Crypto.com Coin Soars 16%, New Exchange Announced

Crypto.com coin surges as new exchange announced

Crypto.com, a digital currency-based platform from Hong Kong, has recently announced the launch of its beta crypto exchange, with plans to make it one of the top 10 exchanges within 5 years.


Crypto.com to launch a new exchange

According to Crypto.com, the purpose of the exchange — apart from providing a platform where users can buy and sell coins — is to help drive the mass adoption of the emerging asset class. The firm’s CEO and co-founder, Kris Marszalek, stated that the exchange is a ‘natural extension’ of Crypto.com’s business, which will ensure that everything remains in its own ecosystem.

Crypto.com new beta exchange announcement

crypto.com announce new beta launch of exchange

The company also highlighted some of the most important features of the upcoming exchange, such as increased liquidity, institutional-grade security and custody, low trading fees, and user-friendly interface.

Crypto.com has managed to achieve a lot in the time since the company’s founding. It currently boasts over one million users, and it is one of the first crypto firms to obtain requirements necessary for the Cryptocurrency Security Standard. The platform also has an impressive security reputation and has never suffered a hacking incident, according to Marszalek. These factors promise a high success rate for the upcoming exchange.

Marszalek revealed that the exchange will support 9 cryptocurrencies immediately after launch, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, USDT, EOS, Stellar, and MCO.

CRO Token Will Fuel the New Platform

The new platform will utilize Crypto.com’s native cryptocurrency, Crypto.com Coin (CRO), to provide a number of benefits to users, such as a fee discount, better execution prices, and increased liquidity.

The token has reacted positively to the announcement of Crypto.com’s new beta exchange launch, surging by around 16.01%. Its price at the time of writing sits at $0.0450516, while its market cap has increased to $471.58 million.

The launch of Crypto.com’s exchange comes as a bit of a surprise, considering that Marszalek himself stated that he had doubts about launching an exchange. With the number of crypto exchanges in the world already being quite high, there is definitely no lack of such services in the space. However, he has changed his opinion recently, stating that he now sees the exchange as a necessity in order for Crypto.com to grow further.

Not only that, but he believes that the exchange will indeed thrive, thanks to the firm’s large user base and the fact that it already meets all regulatory requirements.

What do you think about Crypto.com’s new announcement? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Crypto.com

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Telegram Denies Almost Everything in Latest Court Response

telegram SEC court

Telegram finally responds to the US SEC’s complaint about its ICO, which the US regulator believes to be illegal by denying all allegations.


Telegram, a company behind one of the most popular messaging apps by the same name, became a topic of controversy somewhat recently. The matter revolves around its cryptocurrency project, Telegram Open Network (TON), which managed to raise $1.7 billion during an ICO for its new native GRAM token.

However, only a few weeks ago, the US SEC filed a complaint against the company and the TON project, with claims that the ICO was unregistered and therefore illegal in the United States. After several weeks, during which the cryptocurrency community speculated regarding the potential outcome of the conflict, Telegram finally released an official response to the US regulator.

How to Successfully Use Telegram to Build a Strong Crypto Community

Telegram’s response

Like most other ICOs targeted by the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), Telegram also decided that their official response will be the denial of all allegations. The company released a 35 page-long document in which it denies almost every allegation raised by the SEC.

The company was quick to establish the fact that there was a lack of regulatory clarity that would clearly prove that their actions violated the federal securities laws. Furthermore, Telegram states that the plaintiff (the SEC) “has engaged in improper ‘regulation by enforcement’ in the nascent area of the law.”

Telegram also states that the company voluntarily engaged with the SEC to gain regulatory insight almost two years ago, which was followed by regular communication. The company’s goal was to avoid problems such as this, and that the SEC not only failed to provide regulatory guidance, but also did not provide any warning that would prevent the company from moving forward with its plans to hold a token sale.

Telegram admits that it did not file any registration statement with the regulator, but it also noted that doing so is not required under the federal securities laws. Furthermore, the firm established that its GRAM tokens do not exist as of yet, but if and when they do, they will be commodities, and not securities.

As mentioned earlier, the company’s response continues to deny all allegations made by the regulator, going into great detail to describe its stance and why it believes that their moves did not violate current regulations. The regulator has yet to respond to the newly-issued document, meaning that the conflict is likely far from over.

What do you think about Telegram’s response? Do you believe that the company is innocent, or do you side with the regulator on the issue? Leave a comment down below and let us know.


Images via Shutterstock

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CFTC Chairman: America should Lead the Blockchain Space

CFTC Chairman, America Should Lead Blockchain Space

The CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) Chairman, Heath Tarbert, wishes that the US would take a more active role in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space, although he recognizes that the industry lacks clarity.


The CFTC’s Heath Tarbert attended a conference this Tuesday, sharing his views on the state of the crypto/blockchain industry in the United States. According to him, the US should take a more active role in the space, and even take the lead, if possible.

The US’s regulatory landscape is fractured and uncertain, and the chairman believes that the issue lies in the fact that federal and state agencies are ‘jockeying for oversight’ of the markets. He believes that the environment needs to become more welcoming towards emerging technologies and innovation.

Tarbert also revealed that the desire to create a stable regulatory landscape came due to the CFTC’s employees’ choice to make ‘forward-looking’ one of the agency’s core values. To achieve the new goals, he admitted that the CFTC is communicating with the US SEC, almost on a daily basis.

Furthermore, the agency has been working on various questions regarding the digital assets space on an international level, with the Financial Stability Board, but also as a member of the Stability Oversight Council.

The importance of digital assets and blockchain technology

The chairman has revealed the CFTC’s new viewpoint on the digital assets and blockchain space, stating that this technology could bring ‘a fundamental transformational change’ to the financial system of the world. However, the agency also firmly believes that America needs to be the leader in the space, which is currently not the case. In fact, the US is being left behind while other countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Malta, Switzerland, and others, are making inroads in the area.

Tarbert certainly believes that the US has the means to become the leader in this sector and that Congress could answer some of the most important questions regarding the rise of digital assets. The chairman admitted that there were a few proposed bills that would have provided some much-needed clarity, but there was not a lot of movement in the area up to this point.

He even mentioned the CFTC’s Reauthorization Act of 2019, stating that it is a great step, although a very modest one, clearly indicating that he is not quite satisfied with its results. Even so, he still believes that the inclusion of digital assets as part of the Act is a meaningful signal.

CFTC and the SEC agree, but use different methods

When it comes to the SEC, however, the regulator has been relying on the Howey test to determine whether an asset is a security or not. This criterion has allowed the SEC to prosecute fraudulent ICOs dating back to 2017, but deemed Bitcoin and Ethereum were commodities. Tarbert agrees with this, and he proclaimed the same himself, back in early October.

However, he states that the CFTC’s assessment is based on a different approach and that the agency believes that decentralized digital assets are less likely to be securities.

What do you think about the chairman’s statements? Do you agree that America could and should change its views on crypto and blockchain by providing greater regulatory clarity? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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TRON Will Flip Ethereum Next Year, Bitcoin Developer Calls

TRON will flip ethereum

Bitcoin developer, known as Udi Wertheimer, recently announced his predictions for the future of Ethereum and Tron, stating his opinion that TRON will overcome Ethereum in about a year or so.


Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and has been one of the most important crypto projects to ever be invented. It brought about the era of second generation blockchains, created the first ecosystem of decentralized applications (DApp), and became the first functional smart contracts platform.

TRON to flip Ethereum in a year

However, along the way, Ethereum saw a number of competitors emerge, and while most of them disappeared as years went by, some did stick around. TRON is today one of the project’s main competitors, and according to Bitcoin developer, Udi Wertheimer, TRON might even flip Ethereum sometime in 2020.

Naturally, this seems like a rather bold claim at first. However, Wertheimer came up with this prediction after listening to TRON CEO and founder, Justin Sun, discuss the new partnership between TRON and Poloniex.

Sun has mentioned many plans for the partnership between his project and the exchange, such as listings of additional assets, and more. However, he also stated that some additional partnerships — which he is not able to discuss just yet — would come in the near future, as well.

Wertheimer also states that TRON boasts faster development, better censorship resistance and greater transactions, than the largest altcoin.

Can Poloniex be trusted?

Justin Sun is quite well-known for his major announcements and raising hype, which is why many have taken his statements and plans with a grain of salt. In addition, a lot of people do not think much of Poloniex anymore, after the incident from over half a year ago, when Poloniex supposedly took 1800 BTC from its customers and did not pay them back, as some were complaining.

Others also noted that the exchange is not addressing their issues and that it is not to be trusted, which also implies that its partnership with TRON is equally untrustworthy.

Meanwhile, Sun addressed his followers, encouraging them to use Poloniex and help the exchange expand its business. He praises it as the first exchange that allowed the crypto community to buy coins like ETH or TRX, which is partially a reason why it has his support.

As for the future, Sun has announced that Poloniex will start offering more TRC-10 and TRC-20 coins listed, announcing big things to come. Plans like these are what makes Wertheimer believe that TRON will overcome Ethereum in the next year.

What do you think about the predictions favoring TRON over Ethereum? Do you agree with Wertheimer? Let us know in the comments below.


Image via Shutterstock: Twitter @UDIWERTHEIMER @nejelnejel @spacecitychan

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Google Collects US Patient Data in Secret, Another Call For Blockchain

Google secretly collects us patient data blockchain another call

New reports indicate that Google has been secretly collecting US patients’ data from over 2,600 hospitals in order to train its new AI project.


Codename ‘Project Nightingale’

A recent report published by The Wall Street Journal indicates that Google has been collecting medical data on millions of US citizens through something known as the ‘Project Nightingale.’ 

According to the report, the project had started in secret at some point in 2018, in collaboration with a St. Louis-based healthcare system known as Ascension. The system includes a chain of around 2,600 Catholic hospitals, all of which have handed over private medical information to Google’s new AI initiative.

Of course, the company had a reason behind collecting all of this data, and the reason was to create and test new software. The software is based on AI and machine learning technologies, and it should be able to help with analyzing patients’ records, confirming doctors’ diagnoses, and potentially even influencing patients’ treatments.

Furthermore, Google apparently did not break federal laws by collecting this data. Hospitals are allegedly allowed to share medical data with business partners if doing so helps them carry out their healthcare function. With Google’s goals in mind, it obviously does.

However, the issue with the entire event is that neither Google, nor the collaborating hospitals, did not see fit to inform patients or even their staff of the fact that they were collecting all of this data. This highlights the complete lack of control that individuals have over their own personal data, and how little is known about who can view, share and store it. 

Can Google and Other Firms Be Stopped?

The question of privacy in the modern day is one that is asked quite frequently. It has been a topic of countless discussions, debates, arguments, and speculation for years now, and thanks to modern technologies, there might finally be a solution.

Those familiar with the blockchain likely already know that this technology can be used for storing excessive amounts of information. The same technology is also praised for its privacy and security features, especially since it serves as an underlying tech for digital currencies. 

As such, many have speculated that blockchain could be used for storing patients’ data. Furthermore, patients could also share and monetize this data with whomever they wanted to, and even choose which parts of it would be visible.

A recent report on the future of blockchain technology in the global healthcare market, expects the industry to grow by $500 Million over the next 3 years. Medibloc, Medishares and Medicalchain are just a few examples of projects already using blockchain technology to allow patients to take back control of their own medical data. 

While this technology is still young and needs further development, it definitely sounds promising when it comes to stopping firms like Google from invading patients’ privacy.

What do you think about blockchain technology? Would you be willing to use it to stop Google and other IT giants from looking over your shoulder at all times? Join the discussion in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock

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Is Chinese Bitcoin Mining Firm Canaan’s $400M IPO a Desperate Move?

bitcoin mining firm canaan desperate IPO

Chinese bitcoin mining hardware maker, Canaan, plans to raise $400 million through public sale of its stocks. But will the IPO ride be smooth or bumpy? 


Volatility is usual for bitcoin and crypto market participants. However, traditional stock market traders and investors are used to a bit more stability when it comes to their investments.

The $400 Million Bitcoin Mining Firm IPO

Canaan Creative is an Hangzhou-based firm, engaged in the business of manufacturing professional industry grade equipment required in large scale bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining activities.

The Bitmain rival was originally supposed to conduct its first-ever public stock sale on the 28th of last month. But now fresh reports point out that Canaan Creative is set to go live with its big IPO day on November 20. The intended amount to be raised is a humongous $400 million, but there’s some ambiguity as to how the individual shares will be priced for buyers.

Canaan’s stock listing on Nasdaq comes after the firm’s fair share of failed attempts to be listed on other stock exchanges in Hong Kong and mainland China. Rival Bitmain, which also faced a similar fate in Hong Kong, is said to have secretly filed a U.S. IPO as well, sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

A Desperate IPO?

 

It seems Canaan has a boot load of debts to clear off its balance sheet. Additionally, the bitcoin mining manufacturer seems to be running out of funds for research, which is why after it approached Nasdaq in desperation. Many were found to be intrigued by this decision as US restrictions for small Chinese firms are quite large.

As for the firm’s net revenue, it is definitely not at the top of its game. According to recent data, the company’s net registered revenue of around $137 million (959 mullion yuan), from 2019 beginning to September, was less than half of what it was during the same period in 2018. Even the bottom line sees a major loss, equal to around 223 million yuan. However, the mining equipment manufacturing firm itself is not completely responsible, as BTC price swings had a large impact, too.

According to experts, a bitcoin price rebound might lift demands and allow Canaan to perform better. Also, recovery is also predicted due to a surge in prepayments to Taiwan’s TSMC, which is the firm’s official chipmaker. For now, it can only be said, that the IPO seems like a desperate move.

What do you think about Canaan’s IPO plans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Image via Shutterstock

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MAS and JP Morgan Develop Blockchain-Based Cross-Border Payments Network

mas jp morgan blockchain

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has managed to create a new blockchain-based prototype for multi-currency payments, in collaboration with Temasek and JPMorgan.


According to the developers, the network could significantly improve numerous aspects of sending payments, including the cost efficiency for businesses. MAS is currently testing its abilities, such as integration with commercial blockchain applications.

All applications that yield positive results will be presented soon, during Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF), as well as Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH).

So, What’s This Blockchain Payments Network All About?

The prototype is the result of Project Ubin, a MAS-led project that has the goal of bringing new blockchain solutions to the financial industry. The project is collaborative, and it is currently in its fifth phase. Meanwhile, the prototype represents its largest milestone yet. According to MAS, the new payments network can provide interfaces even for other blockchain networks.

In other words, it will allow other projects to connect to the network and send payments. There will be some additional features as well, like DvP (Delivery versus Payment) settlements with private exchanges, payment commitments for trade finance, conditional payments and escrow for trade, and more.

Sopnendu Mohanty, the CFO at MAS, commented on the progress by saying that MAS hopes to see other central banks encouraged to do similar trials. MAS even plans to release technical specifications to the public, and help other developers speed up their progress. Their goal is to link up as many blockchain networks as possible, and improve cross-border connectivity, eventually making it cheap, fast, and safer than ever.

JP Morgan partnering for blockchain payments network

Who are the Major Stakeholders?

Another one of Project Ubin’s goals is to determine the commercial viability and value of blockchain-based payments networks, which is why MAS partnered up with over 40 financial and non-financial companies.

One of them is Temasek, whose president and COO, Chia Song Hwee, stated that the addition of non-financial firms demonstrates the technology’s great applicability. JPMorgan has acted as the infrastructure partner for the project.

As for the report, it is expected to be published in early 2020, describing the network’s use cases, listing features, and more.

What do you think about the new announcement? Do you think that MAS will be successful in improving connectivity among blockchains? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock

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Argo Blockchain Now Employs 7,000 Crypto Mining Machines

argo blockchain crypto mining

Argo Blockchain, increased the number of its crypto mining machines to 7,000, with plans to add additional 10,000 machines in 2020.


Argo to Increase Crypto Mining Machines by 10,000

The crypto mining industry saw a surge in interest due to recovering prices in 2019, with many of the miners who previously left the industry making a comeback. Crypto mining heavyweight Argo Blockchain, also saw some positive development, mostly in terms of upgrading their mining gear.

The company has been working on increasing its crypto miners, with quite an ambitious goal in mind. In a recent announcement, Argo stated that it plans to employ as many as 17,000 miners by the end of Q1 2020. The mining firm has already ordered 10,000 machines that should arrive in the following months.

Meanwhile, the UK crypto miner stated that the number of machines that are currently being used was already increased to 7,000. Once the additional 10,000 devices arrive — likely in batches, starting from early December — the company will reach its current goal of having 17,000 miners, total.

Argo Officials Optimistic About the New Investment

argo blockchain bitcoin and crypto mining

Argo Blockchain’s plans may seem ambitious at first, particularly since mining equipment can be pretty heavy on pockets. However, this industry saw quite an improvement in 2019, with many expecting that the trend will continue in 2020.

So far, 1,026 S17 Antminer machines, which were being used since May of this year, have already achieved a full payback on the investment, indicating that crypto mining is still very profitable. Argo’s executive chairman, Mike Edwards, commented on the new strategy by saying that the company wishes to ensure that the new mining hardware will deliver the strongest possible results.

Of course, crypto mining hardware itself is evolving and becoming stronger and more capable with release of improvised versions. That is why companies like Argo have to make major investments, in hopes that crypto miners will deliver results with their expectations. Doing so also creates long-term value for shareholders.

In other words, everybody wins. While it remains unknown how crypto prices might perform in 2020, experts appear to be optimistic, which is likely what inspired Argo to make such a decision.

Do you think that Argo is making the right choice by upgrading its crypto mining capacity? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoinist Media Library

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Bitcoin Price Will Hit $1 Million After ‘Two More Bubbles’: Bobby Lee

bitcoin price usd 1 million

Bobby Lee expects Bitcoin price to reach $1 million in five to ten years after a couple of more bubbles. 


Ballet crypto wallet founder, and ex-CEO and founder of one of China’s longest-running crypto exchanged, BTCC, Bobby Lee, put forward some lofty price predictions for Bitcoin at the just concluded Malta AIBC.

Bobby Lee Launches Non-Electronic Crypto Wallet Ballet

Bobby Lee's Bitcoin Wallet Ballet

In a recent interview, Lee announced his new company, Ballet, which has created a new hardware wallet for bitcoin and crypt0 investors around the world. According to his statement, the decision to launch a physical non-electronic wallet was inspired by the desire to make crypto closer to what people are already familiar with.

Bobby believes the fact that cryptocurrencies in digital form might be an obstacle to adoption and use. With a hardware wallet, everyone in the world would have a safe place to store their coins. The wallet’s primary coin is Bitcoin, although it supports a number of altcoins as well, including ETH, XRP, DOGE, and others.

The wallet even has its own distinctive smell, which serves to stimulate all five senses, but also has an anti-counterfeit purpose.

Lee is Optimistic About the Future of Bitcoin Price

Bobby Lee is also a well-known and vocal Bitcoin supporter, and self-proclaimed BTC maximalist. He believes that Bitcoin price is still only a fraction of the value of what it can achieve, and will, become in years to come. He called it a trillion-dollar asset class, and he expects its price to move further up.

As he explains it, Bitcoin price moves in waves, with each wave being a bubble that takes the coin’s price further up. He predicts that several new waves will arrive in the next several years, likely taking BTC to the $100.000-$200,000 range, and eventually even $1 million.

Lee claims that each new bubble takes Bitcoin price 10-20 times higher than the previous one, and he expects the trend to continue. This is why he supports and advises investing in BTC, and why he created a physical wallet for long-term investments.

What do you think about Bobby Lee’s bullish Bitcoin price predictions? Do you agree with the possibility that BTC might hit $1 million in the next five to ten years? Share your thoughts in the comments, and let us know.


Images via Shutterstock, Medium: QB Exchange, John Chow, and Youtube: AIBC

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Binance Now Supports Euro, Ruble and KZT Fiat Deposits

Binance supports fiat deposit

Yesterday, Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, announced support for three additional fiat currencies thanks to a new partnership with Advcash.


Advcash, or Advanced Cash, is a payment platform that combines prepaid cards, crypto, and fiat features. It has e-wallets in multiple currencies, which allow for easy withdrawals and deposits, regardless of nationality.

Binance Expands its Selection of Supported Fiat Currencies

binance futures trading on mobile android app

One of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, Binance, announced yesterday, November 8th, that it has recently partnered with Advcash, to offer withdrawals and deposits for additional fiat currencies.

Thanks to this new partnership, Binance will now also support EUR, RUB, and KZT, in addition to UAH, which was already added to the exchange’s fiat support basket earlier. This will allow users owning the above currencies to deposit in the exchange’s wallet via bank cards, credit cards, or Advcash’s own wallet.

Once the funds find their way to the Binance wallet, users will be able to purchase cryptocurrencies directly, with a single click.

According to Binance‘s announcements, the new move will bring a number of benefits, including zero deposit fees for any of the four fiat currencies if users deposit them via Advcash Wallet. Other benefits include increased speed, easy access, as well as the ability to buy BTC, ETH, and XRP directly.

About One-Click Buy/Sell function

As mentioned, users will be able to buy cryptocurrencies with their newly supported fiat money with a single click. This is possible due to Binance‘s One-Click Buy/Sell feature, which lets users buy or sell coins more conveniently than ever before.

According to the exchange, there is no need to review complex charts and examine order types. All that users need to do is take a look at the coins’ real-time prices and execute trades directly.

As mentioned, the function only supports the purchase or sale of the top three largest cryptocurrencies, BTC, ETH, and XRP.

What do you think about Binance’s new ‘fiat currency support’ move? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Bitcoinist Media Library

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Bitcoin Deposits on Coinbase will now Require only Three Confirmations

bitcoin coinbase confirmations

Coinbase has just released a new announcement, stating that it will reduce the number of confirmation requirements for four crypto assets on its platform.


The United States’ largest crypto exchange, has brought in some welcome changes to its platform. Coinbase has just announced that it has changed the confirmation requirements for four different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, and Litecoin.

Coinbase wallet USDC

What changes did Coinbase introduce?

Until now, Coinbase had strict confirmation requirements for each of the aforementioned assets. Most of these conditions were put in place over a year ago. Back then, the exchange did not have a consistent approach that informed users of each coin’s confirmation requirement.

This led to situations where some assets ended up having overly-conservative confirmation requirements, while others did not have enough. Three out of four assets listed above were among those that had a higher number of confirmation requirements than necessary, as the exchange admits in its new statement.

Bitcoin, for example, required 6 confirmations up to this point. Now, Coinbase is cutting that number in half, with the new requirement being only 3. ETC required 5676 confirmations, and now, Coinbase is ready to reduce that number to 3527. In the case of ZEC, the number of necessary confirmations so far was 18. From now on, however, it will only be 12.

LTC, on the other hand, needed 6 requirements so far, but now, Coinbase believes that this number should be twice as high, and so the number was increased to 12. In other words, BTC, ETC, and ZEC will now see much faster deposits, but in the case of LTC, the process will last somewhat longer than it used to. Coinbase believes that this is necessary in order to reduce the risks and prevent issues such as 51% attacks impacting the exchange’s customers.

The changes come as part of Coinbase’s constant efforts to ensure the best possible customer experience, without sacrificing the security of the platform and users’ funds. As such, the exchange is always open to making new adjustments, as long as they can maintain their extremely high security standards.

Do you trade on Coinbase? What do you think about the exchange’s decision to change the number of requirements? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.


Images via Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Suisse, Worldline will Fulfil the Swiss Crypto Dream

crypto payment Switzerland

A new partnership between Bitcoin Suisse and Worldline might result in rampant crypto adoption in Switzerland, as the two aim to enable widespread digital asset payments through PoS and in web-shops.


Switzerland has always been known for its extremely well-developed financial industry and the acceptance of various emerging technologies. However, while it’s Crypto Valley is also well-known, there is still a lot of room for growth when it comes to actual crypto adoption.

The country is still not using cryptocurrencies for making everyday purchases, which is something that might change in the near future.

Crypto payments are coming to Switzerland

switzerland cryptocurrency

According to recent reports, two companies — Worldline and Bitcoin Suisse — have teamed up with this exact purpose — bringing crypto payments to Switzerland. The two plan to facilitate crypto acceptance for payments in various web-shops, as well as at Point of Sale counters.

According to what is known about the partnership, the collaboration will use Worldline’s existing payment infrastructure of SIX Payment Services. The infrastructure is already spread throughout the nation, and it has been there since last year. Meanwhile, Bitcoin Suisse will contribute with its rich experience and expertise on all things crypto.

Together, the two hope to bring crypto payments to as many industries and businesses in Switzerland as possible.

Switzerland is already known for being a blockchain haven

As mentioned, Switzerland has become a major center in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. It currently has more than 800 companies that are connected to digital currencies or blockchain technology, that are developing various solutions and offering crypto services.

They are what makes up the country’s famous Crypto Valley, which is one of the biggest crypto/blockchain havens in the world. Not only that, but the Swiss city of Zug also became a pioneer when it comes to accepting Bitcoin for various public services.

In time, Switzerland will start accepting cryptocurrencies on a much larger scale, thus paving the way towards total crypto adoption in the country.

What do you think about the plan to bring digital asset payments to Switzerland? Do you expect the country to fully adopt Bitcoin in the near future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock

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Canadians Like Bitcoin More as a Store of Value

bitcoin canada survey

A recent survey conducted by Canada’s central bank regarding Canadians’ thoughts on Bitcoin showed interesting results. 


While the Bitcoin and crypto market in the US remains unregulated and uncertain, it is worth remembering that many other countries have a more positive and friendly stance towards these nascent and fledgling technologies. Canada, for example, seems to be much more friendly towards BTC, which is why the country’s Central Bank decided to conduct another survey and potentially conclude the citizens’ attitude towards digital currencies.

Canadian Bitcoin Survey Results

The report published by the Bank of Canada is named “2018 Bitcoin Omnibus Survey: Awareness and Usage,” and it made several key findings. One of the most notable discoveries is that around 5% of Canadians owned Bitcoin in 2018, which is a 2% increase from the situation in 2016. Meanwhile, it is also estimated that around 3% of Canadians were past Bitcoin owners.

Those who admitted to owning Bitcoin were even asked about the amount of BTC they own. The majority (87%) of them admitted to owning less than 1 BTC. Around 9% stated that they have between 1 BTC and 10 BTC, while the rest stated that they own over 10 BTC.

However, while BTC owners are still a minority in Canada, it turns out that the situation is much better in terms of awareness. The survey concluded that around 89% of Canadians know what Bitcoin is. Most of those familiar with the cryptocurrency are men between the ages of 18 and 34, although other age groups are following close behind.

 

Women and children are also well into the cryptocurrency trend, making Bitcoin awareness in Canada quite high. However, the report also specifies that educated males between the ages of 18 and 34 really like BTC a lot, particularly those who make $70k+ per year.

Canadians like BTC as a store of value

Finally, perhaps the most interesting part of the survey includes information on why Canadians are so interested in Bitcoin. Their reasons have changed over the years, with the main reason for ownership in 2016 being related to payment capabilities.

The situation in 2018, however, changed significantly, and most now see Bitcoin as a store of value. In other words, Canadians believe that the benchmark crypto is a great long-term investment option. Meanwhile, their enthusiasm regarding BTC payments has dropped to the same level of trust/privacy-related reasons, and they also seem to be less interested in the technological aspect of the crypto market than they used to be.

What do you think about the results of this survey? Do you share the views of Canadians regarding Bitcoin? Leave a comment below. 


Images via Bitcoinist Media Library, Twitter: @nic_carter

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Bithumb Seeking Indian Partner for its Blockchain Platform

bithumb india blockchain partnership

Prominent Korean crypto exchange, Bithumb, has plans to create a new blockchain platform, and it is currently searching for Indian partners to collaborate with.


Bithumb is coming to India. According to the major cryptocurrency trading platform’s recent announcement, Bithumb plans to develop a new blockchain platform specially designed for India and its growing number of crypto users. The project is named the Bithumb Chain, and it will be available for many Indian startups, companies, as well as the government itself.

It will allow them to create various blockchain-based products, services, and more.

Bithumb Searching for Indian partners

The project was announced only yesterday, in South Korea’s capital of Seoul, during the Bithumb Family Conference. The exchange’s Vice President, Vincent Poon, stated that the firm currently doesn’t have a partner in India and that they are willing to collaborate with any interested party.

Poon also stated that he sees India as a country with a lot of potential, and limitless possibilities when it comes to crypto and blockchain applications and use. Of course, India is still currently debating the legality of cryptocurrency, and it remains unknown where such debates might lead in the future. However, the situation seems a bit less tense when it comes to blockchain technology.

In fact, Poon stated that India’s developer talent is nothing short of impressive, especially when it comes to blockchain technology and its applications.

What will the Platform Deal With?

For now, Bithumb has not revealed technical details regarding the platform. However, Poon stated that the project would let developers integrate their own projects with it, without having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ to do so.

Furthermore, there still remains the matter of the country’s stance towards cryptocurrency. Poon noted that India’s government has yet to pass a bill that would ultimately decide the fate of crypto within the country.

He also stated that Bithumb’s new platform would be useful for many different industries, and adapted to various use cases. Right now, they are still in the early stages, and the company is looking for someone to partner up with and let them use Bithumb Chain as part of their products.

As for Bithumb itself, it still has no plans to start its own project in India, at least not before the future of cryptocurrency in the country is decided.

What do you think about Bithumb’s new project? Do you think that Bithumb Chain can help Indian companies adopt blockchain technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Image via Bitcoinist Media Library

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Bitcoin Transactions Brought in $500k in Fees Within 24 Hours

bitcoin transaction fees surging

Bitcoin transactions have been exploding recently, and the network managed to collect over half a million in fees within only 24 hours.


The last several days have been pretty happening for bitcoin. This time, the benchmark cryptocurrency did not see a massive surge that added thousands of dollars to its price, but it did make a few milestones, of sorts.

Bitcoin Transaction Fees Hit New Milestones

Only a week ago, on October 30th, the bitcoin network surpassed $1 billion in cumulative fee revenue, which is quite an important milestone.

Now, however, BTC is once again a topic of conversations and speculations as it reportedly collected over $500,000 in transaction fees within only 24 hours.

As many are likely aware, the bitcoin blockchain is not among the fastest ones out there. In fact, it might be among the slowest ones, with only 5-7 transactions being processed per block, each of which requires around 10 minutes to be solved, on an average. This can lead to some prolonged waiting periods to have a transaction processed.

However, the network also allows users to choose how large of a fee they are willing to pay. Higher fees get the advantage, and so transactions that pay more end up being processed faster.

BTC Forks and Altcoins not Faring So Well

Meanwhile, the number of BTC users continues to appreciate, which leads to even higher fees. As mentioned, bitcoin has collected over $500k in fees within only 24 hours. At the same time, other bitcoin forks are not seeing nearly as high transaction fee count. BSV has collected only $220 within 24 hours, while BCH has even less, only $200.

As for other well-known coins, Ethereum managed to collect $96,000, while Litecoin only has $840.

What do you think about the huge amount that the bitcoin network has collected through fees? Leave a comment below, and let us know your thoughts on the matter.


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @yassineARK @CryptoBacon

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Redditors Leverage Robinhood Bug, Earn Millions in the Process

reddit users leverage robinhood bug

Recent reports have surfaced about an anomaly within the Robinhood trading application that has let users make crazy money.


Cryptocurrency market critics often complain about the lack of security and worry about the users potentially cheating the system. However, as it turns out, the stock market is not always as safe as many would like to believe, either.

Robinhood Bug Lets People Make Millions

A recent glitch in the Robinhood stock trading app allowed users to misuse the margin trading feature, and borrow up to $1.7 million for stock investing, even though they originally had only around $2,000. The leverage used by some of the traders goes all the way up to 500x, which is far from what the exchanges usually allow.

It was not long before news of the glitch spread throughout the internet, with the most activity seen on Reddit. One user claimed that they managed to use margin trading to buy 100 shares of AMD, with only $3,800 or so to begin with. After that, they sold the purchased shares and got the money back, eventually using the newly-earned funds to buy even more AMD shares. They repeated the process over and over again and used margin trading to maximize their gains.

On the other hand, even if the stock price dropped by 10% or so, they would only owe around $170,000, according to estimates.

Consequences of Leveraging the Bug

bitcoin lightning network bugs

Bugs Discovered in Bitcoin Lightning Network Implementations, Fixed

Of course, as many may be aware, this process is not exactly legal, and it is only a matter of time before the exchange — and the regulators — react. Not to mention that many assume that users who misused the glitch will likely be unable to cash out, as the transfers usually take a couple of days.

Meanwhile, authorities and the exchange’s officials have likely already realized what is going on, and any account that may have misused the glitch might be frozen or prevented from cashing out in some other way.

For now, it remains unknown how the situation might be handled. It also remains to be seen whether or not Robinhood will actually have to allow users to cash out, and how that might impact the exchange’s own funds.

What do you think about Robinhood’s new glitch? Do you think that it was a good idea for some of these users to try it out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Flickr: @DJANDYW, Twitter: @Austen

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Bloomberg Bitcoin ‘FUDster’ Promoted ‘Faketoshi Wannabes’ Last Year

bloomberg bitcoin fudster

A Bloomberg journalist who published a ‘bitcoin manipulation FUD’ article yesterday was called out for promoting Satoshi Nakamoto wannabes in June last year. 


One of Bloomberg’s journalists, going by the name of Matt Leising, caught the attention of the bitcoin and crypto Twitter community yesterday for his latest article on a ‘new Tether FUD’. However, it didn’t stop there. Folks left no time in lashing out at the gentleman for his ‘faketoshi wannabe’ articles from 2018.

Bloomberg Journalist Promotes Faketoshi’s Book

One of Leising’s past articles that got a lot of negative attention recently is the title from June 30th, 2018, called ‘Key Passages From Satoshi Nakamoto Excerpt on Bitcoin Beginnings.’ As the title implies, Matt claimed that he has a book written by Satoshi Nakamoto himself, in which he details the process of Bitcoin’s creation.

Obviously, with Nakamoto’s real identity still being unknown, any such book by anyone who claims to be Satoshi is a farce. Not to mention that the real Satoshi Nakamoto has withdrawn from public years ago, and many do not believe that he will ever return, much less with a book.

In other words, Matt Leising promoted a book written by someone else, with links to it indicating the existence of a ‘Nakamoto Family Foundation.’ All of the links are now dead, so the ‘book’ cannot be accessed anymore.

However, Leising’s tweets and articles on the topic still remain, and the crypto community was not pleased to see them. Furthermore, many believe that he owes the bitcoin and crypto world an apology for promoting ‘Faketoshi wannabes,’ under the Bloomberg news brand.

Satoshi Nakamotos everywhere

The trend of various random people claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto is not exactly new. The community has been after Satoshi for years now, ever since bitcoin was originally launched. At first, people believed that Satoshi must be one of the well-known developers, researchers, or tech geniuses. However, everyone who was ever believed to be Satoshi has since denied the claims.

Then, some people, such as nChain’s chief scientist Dr. Craig Steven Wright, started claiming that they are Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin inventor, in hopes of getting fame and exposure. The latest example happened only recently when a German national by the name of Jörg Molt claimed to be Nakamoto (Bitcoin’s co-founder) during the Vegas Blockchain Week, before being ridiculed and called a liar by pretty much everyone.

The truth is that the identity of the real Satoshi remains a mystery, and whoever takes a shot at impersonating he/she/it/they, without appropriate proof should be taken as a liar.

What do you think about Leising’s bitcoin fud and faketoshi articles? Do you think he owes the crypto world an apology? Leave a comment down below to let us know.


Images via Shutterstock: Twitter @udiWertheimer

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Ethereum Will Become More “Centralized and Dysfunctional Over Time”

ethereum istanbul hard fork

Bitcoin developer Tuur Demeester recently took to Twitter to once again express his concerns regarding Ethereum and the project’s future.


Ethereum is still the second-largest cryptocurrency, with the current price of $184.32 and a market cap of nearly $20 billion, at the time of writing. The coin also has a daily trading volume of $8.90 billion, which makes it the third most-traded cryptocurrency around the world.

However, while Ethereum remains the largest blockchain-based development platform, not everyone agrees that it is as deserving of its position as it may seem. Bitcoin developer Tuur Demeester, recently posted about the project on Twitter, expressing his concerns about ETH.

According to Demeester, Ethereum’s culture is ‘antithetical to the cypherpunk ethos.’ As such, it can only lead the project to greater centralization and make it dysfunctional, as Demeester argues.

Is Ethereum becoming more centralized?

“Burn in Hell” – Vitalik Buterin on Centralized Exchanges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to prove his point, Demeester posted four tweets, one of which was originally published by the developer Vlad Zamfir, while the other three were posted by Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin.

Vlad Zamfir’s tweet states that trust reduction is not a cypherpunk value, but an authoritarian attempt to shut down blockchain governance. One of Buterin’s tweets indicates states that,

The idea of average users personally validating the entire history of the system is a weird mountain man fantasy.

Not The First Time Demeester Has Spoken Out

These, and other thoughts expressed by Ethereum developers, have caused Demeester to go on other anti-Ethereum rants in the past. In late December 2018, he posted a 50-tweet explanation regarding why he is against the project.

Back then, he stated all of the flaws that he believes Ethereum had, including the fact that its culture and architecture are opposite of Bitcoin’s, as well as that Ethereum is not money, not safe, and not scalable — words that were actually written by Vlad Zamfir himself, on May 1st, 2017.

In conclusion, despite the strong optimism regarding Ethereum, there are still issues that the project has not addressed for years, now. There is also a real possibility that it might not address them in years to come, which is one of Demeester’s chief concerns. However, the worst-case scenario, as he presented it, is that Ethereum will actually become more centralized, and less functional as time goes by.

What do you think about Ethereum? Do you think that Tuur Demeester is right, or that such claims are wrong? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock: Twitter @TuurDemeester @VladZamfir

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Bitcoin Miners in Canada Uncover Green Energy Breakthrough

Bitcoin Mining Efforts to Utilize Natural Gas as Fuel are Paying Off Well

Canadian gas companies are using trapped natural gas to fuel Bitcoin mining, instead of simply having it flared to the atmosphere.


Bitcoin mining is renowned for requiring a lot of resources, and with an increased price of the coins, mining is once again under the spotlight. Recently, gas companies in Alberta, Canada, figured out a way to use trapped natural gas to fuel Bitcoin mining, instead of just letting it dissipate out into the atmosphere and pollute the air.

In fact, according to recent reports, as much as 500 m3/day is being utilized for mining purposes, instead of being vented into the atmosphere.

Bitcoin Mining, Rather Than Flaring

Bitcoin mining requires huge quantities of resources, which is seen by many as a problem that affects the environment. On the other hand, so does flaring trapped pockets of natural gas that is being released into the air in countries like Canada.

Now, thanks to a recent revelation that the country’s gas firms had had, all of this natural gas can be used for powering BTC mining farms. According to Bull Bitcoin’s Francis Pouliot, using the gas in this way solves a massive problem for gas well owners, thousands of which were struggling to contain these gas bursts or find a use case for them.

Furthermore, gas prices have been declining over the years, which did not exactly create an incentive to collect and transport it. The only way to get rid of it was to have it burned as it leaves the earth, which did not recover any energy, and it polluted the atmosphere.

Gas wells will no longer have to shut down

While flaring the gas was one form of a solution to the problem, the companies were not able to do it indefinitely. There are regulations that pose strict limits to how much gas can be flared, and after the companies reached that limit, they would have to shut down the wells.

With the new solution, this will no longer be the case, as the companies can install Bitcoin mining gear and use the gas to mine the coins. With more of the natural gas being used for powering mining farms, there will be a major reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from gas and oil exploration, which ultimately leads to greener mining.

At the same time, this approach can also bring greater decentralization of the mining process going forward.

What do you think about the new approach to mining and handling of natural gas? Leave a comment below and let us know.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay: @PhilipBarrington, Twitter @Francispouliot @SGBarbour

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US Stocks, Crypto Markets Surge On Positive Jobs Report, Coincidence?

us stocks crypto markets growth

The US recently added 128,000 new jobs in October 2019, which seemingly resulted in significant growth of the stock market indexes, and also a modest crypto price surge.


Reports around the world are coming in with positive news regarding financial markets, especially in the US and Europe. As the US opened over 128,000 new jobs in October of this year, the move seemingly brought a very positive outcome for American stocks.

Stocks Surge in the US and Europe

Stocks in the US rallied quite sharply this Friday, allowing multiple indexes to close on a new all-time high. S&P 500 closed up at 1%, with 3,067 points, which represents the 3rd record close in a single week. Meanwhile, Nasdaq closed up at 1.1% higher, with 8,386 points, which allowed it to surpass even its July 2019 high.

While Dow (INDU) rallied also, it did not break its July record, although it did come close to it, only 12 points below the new ATH, with the index closing up 301 points (1.1%).

A similar situation was observed in Europe this Friday, with Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP closing up at +0.68% at 399.43 points. Positive Chinese manufacturing data has been cited as the most probable reason behind the rally. This latest growth is actually the fourth in a row on a weekly basis, with more and more investors turning to European stocks. In fact, some data suggests that more inflows went into European stocks ($1,7 billion) than the US ($1.6 billion) during the last week in October.

Indexes rose across Europe, with the German DAX seeing a +0.73% growth (to 12961.05), the UK FTSE 100UKX growing by 0.75% (to 7302.42), and the French CAC 40 PX1 going up by 0.56% (to 5761.89).

job openings

Investors are Willing to Risk it With Crypto

At the same time, the crypto market galvanized into positive trading action, with most digital assets posting handsome gains.

Positive development across crypto and stock markets may be stemming from the effect of new job additions across the US. With a new settled income source, more people (read millennials) are willing to try out the stock market, while many others are also encouraged to set foot in the digital asset space.

Re-awakened appetite for risk-taking, may have led to an increase in retail participants and may have brought fresh numbers to the ranks of seasoned-investors (in both markets) across the world.

What do you think about the new surge in crypto prices and the stock markets? Do you think that there is a connection between the latest growth and new job openings? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Flickr: @Amtec Photos, 3844328

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Analysis of the Global Crypto Exchange Market in Infographics

In its attempt to present the ecosystem of crypto exchanges, BitMEX has published in-depth research into how these exchanges work.

According to their recent tweet, various exchanges were evaluated by using different types of metrics, like web traffic, security policies, and more.

The report was made by CryptoCompare, which used Aggregate Pricing Index for large parts of the research.

The Report

Their analysis starts off by listing some of the most important events and news regarding major cryptocurrency exchanges in October. These are the events that have captured the attention of crypto traders and investors. As such, it is expected that they have had a significant impact on certain exchanges’ data

After that, the report compares volumes of different exchanges — centralized and decentralized. One interesting discovery states that total spot volumes make up less than three-quarters of the total market volume.

Within these spot volumes, exchanges that have taker fees represent around 90% of the volumes, while those with transaction fees represent only 10%. In addition to that, it is stated that exchanges that pair cryptos with fiat currencies are creating nearly a quarter of all spot market volumes.

The report also takes decentralized exchanges into an account. It stated that an average daily trading volume for the top five decentralized exchanges is near $2.4 million, which is only 0.4% of total exchange volume.

When it comes to exchanging Bitcoin for fiat currencies, the report concludes that around half of all fiat trading includes exchanging BTC for USD. In addition to that, around 21% of trading exchanges BTC for JPY, and 16% of trades are exchanging BTC for KRW.

Unsurprisingly, the highest daily trading volume (~$1.4 billion) comes from Malta-based exchanges, followed by those from South Korea, Hong Kong, and other crypto-friendly countries. OKEx and Binance are the dominating Maltese exchanges, while Upbit and Bithumb are the busiest exchanges of South Korea.

After making these conclusions regarding the trading volume data, the report noticed that CoinBene and IDAX have much fewer visitors per day when compared to other exchanges of their size. Binance is the most popular exchange, with highest visitor count, but also highest trading volumes. On the other hand, exchanges like Coinbase, Bittrex, and Cex.io appear to have more visitors per day than other exchanges that have similar volumes.

In addition, it was concluded that exchanges like Bitstamp, ItBit, and Kraken, have more stability than others. Finally, the report touches upon the security of various exchanges, and it states that only 86% of the top 100 cryptocurrency exchanges have a terms & conditions page as well as public privacy policy.

Cold wallets are used by only one-third of top exchanges, while 11% of top 100 have fallen victims to hacking attacks. Finally, the report concludes that less than half of top exchanges have strict KYC requirements, and over one-quarter of them have no such requirements at all.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Bitcoin Beats Twitter, Jack Dorsey’s Square Market Cap Reaches $30 Billion

It appears that Jack Dorsey is once again winning at his own game. Dorsey, who owns both Twitter and Square, has often had his companies compared to one another in terms of market value. Twitter was usually the one to lead, but the popular social media network has lost to the mobile and merchant payment app.

Square Cash App Grows Thanks to Bitcoin

The popularity of mobile payment apps has often been tied to the popularity of cryptocurrencies. After digital assets skyrocketed back in late 2017, people took notice. Soon enough, paid app downloads started growing as well, and Square was no exception. Even after Bitcoin and other digital currencies experienced a price drop in January 2018, mobile payment apps did not lose their popularity.

Throughout the year, Bitcoin continued to struggle, constantly losing its value until it dropped to its bottom at around $6,400. However, Square’s Cash App constantly accelerated. Experts tried to explain this by stating that there is more to Square than just being an app for Bitcoin. And, while its growth did start due to BTC, it managed to keep growing even without the crypto.

In June, Square received permission to allow New Yorkers to trade crypto on its Cash app. The company’s market cap grew even further after the approval, and it managed to surpass Twitter by quite a bit. Recent reports say that Square’s market cap has reached $30 billion, and is now closing in on $31B. Twitter, on the other hand, currently has a market cap of $25.8 billion.

To many investors, the rise of Square is proof of how much untapped potential cryptocurrency trading can bring to any business that decides to deal with them. Square’s Cash App has been growing rapidly ever since it was originally launched in 2015. However, the addition of cryptocurrencies is what fueled the app’s popularity and consistent growth.

The app allows users to manage funds, make orders, as well as make informed business decisions by using reporting and analytics. While many believe that Square’s Cash App might be the new PayPal, it still has a long way to go to become an app of that size. Even so, a lot of users believe that cryptocurrency can help the app reach this goal as well.

In the end, Square has had a lot of success with its business decisions, and it owes a large portion of it to Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies have been a great new way to attract users and investors, and Square recognized this relatively early. While many have initially wondered whether Square stock is overheated, the fact that it continued to grow even after crypto lost value seems to have eliminated such doubts.

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Ethereum Wallet MetaMask Achieves Milestone of 1.3 Million Users: Wild Success

MetaMask, the most popular Ethereum wallet in the world, has just hit a major milestone of 1.3 million downloads, according to a recent announcement.

MetaMask Hits 1.3 Million Users

The wallet comes as a new Chrome extension, and it offers numerous features, such as a secure identity vault. It allows anyone to run decentralized application (dApps) on the browser directly, with no need to run a full Ethereum node. This allows MetaMask to act as a type of bridge between the blockchain and Chrome browser since all programs that run on top of the blockchain need to have access to it.

MetaMask reaching 1.3 million users is a massive success for the project. In the statement sharing the milestone, the MetaMask team also provided insight into some of the wallet’s new features and abilities.

One of the features is the compatibility with hardware wallets Ledger and Trezor. It is simple to set up, and it increases security due to the fact that the safest way to run a wallet is to keep the keys on a hardware wallet. MetaMask also allows users to enable the so-called “Privacy Mode”, and stop their account address from getting exposure to websites.

The feature is expected to be enabled in the next few days, and it is another big move in improving user privacy on Ethereum. In addition, dApps have also gained the ability to suggest specific tokens for MetaMask to track. This comes as a new and easy way of tracking specific tokens, which is something that a lot of users have had difficulty with.

Data signing is also much simpler now, as dApps are now offering human-readable signing method. There are also additional features that users can discover by exploring MetaMask’s new mobile client.

The announcement also revealed the next big step for MetaMask, which is the fact that the wallet will soon arrive on users’ mobile devices as well. Instead of just reaching one browser after another, the team has decided to dedicate its efforts towards making storing and trading cryptocurrencies more convenient.

MetaMask Future Projects

The blog post announced some of the plans that the team has made for 2019, some of which are already deep in development. One such project is support for Gnosis SAFE, which is an ecosystem that consists of smart contracts that allow many advanced features. Another project is called Mustekala, and it is being developed by MetaMask Labs.

Mustekala will be a p2p light client for browsers which will allow MetaMask to rely less on centralized entities. The project has a long way to go before achieving this goal, but many are excited by the idea.

Next project involves MetaMask providing support for any blockchain compatible with ETH. That way, a large, multi-network will be achieved, and the project will be able to reach numerous communities across the globe. To provide proper support and service for the new customers, MetaMask has started a project called MetaMetrics, which has a goal to provide “opt-in” metrics and make the experience more enjoyable for customers from around the world.

MetaMask is doing its own research that will allow ETH blockchain to become faster, as well as cheaper. Developers are coming up with new solutions that will deal with these issues, and perhaps even be among the first ones to solve them.

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Hong Kong Plans to Regulate Crypto with New Sandbox

Reports suggest that Hong Kong’s securities watchdog has come up with new plans to regulate cryptocurrency funds and exchanges.

While it is known for being crypto-friendly, Hong Kong is still not satisfied with the amount of protection that its crypto users currently enjoy.

As a result of this, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced plans to regulate the space via its “sandbox”, reports the Financial Times. This means that they will adapt existing regulations to newly-uncovered risks in regards to the crypto world. This is important due to the fact that current rules state that crypto trading is not regulated unless they include assets that are considered futures contracts or securities.

According to the Ashley Alder, CEO of the SFC, the new measures will regulate the distribution and management of digital assets, so that the investors and their funds are protected.

Crypto Market is Evolving, and Regulations Need to Follow

The new dedication to regulating cryptocurrencies and businesses related to them came after the price surge of late 2017. At that point, the entire world took notice of crypto, and the rush to regulate the space has been on-going ever since.

Some countries, such as Japan and South Korea, have been more crypto-friendly than others in this regard, and they had more success as a result. While they have yet to perfect their regulations and continue to keep them relevant as the crypto space evolves, new moves such as this one have been quite often throughout 2018.

Now, Hong Kong is doing the same by examining different options, one of which is the inclusion of exchanges in the existing regulatory sandbox. The SFC also mentioned that the proposed rules will only allow professional investors to make investments into digital asset portfolios.

However, there is still one issue, which is the possibility of using exchanges for money laundering. This is why adhering to current anti-money laundering standards is important, especially since cryptocurrencies are already suspected of being used for this, and similar illegal activities.

Taiwan and South Korea Make Plans to Regulate ICOs

In addition, countries such as Taiwan and South Korea are looking to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs), and become ICO-friendly once again. The recent reports from Taiwan claim that this country’s FSC is preparing a set of national standards that will once again enable ICOs. As a result, investing in tokens is expected to become as easy and as liquid as investing in regular stocks.

Similar reports came from South Korea, claiming that the country’s National Policy Committee’s chairman, Min Byung-Doo, encouraged the government to legalize ICO completely. According to him, regulation is necessary, since using them is the only way to legitimize the crypto market and allow investors to develop trust in the market again.

Min also explained the importance of embracing new technology, but also acknowledging new trends. ICOs cannot be dismissed, and instead, companies need to be allowed to conduct them, as they are a new trend in the global market.

According to him, the government has the responsibility to embrace new technologies, especially since they are proving to be much more successful when it comes to fundraising than other methods.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Singapore Launches ‘Token Day’ to Bring Crypto to The Masses

Yesterday, October 31st, cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) celebrated its tenth birthday. As part of the celebration, a company called Bizkey has decided to start a new campaign called “Token Day” in Singapore.

Token Day is a campaign that is supposed to allow the public to get more familiar and better acquainted with cryptocurrencies according to reports. Not exactly a day as it will be held from October 31st to November 18th. During this period, every cryptocurrency holder in Singapore will have the opportunity to get to Singapore’s Chinatown, where 30 retailers are offering various goods in exchange for crypto.

Those willing to spend their digital coins will need Bizkey’s intelligent blockchain POS (Point-of-Sale) device. Numerous cryptocurrencies can be used, including Binance Coin, Ethereum, Zilliqa coin, Aelf coin, and others.

Bringing Crypto Adoption to the Next Level

Despite the fact that Singapore is among the most crypto-friendly places in the world, adopting cryptocurrencies as an accepted payment method is something that has yet to take place. This is why the event was created, and Bizkey hopes that the Token Day will “break the ice” and encourage other businesses to introduce crypto payments as well.

About a year ago, in November 2017, Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) decided to bring new guidelines, and establish a firm difference between security tokens and utility tokens. Since then, Singapore saw over 56 ICOs in only the first five months of 2018. As a comparison, there were only 35 ICOs throughout the entire 2017. To a lot of people, this was a sign that proper regulations can go a long way when it comes to developing new businesses and technologies.

Since then, many have started seeing cryptocurrencies as a method of solving issues that have been troubling retail sector for a long time. Things including payment fraud, logistics, delays of money transfers, accounting, and similar complications were all quickly eliminated by those who accepted cryptocurrency payments.

Bizkey’s CEO and co-founder, Ken Huang, commented on the event by saying that, even in Singapore, only a few people have the opportunity to actually use cryptos for buying products and services. Now, Token Day will demonstrate that using cryptocurrencies is easy and that there is more than enough customers that are interested in paying via crypto.

In fact, Huang stated that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 crypto holders in Singapore. Estimates also say that most of them are between the ages of 20 and 50 and that they likely include tech-savvy males. Huang also expressed hope that these individuals will be among the pioneering crypto spenders during the 18 days of the event.

As for the event itself, it will have around 30 retailers participating, including Hotel 1887, SK Jewellery, Koryo Mart, 18 Hours, Steamov, and others. The move aligns with Bizkey’s goal, which is to introduce new people to the crypto world and make sure that they have a device that can accept and make all types of crypto and fiat payments. In a way, their device acts as a crypto wallet with an additional purpose, and many view it as a first step into the real digital era.

 

Image from Shutterstock

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Has Warren Buffett Made a U-Turn on Crypto Investments?

For years now, Warren Buffett has been talking against cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin especially, claiming that this technology is nothing more than a bubble and a scam. However, recent reports indicate that he may have had a change of heart.

Berkshire Hathaway Investing in Fintech

Mr. Buffett, who continuously rejected cryptocurrency and fintech, seems to have decided to invest as much as $600 million into two large fintech firms.

Each company is set to receive a $300 million investment from Buffett’s own multinational investment conglomerate — Berkshire Hathaway. While he never admitted to it, many believe that Buffett might be ready to finally join the crypto scene.

So far, the details remain unknown, but it is largely believed that both investments are being led by Todd Combs, one of Berkshire’s two portfolio managers. In addition, it appears that his move has been planned for some time, as Berkshire reportedly bought around $300 million stakes of Paytm, which is the largest mobile-payments service in India.

While this alone did not cause too much suspicion among the cryptocurrency supporters, Berkshire’s second large investment did. This one was made only last week when it bought shares in an IPO for StoneCo, a large Brazillian payments processor. Both of these investments are very unusual for Berkshire, which usually invests in companies like Coca-Cola, and aims for acquisitions of insurance companies.

Buffett has expressed that technology investments are outside of his area of expertise, which is why he never wanted to aim for this area of industry. While this may be true for Warren Buffett himself, it seems that Berkshire’s portfolio managers are ready to expand their views. Additionally, since they decided to enter the fintech sector, many have accepted this as a sign of the sector’s maturity.

Are Cryptocurrency Investments Next?

At this point, many have started thinking that Buffett might have had a change of heart regarding cryptocurrencies as well.

He spent years stating that Bitcoin is “rat poison”, a bubble, and not a way of investing. He even gave predictions of Bitcoin entering a “bubble territory” and imploding at some point in 2017. However, late 2017 was the best year for Bitcoin yet.

As a result, the first cryptocurrency became very popular in India. Soon after that, the RBI decided to interfere, and Indian banks were prohibited from working with cryptocurrency-based businesses such as crypto exchanges. While this is a matter that has yet to be resolved, cryptos in India — the country where one of the two investments into new technology were made — are still alive.

The other investment made by Berkshire was into Brazillian StoneCo. This investment, atypical for Berkshire, was made soon after Brazil’s largest brokerage announced that Bitcoin and Ethereum exchanges are soon to be launched in this country. Many have found it to be quite curious that Berkshire would invest into a fintech firm in a country that is just about to start actively dealing in cryptocurrencies.

With no official confirmations, there is still no way of knowing what Buffett’s goal is. However, these investments are a clear indicator that Berkshire is ready to “widen the net”. Whether or not cryptocurrency investment is next remains to be seen.

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Chinese Ecommerce Giant JD Launches Blockchain Research Lab

While China is known for its rather unfriendly stance toward cryptocurrencies, the situation is significantly better when it comes to blockchain technology. Numerous companies, influential individuals, and even the country itself recognize that this is the technology of the future. As such, they are very supportive of it and eager to expand it further and compete with other nations that are doing the same.

In an attempt to do so, China’s largest retailer, JD.com, decided to collaborate with NJIT’s (New Jersey Institute of Technology) Ying Wu College of Computing. In addition, the two entities are joined by ISCAS (Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences).

Despite the fact that blockchain technology is already accepted and supported in many countries around the world, this technology still cannot experience a wider application. This is due to several issues, such as stability challenges, efficiency issues, and alike. It is problems like these that the three entities will attempt to solve, in addition to exploring other aspects of this technology. The research is expected to last for several years, and to inspect multiple areas of blockchain in order to expand it and discover new use cases for it.

This represents only the latest move that China, or a company based in China, has made in order to further develop blockchain technology. So far, there were many reports of blockchain firms being much more successful. Some reports even claim that China is funding blockchain startups all the time, wishing to be the leading country when it comes to this technology.

China Supports Blockchain

Blockchain technology is still rather young, and there are numerous issues and vulnerabilities that have yet to be solved. However, blockchain is also a technology that has grown far beyond its original purpose already. Even those who have been skeptical of cryptocurrencies for years have welcomed blockchain with open arms, such as Alibaba’s Jack Ma.

Numerous startups with a focus on this technology’s use cases have appeared since then, like VeChain. This is a commercial blockchain platform that is using blockchain’s capabilities to track the import of red wine. Shipping firms have found that the blockchain technology is an excellent method of tracking international shipments at all times.

In addition, it is not only startups who has developed a strong interest in this technology. Chinese powerhouses like Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba are competing in its development, not only with the world but also with one another. Since they are all well-established firms, they have more developers and funding that they can devote to expanding this technology.

While the enthusiasm and excitement regarding this technology is still very strong, a lot of firms that are involved with the blockchain are trying to keep a low profile. The regulations are still unclear, ICOs are completely banned, and exchanges are not allowed to provide services in this country. While China doesn’t seem to have issues with blockchain technology itself, a lot of these firms are not willing to take risks and announce their progress.

For now, it appears that China’s authorities aim to maintain control over this technology. However, they are also more than willing to expand it further, which is why they encourage innovation through the launch of their own initiatives.

 

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Binance Boss Talks Crypto and Blockchain at Forbes Global CEO Conference

The Forbes Global CEO Conference has just started in Bangkok, Thailand, and participants have already entered various discussions. As always, the aim is to solve, but also present, various problems, and share their views of where the world of technology, business, and entrepreneurship is going next. One of the 400 attendants was Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange called Binance.

Forbes Global CEO Conference is an annual event that invites numerous attendants from all corners of the world. Currently present are entrepreneurs, CEOs, tycoons, investors, up-and-comers, and many others. The goal of the event is to discuss some of the largest issues that might affect the entire world, as well as to share ideas, and maybe even start off new partnerships.

Considering that participants and attendants of this event are considered some of the brightest forward-thinking business leaders in the world, many are interested in what they have to say.

Crypto and Blockchain at Forbes CEO Conference

As expected, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology were mentioned quite frequently in discussions so far. This is the hottest technology right now, and 2018 has been very exciting for this industry. Investors were kept at the edge of their seat due to constant bear market, with only a hint of recovery every now and again.

Arguably the biggest representative of this technology during 2018’s Forbes Global CEO Conference is Binance’s own Zhao Changpeng. He started off by saying that Binance, which is among the largest crypto exchanges in the world, only started off in July 2017. That is barely 16 months ago, and already, it is known and used by traders from all around the world.

This was how the boss of Binance explained the speed of events in the crypto world. Furthermore, to show how the nature of business has changed due to crypto and blockchain technologies, he said that Binance has no office, nor does it have a bank account. Even so, it serves thousands of users from 180 different countries on a daily basis.

He also attempted to explain that, while crypto and blockchain are still new technologies, they are not difficult to understand. He compared this technology to cars, stating that a person doesn’t have to know how the engine works in order to use a vehicle. In a way, while this is quite complex technology, the difficult part is happening underneath the surface. As for users alone, they do not have to be especially tech-savvy to use this technology.

While cryptocurrencies have grown quite popular during the last year, there are still a lot of people that stand against them. One of them is Bearing Private Equity Asia’s chief executive, Jean Eric Salata. According to Salata, Bitcoin is nothing but a Ponzi scheme and a fraud. Simply put, Salata doesn’t believe that cryptos, Bitcoin especially, have no uses for anyone who is not a criminal.

A stance like that proves that cryptocurrencies still have a long way to go before they enter the mainstream. While many are very supportive of this technology, there are also a lot of people who are not prepared to trust them.

 

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Sapling on Zcash (ZEC) is Working, and it’s a Big Deal

ZCash (ZEC) has just launched a long-awaited upgrade called Sapling — a project that was seen as a method of improving the usability of ZCash protocol.

This is a big move for the privacy coin, and its community is thrilled by the fact that the upgrade seems to be working without any issues.

What is Sapling?

ZCash (ZEC) is a privacy coin that provides its users with the ability to make shielded transactions. It does this by utilizing a cryptographic technology called zk-SNARKS. Prior to the launch of a new upgrade, this technology was considered to be quite a large feat. However, it quickly became evident that private transactions shielded by zk-SNARKS are cumbersome, which disallows both, exchanges and users, from taking advantage of this technology’s full potential.

Yesterday, October 29, the Sapling Protocol has finally been released. The protocol was originally conceptualized back in 2016. It was promising to change private ZEC transactions in a way that will make them lighter and faster while allowing them to remain shielded. It was activated at block 419200.

According to ZCash website, Sapling will bring several improvements, such as better performance for shielded addresses, where new Z-addresses can be created within seconds. In addition to this, the protocol will allow the hardware responsible for constructing the zero-knowledge proof to become independent from the hardware responsible for signing transactions. Finally, owners of shielded addresses will have improved keys which will allow them to view all transaction details without having to expose the private spending key.

Sapling’s primary purpose is the improvement of constructing zk-SNARKS, according to the recent Medium post. New transactions will be performed with only around 40MB of RAM utilization, and the process can be done in a single second. Previously, such transactions took as long as 7 minutes, but also over 3GB of RAM.

Why is Sapling so Important for ZCash?

Apart from making shielded transactions much faster, lighter, and equally as safe as before, Sapling brought numerous new advantages. One example of this is the fact that users will now be able to perform transactions from their mobile devices. So far, memory problems prevented this integration, and the change is described as groundbreaking.

In addition to this, ZCash’s shielded transactions will also be implemented into mobile wallets. Furthermore, these transactions will also reach IoT devices, and it will be much easier for exchanges and large enterprises to adopt the coin and take advantage of the privacy it offers.

Each transaction will not only take about 100 times less memory but is also six times faster. Ever since the upgrade was launched, ZCash users have reported no problems with it. Quite the opposite, many expressed their excitement regarding Sapling, announcing successful experiments, and congratulating the ZEC team for coming up with a new way to handle these issues.

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Engineers are Leaving Silicon Valley Firms to Crypto; Sign of Demand

In recent months, an increasing number of engineers and developers announced that they are leaving established Silicon Valley tech companies in search for new opportunities in the world of blockchain and crypto.

Firms like Facebook, Apple, Google, Netflix, and Amazon are all viewed as target companies for most engineers. However, even these giants are rapidly losing their best developers to the growing blockchain industry.

Engineers’ Fascination with Blockchain Technology

A lot of these technicians, such as Facebook’s former engineer Maximilian Wang, or Qi Zhou, who worked at both, Facebook and Google, have left these firms to pursue the blockchain. They were among those who discovered blockchain technology relatively early, meaning prior to the explosion of cryptocurrency in 2017. Ever since then, they were fascinated by it, and they quickly became investors into crypto.

Despite the fact that this was only a little over a year ago, blockchain and cryptocurrency were still far from being as well-known as they are today. Because of that, even the most optimistic investors had doubts, but also strong faith in the new tech. After the crypto craze kicked off, numerous investors such as Preethi Kasireddy decided to leave their former positions and try their luck in the blockchain world.

While this was undoubtedly a big risk to take, they believed that it was worth taking. The blockchain world greeted them with open arms. Not only are engineers coming from big companies highly skilled and sought after in the crypto and blockchain industries, but their background also brings new credibility to these projects.

It is known how difficult it can be to get a good position in firms like Google, Facebook, or Amazon. And when someone from those position leaves for a specific blockchain project, that is a big nod to this project’s quality and potential. Furthermore,  a lot of engineers in these companies are young people, in their late 20’s or early 30’s, which allows them to quickly understand and accept new concepts.

Why Crypto and Blockchain Won’t Work Within Large Firms

A lot of these engineers are not leaving tech firms for blockchain and crypto in their desire to earn better. Instead, they are leaving simply due to their belief in this technology, and its potential to take over traditional methods at some point in the future. They wish to help this technology reach that point. However, they cannot hope to work on the blockchain within the large companies.

Some firms like Facebook have developed an interest in the blockchain, and have even launched teams that will research this technology. However, due to the fact that Facebook is a large, well-established company, it has far more restrictions than startups that are free to shape themselves however they like. Another large issue comes from ICOs. If Facebook were to launch an ICO, this would be a very sensitive project. It would have to be responsible to the shareholders, it would need good reasons for the move, and it would have to find a way to implement digital coins into its existing business model.

These difficulties will likely prevent large firms from reaching out to blockchain and crypto in the near future. However, engineers and developers still believe that this technology is the future, and they are willing to risk their careers at the largest tech companies in order to help that future arrive sooner.

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