Move

bitcoinmagazine | 10-09-2018

For several weeks, bitcoin has remained in a consolidating uptrend. The market hasn’t seen a new high since mid-September, but the lows have steadily gained higher and higher ground. Overall, the volume is highly consolidated and the market is ready for a large move — the question is, where will it move next?Figure 1: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Sideways ConsolidationThe market has been range-bound for weeks and has maintained a very consistent but very non-eventful uptrend. An interesting thing to note, however, is how slowly and steadily the bitcoin market had begun its march toward its multi-month downtrend:Figure 2: BTC-USD, 12-Hour Candles, Historic DowntrendA test of this downtrend will yield important information about what investors can expect in the coming weeks and months. A decisive break of the downtrend will be a very strong buy signal to a lot of large players that have capital sidelined. If the market manages to break and hold support above the downtrend, that will be a sign to many investors that, at minimum, a break of the downtrend is likely and a new trend is likely to develop. Whether that new trend yields a sustained uptrend, sideways consolidation or a temporary reprieve from months and months of a bear market remains to be seen. However, it will, at minimum, be a point of high volatility and likely be the sign of hope the battered bulls are looking for.However, if this test is rejecte...

Categories: Market|BTC|Trading|Business
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With the CBAC, East Meets West in Search of Adoption and Innovation

bitcoinmagazine | 10-09-2018

The noise that surrounds economic relations between the United States and China is amping up exponentially. You can thank the latest trade wars for that, as fresh tensions boil over between the two nations who are currently trading new tariffs on imports, with no shortage of ill will underpinning the moves.But the Chinese government’s ire is not just outward-facing. As a country where ICOs are currently not allowed, exchanges have had their bank accounts frozen, and internet and mobile access to cryptocurrency trading information has been banned, China is taking an equally hard line on a wide range of crypto-centric activities within its own borders. All this despite a stark dichotomy, wherein over 50 percent of the worldwide mining population resided within its borders in 2017, and cryptocurrency adoption is outpacing most other countries. While trade war bullets may be flying thick and fast between these two mega-economies, the key to a better Chinese blockchain sector just may be unlocked by deploying cooperative forces in the United States, as seen by the recent launch of a New York City office for the China Blockchain Application Center (CBAC). The CBAC NY was founded with the hope of paving the way for rapid blockchain adoption in China, in part by picking up regulatory best practices from the United States, all while fostering blockchain and crypto collaboration between the two nations.An early-s...

Categories: Asia|Blockchain|Trading|BTC|Mining
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Unlocking the Full Potential of IoT Farming - [BTC Media Sponsor]

bitcoinmagazine | 10-09-2018

You don’t need to be an agriculture expert to see the writing on the wall. Current farming methods just aren’t working anymore for most farmers of the world.There are 2 billion smallholder farms managing fewer than five acres (PDF). They are growing most of the world’s food, but if you have ever visited China, India or any African country, you will have seen the challenges of their reality: yields aren’t what they used to be; climate change, drought and pesticides are getting stronger; and kids are moving to the city. For these farmers, the difference between a good and a bad crop can mean the difference between survival and starvation for them and their families. With even a modest improvement in productivity, lives can be dramatically impacted.  It’s not just farmers themselves who have a stake in improving the system. Improving agricultural practices has also become a key political issue in many countries, such as India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to double the income of its 200 million farmers by 2022. The government of Vietnam has pledged incentives to help the country’s farmers remain competitive while managing the ever-growing challenge of climate change.Politicians today can make these promises because they know they are on the cusp of a tech revolution. Low-cost sensors coupled with the internet have created an industry called IoT, or the internet of things. It’s where your ha...

Categories: BTC|Asia|Technology
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Chinese and US Investors Team Up to Create a Global Crypto Investment Fund

bitcoinmagazine | 10-09-2018

The latest crypto investment fund on the block is Dragonfly Ventures, a $100 million traditional venture fund investing only in crypto assets, managed by partners Alexander Pack from Bain Capital Ventures and Bo Feng, founding partner of Ceyuan Ventures.“We come at crypto as generalist venture capitalists who have been investing in internet technology for decades. With Dragonfly, we have decided to go all-in on crypto, because we believe that crypto is the most interesting tech trend today by far,” said Dragonfly managing partner and Bain Capital advisor Alexander Pack in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine. “The ability to use technology to redefine fundamental social constructs like money, value, and how value is exchanged across borders, is a once in a century opportunity that could be bigger than the internet,” he added.Pack has been investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain businesses for more than four years at various venture capital firms in the U.S. and Asia but wanted to create a fund that was solely for cryptocurrency businesses. He describes Dragonfly as “a fully unconstrained venture fund for the crypto asset class, investing globally and across all asset types. We even invest significantly in other cryptofunds, as well as make direct investments in tokens and startups.” Dragonfly has already attracted technology founders and investors from across the U.S. and Asia, including Salil Deshpa...

Categories: Technology|BTC|Asia|Business|ICO
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Bitfinex Challenges Insolvency Rumors, Provides Proof of Wallet Reserves

bitcoinmagazine | 10-08-2018

Top-three cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex is pushing back against claims that call its solvency into question.The Hong Kong-based company released a blog post on October 7, 2017, that states, contrary to recent rumors, it is not insolvent. In its defense, the company provides links to its public wallet addresses, stating that hearsay in spite of these publicly verifiable records is “perhaps indicative of a targeted campaign based on nothing but fiction.”“Bitfinex is not insolvent, and a constant stream of Medium articles claiming otherwise is not going to change this. As one of only a very few exchanges operating since 2013, with a small team and low operating costs, we do not entirely understand the arguments that purport to show us to be insolvent without providing any explanation about why.”Over the weekend, a since-removed Medium post by user ProofofResearch warns readers to exit Bitfinex, alleging that complaints of restricted and frozen withdrawals expose its insolvency. The post goes on to air grievances shared on Reddit regarding these withdrawal issues, and the author accuses r/bitfinex moderators of censoring such posts.“Both fiat and cryptocurrency withdrawals are functioning as normal. Verified Bitfinex users can freely withdraw Euros, Japanese Yen, Pounds Sterling and U.S. Dollars. Complications continue to exist for us in the domain of fiat transactions, as they do for most cryptocurrency...

Categories: Exchange|Fiat|BTC|Asia
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UK's Oldest Crypto Exchange Prepares for Employee Layoffs

bitcoinmagazine | 10-08-2018

In what may be a sign that business in the cryptocurrency space is in a winding down phase, U.K.-based bitcoin exchange Coinfloor is bidding adieu to half of its staff.The company, which claims to be the oldest crypto exchange in London, has roughly 40 employees. More than half of them will be let go, Financial News reported, citing two sources close to the matter. The news broke early today, October 8, 2018. Coinfloor CEO Obi Nwosu confirmed the layoffs but declined to spell out exactly how many employees would be let go. He told Financial News the staff cuts were a normal response to a changing market environment.Following the market’s downturn at the beginning of 2018, a lot is changing in the cryptocurrency business. Since the beginning of the year, bitcoin has lost more than half of its value, and regulations across the globe are heating up. China has been taking increased action to clamp down on all things cryptocurrency, and, in the U.S., regulators are starting to get tough with crypto exchanges, unregistered securities dealers and questionable initial coin offerings. Amidst this shifting landscape, Coinfloor is not the only one to feel the market’s pinch. In September, Jesse Powell, the CEO of San Francisco-based exchange Kraken, said the company was cutting 10 percent of its client services team in a “cost-saving measure,” but denied rumors that the layoffs would amount to any more than that. ...

Categories: Exchange|BTC|Business|Market|Asia
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Binance to Make Listing Fees Transparent, Give Proceeds to Charity

bitcoinmagazine | 10-08-2018

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, said that it will make new cryptocurrency listing fees transparent and donate 100 percent of those fees to charity.The exchange made the announcement today, October 8, 2018, in a blog post where it stated that a listing fee would now be more appropriately called a “donation.” Listing fees have been a pain point for cryptocurrency projects. Projects depend on getting their coins listed on exchanges for liquidity. News of getting listed on a major exchange can cause a coin to spike in value overnight. Yet, many projects have complained of exorbitant listing fees.  In April 2018, Bloomberg reported that according to Autonomous Research some crypto trading platforms were charging $1 million to $3 million to list a token — 10 times more than what a traditional exchange, like Nasdaq, demands for securities.  Binance, which now handles most of its operations out of Malta, has been a target of many of those complaints. In August 2018, Christopher Franko, co-founder of Expanse, a fork of Ethereum, tweeted that Binance wanted to charge 400 bitcoin ($2.5 million) to list a coin. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao refuted the accusation. “We don't list shitcoins even if they pay 400 or 4,000 BTC,” he tweeted.Now, according to Binance, cryptocurrency projects will be able to name their price. “Binance will not dictate a number, nor is there a minimum required l...

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PwC and Cred Partner to Develop Cryptocurrency Trading Technology

bitcoinmagazine | 10-08-2018

Global professional services firm PwC has partnered with decentralized lending platform Cred to boost trust in the cryptocurrency space and bring in more traders by advancing stablecoin technology.PwC consists of several different financial firms and spans across 158 countries. The company currently boasts over 200,000 employees serving in quality assurance, advisory and tax service positions. Founded by former PayPal technologists Dan Schatt and Lu Hua, Cred seeks to offer open access to cryptocurrency-based credit options, regardless of where the seeker may reside. With offices in Munich, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney and Singapore, the company has utilized the blockchain to secure over $250 million in lending capital for its clients.Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, Schatt describes the partnership as a milestone in the crypto industry. “This is one of the first times PwC has formed a joint business relationship with a company focused on the blockchain and crypto,” he explains.“We’re looking to help people borrow crypto the way they would fiat and treat it like any other asset class. If you go to any bank, it won’t offer crypto loans because it doesn’t acknowledge crypto as a real asset class. This is bad because we need new ways of looking at custody and lending, and this is the first time a big accounting firm has said it would work with a company in this space.” One of the biggest problems facing ...

Categories: BTC|Blockchain|Fiat|Asia|Regulation
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goTenna and Samourai Wallet’s New Mobile App Works Without Internet Access

bitcoinmagazine | 10-08-2018

Brooklyn-based goTenna has launched TxTenna, a mobile app that allows users to send bitcoin without an internet connection. Built in partnership with Samourai Wallet, the mobile app will enable users to send bitcoin using a secure and private network free of censorship.goTenna produces consumer-grade mesh networking devices which operate by allowing peers to connect directly to one another for the purpose of routing packets, sidestepping the need to rely on an ISP or cell tower.“TxTenna demonstrates how decentralized mesh networking can both enhance the privacy and resiliency of Bitcoin transactions, and expand Bitcoin access to people living in areas without cell or wifi connectivity,” Rich Myers, DApps engineer at goTenna, said to Bitcoin Magazine.Internet connections are not always reliable, and in some locations, they could be unavailable due to natural disasters. This is where the TxTenna app comes into play. The app will allow users to sync their smartphones with a goTenna mesh device, then toggle the settings to send and receive bitcoin. Mesh networks connect devices directly to one another, rather than going through a central point (Internet Service Provider). “The reality is that local carriers or ISPs can associate subscribers with their transactions or censor Bitcoin transactions altogether. TxTenna provides an answer to these problems by decentralizing the critical transport layer, will enab...

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Famed Endowment Manager Invests Yale’s Money in Crypto Funds.

bitcoinmagazine | 10-05-2018

On October 5, 2018, an article published by Bloomberg stated that Yale University’s Investment Office, under the stewardship of famed manager David Swensen, has put an allocation toward Paradigm, a new cryptocurrency fund that has raised $400 million dollars. CNBC added onto the report by stating Yale had also invested in Andreessen Horowitz’s $300 million crypto fund prior to the fund’s capital raising close in June.This marks a significant potential boon for the asset class, as Swensen invented the Endowment Model for investing, revolutionizing the industry and using it to grow Yale’s endowments from just over $1 billion in 1985 to a reported $29.4 billion (a feat that in 2008 landed Swensen in Institutional Investor Alpha’s “HFM Hall of Fame”). Considered the gold standard for other universities to follow, Yale’s foray into the beleaguered asset class could signal a positive shift in the way institutions view virtual currencies.While Yale and Swensen’s foray into crypto could be considered surprising, the reported investments have hallmarks that signal the move as a natural course of action. The investment in Paradigm shows faith in a crypto fund being led by Fred Ehrsam (co-founder of Coinbase), Matt Huang (former principal of venture capital giant Sequoia Capital), and Charles Noyes (formerly of Pantera Capital). Sequoia Capital is also reportedly an investor in Paradigm. Likewise, the investment i...

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Op Ed: Why Is There So Much Talk About a Bitcoin ETF?

bitcoinmagazine | 10-05-2018

An exchange-traded bitcoin fund (ETF) would signal greater acceptance of bitcoin as a mainstreet investment, while also making it much easier for both institutional and retail investors to get involved.  Although much easier than in the past, buying, owning and investing with bitcoin is still confusing to many, even with the creation of more familiar user experiences through exchanges such as Coinbase, for example.A bitcoin ETF would let investors gain a stake in bitcoin in a way that already feels familiar: through their brokerage firm. They wouldn’t have to open an account with a cryptocurrency exchange and learn how the exchange works and the dangers of an exchange hack potentially leaving them empty-handed. Moreover, they wouldn’t have to learn how private keys and seed phrases work or worry about losing them or having them stolen. They wouldn’t need to learn about the risks of hot wallets, and they wouldn’t have to buy and learn how to use a cold wallet.By opening up the market to retail and institutional investors, a bitcoin ETF could rapidly increase the demand for bitcoin, bringing rewards to those brave enough to learn how to buy cryptocurrency before it got easy. And if a bitcoin ETF succeeds, it could boost the price not only of bitcoin but of other cryptocurrencies as well.The existence of a bitcoin ETF, like bitcoin futures (which became available for trading last December), would also allo...

Categories: BTC|Exchange|Business|Trading|Market
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What Bitcoin Did Gets Technical with Crypto-Educator Jimmy Song

bitcoinmagazine | 10-05-2018

<iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/7132345/height/90/theme/custom/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" height="90" width="100%" scrolling="no"  allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>On the latest episode of What Bitcoin Did, host Peter McCormack interviews Jimmy Song, a consultant in blockchain education, to take an in-depth look at a relatively recent incident in the world of cryptocurrency and use that as an example to segue into a deeper discussion on the possible trajectories of Bitcoin itself.Discussing the CVE 2018 17144 bug, Song begins with a technical discussion of how the bug functioned: Essentially, it allowed a bad-faith actor to spend the same quantity of cryptocurrency multiple times in the same transaction. The issue, however, is that a successful execution of this bug is very difficult and costly to perform successfully, can fail quite easily due to factors totally beyond the scammer’s control, and ultimately could have deleterious effects on the entire price of bitcoin if successfully carried out. Song went on to describe how the threat of this potential bug was used as a talking point in the back-and-forth debate between the various forks of Bitcoin, with some advocates of such altcoins...

Categories: BTC|Trading|Blockchain|Altcoin
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Circle Poised to Acquire Equity Crowdfunding Platform SeedInvest

bitcoinmagazine | 10-05-2018

Cryptocurrency startup Circle is venturing deeper into crypto trading. The Boston-based company is now ready to buy equity crowdfunding firm SeedInvest.If approved by regulators, the move could allow Circle to help match investors with fledgling companies trying to raise money via initial coin offerings (ICOs). It could also allow Circle to offer its own customers a wider selection of coins to trade. Circle made the announcement today, October 5, 2018. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.“This acquisition will accelerate our strategy of delivering a token marketplace that enables businesses and individuals to raise capital and interact with investors using open crypto rails and infrastructure,” Circle states.SeedInvest, founded in 2012, is an online platform that links individuals with vetted startups. The company is selective: It says it only accepts about 1 percent of the startups that apply for a listing on its platform. Individuals who sign up on the platform can browse through that list and then, depending on their eligibility, invest in a company. All securities trades on SeedInvest are handled by SI Securities, a registered broker-dealer.It is easy to see why this deal is attractive to Circle. Most of Circle’s profits currently come directly from token trades. The company has an over-the-counter crypto desk that handles roughly $4 billion in trades a month, according to Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire...

Categories: ICO|Business|BTC|Trading
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[promoted] Stackr: The Dawn of a Digital Asset Savings Solution

bitcoinmagazine | 10-05-2018

Financial savings have long been the foundationof wealth and asset building. However, we are now in a time when the growingobsolescence of financial institutions has forced certain technologies out ofdate, created high fees, revealed structural inefficiencies and, ultimately,meant that some standard investment solutions now fail to place consumer needsfirst. The need for new solutions that bring togetherthe prevailing worlds of traditional finance and modern-day financial technology has neverbeen greater. At the forefront of thisdeveloping trajectory is Stackr, aglobal fintech company that aims to disrupt the global savings industry byassisting clients in achieving their long-term wealth acquisition goals.Launched in May 2018, this startup features a team that has known each otherfor decades and collaborated on similar financial solutions for years.Stackr provides a complete savings solutionplatform that allows investors to develop a diversified portfolio of bothcapital and digital assets. Expertly aligned with emerging developments in thefintech world, the company has created a fresh set of solutions offering a morefrictionless approach to saving and investing. Employing a machine-learning investment modelwithin a secure, Bermuda-based trust structure, Stackr leverages a set of world-class providersand legal protocols to provide its trust accounts holders with the followingfeatures:The benefits of Berm...

Categories: BTC|ICO|Regulation|Technology|Business
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Federal Election Committee Asked to Consider Crypto Mining for Political Contributions

bitcoinmagazine | 10-04-2018

OsiaNetwork LLC has reached out to the Federal Election Committee (FEC) in the hopes that it will allow computer sharing for crypto mining for campaign donations. Osia says it would like to be the platform in which volunteers share their computer power to mine cryptocurrencies, which are then donated to political campaigns of their choice. At press time, the request is in a “public comments” stage.Initially published September 10, 2018, the venture’s request states, “OsiaNetwork would allow volunteers to support federal political committees by ‘pooling’ the processing power of their internet-enabled devices to mine cryptocurrencies. OsiaNetwork believes that enabling individual volunteers to so ‘pool’ the processing power of these devices would allow individuals to support their preferred candidates, which they would not otherwise be able to do.” Osia further explains that volunteers can use any registered device(s) so long as they are actively signed into the company’s website. Mined coins do not go to the volunteers themselves, but rather to the OsiaNetwork pool, which keeps a certain portion for company processing fees while sending the rest to volunteers’ choice campaigns. “Mining rewards will be allocated among OsiaNetwork’s clients proportionately to the number of hashes that each committee’s volunteers generate to solve the block that generates the mining reward,” the company says. “OsiaNetwork w...

Categories: Mining|BTC
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Binance Invests $2.5 Million in Australian Blockchain Travel Startup

bitcoinmagazine | 10-04-2018

Binance has announced a $2.5 million investment in Australian travel startup TravelbyBit in a move to introduce a blockchain-based, point-of-sale (POS) payment system across major airports around the world. Travelers will be able to visit local merchants at select international airports and use mobile wallets like Coinomi and Dash Wallet for POS payments. There are also plans to add support for Binance's official mobile wallet Trust Wallet."There is no better fit than being able to use your crypto when traveling, just after you land in a foreign country, where you may not have the local currency," Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, stated in the announcement.Australia has been a relatively friendly region for cryptocurrencies for a while. The country has built a positive outlook on digital currencies starting from declaring Bitcoin along with other cryptocurrencies as legal tender, to its clear rules on exchange registration and taxation of crypto purchases. Brisbane, known as the Mecca for all visitors to Australia, is the third largest city and the capital of Queensland. It welcomes millions of tourists and pulls in billions of dollars per year for the Australian government. Earlier this year, the Queensland government gave TravelbyBit a grant to turn the state into a crypto haven for tourists. The startup used the funding to deploy its POS system to over 200 merchants nationwide. The TravelbyBit platfor...

Categories: Exchange|BTC|DASH|Regulation|Blockchain
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Ether Price Analysis: Higher Lows Could Yield Retest of Local High

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

After two back-to-back weeks of record-setting volume, ether finds itself situated below historic resistance and currently unable to reach its downtrend line:Figure 1: ETH-USD, Weekly Candles, Downtrend and Record-Setting VolumeFor months, ether has been unable to break its downward trend. And now, after having an enormous amount of buying step in, the market finds itself consolidating sideways while it decides what to do next. Given the high amount of buying pressure that temporarily stopped the price drop, it is likely that a temporary bottom is in for ETH-USD. If we look on the daily candles, we can see just how high the daily trading volume has been for the last three weeks:Figure 2: ETH-USD, Daily Candles, Daily Trading VolumeLooking even closer at a lower timeframe, we can see that the current consolidation is taking the form of a potential reaccumulation over the last few weeks:Figure 3: ETH-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Potential Reaccumulation TRAfter finding its local bottom around the $170s, we can see the volume has begun to consolidate in a big way over the last few weeks. To complement the consolidated volume, we can see a very well-defined supply-and-demand channel (outlined in gray). As the volume has begun to consolidate, the price has consolidated in an upward fashion, where the lows are getting higher and higher as selling pressure weakens and supply becomes more scarce. If the market manages ...

Categories: Trading|Market|BTC
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Op Ed: There Is a Satoshi of Truth in Every Joke

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

This rather long meme, which has been circulating lately, makes fun of the views of Bitcoin supporters by listing commonly made statements and contrasting them with contradicting statements or developments.This was obviously intended for humorous purposes, and as such, I should probably not take it too seriously.But as the titular proverb goes, there is a grain of truth in every joke, and the existence of this image sheds light on what some people think. I found here an instructive opportunity to dissect the arguments and share my thoughts on them.“Peer-to-peer electronic cash” vs. “Pushing people to spend is a scam”The former is in the title of Bitcoin's white paper; the latter appeared in a presentation by Giacomo Zucco.This a contentious issue in the Bitcoin community. I am of the opinion that spending Bitcoin is extremely important and should be encouraged. Others think it is unnecessary — or worse.So in a way, I kind of agree with the image creator here.However, one argument in favor of the latter statement is that the key word is not "spend" but rather "pushing." Even if spending Bitcoin is great, people should be free to do whatever they want, and pushing people to do anything could be frowned upon.“In BTC bugs like this 'never' make it to production” vs. “CVE-2018-17144 is the biggest bug to date”Never say never. Where there's smoke there's fire, and where there's code there are bugs. It should ...

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Bitcoin Foundation Challenges “French BitLicense” Proposed in PACTE Bill

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

On September 23, 2018, the Bitcoin Foundation sent a letter to the French Parliament asking that they reject a new crypto asset amendment being proposed in the PACTE Bill, which deals with the growth and transformation of France’s businesses and the country’s employee savings.The amendment was suggested by members of France’s new social liberal party La Republique En Marche (LREM) on September 21, 2018. Should the amendment pass, it would allow the French government to adopt the recommendations of what’s known as the Landau report, a proponent of New York’s BitLicense. Llew Claasen is the executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation. Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, he states that the amendment is wrong for France and will leave the country behind when it comes to technological advancement in the blockchain and crypto space. “The amendment seeks to introduce a licensing requirement for any provider of digital asset services, with digital assets being very widely defined to include any crypto asset that would not already be regulated as a financial instrument, including for non-financial use cases,” he explains. “The licensing regime described is arbitrary and far-reaching, offering no certainty around how the regulator will determine what would be needed to get a license, keep a license or even how long it would take to get a license. Additionally, the summary suggests than an important reason for the cr...

Categories: BTC|ETH|ICO|Regulation|Blockchain
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Brave CEO Pens Letter to Senate Committee Asking for GDPR-Like Privacy Regulation

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

Brendan Eich, the CEO of Brave, has written a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation urging them to implement GDPR-like legislation in the United States.GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and works to secure the data and privacy of all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). In addition, it addresses the exporting of personal data outside these two organizations. GDPR seeks to give individuals control over their personal information and simplify the regulatory atmosphere for international business ventures. Based in San Francisco, Brave is a new kind of browser that allegedly offers users faster speeds and stronger security by blocking trackers and advertisements. In his letter, Eich describes GDPR as a “great leveler” and says it has allowed many new businesses in Europe to flourish by preventing larger, more established corporations from disadvantaging them.“The GDPR’s principle of ‘purpose limitation’ will begin to prevent dominant platforms from using data that they have collected for one purpose at one end of their business to the benefit of other parts of their business in a way that currently disadvantages new entrants,” Eich writes. “In general, platform giants will need ‘opt-in’ consent for each purpose for which they want to use consumers’ data. This will create a breathing space for new entrants to e...

Categories: Regulation|Business|BTC
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Lyn Ulbricht Speaks Out on the Anniversary of Her Son’s Incarceration

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

On the most recent episode of The Tatiana Show, host Tatiana Moroz opened with an interview with Lyn Ulbricht, leader of the Free Ross campaign, to deliver some recent updates with the struggle to petition the carceral state for his clemency. Ross Ulbricht just completed his NTH year of a double life sentence, plus 40 years, as a first-time, nonviolent offender. On the anniversary of his incarceration, his mother described some of the contentious events that helped to put him in jail, the conditions he is living under now and some of the efforts that are still ongoing to set him free.Allegations that the Silk Road was used as a “murder for hire” platform were used to justify his extreme sentence, despite the fact that all charges related to alleged instances of murder for hire were dropped before ever going to trial. In turn, the astronomical length of his sentence has been used to place him in a maximum-security prison, where he has been at risk of being targeted by violent offenders. Lyn claims that, as a result of this threat, he has spent the last two weeks in solitary confinement, a practice widely condemned as inhumane and torturous by the United Nations and the international psychiatric community.Lyn went on to state that Ross is just one of the 17,000 nonviolent drug offenders serving life in prison across the many prisons of the United States, a number that has quintupled due to the drug war de...

Categories: BTC
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New Study Reveals an Increase in Venture Capital Investment in Blockchain Projects

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

Traditional venture capitalist (VC) investments are leveraging the decline in initial coin offerings (ICO) as the cryptocurrency industry tries to find bearing amid regulatory shifts and losses across the crypto markets. The negative toll on ICOs has seen them drop overall to 70 percent less than their initial values, according to a new report.Rise of VC InvestmentA report released by blockchain research group Diar shows that almost $3.9 billion in investments was raised in the first three quarters of 2018 by blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused startups. This, according to the report, is 280 percent of what was raised in 2017.Adding to the significant leap recorded, the report also indicates an increase in the number of deals — almost twice the number recorded the previous year.Similarly, the average size of blockchain and crypto investments for 2018 is over a $1 million higher than what was recorded the previous year. Recipient companies of the 10 largest crypto and blockchain investments had a pool of funds worth over $1.3 billion in total venture capital. This was, however, conducted through the "traditional equity investment" model that ICOs had sought to displace. According to the report, DFINITY was the sole exception, as it raised a combined $163 million from popular VC investors Andreessen Horowitz and others through the sale of its utility tokens.VC’s sharp increase in popularity among startu...

Categories: ICO|Blockchain|BTC|Market|Business
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In Search of Stability: An Overview of the Budding Stablecoin Ecosystem

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

Stability.The word seems to be at complete odds with the current nature of the crypto market. With its flagship coin having “died” on hundreds of occasions, volatility and meteoric price swings have come to define cryptocurrencies, as price stability, ever-elusive, is in short supply.Bitcoin’s frenetic value has given critics plenty of fodder to argue that its underlying use case, a digital currency for a digital age, is kaput. The same argument has led proponents to rebrand bitcoin as a store of value, a kind of digital gold, instead of its ostensible utility as a payment method. It’s also one of the primary concerns for institutions when weighing the pros and cons of adopting cryptocurrencies into their business models or investing in the young asset class.Enter stablecoins. A stablecoin, as its name suggests, is a cryptocurrency that is built to retain a stable value. Typically, each coin is pegged one-to-one to a national currency, most notably, the U.S. dollar or the euro. By mediating between the cryptographic controls of cryptocurrencies and the volatility that mars their monetary functionality, stablecoins are the answer to those critics who cry out against crypto’s mantra as digital cash.The need for a stable cryptocurrency is obvious. Your local coffee shop isn’t going to sell you that latte for crypto if the price may decrease before they can liquidate it, and, on the flip side, you may not b...

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[promoted] How Invictus Capital Is Reshaping the Landscape of Cryptocurrency Investing

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

One of the impacts of the rapid, globaladvancement of digital asset markets has been seasons of volatility andturbulence. This creates a challenging environment for even the most astuteinvestors in terms of managing cryptocurrency portfolios and investmentstrategies. Lacking the expertise and knowledge toeffectively navigate these headwinds, investors often find themselves mired inuncertainty. It is here where blockchain technology and the distributedtracking of crypto assets are receiving a wealth of attention. Use cases areemerging in this space, reshaping the landscape for how investors interact withthe world of traditional finance. At the forefront of this movement is theInvictus Hyperion Fund (IHF), a tokenized syndicated venture capitalfund designed to provide token holders with a diversified portfolio of earlystage investment opportunities in the blockchain industry. The fund achievesthis by forming strategic partnerships with some of the most talentedblockchain entrepreneurs and visionaries, supporting them with both thefinancial backing and essential connections needed to deliver successfulprojects.In delivering a new model for the burgeoningdigital asset milieu, Invictus pivots off of the success of CRYPTO20— the first tokenized cryptocurrency index fund. Invictus aims to offer anarray of cost-effective data-science backed funds and through Invictus’s freshapproach, third parties and middlemen...

Categories: Market|Blockchain|Business|BTC|ICO
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Bitcoin Core 0.17.0 Is Released: Here’s What’s New

bitcoinmagazine | 10-03-2018

Today marks the official release of Bitcoin Core 0.17.0, the 17th generation of Bitcoin’s original software client launched by Satoshi Nakamoto almost 10 years ago and still the dominant Bitcoin implementation on the network today. Overseen by Bitcoin Core lead maintainer Wladimir van der Laan, this latest major release was developed by some 135 contributors over a span of about seven months.The result of well over 700 merged pull requests, Bitcoin Core 0.17.0 includes a range of performance improvements and bug fixes, as well as other changes.Here’s an overview of some of these changes.Improved Coin SelectionCoins in a wallet are effectively stored as separate chunks (“transaction outputs”). There is typically one chunk for each received payment; therefore, most chunks represent different amounts. When a payment is made from a wallet, different chunks are added together to make up an amount that’s large enough to make the payment, plus the fee. The different chunks often don’t add up to the exact amount needed, however, in which case a “change address” is added to the transaction, sending any leftover funds back to the same wallet.Up until now, the Bitcoin Core wallet added different chunks together. Only then would it calculate and add the fee required to pay for the transaction. But in some cases, adding the fee to the transaction meant that the added chunks no longer made up a large enough amount, i...

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Cardano Launches Rust Project to Entice Third-Party Developers

bitcoinmagazine | 10-02-2018

Cardano, the platform underpinning ADA, the ninth largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is opening its doors to third-party developers through a new client, written in systems programing language Rust.“As a project matures and grows, you need to satisfy the demands of different clients,” Charles Hoskinson, CEO at IOHK, the blockchain development company behind Cardano, told Bitcoin Magazine.  IOHK made the announcement on October 1, 2018, exactly one year after it launched Byron, the first version of Cardano’s settlement layer, which was built in the functional programming language Haskell. While Haskell works well for mission-critical code, Rust shines in areas like mobile, where performance matters. Rust was created by Mozilla for Firefox as a replacement for C++. It is worth noting that Cardano, a proof-of-stake blockchain, is currently centralized with all of its blocks being produced by IOHK. But the project hopes to change that in Q1 2019 when its Shelley release opens up staking pools to users. (Shelley was originally slated for Q2 2018.) At its core, Cardano’s Rust project is a software development kit for the Cardano blockchain. It has several ingredients needed to interact with the blockchain, including data types like blocks, transactions and addresses, along with protocol functions to query blocks, send transactions and so on. The Github repository describes the project as a toolbox of Carda...

Categories: ADA|Blockchain|BTC|Mining|Market
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BitMEX’s New COO Angelina Kwan Joins the Crypto Space at “An Exciting Time”

bitcoinmagazine | 10-02-2018

Angelina Kwan, former managing director and head of regulatory compliance for Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing, is taking on the position of COO of BitMEX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, at a time when the challenges facing these exchanges are greater than ever.In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Kwan told us:“It is very exciting time for me to be joining the company. In the last three months, BitMEX broke the industry record for daily bitcoin trading volume twice and also launched two sophisticated financial products: ETH/USD perpetual swaps, and UPs and DOWNs (our first call and put options).”This will be Kwan’s first experience working in the cryptocurrency world and, while BitMEX is registered in the Seychelles Islands, she is looking forward to building the company’s presence in Hong Kong, a recognized global hub for cryptocurrency innovation.“Hong Kong is a great place to be with its fast pace of innovation, and evolution in technology and financial services. It’s a great springboard to China, the broader Asia region, and the rest of the world,” noted Kwan.BitMEX CEO and co-founder Arthur Hayes said: “Welcoming Angelina — experienced in traditional finance and regulation — to the BitMEX team is a significant milestone not just for our company, but for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. I believe Angelina’s decision to join us is a signal that the global markets ar...

Categories: Asia|BTC|Exchange|Market|Regulation
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Battle of the Privacycoins: What We Know About Grin and Beam’s Mimblewimble

bitcoinmagazine | 10-01-2018

Based on blockchain technology, most cryptocurrencies have an open and public ledger of transactions. While this is required for these systems to work, it comes with a significant downside: Privacy is often quite limited. Analytics companies and other interested parties — let’s call them “spies” — have ways to analyze the public blockchains and peer-to-peer networks of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, to cluster addresses and tie them to IP addresses or other identifying information.Still, unsatisfied with Bitcoin’s privacy potential, several cryptocurrency projects have launched with the specific goal to improve on Bitcoin’s privacy features over the years. And not without success. Several of these “privacycoins” are among the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market today, with four of them taking top-50 spots in coin market capitalization rankings.That said, Bitcoin does have some privacy features which, as this month’s cover story details, have been improving in recent months and are set to further improve in the near future. This miniseries compares different privacycoins to the privacy offered by Bitcoin and to the privacy offered by other privacycoins.In part 5: The upcoming Mimblewimble implementations Grin and BeamBackgroundIn the summer of 2016, a person under the pseudonym “Tom Elvis Jedusor” (the evil wizard Voldemort’s real name in the French Harry Potter novels) published a white paper, t...

Categories: BTC|Market|Blockchain|Technology|Wallet
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Bitcoin Magazine’s Week in Review: Under the Microscope

bitcoinmagazine | 09-29-2018

This past week saw a flurry of reports and analyses released by various agencies and companies, speculating on the roles — past and present — of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Two big names in the blockchain industry are being scrutinized as they attempt to grow, and we put two privacycoins, Monero and Zcash, under the microscope.Stay on top of the best stories in the bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Subscribe to our newsletter here.Study Up!Study Argues Tether Wasn't Used to Prop Up Bitcoin PriceBlockchain’s Report Examines Benefits (and Failures) of Today’s StablecoinsA remarkable number of reports were released this week that, together, contributed to a comprehensive picture of the cryptocurrency industry’s trajectory. Two of them focused on stablecoins.Contrary to the conclusion of another study by John Griffin and Amin Shams that Tether was being used to manipulate the price of bitcoin, a new report by Dr. Wang Chun Wei of the University of Queensland Business School states that the effect of the stablecoin is statistically insignificant as far as bitcoin pricing is concerned. At the end of the week, Blockchain released a study that examined both the positive and negative aspects of stablecoins, painting an overall picture of optimism for the budding asset class.Study Reveals Growing Sophistication in Malicious Mining of CryptocurrencyIBM/MIT Connection Science Issue ...

Categories: BTC|Blockchain|USDT|XMR|ZEC
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Blockchain’s Report Examines Benefits (and Failures) of Today’s Stablecoins

bitcoinmagazine | 09-28-2018

Stablecoins have garnered serious investor attention over the past few weeks. Unlike bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies, they are digital assets built to lessen price volatility and are often paired against the U.S. dollar or established commodities like gold. Volatility is one of the main reasons why several institutional investors and individuals have thought twice about stepping into the cryptocurrency arena, and stablecoins seek to make things a little less frightening.Cryptocurrency firm blockchain.comhttps://www.blockchain.com/research has released a report examining the growth of the stablecoin trend, the differences between the growing number of stablecoins in circulation, and whether they truly work to lower volatility in the market.In total, 57 stablecoins were examined, including Tether, TrueUSD, Dai and Digix Gold Token. About 26 of these stablecoins — roughly 45 percent — are live, while the remainder are in pre-launch phases. The number of active stablecoin projects has increased heavily over the past 12 to 18 months, and more than a dozen separate ventures have issued plans to launch new stablecoins by the end of the year.The report states that most stablecoins can be separated into two categories: asset-backed and algorithmic (coins that have implemented a central banking platform to keep prices sturdy). Roughly 77 percent of those observed are asset-backed, with USD being the primary ...

Categories: Fiat|BTC|Business|USDT|Market
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Monero Releases Malware Response Group and Successfully Patches Burn Bug

bitcoinmagazine | 09-28-2018

Monero has officially released its Malware Response Workgroup website yesterday. In an effort to help protect Monero’s community, the website aims to provide resources to educate about the types of malware that may take advantage of users. It provides support for problems including unwanted in-browser and system mining (cryptojacking) and ransomware, all which have been a growing problem as of late.In a blog post by Justin Ehrenhofer on the Monero website, the Malware Response Workgroup is “a self-organized set of volunteers that maintains these resources and provides live support.” The post goes on to describe future efforts to provide support directly through the website; however, volunteers are currently available for live support at #monero-mrw.The Burn BugThe announcement of the working group is a second bit of positive news from the Monero community, coming shortly after it successfully patched a bug in its wallet code.The “burn bug” never affected the actual protocol or the coin supply, but, if exploited, it would have allowed a malicious actor to profit significantly from inflicting damages on organizations within the Monero ecosystem, such as exchanges and any entity using a Monero wallet.The bug could have been exploited as follows: An attacker first generates a random private transaction key. Then, they modify the code to merely use this particular private transaction key, which ensures multi...

Categories: XMR|BTC|Mining|Blockchain|Business
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SEC Charges Forex Broker for Illegal Securities Swaps Involving Bitcoin

bitcoinmagazine | 09-28-2018

In what seems like the first coordinated strike from government agencies, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have taken action against a securities broker for violating federal laws in connection with security-based swaps funded by bitcoin.On September 27, 2018, the SEC announced that it had filed charges at a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Marshall Islands-based securities company 1pool Ltd., also known as 1Broker, and its Austria-based CEO Patrick Brunner for trading security swaps to American investors and others across the world without meeting the "discretionary investment thresholds required" by federal securities law. The SEC further claims that 1Broker was fraudulently issuing swaps as it was not a registered "securities-based swaps dealer," and it also failed to transact on a registered national exchange. Commenting on the claims, Shamoil Shipchandler, director of the SEC's Fort Worth regional office, said the SEC would protect U.S. investors on any platform regardless of the currency used in the transaction."International companies that transact with U.S. investors cannot circumvent compliance with the federal securities laws by using cryptocurrency." The SEC is seeking permanent injunctions, penalties and "disgorgement plus interest" against 1Broker and its C...

Categories: Regulation|Business|BTC|Exchange|Trading
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New Impact Ledger to Raise Awareness of Blockchain Projects for Social Good

bitcoinmagazine | 09-28-2018

The Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA) has received a six-figure grant from the Social Alpha Foundation (SAF) to build its latest project known as The Impact Ledger, an online registry of blockchain projects designed to assist in the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors.BTA was founded in 2016 and seeks to connect philanthropists with civil society organizations, governments and technologists to establish blockchain pilots for social good. The organization operates as a not-for-profit enterprise between the Bitfury Group, New America, the National Democratic Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation. SAF works to educate communities, both local and abroad, on the benefits of blockchain technology and inspire them to utilize its capabilities for social ventures. Founded in Hong Kong in 2017, the company offers funding to businesses and other organizations that try to improve the environment, public health and formal education systems through blockchain technology. Applicants that qualify for SAF grants receive anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000 for their projects. Most of the SAF’s funds are garnered through cryptocurrency token sales and ICOs. Among the association’s past grantees are Aparna Krishnan, who co-founded Mechanism Labs in June 2018 and was awarded the prestigious Thiel Fellowship.Tomicah Tillemann is the co-founder of BTA. Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, Tillemann states that blockchai...

Categories: Blockchain|ICO|BTC|ETH|Technology
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Caitlin Long and Saifedean Ammous Debate the Future of Cryptocurrency

bitcoinmagazine | 09-28-2018

The newest episode of What Bitcoin Did features a debate between two crypto advocates with a strong economic background, Caitlin Long and Dr. Saifedean “Saife” Ammous. It was loosely moderated by regular host Peter McCormack and the discussion was lively.Caitlin Long, a recurring guest with the podcast network, has been involved with Wall Street financial banking for more than 20 years and has been a firm advocate for cryptocurrency since 2012. Dr. Saifedean “Saife” Ammous, on the other hand, comes from a more academic background and has been a professor of economics for several years. Having embedded himself in the space for several years, Ammous is also the author of a book on cryptocurrency and economics, “The Bitcoin Standard.”These two experts share many views about the direction of cryptocurrency and the greater financial industry, approaching the issue from wholly different spheres that still go on to influence popular thought in economic theory. Although the two come from different backgrounds, Long claimed that “I suspect we don’t disagree on a whole lot,” beginning the conversation by discussing the times she’d recommended Ammous’ book to other professionals.Nevertheless, McCormack moderates the two through a stimulating discussion on many topics of common interest, including the relevance of Austrian Economics to our modern times, several specific areas which prominent Austrians such as Murra...

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U.S. Congress Nixes Bill For Crypto Task Force

bitcoinmagazine | 09-27-2018

The U.S. Congress has nixed a bill that looked to create a task force to combat the use of cryptocurrency in financing terrorism. House Resolution 5036 (H.R.5036), which purported to establish the "Independent Financial Technology Task Force," was sent to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, for consideration.At the time it was introduced by Representative Ted Budd, the proposed bill was seen as a positive move from U.S. lawmakers, which aims to mitigate the use of cryptocurrencies in terrorist financing. The task force would focus on researching the ways in which terrorism could be financed through cryptos and propose actions to curb such activity.In addition to the creation of the task force, the bill would also support the development of tools and programs to detect any illicit use of cryptocurrency.Public records from Congress indicate that the bill was passed by the House before the "motion to reconsider" was "agreed to without objection." Seeing as the bill was accepted before being reconsidered, this misstep means that the bill can not proceed to be ratified, per congressional rules.In addition to federal law enforcement studying cryptocurrencies and how terrorists are exploiting them, the bill also made room for rewards for those who provide information that leads to the conviction of those involved in crypto terrorism financing. These rewards would have been paid out f...

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Crypto Task Force Bill Passes House of Representatives, Moves to Senate

bitcoinmagazine | 09-27-2018

A bill that seeks to create a task force to combat the use of cryptocurrency in financing terrorism has just passed the House of Representatives. House Resolution 5036 (H.R.5036), which purports to establish the "Independent Financial Technology Task Force," was sent to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, before it passed an unanimous voice vote and has now moved to the Senate for consideration.The proposed bill, which was introduced by Representative Ted Budd, is seen as a positive move from U.S. lawmakers, which aims to mitigate the use of cryptocurrencies in terrorist financing. The task force would focus on researching the ways in which terrorism could be financed through cryptos and propose actions to curb such activity.In addition to the creation of the task force, the bill would also support the development of tools and programs to detect any illicit use of cryptocurrency.Public records from Congress indicate that the bill was passed by the House without contention. Seeing as the vote was unanimous and the bill wasn't a controversial one, the motion to reconsider was laid upon the table and gavelled out, so it will now procede to a vote in the Senate. In addition to having federal law enforcement studying cryptocurrencies and how terrorists are exploiting them, the bill also proposes rewards for those who provide information that leads to the conviction of those involve...

Categories: Regulation|BTC|Technology
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Leading Blockchain and Gaming Companies Form Blockchain Game Alliance

bitcoinmagazine | 09-27-2018

Leading companies in the gaming and blockchain space have come together to form the Blockchain Game Alliance, a coalition that will advocate for blockchain development within the gaming industry. The Blockchain Game Alliance will create an open forum for stakeholders to “share knowledge and collaborate on research which fosters new ways to create and play games.” The Alliance was announced at the inaugural Blockchain Game Summit which was held from September 25-26, 2018, in Lyon, France. The Blockchain Game Alliance is made up of influential companies such as Alto, Gimli, Fig, Ubisoft, Ultra, B2Expand, ConsenSys, EverdreamSoft and Enjin.Nicolas Gilot, co-CEO of Ultra, a PC game publishing platform built on the blockchain, told Bitcoin Magazine the alliance will “democratize blockchain within the gaming industry.”“We believe that by supporting each other and by having some of the brightest minds in the industry facilitate research and development, together we can drive disruptive change and deliver a fully fledged and improved user experience,” Gilot added.The Alliance will also be used to develop best practices and common standards that promote the alignment and uniformity of blockchain integration within the community.“The Blockchain Game Alliance aims to leverage our combined skills and expertise to provide a bridge between blockchain and gaming to accelerate industry adoption,” Dan Biton, co-founder ...

Categories: Blockchain|BTC
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AT&T Dives Into Blockchain Solutions With Microsoft Azure, IBM Blockchain

bitcoinmagazine | 09-27-2018

Internet and phone giant AT&T has designed a set of blockchain solutions compatible with both IBM and Microsoft technology to help customers reduce risks and costs and solve other complex business problems. The company has been piloting the program since February 2018.In a recent blog post, the company announced, “We’re combing our edge-to-edge capabilities with blockchain technology. Our Internet of Things (IoT) solutions add automation and critical monitoring capabilities. AT&T’s consulting team can design, deploy and manage blockchain solutions.”By working with IBM, AT&T says its solutions can record data on the IBM Blockchain Platform, which hosts numerous live networks and supports several provenance, logistics and supply chains. AT&T is also integrating its asset management operations center with the IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain and Maximo Asset Health Insights to offer safer service provider networks to infrastructure asset management firms. In addition, AT&T is integrating with Microsoft Azure’s blockchain technology, which supports many enterprise ledger protocols including Fabric, Corda, Quorum and Ethereum, and offers varying computer network structures for both single member, multi-member and dev/test consortiums. AT&T believes its partnership with Microsoft will bring an extra layer of transparency to its growing list of supply chains. According to Mark Wright, V...

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