Renters Threaten US Real Estate Market, 20 Million Americans Face Eviction

The aftermath of the coronavirus-provoked business shutdowns in the United States caused a number of market observers to focus on the U.S. real estate and rental markets. As the federal moratorium on evictions reaches its expiry, a recent Aspen Institute report reveals that 20 million renters or around 20% of 110 million American citizens who rent, will possibly face eviction by September.

Over a week ago, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the pending U.S. real estate crisis, as last month’s data had shown 4.3 million mortgage delinquencies, while commercial properties have also started to sink in value as well. American citizens, economists, and market analysts have been worried about the rental and mortgage sector ever since Covid-19 made its way to the United States.

Now the latest findings from the Aspen Institute’s recent report indicate that homeowners who rent are going to feel more pain in the coming months. The report estimates that roughly 20 million tenants could face evictions at the end of September, and the findings blame issues on the post-Covid-19 economy.

“20 million renters are at risk of eviction; policymakers must act now to mitigate widespread hardship,” explains the Aspen Institute’s authors Katherine Lucas Mckay, Zach Neumann, and Sam Gilman.

The U.S. has around 110 million renters nationwide, and the Aspen Institute’s numbers are dependent on factors like the unemployment rate, cost of living, and the average American’s savings.

Another reason for the possible displacement stems from the federal moratorium on evictions expiry, which banned evictions in certain types of housing units up until July 25. Some of the local government enforced moratorium measures on the county level have expired in June. Moreover, a number of economists and analysts believe that the evictions will start to disrupt the $16 trillion U.S. commercial real estate market.

A few of the stricter American states have begun opening certain types of businesses in phases, as New York for example recently entered Phase 2, which allowed a number of different businesses to begin operating again. Other strict states, specifically in the Northeast are entering Phase 3.

States like Massachusetts will not allow Phase 4, which includes businesses like nightclubs and bars, until at the very least therapeutic action or a vaccine is available according to Governor Baker. These nationwide job losses, broken up by state-enforced phases, will affect the economy and have a domino effect on landlords who rent to tenants in the United States.

“I think it’s going to be a hail storm out there,” Jeffrey Citron, from the law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP said about the situation. “And I think, in most instances, it’s probably in the best interest of landlords to sit down and work with their tenants,” he added.

Despite the data from the Aspen Institute and the moratorium expirations, a number of real estate visionaries think ‘things will be fine,’ thanks to another round of government stimulus, otherwise known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

One particularly hard-hit real estate and rental market will likely be New York and last Sunday, the U.S. government revealed the names of certain businesses that benefited from PPP. Reports say “multiple New York City real estate companies have locked down funds from the Paycheck Protection Program.” The stimulus funding from the federal government ($650 billion nationwide) could help rental and real estate markets fend off disaster.

In the media, Covid-19 has been a great excuse for the federal government to print money on a whim, and many Americans still believe it will help the economy. The biggest weight on commercial, multi-family, and single-family real estate will be the unemployment rate, which will lead to nationwide evictions. While certain investments like gold and a myriad of cryptocurrencies have weathered the storm, many investors think that real estate is an extremely risky investment right now.

What’s worse is, even with the strict state-enforced phase restrictions, “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary says that U.S. businesses are using “the pandemic as a cloak.” Essentially, O’Leary stressed on Wednesday’s “Squawk Box,” American companies wanted to relieve these employees well before the Covid-19 outbreak.

“They wanted to do this anyway, and they’re doing it under the cloak of, ‘Gee, I can’t open so I’m just going to do it,’” O’Leary said. “Their jobs will never come back. This is great for earnings in the S&P. It’s not great for employment.”

What do you think about the U.S. housing and rental market going forward? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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The Popular Stablecoin Tether Is Now Circulating on the Bitcoin Cash Network

The Popular Stablecoin Tether Is Now Circulating on the Bitcoin Cash Network

The most popular stablecoin tether (USDT) has officially been minted on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain via the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP). At press time there’s only 1,010 SLP-based USDT in circulation, as the firm Tether Limited seems to be issuing small amounts and testing the SLP framework.

Tether (USDT) is the king of stablecoins in the crypto economy and according to the company’s transparency page, there are more than $9.8 billion tethers in existence.

The stablecoin is a token that is also hosted on a number of blockchains including the Ethereum network, Omni Layer, Algorand, Tron, Liquid, and the EOS chain. Not too long ago, news.Bitcoin.com revealed that tether (USDT) was migrating some coins over to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain via the Simple Ledger Protocol.

Tether Limited’s transparency page now shows that the company has been minting and testing the SLP framework. The data website simpleledger.info shows that the Tether team has officially minted 3,027 USDTs so far on the BCH chain.

The Popular Stablecoin Tether Is Now Circulating on the Bitcoin Cash Network

However, 2,017 SLP-based USDT tokens have been burned, which only leaves 1,010 SLP-based USDT in circulation at the time of publication. A thousand dollars worth of stablecoins is not much, but Bitcoin Cash proponents believe that the company is simply trialing the SLP infrastructure.

Simpleledger.info also shows that the baton is “alive,” which means USDTs can be minted at any time. The genesis of the SLP-based USDT shows that the tokens were born on May 25, 2020. Searching the term “tether” in the simpleledger.info database also shows there is a number of phony ‘tethers’ people have created since the SLP network came out.

The Popular Stablecoin Tether Is Now Circulating on the Bitcoin Cash Network

The official USDT token ID is shown at Tether Limited’s official website, alongside the balances of tether on other blockchains. There’s been a total of 50 SLP-based USDT transactions so far on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

The SLP-based USDT rich list shows that this address has the most stablecoins with a balance of 874.14 USDT at the time of publication. The rest of the coins in circulation are spread out through a number of different addresses.

The largest amount of USDTs on any blockchain is held on ETH with $6 billion in ERC20-based tethers to-date. Of course, Bitcoin Cash fans were both pleased and skeptical about the appearance of USDTs on BCH.

On the subreddit r/btc, BCH fans discussed the recently issued SLP-based USDT on the forum. On July 7, Sideshift.ai announced that the Bitcoin Cash version of USDT is now live on the swapping platform.

BCH proponents also discussed holding USDTs on the Bitcoin.com Wallet thanks to the recently added asset breakdown and stablecoin features. On Twitter, the Sideshift team wrote: “Be one of the first humans to shift USDT on SLP.”

What do you think about tether (USDT) being minted on the Bitcoin Cash chain? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Developer Reveals Layer-Two Private Messaging and Payment System on Bitcoin Cash

Developer Reveals Layer-Two Private Messaging and Payment System on Bitcoin Cash

On July 4, 2020, the Bitcoin Cash proponent Cain published an interview with the blockchain developer, Shammah Chancellor, about a new project called Stamp Chat. At its basic level, “Stamp is a prototype of a layer-2 private messaging and payment system on Bitcoin Cash. It implements stealth [plus] confidential transactions on top of Bitcoin Cash using layer-2 protocol technologies.”

This week Bitcoin Cash supporters were introduced to a new tool called Stamp, an encrypted message and payment system that leverages the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain. The project is being developed by the software programmer Shammah Chancellor, otherwise known as @micropresident.

The project was introduced on Saturday, July 4, 2020, by the Bitcoin Cash proponent Cain (@bchcain) via the read.cash blog. Cain gives a summary of how governments today have the ability to censor our speech online, and our financial lives as well through centralized parties. The BCH enthusiast highlights how our freedom of expression is censored and monitored by the powers that be.

Developer Reveals Layer-Two Private Messaging and Payment System on Bitcoin Cash

“The fact that we are being monitored limits our freedom of thought and our freedom of expression,” Cain’s interview stressed. “You might think twice about entering something into a search engine, or posting something on Facebook or Twitter. This limits our ability to communicate and explore ideas, and this is why I am so excited by Stamp, the new Bitcoin Cash project being developed by Shammah Chancellor, aka @micropresident.”

Cain’s post further added:

Stamp is still in its early stages and only available on testnet, but the interface already looks polished and many features like group chats and nested messages have already been deployed. According to his Github page: “Stamp is a prototype of a layer-2 private messaging and payment system on Bitcoin Cash. It implements stealth [plus] confidential transactions on top of Bitcoin Cash using layer-2 protocol technologies.

Individuals who are interested in Stamp can check out the Github repository and get more familiar with the project. The Github repo’s disclaimer is a touch different and states: “Stamp is in early alpha development stage. There will be multiple breaking changes from now until a stable release. We default to the Bitcoin Cash testnet as to protect against lost funds.”

Those who are interested in testing the Stamp protocol can do so by accessing the cashweb/stamp/releases section and grabbing test coins from faucet.fullstack.cash.

The Stamp developers who contribute to the project also have a Telegram chat channel as well for people who want to learn more about the project. Shammah Chancellor also describes the Stamp project in great detail during his interview with Cain.

“Stamp is the name of the wallet that uses a number of backend protocols,” the developer explained. “These protocols are a suite called ‘Cashweb,’ with the vision being that everything online is powered by Bitcoin Cash. Fundamentally, Cashweb is powered via standard web technologies: Websockets, JWT tokens, HTTP/2. The idea being to make it easy for non-cryptocurrency developers to integrate with.”

“Cashweb is a [three] tier network,” Shammah Chancellor continued. “The first tier being Bitcoin Cash. The second tier is a ‘keyserver’ network, which is used to look up, in a cryptographically secure way, important information about a Bitcoin Cash address. The third tier is a messaging system (called relay servers) which allows wallets to pass, encrypted, structured messages between them.” The developer concluded:

When you add a contact to a Stamp wallet, it reaches out to a keyserver and requests your contact information. This is then verified, and used to determine which relay server they accept messages on. Once your wallet has this information, it can start exchanging structured, encrypted, messages between itself and another user.

Cryptocurrency supporters who are interested in reading the rest of the interview between Cain and Shammah Chancellor can follow this link here that stems from the read.cash blog.

On the Reddit forum r/btc, BCH proponents seemed pleased with the announcement and some people contributed to the development funding. “Looks promising,” an individual wrote on Reddit. “I sent a bit of funding. Good luck with it.”

What do you think about the Stamp project built on the Bitcoin Cash network? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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The Tokenized Metaverse: Non-Fungible Token Sales to Surpass $100 Million

On July 1, 2020, the partner of Polynexus Capital, Andrew Steinwold, detailed that the sales of blockchain-powered non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are about to cross the $100 million mark. The popularity of NFTs has grown massive since 2017, as blockchain cards, collectibles, digital artwork, virtual land parcels, and extensible virtual game items have become all the rage.

Blockchain-Fueled Non-Fungible Token Assets Close to $100M in Sales

Andrew Steinwold the managing partner at Polynexus Capital is a big believer in non-fungible token (NFT) solutions built using blockchain technology. NFTs have been around for years and the first mention of NFT technology stemmed from the Mastercoin white paper in 2012. Over the years, news.Bitcoin.com has reported on a number of blockchain projects that leverage NFT solutions like Counterparty’s Rare Pepe trading cards, Spells of Genesis cards, Cryptokitties, extensible game items and rewards, and many more unique concepts.

Decentraland where NFT-based parcels of land and extensible items are sold.

In a recent post written on the blog called “Bankless,” Steinwold notes that the NFT sales have amassed close to a $100 million worth of lifetime trade volume. The data stems from the web portal nonfungible.com, which gives a comprehensive overview of the NFT ecosystem. Steinwold thinks that the $100 million mark is just the start of the NFT evolution and the economy will grow much bigger going forward. “I believe NFTs will be a trillion-dollar market someday,” Steinwold stressed. “That means $999.9 billion in future opportunities. We’re just .01% of the way in.” Steinwold added:

We’ve talked about redemption NFTs in the past. We’ve learned about NFTs across gaming, art, culture, collectibles, and domains. But we’ve never zoomed out to look at the market as a whole. What are the categories? collectibles, gaming, worlds, art, culture. Which categories are winning? Volumes, value, [and] projects.

Nonfungible.com stats show that as of July 5, 2020, the total sales of NFTs is around $96.1 million so far.

Close to 20,000 Opensea Wallets and $2.5M in Monthly NFT Trade Volume

Steinwold’s data shows there are 18,552 wallets on Opensea and there is $2.5 million in global NFT trade volume on a monthly basis. As of June 5, 2020, the total lifetime trade volume of NFTs is around $96.1 million so far. The average price is around $20.90 per NFT according to nonfungible.com and Steinwold’s statistics.

The NFT projects n0wear and cryptopunks.

“With December 2017 as our starting point, the NFT market has only been around for ~2.5 years, an extremely small amount of time compared to bitcoin (11 years) or traditional markets (hundreds of years),” Steinwold highlighted. “While monthly trade volumes are low at roughly $2M per month, the NFT market has seen a steady increase over time.” Steinwold says the aforementioned data shows just how early it is when it comes to NFT technology.

“The above stats show just how early we are in a market that one day could be worth trillions of dollars — Of course, that trillion-dollar figure will only be reached once there’s a functioning metaverse, but I strongly believe we are headed in that direction,” Steinwold said. The Polynexus Capital partner further stated:

Perhaps the most shocking statistic is the number of wallets on Opensea: about 18,500 wallets have either purchased or sold an NFT. Since Opensea is the dominant NFT marketplace, this metric should give us a rough indication of the current number of NFT users overall.

 

Some of the projects Steinwold mentions include NFT ideas like Cryptopunks, Cryptokitties, Avastars, Gods Unchained, Axie Infinity, My Crypto Heroes, Crypto Space Commanders, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space, The Sandbox, Async Art, Superrare, Nifty Gateway, Knownorigin, Makersplace, n0wear, Zora, and Foundation. Steinwold also mentions the possibilities of “ticketing for events, property titles, [and] digital identity” concepts.

Rare pepe and Spells of Genesis trading cards were one of the earliest versions of colorful and artistic versions of NFT technology.

A number of blockchains provide NFT technology but the most dominant is Ethereum by a long shot. Other blockchains like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) can also be leveraged to created NFTs. In August 2019, the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) developer, James Cramer, announced the launch of the Electron Cash SLP version 3.5, which allowed the creation of non-fungible tokens that can be grouped together by a single ID. News.Bitcoin.com has published a step-by-step walkthrough on how to create non-fungible assets and collectible tokens with Bitcoin Cash.

The Growth of the Metaverse Is a Very Big Deal

Moreover, Forbes published an editorial on the coming of the metaverse on July 5 and exclaimed that “it’s a very big deal.” Columnist Cathy Hackl writes that today’s foundations concerning the metaverse are being built as we speak.

“Today, the metaverse is a shared virtual space where people are represented by digital avatars (think Ready Player One),” Hackl writes. She adds:

The virtual world constantly grows and evolves based on the decisions and actions of the society within it. Eventually, people will be able to enter the metaverse, completely virtually (i.e. with virtual reality) or interact with parts of it in their physical space with the help of augmented and mixed reality.

NFTs are going to be a big part of this growth according to Steinwold, and the innovations are just getting started. “When comparing these physical uses to gamers doing some new behavior in a virtual environment, the pace of innovation is often much higher in the digital world,” Steinwold’s observation concludes. “Going forward, I expect more differentiated NFT categories to arise and NFT market activity to increase dramatically.”

What do you think about the non-fungible token economy sales coming close to reaching $100 million so far? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Bitcoin Entrepreneur Brock Pierce Joins the 2020 US Presidential Election

Bitcoin Entrepreneur Brock Pierce Joins the 2020 US Presidential Election

Blockchain entrepreneur and former Disney child actor, Brock Pierce, is running for President of the United States this election. Pierce announced he was running during America’s Independence Day celebration on July 4, the same day Kanye West revealed his candidacy. Pierce is an advocate of technology and cryptocurrencies and he wholeheartedly believes “entrepreneurs are essential to the rebuilding of this nation.”

On July 4, 2020, Brock Pierce, the child actor who starred in the classic Disney film the “Mighty Ducks” is running for President of the United States this election. Pierce is also a serial entrepreneur who shook up the virtual gaming industry as a young adult, and has continued his career bolstering cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

News.Bitcoin.com spoke with Pierce in a private conversation back in September 2015. At the time Pierce told our newsdesk:

Satoshi gave us a gift but Bitcoin Stakeholders must continue to nurture and develop it. Disruptive technologies like the Internet and Bitcoin don’t get un-invented.

Bitcoin Entrepreneur Brock Pierce Joins the 2020 US Presidential Election
Bitcoin entrepreneur Brock Pierce announced he was joining the U.S. presidential election on July 4, 2020.

In Pierce’s 2020 presidential candidacy announcement video, he explains that he is a “staunch supporter of entrepreneurs and small businesses, he understands what it takes to build a business from the ground up.”

Pierce says that Americans need to embrace a future filled with technological advancements and says he can help guide the country toward 21st-century technology practices. The serial entrepreneur explains that he was a child actor as well and notes that he isn’t a “perfect” human and that his “battle scars” have given him fortitude.

The U.S. presidential candidate also leverages discussions involving Covid-19 and the recent protests held in nearly every city across the nation. Pierce wants Americans to “convene” and says mantras like “we are all in this together,” “make every voice count” and “Brock the vote.”

The crypto venture capitalist explains his recent philanthropy in Peurto Rico and his website mentions his involvement with “the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of EOS Alliance, Block.one, Blockchain Capital, Tether, and Mastercoin.”

Of course, cryptocurrency supporters will enjoy the fact that Pierce bolsters digital currency solutions and blockchain technology. Kanye West, the billion-dollar hip hop artist who is also running for president in 2020 is also considered bitcoin-friendly and has tweeted about the decentralized currency in the past.

The Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen is also pro-bitcoin as well, and news.Bitcoin.com recently talked with the first female Libertarian nominee. She said she would do away with certain legal tender laws, bolster cryptocurrency innovation, and free Ross Ulbricht as well.

Cryptocurrency supporters also have John McAfee and Adam Kokesh too, and both of those 2020 candidates support cryptocurrencies on a greater level than Trump or Biden. The presidential incumbent Donald Trump has only mentioned bitcoin in a tweet and has yet to address the subject on any level.

The presumptive Democrat candidate Joe Biden also hasn’t addressed digital currencies at all during his campaign. The only other pro-bitcoin candidate was Andrew Yang who dropped out a few months back, after his support was significantly lacking.

What do you think about Brock Pierce running for president in 2020? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Cryptocurrency-Focused Docuseries Airs to Millions of Viewers via the Discovery Science Channel

A new docuseries called “Open Source Money” recently aired on July 4 and premiered on the Discovery Science channel. The new show gave millions of Discovery viewers information concerning bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and blockchain technology. The cryptocurrency-focused show airing on Discovery will continue this summer with a number of episodes broadcasting once a week.

Open Source Money” is the name of a new docuseries that aired on Saturday and premiered on the Discovery Science channel and the on-demand television provider Philo. The new series gives viewers insight into the cryptocurrency ecosystem by talking with a number of digital currency experts and luminaries like Brock Pierce and Charles Hoskinson.

The focus of the story is mainly about the Dragonchain (DRGN) initial coin offering (ICO) and how the project’s creators had to deal with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Dragonchain was also initially developed in 2014 at the Walt Disney Company branch in Seattle, but since 2016, the project and Disney severed relationships. The series “Open Source Money” was produced by the firm Vision Tree and the company raised $1 million via a variety of cryptocurrencies for filming.

The episodes feature Dragonchain’s issues with the SEC when the U.S. regulators deemed the project an “unlicensed security.” The episodes also feature the Chamber of Digital Commerce founder Perianne Boring, the notorious John McAfee, and Celsius Network’s Alex Mashinsky.

Reports say that Patrick Byrne will also star in one of the five parts filmed for the series. Despite the fact that the filmmakers follow the Dragonchain creators around for a bit, the first episode also acts as a Bitcoin 101 lesson.

The show’s theme also focuses on the current regulatory attitude toward cryptocurrencies in the United States. The show will air on Discovery Science and Philo at 10 a.m. ET every Saturday until the finale.

Discovery is an extremely popular channel with an 81 million U.S. network audience and six million in Canada. Outside the U.S., 2019 data shows that the Discovery network has well over 450 million viewers worldwide. Discovery Science is a subset of the official Discovery network of channels and can be found in most locations worldwide.

The San Francisco-based and Mark Cuban-backed on-demand streaming network, Philo has roughly 50,000 subscribers.

“Each episode highlights major contributors in the cryptocurrency revolution, including notable figures Patrick Byrne, Brock Pierce, Joe Roets, and companies the likes of Disney, Facebook, and more,” explains the “Open Source Money” website. The website’s welcome page adds:

Overall humanity is at a crossroads and the future of money as we know it will be transformed by Blockchain and the new internet of Value. The only question is, where will the US stand in the Space Race of our generation when the dust settles?

The website also notes that there’s a “provably fair 500,000 DRGN giveaway” and viewers need to find clues each week in order to win. According to the “Open Source Money” docuseries web portal, after each episode the clues can be used to find the elusive treasure. This week’s question has a number of keywords and numbers that the viewer must choose in order to participate in the contest.

Words and numbers featured this week included: “1776, Pizza, Nascar, Cheesballs, Disney, Ramen, Beaxy, Hyundai, Seattle, or Avacodo Toast.” After each episode, a weekly prize winner will be selected,” explains the docuseries producers. “All correct answers, from the start of the contest, are entered into the Grand Prize drawing. The “Open Source Money” trailer can be seen below, while Philo and Discovery Science subscribers can watch from those channels.

What do you think about the “Open Source Money” docuseries? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Food and Cash Shortages Push Cubans Toward Permissionless Cryptocurrencies

Food and Cash Shortages Push Cubans Toward Permissionless Cryptocurrencies

The Nation of Cuba is dealing with a national food crisis, as Venezuela has stopped offering aid to the small island nation. Moreover, the coronavirus outbreak has caused a shortage of cash couriers called “mules” and everyday items are becoming scarcer. Amid the crisis, a number of Cubans are resorting to leveraging cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to curb inflationary pressure, and the country’s first peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Qbita launched last April.

The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the Cuban economy just like it has throughout the globe. However, Cuba has been hit much harder because of the country’s socialist regime. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean region and the state adheres to Communism and central planning. This gives the government an authoritarian position over the entire Cuban work force and the country’s means of production.

Leadership is quite tricky in Cuba, as Miguel Díaz-Canel is the President of the nation, but the people follow the rule of Raúl Castro’s guidelines. Raúl Castro is the official first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, and to this day, the first secretary is the most powerful leader in Cuba.

Food and Cash Shortages Push Cubans Toward Permissionless Cryptocurrencies
The post-Covid-19 economy in Cuba is not looking good as Venezuela has stopped offering the island nation support. The Cuban Communist Party has told all Cubans to start growing food in every empty space they own. The country also is suffering from the lack of “Mules” or “Mulas” who deliver cash and products to the island from other countries.

The country’s dealings with the coronavirus outbreak caused the island significant hardship and just recently, Venezuela has stopped offering the country assistance. The Venezuelan government used to be a lifeline for Cubans when it came to financial assistance.

The lack of help from Venezuela invoked the Communist Party to tell all Cuban residents to grow as much food as they can in order to survive. “Cuba can and must develop its program of municipal self-sustainability definitively and with urgency, in the face of the obsessive and tightened U.S. blockade and the food crisis COVID-19 will leave,” José Ramón Machado Ventura, deputy leader of the Cuban Communist Party, recently told the media.

Food and Cash Shortages Push Cubans Toward Permissionless Cryptocurrencies
This April, Italian-Cuban entrepreneur Mario Mazzola launched Qbita, which is a peer-to-peer trading platform.

In addition to the possible food crisis, Cubans have been seeing a shortage of “mules.” “Mules,” otherwise known as “Mulas,” are not delivering much-needed goods and cash to Cubans.

There’s an estimated 50,000 Cubans who consider themselves Mules, and they travel all around the world to bring cash and certain products. Mules account for close to half of the cash remittances in Cuba as well. Since Covid-19, however, Mules are now scarcer than the products and cash, as the outbreak has pretty much halted the Mule supply chain.

In order to curb the economic turmoil, a number of Cubans are resorting to bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. For instance, there are traders on the platform Localbitcoins stemming from Havana and Holguín.

Food and Cash Shortages Push Cubans Toward Permissionless Cryptocurrencies
Mario Mazzola has detailed that peer-to-peer marketplaces like Paxful and Localbitcoins have been hard for Cubans to leverage. Paxful allegedly geo-blocks Cubans due to U.S. sanctions and Localbitcoins has KYC issues, according to Mazzola.

A trader from San José de las Lajas sells bitcoin cash (BCH) with “no limits” for Western Union payments on the peer-to-peer exchange Local.Bitcoin.com. Further, a number of reports over the last two years show that a number of Cubans have been seeking out cryptocurrency solutions.

In September 2019, Reuters reported on Cuban residents “skirting U.S. sanctions by flocking to cryptocurrency, in order to shop online and send funds.” There is also a popular Telegram channel with thousands of Cubans called “Cubacripto,” where citizens gather to trade or discuss digital assets.

On April 23, 2020, Italian-Cuban entrepreneur, Mario Mazzola launched the country’s first peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) exchange qbita.org. Mazzola has detailed that Cubans find the platform Localbitcoin’s Know Your Customer (KYC) rules too strict, and Paxful geo-blocks citizens from Cuba. Last April, Mazzola discussed the qbita launch with Decrypt.co columnist Jose Antonio Lanz.

“I think that in the future we’re going to see fewer people coming to crypto just to make some easy money,” Mazzola explained during the interview. “We’re going to see more people using Bitcoin for its true purpose: the freedom to move money and to have total control of your funds.”

Do you think cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can help with remittances and shortages? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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4th Amendment Does Not Protect Bitcoin Data, US Fifth Circuit Court Rules

4th Amendment Does Not Protect Bitcoin Data, US Fifth Circuit Court Rules

A Fifth Circuit panel of judges recently ruled that Fourth Amendment rights do not apply to cryptocurrency transaction data that stems from an exchange. The U.S. court ruled against the defendant, Richard Gratkowski, who attempted to leverage the Fourth Amendment in an appeal.

According to the ruling of a three-judge panel from the Fifth Circuit courts, the American government’s Fourth Amendment does not apply to bitcoin transactions used in a crime if they stem from virtual currency exchanges. Richard Gratkowski was charged with allegedly making payments to a child pornography website, and sent bitcoin (BTC) to the web portal via his Coinbase account.

Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) searched Gratkowski and found illicit materials at his home and they subpoenaed Coinbase for transaction records. However, Gratkowski appealed the case and said that his bitcoin transaction history deserves to be protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Specifically, Gratkowski leveraged the 2018 Supreme Court ruling from Carpenter v. the United States. That particular case deemed cellphone data was personal and protected by Fourth Amendment protections.

However, Judge Catharina Haynes used an old Supreme Court decision from 1939 called the United States v. Miller. That particular ruling said that bank records are not protected by the Fourth Amendment. Judge Haynes ruled:

Coinbase is a financial institution, a virtual currency exchange, that provides Bitcoin users with a method for transferring bitcoin. The main difference between Coinbase and traditional banks, which were at issue in Miller, is that Coinbase deals with virtual currency while traditional banks deal with physical currency.

The other two judges agreed with Haynes, and the court noted that unlike cellphone data, bitcoin transactions are not “an intimate window into a person’s life.” The panel also highlighted that cryptocurrency transaction data was not a “pervasive or insistent part of daily life.” Of course, even though the case is controversial, bitcoiners are unsure of how the case will affect other U.S. lawsuits going forward.

Traditionally in America, decisions that are tied to the Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals, typically become formalized standards or law. Other judges will leverage the decision made during Gratkowski’s appeal process.

Founded in 1891, the Fifth Circuit is one of 13 American courts of appeals, and the branch is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals presides over Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Now if other U.S. judges make contradictory rulings then this particular decision could be appealed again someday, and the weight of the three-judge panel decision may be tested. For now, and from the Fifth Circuit’s perspective, bitcoin data stemming from a virtual exchange like Coinbase is not protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Going forward, bitcoiners will simply have to wait for more court rulings that are similar to see if this decision holds water for an extended duration of time.

What do you think about the Fifth Circuit decision in the Gratkowski appeal? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Over 2,500 Austrian Merchants Can Now Accept Cryptocurrency Payments

More than 2,500 merchants in Austria can accept three types of cryptocurrencies via the payment processor Salamantex. The company explained that the system was tested with a number of select A1 5Gi network shops.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, contactless payments have been trending more so than they ever were before. There are a number of traditional services that remove cash from the equation, but cryptocurrencies also provide the same ends except the means are decentralized.

This week the Austrian payment processor Salamantex announced that 2,500 merchants in the country will be able to support three different crypto assets via the system. The three supported assets include ethereum (ETH) dash (DASH) and bitcoin (BTC).

“Owners of [cryptocurrencies like] bitcoin and dash can be excited. From this summer on, they can spend their coins at more than 2,500 merchants using [the] A1 Payment service – provided the merchant has activated the feature,” Salamantex wrote.

The Salamantex team also mentioned how Austrians really like cash, but Covid-19 has changed that trend a great deal. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Austrians were extremely proud of cash and this was reflected in a large poll during the parliamentary election in late September 2019. One young Austrian woman interviewed during the poll said she liked cash because “you don’t leave a trace.”

“Although Austria is traditionally a country with a high affinity for cash, the last few months have led to a mind shift after people were called upon by the government and retailers to primarily switch to cashless payment transactions as far as possible,” the Salamantex announcement detailed. The company added:

With the integration of the Salamantex service software into the complete A1 payment package, Austrian retailers can now offer another payment option and thereby accept common cryptocurrencies.

Crypto assets have seen wider adoption in recent weeks, as news.Bitcoin.com recently reported on the Australia Post accepting bitcoin (BTC) via Bitcoin.com.au. Further, Centrapay revealed 2,000 Coca-Cola brand vending machines in Australia and New Zealand that now support BTC payments.

Salamantex COO, Markus Pejacsevich is trying to usher in the same type of crypto payment adoption in Austria.

“Our goal is to make paying with digital currencies at the checkout as easy and natural as we have been used to with credit cards for decades,” Pejacsevich said. “The acceptance of cryptocurrencies opens up new affluent customer groups and enables merchants to position themselves as pioneers in their industry.”

What do you think about the crypto payment accessibility for 2,500 Austrian merchants via Salamantex? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

The post Over 2,500 Austrian Merchants Can Now Accept Cryptocurrency Payments appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The IRS Investigation Division Is Requesting Information About Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrencies

The IRS Investigation Division Is Requesting Information About Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrencies

The United States tax agency has published a request for information pertaining to privacy-centric cryptocurrencies and technologies that obfuscate crypto transactions. The IRS-CI Cyber Crimes Unit request is also asking for information in relation to “layer two offchain protocol networks, sidechains, and the Schnorr Signature algorithm.

A recently published IRS-CI Cyber Crimes Unit request that’s available for public viewing is requesting information from “industry partners” in regards to crypto assets that leverage privacy techniques and other types of protocols that hide transaction data. The Request for Information (RFI) was published on June 30, 2020, and the RFI is dubbed “Pilot IRS Cryptocurrency Tracing.”

The IRS-CI request states:

This RFI is associated with a pilot IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CI) program. CI Cyber Crimes is requesting information about systems that will allow developers and testers to conduct investigative research of distributed ledger transactions involving privacy cryptocurrency coins.

The IRS Investigation Division Is Requesting Information About Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrencies

The privacy-centric crypto tokens mentioned in the IRS-CI request include “monero (XMR), zcash (ZEC), dash (DASH), grin (GRIN), komodo (KMD), verge (XVG), and horizon (ZEN). Alongside this, the IRS wants data concerning offchain networks and sidechains like “Lightning Network (LN), Raiden Network, Celer Network, Plasma, Omisego,” and coins that have integrated the Schnorr Signature algorithm like bitcoin cash (BCH).

The United States tax agency says the entity currently has little knowledge of these protocols and is looking to build its expertise. The IRS would also like to leverage applications that allow them to investigate these privacy tools and coins.

“Acquiring applications to allow an investigation to more easily trace privacy coins and other protocols that provide anonymity to illicit actors would allow investigations to be more effective, as well as facilitate a higher level of deterrence by making it harder to conceal criminal activity. It also provides an investigative efficiency that is currently limited,” the IRS request notes.

Similarly, there are only a “few investigative resources” that allow investigators to intercept or trace transactions involving “Layer 2 network protocol transactions [and] sidechain ledgers.” Including “distributed ledgers that are adopting signature algorithms that provide privacy to illicit actors.”

The IRS notes in the request that the use of privacy coins and offchain/sidchain networks are “becoming more popular for general use.” But also the tax agency is “seeing an increase in use by illicit actors.”

What do you think about the recently published IRS-CI Cyber Crimes Unit request? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post The IRS Investigation Division Is Requesting Information About Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Despite Covid-19 Negativity, Crypto Prediction Markets Say Trump Wins the 2020 Election

According to a number of crypto prediction markets and futures, Trump will still win the election in 123 days, but his chances have lessened a great deal. No matter who wins, however, the large sums of money flowing into these wager platforms indicate that people love to bet on election outcomes.

It’s been roughly four months since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States and it has shaken the country to its core. How the government dealt with the Covid-19 situation is an extremely controversial subject and many Americans have lost respect for U.S. President Donald Trump since the crisis.

American citizens always argue about politics and the two-party system and the 2020 election cycle is no different for many U.S. citizens. At the time of publication, the public knows that the incumbent President, Donald Trump, will presumptively be presented as the leader in 52 days.

The public is also aware that former Vice President for the Obama administration, Joe Biden, will also likely be presented as the Democrats leader at the national convention in 45 days. A lot of people think that the two choices from the Democrat and Republican parties are horrible this election cycle but many Americans are not aware of third-party candidates.

The FTX futures contract called “TRUMP” is the only prediction market that shows Donald Trump might not win. His chances changed a great deal since the first week of February, and the FTX market today shows a 40% chance of winning. Wagers on Betfair and Augur, however, show that Trump is clearly in the lead as far as betting is concerned.

During the first week of February, news.Bitcoin.com reported on cryptocurrency futures and prediction markets which indicated at the time that Trump will win the U.S. 2020 presidential election. That week in February, a token called TRUMP was released in order to represent a futures agreement. Basically TRUMP is a futures contract on FTX,” the exchange FTX noted.

“[The token] expires to $1 if Donald Trump wins the 2020 US presidential general election, and $0 otherwise.” At that time, the trading platform FTX had shown the futures token was swapping for $0.62 per coin. That price per token means that Donald Trump had a 62% chance of winning the 2020 election.

Now, after the Covid-19 fiasco, the FTX futures token based on Donald Trump is trading for much less. At the time of publication, TRUMP is swapping for $0.40 per token which means traders think that Trump could lose the 2020 election. There is also a great number of people betting on the 2020 election via Betfair.

Betfair is a popular betting platform and users who want to leverage bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrency payments need to use the Neteller option. Looking at the Betfair stats for the “USA – Presidential Election 2020 – Next President” wagers shows Trump has better odds than Biden. There’s roughly, $43,000+ in wagers on the Betfair website at the time of publication and Biden and Trump are the top two choices.

Data from the web portal predictions.global shows the prediction marketplace Augur and the future 2020 election outcome predictions stemming from that platform. During the last few weeks, people are still not sure that Joe Biden will be the Democratic party nominee. Despite the fact that Biden has 2,144 delegates people still think it is questionable.

The Augur prediction market thinks there’s a 25% chance it could be someone else other than the presumptive Democratic nominee. The same question is asked about Donald Trump being the Republican nominee and the wisdom of the crowd is 95% sure it will be Trump.

Similarly to our last report on cryptocurrency futures and prediction markets betting on the 2020 election, the Augur-based prediction market question called “Will Donald J. Trump be elected and inaugurated as President of the United States” is the same. Currently, 55% of Augur’s wisdom of the crowd says that Trump will win and be inaugurated.

Augur shows other questions that could make it difficult for Trump if the predictions come to fruition. One question asks if Trump will be impeached before the end of his first term and 50% of the answers think yes. Another question asks if the House of Representatives would impeach Trump and 44% think that the group could.

Augur stats also show that 29% of the prediction marketplace users think Kamala Harris could be the Democratic party nominee for President in the 2020 election.

What do you think about the cryptocurrency futures and prediction markets betting on the 2020 election? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Trouble in Defi Paradise: Compound-Issued DAI Surpasses DAI in Circulation

Trouble in Defi Paradise: Compound-Issued DAI Surpasses DAI in Circulation

A number of cryptocurrency proponents have been discussing the stablecoin DAI this week, as the DAI allegedly held on the Compound platform is much larger than what is recorded in circulation.

At press time, Compound statistics show there’s $523 million worth of DAI held in reserves, while the web portal daistats.com shows there’s only 160 million DAI in circulation.

There seems to be another mystery in the world of decentralized finance (defi) again as the crypto community is now discussing the stablecoin DAI and the algorithmic money market protocol Compound.

Essentially, the Compound platform allows users to earn interest or borrow assets against collateral by leveraging a myriad of crypto assets. The platform is a well known tool and the stablecoin DAI is the most popular asset on the market today.

According to stats on the compound. finance markets detail page, there is $523 million worth of DAI held in reserves. In fact, the market overview of the compound.finance total supply is $1.3 billion to-date. That specific data metric includes all the tokens that are leveraged on the Compound platform.

However, looking at the website daistats.com shows there is only 160 million DAI in circulation. This has caused many defi proponents and the crypto community, in general, to start theorizing on why there is more DAI allegedly held in reserves on Compound, than what’s ostensibly minted in the real world.

A number of people on Twitter started making fun of defi projects and specifically criticized Compound, DAI, and Maker proponents. In the official Maker Chat governance channel, one individual said: “This whole thing is just a little frustrating — Compound is not being a good actor right now.”

Other’s discussed whether or not there is a major issue with farmers, farming yields, and market makers. Just recently, the Compound project introduced a new governance proposal that affected “yield farming.”

On Twitter, some people discussed an ostensible issuance loophole that could grow the DAI held on Compound infinitely, while others didn’t believe it was possible. “This doesn’t seem [like a] possible/error. I don’t believe you can borrow DAI against a collateral of DAI…can you?” an individual asked.

One person responded: “Yeah you can, check out Instadapp. You can do it easily via the [Compound Finance] UI if you buy cToken of w/e too.” Another person confirmed the fact that it is entirely possible to borrow DAI against a collateral of DAI.

Whatever the case may be, in the defi world there is trouble in paradise once again. In the Maker governance chat, some people thought that simply changing the interest rate lower on another stablecoin like USDC would solve the issues Compound is dealing with at the moment.

However, some people thought that a decision like that would be tricky and cause yield farmers to move to other assets. “I mean what is a few hundred million DAI backed by a few hundred million worth of cDAI between friends,” another individual discussing the DAI/Compound situation remarked.

A concerned individual on Twitter wrote: “DAI will skyrocket above peg – that means the debt value will increase accordingly, [and] that’s dangerous for my collateralization. Many farmers will get rekt on Compound.”

What do you think about the discrepancy between DAI in circulation and what’s held on Compound? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post Trouble in Defi Paradise: Compound-Issued DAI Surpasses DAI in Circulation appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Mining Company Ebang’s Stock Listed on Nasdaq Down 11%, Firm Plans to Launch Offshore Exchange

Mining Company Ebang's Stock Listed on Nasdaq Down 11%, Firm Plans to Launch Offshore Exchange

The bitcoin ASIC mining rig manufacturer, Ebang International Holdings, was recently listed on Nasdaq last Friday on June 26. Ebang is now the second mining rig manufacturer to have a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) by selling company shares. Since the initial sale on opening day, Ebang’s Nasdaq-listed “EBON” is down 11.5%.

So far, the Nasdaq shares dubbed “EBON” haven’t changed too much in price and since the IPO launch. This week Ebang also revealed it is launching an offshore crypto exchange later this year.

The firm Ebang International Holdings is an ASIC mining rig manufacturer that specializes in fabricating bitcoin miners. Last Friday, on June 26, the company joined its mining rig manufacturing competitor Canaan on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The launch of NASDAQ: EBON on Friday, saw 19.3 million shares offered and the firm raised $101 million. On June 26, at 12 p.m. ET, EBON stocks on Nasdaq opened at $4.85 and by 4 p.m. ET, it was up to $5.

Mining Company Ebang's Stock Listed on Nasdaq Down 11%, Firm Plans to Launch Offshore Exchange

However, since then EBON is currently trading at $4.29 on July 2, 2020, suffering a loss of -11.5% since the opening price on Friday. At the time of publication, 24-hour stats show the price of EBON is up 0.33% on Thursday.

So far Ebang is doing much better than Canaan Creative’s initial IPO run, which saw the company raise less on opening day selling only $90 million. Canaan (NASDAQ: CAN) initially sold for $8.99 and today it is trading for $1.88. This means since Canaan launched on CAN on November 21, the Nasdaq listing lost -79% since opening day.

Of course, Ebang’s IPO is much newer and Canaan’s stock has been listed on Nasdaq for months. Despite the fact that both ASIC mining manufacturers are listed on Nasdaq, Ebang wholeheartedly thinks they are separate from the competition.

“According to public information disclosed by Canaan Inc., its key development direction is focusing on [artificial intelligence] AI,” an Ebang representative told the press this week. “Although we are peers in bitcoin mining machine industry, Ebang focuses on the blockchain industry chain, integrating the digital economy industrial ecosystem,” the representative added.

Additionally, Ebang says it plans to create more revenue by launching an offshore exchange. Ebang’s chief financial officer (CFO), Chen Lei, told Bloomberg that the exchange will likely double the company’s revenue. Chen said that the company, at the very least, expects to hit that target by 2022.

Moreover, the CFO explained that Ebang is going to draw in sales from other nation-states. The interview with Chen Lei highlights that 90% of Ebang sales stem from mainland China, while the rest are being sold in other countries.

What do you think about Ebang’s IPO launch last Friday and the exchange announcement? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Demand for Bitcoin Will See a Dramatic Shift in 8 Years – Retail Addresses to Eat up Entire New Supply

Demand for Bitcoin Will See a Dramatic Shift in 8 Years - Retail Addresses to Eat up Entire New Supply

A recent report from ZUBR Research explains that by 2028, retail demand for bitcoin will exceed the supply. The report highlights that in eight years as Bitcoin’s supply rate decreases “retail size addresses [will] begin to eat up all the new supply alone.” Even the next halving in 2024 could see retail accounting for acquiring 50% of the bitcoins in circulation.

Not too long ago, cryptocurrency proponents witnessed the Bitcoin (BTC) network’s third halving which cut the block reward by 50% on May 11, 2020. Just before the third BTC halving, the active supply issuance or inflation rate was around 3.8%.

Today that number is steadily dropping and at the time of publication, BTC’s inflation rate is 3.51%. On June 29, a research report published by ZUBR Research details that in eight years, retail demand will outshine the rate of issuance by a long shot.

The study called “Retail Investors Steady in Physical Bitcoin Snatch-Up” explains how the BTC network has entered the “next reward era.” “With 90% of all Bitcoins already mined, the remaining supply is estimated to take nearly 120 years to come to market,” ZUBR wrote. “This figure – the remaining 10% taking another 120 years – shows just how scarce the cryptocurrency already.”

Demand for Bitcoin Will See a Dramatic Shift in 8 Years - Retail Addresses to Eat up Entire New Supply

In time one of the great burdens will be liquidity and “physical Bitcoins become harder to come by.” The researcher’s findings also indicate that Covid-19 gave crypto proponents a glimpse at some potential scenarios. ZUBR Research also discussed the question of whether Bitcoin is a better version of gold or not.

The study says that investors will have to weigh this decision as “demand has moved in decline for gold further extending that gap available on the market” during the Covid-19 crisis. “No doubt, Bitcoin saw strong demand in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The demand was similarly witnessed for gold,” the report highlights.

ZUBR researchers add:

There is a very critical difference to gold, however. Bitcoin supply constraints will not be a result caused by black swan events (such as the global COVID-19 lockdown that shut-in mines), but the permanent perpetual nature of the store-of-value cryptocurrency that is designed to cut off new supply.

The study notes that the researchers leveraged data from the analytics firm Chainalysis. ZUBR predicts that retail demand will continue to grow this year and by 2028 the demand will be far greater than issuance.

Just like with gold markets, the demand for bitcoin while remaining scarce could send the price of BTC sky high. The next halving will sill a lot of retail and investor demand but the fifth halving will be uncontrollable buying pressure.

“Extrapolating future demand at this pace points to a very dramatic shift in 2028 when Bitcoin’s supply rate further decreases and these retail size addresses begin to eat up all the new supply alone,” ZUBR estimates. “By the time the next reward era comes around in 2024, retail could potentially account for eating up over 50% of the physical supply,” the researchers added.

The paper concludes by stressing:

With retail [investors] gunning hard, these supply constraints might come sooner rather than later should growth in demand from smaller investors remain as steady as it has in the past half-decade.

What do you think about the theory that retail demand will outshine bitcoin issuance in eight years? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

The post Demand for Bitcoin Will See a Dramatic Shift in 8 Years – Retail Addresses to Eat up Entire New Supply appeared first on Bitcoin News.

‘Running Drivenet:’ Bitcoin Proponent Discusses the Benefits of Drivechain Versus Lightning Network

'Running Drivenet:' Bitcoin Proponent Discusses the Benefits of Drivechain Versus Lightning Network

During the last few days, a number of cryptocurrency supporters have been discussing Paul Sztorc’s Drivechain project, also referred to as “Drivenet.” The Drivechain project has been a work in progress for years now, and just recently Sztorc published a new version of the Drivenet software. On June 29, the Bitcoin proponent John Light tweeted “Running Drivenet” on Twitter, letting the public know about the application’s “important benefits.”

During the last five years scaling concepts, offchain networks like Lightning, and sidechains have been both hot and controversial topics. This week, a number of bitcoiners have been discussing Paul Sztorc’s Drivechain and the platform Drivenet.

The Bitcoin supporter, John Light, tweeted about Drivenet on Wednesday. Similarly to Hal Finney’s 2009 tweet that said: “Running Bitcoin,” Light tweeted:

Light detailed how he synced the platform and obtained testnet tokens from a faucet. He then sent some coins to a sidechain and after syncing up his sidechain node, the deposit confirmed. Following the confirmed deposit, Light decided to send some coins to a second sidechain, which also confirmed. “This is where the magic happens: withdrawing funds from the sidechain back to the mainchain,” Light wrote.

“My withdrawal [transaction] has been included in a bundle of sidechain [transactions] waiting to get transferred to the specified addresses on the mainchain. If mainchain miners ‘upvote’ this bundle in 140 of the next 300 blocks, the transfer will complete. Currently at 27/140 upvotes required. Mainchain status: Spent. [The] Sidechain withdrawal went through. Thank you testnet miners for not censoring or stealing my coins,” Light tweeted. The Bitcoin proponent further tweeted:

To recap: I sent some testnet coins from a modified bitcoin testnet to a Drivechain-based sidechain. I sent some sidecoins to myself. I withdrew the sidecoins back to my mainchain address for a full round trip. This is very exciting to me. When Drivechain mainnet?

Drivechain has been a popular project for quite some time, and many developers have been working in stealth mode messing around with the Drivenet software. The developers have a lively Telegram chat channel, where Sztorc and many others test and discuss the Drivechain project. Sztorc released a new version of Drivenet on June 23, 2020.

“A new version Drivenet. (Mainchain v33, Sidechain v06) has been released,” Sztorc tweeted. “Sidechain mining now just involves clicking a button, there’s also a really nice “Withdrawal Explorer” GUI now, [and] tons of UX and sidechain withdrawal-logic improvements.”

People who are interested in Drivechain can read about the project’s specifications and accompanying literature at the project’s web portal drivechain.info. After John Light told his 8,900 Twitter followers that he was running Drivenet, an individual asked Light “What sorts of use cases and benefits do you foresee for Drivechain as opposed to Lightning?” Light responded and said that’s a “good question.”

“[In my opinion] Drivechains have three important benefits vs [Lightning Network]: No hot wallet requirement, no channel limitations, and not constrained in functionality by mainchain consensus rules. One use case I am excited to see is a zcash-like fully encrypted sidechain using Drivechain,” Light said.

During the last few months, bitcoiners have noticed that Ethereum has dominated as Bitcoin’s (BTC) main sidechain. Despite trust model debates, there is no denying Ethereum’s current role and the number of synthetic bitcoins being transferred and stored within the chain.

Additionally, the federated sidechain deployed by Blockstream has been a controversial topic in recent days too. The reason for the contention about Bloskstream’s Liquid sidechain, is because the founder of the Summa project, James Prestwich, explained on Twitter that the emergency 2-of-3 controlled 870 bitcoin “violates Liquid’s security model.”

What do you think about the Drivechain project? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Alt-Right Activist Stefan Molyneux Banned from Youtube, Raises $100K in Crypto Donations

Alt-Right Activist Stefan Molyneux Banned from Youtube, Raises $100K in Crypto Donations

The founder of Freedomain, philosopher and alt-right activist, Stefan Molyneux, received more than $100,000 in cryptocurrency donations after he was banned from Youtube on June 29, 2020.

Stefan Molyneux is well known for his Youtube videos, podcasts, and books. His early Youtube videos describing the benefits of bitcoin have been lauded. While getting over $100k in bitcoin, dash, bitcoin cash, and ethereum donations this week, the alt-right activist has also joined the Lbry platform.

On June 29, Molyneux was banned from Youtube. Molyneux joins a number of popular alt-right activists, libertarians, and cryptocurrency advocates who have been banned from the platform. Just recently, Bitcoin.com’s official Youtube channel was banned but luckily it was reinstated.

Many cryptocurrency advocates abhor censorship and when Molyneux was banned the cryptocurrency community added $100k to his donation chest of coins.

At the website Freedomain.com, crypto supporters can find the coin addresses of all the crypto assets Molyneux website accepts. This includes bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), dash (DASH), ethereum (ETH), and a few others.

A great majority of the funds donated to Molyneux stemmed from bitcoin cash (BCH) donations. There is approximately 444 BCH ($99,500) in Molyneux’s bitcoin cash address, and 3.82 BTC ($35,000) in the Freedomain bitcoin (BTC) wallet.

Looking at the block explorers of all six coins Molyneux accepts minus monero (XMR), people can see a flurry of small donations were sent after Molyneux was banned. After the Youtube ban, Molyneux did join Lbry.tv and he has 6,819 followers to-date.

The Freedomain podcaster also asked for crypto donations last January and a number of crypto enthusiasts asked him to support more coins.

“I have been demonetized on YouTube, but you can support me here, much appreciated my friend,” Molyneux wrote at the time. Molyneux was also a big influence on the voluntaryist and libertarian communities early in his career.

During the latter half of his career, many libertarians lost interest in Molyneux for his pro-Trump and alt-right activism. Molyneux has written 10 books that have gathered 600 million downloads, and he has also hosted 4,500 podcasts as well.

What do you think about Stefan Molyneux being banned on Youtube and raising $100,000 in crypto donations? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Tether’s Market Valuation Grows 144% in 2020, USDT Market Cap Worth $10 Billion

The most popular stablecoin, Tether, has propelled its way into the third-largest position by cryptocurrency market capitalization. At the time of publication, a number of market valuation aggregators show that Tether’s market cap is between $9.1 to $10.1 billion.

Tether (USDT) is a well known stablecoin token issued by the company Tether Limited. The company claims each token is backed by a single U.S. dollar, but during the last few years, the firm admitted the backing included loans as well.

USDT has always been controversial, but even with the contention, tether is the most popular stablecoin by far. This week cryptocurrency proponents have been discussing how tether’s market cap has grown massively since the beginning of 2020. Since January, USDT’s market valuation spiked by 144%.

Today the market data and analysis web portal, Messari, tether (USDT) has a $10.2 billion market valuation and $1.4 million in 24-hour global trade volume. Statistics on Coinmarketcap.com indicates that the market cap for tether (USDT) is $9.1 billion and a whopping $20 billion in 24-hour trades.

A number of other market aggregators show tether’s market valuation is just above the $9.1 billion mark. There also a number of other stablecoins that are doing well growth-wise, but not nearly as exponential as USDT.

The second-largest stablecoin by market valuation is USDC, a stablecoin token created by Circle. USDC is close to reaching a $1 billion market cap with $927,077,875 worth of USDC coins in circulation. The stablecoin BUSD launched by the crypto exchange Binance has a $165,876,444 market valuation at the time of publication.

Paxos Standard, otherwise known as PAX, has a $244,966,858 market cap, which is well above BUSD. This is followed by trueusd (TUSD $144M) and gemini dollar (GUSD $9.8M). Gemini’s stablecoin is barely a blip on the radar when it comes to the rest of the stablecoin competition.

In addition to tether’s (USDT) rise to a $10 billion dollar market, the coin has moved a massive amount of USDT value from the Omni Layer network over to the Ethereum network. In fact, 60% of tethers have been issued as ERC20 tokens to-date.

At press time, there are 6,037,847,550 USDT tokens that leverage the ERC20 standard. The Ethereum blockchain holds a large majority of stablecoins as well (that are mentioned above) and the network’s value transfer is dominated by stablecoins.

What do you think about tether’s (USDT) whopping $10 billion dollar market cap? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate

Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate

On July 1, 2020, the popular eatery and bar in Japan, Brewdog Tokyo, started accepting bitcoin cash payments for products and services. The establishment is the third Brewdog bar to accept bitcoin cash, as the cryptocurrency is accepted at the London and Budapest locations as well.

In order to celebrate Brewdog Tokyo supporting bitcoin cash, a number of Tokyo-based BCH Meetup members gathered at the bar on Wednesday to socialize and purchase refreshments. The meetup was the first in-person BCH Meetup in Tokyo since the start of Covid-19.

The Roppongi location is officially the third Brewdog establishment that accepts bitcoin cash (BCH) for goods and services. The firm’s state-of-the-art breweries are located all around the world, and the eateries and bars are some of the most popular places to acquire craft brews.

Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate

There are Brewdog locations in Roppongi, Aberdeenshire, Brisbane, London, Budapest, Ohio, and more. The Brewdog Tokyo location follows the acceptance from locations in Budapest and London.

On Wednesday, July 1, the Tokyo Bitcoin Cash Meetup decided to host the first in-person meetup since Covid-19 started. Around 20-25 people attended (less attendance due to Covid-19) and the members will start to have meetups weekly again.

Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate

According to an attendee, Brewdog Tokyo, located in Roppongi accepts bitcoin cash (BCH) via the Bitcoin.com Register application. Funds are then sent directly to a single address using a Bitcoin.com Wallet and owned by Brewdog.

Discussing the subject with Tokyo Bitcoin Cash Meetup co-organizer, Akane Yokoo, she explained that the group was thrilled with Brewdog Tokyo supporting BCH. “I am really glad that Brewdog Roppongi is open-minded and they decided to accept bitcoin cash (BCH) and host our meetups,” Yokoo told our newsdesk.

Yokoo also highlighted that a number of new BCH meetups are being launched in July, “which shows us that the BCH community is growing fast.” The new BCH Meetup regions will include the South Coast, U.K., Gold Coast Australia, Luxemburg, and another location in Texas as there is another meetup location in Huston, Texas.

Moreover, Yokoo explained that the other BCH Meetup community leaders are going to approach Brewdog in their own cities, in order to promote more BCH acceptance. “These use cases are great because the community can use them as an example when they approach new merchants for BCH payment adoption,” Yokoo concluded.

What do you think about Brewdog Tokyo accepting bitcoin cash for products and services? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

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Bitcoin’s 5% Drop in Value Puts Pressure on BTC Mining Operations and Older ASIC Rigs

Bitcoin's 5% Drop in Value Puts Pressure on BTC Mining Operations and Older ASIC Rigs

During the last seven days, the price of bitcoin has dropped 4.8% from a high of $9,700 on June 24, to a low of $8,965 on June 27. Since then the price has increased and the price per bitcoin is back above the $9k zone but much lower than before. The lower price has affected the profits of miners hashing away to find blocks on the network. Ever since they lost 50% of the block reward on May 11, gathering profits have been tough on miners with bitcoin prices at these levels.

Mining bitcoin is an extremely competitive industry and after the BTC reward halving on May 11, 2020, it has been much harder to mine the rare digital currency. At the time of publication, the price of a single BTC has been hovering between $9,050 to $9,250 during the last few days.

This has given the crypto asset an overall market valuation of between $165 billion to $170 billion during the course of the week. The price is over 4.8% lower than it was on June 24, when BTC prices were hovering around $9,700 last Wednesday.

Of course, the price of BTC directly affects miners and the tens of thousands of ASIC mining rigs housed in warehouses all around the world. An example of this trend is how the Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro (110TH/s) is the only profitable machine if a mining operation is paying $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

With this electrical cost, the Antminer S19 Pro would only make $0.97 per day while a number of other miners would be mining at a loss. Now we all know that in places like China and other regions worldwide, those operations pay much less than $0.12 per kWh.

Bitcoin's 5% Drop in Value Puts Pressure on BTC Mining Operations and Older ASIC Rigs
Top 15 SHA256 ASIC mining rigs at an electrical rate of $0.12 per kWh.

At today’s BTC exchange rates and at a much lower rate of $0.04 per kWh, a much larger number of SHA256 miners would be profitable. At $0.04 per kWh, a total of 49 SHA256 ASIC mining rigs are profitable at today’s spot market price.

The top five mining rigs making the most profit at the electrical rate of $0.04 per kWh, includes the Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro (110TH/s), Bitmain Antminer S19 (95TH/s), MicroBT Whatsminer M30S (86TH/s), Bitmain Antminer T19 (84TH/s), and the Bitmain Antminer S17+ (73TH/s).

The machines that are making the worst profits at $0.04 per kWh and BTC’s current exchange rate include miners like the GMO miner B2 (24TH/s), Innosilicon T2 Turbo (24TH/s), Bitmain Antminer S9 SE (16TH/s), Bitfily Snow Panther B1+ (25.5TH/s), and the Canaan AvalonMiner 921 (20TH/s).

Bitcoin's 5% Drop in Value Puts Pressure on BTC Mining Operations and Older ASIC Rigs
Top 15 SHA256 ASIC mining rigs at an electrical rate of $0.04 per kWh.

Miners who are mining BTC at a loss at $0.04 per kWh include Bitfily Snow Panther B1 (16TH/s), Aladdin Miner (16TH/s), and the Ebang Ebit E10 (18TH/s). ASIC mining rigs that offer terahash below the 20TH/s level are likely not making profits unless they are paying less than $0.04 per kWh. Many of these older generation mining rigs would need to pay around $0.01 per kWh or get electricity for free.

Just like the blockchain analytics provider Tradeblock wrote in a report back in February, the company said that it estimated the cost to mine BTC should be over $12,500 after the halving.

“The [data] suggests that miners are likely expecting the price of bitcoin to rise to higher levels (above $12,000-15,000 per BTC) around the halving allowing them to continue to generate a profit,” Tradeblock wrote at the time. “Or they likely will look to reduce resources following the halving resulting in a hash rate decline as profitability falls,” the company added.

The price of BTC has yet to keep the $10k zone for very long and every time it does it’s been pushed back down below the psychological region. If the price of BTC does in fact jump back to above $12,000-15,000 per BTC like Tradeblock’s report suggested, miners of course, would do a whole lot better.

At $12,000-15,000 per bitcoin, older generation miners that process hashpower below the 20 terahash per second level would likely be turned right back on. It’s likely that many older generation miners with low terahash outputs are sitting and waiting to do just that.

What do you think about the profitability of ASIC mining rigs at today’s exchange rates? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Bamboozled: Gavin Andresen Says He Could Have Been Fooled by Craig Wright, BSV Supporters Speak Out

This week a number of Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit depositions have recently published and are now available for public viewing. One specific deposition with the former Bitcoin Core lead maintainer, Gavin Andresen, casts doubt on the claim that Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. Moreover, the Bitcoinsv supporter Daniel Krawisz has been speaking out about Wright and mentions there is “plagiarism in several of Craig Wright’s works.”

For well over five years now, Craig Steven Wright, has publicly claimed that he invented Bitcoin and that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. This claim has pushed Wright to court because the family of the now-deceased Dave Kleiman thinks that Wright’s multi-year business relationship with Dave means that they both created Bitcoin. The ostensible story has been debunked so much that the greater crypto community does not believe in any of Wright’s tales.

This week, a number of depositions have been published and one interesting one stems from the former Bitcoin Core lead maintainer Gavin Andresen. In May 2016, Andresen abruptly came out and told the public he believed Wright was Satoshi. However, not too long after that, he explained that he may have been confused. The same day Andresen said he believed Wright was Satoshi, Bitcoin Core developers removed Andresen’s Github commit privileges to the Bitcoin codebase. No one’s really discussed the matter with Andresen until now at least publicly.

Bamboozled: Gavin Andresen Says He Could Have Been Fooled by Craig Wright, BSV Supporters Speak Out
The Australian Craig Steven Wright has claimed he is Satoshi Nakamoto for the last five years, but has yet to prove this to the greater cryptocurrency community.

When asked about that particular moment in time, Andresen said he could have been fooled. “There are places in the private proving session where I could have been fooled, where somebody could have switched out the software that was being used or, perhaps, the laptop that was delivered was not a brand-new laptop, and it had been tampered with in some way. I was also jet-lagged,” Andresen said in the deposition.

He added:

I was not in the headspace of this is going to prove to the world that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. I was in the headspace of, you know, this will prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. And my doubts arise because the proof that was presented to me is very different from the pseudo proof that was later presented to the world.

The entire deposition is very long and it discusses a variety of different meetings. Overall when he was asked about Wright’s Satoshi story, Andresen said he had “doubts.” “I have many, many doubts in my head about what parts of — What things Craig told me are true and what are not true,” Andresen stated further. The Andresen deposition may be changing the minds of many hardcore followers. Despite the fact that a good number of BSV supporters adore Wright and follow his every move, there are a number of individuals who have denounced him and want to focus on just BSV.

One person who has been vocal about Craig Wright lately is the well known Bitcoin advocate Daniel Krawisz. Krawisz supports Bitcoinsv (BSV) and in the past, he favored Craig Wright. However, more recently Krawisz has been speaking out against Wright and his story. On June 28, Krawisz tweeted:

There’s plagiarism in several of Craig Wright’s works. It’s easy to see if you look. Example. It would be a lot better if people stopped treating him like a hero and just made bitcoin successful on their own.

There have been many responses to Krawisz’s tweets about Craig Wright and even a response tweet from the billionaire gambling mogul Calvin Ayre. Many people thanked Krawisz for being honest, even though they said they didn’t like BSV. Others explained that the only reason why BSV exists is because of Craig Wright. “BSV exists because of Craig Wright, even the claim in its name. You got bamboozled,” one person wrote to Krawisz.

What do you think about the Gavin Andresen deposition and Daniel Krawisz’s recent change of opinion? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments below.

The post Bamboozled: Gavin Andresen Says He Could Have Been Fooled by Craig Wright, BSV Supporters Speak Out appeared first on Bitcoin News.

60 Hong Kong-Based Vending Machines Support McAfee’s Ghost Token for Payments

60 Hong Kong-Based Vending Machines Support McAfee's Ghost Token for Payments

On June 28, 2020, the team behind Ghost Coin revealed a partnership with the digital currency payment processor Ivendpay. Ghost is a project led by the notorious John McAfee and according to the recent announcement, 60 vending machines in Hong Kong will support the privacy-centric coin for payments.

It’s surely never a dull day in John McAfee’s world and this week his Ghost Coin team revealed a collaboration with the crypto payment startup Ivendpay. The startup is a multi-currency payment system that allows people to accept cryptocurrency and other types of electronic fiat payments.

Ivendpay supports bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), binance coin (BNB), and more crypto coins at numerous vending machines and points of sale. The company also offers a payment device called the mPOS terminal which enables crypto payments leveraging NFC technology, a dual-screen, and a printer for receipts.

On Sunday, the official Twitter account for the Ghost Coin project led by McAfee revealed a collaboration with Ivendpay. “When we first launched Ghost our vision was not only to focus on privacy, but also on real user adoption,” the Ghost account tweeted. The tweet continued:

We are happy to announce that we have partnered with Ivendpay to deploy Ghost as a form of payment in over 60 vending machines across HK including Hong Kong Disneyland.

60 Hong Kong-Based Vending Machines Support McAfee's Ghost Token for Payments

Sergey Danilov, the founder of Ivendpay, believes that cryptocurrency support will benefit existing payment systems for automatic and retail trade. “Tens of thousands of small transactions worldwide will drum up cryptocurrencies’ capitalization,” said Danilov. News.Bitcoin.com reported on the Ghost project in mid-April, back when McAfee announced the launch and stressed that “governments will be unable to shut [ghost] down.”

Ghost also went live last week on McAfee’s new distributed exchange, and the Bitcoin.com exchange listed the ESH token at the end of May, in preparation for McAfee’s Ghost Airdrop. The Ghost network’s mainnet is live today and the coin’s creators claim the tokens are privacy-centric.

According to the white paper or “litepaper”, the proof-of-stake (PoS) ghost token’s “transactions use a state of the art escrow pool to shield and erase the history of transactions.”

“[Ghost] transactions will be verified using zero-knowledge proofs and ZcashSapling, Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs), ‘The Sapling Protocol,’” the paper highlights. Just recently the Ghost project released the Ghost Wallet 2.0.6 and another concept called ghostfundme.com.

Now with the partnership with Ivendpay, it will allow for ghost tokens to pay for a number of products in 60 vending machines across Hong Kong. The news follows the recent reports of a number of vending machines throughout Hong Kong that accept bitcoin cash (BCH) and ethereum (ETH).

For years now the concept of leveraging cryptocurrencies with vending machines has been a popular trend, this is natural because the two ideas go hand in hand. With coins that leverage low transaction fees, it seems the popular trend with vending machines will continue, at least on certain networks.

What do you think about the 60 vending machines in Hong Kong that will accept ghost token via Ivendpay? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

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Visualize Crypto Transaction Privacy Scores With Blockchair’s ‘Privacy-o-Meter’

Visualize Crypto Transaction Privacy Scores With Blockchair's 'Privacy-o-Meter'

On June 24, the block explorer and blockchain data platform, Blockchair, announced the launch of a new privacy tool called the “Privacy-o-meter.” According to Blockchair, the new service combats blockchain surveillance companies by highlighting privacy issues for crypto transactions.

This week the blockchain explorer and crypto analytics firm, Blockchair, revealed a new tool that aims to show people some of the privacy issues involved with crypto transactions they send.

The team has explained that in the future there will be other features coming like address clustering/tagging and other insights that companies like Chainaylsis offer.

Visualize Crypto Transaction Privacy Scores With Blockchair's 'Privacy-o-Meter'
Blockchair’s Privacy-o-Meter

Blockchair was founded in 2016 and has been a popular service that offers data insights to over 15 different blockchains. Some of the supported coins Blockchair’s service tracks include ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin (BTC), cardano (ADA), and others.

The explorer lets people check hashes, addresses, blocks, and embedded text data. There are other types of unique blockchain data and halving counters as well.

Last Wednesday, the official Blockchair Twitter account tweeted about the latest service saying:

Today we release Privacy-o-meter — a tool for Bitcoin users and developers to assess the privacy level of their transactions. Many of you have heard about blockchain surveillance companies. Privacy-o-meter is the first step to defend yourself against heuristics they use.

Blockchair also says that the Privacy-o-meter will “warn you if you’re doing things like reusing addresses or sending round amounts that lead to deteriorating your privacy.”

Visualize Crypto Transaction Privacy Scores With Blockchair's 'Privacy-o-Meter'
Blockchair’s Privacy-o-Meter

The user simply searchers for a transaction hash and they will be able to visualize the privacy score. For now, the block explorer company is offering Privacy-o-meter services for bitcoin (BTC) with “other cryptos are coming soon.”

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporters were pleased with the announcement and one individual wrote: “You rock, keep up the great work my friends.” Blockchair CEO, Nikita Zhavoronkov explained that the team would “launch [bitcoin cash] (BCH) support as soon as we’ve implemented Cashshuffle and Cashfusion detection.”

What do you think about Blockchair’s Privacy-o-meter service? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Bitcoin.org Maintainer Calls for the Removal of Cobra, Website Owner Then Fires Him

Bitcoin.org Maintainer Calls for the Removal of Cobra, Website Owner Then Fires Him

The infamous and controversial owner of the website bitcoin.org, Cobra, is under fire recently and a number of community members have asked to see the website removed from his possession. The initial argument was sparked by the website’s maintainer, Will Binns, who told the public that bitcoin.org was in “danger of being compromised.” Since then, Cobra has decided to fire Binns and the crypto community has been very focused on watching this quarrel unfold.

During the last few years, news.Bitcoin.com has reported on the curious case of Cobra, the peculiar anon with a lot of power. Just recently, bitcoiners have been arguing about Cobra’s ownership of bitcoin.org. Cobra has always been controversial and he’s asked the community to change the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm.

Cobra also asked the community and fellow bitcoin.org maintainers to change certain statements Satoshi Nakamoto made in the Bitcoin white paper. Five days ago, bitcoin.org maintainer Will Binns told the community via Github, that he believes Cobra is participating in compromising the website where the “latest version of Bitcoin Core software” stems from.

“Bitcoin.org, where many people also download the latest version of Bitcoin Core software, is now in danger of becoming compromised, if it hasn’t just happened,” Binns said.

Cobra-Bitcoin has removed my access and seized control of the site and accompanying code repositories. I do not believe Cobra is the sole and lawful owner, nor does he have any right to do these things without just cause. Cobra has referenced recent messages I sent in regular conversation regarding my work and the management of bitcoin.org as reasons for my departure. This has been taken out of context in an attempt to manipulate public opinion and infringe upon my rights, along with the rights of others,” Binns added. The bitcoin.org software maintainer further stated:

I believe he is looking to illegally transfer ownership of the site without due process, and this may only be the beginning. I’m writing this message to request assistance setting up a legal fund and the help of experts, to help stop this. In the interim, the website’s treasury will be placed under the control of a trusted third party. The funds are safe, the site is not.

Cobra explained that he had “removed Will Binns as the site’s maintainer,” in another Github post called “Regarding Will Binns #3397.” “During a conversation on Twitter, he had claimed that his work contributing to bitcoin.org conferred on him more authority than what I had agreed with him. I won’t engage with him beyond attempting to retrieve the community’s donations from wallets he has control over,” Cobra told the community members on Github.

The website’s owner continued by stating:

This may seem harsh, but any further communication with him risks putting this project in an unfortunate situation. So I had to be brisk and terminate his relationship with us. I’ll be taking over the day-to-day activities on the site more actively from now on; if any contributors or translators are in any group chats with him, please make alternative groups so you can continue work on the site.

Interestingly the former Blockstream employee and Bitcoin Core developer, Gregory Maxwell, seemed to agree with Cobra’s stance. “Your position appears to be a misplaced and inappropriate response to Cobra suggesting that he was considering not handing you unilateral control of Bitcoin.org. I hope you reconsider your approach,” Maxwell explained in the post reply toward Binns.

Another software developer wrote: “From my experience, even though I’ve not always agreed with [Cobra] on certain things, I think he’s shown good character, and as others have stated, he has acted as a trustworthy steward over the years.”

Bitcoin Core developer, David Harding, stood up for Binns when Cobra called Binns a scammer. “I’ve been interacting with Will Binns for over six years now, first on Bitcoin.org and later as coworkers,” Harding wrote.

“We haven’t always gotten along, but I’ve never seen him try to scam anyone. Quite the reverse — I’ve seen him selflessly contribute to this project and others for no tangible return. I don’t know what’s happening in that conversation and I understand the need to be clear about who has what rights, but I don’t think a single confused conversation warrants the character assassination of a long-time contributor to multiple open-source documentation projects.”

Whatever the case may be, Binns has lost his position and there is literally ‘trouble in paradise’ when it comes to the web portal bitcoin.org. Cobra has always been a controversial figure and no one knows who he or Theymos is.

His sidekick Theymos is also an anon who once in a while participates in the bitcoin.org operations and discussions. Theymos also has complete control over r/bitcoin, the unofficial bitcoin wiki, and bitcointalk.org too. Both Cobra and Theymos, however, have been around since the early days. They both are mysterious and have maintained a lot of power, as far as bitcoin domain real estate is concerned ever since Satoshi left.

What do you think about the quarrel over bitcoin.org’s ownership? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Bolstering Separation of Money and State Following the 244th Independence Day

With the fourth of July approaching, many Americans will have to contemplate whether or not the holiday is an empty affair. After the last thirteen weeks of Covid-19 lockdowns, business shutdowns, and police brutality, the lack of liberty and freedoms in the U.S. has never been more apparent. With ideas like bitcoin and concepts that bolster secession, the day is coming when money is completely removed from the state, just as the state was separated from the church centuries ago.

Roughly six days prior to the empty holiday, as I read the letters of Independence pronouncement adopted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776, I say to myself “Americans are not free.” The majority in the United States have surrendered their freedoms and civil liberties to the collective mob. Many individualists are quite certain that most Americans don’t believe in those declarations of independence, and the 27 grievances against tyranny written hundreds of years ago.

One reason that validates this opinion as truth, is because the U.S. government has transgressed upon the citizenry. They have quite literally violated every one of the 27 grievances. Yet the majority of U.S. citizens are too comfortable and too lost in the sea of distraction to even notice.

One thing I will be promoting on July 4, 2020, is real independence and the use of counter-economics, in order to separate finance from the state. The separation of money and state is the ideal solution for striking the root. The New Ideal author, Onkar Ghate, describes it very well in an April 2019 essay.

The essay explains how Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and James Madison all vowed to separate the church from state, as this was a fundamental right of sovereign individuals. However, the philosophy can easily be applied to finance too, as Ghate and many others have argued for economic freedom for many decades.

“The arguments for intellectual freedom and economic freedom share the same root: the requirements of the rational mind to guide the individual,” Ghate’s essay details.

Ghate’s explains how the well known novelist, Ayn Rand, took the individualist ideas from Jefferson, Madison, and Locke and extended it to all human actions like “education, scientific research, the arts,” and especially finance. Rand argued “that governmental schools, governmental funding of scientific research, and governmental funding of the arts violate the individual’s right to intellectual freedom,” Ghate’s essay highlights. The author also adds:

Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries.

Bitcoin and the 5,000+ digital assets are tools that can help bolster the separation of money and state.

The founder of Shapeshift, Erik Voorhees, said in March 2015 at the Texas Bitcoin Conference, the reason he has bolstered the idea of bitcoin is because he wants to separate finance from the state.

“It is that narrative of human development under which I believe that we now have other fights to fight, and I would say in the realm of bitcoin it is mainly the separation of money and state,” Voorhees explained on stage. The Shapeshift CEO added:

Money is absolutely as fundamental to our lives as religion, and for many people it is far more fundamental to their lives as religion. It affects how your life unfolds. The choices that you make about money dictate the ramifications of your life and those around you. And so, to have an institution like money so controlled by a central entity — by a monopoly — is absurd. It is immoral. We should get rid of it.

Similarly, the American populace has the right to separate themselves, and “dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” This is clearly stated on the Declaration of Independence parchment.

Essentially, the letters of Independence highlight that Americans, but more importantly all sovereign earthlings, should simply declare the separation. “A decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation,” the transcription of the stone engraving of the parchment Declaration of Independence stresses. All sovereign individuals have a right to separate their finances from the state, just as they have the right to separate religious beliefs from government affairs.

By leveraging precious metals, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (btc), bitcoin cash (BCH), dash (DASH), litecoin (LTC), monero (XMR) ethereum (ETH) and many others, while also practicing barter and trade techniques, it will help strengthen the counter-economy. The counter-economy, at some point, will grow so large that it eclipses the fraudulent and manipulated economy created by the oligarchs and status quo.

Without funding, the state will not be able to continue the endless wars. Without the participation of people using the oligarchs’ promissory notes, taxation will take place less and less. Even Edward Snowden, the famous U.S. whistleblower explained in an interview published by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2018, that bitcoin would help cushion financial liberties. Snowden also once said on Twitter that “new technologies raise the possibility of unstoppable tax protests.”

“I like Bitcoin transactions in that they are impartial — They can’t really be stopped or reversed, without the explicit, voluntary participation by the people involved,” Snowden said during the interview. “Let’s say Bank of America doesn’t want to process a payment for someone like me. In the old financial system, they’ve got an enormous amount of clout, as do their peers, and can make that happen. If a teenager in Venezuela wants to get paid in hard currency for a web development gig they did for someone in Paris, something prohibited by local currency controls, cryptocurrencies can make it possible.” Snowden continued by adding:

Bitcoin may not yet really be private money, but it is the first ‘free’ money.

On July 4, 2020, and just like every Independence Day I’ve celebrated in the past decade, I will let people know that the freedom they honor every year is lacking. In fact, freedom, at least going by the American writings written in the 1700s, is barely existent. The only way to separate ourselves from the beast of government is to separate money from it immediately.

Essentially, the state won’t have a choice and even right now, government fiat must compete with a $250 billion dollar free market filled with over 5,000 cryptocurrencies. During the 2015 Texas Bitcoin Conference, Vorhees further explained that people leveraging bitcoin will help bolster the need for change.

“It seems crazy to say this, but perhaps we should permit competition in money, permit competition in financial structures, just as we permit competition in religion,” Vorhees concluded. “We allow multiple churches to exist. Why do we do that? And why don’t we do that with money? I think it’s a hypocrisy that our children will someday look back on and realize, ‘Wow, that was really obvious.’ And Bitcoin is what will bring that change about.”

If Americans truly believe in the letters of independence, then they should separate themselves from the very government that transgresses against them. Right now, believers of the non-aggression axiom have lots of choices to make and many forms of human action can help fulfill decentralized goals.

There is no doubt, cryptocurrency and Satoshi’s vision was founded with the ideals of separation of state and money. Instead of focusing on red white and blue paper plates and patriotic t-shirts from Walmart, maybe Americans should invoke the revolutionary spirit they once held, and actually do something about this tyrannical beast who has devoured their freedoms.

If you are interested in learning about the many methods of crypto anarchy and the myriad of ways to opt-out and vacate the state – Check out these essays below.

What do you think about separating money from state? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Skeptics Concerned Plustoken Scammers Plan to Dump $187M Worth of Ethereum

Skeptics Concerned Plustoken Scammers Plan to Dump $187M Worth of Ethereum

Crypto market skeptics and speculators are concerned about 789,000 ETH that started moving four days ago last Wednesday. The transaction was recorded by Whale Alert, and the $187 million worth of ether stems from the Plustoken scammers.

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at approximately 9:46 a.m. (ET) the Plustoken scammers who have yet to be arrested, moved 789,534 ETH worth $187,847,550 USD at today’s exchange rates.

Cryptocurrency traders are concerned that this stash of ETH will be dumped on numerous digital currency spot markets. Additionally, the Plustoken scammers moved $67 million worth of EOS tokens two days before the 789,000 ETH transaction.

A number of crypto traders and organizations like Chainalysis and Cyphertrace have reported on the Plustoken scammers’ transactions.

Speculators have assumed that Plustoken coins that were dumped on spot markets caused the price of BTC to slide at the end of 2019. Plustoken scammers have been accused of fueling the March 12, 2020 dump often referred to as ‘Black Thursday.’

On March 9, 2020, crypto market observers witnessed 13,000 BTC sent to bitcoin mixers and crypto speculators assume the scammers are selling. Chainalysis said after March 12, that the organization didn’t believe the sell-off stemmed from Plustoken coins sold.

“In this case, we don’t believe Plustoken liquidations are responsible for bitcoin’s price drop. While Bitcoin did move from Plustoken addresses over the weekend, very little has gone to exchanges,” Chainalysis wrote.

The recent 789,000 ETH transaction may have been shuffled or obfuscated through a number of hops. The $187 million was split into 50 different addresses on the Ethereum network.

Findings stemming from Cyphertrace and Chainalysis have noted that the Plustoken scammers still own large amounts of ETH, BTC, EOS, and a few other types of digital assets. To this day, the scammers who are still at large, hold large swathes of these coins and no one is sure how they will be sold, but many suspect over-the-counter (OTC) operations.

The ETH address where the $187 million in ether was stored, still has $139.70 worth of ETH in the wallet today. 192 days ago, the wallet started with 10 ETH deposited, but 789,524.6 ETH was deposited immediately after.

What do you think about the Plustoken ether on the move? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Federated Sidechains: $8M in BTC Stuck in Limbo, Analyst Says Action ‘Violates Liquid’s Security Model’

Federated Sidechains: $8M in BTC Stuck in Limbo, Analyst Says Action 'Violates Liquid's Security Model'

Liquid, the sidechain network developed by the company Blockstream, saw 870 bitcoins ($8 million) frozen in moderation queue due to a seizure from a number of the network’s functionaries. The founder of the Summa project, James Prestwich, explained on Twitter that the emergency 2-of-3 controlled 870 bitcoin “violates Liquid’s security model.”

During the last year, the crypto firm Blockstream has been promoting its Liquid sidechain as “trustless,” even though many cryptocurrency proponents have criticized the federation of exchanges who call the network’s shots. For instance, the infamous Cobra, owner of bitcoin.org tweeted back in February: “Blockstream is busy pumping “trustless” centralized Liquid because ‘Lightning doesn’t scale;’ who even takes these ‘influencers’ seriously anymore?”

“Liquid is a sidechain, it’s just not a trustless (or, more precisely, trust-minimized) sidechain,” another critic tweeted in January. Taking it further, a number of individuals have said that Liquid is no different than the likes of Paypal or Ripple. The original ‘Sidechains’ paper sold the idea of a ‘trustless 2-way peg,’” software developer Rhett Creighton explained.

“The [Liquid] paper was used to raise $21M for Blockstream never delivered on the ‘trustless 2-way peg’ (maybe it’s impossible). So we get Liquid which is based on a federated model, which is basically Paypal,” the developer added.

Liquid’s so-called trustless model was exposed in real-time just recently, according to a tweet published by the Summa project cofounder James Prestwich.

“Looks like the liquid emergency 2-of-3 operators can steal 870 Bitcoin because this TXO has aged 2015 blocks?” Prestwich asked the Twitter account @notgrubles, and associate that works with Blockstream. “For just under an hour, the emergency 2-of-3 controlled 870 Bitcoin. This violates liquid’s security model [and] we know about this because Liquid holds bitcoin.”

Prestwich also exposed that the Liquid Federation is a closed business model. Prestwich stated:

We don’t know what caused it because liquid federation behavior is trusted and closed.

Prestwich further explained that when he pinged a Blockstream employee, they didn’t even verify his findings before arguing with him first.

“I felt comfortable disclosing publicly because no one but the trusted operators could exploit the issue, and the issue would not interfere with normal operation. When pinged, a Blockstream employee didn’t bother to check before mistakenly trying to correct me. It’s very hard to operate systems with mandatory rotation. This problem is conceptually similar to forgetting to mail your rent. OP_CTV aims to address rotation requirements directly, and would be a great addition to Liquid’s Federation script,” Prestwich wrote.

The CEO of Blockstream did defend Liquid in Prestwich’s Twitter thread, and blamed fixing the issue on Covid-19. “This is a known issue,” Back tweeted. “The coins are auto-swept forward as part of the HSM peg process. funds are safe as keys are offline and geo-distributed. we were planning to address via HSM upgrade, which is a manual hands-on process for security, but [Covid-19] lock-downs made that difficult.”

The discussion about Liquid’s trust model continues to rage on Twitter, ever since Prestwich disclosed the security vulnerability. Prestwich is also collaborating on a synthetic bitcoin project called tBTC, a project invoked by software developer Matt Luongo.

The project Prestwich is involved in that leverages tBTC and it is called “Keep.” “A keep is an off-chain container for private data. Keeps help contracts harness the full power of the public blockchain — enabling deep interactivity with private data,” explains the website keep.network.

Prestwich also detailed that no one knows if the Liquid BTC (LBTC) seizure has happened before. It’s likely, however, many crypto advocates will be watching for vulnerabilities in the Liquid network, especially with 2,160 BTC or $19.7M sitting in Blockstream’s Liquid TVL (total value locked).

Nevertheless and despite the haters and ongoing trust model debates, Ethereum is BTC’s default sidechain by order of TVL and value moved.

What do you think about the 870 bitcoins ($8 million) frozen in Liquid’s moderation queue? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

The post Federated Sidechains: $8M in BTC Stuck in Limbo, Analyst Says Action ‘Violates Liquid’s Security Model’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Popular Analyst Reveals New Bitcoin Pricing Model: Prediction Suggests ‘Bullish Run a Month Away’

Popular Analyst Reveals New Bitcoin Pricing Model: Prediction Suggests 'Bullish Run a Month Away'

The popular bitcoin analyst Willy Woo told his 132,000 Twitter followers that he’s working on a new pricing model that suggests a bull run is imminent. In fact, Woo says the model suggests bitcoin is close to “another bullish run” with “maybe another month to go.”

The price of bitcoin (BTC) has been declining during the last seven days, as BTC has lost 2% overall this past week. The value has been bouncing back and forth between $8,800 to a touch over $10k per BTC. At the time of writing on Sunday, June 27, 2020, the price has been fluctuating between $9,010 to $9,150 during the last 24 hours.

The $165 billion market valuation, still makes up 63% of the entire market valuation of all 5,000+ crypto assets. Despite the downturn, a number of analysts expect a bullish run to come to fruition in the near future. On Sunday, Willy Woo (@woonomic), the well known bitcoin chart analyst and the cofounder of Hypersheet tweeted that he’s been developing a new pricing model for BTC.

“This is a new model I’m working on, it picks the start of exponential bull runs,” Woo tweeted. “Bitcoin was setting up for a bullish run until the COVID white swan killed the party. This model suggests we are close to another bullish run. Maybe another month to go,” he added.

Popular Analyst Reveals New Bitcoin Pricing Model: Prediction Suggests 'Bullish Run a Month Away'
The first chart Woo published on Twitter.

Showing another chart, Woo said that the second graph “very clearly shows how [Covid-19] was a model breaking outlier.” And another chart Woo published indicates that “the longer this bull market takes to wind up, the higher the peak price (Top Cap model). A long sideways accumulation band is ultimately a good thing,” Woo further stressed.

Essentially what the Hypersheet cofounder told his 132,000 Twitter followers is that his new model shows that BTC is “maybe” about a month away from lift-off. If it wasn’t for Covid-19, then Woo believes the bull market would have already started.

Popular Analyst Reveals New Bitcoin Pricing Model: Prediction Suggests 'Bullish Run a Month Away'
The second chart Woo published on Twitter.

Of course, not everyone agreed with Woo’s prediction and the evidence stemming from his new model. “Technical analysis doesn’t work with BTC,” Adam Bornstein replied to Woo. “There are too many exchanges with too thin volume, too many [arbitrage] opportunities, and too much noise built into every move,” Bornstein added.

Popular Analyst Reveals New Bitcoin Pricing Model: Prediction Suggests 'Bullish Run a Month Away'
The third chart Woo published on Twitter.

Although Woo stood up for his position and the analyst responded to Bornstein’s criticism. “I’d agree with you for intra-week moves, but this chart is 8 [years] of macro, where organic investment takes precedence,” Woo replied. Despite, Woo’s defense some still called the prediction “hopium.”

Other Bitcoin evangelists disagree with Woo’s prediction as well, as Tone Vays told the International Business Times (Ibtimes) there’s a chance “bitcoin’s price won’t exceed $10,000 until 2021.”

“Like I’ve been saying for months now, I have no reason to walk away from my prediction early in the year that Bitcoin is going to get stuck between $6,000 and $10,000 for the majority of this year,” Vays told the news outlet. Of course, Ibtimes also mentioned that Vays predicted a dive to $2,800 before the reward halving took place, but the analyst’s forecast never happened.

What do you think about the model Willy Woo created that says a bull run might be one month away? Let us know in the comments section below.

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US Real Estate Market Crisis: 4.3 Million Mortgage Delinquencies, Commercial Properties Sink in Value

US Real Estate Market Crisis: 4.3 Million Mortgage Delinquencies, Commercial Properties Sink in Value

The U.S. economy continues to look bleak as the American citizens and small businesses nationwide struggle to keep up with the government’s rules toward Covid-19 guidelines. In just 13 weeks, over 45 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits and many citizens cannot pay their mortgages. Numbers stemming from last month’s property data indicates that about 4.3 million Americans didn’t pay their mortgage notes.

While precious metals like gold and silver have done well, and crypto assets have held decently, real estate and property statistics have tumbled. The government in America has continued to ravage the U.S. economy by inducing a number of lockdown rules and shutting down businesses of all shapes and sizes.

The unemployment rate is practically parallel with the numbers from the Great Depression as 45.7 million are out of work. And that number only accounts for Americans who can file as members of the gig economy and other types of workers cannot collect.

Additionally, the extra $600 extra from the CARES Act unemployment benefits will end soon. “The (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation) $600 can be paid for weeks ending no later than the week ending prior to Friday, July 31, 2020,” the U.S. Department of Labor told the public. “For all states except (New York), that is Saturday, July 25th. New York’s end date is Sunday, July 26th.”

With all the lockdown orders and business shutdowns, it’s put the U.S. real estate industry in jeopardy as home sales and commercial property values have plummeted.

This week it was reported that 4.3 million U.S. citizens didn’t pay their mortgages in May and it’s a huge spike. The number is up over 2 million since the end of March and the delinquency rate is reaching a point not seen since the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. Average citizens can’t pay their notes and apartment rentals in all major cities are not being contracted for the fall months.

US Real Estate Market Crisis: 4.3 Million Mortgage Delinquencies, Commercial Properties Sink in Value
“Another 723,000 homeowners became past due on their mortgages in May, pushing the national delinquency rate to its highest level in 8.5 years,” says Black Knight data. “There are now 4.3 million homeowners past due on their mortgages or in active foreclosure – including those in forbearance who have missed scheduled payments as part of their plans – up from 2 million at the end of March. Serious delinquencies are on the rise as well, increasing by more than 50% over the past two months.”

Reports also show that the Covid-19 induced lockdown economy is like a wrecking ball smashing the $17 trillion U.S. commercial real estate market. The fact of the matter is real estate is not selling at all like it was 13 weeks prior to the virus outbreak.

Even office rentals are feeling the heat as a recent Morgan Stanley report disclosed dire pricing power losses for landlords. Morgan Stanley also expects the vacancy rate to rise all the way until 2024.

Barry Sternlicht from Starwood Capital detailed that he predicts office buildings to lose 40% of value, rents dropping extremely low, and a third of hotels going bankrupt in New York City.

The National Association of Realtors explained on Monday that “existing-home sales occurred at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 3.91 million,” which is the lowest in over a decade. Sales that stem from pre-owned houses dipped by 9.7% in May.

Many economists are fixated on the real estate market because they believe it could explode like it did after Lehman went bankrupt. Amid the telltale signs of a worsening U.S. real estate market, American first time home buyers (FTHBs) have been focused in on the real estate dips too.

As any American can see by scrolling through Zillow or any property listing platform that prices are being slashed left and right. Genworth Mortgage Insurance has published a report that shows FTHBs are taking advantage of the lows. The report shows that FTHBs didn’t do well in April but in May numbers were impressive.

Despite the gloom and doom from headlines that indicate 4.3 million Americans haven’t paid their mortgages, some realtors are still very optimistic.

“Home sales will surely rise in the upcoming months with the economy reopening, and could even surpass one-year-ago figures in the second half of the year,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in the organization’s report published on Monday.

Another thing analysts are watching is pending home sales as there have been a number of homes sitting in limbo. It’s quite possible that due to the lockdown and business shutdown guidelines that many people who were about to purchase a home 13 weeks ago cannot now. Analysis shows that a number of transaction closings, settlement, and pending sales nationwide continue to remain frozen as well.

What do you think about the U.S. real estate market? Let us know in the comments below.

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Yield Farming Pool Concept May Solidify Ethereum’s Role as BTC’s Main Sidechain

Yield Farming Pool Concept May Solidify Ethereum's Role as BTC's Main Sidechain

Decentralized finance (defi) applications on the Ethereum chain have been growing wildly during the last two years. Now a number of synthetic versions of bitcoin, that leverage the Ethereum chain, has outpaced offchain solutions like Blockstream’s Liquid and the Lightning Network.

Just recently, the platform Synthetix revealed a partnership with Bitgo and the Ren Project in order to create incentivized bitcoin liquidity. Now with a massive yield farming pool, tokens like sBTC, renBTC, and WBTC could easily eclipse the alternative offchain competitors.

At the end of May, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the fact that despite a number of ‘trust model’ debates on Twitter, Ethereum is the Bitcoin (BTC) network’s largest sidechain by total value locked (TVL) by a long shot. Stats stemming from the Lightning Network (LN) shows that the LN TVL on June 26, 2020, is $8.9 million. The data from Liquid.net indicates that there is 2,160 BTC or $19.7M for Blockstream’s Liquid TVL.

Yield Farming Pool Concept May Solidify Ethereum's Role as BTC's Main Sidechain

Yield Farming Pool Concept May Solidify Ethereum's Role as BTC's Main Sidechain

Now stats from the Ethereum chain blows those two statistics away, as there is over 28,000 BTC locked into the Synthetix. There is a total of $263 million TVL locked into Synthetix at press time. Additionally, data from Curve.fi shows that renBTC has been picking up significant trade volume since it’s inception.

The project WBTC, backed by Bitgo has a massive $66.9 million TVL, with 7,600 BTC locked into the defi project’s contract. Statistics from sBTC markets also show exponential growth over time. Then on June 18, 2020, the Ren Project’s Taiyang Zhang announced the yield farming pool partnership.

Yield Farming Pool Concept May Solidify Ethereum's Role as BTC's Main Sidechain

Yield Farming Pool Concept May Solidify Ethereum's Role as BTC's Main Sidechain

“This pool consists of three BTC ERC20 variants; renBTC, WBTC, sBTC. Our goal is to create the most liquid Ethereum based BTC pool available to offer traders access to the lowest slippage for trades between sBTC, renBTC, and WBTC,” Zhang wrote. The Ren Project representative also stated:

In addition to the normal yield produced by Curve Pool’s trading fees, this pool includes an attractive basket of tokens for liquidity providers: SNX, REN, CRV, and BAL. To capture all of the incentives available, liquidity providers will need to contribute sBTC, renBTC, and/or WBTC to the BTC Curve liquidity pool.

Yield Farming Pool Concept May Solidify Ethereum's Role as BTC's Main Sidechain

Zhang also said that behind the scenes, “Synthetix and Ren have created a Balancer pool for SNX and REN where LP Rewards are distributed in the form of BPT (wrapped SNX and REN).” The Ren Project rep said that the team is “thrilled” with the latest partnership and the team “looks forward to partaking in the early stages of defi yield farming with Curve and Synthetix.”

Yield Farming Pool Concept May Solidify Ethereum's Role as BTC's Main Sidechain
The yield farming pool.

Despite the massive shift to the Ethereum chain with three very popular synthetic BTC tokens, both networks have been suffering from higher network fees. Not only are defi projects that offer synthetic BTC tokens being used far more often, but stablecoins on Ethereum are getting a large share of use as well.

News.Bitcoin.com just reported on Ehereum fees rising above BTC fees for a short period and with the combined recent use of defi and stablecoin tokens, ETH fees have surged to a two-year high. According to Billfodl fee stats, the BTC “fee to have your transaction mined on the next block (10 minutes)” is $0.78 at press time. Data from Bitinfocharts.com indicates that ETH fees on June 25, 2020, were $0.66 per transaction.

If the yield farming pool offering from Synthetix, Bitgo, and the Ren Project grows popular it will affect network fees going forward. But also pose a threat to BTC offchain competitors.

What do you think about the pool being offered by Synthetix, Bitgo, and the Ren Project? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Online Data Analysis Points to Venezuela Accepting BTC for Passports

Online Data Analysis Points to Venezuela Accepting BTC for Passports

During the last week, a number of bitcoiners have been discussing Venezuela’s Administrative Service for Identification, Migration, and Foreigners, also known as SAIME accepting bitcoin payments for passport applications and renewals. A number of crypto journalists couldn’t confirm whether or not it is true, but evidence shows that SAIME was and still might be accepting bitcoin for passport services.

The authority in charge of issuing Venezuela’s passports shows that it was accepting bitcoin (BTC) for applications and renewals at some point last week. The rumors started when Ronny Martínez and a few others started tweeting screenshots of the payment service.

“The payment platform SAIME enabled payments with bitcoin (BTC) while the option of payments with credit/debit cards [are] coming soon,” he said. Martínez also tweeted a photo from SAIME’s Instagram account which shows the organization will accept petro for passports as well.

The SAIME notice published on Instagram reads:

“Dear user, you selected payment with cryptocurrencies. Please keep in mind that you will only have eight minutes to complete the transaction, so we recommend that you have your payment method on hand and facilitate the process without problems. Thanks for your understanding.”

Online Data Analysis Points to Venezuela Accepting BTC for Passports

In addition to the Instagram photo, and tweets from Martínez, Bitcoin Core developer Jimmy Song tweeted about the situation and confirmed that SAIME enabled payments with the platform Btcpay.

“[The] Venezuelan government is using Btcpay server to accept bitcoin for passport application payments. The same software is being used by [the Human Rights Foundation] to accept donations to subvert governments like Venezuela. If this doesn’t show that bitcoin is the money of enemies, I don’t know what does,” Song wrote.

A number of other members of the crypto community discussed how SAIME was accepting BTC for payments, but the service is alleged: “temporarily out of order.” A number of skeptics called it “fake news,” but Venezuela’s Administrative Service for Identification, Migration, and Foreigners secure “securepay.saime.app” URL leads directly to the page where BTC payments are accepted.

Anyone can verify the SAIME payment gateway and see the BTC payment option for themselves. Additionally, SAIME’s invoice says that Visa and Mastercard payments will be available soon.

Online Data Analysis Points to Venezuela Accepting BTC for Passports

In addition to the “securepay.saime.app” URL that leads to the payment application providing invoices for SAIME services, the organization is also mentioned on the Btcpay server list. On the Btcpay web portal where it hosts a list of “Merchants, projects, and organizations using Btcpay Server” it shows that SAIME is listed. “SAIME is the official Venezuelan website for passport issuance and renewal,” explains the Btcpay server website.

According to Cointelegraph’s Spain office, the publication reached out to SAIME officials, but has yet to get any confirmation on BTC payment acceptance. SAIME did tweet about accepting petro for passport payments as well, sharing the same picture Ronny Martínez shared days earlier.

“SAIME reminds you that our web page is enabled for Venezuelans who are abroad, a loosely translated tweet notes. “The payment alternatives are those offered by the page and for those who are in the country, and the cost of the procedures is anchored to the petro.”

What do you think about the Data that points to Venezuela accepting bitcoin for passports? Let us know in the comments section below.

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