Even in 2020, Warren Buffet Doesn’t Care About Bitcoin

A lot of people are known to publicly oppose Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Warren Buffett still falls into this category, despite having lunch with Justin Sun. 

Some people are seemingly not made to ever grasp Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Warren Buffett Continues to Dislike Bitcoin

That is their prerogative, although remaining partially ignorant is far from ideal.

For Warren Buffett, Bitcoin has never been appealing or of any use.

That situation has seemingly not changed, as can be seen in a recent interview.

In the interview, Buffett confirms how Bitcoin has no value and how he has no plans to own any.

From an investor point of view, it is a stance that does make sense, up to a certain degree.

That being said, a lot of people expected a different perspective.

After all, Warren Buffett recently had his long-awaited lunch with TRON founder Justin Sun.

Plenty of people had high hopes of that meeting, even though Sun might not be the right person to change Buffett’s mind on cryptocurrencies.

On Reddit, a lot of people take offense to this Buffett interview.

It is an ignorant attitude toward hat many people believe to be the greatest financial instrument society has ever witnessed. 

Opinions on Bitcoin and altcoins will always remain somewhat divided. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Will US Lawmakers Allow a Crypto bank to Exist?

The concept of a crypto bank seems wrong on multiple levels. That being said, such a venture just might be launched in the US fairly soon. 

Caitlin Long is a relatively well-known name in the world of blockchain and digital assets.

A US Crypto Bank Seems Rather Unlikely

A firm founded by her is looking to build a crypto bank.

This will be achieved through a special purpose depository institution charter.

That is, assuming the state’s division of banking approves this request.

It appears that the crypto bank will be known as Avanti, and focus primarily on regulated services for digital assets.

Building such a venture will not come easy.

Especially with just $1 million in seed funding, there appears to be plenty of potential concerns on the horizon.

Despite not submitting its official application yet, the venture is already generating a lot of buzz.

It would certainly be interesting to see a crypto bank launch in the United States.

Such a service can have a major impact on Bitcoin adoption in this part of the world.

At the same time, policy makers have been scrutinizing this industry for quite some time now.

One has to wonder if they will even allow such a service to be created in this day and age.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Coinbase is Still Investigating Degraded EOS Performance After 3 Days

Most of the top cryptocurrency networks suffer from congestion on a rainy day. This week, it appears that EOS is noting degraded performance according to Coinbase.

It is very common for most blockchains to get clogged up.

EOS on Coinbase Remains Finicky

Although Bitcoin hasn’t suffered from such an incident in a while, other top markets aren’t so lucky. 

A few years ago, Ethereum would get clogged up every time  a popular ICO took place.

Today, the EOS blockchain is seemingly operating at full capacity.

More specifically, this incident originally began three days ago, according to Coinbase.

Today, the company claims that it is still investigating the incident. 

So far, no official explanation has been provided as to what may be causing transaction delays. 

There was the launch of VOICE, a new social platform built on top of the EOS blockchain. 

Even so, it appears that this project is getting a lot of backlash due to it requiring users to verify their identity. 

As such, it seems unlikely that this project is causing any big delays at this time. 

Coinbase also tends to note degraded performance when the network is working just fine.

Since no major issues have been reported by users, it would appear that EOS is doing just fine.

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Bitso Wants to Become a Bigger Player in the US-Mexico Remittance Corridor

Bringing cryptocurrencies into the mainstream is an ongoing challenge. Bitso, a crypto trading platform, tries to achieve this goal by going after the remittance market.

It is evident that current remittance corridors are not optimal.

Bitso has a Very Ambitious Plan

Either it takes too long to move money across borders, or the fees are too high.

Bitso believes it can make a meaningful impact in the US-Mexico remittance corridor.

So far, the company controls 2% of this market, but aims to increase that figure to 20% by January 2021.

A very ambitious and lofty goal, but the company has a plan to make it happen. 

Using cryptocurrencies for real-world purposes instead of mere speculation is always a step in the right direction.

Through Bitso, sending money between the US and Mexico is done through an interbank payment bridge.

The core benefit provided is real-time settlement of funds.

Once funds are deposited, the Mexican pesos will be delivered to the recipient’s bank account or to a partner cash operator.

For now, it appears that the company wants to keep using XRP for this purpose.

It is, apparently, the cheapest and easiest way of transferring money at little to no cost.

Despite the positive outlook, there are still many mountains to move in the coming months.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Layer1 Technologies Wants to Control 30% of the Bitcoin Mining Hashrate

Bitcoin mining has proven to be extremely centralized. Layer1 Technologies, an American firm, aims to change that narrative over the coming years. 

Most people may not be familiar with Layer1 Technologies just yet.

An Ambitious Plan for Layer1 Technologies

The company is only now rolling out its Bitcoin mining operation in West Texas.

In late 2019, the company raised $50 million from various investors.

Those investors include Digital Currency Group and Shasta Ventures. 

Following the successful round, Layer1 Technologies began constructing multiple liquid-cooling mining containers.

That has been a development capable of revolutionizing the Bitcoin mining industry.

Mining containers, while requiring liquid cooling, can be deployed anywhere in the world with ease.

For the US firm, it is the best option to achieve its long-term goal.

In a statement, the company confirms how it wants to attain 30% of the global Bitcoin mining hashrate in the coming years.

The first step along the way is reaching 2% of the hashrate, by deploying up to 40 of these mining containers. 

Should the company succeed in its bigger plan, the concept of Bitcoin mining will shift drastically.

For now, most of the mining power seems to be located in countries such as China.

It has been a topic of major debate for many years now, yet no one has ever attempted to undertake a major operation. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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TradeSatoshi is the Latest Crypto Exchange to Shut Down

Cryptocurrency exchanges play a core role in the industry. Users of TradeSatoshi may want to move money off this trading platform as quickly as possible. 

TradeSatoshi is one of those trading platforms catering to a niche audience first and foremost.

Curtain Call for TradeSatoshi

Due to it being rather unknown, many people overlook if these companies stick around.

It appears that this will no longer be the case.

According to an announcement, the company will be shutting down come March 1.

That decision has been made by TradeSatoshi’s board of directors, yet it still comes as a big surprise.

The team claims that running this exchange is no longer economically feasible.

It is not an unknown narrative among smaller crypto trading platforms in this modern day and age.

Deposits are no longer processed, and withdrawals will no longer be honored after the cutoff date.

For now, there is no indication that the company will be acquired by other investors, or make a return further down the line.

Statistics by CMC indicate how this exchange is struggling for trading volume lately. 

Even its Bitcoin market is trading at 1,800 USDT, for some odd reason.

Less competition among crypto exchanges is never a good thing, but it is a dog-eat-dog industry. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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RippleNet Welcomes Bank of America as its Newest Member

One often heard comment is how no banks will ever use Ripple or XRP. The recent addition of Bank of America to RippleNet seems to change that narrative significantly.

The RippleNet ecosystem connects hundreds of banks and financial service providers around the globe.

Bank of America Sees Merit in RippleNet

Getting more members on board remains an ongoing process. 

Participants of RippleNet will be able to benefit from Ripple’s technology, including the XRP-powered On-Demand Liquidity solution.

The latest member to join the ranks is none other than Bank of America.

Given this company’s position in the US financial industry, it is a pretty big addition for Ripple.

To date, the company primarily noted big successes in Asia.

Expansion in the Western world has been relatively slow going, for some reason.

It is not the first time that Bank of America and Ripple join forces.

Both firms have successfully conducted pilot projects, albeit there were never turned into full-fledged services or products.

Given the evolving needs of customers, embracing innovative solutions is crucial for any financial institution. 

It appears that BoA sees merit in RippleNet for its US-Mexico payment corridor.

If successful, an expansion to European markets is not out of the question.

All of these developments paint  a very interesting picture for the future of Ripple.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Sweden’s E-Krona CBDC Enters a Year-long Trial Run

There have been plenty of rumors regarding Sweden issuing a CBDC. The testing phase of the E-Krona has now officially begun, which is rather interesting to keep an eye on. 

Many countries want to create a CBDC in the near future.

The Swedish CBDC is Very Real 

The big question is whether there is a first-mover advantage to doing so.

In Sweden, the E-Krona CBDC is coming to fruition a lot quicker than anticipated.

In fact, Riksbank is preparing to begin a first pilot project for this new currency.

It will involve the use of blockchain technology, albeit no further details are provided in this regard. 

Rather than replacing cash, the E-Krona will be complementary to cash in the country.

That is a remarkable decision, considering how Sweden is one of the countries where cashless payments rule supreme.

Riksbank will embark on this trial run with Accenture.

It is expected that this trial will run for a full year, until late February of 2021.

Given the length of this experiment, it would appear that this CBDC is further ahead in its development cycle than most people anticipated. 

Based on the data collected from this trial, more CBDC ventures may pop upall over the world.

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This Ethereum Token Derives Value From the Coronavirus Death Toll

The coronavirus outbreak continues to dominate global media headlines. To raise more awareness regarding this incident, a digital token known as CoronaCoin was created.

Most people would deem the creation of such a token to be distasteful.

A Different Take on the Coronavirus

However, this is not a way to get rich quick.

Instead, the creator issued this token on Ethereum for a specific purpose.

Every time someone dies from the coronavirus, the value of the token rises.

This is an example of how blockchain can be used to track viruses and their path of destruction.

CoronaCoin’s initial token supply will keep reducing every 2 days to keep up with official WHO statistics. 

By reducing the amount of tokens, the spreading of the coronavirus can be tracked accordingly.

This project also helps those people in China to obtain actual information, instead of what the government tells them. 

It also appears that plenty of people are willing to buy this token, albeit not for speculative purposes.

All money raised through this venture will be donated to the Red Cross accordingly.

In the near future, a strategy game making use of the token will be launched.

There will also be tip bots to build public awareness regarding the coronavirus. 

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Why are TRON Genesis Tokens Used to “Swing” a Community Vote?

There is always some degree of controversy in the cryptocurrecy space. This time around, the TRON community is on fire, albeit not necessarily for a positive reason.

The TRON ecosystem operates very differently from most other cryptocurrencies.

Juicy TRON Drama Emerges

Some users are representatives, but there are also Super Representatives.

One such SR is Justin Sun, the founder of this ecosystem.

He allegedly voted on two Tron Foundation apps.

Although that is not illegal by any means, it is something the community tends to frown upon.

Sun has always claimed he would never get involved in community voting, nor would the TRON Foundation.

As such, the “approval” of these two new apps raises a lot of questions.

Many community members are not too amused about this situation, for obvious reasons.

Until an official explanation is presented, there will be ample speculation.

Using the tokens belonging to the Zion account for community votes is simply unacceptable.

Elections are supposed to be community driven first and foremost.

Incidents like these highlight that this is not always the case by any means.

This will not affect the two applications in question, however.

Their “relation” to the Zion address voting remains unclear at this time.

For the TRON project, this can easily turn into a major PR nightmare. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Enigma is the Latest ICO to get Punished by the SEC

A lot of ICO projects have come under SEC scrutiny since 2017. The latest to get scrutinized is Enigma, a company raising roughly $45 million.

Most initial coin offerings will be scrutinized sooner or later.

Another ICO Gets Punished

Virtually all of them raised money by selling unregistered securities.

Such behavior should never go by unpunished.

For Enigma, raising $45 million during its ICO was perhaps the easy part.

The company will be forced to refund all investors accordingly, despite crypto prices plummeting hard.

Additionally, the Enigma team must pay a $500,000 fine for selling unregistered securities. 

The project raised a lot of money to provide a privacy layer for decentralized applications.

As the Enigma team will continue to operate, their tokens must now be registered with the SEC as official securities.

Contrary to what most expected, this does not mean the end for this project.

Instead, the team sees it as a positive development, as the focus can fully shift to actual development.

That approach is very rare, as most ICOs are forced to fold after the SEC hands down its verdict. 

Since its ICO, the token price of Enigma has dropped by nearly 40%.

Its market cap is only $28.5 million, despite raising $45 million just over two years ago. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Irish Officials Confiscate Over $60 Million in BTC From a Drug Dealer

A lot of criminals flock to Bitcoin due to its perceived anonymity. Most of those people end up in jail eventually, including one Irish drug dealer. 

On the darknet, Bitcoin is often considered to be a prominent payment method.

A Massive Amount of Bitcoin Seized

A lot of people think Bitcoin is only used to buy and sell drugs online.

In the case of this Irish drug dealer, that is certainly the case.

He has been forced to forfeit over 52 million euro in Bitcoin this week.

All of those proceeds come from his drug-related activities. 

Clifton Collins has been involved in selling and supplying drugs and other narcotics.

He has been under investigation since early 2017 and was arrested shortly after.

Some of his Bitcoin holdings originate from being a very early investor.

Given the spectacular rise in value, it gave Collins a lot of funds to play around with and fund operations.

How the held bitcoins will be handled from here on out, remains to be seen.

Confiscating cryptocurrencies is not as straightforward as freezing one’s bank assets.

Officials obtained a “freezing order” on the Bitcoin wallet to ensure no funds can be moved.

A bit of a strange development, but one that can set a problematic precedent for the rest of the world. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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No one Should Stake Tezos on Coinbase and pay a 25% Fee for Doing so

An exchange on the scale of Coinbase should charge minimal fees. Unfortunately, that is far from the case, and it seems to grow worse.

Especially where the staking of assets is concerned, things do not look too promising.

Don’t use Coinbase to Stake Assets

Recently, Coinbase confirmed how its users will be able to stake Tezos online.

To do so, they will use CB as an actual validated baker.

Rather than keeping the fees to an absolute minimum, Coinbase will charge a fee of 25%.

That is a ludicrous amount, for all intents and purposes. 

It is in line with the company’s habit of charging high commissions for virtually everything one can do on the platform.

Why this fee structure is so high, remains a bit unclear.

Tezos staking commissions across exchanges all seem to hover above the 15% mark, which is completely unacceptable. 

This is another reason why no one should keep their funds in a centralized exchange.

Staking XTZ can be done through other means as well, and for a much lower fee to boot. 

Using a staking pool, for example, can yield higher rewards compared to using Coinbase.

All cryptocurrency users need to do their own research regarding coin staking.

Paying ludicrous fees for a “benefit” is not what this industry is all about.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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DeFi Protocol bZX Gets Abused Once Again

As if one attack against a DeFi protocol is not enough, bZX keeps generating headlines. The protocol has been “abused” for the second time in less than a week.

One could argue that the first incident is not even a hack.

bZX Should Just Give up

Instead, it is someone cleverly using the mechanics at their disposal.

Growing pains such as the incident affecting bZX are to be expected in DeFi.

What is remarkable is how the protocol has now facilitated a second incident. 

This time around, roughly $645,000 worth of ether has ended up in the wrong hands. 

It is evident that the bZX team is not in control of what is happening, thus they would be better off halting their services altogether.

This time around, an oracle manipulation attack has taken place.

It too will be “neutralized”, even though the damage has already been done.

The bZX protocol has, once again, been paused for the foreseeable future.

The team will investigate the matter and try to come up with a fix accordingly. 

Once the service comes back, new positions and new loans will no longer be possible through the platform.

That goes to show that this project is not ready for the DeFi market in any shape or form.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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YouTube Demonetizes all Coronavirus Content for no Reason

There have been many developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak. YouTube now wants to demonetize all video content related to this topic, which is rather controversial. 

It is evident that the coronavirus keeps sparking numerous debates.

YouTube Continues its Coronavirus Hypocrisy

One would expect a video creation platform like YouTube to welcome discussions and content with open arms.

Although some fake content is created as well, there is plenty of valuable information out there.

Creators deserve to be rewarded for their time and effort.

That will no longer be the case, for the foreseeable future.

Any video related to the coronavirus will be completely demonetized.

According to the company, this is an effort to “reflect the sensitive nature of this event”.

On paper, that makes some sense, but it isn’t necessarily reflecting the reality.

Any world event will generate tons of YouTube content, from which the company benefits directly.

Why the coronavirus has to be treated as an exception, is rather mystifying. 

Some creators have already gotten vocal about this sudden course of action.

It is almost as if YouTube doesn’t want more content related to this sensitive topic. 

It is another example of how quickly things are deteriorating for this popular video platform.

A string of decisions as of late is slowly forcing creators to explore alternative options.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Max Keiser Makes Alex Jones see the Benefit of Bitcoin

Alex Jones is a very interesting individual for a wide variety of reasons. It now seems he has finally come to terms with Bitcoin being a real thing. 

Many mainstream “influencers” have opposed Bitcoin and altcoins for nearly a full decade.

Alex Jones Finally Acknowledges Bitcoin

Sooner or later, they tend to come around.

In the case of Alex Jones, he has admitted how Bitcoin is worth getting involved in.

In fact, Jones regrets the decision of not buying BTC sooner. 

This is a very surprising development that may bode well for the future of cryptocurrencies. 

The confession by Alex Jones comes as a result of an interview with Max Keiser.

Keiser has a way of convincing people about the potential of Bitcoin.

Bringing diversity to the existing financial market is one of Bitcoin’s core strengths.

Over the years, a lot of people have seemingly lost track of this crucial aspect.

Alex Jones also seems convinced that all of the hype coins and vaporware projects are pretty much dead in the water.

That seems rather unlikely, as there are plenty of dubious projects, forks, and clones on the market in 2020. 

Having another media figure validate Bitcoin in his own way is a bullish signal, although it may not impact the price right away. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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South Korea’s Government Aims to Drop Windows in Favor of Linux

Government officials often rely on Microsoft Windows as their computer operating system. That situation will change significantly in South Korea.

It is interesting to see different governments handle their computer-based needs.

South Korea Goes the Linux Route

In South Korea, Microsoft Windows will be removed from government computers fairly soon.

Instead, the operating system will be Linux, albeit it is unclear which distribution will be used.

A total of 3.3. million devices will be upgraded by year’s end.

The main objective of this switch is to handle the lack of support for Windows 7.

Rather than paying a hefty fee for licenses to upgrade, switching to Linux makes a lot more sense.

This also aids the government in reducing its dependency on a single company.

The migration of computers will have a price tag of roughly $655 million.

This is not because Linux distributions require a fee, as most do not.

However, new computers need to be bought, there is a transition cost, and the implementation by IT personnel carries its own costs. 

During an initial test, just a handful of machines will be upgraded.

This is done to ensure there are no compatibility and security issues later on.

It is possible that the new OS will be TMaxOS, a Korean-based implementation including Chromium, ToGate, and unique desktop interface support.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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More Details Regarding the bZX Incident Have Surfaced

A few more details have come to light regarding the recent DeFi hack. The bZX theft raised a lot of questions, and some answers have now been provided. 

Figures indicate that roughly $360,000 worth of Ether has been earned by a criminal through the platform.

A Complex bZX Story Unfolds

He somehow obtained a flash loan of nearly $3 million in Ether. 

With the money, the hacker managed to send half to Compound – a DeFi application – and the other half to bZX.

Through Compound, the hacker borrowed WBTC, while shorting the same asset on bZX.

To top it all off, the funds from Compound were sent to UniSwap to artificially create a WBTC price crash.

All of this worked out quite well, albeit it took some serious work.

For a fee of $8.71, the hacker managed to complete everything in one transaction.

That approach is crucial, as it allowed him to repay the loan automatically and take the profit accordingly. 

The loan did not even require a collateral either, making this method very appealing to tricksters.

For lenders, flash loans offer many benefits.

They get their money back at all times, either normally or because the flash loan conditions aren’t met and the transfer is cancelled. 

All of this goes to show how crafty one can get with DeFi, either for better or worse. 

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DeFi Protocol bZX Suffered From a Smart Contract Exploit

The world of decentralized finance has yet to be put through a big security audit. For bXZ, such an audit will come too late, as the DeFi protocol has already been hacked.

Earlier today, news broke of an incident affecting bXZ.

bZX Fails to Secure its Smart Contract

Although this protocol is designed to be decentralized, it is not safe from hackers by any means.

A significant amount of Ethereum has been lost as a result.

The exact figures are not available at the time of writing. 

Someone found an exploit they could leverage against bXZ.

More specifically, the culprit exploited the smart contract associated with this protocol.

It is not the first time that a smart contract on Ethereum is anything but hacker-proof.

Several incidents in this department have been documented over the years.

bZX Developers are still uncertain as to what has happened exactly.

As is often the case, there is plenty of speculation and unconfirmed information floating around on the internet. 

Until the team reveals what happened exactly, such speculation serves no real purpose whatsoever.

This incident highlights the need for proper independent smart contract auditing in the blockchain world.

Especially for products in the financial segment, fixing potential loopholes is of the utmost importance.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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The IOTA Network Remains Paused Following the Recent Incident

The IOTA network remains in an awkward state after the recent security incident. Despite seemingly finding the flaw, the network still hasn’t moved all that much.

It is important to nip any security threat in the bud as quickly as possible.

The IOTA Network Issues Remain in Place

In the case of IOTA, shutting down the Coordinator node is the smart decision.

Due to the involvement of law enforcement, the network seemingly hasn’t been turned on just yet.

Instead, all value transfers will remain halted as long as the investigation is ongoing.

This is problematic for all users, but it also ensures no further exploitation of the network can occur.

It would also appear that the IOTA Foundation is looking for ways to recover the stolen funds.

How that will be done exactly, remains up for debate.

Some people claim that there will be  a transaction reversal, albeit that doesn’t seem possible. 

Reverting the blockchain is not something that can be done willy-nilly either. 

For the IOTA community, one has to hope that  a solution will become available very soon.

Right now, there is no indication as to how long the investigation will last. 

Not being able to transfer value over the network should is far from an ideal situation

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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The DOJ Claims Every Bitcoin Mixer is a Money Laundering Business

The concept of a Bitcoin mixer has always been somewhat controversial. The recent statements by the US DOJ will only thicken the plot in this particular regard.

A few years ago, the Bitcoin mixer landscape was very competitive.

Using a Bitcoin Mixer is a Crime in the US

Most of those services have not either shut down or simply disappeared.

Helix was one of the more commonly used mixing services at that time.

For the Department of Justice, a Bitcoin mixer is a money transmitting and laundering business model. 

The main objective of this service is to let customers remove the “taint” from their Bitcoin balances.

In doing so, users will obtain a certain degree of privacy, as Bitcoin lacks those traits by default.

However, there is usually a hefty fee to be paid for this type of service rendered.

As such. it is not hard to see where the claim of  a money transmitting business comes from.

That being said, claiming that a Bitcoin mixer is automatically a money laundering scheme seems to be a bridge too far.

Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski is genuinely convinced that is the only purpose of this type of service.

In fact, he claims how users seeking privacy are automatically engaging in criminal activities. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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XRP/USD Flash Crash on BitMEX Highlights the Dangers of Margin Trading

Not a week goes by without some controversial action affecting a cryptocurrency exchange. In today’s edition, BitMEX is getting a lot of attention for its unusual XRP market behavior.

It is evident that the current bullish market behavior has a lot of people excited.

BitMEX Flash Crash Turns Very Costly

When a dip occurs, there will be some degree of a crash.

In the case of BitMEX today, there was a major flash crash affecting its XRP/USD market.

Price dipped very low for no apparent reason, liquidating a lot of traders in the process.

Some users have been very vocal about this latest incident, for rather obvious reasons.

For now, there is no indication the affected users will be compensated in any way.

Rolling back orders affected during a flash crash is not uncommon behavior in this industry.

Most platforms prevent flash crash liquidations, but it seems not all users on BitMEX were protected this time around. 

It is unclear if the platform has some sort of “insurance policy” when events like these take place.

When stop loss orders do not trigger, however, many people immediately claim some degree of manipulation or foul play to be the cause.

For now, it remains to be seen if and when BitMEX decides to address this incident.

Margin trading is always a risky endeavor, regardless of which asset one is involved with. 

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US Officials Hint at Extra Regulation for Bitcoin

Various governments are still looking to actively regulate Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In the US, it appears that some new proposals aim to achieve that goal.

With the Federal Reserve exploring the issuance of a CBDC, regulation isn’t too far behind.

More Bitcoin Regulation in the US?

What the new rules will look like exactly, remains subject to plenty of speculation.

A new report by Bloomberg seems to indicate that FinCEN is looking to introduce new guidelines fairly soon.

The objective of this move is to make Bitcoin activity more transparent.

An interesting way of phrasing it, as everything about Bitcoin is transparent by default.

How centralized companies providing exposure to this asset handle their business, is something else entirely. 

By adding more requirements to the mix, the industry can eventually thrive.

It all comes down to what these measures entail exactly.

For now, it appears that the main focus remains with money laundering concerns.

Again, this appears to be a clear warning to exchanges, wallet providers, and mixing services.

Not all privacy-related activity surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is nefarious by default, however.

One can only hope that policymakers will distinguish between malicious use and innocent privacy enhancements as well.

That seems rather unlikely, but one never knows what the future may hold. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Cryptocurrency Support Isn’t a Selling Point for the Samsung S20

Samsung had a few interesting smartphone-related announcements today. Unsurprisingly, the Galaxy S20 will support cryptocurrencies out of the box.

However, this will not be the main selling point of the device, which makes a lot of sense.

The Samsung S20 Doesn’t Flaunt Crypto Support

Not because the cryptocurrency hype is slowing down by any means, though.

It would appear that phone manufacturers are slowly coming to their senses regarding the advertising of blockchain and crypto tech.

Most people care about the other features provided by the S20.

For a device costing at least $999, it has to pack quite the punch. 

In theory, every smartphone is compatible with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

There are plenty of mobile applications to access these services today.

One interesting note is how the Samsung S20 has a secure processor.

That processor is dedicated to protecting personal information, including  a “blockchain private key”. 

Why a secure processor is needed for this task, remains a bit unclear.

In this modern day and age, any extra layer of protection and security is crucial. 

With Samsung bringing a new line of smartphones to the world, it will be interesting to see if they are worth the steep price tag.

Charging four digits for a new phone seems steep, but it has become somewhat of a common trend among manufacturers.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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DeFi Interest Rates for DAI Continue to Grow

The decentralized finance segment continues to fire on all cylinders. DAI lending has always been lucrative yet it appears that the deposit rates will only go higher from here on out.

It is uncanny how stablecoins can yield extremely high interest rates in DeFi.

The DeFi Interest Rates Continue to Rise

Especially DAI, the decentralized pegged currency on Ethereum, has proven to be very lucrative.

With rates often starting at 6% or more, there was a big initial interest in this venture.

It now seems that the interest rates are on the rise and hitting double digits.

This will, of course, depend on which platform one uses to maximize their DAI earnings.

So far, it seems that Aava is leading the pack with a 12.8% annual interest rate.

Other service providers will have to follow suit to remain competitive.

For a new industry such as DeFi, these interest rates will undoubtedly attract a lot of attention.

Everyone wants to make money during a bull market.

Locking up funds in search of higher prices and earning interest on the DAI generated by doing so is like a double victory.

That is, assuming people expect the Ethereum price to keep going up over the coming months.

Bullish momentum in the cryptocurrency space can often change course when people least expect it. 

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Major German Bank Taps Stellar for Digital Securities Digitization

German banks have shown a keen interest in crypto assets as of late. For Bank von der Heydt, taking the next step seems to be a logical decision.

It is evident that most commercial banks would love to create their own tokens.

More use Cases for Stellar

Germany’s Bank von der Heydt has done exactly that.

Rather than using a private blockchain, the bank opts for the Stellar ecosystem.

That makes sense, as Stellar is a solution built for the financial sector first and foremost.

Bank von der Heydt partners Bitbond to integrate tokenized assets into its existing securitization platform.

This gives the German bank an option to tokenize digital securities on the Stellar blockchain.

These tokens will only be provided through private placements, and remain inaccessible to the public. 

In fact, Bank von der Heydt has confirmed it has zero intention of making this service publicly available at this time.

For investors, this creates new opportunities in the form of using a euro stablecoin.

That stablecoin will also be issued by the German bank, albeit it is unclear if this will happen on the Stellar blockchain. 

This marks an important milestone for the digital asset industry.

When financial institutions get involved in minting and digitizing assets, a very interesting future awaits.

Making these offerings appealing to investors will be a difficult task, however. 

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CME Continues to Showcase its Appreciation for Bitcoin

Most financial institutions have willingly ignored Bitcoin and similar currencies for years. In 2020, most of these banks are suddenly jumping on the bandwagon as if there is no tomorrow. 

CME Group has been on the fence about Bitcoin for a while.

CME is Warming up to Bitcoin

Albeit the company provides Bitcoin futures contracts, that is nothing more than a business venture.

The actual belief in the viability of cryptocurrencies simply isn’t there as of yet. 

Or so it would seem, until quite recently.

CME Chief Economist Bluford Putnam is currently smitten by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

He considers this type of asset to be worth further investigation”.

A bit of an ominous message, primarily because it comes from a financial powerhouse.

Fitting Bitcoin into a portfolio given its current volatility still remains a tough balancing act.

Even so, the prospect of handling the best performing global asset year over year cannot be ignored. 

Even people working for CME have to acknowledge this is a different asset class altogether.

A lot of untapped potential remains, yet it may not be up to institutions like CME to unlock the full capabilities.

Even so, organizatons like these can help drive mass adoption of cryptocurrencies in the years to come.

An exciting future lies ahead for Bitcoin, that much is evident. 

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President Xi Visits the Beijing Area as the Coronavirus Runs Rampant Across China

The coronavirus outbreak continues to throw up very surprising developments. It has even forced President Xi Jinping to come out and tour Beijing to oversee efforts to contain the epidemic.

Albeit a Presidential visit won’t alleviate any symptoms, the Chinese public will be pleased to see him in the open again.

The Coronavirus Threat Isn’t Over

This is not a random encounter either, as the coronavirus situation in China remains very worrisome.

Just this week, another 97 Chinese individuals have succumbed to the infection. 

Rather than slowing the rate of infection, it appears that more people are now dying in quick succession.

Combined with the increasing rate of infection aboard the cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, the numbers are not looking good.

On that ship alone, at least 135 passengers have been confirmed as victims of the coronavirus.

With roughly 3,700 on board the ship, those numbers are very likely to keep rising over the coming days and weeks.

As the situation progresses, no cure has been found as of yet.

Some meaningful progress has been made in Thailand, yet the initial results have yet to be confirmed by additional trials.

In China alone, over 40,100 people are now infected with the coronavirus.

In a week from today, those numbers may look very different, albeit not for the right reasons.

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Point-of-sale Payment Processor Anypay Removes its Bitcoin Payment Option

Bitcoin has not made too many inroads in the payments industry. That is not for a lack of trying, but simply because merchants remain unconvinced about its viability.

A recent disclosure by Anypay will not help matters much in this regard either.

Anypay Removes the Bitcoin Payment Option

Anypay is a point-of-sale cryptocurrency payment service process located in the US.

According to company CEO Steven Zeiler, there is a major bug regarding Bitcoin payments.

As a result, the company will be disabling the BTC payment option from its terminals altogether.

This bug revolves around the use of Replace by Fee to process transactions quicker.

Bitcoin transactions are picked up by miners based on their associated fees.

A lower fee can incur longer confirmation requirements, which isn’t ideal in a real-world payment environment.

By supporting Replace by Fee, Anypay had hoped to alleviate some of those concerns.

However, the company now claims customers can reverse Bitcoin payments through this option, putting the company at serious risk. 

Permanently disabling the Bitcoin payment option appears to be the only viable course of action by Anypay.

The double spend angle of this “bug” has yet to be officially confirmed by developers, however. 

It may very well have been a one-off incident, albeit it needs to be investigated thoroughly before jumping to any conclusions.

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Can China Even Stop the Coronavirus?

The coronavirus outbreak continues to dominate media headlines all over the world. It is now officially confirmed that this virus is deadlier than SARS, in terms of total lives claimed.

In the beginning, no one took the coronavirus threat too seriously.

Can the Coronavirus be Stopped Soon?

Three months later, the entire world appears to be on notice and genuinely concerned.

Over 800 people have succumbed to the coronavirus, with thousands more infected at this time.

Those are the official figures shared by the Chinese government, which may not necessarily be accurate.

In comparison, SARS claimed 775 lives globally in 2003.

One also has to keep in mind that SARS ran rampant for over eight months. 

The coronavirus is already deadlier in a three-month time span, with more new cases being discovered every single day.

Despite these figures, several key questions remain unanswered at this time.

There is no indication that China can effectively stop the outbreak in its tracks.

In fact, more cities are being quarantined, indicating that this is a much bigger problem than originally anticipated.

All of this news also has a massive financial impact.

Not just on China itself, but on a global scale.

That doesn’t bode well for those not affected by the coronavirus as they will face a very different threat.

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