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Court Reconsiders Ruling After SEC Proves Blockvest Tokens Are Securities

Court Reconsiders Ruling After SEC Proves Blockvest Tokens Are Securities

After failing to convince a federal court regarding the nature of Blockvest tokens in the previous hearing, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally convinced the same judge that these tokens are securities. The agency alleges that the firm and its founder made several false claims regarding their token’s regulatory status.

Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval

SEC’s Motion Finally Granted

The SEC announced on Thursday that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California has reconsidered its prior order regarding the Blockvest token. The court subsequently granted the agency a “preliminary injunction against Blockvest Llc and its founder Reginald Buddy Ringgold III aka Rasool Abdul Rahim El for making fraudulent offers of securities.”

The order was signed by Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel who previously denied the Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction against the defendants, citing “disputed factual issues as to the nature of the investment being offered to the alleged investors.”

Court Reconsiders Ruling After SEC Proves Blockvest Tokens Are Securities

Howey Test Now Satisfied

Howey’s three-part test needs to be satisfied in order to prove that a token is a security. It requires “(1) an investment of money (2) in a common enterprise (3) with an expectation of profits produced by the efforts of others,” the court document describes. While the SEC previously failed to show the court that Blockvest tokens (BLV) satisfied these requirements, the order issued on Thursday reveals:

The court determines that the SEC has demonstrated that the promotion of the ICO of the BLV token was a ‘security’ and satisfies the Howey test.

The judge ruled that the “defendants’ website and their whitepaper’s invitation to potential investors to provide digital currency in return for BLV tokens satisfies the first ‘investment of money’ prong.”

Court Reconsiders Ruling After SEC Proves Blockvest Tokens Are Securities

For the second prong of the Howey test, the court decided that the defendants’ “website promoted a ‘common enterprise’” since the company claimed that the funds raised will be pooled with a profit-sharing formula. Specifically, its whitepaper states that as “a Blockvest token holder, your Blockvest will generate a pro-rated share of 50% of the profit generated quarterly as well as fees for processing transactions.”

Finally, the defendants’ website and whitepaper explain that investors in Blockvest would be “passive” investors and the BLV tokens would generate “passive income,” the case papers reveal, noting:

The contents of defendants’ website, the whitepaper and social media posts concerning the ICO of the BLV tokens to the public at large constitute an ‘offer’ of ‘securities’ under the Securities Act.

The Case and the New Ruling

The SEC filed a complaint on Oct. 3 last year alleging that the defendants raised funds through an ICO for several financial products “based on misrepresentations about the firm’s regulatory status.”

Court Reconsiders Ruling After SEC Proves Blockvest Tokens Are Securities

The Commission elaborated that the defendants falsely claimed that their ICO had been registered and approved by three regulators: the SEC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the National Futures Association. The defendants also falsely claimed that they had partnered with and been audited by Deloitte, the agency alleges, noting that they also created a fictitious regulatory agency called the Blockchain Exchange Commission with the same address as the SEC’s headquarters.

“The court ruled that defendants are enjoined from violating provisions of the federal securities law prohibiting fraudulent offers or sales of securities,” the SEC confirmed Thursday. Specifically, the defendants made an offer of unregistered securities, which violated the Securities Act of 1933.

What do you think of the SEC taking action against Blockvest and its founder? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Court Reconsiders Ruling After SEC Proves Blockvest Tokens Are Securities appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Orca Pool Mining Operation Aims to Defend Altcoins and Forks From Attacks

Mining Operation Orca Pool Aims to Defend Altcoins and Forks from Attacks

Last November the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community witnessed a hash war that resulted in a bifurcation of the main chain. The spat saw one of the first examples of the alpha miner strategy and an attempt to truly test Nakamoto consensus. About a week before the fork, a new mining operation was announced called Shark Pool aimed at explicitly attacking weaker chains. However, a new type of mining organization revealed itself on Feb. 15 called Orca Pool which seeks to protect altcoins and forks from being attacked by malicious miners.

Also Read: Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Blockchains Beware: Sharks in the Water

Just before the BCH hard fork and blockchain split which saw the birth of BSV, a new mining pool announced its plan to attack smaller cryptocurrency networks in order to cause disruption to the coin’s ecosystem. The operation Shark Pool explained during the first week of November 2018 that the mining organization would exclusively mine blocks on low proof-of-work chains and create a series of orphaned blocks. Furthermore, Shark Pool would also sell profits from mining these other coins in order to acquire BSV. Shark Pool was founded by Cashpay Solutions cofounder Ari Kuqi who is also known for the project Cryptonize.it.

“All altcoins, including forks and splits, are acts of war against Bitcoin and are going to be treated as such,” explained Shark Pool when they launched.

Orca Pool Mining Operation Aims to Defend Altcoins and Forks From Attacks

Even after the BCH fork, the Shark Pool organization had continued to announce threats toward certain coins they planned on ambushing. Three days after the split, Shark Pool warned community members of projects like bitcoin gold (BTG), bitcoin interest (BCI), bitcoin diamond (BCD) and bitcoin private (BTCP). Some people also accused Shark Pool of attacking the BCH testnet at this time as well. Just before the new year, the pool explained that 2019 would be the “Year of the Shark” and the organization emphasized that it still had its sights set on BTCP’s mainnet. “Exchanges will require 1,500+ confirms for BTCP, devastating for a cryptocurrency,” Shark Pool detailed on Dec. 23, 2018.

The Orca, Predator of the Shark

Since then, Shark Pool has continued to try and recruit more miners to join the mining operation. For instance, on Jan. 5, the well known BSV supporter Kevin Pham explained to his Twitter followers that “real Bitcoin maximalists” are like Shark Pool and “you’d want to destroy shitcoins like litecoin, not support them.” Not everyone agrees with the BSV community’s mentality though and on Feb. 15 a new pool was born in order to retaliate against miners like Shark Pool. On Friday afternoon a newly created Twitter handle stated:

Sign up for Orca Pool, a mining pool that counters attacks by Shark Pool and sells the rewards for bitcoin.

 

Orca Pool Mining Operation Aims to Defend Altcoins and Forks From Attacks

Orca Pool’s tweet leads to a website which explains that miners can sign up for early registration to join the pool’s resources. The website details that the Orca, otherwise known as the killer whale, is a predator of the shark. The mining organization’s website Orcapool.cash says the group believes miners should defend blockchain censorship and the site explains in detail why they started the group.

“All Altcoins, including forks and splits, should compete in the free market — Predatory pools have emerged that wish to interfere with this process by illegally attacking blockchains with hashpower,” it reads. “Orca Pool miners will exclusively mine chains needing defense from attackers, and sell the rewards for bitcoin.”

Orca Pool Mining Operation Aims to Defend Altcoins and Forks From Attacks

Once again, the cryptocurrency mining ecosystem and its players have shown how the industry is swift to adapt to new ideas. The concept of miners mining other chains so they can acquire their favorite coin is nothing new, but maliciously orphaning blocks and causing chaos for exchanges has been a relatively new threat since last November’s hash wars. Small chains with very low amounts of hashrate like bitcoin gold and vertcoin have been attacked recently which indicates that some miners think it’s open season and have been on the hunt for these chains. Lastly, there’s also been a lot of mining pools hiding their identities recently and a resurgence of “unknown miners” has been seen on both the BCH and BTC networks.

What do you think about mining operations like Shark Pool and Orca Pool? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Twitter, Shark Pool, and Orca Pool logos. 


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The post Orca Pool Mining Operation Aims to Defend Altcoins and Forks From Attacks appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Drug Dealer Fights to Prevent Canadian Police From Forfeiting His BTC

Drug Dealer Fights to Prevent Canadian Police From Forfeiting His BTC

A Canadian online drug dealer, snared by an undercover police agent on the dark web, is pleading to be allowed to keep half of the 288 bitcoins that police seized from him as proceeds of crime. With prosecutors seeking a court order to forfeit the crypto stash, worth CAD$1.4 million (US$1.1 million), the 30 year-old dealer argues that not all of his bitcoin was used for criminal purposes.

Also read: High Cost Slows Down Bitcoin ATM Growth in Africa

 Case Shows State Willingness to Repeal Anti-Surveillance Mechanisms

Matthew Phan, a university dropout, pleaded guilty in December to illegally purchasing a firearm and a silencer and being in possession of drugs, according to an article published by the Toronto Star newspaper. Local police, acting on a 2015 tip-off from U.S. Homeland Security, used an agent to trap Phan into transacting on two dark web sites, using bitcoin as a medium.

The case is the first in which Canadian law enforcement has seized BTC, as well as comprising a well-orchestrated dark web trap. In doing so, the police have dealt a double-barrelled attack against technologies that are generally off the radar of state authorities. While the case has its roots in crime, it sets an interesting precedent regarding how law enforcement is prepared to repeal anti-surveillance mechanisms.

Drug Dealer Fights to Prevent Canadian Police From Forfeiting His BTC

The police watched Phan as he went to a local post office to collect the Glock gun he had purchased on the dark web – it was, in fact, a flare gun. Officers obtained a search warrant for his condo and storage locker. Lead prosecutor Erin Pancer revealed in court the search team found thousands of grams of marijuana, cocaine, ketamine and MDMA. Additional material, such as addressed envelopes, was picked up as evidence of drug trafficking.

During a search of Phan’s computers, police found and seized a digital wallet with 288 BTC. A member of the police team, Dwayne King, said he quickly seized the bitcoin so it would not be liquidated. He set up a digital wallet for the police and transferred the BTC.

“Not many years ago criminals kept their ill-gotten gains in shoeboxes hidden in their closets or under their mattresses. Cryptocurrencies have changed what that shoebox looks like and where it is hidden,” King was quoted as saying.

Police Rope in Private Firms to Testify

Drug Dealer Fights to Prevent Canadian Police From Forfeiting His BTC

Another significant aspect of the case relates to the corporate partnerships Toronto police enlisted to investigate and prosecute the case. King is a former police officer now working with a private firm, while CEO of Ciphertrace Inc., David Jevans, was also asked to testify as an expert. Jevans argued that Phan’s digital trail suggested drug trafficking. He said he had tracked numerous transactions from dark web sites Agora and Evolution to Phan’s bitcoin address.

King commended private-public partnerships in closing in on underground criminal activities and highlighted the case as an eye-opener for state authorities that are not up to speed with crypto-related crime. “It forced agencies to start thinking about cryptocurrency investigations as a reality more than a possibility. A lot of agencies across the country were not ready to properly investigate cryptocurrency-related cases,” King wrote.

Phan claimed that he was into crypto-assisted gold trading on the dark web but the lead prosecutor disputed his involvement in any legitimate business. The judge granted that while Phan may have previously used crypto for legitimate reasons, there was damning evidence regarding drug trafficking and the illegal purchase of a firearm.

The judge will rule on the forfeiture of Phan’s BTC on April 4.

What do you think about police seizing and forfeiting Phan’s bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Drug Dealer Fights to Prevent Canadian Police From Forfeiting His BTC appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Markets Update: Crypto Traders Still Uncertain After a Week of Consolidation

Cryptocurrency markets are once again riding a long period of consolidation as the last seven days has failed to show any meaningful moves. During our last markets update, digital asset values spiked considerably, gaining billions in one hour on Feb. 8. But a week later cryptocurrencies have offset those gains and most markets have been following a narrow range for more than a week.

Also Read: Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Crypto Gains Neutralize and Follow a Falling Narrow Range

Digital currency prices have been consolidating again into what looks like a falling wedge after seeing a significant jump in value eight days ago. The overall market capitalization of all 2,000+ cryptocurrencies is around $120 billion. Global trade volume is still decent, even though it’s a touch lighter than last week at $18.8 billion over the last 24 hours. Currently, bitcoin core (BTC) is priced at $3,635 with a market valuation of about $63.7 billion at the time of writing. BTC is down around 0.81% over the last week but has managed to gain 0.3% during this morning’s early trading sessions.

Markets Update: Crypto Traders Still Uncertain After a Week of Consolidation
Top 10 cryptocurrencies on Feb. 16, 2019.

The second highest market capitalization belongs to ethereum (ETH) as each token is trading for $123. Ethereum markets have managed to knock ripple (XRP) from the second position as XRP is swapping for $0.30 this Saturday. Litecoin (LTC) captures the fourth position with each coin trading for $43 as markets have gained 3.5% today. Lastly, eos (EOS) prices are up 1.5% as each eos is sitting at $2.83 per coin.

Markets Update: Crypto Traders Still Uncertain After a Week of Consolidation
Top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap on Feb. 16, 2019.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) prices have been coasting along at $122 per coin this weekend and markets are up 0.44%. BCH has an overall market valuation of around $2.1 billion and about $192 million traded over the last 24 hours. The top five exchanges trading the most bitcoin cash today are Lbank, Hitbtc, Fcoin, Binance, and Upbit. The top trading pair with BCH this weekend is ETH by 42.2% over the last day. This is followed by USDT (30.1%), BTC (17.4%), USD (4.2%) and KRW (3.7%). Over the last few weeks, larger concentrations of KRW/BCH pairs have been increasing. This weekend BCH is the ninth most traded cryptocurrency below dash and just above qtum.

Markets Update: Crypto Traders Still Uncertain After a Week of Consolidation
Bitcoin cash (BCH) seven-day chart on Feb. 16, 2019.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour chart on Kraken and Bittrex shows the momentum from BCH bulls has neutralized. Over the last seven days, heavier resistance was able to build up and will make things more difficult for northbound movements. The two Simple Moving Average (SMA) trendlines show the long-term 200 SMA is still above the short-term 100 SMA. This solidifies the fact that the path toward the least resistance is still the downside. Although as noted in prior market updates, the two moving averages look to be converging in the near future unless some big changes await.

Markets Update: Crypto Traders Still Uncertain After a Week of Consolidation
BCH/USD on Bittrex 4-hour on Feb. 16, 2019.

Moving on to the Relative Strength Index (RSI), Stochastic, and MACd indicators we can see things meandering back and forth. RSI and the Stochastic oscillator levels are coasting along at 48.4 on the 4-hour chart, indicating traders seem to be cautious at the moment. MACd shows signals that BCH bears are getting exhausted and a reversed MACd divergence suggests the bottom may be in and market trends seem to be on the verge of change. Order books indicate some thick resistance between the current vantage point and prices above $150. The bears will struggle between today’s spot prices and numerous areas of support until $95.

Markets Update: Crypto Traders Still Uncertain After a Week of Consolidation
BCH/USD on Kraken 4-hour on Feb. 16, 2019. Extremely tight Bollinger Bands at 10:30 a.m. EST.

Traders Still Speculating on the Next Bull Run

Last week’s run-up in prices had given some cryptocurrency traders a new breath of optimism but others still think it was just another dead cat bounce. Many digital asset traders are selecting positions and just hoping they found the right seats during this game of musical chairs. One trader who goes by the name “Financial Survivalism” on Twitter thinks BTC prices might drop considerably before a big reversal in his “Hyperwave” price analysis. The trader suggests that BTC could fall to $1,165 before a large jump to $10,000.

Markets Update: Crypto Traders Still Uncertain After a Week of Consolidation
Fiat-to-crypto money flow on Feb. 16, 2019.

Furthermore, Zhu Fa, the cofounder of Poolin, a China-based mining operation, believes the price of BTC will skyrocket 10–20x higher than its prior all-time high of $20,000. The Poolin cofounder thinks that BTC will be priced between $70,000 or 5 million yuan ($738,000). Other traders also believe the next big cryptocurrency bull run will be the last huge run-up and the crypto economy’s subsequent years of life will see much slower growth.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other coins heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


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Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Central Bank Digital Currencies Are a Trojan Horse for Bitcoin

Central Bank Digital Currencies Are a Trojan Horse for Bitcoin

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and Bitcoin could scarcely be more different. One is permissioned, the other permissionless; one centralized, the other decentralized; one is censorable, the other censorship-resistant. Despite their dissimilarities, CBDCs might just be the best driver yet for Bitcoin adoption.

Also read: Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

CBDCs Are the Best Thing That Could Have Happened to Bitcoin

When JP Morgan unveiled its eponymous stablecoin on Feb. 14, the sound of sniggering could be heard throughout the cryptosphere. Aside from the irony given CEO Jamie Dimon’s previous Bitcoin bashing, there was the notion, advanced by benighted mainstream media, that Jpmcoin, which runs on a permissioned ledger and settles transactions between JP Morgan banks only, presented a threat to Bitcoin.

“JPMorgan Just Killed the Bitcoin Dream” screamed one headline, prompting further sniggers from the crypto community. CBDCs and cryptocurrencies exist on parallel tracks that do not cross. The former serves as a type of stable digital currency that is issued and wholly controlled by banks. CBDCs share some characteristics of cryptocurrencies in facilitating fast and low-cost cross-border transfers, but the similarities end there.

The greatest threat these instruments present is not to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but rather to slow and inefficient settlement systems such as Swift. Last year, the former chair of the United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Sheila Bair, said CBDCs could have “severely negative consequences” for the “bank-dominated payments system.” CBDCs, including stablecoins such as Jpmcoin, may deleteriously affect the incumbent financial system as well as Ripple’s native cryptocurrency, but their impact on Bitcoin is likely to be positive.

Central Bank Digital Currencies Are a Trojan Horse for Bitcoin

How CBDCs Are Bullish for Bitcoin

The emergence of central bank digital currencies serves to legitimize and normalize digital currencies as the future of money. Within this broad context, any attention they receive helps to put further distance between Bitcoin and the tired “drugs, speculation, and tax evasion” narratives. Should CBDCs gain traction, however, people will quickly discover that they offer few improvements over the current financial system and come bearing several distinct disadvantages.

Digital currencies transferred via permissioned ledgers or pseudo-blockchains facilitate real-time tracking of customer spending at all times. Anyone deemed to be persona non grata, or even suspected of transacting with people deemed undesirables, is liable to have their funds frozen and account suspended. These provisions are already in place with the legacy financial system, but CBDCs will amplify the powers available to governments and regulators, with sophisticated forensics tools providing unprecedented insights into the spending habits and social behaviors of citizens.

In a world of CBDCs, there will be no place to hide and no freedom to transact without being authorized by the powers that be. It’s easy to imagine a dystopian future, based on China’s social credit system, in which citizens are billed for their healthcare and screened for employment based on their purchase history and social circle. The rise of central bank digital currencies will also bring benefits, of course, such as lowering the cost and time involved with wiring money abroad. Given the notoriously siloed nature of financial houses, however, it would be optimistic to expect CBDCs to operate globally. Just like Jpmcoin, it is likely that there will be little to no interoperability with CBDCs, preventing these digital currencies from even realizing their limited potential.

As a rising tide raises all ships, increased adoption of digital currencies benefits Bitcoin. When users of central bank digital currencies tire of their limited functionality, lack of privacy, and susceptibility to censorship, they’ll come searching for an alternative means of sending money cheaply, quickly and permissonlessly and they’ll find Bitcoin. CBDCs make for poor digital currencies but are a great Trojan horse for Bitcoin.

Do you think CBDCs will benefit or threaten Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Central Bank Digital Currencies Are a Trojan Horse for Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

In the Daily: Cryptocurrency Payments, Nvidia Losses, Suspended CFD

In the Daily: Cryptocurrency Payments, Nvidia Losses, Suspended CFD

In the first edition of The Daily this weekend, we focus on a study estimating that 13 percent of people have used digital coins for payments. We also look at the latest financial report from Nvidia indicating losses due to falling demand for chips used in cryptocurrency mining. Lastly, a broker suspends its crypto CFD offering.

Also read: Coinbase Bug Bounty, Tradingview Crypto Dashboard, Bitfinex App Update

Report: 1 in 10 People Use Cryptocurrency for Payments

The popularity of cryptocurrency as a payment method has been increasing despite the falling price of digital assets over the past year. According to a recent study conducted by cybersecurity company Kaspersky Labs, 13 percent of those surveyed have already used crypto to make purchases.

In the Daily: Cryptocurrency Payments, Nvidia Losses, Suspended CFD

Almost 13,000 people from 22 countries were surveyed. Commenting on the results, Vitaly Mzokov, head of verification at Kaspersky Labs’ Growth Center said:

Despite a fall in cryptocurrency prices, there is still a strong desire for digital transactions amongst consumers. Our consumer research has found that 13% of people have used cryptocurrency as a payment method, which was surprising to see.

The authors of the study also found that more and more businesses from various sectors such as retail and food services have started offering crypto payment options. For example, a growing number of food delivery platforms now accept cryptocurrency, as news.Bitcoin.com reported recently.

Nvidia Sees 24% Drop in Quarterly Revenue

Leading video card manufacturer Nvidia has announced a significant decrease in its quarterly revenue, which fell 24 percent to $2.21 billion from $2.91 billion a year ago. The figure is also down 31 percent from $3.18 billion in the previous quarter, the company reported. However, Nvidia also noted that for fiscal 2019, revenue was $11.72 billion, up 21 percent from $9.71 billion a year earlier.

In the Daily: Cryptocurrency Payments, Nvidia Losses, Suspended CFD

The drop during the quarter that ended on Jan. 27 has been attributed largely to falling demand for chips used in cryptocurrency mining and gaming applications which weighed on the company’s earnings. Jensen Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, commented:

This was a turbulent close to what had been a great year. The combination of post-crypto excess channel inventory and recent deteriorating end-market conditions drove a disappointing quarter.

According to Nvidia’s founder, the company’s fundamental position and the markets it serves are strong, despite the setback. “The accelerated computing platform we pioneered is central to some of world’s most important and fastest growing industries – from artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles to robotics. We fully expect to return to sustained growth,” he added.

The financial report details that in fiscal 2019 Nvidia returned $1.95 billion to shareholders through a combination of $1.58 billion in share repurchases and $371 million in quarterly cash dividends.

Mtrading Suspends Crypto Offering

Mtrading, a broker regulated in Belize, is suspending its cryptocurrency CFD offering. The decision comes in response to weak demand from clients. Traders with open positions in the affected assets now have a close-only feature, Finance Magnates reported. They will not be able to open new trades with cryptocurrency. According to the publication, the open positions on these instruments will be closed at the company’s market close price on Feb. 28.

In the Daily: Cryptocurrency Payments, Nvidia Losses, Suspended CFD

“While we believe our trading conditions were very good for crypto trading, the demand for these instruments was not what we had anticipated. We still believe blockchain and cryptocurrency has a place in the future, but for now, better opportunities lie in more traditional instruments,” the company said. Like many other financial brokers, Mtrading started offering crypto-based products when the prices of digital assets were on the rise.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


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Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

On Feb. 15, the Dallas-based mobile gifting company Swych announced it will be accepting cryptocurrencies for payments. Starting next week, instead of using traditional payment processors, Swych users will be able to pay using decentralized digital assets such as BCH, LTC, ETH, BTC, and ETC.

Also Read: Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Swych Mobile Gifting App to Add Support for 5 Cryptocurrencies

The popular mobile application Swych allows people to give virtual gift cards from over 600 well known retailers and if the person receiving the gift doesn’t like the store they can easily swap the virtual funds for another retailer. Swych was founded in 2015 by Deepak Jain and is backed by capital investment from UAE Exchange Group, a global money transfer exchange, and payment solutions provider. The gift cards available stem from retailers such as Toysrus, Old Navy, Macy’s, Nike, Target, Best Buy, Gap, Banana Republic, Sephora, Nordstrom, Amazon, and more. Essentially Swych allows users to purchase and send gift cards similarly to platforms like Egifter and Gyft. However, the mobile application allows people to effortlessly switch gift cards if they don’t appreciate the particular brand originally gifted.

Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

Swych uses payment providers like Apple Pay, Paypal, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay. But according to an announcement on Friday, the company will be accepting five cryptocurrencies next week. Swych users will be able to pay with bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin core (BTC), and ethereum classic ETC. Deepak Jain, CEO of Swych, explained during the announcement that gift cards are a de facto choice among consumers and some of the same consumers also want to spend digital currencies.

“We feel we are ahead of the game considering most retailers have not yet chosen to accept crypto payments,” Jain stated. “In keeping with Swych’s mission of providing our consumers with choice and flexibility, we’d like to provide new options based on our customers’ needs — crypto integration is one of the many requests we’ve received.

Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

‘Cryptocurrencies: The Go-to Choice for Consumers’

Jain says Swych is the only application that allows consumers to send gift cards by simply using a mobile phone number. Swych also got into blockchain technology last year and has rolled out a cross border gifting platform that’s built on top of the Stellar network. Jain believes blockchain technology and cryptocurrency solutions will make the digital gifting platforms’ operations become far more efficient. “While digital gifting is undoubtedly an amazing use case for blockchain, so is payments and I think cryptocurrencies are gradually going to become the go-to choice for consumers to make purchases on the internet,” Jain emphasized.

“For crypto holders, this means they can essentially use their crypto holdings for gift cards that are spendable at hundreds of different retail outlets,” Jain conceded. “There’s no doubt that this will be attractive to a large portion of the community, irrespective of whether the market is up or down.”

What do you think about the digital gifting platform Swych accepting cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Swych. 


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The post Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

The government-owned post office in Liechtenstein has begun offering a cryptocurrency exchange service. Initially, the post office in the capital city of Vaduz will sell BTC, with four more cryptocurrencies planned. The service is in partnership with Zug-based Värdex Suisse, the operator of “the largest crypto ATM network in Switzerland.”

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Post Office Selling BTC

Liechtensteinische Post AG announced on Feb. 15 that it has begun selling BTC at the counter of the post office in the capital city of Vaduz. “In search of new business opportunities, Liechtensteinische Post AG has decided to offer a new exchange [service] of cryptocurrencies in its post offices,” Friday’s announcement reads. The Post elaborated:

After an introductory phase, the offer will be extended to other post offices and the exchange of additional cryptocurrencies … It will then be possible to change bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP).

The announcement further notes that, after making a BTC purchase, customers will receive “a physical crypto wallet” which includes both the public and private keys.

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

Founded in 1999, Liechtensteinische Post AG comprises nine post offices and three postal partners, according to its website. Prior to Dec. 31, 1999, the postal service of Liechtenstein, a country with approximately 38,000 people, was managed by Swiss Post, the national postal service of Switzerland which is a public company owned by the Swiss Confederation. Now Swiss Post owns 25 percent of Liechtensteinische Post and the government of Liechtenstein owns the remaining 75 percent.

Partnership With Värdex Suisse

Liechtensteinische Post explained that Swiss Post had always been in “the conventional money exchange business,” therefore “nothing is different” by adding cryptocurrencies to the existing service.

This new service is enabled through a partnership with Zug-based Värdex Suisse AG, a subsidiary spun off from Bitcoin Suisse AG at the end of 2017 in order to meet the growing demand for POS solutions, Liechtensteinische Post detailed.

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

“Värdex is Switzerland’s largest, financially regulated blockchain and POS network operator,” the company describes itself. It is a member of the Financial Services Standards Association (VQF) and part of the Crypto Valley Zug community.

Its website also states that “Värdex Suisse is operating the largest crypto ATM network in Switzerland,” listing a total of 26 locations, all of which support BTC, ETH, and LTC. According to Coinatmradar, there are 48 cryptocurrency ATMs in Switzerland. Zurich has 13 machines, the most in the country, followed by Basel with six machines and Geneva with five. Other major ATM operators in the country are Bity with six locations and Bitc with 14 locations.

What do you think of Liechtensteinische Post selling cryptocurrencies at post office counters? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Liechtensteinische Post.


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Source: Bitcoinnews.com

RSK Sidechain Is Now Secured by 45% of BTC’s Hashrate

RSK Sidechain Is Now Secured by 45% of BTC's Network Hashrate

On Feb. 14, the cryptocurrency infrastructure organization led by RSK Labs announced the one-year anniversary of the RSK network and highlighted several notable achievements. Over the last 12 months, the project’s merge mining has managed to gather 45 percent of the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network hashrate, making the RSK smart contract system more secure than most blockchains.

Also Read: Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Smart Contract Infrastructure Backed by More Than 20 Exahash of PoW

At approximately 1:41 a.m. CST on January 4, 2018, RSK Labs mined the sidechain’s genesis block. Since then, the blockchain network has increased its merge mining hashrate from 4 percent of the BTC network to 45 percent today. Following this milestone, the RSK team announced that the company’s RSK sidechain has become “the most secure smart contract platform in the world.” RSK’s recent blog post explains that to 51 percent attack the BTC chain would cost $244,853 per hour. “By surpassing 45% of the hashing power of the Bitcoin network, an attack on the RSK smart contract network would cost approximately US$ 112,000 per hour,” the RSK announcement detailed. “This makes RSK one of the most secure and reliable platforms for developers to build their decentralized apps (dapps), and proves that merge-mining can succeed in securing Bitcoin sidechains.”

RSK Sidechain Is Now Secured by 45% of BTC's Hashrate
The merge mined sidechain RSK has been tethered to the BTC blockchain for more than a year, gathering 45% of the overall hashrate.

During the announcement, Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar, chief executive of RSK Labs, explained that because BTC miners are able to secure its own chain alongside sidechains at no added cost, this gives people the ability to build layer 2 solutions confidently. Moreover, the RSK executive details that this type of system also facilitates layer 3 solutions.

“The development of layer 3 services — such as RIF OS — will be vital to scale Bitcoin and RSK to service tens of millions of users while providing peer-to-peer financial services, secure messaging, data storage, and other forms of decentralized services powered by Bitcoin,” Zaldivar emphasized.

Root Infrastructure Framework and the Internet of Value

The RIF system stands for Root Infrastructure Framework Open Standard (RIF OS) and the system is a purpose-driven organization that provides developers with peer-to-peer infrastructure services and software libraries to support easier and scalable dapp development. Over the last year, RSK Labs has partnered with more than 50 crypto-related organizations in order to expand the RSK sidechain network. Initially, the project started with its original 21 million smart bitcoins (SBTC) which circulate within the RSK network. But with the RIF OS, the company has created the RIF token which is intended to enable compatibility with RIF OS protocols and dapps.

RSK Sidechain Is Now Secured by 45% of BTC's Hashrate
The founders of RSK Labs have created a supply of RIF tokens for the firm’s new Root Infrastructure Framework Open Standard (RIF OS) system. Initially, there are only 320 million RIF tokens and the rest of the units are locked in the smart contract and dispersed over the course of five years.

People interested in how the RIF OS infrastructure works and its associated token can read the whitepaper written by the founding members of RSK Labs. The RIF token smart contract was officially deployed on the RSK blockchain on November 9, 2018, at approximately 8:12 p.m. UTC. At the moment, the RIF token smart contract has minted 1 billion coins, but only 320 million have been made available to be redeemed by the early contributors to the project, the RIF token whitepaper explains. The rest of the tokens are locked into the contract and will unlock themselves autonomously over a period of five years.

“Bitcoin set the foundation for the construction of a new internet for the transfer of value,” Zaldivar detailed. “Both the RSK smart contract network and RIF OS were created as a means to move this vision further with the hopes that this new internet of value will foster prosperity and equality around the world.”

Cryptocurrency community members haven’t seen a merge mining project like RSK since the Namecoin project which works in a similar fashion. Many other blockchains can be merge mined with the same proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm that allows various networks to be mined simultaneously. Essentially the RSK blockchain works in the same manner and the smart contract system is bolstered by being secured by more than 20,000,000 trillion hashes per second at the time of writing.

What do you think about RSK’s smart contract system? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, RIF OS, and Rsk Labs. 


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The post RSK Sidechain Is Now Secured by 45% of BTC’s Hashrate appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Bitcoin Cash-Focused Ifwallet Implements Cash Accounts Name System 

Bitcoin Cash Focused Ifwallet Implements Cash Accounts Name System 

Last month, on the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin genesis block, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developer Jonathan Silverblood launched his Cashaccount.info platform. The Cash Accounts platform allows users to tether human-readable names to BCH addresses in order to make payments easier. Now the Chinese BCH light client Ifwallet has become the first public wallet with Cash Accounts sending support.

Also Read: Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Ifwallet and Cash Accounts

Bitcoin addresses are long strings of numbers and letters, a format that to some users can be nerve-racking and cumbersome. Over the last few months, BCH software programmer Jonathan Silverblood has been working on a project that helps bypass some of the friction associated with BCH addresses. He’s created Cashaccount.info, a platform that allows users to register a one-time human-readable name that is tied to a BCH public address. News.Bitcoin.com tested the application on January 2, the day before the official launch on Bitcoin’s 10th birthday. The platform hashes a name into the BCH blockchain by using an OP return transaction and after the transaction is registered into a block the name will be validated.

Bitcoin Cash-Focused Ifwallet Implements Cash Accounts Name System 
Ifwallet becomes the first public BCH wallet to integrate the Cash Accounts system.

When Silverblood first launched the project he also mentioned that he had been reaching out to wallet developers so they could possibly support Cash Accounts in the future. The Cashaccount.info website shows that the programmer has discussed the idea with Electron Cash, Edge, BRD, Bitcoin.com, Stash, Ledger Wallet and more. On Feb. 14 the Cash Accounts founder explained that the Chinese cryptocurrency light client Ifwallet has added support for the name address system within the sending interface.

“Congratulations to Ifwallet for releasing the first public wallet with Cash Accounts sending support,” Silverblood stated on Thursday.

The developer continued:

When you go to send you can now type in a Cash Accounts name and if they have compatible payment information in them they will show up in a dropdown list.

Bitcoin Cash-Focused Ifwallet Implements Cash Accounts Name System 
The Cashaccount.info OP return transaction process.

Experimenting With Ifwallet and Cash Accounts

Ifwallet is a cryptocurrency wallet with a focus on bitcoin cash and provides users with a secure asset management tool for token support. The mobile wallet is backed by investors such as Coinex and is partnered with projects like Johnwick.io, Viabtc, BCH Club, and Wormhole. Ifwallet also supports the Wormhole project by implementing WHC integration and incorporating the token factory. Recently the Ifwallet project launched the decentralized applications (dapp) store module and deployed a variety of dapps that can be used with the wallet.

Bitcoin Cash-Focused Ifwallet Implements Cash Accounts Name System 

On Feb. 15, news.Bitcoin.com tested the Ifwallet application and the client’s speed was similar to using the Japanese Yenom wallet. The wallet makes you create a six-digit PIN to access the interface but biometric settings like Apple’s Face ID/Touch ID can also be set up. The wallet doesn’t compel you to back up the wallet’s mnemonic phrase immediately and there is a warning message displayed until this part of the process is complete. I sent 0.00041575 BCH – or a nickel – to the Ifwallet, without realizing there was an identical amount of BSV attached to the BCH. The Ifwallet split the transaction into two and my wallet ended up with 0.00041575 BSV as well.

Bitcoin Cash-Focused Ifwallet Implements Cash Accounts Name System 
Sending a nickel’s worth of BCH to “Jamiecrypto#116” using the Ifwallet on iOS. 

After the transaction confirmed, I simply used Silverblood’s directions and sent money to the Cashaccount.info name “Jamiecrypto#116.” The transaction immediately showed a sent transaction to the Cash Accounts name and the process was much simpler than copy and pasting an alphanumeric string to use as an address. Overall the application worked well and if more wallets integrate this feature it would likely make sending and receiving easier for newcomers. However, some people will definitely take issue with reusing addresses and may not find the Cash Accounts payment system compatible with efforts toward financial privacy.

What do you think about Ifwallet implementing Cash Accounts support? Do you think concepts like Cash Accounts is a good idea? 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 companies or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses, mistakes, skipped steps or security measures not taken, as the ultimate decision-making process to do any of these things is solely the reader’s responsibility. This editorial is for informational purposes only.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Ifwallet, Bitcoin.com’s Block Explorer, and Cashaccount.info.


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The post Bitcoin Cash-Focused Ifwallet Implements Cash Accounts Name System  appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com