How the Growth of Robo-Advisors Could Boost Crypto

Source: Alex Knight/Unsplash Mainstream economists and financial advisors appear, for the most part, intent on advising people away from cryptocurrency. They say that crypto is too 'volatile,' that it's used only for 'illicit' purposes, and that the crypto-market is the 'perfect bubble.' Yet aside

This is the Only Way to Build New Financial System

Source: Unsplash Alexis Roussel is the CEO and Co-Founder of Bity, a Swiss crypto-finance services provider and gateway between the fiat and crypto worlds. Alexis founded Bity in 2014 and obtained a financial intermediary license for the company. Prior to his role at Bity, Alexis worked as a Manag

Bitcoin Cash Price Weekly Analysis: BCH/USD Could Move Higher Within Range

Key Points

  • Bitcoin cash price remained under pressure below the $450 and $460 resistances against the US Dollar.
  • There is a major bearish trend line in place with resistance at $436 on the 4-hours chart of the BCH/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could rise in the short term towards the $450 or $460 resistance levels.

Bitcoin cash price is moving lower towards $425 against the US Dollar. BCH/USD may soon gain traction to recover back towards the range resistance.

Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis

This past week, there was a slow and steady decline from the $452 swing high in bitcoin cash price against the US Dollar. The BCH/USD pair made many attempts to recover above $450, but it failed. As a result, the price declined below the $440 support and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours). It traded as low as $431 and it is currently consolidating losses.

On the upside, an initial resistance is near the $435-436 zone. It is close to the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $452 high to $431 low. More importantly, there is a major bearish trend line in place with resistance at $436 on the 4-hours chart of the BCH/USD pair. Above the trend line, the price could move towards the $440 level and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours). The next resistance may be the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $452 high to $431 low at $442. The most important resistance is near the $450 level, which prevented gains on many occasions.

Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis BCH Chart

Looking at the chart, BCH price could recover above $436 and $440 in the near term. If it fails, there could be a downside reaction towards $425 or $420.

Looking at the technical indicators:

4-hours MACD – The MACD for BCH/USD is flat in the bearish zone.

4-hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is moving just above the 40 level.

Major Support Level – $430

Major Resistance Level – $440

The post Bitcoin Cash Price Weekly Analysis: BCH/USD Could Move Higher Within Range appeared first on NewsBTC.

Taiwan Drafting National ICO Standards

Taiwan Drafting National ICO Standards

The Taiwanese Financial Supervisory Commission is drafting a set of national standards for initial coin offerings. The regulator reportedly aims to make tokens as easy to invest and as liquid as stocks. The commission emphasizes that it “has no intention of curbing the creativity and productivity associated with cryptocurrencies if they are not used as securities.”

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Taiwan to Regulate ICOs

Taiwan Drafting National ICO Standards
FSC Chairman Wellington Koo.

The chairman of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has reportedly confirmed that the commission is drafting national standards for initial coin offerings (ICOs). The regulator aims “to make virtual tokens as easy to invest in as stocks and just as liquid,” the Taipei Times reported on Oct. 23.

At a finance committee meeting, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator William Tseng asked whether the government would regulate ICOs. He pointed out that 127 ICO whitepapers worldwide were found last year to be fake, the publication described. In addition, 80 whitepapers were found to be inaccurate as of April. The legislator additionally quoted findings from Satis Group showing that 81 percent of ICOs have been identified as scams.

The news outlet conveyed Koo’s reply:

The commission would regulate ICOs … [but] tokens exchanged for goods, such as those used in accruing points at convenience stores or mileage points accepted by airlines, would not be covered by the standards.

In May, China’s National Committee of Experts on the Internet Financial Security Technology, a Chinese government-backed industry organization, said it found 421 fake cryptocurrencies. Independently, the Wall Street Journal analyzed 1,450 ICOs and “found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams.”

Securities Tokens

Taiwan’s Securities and Futures Bureau Deputy Director-General Tsai Li-ling was quoted by the Taipei Times commenting:

People often confuse an ICO with the trading of cryptocurrencies.

Taiwan Drafting National ICO StandardsThe governor of Taiwan’s central bank, Yang Chin-long, told the committee that “the government tends to regard cryptocurrencies as virtual commodities or assets rather than currencies, because they have no intrinsic value.” Tsai elaborated that “cryptocurrency trading is similar to trading in gold, for which the commission only implements money laundering controls.”

If a token functions similar to a security, “the commission would define it as a ‘securities token’ and subject it to the Securities and Exchange Act,” the publication quoted Tsai describing, adding:

The issuer would also need to disclose information similar to what companies that are publicly traded need to do now.

Regarding the time frame of the ICO standards, “The draft is to be completed by June next year,” the news outlet detailed, noting that “The commission has no intention of curbing the creativity and productivity associated with cryptocurrencies if they are not used as securities.”

“The more we regulate, the more this new economic behavior wanes,” Koo was quoted saying. In June, the FSC indicated that it intended to maintain only a limited oversight of cryptocurrencies and focus on anti-money laundering measures. In April, reported that Taiwanese bitcoin regulations are expected by November.

What do you think of Taiwan regulating ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wikipedia.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

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3 New and Upcoming Key Changes to Nano’s Infrastructure

nano altcoin

Any cryptocurrency in the industry will need to keep evolving at all times. This goes for both Bitcoin, as well as all other altcoins on the market today. In the case of Nano, the currency is set to undergo some interesting upgrades yet again. It shows the developers are confident this currency can become even more robust over time.

#3 PayFair Trading

One peculiar trend affecting altcoins lately is how communities get excited when new exchanges list said token. Although this usually doesn’t have any impact on the overall development of a cryptocurrency,  it can provide a lot more exposure for Nano. More exposure can lead to a higher price or an evener supply distribution, which are both positive traits to pursue at all times.

In this particular case, Nano can be traded on the PayFair platform. This decentralized escrow platform and P2P exchange has been working on adding additional currencies and tokens to its service. Integrating Nano is an important first step toward potentially attracting a lot more users moving forward. So far, only one seller and one buyer are trading Nano, although that situation may come to change in the future.

#2 Epoch Blocks

One of the more mysterious developments taking place behind Nano’s scenes comes in the form of Epoch blocks. They will come to the network next week, which will ensure the Legacy block era is coming to an end. Instead, the project is shifting to a “universal block” structure, although the exact specifics remain a bit unclear.

Epoch Blocks are also still a bit of a mystery, albeit the developers have confirmed a more in-depth explanation is set to follow later this week. Any infrastructure upgrade for a cryptocurrency network is always exciting, even when people are not exactly sure what it means or how it will affect the network as a whole.

#1 iOS Wallet Testflight Update

For the Nano community, mobile wallet solutions are still in high demand. That is only normal, as the cryptocurrency industry is following traditional finance in this regard. The importance of mobile solutions can no longer be ignored, though one always has to wonder what the future holds in this regard.

In the case of Nano, the Nano Wallet Company’s iOS wallet will be able to resolve some lingering issue experienced by users. Users with an expired version from earlier this year and who lost their seed should be able to recover the information accordingly. This is a positive development, even though it never affected a majority of the community in the first place.

The post 3 New and Upcoming Key Changes to Nano’s Infrastructure appeared first on NullTX.

3 Signs LocalEthereum Continues to Grow and Evolve

ethereum trading

Peer-to-peer trading is taking center stage in the world of cryptocurrency. For Ethereum enthusiasts, a platform by the name of LocalEtheruem is worth keeping an eye on as of right now. The team is introducing a lot of new changes in quick succession, most of which are designed to make the platform a lot more secure to use.

#3 Keeping Encryption in Place

When using third-party cryptocurrency services, there is a growing demand from users who want to keep as much information secure as possible. Encryption plays a big role in this regard. The LocalEthereum team acknowledges this demand and ensures their encryption will remain in place for an extended period of time.

Moreover, the funds users buy and sell through LocalEthereum will never touch the server itself. Leaving users in control at all times is the only course forward when it comes to dealing with cryptocurrencies in 2018 and beyond. It is good to see the team will not deviate from this original approach despite how appealing it may seem to do so.

#2 Bye Bye Password-based Authentication

One particular problem affecting exchanges, P2P trading platforms, and other options is how there is still a need to rely on passwords. Humans are notoriously terrible when it comes to using secure passwords, especially when it pertains to financial services. For LocalEthereum users, the password-based authentication method is coming to an end fairly soon.

As such, the team is introducing a solution which removes the need for passwords altogether. It is a more than welcome change of pace, and something that could – or perhaps should – have been implemented many months ago. The option will remain available to users who prefer this method, yet the platform will advocate for a new and secure solution to take center stage.

#1 Direct Wallet Integration

On the surface, it may seem odd as to why there was never any real support for the most popular Ethereum wallets on LocalEthereum directly. That situation is now coming to change, as users can replace their username and password by using these popular wallet methods such as imToken or MetaMask. A radical change, although one that puts a positive spin on this P2P trading platform.

Because of this direct connection with browser extensions and popular Ethereum wallets, the platform is slowly moving to a very different infrastructure altogether. With both password-based and wallet-based authentication now available, LocalEtheruem is finally becoming a more professional platform capable of driving ETH demand to new levels. Companies and service providers need to keep growing and evolving at all times, especially in the cryptocurrency industry.

The post 3 Signs LocalEthereum Continues to Grow and Evolve appeared first on NullTX.

Visa CEO: Crypto Not Of Interest – Yet

Despite its infiltration of some of the largest names in the payments game, crypto won’t be creeping onto the radar of Visa anytime soon unless the young asset-class steps up its game, the company’s chief whip stated Thursday.

Speaking to CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Visa CEO Al Kelly said that cryptocurrency wouldn’t “in any way” pose a threat to the titanic payment processing multinational “in the short to medium-term” until it moved from being “more of a commodity” to “actually, really, being a payment instrument.”

Staying on the Sidelines, For Now

He did, however, admit that Visa would consider jumping on the bandwagon if the crypto market grew in size to that of fiat currency, and assured that the $316 billion financial services company wouldn’t discriminate against underlying assets when it came to crunch-time. He noted:

“We want to be in the middle, Jim, of every payment flow in the world regardless of how it happens or what the currency is behind it. So if we have to go there, we will go there. But right now, it’s more of a commodity than a payment vehicle.”

Missing the Boat?

Such observations would seem incredulous to crypto proponents—who this year have witnessed Bitcoin’s levels of transacted value close in on Visa and outstrip PayPal, and a subsequent eruption of interest from old-school finance in the once-peripheral asset-class—with InterContinental Exchange-owned BakktFidelity Investments, and a remarkable number of Wall Street pillars poised to push market capitalization into the big leagues.

Where Kelly’s position puts Visa at odds with the finance industry’s apparently epidemic bullishness on crypto, however, he would also give a running start to his noted competitor MasterCard, who despite the stance of their emphatically crypto-ambivalent head honcho seems to believe cryptocurrency payments will soon be par for the course – having filed a spree of blockchain-related patent applications after in March stating it would possibly move to support cryptocurrencies.

To archetypal Bitcoin maximalist and crypto VC Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano, Visa may shortly have an ultimatum on its hands: adopt or be left in the dust.

The post Visa CEO: Crypto Not Of Interest – Yet appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Are Cryptocurrency Donations Worth the Risk for the U.S Midterms?


The U.S midterms are approaching, and the threat of digital interference in U.S elections remains a major concern. Should potentially anonymous donations to election candidates in crypto be allowed?

The U.S Federal Election Commission ruled to allow Bitcoin (BTC) 00 and other cryptocurrency donations in 2014. In individual states, the rules can be very different. Eight states allow cryptocurrency contributions, while seven have banned them entirely according to Politico. Other states are undecided, leaving federal law to reign.

California, home to Silicon Valley and a state where you might expect cryptocurrency donations to feature more heavily, last month banned any donations in digital coins.

California Commissioner Frank Cardenas, speaking at the hearing that delivered the ban said:

Hardly a day passes that there isn’t some other indication that there is someone out there who wishes us ill, foreign and or domestic.

The risk with cryptocurrencies —sometimes anonymous, and sometimes transacted through platforms which require no know your customer (KYC) or anti-money laundering (AML) checks — is that donations might not be quite what they seem. It certainly wouldn’t be impossible for a foreign entity to secretly fund a U.S midterm candidates success.

Cardenas says, that although the day may come when cryptocurrency is accepted in California elections:

For now, it’s not worth the risk.

Are Privacy Coins More of an Issue?

The risk varies from coin to coin, Bitcoin can be more easily tracked and a sender identified than Monero, for example.

Scott Duekeke, Director of cyber threat analysis company DarkTower testified in a June Senate hearing titled “Protecting Our Elections: Examining Shell Companies and Virtual Currencies as Avenues for Foreign Interference.” Duekeke said:

The greatest emerging threat of foreign funds reaching the coffers of political candidates, or to be used to fund other influence operations, are the increasing number and liquidity of privacy coins.

A  cryptocurrency analyst from ICO Alert, Joseph Argiro, believes that unless regulators decide which cryptocurrencies politicians can or cannot accept, it could be difficult to ensure bad actors are not funding U.S electoral candidates. Argiro says that anonymous coin Monero should not feature at all in donations, and that political surveillance is needed for cryptocurrency campaign contributions. He also noted:

The industry is so new that the tools are still being developed to facilitate that surveillance. And that’s why people are fearful.

An Onus on the Candidate or the Regulators?

The issue is not just tracking the source of donations as they arrive, but also the reporting of the donations by candidates. The Center for Public Integrity found identifying cryptocurrency contributions in some state electoral campaign finance reports is nearly impossible. So there is also the potential risk an unethical candidate might not declare a suspicious donation transparently enough to reveal an issue.

 Republican Austin Petersen of Missouri received the largest Bitcoin donation to date but had to return the donation in June 2018 as it exceeded federal contribution limits.

In 2012 a New Hampshire Republican candidate, Mark Warden, returned his cryptocurrency donations which came from Europe and South Africa. Some of these donations were from members of the Bitcoin community, outside of the U.S, hoping to encourage wider adoption for Bitcoin.

As the midterms approach, where cryptocurrency donations are allowed there will have almost certainly have been at least some cryptocurrency donations. Whether any of those carry risk may or may not be identified later as reporting and auditing are conducted.

With three billion-plus global users of cryptocurrency, such donations are a natural progression. This circles back to the age-old cryptocurrency issue — how do traditional infrastructures evolve to accommodate this new digital money, without stifling its benefits?

Do cryptocurrency donations pose a risk? Are they worth the risk for candidates, however ethical and moral they may be? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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London Bar BrewDog Dumps Cash Payments for Bitcoin

Craft brewery BrewDog, known in the UK for operating a chain of drinking pubs for hipsters, has opened a bar in Canary Wharf, London, that accepts not only bitcoin but also changes its markup based on the movement of the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index (FTSE). According to a report on the Drinks Business, the

The post London Bar BrewDog Dumps Cash Payments for Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Shows New Resilience as Markets Shake off Futures Settlement

Calm continues to reign over cryptocurrency markets despite Bitcoin futures settlement deadlines coming and going.

Bitcoin futures may have expired, but even that failed to produce volatility in cryptocurrency as markets remained flat Saturday, Oct. 27.


Market visualization from Coin360

Data from CoinMarketCap and Coin360 confirm that the end of the trading week – and with it the payment date for CME Group’s Bitcoin futures – had essentially no effect on either Bitcoin (BTC) or altcoin prices.

The behavior marks a stark contrast from just several months ago, with impending futures previously sparking losses in the run-up to their settlement date.

On Friday, Cointelegraph had noted that Bitcoin volatility had hit an 18-month low amid mixed forecasts about the 2018 bear market ending in the short term.

At the same time, commentators have claimed that a surprise uptick could well hit the crypto-economy unannounced, independent of the impact of institutional investors entering the space, something expected in the first half of next year.

For the meantime, BTC/USD remains tightly rangebound, at press time trading at $6,482 and hardly moving over the past 24 hours.


Bitcoin seven day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The story has broadly repeated across the top twenty altcoins by market cap, altcoin leader Ethereum (ETH) also seeing hardly any up or down activity since Friday.

Support at $200 has held, ETH/USD climbing ever so slightly to hit $204.36 at press time.


Ethereum seven day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Elsewhere in the top twenty coins, Stellar (XLM) has seen above average movement, down 2.37 percent on the day to press time.

Another exception is 17th ranking coin NEM (XEM), which has seen 2.36 percent losses to trade at $0.09.  

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has seen almost no change over the past 24 hours, let alone the past week, stagnant at around $209 billion.


Total market capitalization of all cryptos seven day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea Deal

Gary Davis, an Irishman who was extradited to the United States in July to face charges for his suspected involvement in the operations of Silk Road, has reportedly begun discusssing a plea bargain with prosecutors. Davis, who was known as ‘Libertas’ on Silk Road, has pled guilty to conspiring to distribute narcotics – a charge resulting from roles as a Silk Road administrator.

Also Read: Markets Update: Tranquil Markets Presage a Storm Brewing

Silk Road Administrator Libertas Pleads Guilty

Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea DealEarlier this month, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Davis had pled guilty to “conspiring to distribute massive quantities of narcotics,” a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years stemming from his role as “a member of the small administrative staff” tasked with operating Silk Road during 2013.

Authorities claim that Davis received weekly remittances from Ulbricht exceeding $1,000 during 2013 in exchange for his work as part of a three-man team that is believed to have operated the anonymous market on behalf of its founder, Ross Ulbricht. Davis served as a forum moderator from May 2013 up to June 2013 for Silk Road, and as a site administrator from June 2013 up until Oct. 2, 2013.

Davis is currently scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 17, 2019.

Silk Road Responsibilities

Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea DealCourt documents state that as a forum moderator, Davis had been responsible for, among other things, “monitoring user activity on discussion forums associated with the site, providing guidance to forum users concerning how to conduct business on Silk Road, and reporting any significant problems discussed on the forums to the site administrators and to Ulbricht.”

As a site administrator, Davis was later tasked with, “monitoring user activity on Silk Road for problems, responding to customer service inquiries, and resolving disputes between buyers and vendors.”

Berman emphasized his belief that Davis’ arrest evidences that the activities of dark web users are not beyond reproach from authorities, stating: “Silk Road was a secret online marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and a whole host of other criminal activity. As he admitted today, Gary Davis served as an administrator who helped run the Silk Road marketplace. Davis’s arrest, extradition from Ireland, and conviction should send a clear message: the purported anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from prosecution.”

The case is being prosecuted by the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Neff, Eun Young Choi, and Timothy Howard are in charge of the prosecution.

Are you surprised by the news that Libertas is seeking a plea deal? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea Deal appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Want to Make Money as a Programmer? Learn Blockchain Development

Despite the year-long bear market that has seen the prices of major cryptocurrencies drop 70 to 80 percent, the demand for blockchain developers is still at an all-time high. According to Mehul Patel, the CEO of San Francisco tech talent recruitment firm Hired, the demand for the blockchain has increased significantly in the past several

The post Want to Make Money as a Programmer? Learn Blockchain Development appeared first on CCN

Market Still Hot for Asia’s Largest Freelancer Marketplace App YouDeal


Customer-to-customer (C2C) platforms are already part of our daily lives. As a result, some of the world’s largest online communities are C2C platforms; Amazon is known and used worldwide whereas Craigslist and Taobao dominate their respective markets. YouDeal is a new player in the C2C platform industry and one that is set to change not only the service industry but the way we work forever.

YouDeal is a blockchain-based C2C personal and freelance services platform. It connects service providers, who are hired based on the services they offer and reviews of these services, to service buyers. Every user can both provide and hire services from the same account. The use of blockchain technology allows the platform to boast superior security and data privacy to its competitors, guaranteed and automatic payments through smart contracts, and legitimate, validated user reviews. Blockchain application allows for the removal of traditional obstacles associated with C2C services platforms, but also allows for the creation of a tokenized payment method, in this case, ‘YD Token’. Tokenized payments benefit users through international, instantaneous transactions but are also the perfect way to combat the user leakage associated with service platform predecessors.

2015 saw YouDeal enter the market working with its strategic partner, YueDan. YueDan is China’s largest online C2C personal services marketplace and the company that gave the inspiration for YouDeal. Initially, the YueDan platform offered common services, such as personal training, cleaning, yoga instruction, and driving. Now, the platform has expanded to provide the broader range of personal and freelancing services, from translation, virtual assistants, or household management to content creation and business consultancy. Users can find virtually any service they require from their mobile devices.

Through their strategic partnership, YouDeal and YueDan use similar features and share the same user ecosystem. This relationship gives YouDeal a vast source of users from its launch, while the application of blockchain technology removes the issues YueDan faced. The use of decentralized technology has increased user privacy and lead to guaranteed payments, which can be made to any service provider instantaneously anywhere around the world. YouDeal also uses an advanced matching algorithm, to match service buyers with the best service providers for their needs.

The foundations laid by YueDan mean that YouDeal already has over 60 million users providing more than 300 service categories covering 400 cities. Such a strong community gives the platform the potential to become the largest of its kind globally and – with 30,000 new users every day – it can do so in the very near future.

“YueDan focused on specific category types to drive revenue. That fit the China model, but we quickly realized that every market suits its own service mix. What is clear is that the overall need for services is very high. The digitization of our lives has resulted in a way to fulfil this need, and that’s what we can to achieve. Let’s say someone needs a cleaner, a language tutor or a business strategy consultant. They can hire them in the same place that they can sell their own personal services, which can be anything from freelance writing to gardening to website coding. Our platform bypasses the time and effort needed to source these services traditionally, and using blockchain technology means it’s also a super-secure process with minimal risk or need for third-party vetting. Everyone wins.

– Ken Dong, YouDeal Founder and CEO.

YouDeal is perfectly positioned to take on the changing workforce dynamic, with freelancing and ‘gig work’ becoming a mainstay of the way we earn. On top of this, the potential for YouDeal to open up markets with high unemployment rates or poor business infrastructure is undeniable; people in developing countries can use the platform to leapfrog traditional work arrangements and start offering their services directly to consumers. The technology backing the company removes data privacy concerns, which are becoming more and more important for users. Add this to YouDeal’s existing user database and it’s plain to see why investors like Node Capital, Genesis Capital and Grand Shores Fund are still investing in the project already, with an additional $8 million raised this year.

YouDeal is already making moves for an international launch and solidifying its position in the global freelancer revolution. YouDeal’s future aside, one thing is for sure: the service industry and the way we work will never again be the same.

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of NullTX. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

The post Market Still Hot for Asia’s Largest Freelancer Marketplace App YouDeal appeared first on NullTX.

Inside The Unbreakable Crypto Bunkers: How One Company Is Securing Billions Worth Of Cryptos

crypto bunker

Holding huge amounts of cryptocurrencies is a risky endeavor which in a number of cases has led to life-threatening experiences. With the value of cryptos having risen exponentially in 2017, crypto millionaires became a target for criminals. This created a huge demand for crypto safekeeping solutions and a number of startups came up to capitalize on this. One of this is Vo1t, a startup that has grown by leaps and bounds in a short time. For the first time, Vo1t revealed the structures put in place to safeguard the billions of dollars’ worth of crypto under their custody.

The Unbreakable Crypto Bunkers

Two years ago, a former independent security consultant to the U.K’s Ministry of Defense identified a lucrative business opportunity. The consultant, Miles Parry, launched Vo1t to little fanfare, but the firm now holds billions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies.

Vo1t (pronounced as Vault) has remained under the radar, attracting little attention to itself, with Parry refusing to give any media interviews. In his first interview, Parry gave Forbes an inside look at what is one of the most secure crypto storage methods to date.

Vo1t has built an undisclosed number of underground bunkers, all with the highest levels of security measures. The bunkers contain vaults which, if any of their hidden trip switches are set off, erase the personal keys to the crypto fortunes held. This ensures that should any unauthorized person bypass all the other measures – which is in itself a herculean task – he can’t get to the stored keys. The firm has duplicate keys stored in other locations, in different countries, regions and continents in case this happens.

The bunkers are protected by a team of highly-trained ex-military persons that patrols the location 24 hours a day. This protection is supplemented by a military-grade security gate which requires eight verification keys, all held by different people, some who are located in different regions. With cryptos being easily hacked over the internet, the vaults are internet-free. To further keep hackers away, the vaults are sealed within a Faraday cage to block all radio waves from accessing the servers.

All the crypto fortune secured by Vo1t is further covered by digital asset insurance from London-based insurance giant, Aon.

This top-level security has attracted many institutional crypto investors, a majority of whom are publicly listed companies in the U.K and the U.S. A majority of these companies asked not to be revealed as this could put their employees in danger. The only exception was David Allen, the COO of Equity Trust, a Westlake, California-based IRA provider. Speaking of his confidence in the level of security employed by Vo1t, he stated:

Vo1t have the technology, speed and security to keep our clients’ digital assets safe and the ability to quickly withdraw and convert back to cash when they need

Vo1t’s CEO has avoided any media attention, one of the factors that have pleased his clients. And even in his interview with Forbes, he didn’t disclose how much crypto the firm had in custody. This has been partly because it would put his employees in danger of being targeted by criminals. However, targeting the employees, or even Parry himself, would be pointless, he revealed.

Even if someone got my entire team into the bunker together, past all the security, they’re going to trigger the failsafes anyway. And when they do the location becomes worthless

The post Inside The Unbreakable Crypto Bunkers: How One Company Is Securing Billions Worth Of Cryptos appeared first on NullTX.

New Protocol Lets EOS dApps ‘Teleport’ Tokens from Ethereum

Arguably the most important contribution of Ethereum is the real-world implementation and accessibility of smart contracts. From smart contracts follow decentralized applications or “dApps,” which enable common users to interact with financial and other purposes of the blockchain without necessarily needing to be cryptocurrency savvy. So many smart contracts and dApps have been launched on

The post New Protocol Lets EOS dApps ‘Teleport’ Tokens from Ethereum appeared first on CCN Pays Viewers Cryptocurrency to Watch Content Pays Viewers Cryptocurrency to Watch Content

On Oct. 16, Elise de Loos from Cashpay Solutions launched a new video website called, a platform that utilizes bitcoin cash for ad revenue that’s shared with its users. Basically, Xhoneybadger members are paid in tokens called honeybadgers (XHB) every time they watch a video. Then, at the end of each month members can use their XHB to claim a share of BCH ad revenue or save their tokens.

Also read: Unwriter Launches ‘Bitsocket’ — A Push API for the Bitcoin Cash Network

Watch Videos and Get Paid in Bitcoin Cash Pays Viewers Cryptocurrency to Watch ContentThere’s a new video website called that pays members to view video content hosted on the platform. During the project’s first week of launch, it was originally dedicated to porn videos only, but since then the platform now hosts a variety of regular content. The platform was created by Elise de Loos from the Cashpay Solutions team, the creators of and the Cashpay wallet. The new Xhoneybadger platform has native tokens called honeybadgers (XHB), which are distributed to users every time they watch a video. Xhoneybadger creates revenue by selling advertisements and each ad-sale is converted to bitcoin cash (BCH) and at the end of each month, users can convert shares of XHB into BCH earnings. Pays Viewers Cryptocurrency to Watch Content

Additionally, honeybadgers can also be used to purchase Amazon gift cards from the Xhoneybadger website. The project creators say that once a “viable onchain token solution” is made available, then XHB will be able to be traded openly on the market. The company explains that the current redeem value for 1 XHB is $0.01 for gift cards with a $25 minimum limit. The Xhoneybadger team also says that the system is currently centralized and offchain “until one of the current token solutions matures.” Pays Viewers Cryptocurrency to Watch Content

A Variety of Videos, Articles, and Porn

While perusing through Xhoneybadger’s new regular video content, the application has a good variety of subjects to choose from including technology, art, health, bitcoin cash, astronomy, music, philosophy, and more. For those who dig adult content, the porn section has a good amount of erotic entertainment. The pornographic section is separated from the regular videos and the site warns the user that they have to be 18 years or older to visit that area. There’s also an assortment of descriptive search words that lead to an array of videos tethered to a specific type of adult content or fetish. Pays Viewers Cryptocurrency to Watch Content
Initially, Xhoneybadger was all porn but now the site offers all content.

Overall, the platform has a surprisingly large amount of video content for a project that just started less than two weeks ago. Moreover, the website just added regular videos and the ability to earn funds by reading articles on Oct. 24. Signing up for Xhoneybadger only requires an email address, and after registering the user is brought to an account dashboard. The account dashboard shows the user’s profile details, addresses, a download shop, and an XHB withdrawal section. In addition to the shop that sells Amazon gift cards, the e-commerce section sells XHB as well.

Just like any new bitcoin cash platform stepping into the wild, the Xhoneybadger platform will likely need to gather a good amount of users to stay viable. The platform’s front page does not reveal any porn, so people who dislike this type of video material are not confronted with something they don’t expect. But for people who love pornography and have no problem with sexual content, the website surely caters to this crowd of viewers too.

What do you think about the video site that allows viewers to earn bitcoin cash? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: does not endorse this product/service. Review editorials are intended for informational purposes only. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. or the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. 

Images via, Shutterstock, and Jamie Redman.

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We Will Provide Missing Link for Institutional Investors, Says Fidelity Crypto Head

The president of Fidelity Digital Asset Services has spoken about the company’s plans in an interview, such as the decision not to launch an in-house exchange, how it intends to attract more institutional investors, and why it’s crypto offering is focused on custody and trade execution.

Crypto Paired with More Traditional Financial Models

In his interview with Laura Shin, yesterday, on her Unconfirmed podcast, Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity’s new investment arm, outlined the asset management’s game plan.

Rather than operating an exchange — which Jessop says “other folks are already doing quite a good job at” — the firm instead wants to focus its energy on creating high quality market access services for its customers.

To make this happen, Fidelity intends to work with existing exchange and infrastructure providers to evolve the market in a direction that “suits the needs of institutions” as opposed to retail clients (at least for the near future). However, Jessop declined to divulge which exchanges have so far garnered Fidelity’s stamp of approval.

In order to meet the “needs of institutions,” Fidelity is building its platform around a more traditional model. This move is in response to what Jessop sees as a big problem in the current market: that most cryptocurrency exchanges require buyers and sellers to have funds upfront, and this need for pre-funded accounts creates friction.

In order to provide a frictionless experience, Fidelity plans to follow a model that permits users to execute trades at one or more exchanges at best price, then determine how to settle. This is what institutional demand requires, Jessop says.

Fidelity: Perfect Fit for Custody Solution

He goes further, though, explaining how currently there are lots of investors who have large positions in crypto that face difficulties executing trades due to the lack of a suitable custodian.

This is the gap in the market Fidelity hopes to fill.

Jessop believes that Fidelity’s vaulted cold storage custody solution, when paired with its traditional security protocols (the “Fidelity standard”), will be the missing link that finally lures a herd of institutional investors into the cryptosphere.

Jessop continues, saying that it’s Fidelity, and only Fidelity, that has the tools to make this happen. He explains that the level of security necessary to safeguard customer’s private keys is a mix of physical security, cybersecurity, and operation security, which, as Jessop points out, Fidelity has a lot of experience with.

Not only is the firm currently handling over $7 trillion in assets, but it’s been researching and experimenting with cryptocurrencies and blockchain since 2014.

This is exactly what Fidelity is selling to institutional customers: “we know how to manage security at scale.”

Accelerated Influx of Institutional Investors

In closing, Jessop highlights the fact that as of late there’s been a rapid maturation of interest in the industry.

This includes real work that is being done to determine the role of digital assets in a broader investment thesis such afamily offices and emerging asset managers who are looking to create trust products and other market access vehicles for crypto.

This reflects the fact that investors are starting to do work around the digital asset class in the same way that they try to understand equity markets of fixed income markets. Jessop points out that this is a very healthy sign for the industry moving forward.

It’s now been 10 years since the world was introduced to the Bitcoin whitepaper. However, according to Jessop it is Fidelity’s new crypto offerings, paired with the state of the growing industry, that create the perfect storm for an acceleration of institutional investors into the market. 

Leading the Curve

Looking ahead, on the back of this institutional evolution into the space, we can “expect more [influx] over this year and into ‘19, which will raise the bar for everyone and help accelerate growth in the market,” Jessop claims.

Although he is willing to admit that Fidelity may not have made a particularly early entrance into the crypto space (compared to startups, the very nature of institutions means they typically don’t lead the market in new ventures), today, with its offerings geared towards attracting institutional investors, the firm is in many ways ahead of the majority of its Wall Street competitors:

“Fidelity is excited to be the first, or one of the first, and expect there will be more [asset management firms] behind us,” Jessop concludes.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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M2O Project – Loyalty Rewards Meet Blockchain


There’s nothing more appealing to consumers than to get rewarded for their loyalty to a brand. The sudden release of dopamine rigged by the fact that the purchase we are making will lead us closer to a coveted prize. Who doesn’t love that?

But loyalty rewards, miles and points are usually something we don’t fully use. Maybe because we participate in many loyalty programs and we don’t keep track of them effectively. Maybe it’s the fact that some programs include many restrictions such as expiry dates that don’t allow us to spend bonuses whenever we want. In the end, points tend to resemble a bunch of socks your grandmother gave you which you appreciate but never really get around to using them, at all.

There are, however, some indications that this is about to change. It is clear by now that loyalty programs are a basic, yet highly effective business tool. Companies let us, their beloved clients, save some money by exchanging those points for their products and services. What’s different about these modern times is that more and more companies are choosing, most likely due to customer demand, that the accumulated points and miles can be spent outside of the enterprise or business you earned them. Why can’t I use my airline points to pay for lunch? Now, it finally seems we are initiating a new age for loyalty. One that, essentially, turns points into cash.

While all of this sounds awesome there’s still a lot to be worked out. How, exactly, will my loyalty points become like cash? As in, how will I be able to spend them anywhere and even actually turn them into cash? These customer questions are challenging the legacy tools companies have used for a long time because of the simple fact that the technology to make mileage and points a universal financial asset for people has not been developed.

The reason why this new generation of loyalty programs is emerging stems from the fact that old school loyalty points are no longer effective for consumers. Take Starbucks for example. This giant chain of coffee shops once was giving a free cup of coffee after the purchase of 15. These points, called gold stars, offered a very low reward rate. Later Starbucks changed it for 2 stars per every dollar spent, so it cost 125 stars to get that same cup of coffee. Needless to say the new system didn’t go well with the customers and Starbucks got flooded with bad social media reaction that hurt sales and PR.

In fact, most classic loyalty programs suffer from low engagement. In 2015, U.S. consumers participated in 50% of the loyalty programs they belonged to. This meant a steep decline from the previous year’s 71.6% active participation rate. Studies also show that highly-engaged customers buy 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction, according to a Rosetta Consulting study.

This means standard loyalty and mileage industry needs a total change and it needs it fast.

With this a single company is stepping up to the challenge of providing a much better experience. The blockchain venture M2O has developed a platform that will combine Fintech services such as a bank, payments, and a card. So, any mileage and points can be accumulated in a single place. Spending rewards is now as universal as using cash.

M2O uses blockchain to keep transactions secure, fast, and fraud-free which makes the project a game changer in the loyalty programs industry.

The company is also leveraging many benefits that traditional rewards schemes have not taken into account until now. It considers points and miles a financial asset and therefore helps people convert them into M2O tokens that can be spent any time and anywhere on different products and services.

Remember that release of dopamine for accumulating points? With M2O purchases of your favorite brands will basically turn into cash rewards without any of the restrictions we usually expect from these programs. This sounds like a much better deal, right?

About the project

M2O is connecting the traditional systems for rewards and points to a completely new global platform powered by blockchain and its own digital currency. The platform will allow conversion of miles or points awarded from any loyalty programs to be exchanged for M2O coins. With this cryptocurrency holders will be able to access a myriad of FinTech services such as making payments and cashing out their points for fiat money, making it highly convenient for everyday use.

The M2O global integrated platform aims to give total freedom to consumers and users. Holders of M2O token will be able to trade their coins as they wish, besides having the ability to cash out in fiat. Adding one more use for their digital coin, the project’s premium shopping mall is also being developed to serve as a one-point shop for all M2O cryptocurrency holders to pay with their coins for cool products.

Get started by joining their Initial Coin Offering that will begin on October 29 and will only last till November 23. To know more about the project, please visit its website, or follow it on Facebook, Twitter or join the official Telegram group.

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of NullTX. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

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Why Fidelity’s Blockchain Incubator Lead Joined a Crypto Startup

Blockchain enterprise software startup Bloq has hired Fidelity alum Hadley Stern for its management team. Stern, who was the architect of Fidelity Investment’s digital assets arm, joins Bloq in the newly created role of chief operating officer where he will spearhead the next chapter of growth for the startup. Stern was the driving force behind Fidelity’s budding

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Cybercrime-As-A-Service Has Become a $1tn Industry


In the world of cybercrime, various threats have emerged over the past few years. Computer and mobile users know that all too well, as it is evident staying safe is an ongoing challenge. The rise of cybercrime-as-a-service will ensure this process does not come to an end anytime soon. It creates a very troublesome situation for consumers and security researchers alike.

The Popularity of Cybercrime-as-a-Service

Any concept in the world can be turned into an “as-a-service” model. This applies to both legitimate and criminal activities alike. Especially the latter aspect has plenty of people concerned, for more than obvious reasons. Criminals have made a lot of money through cybercrime over the years, and it seems the rewards only become easier to come by as more time progresses.

New research confirms cybercrime-as-a-service will only continue to grow more popular. Several key trends have been identified in this regard, although it is possible the landscape will go well beyond these particular offerings. Especially illegitimate e-commerce is a problematic venture, primarily because most of this activity takes place on the darknet. Even though people can use Tor for legitimate ecommerce as well, the illicit activity’s value vastly outweighs the legitimate offerings.

Additionally, researchers are now convinced cybercrime-as-a-service is no longer a niche market. Although things looked very different just a few years ago, a major shift has taken place ever since. Despite only being pursued by several done people at first, things have taken a turn for the worse. More specifically, the CaaS business model now employs hundreds of users who are all looking to make money quickly.

Unfortunately, it appears cybercrime is still one of the more rewarding business models these days. The growth of ransomware, cryptojacking, data-stealing malware, and others has not gone by unnoticed. This further shows criminals will continue to explore business opportunities in this regard, albeit no one knows for sure how much money can be made from exploring these ventures. It is evident CaaS has turned into a $1tn business recently.

As one would come to expect, the cybercrime-as-a-service model has some trends which are more favorable than others. In this particular report, it seems three key pillars stand out once again. Zero-day exploits will always be popular, primarily because they allow criminals to explore different ventures. Ransomware will also remain popular, for rather obvious reasons. DDoS Extortion is the surprising third entry on this list, albeit companies are afraid of having their services crippled for an extended period of time.

No one can deny cybercrime-as-a-service is a trend worth keeping an eye on. Although it does not convey a positive message by any means, no one can afford to ignore these threats for an extended period of time. Especially with IoT becoming a lot more popular, it is evident the number of attack vectors will only continue to increase over time. Preparing for the worst is no unnecessary luxury at this time.

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Students are Paying in Bitcoin to Study Blockchain in Paris

Students are Paying in Bitcoin to Study Blockchain in Paris

Financia Business School, a dedicated financial and business degree awarding institute in Paris, now teaches blockchain and accepts cryptocurrency payments from its students.

The school, founded in 2014 and offering post-Bachelor and MBA level qualifications,  teaches master classes in fintech and now is one of a number of establishments to teach blockchain in France.

Financia’s alumni go on to work for the likes of BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and Crédit Agricole.

Students can Now Pay in Bitcoin

Financia says it works to stay up to date on developments in the financial sector and be at the cutting edge of fintech. For its 25% foreign student enrollment money transfers can be complex, so cryptocurrency payments have been introduced to ease this process and to track and secure transfers.

The school has partnered with blockchain startup Coin Capital, also based in Paris, to facilitate the process and support students.

So far five students have paid their fees in cryptocurrency for the 2018 school year including Adam Hasib who says his early investment in Bitcoin helped him pay his tuition fees.

I became interested in this technology very early on and quickly became a staunch follower of the Blockchain’s decentralized model. By June 2017 I had acquired my first bitcoins, which allowed me to pay the registration deposit at school.

Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Education

Elsewhere in Europe, the London School of Economics launched a course titled “Cryptocurrency Investment and Disruption” in July 2018. In the U.S a study in September revealed that nine percent of U.S undergraduates based all over the world had already taken a blockchain related class and 26 percent intended to.

U.S.-based Stanford University tops the list of the world’s best universities with the most cryptocurrency and blockchain courses, found an earlier study in August 2018. The same study also found that 40% of the world’s top 50 universities now offer at least one class covering blockchain or cryptocurrencies.

The demand for blockchain and cryptocurrency talent is increasing rapidly, another recent study by jobs platform Glassdoor found jobs in the U.S in the sector had risen 300 percent from 2017 to 2018.  Recruitment firm Robert Walters found a 50 percent upturn on the number of similar jobs in Asia since 2017.

Given the growth in cryptocurrency and blockchain related projects and jobs, should more relevant courses be offered in higher education to prevent another technological skills gap? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Blockchain-Powered Islamic Bonds to Fund Microfinance Projects in Indonesia

Indonesian firm Blossom Finance has announced plans to launch blockchain-based sukuk, Islamic bonds, to fund microfinance projects in the Muslim-majority country.

Blossom Finance’s “Smart Sukuk” to Automate Issuance of Islamic Bonds

The project, to roll out in the coming months, involves using distributed ledger technology to keep issuance costs low while attracting a large pool of retail investors, said Khalid Howladar, chief strategy officer.

“Technology allows you to onboard customers in a far cheaper way than you could ever do before, Howladar said.

Howladar added that the deal would be smaller than most other sukuk, but the asset would use a profit-sharing structure and carry a profit rate of around 10 percent. Other planned blockchain-based sukuk will aim to fund an environmental waste disposal project and a hospital expansion, Reuters reported.

Blossom Finance’s “Smart Sukuk” platform leverages Ethereum blockchain smart contracts and increases the efficiency and reach of sukuk issuance by standardizing and automating much of the legal, accounting, and payment overhead of conventional sukuk offerings.

Smart Sukuks charge no upfront fees or costs to the institutions or investors. Rather, Blossom takes a 20% share of the investor’s profits – called a carried capital interest, Matthew J. Martin, chief executive, explained in a statement.

“It’s all about having skin in the game. The world is full of quick money bankers that simply want to transfer the risk away – and that is completely against the spirit of Islamic finance. The excessive risk transferred garbage assets that bankers love led to the 2008 worldwide financial implosion. Sukuk is the polar opposite: it’s based on assets, not debt; it involves risk participation, not risk transfer.”

What distinguishes a sukuk as a “securitized” asset is that after the issuance of a share of ownership, investors can hold a sukuk until maturity and receive payments from the fund-raising institution or they can sell their ownership to a third party in the secondary market.

With Blossom’s Smart Sukuk, fundraisers collect funds from investors in exchange for Smart Sukuk Tokens, which represent an ownership portion of the sukuk.

Payments are automatically distributed back to the Smart Sukuk Token holders via the blockchain according to the rules of the smart contract and without the need of conventional banks or intermediaries.

Moreover, the blockchain product does not require institutions to add cryptocurrency to their balance sheet as the Smart Sukuk supports the issuance of Sharia-compliant bonds in local currency.

BMT Bina Ummah, a non-profit cooperative located in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, is using Blossom Finance’s platform to ask for the equivalent of $85,000. Profit from microfinance activities will be split in a ratio of 40% to the investor and 60% to the issuer.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Former Intel Executive Dr. Jackson He Joins Blockchain Startup Skynet

skynet startup

Co-founder and CEO of YingZi Technology and former Intel executive has been announced as an advisor to the futuristic Internet of Things (IoT) blockchain chip startup, Skynet.

Dr. Jackson He is famed for his role at Intel which spanned 23 years at an executive level before founding and running YingZi Technology Ltd, a blockchain and IoT company that serves agriculture supply chains.

Extensive Credentials

During his time at Intel, Dr. He spent six years as the General Manager of Intel Asia and Pacific R&D Ltd., as well as the General Manager of Intel China Software and Services Group (SSG) amongst numerous senior leadership positions within some of Intel’s most prestigious arms such as Intel AI Product Group, Intel Datacenter Group, Intel IT, and Intel Labs. Furthermore, Dr. He was an Intel representative at numerous standards groups such as OASIS, WS-I, DMTF and led the Cloudera and Intel Partnership for big data solutions in China.

The startup he is now a part of, Skynet, is also a blockchain and IoT company with a twist; it positions itself as a platform with an integrated blockchain and optimized chip solution. With this, Skynet’s goal is to connect billions of IoT devices over the next several years which it believes will instantly provide infrastructure and adoption of both cryptocurrencies and the Skynet ecosystem.

Wealth of Experience

Dr. He is renowned for his expertise in industry standard protocols and large-scale enterprise cloud solutions.  Previously the technology mogul worked with Telco, as well as healthcare and internet service providers from both the United States and China. He also established the China Open Source Cloud League (COSCL) – a tech community of Chinese organizations initiated by Intel.

Having received a Ph.D. and MBA from the University of Hawaii, Dr. He has also published over thirty technical papers as well as a book on future computing models.

His current and most recent post as co-founder and CEO of Yingzi Technology Ltd. has seen him take to the nascent blockchain and IoT industry to much fanfare. According to many experts, the marriage of these two emerging technologies applied to supply chain systems is believed to be wildly beneficial.

Most recently, Yingzi Technology unveiled its latest range of products to improve pig farming.

Ace Team

According to the press release from Skynet:

“With Jackson’s vast experience from spearheading the IoT and blockchain revolution as the CEO of Yingzi to establishing lasting industry standards as a long-time Executive at Intel, we are excited to receive his mentorship as we aim to make Skynet the new industry standard and infrastructure for the Internet of Things and blockchain technology.”

Bolstering the industry-leading knowledge of Dr. He is a team of industry veterans and academics at Skynet such as former Vice President (VP) of Samsung and Founder of NeoPace Telecom Dr. Jae Jung, and Dr. Carl Shi, former VP of Qualcomm and inventor of over 400 patents.

As mentioned earlier, Skynet aims to interconnect billions of IoT devices with its blockchain chip and blockchain platform by 2020, making it a leader in both the blockchain and IoT field.

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of NullTX. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

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Major Economies Should Coordinate Crypto Regulations: Circle CEO

Major economies around the world should coordinate efforts to create global crypto regulations, said Jeremy Allaire during his interview with Reuters. The CEO of Circle, a cryptocurrency startup backed by Goldman Sachs and valued at $3 billion, highlighted an apparent lack of regulations across the world in the face of booming crypto adoption. The entrepreneur recognized

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Exchanges Roundup: SBI to Develop Wallet, Huobi Targets New Markets

In recent news pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges, SBI Group has unveiled a partnership with Sepior that will see the companies jointly develop a proprietary wallet, Huobi has announced it is establishing an operational base in Dubai to target the African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cryptocurrency markets, and Trijo, a Swedish crypto exchange, has received Estonian licensing that allows the company to offer services to residents of all EU nations.

Also Read: Czech Bank Launches Cryptocurrency-Friendly Services 

SBI and Sepior Partner to Develop Proprietary Wallet

Exchanges Roundup: SBI to Develop Wallet, Huobi Targets New MarketsMajor Japanese financial services company SBI Group has announced a partnership with Danish cryptography security company Sepior Aps to jointly develop “a proprietary wallet to secure the online contents and transactions on SBI’s virtual currencies exchange platform, Vctrade.”

The president and chief executive officer of SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao, described Sepior as a “market leader in cryptography and threshold MPC,” praising the company’s facilitation of “secure online transactions without the classic reliance on a single trusted party.”

Ahmet Tuncay, the chief executive officer of Sepior, stated: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the SBI Group.”

Huobi Announces Plan to Expand Into International Markets

Exchanges Roundup: SBI to Develop Wallet, Huobi Targets New MarketsSpeaking at the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai, Huobi Mena co-founder, Mohit Davar, announced the company’s intention to expand into the cryptocurrency markets of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

“We are very excited to bring the Huobi blockchain and digital asset ecosystem to the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. As Dubai is leading the blockchain effort in the region, it made sense for us to set up our Regional Head Office here,” said Davar.

Davar also announced that Huobi has established a team based in Dubai which will be tasked with facilitating “OTC trading, token-to-token trading, blockchain projects incubation, community development, and an educational center” targeting customers based in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. The beta version of the platform is live, currently hosting token-to-token and OTC trading.

Trijo Granted Regulatory Licensing in Estonia

Exchanges Roundup: SBI to Develop Wallet, Huobi Targets New MarketsSwedish cryptocurrency exchange Trijo has been granted licensing from the Financial Supervisory Authority of Estonia. The regulatory apparatus governing Trijo’s operations was designed specifically for cryptocurrency exchanges and will allow the exchange to offer services to all European Union (EU) nations.

Totte Löfström, the chief executive officer and founder of Trijo, praised Estonia’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, stating: “We intended to work entirely from Sweden, but it does not work when there are so many better-tailored solutions abroad.”

Citing the benefits of being “one of the few” companies to receive the new Estonian licensing, Löfström stated: “It means greater security for our customers. They can be sure that we comply with laws and regulations for money laundering, but also that we have obligations to our customers that others do not have.”

Do you think that more major financial institutions like SBI will seek to offer cryptocurrency services? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Call of Duty Players Linked to $3 million Cryptocurrency Theft

A gang of Call of Duty players is suspected of masterminding a plan to steal more than $3 million in cryptocurrency. Citing unsealed court documents, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the group — which includes a Dolton, IL man and a man from Bloomington, IL — is alleged to have hacked into cryptocurrency wallets after

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Dapps vs mApps

dapps vs mapps

A lot of developments are taking place behind the scenes of most cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects. While there is a very strong focus on dApps right now, it would appear the concept of mApps should not be overlooked either. Now is a good time to see what makes these concepts different, and whether or not one offers more advantages over the other.

The dApp Ecosystem is Booming

Various cryptocurrency and blockchain projects have seen an influx of dApps over the years. A dApp is a single-ledger distributed application which can unlock new business models and use cases. In the case of Ethereum, its dApp ecosystem has gone off without a hitch over the past few years, despite hitting a few roadblocks in terms of scaling and network congestion.

Other projects seeing a lot of success include EOS and TRON, to name just two. NEO is also making a name for itself in the dApp industry, although there is still plenty of work to be done. There are still plenty of concerns as to whether or not dApps can deliver on their initial promise, primarily because so many projects have yet to show a working world-changing service to the masses right now.

One problem holding back mass dApp adoption right now is how they remain relatively inaccessible. While solutions such as Metamask make things a bit easier, it is still fairly confusing for novice enthusiasts or people who simply aren’t well-versed in using computer software. As such, it is possible adoption of dApps will mainly remain a niche market, for the time being.

Are mApps Any Better?

A very peculiar trend has begun taking shape in the form of mApps. Contrary to a dApp, these mApps are not limited to a single blockchain or project. Instead, they can allow for exchanging data across multiple networks, which can unlock a lot of new potential use cases moving forward. Moreover, it allows for tracking different things, including asset ownership changes.

As one would come to expect from such a novel concept, there are still some growing pains to contend with. Building mApps is a bit different primarily because it involves bridging the gap between different blockchains. Every chain has its own infrastructure, ruleset, and governance model. Combining those different aspects into one versatile and multifunctional application is not easy, although a solution appears to be in the works.

Overledger wants to decouple transactions and messaging layers through a cross-chain ordering solution. This concept is also backward compatible, as it can integrate with legacy data sources and infrastructures. So far, a few mApps are being built already, although this concept does not benefit from a traction similar to the dApp industry just yet.

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IBM Survey: No Major Central Bank Will Implement CBDCs in the Near-Term

A report on central bank digital currencies has found that 61% of institutions don’t think a blockchain is necessary due to low efficiency gains during trials.

IBM Survey Finds That Central Banks Won’t Be Introducing CBDCs in Near-Term

The report was conducted by IBM and the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF).

The survey, finalized on 21 September 2018, recognized several policy concerns, mainly in regard to financial stability and the implications of widening access to central bank accounts.

While 38 percent of respondents came from institutions that are actively researching and trialing wholesale CBDCs, no major central bank intends to implement a retail CBDC in the near-term.

Providing a holistic view of approaches to setting up a wholesale CBDC, which are deemed to be the most relevant digital currencies for the central banking and regulatory community, the IBM report demystifies the popular idea that banks are no longer needed in the financial system, said Jesse Lund, vice president of IBM Blockchain.

“The social movement behind Bitcoin has perpetuated a mistaken idea that banks are no longer necessary actors for secure global money transfer.”

According to the report, countries which decide to adopt CDBCs are likely to create a central bank-issued, fiat currency-backed digital token, with no significant monetary policy implications and designed simply as a digital reserve.

The U.S. monetary system may integrate blockchain in the future, taking into account the words of Lael Brainard, member of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

“Digital tokens for wholesale payments and some aspects of distributed ledger technology – the key technologies underlying cryptocurrencies – may hold promise for strengthening traditional financial instruments and markets.”

What could have profound geopolitical and regulatory implications is the eventual expansion of wholesale CBDC to serve as a digital global reserve asset along the lines of the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing right.

Distributed ledger technology may not be necessary in the eyes of the majority of respondents. Even the Bank of England (BoE), which shows enthusiasm regarding blockchain, says the technology is not yet mature for purposes of real-time gross settlement.

The report noted:

“61% of central banks said a blockchain may not be necessary as they have observed few efficiency gains during trials, given that the technology is still in early stages of development. Central banks such as the Bank of England believe DLT holds promise, but at this stage the Bank concludes that the technology is not sufficiently mature to be the core of next-generation RTGS systems.”

IBM Blockchain argues that wholesale CBDC may improve efficiency, speed, and resilience, as well as lower the cost and complexity associated with existing faulty and error-prone payments systems.

Central bank-issued CBDC may remove credit risk and ensure stability of the token’s value, the report argues, adding that liquidity risk is removed as the central bank can issue more tokens.

The document also states that a decentralized system provides more independence to participants, who can send tokens peer-to-peer and settle central bank money in real time, regardless of the central operator being online or not.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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‘Pretty Upset’: Coinbase Staff Protest as Company Cuts ‘at Least 15’ Jobs, Say Sources

Coinbase has confirmed it has made lay-offs among several departments but did not comment on the rumored numbers involved.

U.S. cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has cut “at least” fifteen staff after hiring 250 this year, Yahoo Finance quotes unidentified sources as saying Friday, Oct. 26.

In a curious U-turn following a year of pledges to bolster the number of workers dealing with exploding customer demand, the company confirmed the lay-offs in a statement about its future hiring practices.

“We’ve learned that certain teams who are co-located are more efficient, effective, and happier in their roles,” Yahoo quotes the statement as reading:

“So moving forward, some teams – including Support, Fraud, and Compliance – will only hire employees into Coinbase offices.”

While Coinbase did not officially confirm how many employees had lost their jobs, “insider” sources at the company said the number was not lower than fifteen.

“People here are pretty upset about it, and so far senior leadership is handling communications poorly,” one source told Yahoo.

Coinbase had faced a considerable backlash beginning in 2017 after an influx of users onto its exchange sparked a host of technical and customer support problems. As a result, executives pledged to significantly expand the number of staff available to service customer complaints.

Prior to the dismissals, Coinbase had 500 employees as of September, half of whom had begun work this year.

In October, the company saw a reported valuation of $8 billion ahead of alleged plans to launch an IPO.

Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Spotlight: Jolt

lightning bolt 2

In the cryptocurrency industry, hardware wallets play an increasing role of importance. Secure storage solutions for digital wealth are a lot more difficult to come by than some users anticipate. In the case of Nano, a native hardware wallet known as Jolt is being developed. It is a very interesting project, albeit there is still a lot of work to be done prior to bringing this project to market.

The Jolt Idea Explained

The top cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturers integrate support for different currencies and tokens whenever they can. For Nano users, the options are very limited right now in this department, which prompted some enthusiasts to build their own hardware wallet. As such, Jolt was born, although the project is far from finalized at this stage. Jolt will, apparently also support other cryptocurrencies, which makes it a potential competitor to Ledger and Trezor.

Under the Hood of Jolt

Even though this project has been in development for quite some time now, there is still more work to be done. The main selling point of Jolt –  other than supporting Nano – is how it will be open-source and focus on strong security first and foremost. It is also a more “powerful” device in terms of RAM, CPU, and storage when compared to the current market leaders.

As one would expect from a hardware wallet, it has its own source of connectivity. Unlike most other models on the market today, Jolt will actively support Bluetooth and Wifi. Although this wireless communication protocol may not be the most secure by default, the Jolt developers do not seem overly concerned about that aspect. This is a standalone device, after all, thus offering such connectivity is not an unnecessary luxury either.

A new hardware wallet on this magnitude cannot be created out of thin air overnight. The Jolt team has been working on building its own custom firmware, which seems to be going according to plan. There is also an app-based coin system, which sounds somewhat similar to how Ledger’s coin support works. On the hardware side, the wallet now boasts a custom-designed circuit board. It is still possible for DIY enthusiasts to put together their own hardware wallet through inexpensive components.

The Road Ahead

While significant progress has been made on Jolt, the project is far from production-ready at this time. For the time being, the team hopes to have a production release ready in early 2019, albeit no specific information has been released as of yet. There is still a lot of work on the software side of things as well, and third-party app developer documentation is still in the early stages. For Nano users, as well as holders of the other undisclosed supported cryptocurrencies, the Jolt wallet can be a pretty big game changer altogether.

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