Doomsday Clock Nears Midnight, Time to Buy Bitcoin?

Doomsday Clock Nears Midnight, Time to Buy Bitcoin?

The Doomsday Clock is now closer than its ever been in its 73 year history to spelling out the total destruction of mankind. Surely it must be Bitcoin o’clock now? 

The world’s experts sound the alarm
Amid the rumors that Bitcoin and other Proof of Work (PoW) cryptocurrencies are unsustainable drains on the environment which consume too many resources, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has updated the famed Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds closer to midnight. The Panel of Nobel Laureates cited climate change and the risk of nuclear war as the two primary reasons to sound the alarm. It’s 100 seconds to midnight. The closest since 1953, at the height of the Cold War.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is a non profit organization focused on global security and climate issues caused by technological advance. They originally instituted the Doomsday Clock devastation metric 73 years ago, in the era of the Manhattan project, just after the first atomic strikes on Japan, and the elevated tensions of the Cold War brought nuclear non-proliferation into the public eye. The recent events in the Middle East with the increased tensions with Iran, along with the huge focus on climate change spearheaded by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, have sparked the Bulletin to issue their dire warning. The recent Corona Virus outbreak may just be an immediate symptom to a much greater problem.
Don’t trust, verify
Popular Bitcoin commentator and host of the What Bitcoin Did? podcast, Peter McCormack, expressed a genuine curiosity as to why some Bitcoiners deny the purported destructive impact of Bitcoin mining and energy consumption for PoW blockchains.

Why is climate denialism so prevalent amongst Bitcoiners?
Is it simply down to political leaning and vocalised climate warnings are promoted more by the left, whereas the right is complicit in supporting denialism? https://t.co/WoKoqXiDix
— Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) January 22, 2020

Peter’s question received an immediate and thought-provoking response from BitcoinTina, a pseudonymous Bitcoin Maximalist and privacy advocate, who posits that maybe the information we have heard about Bitcoin’s electricity consumption, which is more than a lot of European countries consume, isn’t as bad as it’s made to seem.

Because philosophically #bitcoiners have a view of Don’t Trust Verify as a core belief.
Much of the climate change arguments smell of half truths.
Nothing in life is totally one sided. Everything has trade offs.
When only one side is discussed many distrust. https://t.co/vldsZYNOsU
— BitcoinTina– “TINA” [340-342➞] (@BitcoinTina) January 23, 2020

This is actually a pretty hot take, considering that recent studies have proved that Bitcoin mining is actually being carried out with 80% renewable resources. This is a game changer for many industries which have energy waste, which innovative new renewable energy techniques to harness this waste for mining may drive a new revolution in green energy. Some of the most exciting developments in Bitcoin mining are projects like harnessing waste energy from oil wells and natural gas production.
It’s cold hard truths such as these that leave many Bitcoin advocates asking why climate alarmists don’t promote Bitcoin as a catalyst to revolutionize green energy, instead of demonizing it.
Bitcoin is worth it
Saifedean Ammous, the acclaimed author of the groundbreaking economic treatise the Bitcoin Standard, perhaps puts it most succinctly in this Tweet:

Bitcoin uses this much energy because it’s worth it. What cheaper method do you have for final settlement of sound money around the world in under an hour? How much energy do central banks use to produce their easy money? https://t.co/7JgsRNrDX5
— Saifedean Ammous (@saifedean) November 16, 2017

Bitcoin’s mining hash rate is higher than ever, so it is unlikely that the industry securing and validating the world’s largest blockchain will just fade away. More likely, as the game-theoretical incentives designed into Bitcoin enforce a new economic paradigm, we will see mining drive green energy production innovation.
What do you think? Will Bitcoin energy usage cause more climate disaster or not? Let us know in the comments.

Images via Shutterstock, Youtube @ABCnews, Twitter @saifedean @BitcoinTina @PeterMcCormack The post appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Alexander Vinnik Accused of Laundering Billions Through BTC-e Extradited to France

Russian Alexander Vinnik Accused of Laundering Billions Through BTC-e Extradited to France

Alexander Vinnik, the Russian-born IT specialist who spent over two years in detention in Greece, where he was arrested on a U.S. warrant, is now in Paris. The alleged BTC-e operator, suspected of laundering at least $4 billion through the now defunct crypto exchange, has been handed over to France after the Greek judiciary turned down a plea against his extradition.

Also read: Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Raises $700,000 in Crypto Donations

From a Greek Hospital to a French

On Thursday, law enforcement officials took Alexander Vinnik from a Greek hospital away in an unknown direction, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported. That happened right after the Council of State, the highest administrative court in Greece, published its decision to dismiss a complaint filed by Vinnik’s lawyers against his extradition to France and the United States. Ekaterina Sakellaropoulou, the court’s presiding judge until recently, was elected the first female president of Greece.

Alexander Vinnik Accused of Laundering Billions Through BTC-e Extradited to France
Ekaterina Sakellaropoulou and Alexander Vinnik. Source: Zoe Konstantopoulou

The accused was taken to the airport and eventually transported to France where he is currently in the Hotel Dieu hospital in Pairs, his Greek lawyer Zoe Konstantopoulou announced on Facebook. Last night, French authorities questioned Vinnik, reportedly against his will. He is in a deteriorating condition more than 30 days since he started his latest hunger strike, she added, quoting a French colleague. Social media commenters speculated that French authorities were in a hurry to interrogate Vinnik in order to proceed with his extradition to the U.S.

Alexander Vinnik was arrested in the Greek city of Thessaloniki in July, 2017 during a family vacation. U.S. prosecutors accuse him of illegally establishing and operating the BTC-e digital asset trading platform, through which between $4 billion and $9 billion were allegedly laundered. Vinnik is also wanted in his home country for the theft of 600,000 rubles (less than $10,000) from a defrauded entity and Russia has tried to secure his extradition to Moscow.

Paris Accuses Vinnik of Cybercrime, Extortion and Money Laundering

France filed its extradition request in June 2018, claiming Vinnik was part of an organized criminal group that specialized in extortion and money laundering. According to the documents, its members broke into the emails of 5,700 victims around the world and extorted over 20,000 BTC. The arrest warrant issued by Paris cites cybercrimes, legalization of illicit proceeds, and participation in a criminal organization. Vinnik’s defense, which includes Russian lawyer Timofei Musatov, maintains that the said crimes were conducted while the accused was in jail, that the European order has long expired, and also that Vinnik has been kept in detention without charges.

Alexander Vinnik Accused of Laundering Billions Through BTC-e Extradited to France
Alexander Vinnik, source: RIA Novosti

The case has become a source of international tension, with Greece finding itself under pressure to extradite Vinnik to either France and the United States or the Russian Federation. There have been four separate decisions by Greek courts for the extradition of Vinnik so far – to the U.S., France, and two for Russia. Authorities in Athens have officially notified the Russian embassy about the extradition to France. On Friday, a spokesperson for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the current situation and redirected relevant requests to the Justice Ministry. Doctors at the Hotel Dieu hospital have also refrained from statements.

A French judge is expected to preside over a hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 28, which will determine the conditions of Alexander Vinnik’s further detention, his lawyer in France, Ariane Zimra, told RIA. “Depending on the state of his health, the judge may have to hold this hearing at the hospital,” Zimra added. According to Timofei Musatov, the court can impose restraint on remand in custody only if charges are brought against the Russian citizen. Otherwise he must be released, the lawyer insisted. Vinnik’s legal team plans to file international lawsuits in his defense after he spent 30 months in jail without charges.

What are your expectations about the future developments in the Vinnik case? Share your thoughts in comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, RIA Novosti.


You can now purchase bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.

The post Alexander Vinnik Accused of Laundering Billions Through BTC-e Extradited to France appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Peter Brandt Remains Bullish on Bitcoin

Peter brandt bitcoin

Peter Brandt is one of the most popular Bitcoin analysts on Twitter. In the last 24 hours Brandt has made a bullish case for BTC, which counters many who thought the market would slump because of Chinese New Year.

Bitcoin Could Hold, Says Brandt

Charts are constantly morphing. The idea of drawing a chart boundary definition to be fixed forever was discounted by serious traders 80 years ago. Often, the exact configuration is clear only after the fact. #FACT
— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) January 24, 2020

In a rare glimpse into the mind of a trading veteran who has survived and thrived in the markets for 40 years, Peter Brandt, in this Tweet, offers zen-like sage advice to fellow traders.
Brandt argues that a re-test of the breakout we’ve had on the top of a year-long downward channel is normal and he wouldn’t be surprised to see more upside in the near future. He does, of course, add that a more severe correction could take place if the top of the channel breaks to the downside. Nevertheless, the bullish inverse head and shoulders pattern he spotted earlier in the week proved to be accurate, and BTC went on to post an 18% gain before correcting.

Holy Head and Shoulders, Batman. pic.twitter.com/JtcLwFaYVi
— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) January 24, 2020

Brandt makes a case which contradicts Arthur Hayes, CEO of Bitmex who recently predicted the Chinese New Year would have a negative impact on Bitcoin, as well as the rest of the market. Brandt comments on bitcoin’s recent breakout above the upper boundary of the downtrending channel, and says that the current price action is ‘throwing back’ onto the level as a new support. The 18 DMA is also providing additional support for bitcoin price at this key level.
Mati Greenspan Gives Creedence to Brandt
Mati Greenspan, former Senior Market Analyst at eToro, and founder of Quantum Economics, concurs with Brandt’s bullish sentiment and noted that the strength of Bitcoin’s rebound. He notes that the recent bounce off the interim $8,200 support level is a positive sign for bitcoin.

Beautiful bounce off interim support at $8200. pic.twitter.com/KE9KOUwgl6
— Mati Greenspan [tweets are not trading advice] (@MatiGreenspan) January 24, 2020

DonAlt is Catching Waves, Remains Unconcerned
Another well known crypto twitter trader, DonAlt, echoed this also, stating that bearish traders are struggling to fend off the mounting buying pressure right now. He added that only when BTC hits $7,500, will he change his bias.

I’m out surfing right now so I’m not looking at the charts but a quick scope of Twitter shows me all I need to know.
Bear cope & more bear cope.
I’ll be bearish the moment we start closing below 7500, not when BTC is retesting it’s neckline.
Still long & strong.
— DonAlt (@CryptoDonAlt) January 9, 2020

 
Bitcoin is currently at $8500 USD as of this writing, just $15 dollars shy of the daily high of $8515, earlier today. It remains unclear if this is simply a dead cat bounce or if this trend reversal has legs to carry the market with more momentum to the upside.
Are you bullish on Bitcoin along with Peter Brandt and co? Let us know in the comments!

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @CryptoDonAlt @MatiGreenspan @PeterLBrandt The post appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Beware of the IRS, H&S Warns its Crypto Customers

Beware of the IRS, H&S Warns its Crypto Customers

U.S. tax preparation company H&R Block is advising its customers not to consider evading the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) by not reporting their cryptocurrency transactions 

Don’t Worry About Accuracy, Just Report Crypto Taxes
According to Yahoo Finance, H&R Block has told its crypto-owning customers to heed the IRS’ call for crypto tax compliance. In new guidelines shared by the company, the U.S. tax preparation firm encouraged its customers to try and take the initiative concerning the filing of their crypto tax returns.
Commenting on the matter, Kathy Pickering, chief tax officer at the company, remarked:
The IRS is looking for people to self-report. They’re looking for you to come forward, and they’ll be more lenient, even if you don’t get it right, if you’re disclosing.
As previously reported by Bitcoinist, the IRS has stepped up efforts to ensure stricter compliance with tax reporting guidelines for crypto owners. At the start of the year, the U.S. tax agency added a new checkbox on the tax form containing inquiries about cryptocurrency-related activities.
The inclusion of this direct crypto question on Form 1040 — additional income, may also signal the IRS gearing up to prosecute crypto owners who fail to declare virtual currency transactions as part of their tax filings.
H&R Block also advised its customers to determine their crypto tax obligations based on the nature of their virtual currency holdings. According to its guidelines to its users, the company revealed that crypto tax payments depend on: “how they use their cryptocurrency: as an investment, in their business, or as miners. If a taxpayer purchases bitcoin for investment purposes, the tax treatment is similar to buying and selling stock.”
IRS and Other Tax Agencies Keen on Crypto Tax Compliance
Back in 2019, the IRS sent warning letters to U.S. crypto owners, urging them to amend their previous returns and pay any pending interests or penalties. The IRS has also sent refunds to tax-compliant individuals who accurately reported their virtual currency dealings.
Apart from the IRS, tax bodies in other jurisdictions are also shining the spotlight on crypto tax compliance. In December 2019, Brazil’s tax office created a special penalty code for crypto tax evaders while also mandating monthly reporting of virtual currency transactions.
The UK’s tax agency — Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is also enforcing stricter crypto compliance. The body released updated cryptocurrency tax guidelines for businesses in November 2019.
Will crypto owners heed the call to file crypto tax returns in 2020? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock The post appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Bitcoin Burglars on the Run After Mayfair Store Robbery

Bitcoin Burglars on the Run After Mayfair Store Robbery

In a daring pre-dawn raid, two thieves were able to enter a liquor store in Philadelphia’s 15 precinct on Frankford avenue, and ransack a Bitbox Bitcoin ATM machine. The thieves were able to pilfer the cash box inside the machine, in front of the terrified store employees.

A Brazen Heist

The city has seen yet another Bitcoin related crime, this time the two assailants entered a convenience store in the pre-dawn hours around 5:50 am on the 7200 block of Frankford ave, in Philadelphia’s 15th precinct. One of the assailants or perhaps the driver of the getaway car itself, can be seen entering the business and purchasing a soft drink in order to scope out the location and make sure the coast was clear for the heist. This individual was so brazen he didn’t even attempt to conceal his identity or face beyond wearing a common hoodie.
A few minutes later, either the same individual in a disguise, or two of his accomplices can be seen on the store’s surveillance cameras, exiting the vehicle which they conveniently parked out of view of CCTV cameras. They proceeded to enter the store wearing ski masks and donning crowbars and began to pry open the ATM machine in front of the establishment’s shocked employees. The employees were behind protective glass, and could do nothing but shout at the burglars. In a time span of less than two minutes they were able to pry open the machine despite it’s locked service compartment, and make off with the cash box inside. The thieves calmly walked off to their awaiting getaway car to make their escape with their ill-gotten proceeds.
If you have any information leading to the capture of these suspects, the Philadelphia Police and the business’ owners would like to encourage you to reach out to the 15th precinct’s Northeast Detectives at 215-686-3153/3154. All tips will be confidential.
Not Philly’s first brush with Bitcoin-related crime
Philadelphia is one of the major US cities on the East Coast, and home to more than 1.5 million residents, so it makes sense that this would not be the city’s first run-in with Bitcoin related crime. In 2017, a 24 year-old Pennsylvania resident was charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, and sentenced to a year in prison for selling more than $1.5 million in Bitcoin to undercover agents of the Department of Homeland security. He was also forced to payback the $40,000 USD he made in commission on the unregulated sales, as restitution in his plea agreement.
One of the stranger aspects of this case was that the defendant was incarcerated on unrelated drug charges for part of the time period in which he operated his illegal money transmitting business. It appears he was able to make illegal Bitcoin sales to undercover agents while behind bars.
In another case, Western Philadelphia US Attorney Scott Brady took part in the federal case against the admins of DeepDotWeb, a website which published news and reviews about the Dark Web’s illegal marketplaces in exchange for kickbacks which were laundered through shell companies. The men who were charged were Brazilian nationals who received commissions for driving new business to the illegal marketplaces which sold drugs, forged documents, malware, and stolen identity documents online.
In one of the stranger cases, another Philadelphia resident under suspicion of burglary claimed to investigators during his interrogation that he had developed a malware program which steals Bitcoin and was responsible for a $40 million USD Bitcoin heist, and had also worked as a hacker for foreign governments. Investigators took his claim seriously and found that he actually hadn’t stolen more than about a $150 dollars in the digital currency. Prosecutors claimed the suspect exaggerated his technical ability and sent them on a wild goose chase.
Do you know of any other wild Bitcoin crimes? Let us know in the comments!

Images via Shutterstock The post appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Blockchain is the Most Demanded Skill by the Global Marketplace

We’ve had our ups and downs in the cryptocurrency marketplaces over the last couple of years, but a few elements of our ecosystem have remained a constant. One of these is the demand for blockchain developers and their skills, which has seen a regular increase year after year.

According to the latest LinkedIn recruitment research report, blockchain is the number one in-demand skill in 2020. Even though they simply say “blockchain,” the term used by itself is vague. However, because this is a report that relates to jobs and recruitment, we can safely assume that they are talking about skills related to blockchain development.

This graphic is the property of LinkedIn.com

The report carries on to explain that a lot of companies see blockchain as a transformative technology. That it has gone beyond the use case of cryptocurrencies to become a solution bearing implementation for all variety of businesses. They go onward to encourage recruiters to familiarize themselves with how blockchain works, what the benefits are, and who are the people that can help their company implement blockchain.

Shared digital ledgers have indeed become a significant force in the business world. From the TradeLens implementation to China embracing blockchain on a national level, the technology seems to attract all kinds of businesses to use it. And for great reasons too.

Blockchain technology can help businesses automate a lot of operations that involve third parties, partnerships, and communication between other entities. Also benefits can be seen internally for big companies, such as better communication between top management and operations, and vice versa, better management of stock and supplies, ensuring quality standards are met in production and more.

Blockchain technology requires a significant amount of creativity to be implemented in a productive way, which is another skill on the most in-demand skills report by LinkedIn.

Around the world, corporations such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, American Express, and others. It’s used for supply chains, shipping, healthcare, entertainment, and gaming.

All in all, we are looking down the barrel at a great year for blockchain developers, with an increase in the number of opportunities available for them, and potential deficits as companies are competing for their employment.

Source: Crypto News

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion

Bitcoin Cash developers recently released the alpha software for Cashfusion, a privacy-preserving feature added to the Electron Cash wallet. During the last week, crypto proponents and developers have been testing the protocol regularly in order to find issues and provide the Cashfusion team with feedback. News.Bitcoin.com tested the alpha version of Cashfusion so readers can get a glimpse at how the feature works and how you can fuse transactions on your own.

Also read: How to Create Custom SLP Tokens With the Bitcoin.com Mint

Cashfusion Privacy: A New Realm of Transaction Anonymization

BCH privacy is of great importance to Bitcoin Cash proponents and the Cashshuffle platform gathered a lot of traction since its inception. Following the Cashshuffle release, developers started working on a project that would greatly improve coinjoin-based transactions making them more private. With Cashshuffle, blockchain analysis could possibly uncover clues to where shuffled funds originally derived from when users consolidate shuffled funds. The BCH supporter “Bigblockiftrue” wrote a comprehensive report on the issue with Cashshuffle when he tracked the shuffled 300 BCH donation to Bitcoin Unlimited. “To get better Cashshuffle privacy yourself, you can avoid combining inputs into a single transaction. For a long-term user-friendly solution,” Bigblockiftrue noted at the time. “We will likely need some extension of the Cashshuffle concept to allow private consolidation of multiple inputs, for example, Cashfusion,” he added.

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion

The difference between Cashfusion and traditional coinjoin schemes is how Cashfusion does not have equal amount requirements for shuffling. “Cashfusion is actually the fusion of two powerful ideas,” Cashfusion developer Jonald Fyookball stressed. “One is a contribution from myself, which is (in a nutshell): enable trustless, private, multi-input coinjoins with blame capabilities by using a commitment-based multiparty computation scheme.” Fyookball emphasized that the second part of the fusion stems from the software engineer Mark Lundeberg’s innovation.

“In Cashfusion, we have opted to abandon the equal-amount concept altogether. While this is at first glance no different than the old naive schemes, mathematical analysis shows it, in fact, becomes highly private by simply increasing the numbers of inputs and outputs,” Lundeberg underscores in the Cashfusion specifications. “For example, with hundreds of inputs and outputs, it is not just computationally impractical to iterate through all partitions, but even with infinite computing power, one would find a large number of valid partitions.”

How to Leverage Cashfusion: A Step-by-Step Guide Using the Electron Cash Wallet

Since Cashfusion’s alpha was released, a number of crypto supporters and developers have experimented with the application. In order to obtain a copy of the Cashfusion alpha release, individuals need to join the Cashfusion Telegram chat group to find the software for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. The following is a step-by-step walkthrough for people interested in testing the Cashfusion platform and fusing their own BCH transactions.

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion
The first thing to do is install the Electron Cash wallet that supports Cashfusion and either start a new wallet and deposit some BCH or import an existing wallet with BCH in it already.

After obtaining the link to a specific copy of Electron Cash with Cashfusion support, you need to install the application which is around 40MB in size. For this specific walkthrough, we downloaded the Mac OS version of Cashfusion developed by Electron Cash programmer Calin Culianu. After the installation completes, you need to start a new wallet or use an existing Electron Cash wallet (New/Restore).

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion
Back in August 2019, I shuffled 0.0144 BCH and I decided to use Cashfusion with these shuffled funds on January 23.

If you choose to create a new wallet, you also have to deposit some BCH into the wallet in order to fuse some UTXOs. When you have the alpha version of Electron Cash running with funds deposited, the next step is to turn on the Cashfusion feature. In order to do so, simply select the “tools” window and select “optional features.” At this point, you will see the option to toggle Cashfusion on or off at any point in time.

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion
In the tools section, select optional features and make sure Cashfusion is turned on.

Once you turn Cashfusion on, at the bottom right side of the wallet window will be a green or red network circle. If the circle is red then you are not connected to the internet and may need to connect. After the wallet is online, simply double click the network circle which will reveal another network settings window. From here, you want to select the proxy settings and you will want to turn on Tor. The Cashfusion version of the Electron Cash (EC) wallet supports the Tor network which adds another element of privacy to the fused transaction. In the proxy window, select “start integrated Tor client” and make sure the Tor proxy is selected as well. After turning on Tor, the network circle at the bottom right side of the wallet should now be blue. After the Tor network is working with the wallet, shut off the Cashshuffle toggle switch in the EC client.

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion
After Cashfusion is on, you need to connect the wallet to Tor using the network circle on the bottom right side of the wallet. Double click this server if it is green and connect to the Tor proxy. You can also double click the Cashfusion logo in order to view the Cashfusion settings and make changes alongside a utility window for fusions.

Then double click the Cashfusion symbol which is located to the left of the Cashshuffle symbol. Select “Cashfusion settings” and make sure the Tor client is connected and make sure that the “SSL” setting is not selected or shut off. If you followed all of these steps and there’s a fraction of BCH stored in the EC wallet, then you are ready for the Cashfusion process.

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion
In the Cashfusion settings make sure Tor is autodetected and SSL is not checked. You do not want SSL checked while fusing. Additionally, you will want to shut Cashshuffle operations off as well, and after this is complete you can begin fusing your funds.

The wallet’s main window will show you the funds are being prepared for the fusing process and you might have to wait a while in order to fuse a transaction. While experimenting with Cashfusion it took me around an hour to fuse 0.01440652 BCH. You can select the Cashfusion settings again and watch the fusion progress by selecting the utility window called “fusions.” The utility window will tell you that you are queued in line or whether or not you are able to connect to people fusing transactions.

How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion
It took me about an hour to fuse the 0.0144 BCH and the transaction finalized with 37 inputs and 79 outputs with Schnorr signed signatures. According to the block explorer, around $17 in BCH was fused during that period.

My test transaction of 0.01440652 BCH finally fused and a block explorer had shown there were 37 inputs and 79 outputs within the transaction data. Transaction signatures were also Schnorr signed and the funds fused with roughly $17.60 worth of bitcoin cash. The fused funds I had used were already shuffled using the Cashshuffle platform a few weeks prior. Overall, the Cashfusion feature for the EC client is fairly simple to use after following a few directions at least once. If you already have a grasp using Cashshuffle, then utilizing Cashfusion should be a breeze. The wait time for a fusion can be long, but if more people participate, then time frames between fuses should shrink. When news.Bitcoin.com first tested the Cashshuffle platform, the wait time was similar during the early testing phases. The trick is to be patient and simply let the wallet sit running in the background in order to prepare for the Cashfusion process and before you know it, you will notice that you’ve fused your first BCH transaction. For a step-by-step walkthrough that covers the Cashshuffle process, check out this article here.

What do you think about the Cashfusion protocol for the Electron Cash wallet? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned software. The software mentioned in the article above is in its alpha stage which could be buggy and have issues. Bitcoin.com 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, software or services mentioned in this article. This editorial review/guide is for informational purposes only.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Fair Use, Electron Cash Wallet, Cashfusion logo, and Jamie Redman.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post How to Obscure Bitcoin Cash Transaction Data by Leveraging Cashfusion appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Ripple and XRP: The Complete Guide

Ripple XRP Bitcoinist

What is Ripple? The name has been incredibly prominent within the cryptocurrency space, for reasons both positive and negative. In short, Ripple is a payment protocol that facilitates fast, frictionless cross-border payments with minimal fees. This technology is based on a series of servers communicating constantly, while maintaining a distributed ledger with the latest state of balances and transactions. 
The payment protocol also hosts its native asset, XRP, which acts as the chief medium for transferring value over the network. XRP, rebranded in late 2018, formerly bore the name Ripple. 
How Does RippleNet Work?
RippleNet is the latest iteration of Ripple’s payment protocols. In late 2019, Ripple, Inc. united all its products into one network, which could be used in various ways to transfer value. RippleNet allows for the usage and transfers of XRP, but there is also the option to generate value and liquidity without resorting to using the XRP asset. 

In the words of Ripple, Inc., RippleNet is “ the most advanced blockchain technology for global payments—making it easy for financial institutions to reach a trusted, growing network of 300+ providers across 40+ countries and 
six continents.”
RippleNet works by potentially hosting multiple potential assets of value. The network hosts an On-Demand Liquidity mechanism, which could allow transfers of value and exchanges across the world. 
In 2020, RippleNet collaborates with more than 200 banks in various stages of exploration, and On-Demand Liquidity hosts around 15 companies with more members taken on board. The network allows payments in any fiat asset, as well as crypto assets, including Bitcoin (BTC). This set of features is impossible for Bitcoin, and only slightly accessible for Ethereum. Bitcoin itself has stuck to its first-layer solution, using the BTC asset as a unit of payment. 
How is Ripple and XRP Different from Bitcoin?
The past few years opened a competition between Ripple and Bitcoin. Ripple’s protocols promised to displace the older, less technically advanced Bitcoin network. But the biggest challenge to Bitcoin was the fact that Ripple did away with mining, and used a lighter form of encryption to avoid DDOS attacks, while also carrying virtually unlimited transactions. Bitcoin’s protection comes from transaction fees, but on certain days, even the Bitcoin network is overwhelmed by transactions. Bitcoin carries between 300,000 and up to 700,000 transactions per day, or up to 7-15 transactions per second.
The Ripple protocol, however, is tailored to process up to 1,500 transactions per second. The exact number of XRP daily transactions, however, is not as transparent. 
Bitcoin, for most of its history, has relied on voluntary miners and node operators. The connections between them rely on the general Internet infrastructure, with a few exceptional nodes that are easier to contact. Overall, the Bitcoin network has more than 10,300 nodes communicating across the globe, and it takes minutes for all nodes to update to the latest state of the ledger and confirm the transactions.
Ripple, on the other hand, has a list of so-called validators, which have known locations and even names. The validators communicate roughly every 4 seconds, which updates the ledger and achieves consensus on transactions. 
How Does XRP Work?  
XRP is the native token of the Ripple network. Initially, the Ripple protocol was created in 2004, with the intention of revolutionizing interbank transactions. But XRP appeared later, around 2013, when Ripple Labs started its activity, and the team took up Jed McCaleb on board as its leader, later bringing in new investors.
 

 
The XRP asset was then conceived as having multiple use cases within the network. The immediate use case for XRP is to serve as a vehicle for carrying transactions, by representing any type of asset. Using XRP is also required to pay network fees, where each transaction will erase $0.00001 from the ledger. This serves to avoid spam transactions, in case transfers were entirely free. 
XRP was envisioned with a total supply of 100 billion units, which are indivisible, unlike Bitcoin. Of those billions of units, millions were distributed in various stages of airdrops, preliminary sales, or private placements. XRP has been distributed to multiple owners, including banks, for testing. But the biggest XRP holder is Ripple, Inc., which held 55 billion units, with the aim of releasing them gradually on the open market. This process however, may take more than a decade to complete. 
XRP has tied Ripple, Inc. to multiple partners, including Jed McCaleb, as well as R3, a big early partner which negotiated a vast XRP haul back at the time the asset was trading below a penny. 
XRP Vs BTC
Ripple has issued multiple challenges to the leading position of Bitcoin. The project was, in fact, already years ahead of Bitcoin at a protocol development level. Yet Ripple did not think of linking itself to the world of digital assets, at least not before Bitcoin had already established its success. 
The involvement of Jed McCaleb was what brought Ripple into the world of cryptocurrencies. From that point onward, the competition between Ripple and Bitcoin intensified. This was the time that the narrative of Ripple and its protocol ‘making Bitcoin obsolete’ started to appear and be repeated. 
But Ripple’s asset was still hovering at sub-penny prices, while Bitcoin had already made its forays into four-digit territory. Bitcoin was going through its own growth pangs at the time, with the challenges of mining starting to bring in larger business interests. 
The Mt. Gox scandal also scarred the reputation of Bitcoin, showcasing some of the big risks involved in the new world of cryptocurrency. But as the years passed, the growing trading ecosystem brought Ripple’s reputation to fight that of Bitcoin. While the Bitcoin community spread more slowly, with significant skepticism and setbacks, Ripple was positioning itself deliberately, building a strong community and a new narrative. 
By the time 2017 rolled in, Ripple was ready to make its biggest attack. The aim to displace Bitcoin, both in terms of market capitalization and usage, became central and drew in many true believers. Around that time, Bitcoin was also going through a mining boom, which showed how costly its production was. Ripple positioned itself with a system that did not require that much electricity, while promising to be more scalable. 
bitcoin vs ethereum defi
The years in development, in addition to big promises and an overall bull market, pulled out the XRP market price from its sub-penny positions, and into a growth boom unseen before. True believers were ready to even abandon Bitcoin for the chance of owning an asset that aimed to make Bitcoin obsolete. 
Around 2017, Ripple was known as “the coin for the banking industry,” and ironically took to the task of creating “the bankers’ coin”. This paradox for Ripple went against the Bitcoin ethos, which was about independence and offering people an alternative to banking. 
Bitcoin aimed to create a censorship-resistant, globally distributed community which was entirely open-source. But the nature of the network, which indeed turned out to be slower than Ripple, ended up reinforcing the belief that the Bitcoin protocol was obsolete.
Those narratives were immediately reflected in trading activity, and Ripple’s asset achieved several spikes against Bitcoin over the years. Ripple’s XRP has reached peaks above 18,000 Satoshi, with new enthusiasts abandoning Bitcoin. Now, Ripple is awaiting a new revival against Bitcoin, at around 2,700 Satoshi. 
Bitcoin, both as protocol and as the BTC tradable asset, held its ground. As of 2020, XRP and Ripple are charting their own path, and the hopes of displacing Bitcoin are more distant. Ripple has shown that adoption will not come by a storm, but as a gradual trek, adding banking partners, traders, and building an ecosystem from the ground up. 
But Ripple has managed to ride on the back of Bitcoin, both to increase its visibility, and to establish a market price and appeal to investors. 
Does Ripple Compete with Ethereum?
Ethereum (ETH), in its latest use case, has transformed itself into a platform allowing for tokenization and asset representation. Ethereum is offering second-layer solutions, with the aim of switching to a system of staking, which in a way resembles the communication between Ripple validators. 
Ripple’s protocol has the potential to take over multiple use cases that now belong to Ethereum. The RippleNet usage can build up features that now exist throughout multiple Ethereum projects. Those would include: 

Decentralized exchange for crypto-based assets;
Forex exchange by representing fiat currencies; 
Fintech and payment ecosystems to compete with banks; 
International remittances.

The advantage of Ripple and the RippleNet protocol lies in curated partners, a more careful tracking of liquidity, and a concerted effort to present the solution to the world of mainstream business. 
Ethereum has built up those use cases through various unrelated startups, which are now struggling to gain attention and bring liquidity to their tokens. Ripple, on the other hand, proposes a unified solution to those use cases. 
Ethereum also has the disadvantage of requiring higher payments for its transactions. On the Ethereum network, gas fees are also variable, and may become extremely high. Additionally, Ethereum is still being mined, meaning securing the network also requires a significant investment in hardware. The Ethereum distributed ledger is also immensely hefty, and only a few entities store the vast information. 
Ripple, on the other hand, has a technique of adding small-scale ledgers to achieve the latest state. 
Ethereum is also going through a transformation, with its protocol still incomplete. The Ethereum ecosystem brings out some of its innovations through tokens and other side projects, which means there is no unified standard, and each token does not communicate with others. There is also no common liquidity pool, unlike Ethereum’s On Demand Liquidity system. 
The Ethereum network, like Bitcoin, has the potential for time lags, as well as unexpected glitches in block discovery and distribution. Both networks have had periods of instability, congestion, and problematic transactions. This is especially true of Ethereum, where high transaction fees can clog the network for days. 
The Ethereum network is also an open market, meaning one entity can take over and consume most of the resources. The Ripple network can carry sufficient transactions to satisfy real-world demand. 
Unlike Ethereum, Ripple’s protocol is also not amenable to gaming or distributed apps, and is tailored to serving finance solutions. 
Ethereum has the advantage for now of having a higher market cap in comparison to XRP. But for years, Ripple was highly visible, and even hinted at displacing Bitcoin as the asset with the highest market capitalization. But for now, Ethereum has taken over the crypto-ecosystem, by allowing the creation of startups. Ripple, on the other hand, has targeted the world of business and especially banking. Ethereum, on the other hand, is a system that aims to disrupt finance with a nascent industry of grass-roots solutions, interest rate schemes, and fintech payment platforms.
Why Ripple Rebranded Its Asset
For years, XRP was known as Ripple. But in late 2018, the public profile of the asset worsened. For one, early investors started asking questions on what the use case was for the coins they received or bought. 
Then, the US Securities and Exchange Commission moved in to question Ripple on the role of its assets. The connection between the activities of Ripple, Inc. and the market price of its native token was put under question. Investors realized Ripple had been using its token to raise funds, thus raising suspicions it was in fact selling a security. 
Ripple, however, wanted to deny explicitly that the performance of XRP was tied in any way to the company, and represented a form of shares into its business. Hence, the asset used its ticker symbol as its name, and altered its logo for a new impression. 
The asset was then framed as a form of goodwill and an airdrop to popularize the case for Ripple. While Ripple takes care to observe how XRP trades and is distributed, the company’s chief work is related to the RippleNet protocol, and not to directly supporting XRP and XRP owners. 
Who is Jed McCaleb?
Jed McCaleb, a serial entrepreneur who moved in from his other projects, has been a prominent figure in the crypto space. Previously the founder of eDonkey and Overnet, Jed McCaleb led the expansion of Ripple’s influence until 2013. Jed McCaleb served the company as CTO, and at the end of his term received a promised 9 billion XRP, with the stipulation of not selling the entirety on the open market.

Jed McCaleb then went on to tweak the Ripple protocol, and create an open-source, widely accessible version he named Stellar. Stellar held more appeal within the crypto community, and even went out to compete with Ethereum. But soon, the project was also viewed with skepticism, as it became clear the network consensus was achieved by a handful of servers, making the project relatively centralized. 
Jed McCaleb also left his position as Stellar CTO in 2019, leaving the future of the project to the Stellar Development Foundation. 
Jed McCaleb is still a significant owner of XRP, sparking fears he may keep selling, keeping the price of the asset relatively depressed. Despite this, Jed McCaleb is viewed as one of the most influential figures in the crypto space.
Is Ripple a Better Investment than Bitcoin?
There is no certain way to say which asset will be a better investment. Bitcoin has a vast trading network with spot markets and futures, while Ripple’s XRP trades in much smaller batches. 

There has been a narrative that in case of success, and if Ripple is adopted as the de facto standard of interbank payments, XRP may displace Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization, with an exorbitant price per unit of $589. 
Other landmark prices by staunch supporters include a trek to $1, or even $5 as a possibility, which would make many XRP owners very rich. However, much of the valuation of XRP remains tied to the performance of Bitcoin. Without Bitcoin, the crypto market would falter, and Ripple would be transformed into another fintech company competing within the regular world of business. 
Still, Ripple’s XRP now trades at just $0.21, after years of sliding. At that price, speculative interest and buying increase again, as XRP is accessible enough to merit a small investment, in expectation of future growth. 
XRP has been less volatile than Bitcoin, but that is not an entirely positive feature. XRP has stagnated, moving within a small price range for now. But the asset is unpredictable and may rally again, based on renewed enthusiasm. 
Ripple’s success lies in the mix between a traditional business model and a rootedness among crypto assets. Where XRP prices will go is anyone’s guess, but the project presents another chance for a speculative investment with the potential of a significant upside. 
Where is Ripple Now? 
Ripple has been a deft communicator, under the guidance of its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse. The company boosts its presence with bank partnerships. 
Ripple has also expressed readiness to move onto a new form of fundraising, by performing an initial public offering. Thus, Ripple would tap on financing both from the crypto world, and from the world of traditional finance. 
Ripple has also accrued a crowd of true believers and “hodlers”, some of which have acquired XRP during peak prices. The long period of prices falling has started to disappoint some of the holders. Ripple itself has become a holder, as it slowed down the selling of its escrow stash in 2019. 
The Ripple project has also accrued an army of skeptics, especially derived from those supporting Bitcoin. For them, Ripple is an impostor within the crypto space, by merit of being guided by Ripple, Inc. and thus being more centralized than Bitcoin. For Bitcoin maximalists, Ripple’s attempt is futile. 
But Ripple has attempted to support its growth, greeting the fact that XRP is becoming more liquid, as well as gaining derivative markets. The XRP asset was finally accepted as an offering on Coinbase in the summer of 2019, and Ripple has managed to connect itself to the biggest crypto exchanges. Following in Bitcoin’s footsteps, Ripple will also see the effect of XRP futures trading, offered by OKEx this year. 
Holding onto XRP is also relatively easy, as Ripple’s native coin is supported by most widely used wallets, including Exodus. Ripple’s protocol also allows storage with Coinbase Custody.
In 2020, investing in XRP is still risky, as Bitcoin has taken the lead. Ripple’s position is lumped with altcoins, and confidence in the asset is still relatively low.
Did you find this guide to Ripple and XRP useful? Let us know below!

Images via Shutterstock, Chart from Ripple Q4, 2019 report The post appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Ripple Price Analysis: XRP Bounces Off $0.21 But Has The Correction Ended?

  • Across trading pairs, XRP is charting a loss of 1.24% at the moment.
  • Against Us Dollar, XRP looks for a strong rebound level while captured in a falling wedge.
  • Bearish bias may elapse beyond expectation if XRP fails to find support on channel pattern.

XRP/USD: XRP Sharply Bounced Near $0.21 Support, Has the Correction Ended?

Key Support Levels: $0.21, $0.20
Key Resistance Levels: $0.23, $0.25

xrpusd chart
XRP/USD Chart. Source: TradingView

Since our previous price analysis, Ripple’s XRP saw a lot of selling pressure, breaching the mid-term rising trend line into a new falling wedge pattern. After touching the wedge’s support – around $0.21 today, XRP bounced off near the wedge’s resistance. We can expect a rejection once XRP reaches this resistance.

At the time of writing, the 3rd best-performing cryptocurrency by market cap is trading around $0.222 against the US Dollar and, at the same time, charting a loss of 1.24%. XRP is expected to bounce back as soon as it finds a solid support level.

Ripple Short-Term Price Analysis

The short-term bearish correction is still looking pretty valid for XRP, but it may soon end if we consider the descending wedge pattern forming on the current 4-hours chart. Just a few hours ago, XRP saw a quick bounce after falling on the wedge, very close to the blue horizontal support line of $0.21. This support could possibly provide a rebound for the next bullish rally.

If XRP fails to regain momentum at this mentioned support, the next level to keep in mind is $0.20 – the January 6 break level. Here, we can expect buyers to start stepping back into the market. But looking at the RSI indicator, XRP has dropped to the oversold level to show that sellers are still present.

Conversely, the MACD has entered the negative zone to suggest that the market is under the bearish radar. However, if XRP manages to recover and breaks up the falling wedge, the next buying target would be $0.23 and $0.25 resistance level before breaking higher.

XRP/BTC: XRP Continues To Fall in a Channel As No Sign Of Bullish Yet

xrpbtc chart
XRP/BTC Chart. Source: TradingView

Against Bitcoin, XRP continued to look for support since the market reversed in late October 2019. At the time of writing this analysis, XRP is hovering around 2628SAT price levels. The bearish correction is shaping the inside channel for the past three months now.

If XRP fails to break up this descending channel, the price could roll back to September 2019 support of 2400SAT levels before deciding on where next to head. However, a notable price push above the channel should provide us with a strong buy setup.

Ripple Short-Term Price Analysis

The daily chart for Ripple’s XRP shows that bearish bias is still dominant in the short-term perspective. As we can see, the price is still falling in a three-month channel with no sign of break at the moment. Meanwhile, the XRP/BTC volatility has been quite low since the trend reversed from the 3760SAT level.

From a technical standpoint, the price of XRP is likely to witness a long bearish momentum if this wedge continues to form. We can see that the RSI indicator is currently dropping. XRP may soon drop into the channel’s support of the 2400SAT level. A steep break beneath the channel may tank XRP to the new support.

Though, the MACD is currently on the verge of producing a bullish crossover. If XRP climbs back to the positive zone, a significant gain should be expected to the 2800SAT level. A further gain above the channel could lead to intense buying as 3400SAT resistance would be a key target for buyers. Also, the 3760SAT level could resurface.

The post Ripple Price Analysis: XRP Bounces Off $0.21 But Has The Correction Ended? appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Source: Crypto Potato

Blockchain Could Secure You Your Dream Job, Billionaire Hints

Blockchain Could Secure You Your Dream Job, Billionaire Hints

Blockchain will be among key technologies to transform the job market, according to Aneel Bhursi, co-founder and CEO of human capital management firm, Workday.

Blockchain to Boost the Value of Credentials
Last week, LinkedIn said that blockchain would be the most in-demand job skill this year. However, the technology will also help employees secure their next dream job in a more literal way. Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Workday boss Aneel Bhusri said that artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain would become essential for the job market.
The billionaires told CNBC’s Squawk Box anchors in Davos:
Blockchain is a technology looking for a problem to solve. We found one to solve, which is credentials. Employees can go from company to company and carry credentials with them in a private network. It can’t be edited by an outside source.
In this way, the technology won’t allow job seekers to exaggerate their achievements and lie about educational and professional backgrounds. The fabrication of accomplishments has been a real problem, even up to the level of top executives and CEOs.
Workday partnered with First Advantage to apply a background-screening technology, including on platforms like LinkedIn. Bhusri said about blockchain-based credentials:
Whatever information you want to carry, it gives employees power over data. Universities can also make sure that diplomas cited by job seekers are real.
There are platforms that already offer this. For example, MIT-backed Blockcerts help institutions issue, manage and verify blockchain-based certificates.
Machine Learning to Bring More Accuracy
Besides blockchain, AI will also transform the job market, though Bhusri likes to talk specifically about machine learning.
“AI gives people images of the Terminator, and that’s not the world we live in. Machine learning lets you make predictions, sifting through massive amounts of data. Humans are great at making judgments,” the billionaire explained.
What’s your opinion about blockchain’s potential contribution to the job space? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Image via Shutterstock The post appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst