Funds Stolen From Cryptopia Discovered and Frozen On Binance

Freezing Funds Frozen Coins Binanace Blue Yellow

On January 16, 2019, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao confirmed that the exchange has frozen some of the stolen funds from the Cryptopia exchange hack discovered on their platform. On Ice Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, confirmed in a tweet that Binance has frozen some of the stolen funds detected in their exchange, writing:   The stolen funds in question…Read More. The post by Tokoni Uti appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News

Source: BTC Manager

Blockstream Launches Beta Version of its Lightning Network-Powered Satellite API

Blockstream Satellite Earth Signal Blue

Blockstream, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) company headquartered in Canada, has announced the launch of its Lightning-powered Satellite API Beta Beta, which is aimed at making it possible for anyone across the world to broadcast data via its satellite network in real-time, according to a press release on January 16, 2019. Blockstream Making Space Messaging Easier As stated in the…Read More. The post by Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News

Source: BTC Manager

Bitcoin Node Count Stabilizes – Back Up Over 10K in Past 3 Months

BItcoin nodes

The Bitcoin network continues to rebound from recent activity slumps, its total node count reaching 65,000 with reachable nodes totalling over 10,000.

Technical ‘BUIDLout’ Continues

Data from (formerly and Bitcoin developer Luke-jr’s own monitoring resource confirm the growth, which has lately centered on Germany, now contributing almost 19 percent of nodes.

Specifically, there were 64,768 Bitcoin Core nodes at press time January 16, equating to 99.02 percent of the total.

In terms of distribution, 2490 reachable nodes were in the US, followed by 1927 in Germany. France, the third-largest node hub, was still significantly behind the two leaders with 660 reachable nodes.

China had just 409 nodes, nonetheless giving it fifth place in the rankings, while Japan, despite its burgeoning Bitcoin consumer economy, came in tenth with 246.

Reachable nodes reached a peak of 12,500 in November 2017 during the run-up to Bitcoin’s all-time price high around $20,000. Since then, a pullback took over in the first half of last year, node numbers subsequently hovering around 9000.

That performance results in an overall 11 percent decline through 2018, with this year conversely seeing an approximately 2 percent rise.

The figures remain estimates. As technical sources note the exact number of Bitcoin nodes ultimately remains a mystery due to some being undetectable.

2019: Rise of the Nodes?

Nevertheless, one possible reason for the reversal of last year’s trend of decreasing full nodes is new products such as the Lightning Network’s Nodl and Casa Node, which are making it easier for regular people to run a full node out-of-the-box.

But why should individuals run a full node? According to Bitcoin wiki, it is the most trustless way to use the Bitcoin network, not to mention making the entire network more robust via decentralization.

Running a full node as your wallet is the only way to know for sure that none of bitcoin’s rules have been broken. Rules like no coins were spent not belonging to the owner, that no coins were spent twice, that no inflation happens outside of the schedule and that all the rules needed to make the system work are followed. All other kinds of wallet involve trusting a third party server.

At the same time, new users of the Casa Node, for example, may not always be reflected in monitoring sites like Bitnodes.

“Casa Node owners have the option to make their node accessible by others – this would render them visible on bitnodes,” the company’s content strategist, Blake Neuman, told Bitcoinist.

If this is switched on and a user’s port forwarding settings allow it, they can pass information out to incoming nodes. On the other hand, they also have the option to only be receiving information from the network by switching the setting off.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s node count and hashrate? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock,,

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Source: Bitcoininst

Coinstar Machines in Select US States Now Sell BTC Vouchers

U.S.-Based Coinstar Machines in Select States Now Sell BTC Vouchers

On Jan. 17, financial services company Coinme announced that people visiting select Safeway and Albertsons stores in California, Texas, and Washington can now purchase bitcoin core (BTC) through Coinstar kiosks. Coinstar devices are fully automated self-service coin-counting machines and now thousands located in the U.S. market could be equipped to handle cryptocurrency transactions.

Also Read: Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain

Loose Change and Cryptocurrency

Coinstar Machines in Select US States Now Sell BTC VouchersOn Thursday, Coinme revealed that people can now purchase BTC through the coin-counting Coinstar kiosks located in three states. Coinstar machines housed in Albertsons stores and Safeway marts in Texas, California, and Washington can be used to buy up to $2,500 worth of BTC. After inserting fiat into the machine, users receive a voucher with a BTC redemption code that can be redeemed at Coinme’s website. Buyers are obliged to review and accept the Coinstar kiosk’s transaction terms and enter a phone number as well.

Coinstar has 20,000 machines located around the world and if the initial launch is successful, the two companies plan to extend the service to additional U.S. markets and retailers.

“Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks, and Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism along with Coinstar’s flexible platform makes it possible for consumers to easily purchase Bitcoin with cash,” said Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity on Thursday.

Coinstar Machines in Select US States Now Sell BTC Vouchers
Reddit user u/dacoinminster bought some BTC on Thursday morning and uploaded this photo to r/btc, and r/bitcoin. 

Coinme Continues to Expand Its Crypto Kiosk and ATM Network

Coinstar Machines in Select US States Now Sell BTC VouchersCoinme has been in the cryptocurrency automated teller machine (ATM) and kiosk business since 2014 and was the first state-licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the country. Last May the company deployed a slew of ATMs in California, bringing its total locations in the state to 23. Coinme also provides a vertically-integrated digital wallet, digital exchange, and crypto investment services, including IRA and 401K plans. The company says it plans to continue to expand in the U.S. and worldwide and the partnership with Coinstar is part of this major expansion progress.

“We’re excited to team up with Coinstar to give consumers a convenient and easy way to buy bitcoin during the course of their daily routines,” said Neil Bergquist, Coinme’s cofounder and CEO.

Bergquist added:

Bitcoin is now accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy.

U.S.-based cryptocurrency fans seem to like the idea of Coinstar machines selling bitcoins, as the machines are already very popular for people turning in loose change. Bitcoin users have been testing out the Coinstar kiosks, as a picture of someone purchasing BTC was posted to the subreddit forums r/bitcoin and r/btc earlier today. The machines may do well, given that people dumping large buckets of pennies and nickels now have the opportunity convert that change into digital currency after cashing out their coins.

What do you think about Coinstar machines in the U.S. selling bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Images via Coinstar, Pixabay, and the Reddit user u/dacoinminster.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

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Goldman Sachs-Backed Startup Unveils Cold Storage Cryptocurrency Trading

Palo Alto-based blockchain security company BitGo has developed a platform which will enable traders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies without having to take it out of cold-storage. 

A Focus on Security

Days after the cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia got hacked, Palo Alto-based security company, BitGo, announced that it has developed a platform allowing traders to buy and sell digital assets right from BitGo’s cold storage custody.

BitGo closed a Series B funding round in October 2018, bringing in $58.5 million and attracting investors such as Novogratz’ Galaxy Digital Ventures and Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs logo

BitGo will team up with SEC and FINRA-regulated OTC trading platform Genesis Global Trading to establish the necessary infrastructure, liquidity, and compliance.

Genesis Trading will essentially match BitGo customer’s buy and sell orders, according to the platform’s CEO, Michael Moro. The assets will never leave cold-storage since Genesis has a cold wallet with BitGo.

The cryptocurrencies, which will be available initially through the new solution include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ripple, and ZCash.

The move is geared toward satisfying the custodial requirements for attracting institutional investors.

The Need for Custody

The need for institutional-grade custody solution has been highlighted more than once and by more than one industry experts.

Novogratz himself said last year that a solution of the kind could propel the next bull run.

“I think the next move up is going to need custody from a trusting source,” he explained. “It’s going to need a little more regulatory clarity. […] We wouldn’t take out $10,000 without those two things because that’s what brings the institutional investors in. But we’re going to get there.”

A serious development in this regard would be Bakkt’s warehousing solution if it gets the pending regulatory approval. Besides elevated measures for physical security, Bakkt wants to enable pre-funded purchases and sales of Bitcoin futures, essentially eliminating the risk of default.

At the same time, its clearinghouse will also have a dedicated guaranty fund, entirely funded by Bakkt, to cover the platform’s holdings.

What do you think of BitGo’s new platform? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Bitcoininst

$1 Billion Worth of Cryptocurrencies Stolen in 2018

2018 was a tough year for everyone involved in the cryptocurrency space as the market retraced from an overall cap of around $800 billion in January to $130 billion at the end of December. In addition, close to $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies were also lost over the year to malicious entities as hackers continued to step up their game.

Hackers Target Exchanges

Cryptocurrency intelligence firm CipherTrace released a number of reports over the year, and their Q3 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering report outlines that approximately $927 million worth of thefts had already hit the community by the third quarter of the year. This figure represents 3.5 times the expected amount of cryptocurrencies stolen over the previous year as around $266 million was lost in 2017. By comparison, $152 million was lost to hackers in 2016, and it’s now estimated that the final total amounts to well over $1 billion for 2018.

There were in fact more thefts during the first half of 2018 than over the whole of 2017, and close to $731 million worth of cryptocurrencies were stolen from exchanges alone. The most high profile theft of the year involved the Japanese Coincheck exchange, which was targeted by hackers and lost $530 million worth of tokens. Some other notable breaches include Italy’s BitGrail which lost $195 million, Japan’s Zaif which lost around $60 million, and South Korea’s Coinrail which lost over $40 million, as well as Bithumb which lost over $30 million.

In addition, the decentralized exchange protocol Bancor experienced a hack in July that led to $23.5 million damages as hackers got away with $12.5 million in ETH, as well as $11 million worth of BNT and NPXS. Hackers were also able to exploit vulnerabilities in Geth and steal more than $20 million worth of ETH by targeting insecurely configured clients. Geth is a popular client for running Ethereum nodes; however, thieves were able to remotely access the Ethereum blockchain and node functionalities, including the ability to send transactions from any account which had been unlocked before. Victims of the attackers had opened their JSON RPC port 8545 to the outside world, and once unlocked, the port stays open for the entire session, thus allowing hackers to breach their wallets.

While the report also outlins the Bitcoin Gold 51% attack that saw thieves get away with over $18 million worth of digital currency, the CoinHoarder phishing thefts, currently estimated at $50 million, were excluded from the report. However, CipherTrace will include the figures in their 2018 annual report once they can be confirmed.

The US Under Attack     

The United States was the most targeted country, with approximately 56% of all attacks taking place against platforms or users in the States. Other key takeaways include that 97% of direct criminal Bitcoin payments are sent to unregulated exchanges, and that 380,000 Bitcoin ($2.5 billion worth) are being laundered by these exchanges.  The team at CipherTrace also found that 36 times more tainted Bitcoins are received by cryptocurrency exchanges based in countries where Anti Money Laundering (AML) is either weak or not enforced. They also state that new cryptocurrency crime threats continue to emerge, including highly targeted mass cyber extortion, SIM swapping, and advanced cyber attacks on exchange personnel.

However, they also outline that opportunities to launder cryptocurrencies will be greatly reduced throughout 2019 and 2020 if cryptocurrency AML regulations are successfully enacted and enforced globally. Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace, elaborated in a press release:

“Different geographies are competing on regulations and trying to become ‘trusted’ digital currency hubs in order to grow their economies. We will see the opportunities to launder cryptocurrencies greatly reduced in the coming 18 months as cryptocurrency AML regulations are rolled out globally.”

As a result,
criminals will need to quickly launder their stolen tokens before the stronger AML
controls are deployed over 2019 and governments around the world begin to come
up with unified measures to curb the thefts.

The report highlights the importance of correct storage and the benefits of using cryptocurrency hardware wallets. It also mentions Binance announcing a user safety fund called “Secure Asset Fund For Users” (SAFU) earlier in the year. The team announced that from July 2018, 10% of all trading fees received would be allocated to SAFU to guarantee users protection against extreme irregularities. In addition, 2018 has seen the rise of regulatory compliant stablecoins such as Gemini’s Dollar (GUSD) or Circle’s USDC, that provide traders with increased protection from malicious actors and any possible financial irregularities.

Featured Image via BigStock.

Source: Crypto News

What is eToro? Beginner’s Guide To The Social Trading Platform

eToro has been amongst the leading online trading platforms since 2008. It’s branded as a social trading platform, and it aims to enable users to trade almost anything from commodities, currencies, stocks, and indexes to cryptocurrencies through one web-based and mobile platform.

Click here to open a new window of eToro’s registration page.

The very first iteration of eToro was to function as an online trading platform for the forex market. However, in 2009, the company launched its intuitive trading platform through the WebTrader, the idea of which was to cater to both beginners and professional traders, providing both with the tools they need.

Since 2017, eToro has significantly expanded cryptocurrency trading on its platform.

It’s important to note that eToro offers CFD (Contract for Difference) trading of cryptocurrencies. This is distinctly different from buying and holding a cryptocurrency. With CFDs you don’t necessarily own the underlying asset – you are merely speculating on whether its price will rise or fall. This means that eToro users are not exposed to crypto exchange hacks. However, the users do not own their cryptocurrencies private keys. This could be a disadvantage in the case of hard forks when new coins are rewarded to the token holders.

Another thing to consider is that eToro leverages the concept of social trading, which is said to be very beneficial for novice traders. This allows beginners to go ahead and monitor the trading process of experienced traders, and also essentially to copy their trades and their portfolios.

Below is a comprehensive overview and guide for trading on what’s arguably the world’s leading social trading platform.

Using eToro

Now, the very first thing you’d need to begin trading on eToro is to sign up for an account. It’s completely free, and it takes no more than a few minutes. You can find the sign-up form right on the platform’s homepage.


As with all popular platforms, you will receive a confirmation email, and as soon as you follow the link on it, your account will be verified.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll find eToro’s, particularly comprehensive dashboard. It’s incredibly simplified. On your left, you’ll see your profile menu which will help you navigate through the entire platform.

Naturally, if you wish to start trading right away, click on the “Deposit Funds” button where you input the amount desired and then select a payment method. There are plenty of options here: Credit or Debit card, PayPal, wire transfer, Skrill, NETELLER, and UnionPay.

As soon as you’ve made a deposit, you can begin your trading adventures. On the next screenshot, you’ll see the “Trade Markets” button highlighted. Clicking it will allow you to choose the different trading markets available on the platform.


Since this guide is geared towards trading cryptocurrencies, on the top navigation bar, you want to select “Crypto.”:


From this dashboard, you can select the cryptocurrency that you wish to engage with. For the sake of the tutorial, let’s use Bitcoin (BTC).

Clicking on BTC’s icon will take you to its dedicated page. As a social trading platform, eToro provides all the necessary information on Bitcoin, as well as a dedicated chat room where users can have discussions.


If you want to trade BTC, click on the blue “Trade” button at the top right corner. You’ll see the following screen pop up:


On the top, you’ll see the option to Buy or Sell BTC. You can also decide whether to trade in USD or BTC Units directly – whichever is more convenient for you.

On the top right corner, you will see the “Trade” drop-down menu. Clicking it will enable you to choose to place an “Order” which will enable you to determine your entry and exit points more conveniently.

Trading Cryptocurrency Pairs

The following explains how to trade a cryptocurrency on the USD based markets. However, eToro also allows you to trade cryptocurrencies against other cryptos in selected markets.

On the cryptocurrency market dashboard, you will see two drop-down menus on the top navigation bar.


If you want to engage in a crypto-crypto trade, you’d have to select the “Crypto Crosses” option. This will take you to the available cryptocurrency trading pairs. At the time of writing this, they are:


Again, clicking on each trading pair’s icon will lead you to its dedicated page where you can follow the instructions for trading BTC to execute the trade.

However, there are a few differences. We’ve selected the ETH/BTC trading pair and opened a trading window. It looks as follows:


There are further options, such as Stop-loss, which if set, will automatically close the trade if at any moment your position is losing the amount you have specified in this tab.

The exact opposite of Stop-loss is the Take Profit option. If your position reaches the set value on this tab, the trade will automatically close in profit.

You can also trade with leverage on margin positions. However, it’s particularly important to be very careful, as leveraged trading carries higher risks.

eToro Social Trading

Social trading is suitable for users who don’t have enough experience in trading. Beginners can copy trades of more experienced traders in a rather quick and easy way using the platform.

On the right-side menu, you have to click on the “Copy People”. As soon as you do this, a list of traders will pop up, along with their 12-month returns. eToro will display the most successful traders first.


You’ll also be able to see their current portfolio, as well as specific recommendations if you want to copy them. Click on the big blue “Copy” button, and you’re all set to go.

eToro Supported Cryptocurrencies

eToro is currently supporting a range of different cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing this, these are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Cardano (ADA), IOTA (MIOTA), Stellar (XLM), EOS (EOS), NEO (NEO), Zcash (ZEC), and Binance Coin (BNB).

Additionally, the cryptocurrency trading pairs that you can engage in include:


Using eToro’s CryptoPortfolio

To cater to users who’d like to receive increased exposure to digital assets, eToro has created a special investment vehicle called CryptoPortfolio.

In short, CryptoPortfolio offers a bundled and diversified portfolio that places an emphasis on cryptocurrencies which have a market cap of more than $1 billion and average trading volume of more than $20 million throughout the entire month.

As the portfolio includes multiple cryptocurrencies, it’s important to know how they are distributed within the bundle. The weight of every single digital asset in the portfolio is decided proportionally based on the size of its market capitalization. The minimum is 5%.

It’s also important to understand that the investment committee of eToro will re-balance the CryptoPortfolio investment product appropriately on the first trading day of every single calendar month. This is geared towards guaranteeing the accuracy and relevancy of the product. If any of the included cryptocurrencies violate one of the previously mentioned terms, it will be delisted from the product.

Currently, the CryptoPortfolio contains the following cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • NEO (NEO)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • EOS (EOS)

Keep in mind that because of the rebalancing events, it’s possible to close a specific position and to reinvest funds in new ones. This won’t require any action on behalf of the user and the new asset allocation will be performed automatically.

eToro’s Fees

eToro provides an extensive range of trading options and, as such, the fee structure varies from one asset to another.

Exiting a position on Bitcoin will carry a fee imposition of 0.70%, which tends to be higher than most of the other crypto-based exchanges.

Other altcoins tend to trade at a fee ranging between 1% – 3%. Trading BTC against EOS, for instance, will carry a fee of 2.90%.


Withdrawing money from eToro uses the same method and is sent to the same account that was previously used for depositing. Payments will be made in the following order of priority: Credit Card, PayPal, and Bank Transfer. The fixed withdrawal fee is $25 per withdrawal.

As well as the withdrawal fee, there might be added conversion fees for any withdrawals which are not sent in USD.

Customer Support

eToro has a dedicated customer service department where users and non-users can submit tickets with their queries. They also provide a help center, containing an FAQ list.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that eToro is a rapidly growing company which expanded tremendously throughout the past year with the growth in popularity of cryptocurrency trading. As such, it’s only natural to experience slight delays in communication with customer support.


In conclusion, eToro does hold up as one of the leading cryptocurrency trading platforms on the market. Backed by a growing team of professionals, the platform does attest to the reputation and credibility it aims to build so heavily.

The trading experience is fluid and particularly user-friendly. It’s easy and, at the same time, it provides all the functionality an experienced and professional trader would require.

Going further, it boasts a wide range of different investment vehicles, allowing both novice and expert traders to diversify their investment portfolio and capture the most value from the exciting cryptocurrency market.

The post What is eToro? Beginner’s Guide To The Social Trading Platform appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Source: Crypto Potato

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

A regulatory working group in South Africa, which includes the country’s central bank, has released a consultation paper on crypto assets this week. According to the document, all exchanges, wallet providers, Bitcoin ATMs and payment processors will have to register with the government in 2019. 

Also Read: Bitpay Reports Processing Over $1 Billion Transactions in 2018

Consultation Paper on Crypto Assets

South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), National Treasury (NT), the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) jointly released on Wednesday their consultation paper on crypto assets. The group was formed to review the state of cryptocurrency in the country under the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) at the start of 2018.

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

The paper includes background on the subject and provides the scope of the activities that have been assessed. It highlights the benefits and risks, as defined by the regulators, reviews the approaches taken by other jurisdictions, and presents recommendations for dealing with crypto assets from a local perspective. The South African public and impacted parties have been asked to provide comments on the document by Feb. 15, 2019, and the regulators promise that the input will help determine the way in which crypto assets will be regulated.

Crypto Service Providers Will Have to Register

The group recommends that crypto assets remain without legal tender status and not recognized as electronic money, but they won’t be banned for now. It proposes a regulatory framework to be developed in phases, starting with a registration process for crypto asset service providers. This could eventually lead to formal authorization as a licensed operator in South Africa. Registration will be required for all cryptocurrency trading platforms, vending machines (Bitcoin ATMs), wallet providers, custodial services and payment service providers.

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

The paper also recommends that crypto asset service providers be required to comply with AML/CFT regulations under South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre Act. This means that the companies will have to conduct ongoing monitoring of their clients, keep records of their activities and file reports on suspicious and unusual transactions, including all cash transactions of 25,000 South African rand (around $1,900) and above. Details about the registration process will be published later and it is expected to be implemented in the first quarter of 2019.

Is this development good for cryptocurrency users in South Africa? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

The post South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers appeared first on Bitcoin News.


How H.R. 420 Could Completely Revolutionize the Cannabis Industry

H.R. 420 is a new bill from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and it could be a game changer for the cannabis industry.

If passed, it would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana would then be regulated just like alcohol at the federal level, opening up a new frontier of hr 420
possibilities at the state level.

And that could bring a flood of institutional investors to the market.

Some investors have been sitting on the sidelines, still worried about buying cannabis stocks because marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

The passing of this bill would end those concerns.

To see just how big of an impact this could make, we reached out to five experts to give you the best insight on what this bill means for the cannabis industry…

Why the H.R. 420 Bill Is a Game Changer

As always, we wanted to share exclusive insight with Money Morning readers from some of the top minds in the cannabis space.

Sam D’arcangelo is the Project Manager of HeadCount’s Cannabis Voter Project, a non-partisan voter engagement organization.

Sam says we’re at a tipping point for cannabis thanks to the most pro-cannabis Congress in history…

“The new Congress is the most pro-cannabis reform in history, and for the first time ever, a majority of the House of Representatives supports allowing states to legalize if they wish. Legislation like H.R. 420 will probably be taken more seriously than it ever has been in the past, though bills that take a more state rights approach have a better chance of actually making it through Congress. Still, it’s become increasingly clear that more and more legislators are realizing cannabis reform is good politics, and something many voters care about deeply.”

The next cannabis expert we spoke with believes the federal government needs to decriminalize marijuana and stop wasting taxpayer dollars…

Perfect Pot Stock Portfolio: Every single stock is in the black. Learn more.

Charlie Finnie is the Chief Strategy Officer of MariMed Inc. (OTCMKTS: MRMD), a multi-state cannabis organization that develops, owns, and manages cannabis facilities and manufactures, licenses, and distributes top brands and innovative products.

He thinks the change is long overdue.

“We applaud Rep. Blumenauer’s bill, which seeks to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. With two thirds of U.S. voters now supporting legalization, the federal government needs to stop wasting taxpayer dollars to incarcerate citizens for using cannabis. The details of the legislation should be weighed and worked out thoughtfully. The alcohol regulation model is a useful starting point. Most would agree that it has generally worked.”

While our next expert believes this bill will have a tough time making it through Congress, they do believe it will help politicians have a better understanding of the cannabis industry.

Erik Knutson is the president of Keef Brands, the creator and manufacturer of cannabis-infused products such as Keef Cola, Keef Sparkling, OilStix, and VitaCanna.

“Rep. Blumenauer has been an amazing proponent of the cannabis industry for many years. This bill, which our new Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, first introduced to Congress several years ago, would effectively end prohibition immediately. Although it will probably have a tough time making it through this Congress, every piece of legislation that is introduced helps legislators better understand the industry and the issues we currently face under prohibition.”

David Ehrlich is the COO of Zodaka, the safest, most reliable cannabis industry payment system on the market. Its software provides 100% domestic payment processing without reserves, chargebacks, high fees, or risk of shutdown.

David reasons this could also help bring in more investments to the marijuana space, as it will make large institutions feel more comfortable with the industry.

“Representative Blumenauer’s recently introduced H.R. 420 Bill is a simple (yet significant) step towards the mass legalization of cannabis in the United States. Over the last six months, we have seen large companies invest in marijuana, such as Constellation Brands $2 billion investment in Canopy Growth. Major corporations are investing in cannabis because they knew legalization was inevitable far before this bill was introduced. The introduction of H.R. 420 (and other bills like it) at the federal level means companies will be more confident that cannabis is a smart investment and begin getting involved in the industry in a major way.”

Finally, the last expert we spoke with believes this bill shows just how out of touch Washington is with marijuana laws.

Derek Riedle is the publisher of Civilized, a premium media and lifestyle brand that expands modern cannabis culture, reflecting the millions of motivated, productive adults who choose to have cannabis as a part of their lives.

“The federal cannabis laws in the U.S. are outdated and out of touch. Americans want to see an end to prohibition, and it’s about time the government take action to remove cannabis from the federal controlled substances list.”

We want to thank all the experts for speaking with us.

But before you go, we also had to make sure you were fully aware of the biggest and best cannabis investment opportunities.

This bill is coming along at just the right time…

This IPO Explosion Could Mint a New Generation of Millionaires

We’re about to see an explosion of new cannabis IPOs hit the market. And for smart investors who get in on IPO day, the gains can be incredible.

We’re talking about the potential for each of these stocks to soar 200%, 500%, 1,000% or more, practically overnight.

And today, we’ve uncovered four potentially high-flying companies set to go public before Jan. 31 that you can’t afford to miss out on.

Just click here to find out more.

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Source: Money Morning

US W-2 Employees Can Now Get Paid in Bitcoin

w-2 wage bitwage salary

Cryptocurrency payroll and HR company Bitwage has announced a rollout of new payment tools for businesses executives claim “closes the loop” in Bitcoin salaries for W-2 employees in the US.

Paxful Completes Successful Trial

Through a partnership with Texas-based HR firm Simply Efficient HR, Bitwage now offers client businesses a way to offer salaries in Bitcoin and Ether to regular payroll employees.

The move is significant for Bitwage’s US customer base, as it means companies can now pay employees with support for W-2 salary reporting obligations. Form W-2 refers to a document US corporations use to report employees salary payments to tax agency the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to a blog post January 16, Bitwage has been testing its new feature in beta mode since November. So far, it has one guinea pig – P2P cryptocurrency trading platform Paxful.

“As a company that earns 100% of revenue in bitcoin, we are always looking for service providers who will accept digital currency. Paxful has a significantly sized team in the states and we need to pay them as employees on payroll, not as contractors,” Paxful controller Hayel Abbassi commented.

…Paxful simply sends bitcoin to an address, and our employees receive net checks with the proper federal and state taxes withheld.

Adoption Fuel?

The issuance of the blog post also heralds the transfer out of beta, Bitwage says, while it remains unknown if any specific businesses are already lined up to use it.

The option to pay employees in cryptocurrency – whether in the form of their full salary or as a portion of it – has existed via Bitwage since 2014. In 2016, the company expanded its services beyond the US into Europe.


More recently meanwhile, commentators have begun asking whether retail adoption of Bitcoin might hinge on more people choosing to receive their earnings in the cryptocurrency.

Leading the argument was Francis Pouliot, CEO of an umbrella company which includes, a service allowing Canadian businesses to pay their bills in Bitcoin.

“Merchant adoption won’t take off until people get paid in Bitcoin,” he wrote on Twitter at the time.

What do you think about Bitcoin salaries? Let us know in the comments below!

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Source: Bitcoininst