News

An overview of the latest cryptocurrency news from the leading crypto news sites.

TrustED and Binance Launch Service, First ICO Offering with Binance Chain

trusted ico binance chain

May, 2019 – Adelaide, Australia – TrustEd, an Australian start-up dedicated to bringing transparency to verification of academic credentials via blockchain, and Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and developer of proprietary blockchain Binance Chain, have entered an agreement to launch TrustED on Binance Chain.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance has recently launched the main net for Binance Chain, a blockchain software system initially developed by Binance and its development community. Boasting one second block times, transactions that take place on the innovative Binance Chain can be confirmed in nearly an instance. Binance Chain is poised to be a revolutionary stepping stone in the bid to bring cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to the masses.

TrustED, a startup out of Adelaide, Australia was founded in 2017 with the aim to on-board academic institutions such as universities and trade schools. TrustED offers educators the technology and training in order for them to store, issue, and verify academic credentials such as diplomas and certificates through blockchain technology. Blockchain technology offers immutability and permanency of data, hence storing and issuing academic credentials using the technology poses a great advantage in the efforts to digitize credentials and prevent the creation and issuance of fraudulent and falsified documents.

TrustED was initially poised to utilize the Ethereum blockchain for its application use case, however, with the introduction of Binance Chain, TrustED is excited to announce the agreement with Binance to offer to be one of the first startups to utilize Binance Chain.

Kosta Batzavalis, TrustED CEO, commented on the importance of the partnership, stating:

“Being one the first projects on Binance Chain is not only an honor but also a massive stepping stone for the TrustED project.With Binance technology behind us, TrustED can deliver on SLAs and security requirements necessary to make a blockchain-based academic solution enterprise-grade.”

TrustED will be among the very first tokens to be launched on Binance Chain. Ted Lin, Chief Growth Officer at Binance stated:

“Binance Chain and the introduction of the Binance DEX enables thousands of crypto tokens and companies to utilize the technology in an efficient and effective manner. We’re excited to have TrustED be one of the first startups to utilize Binance Chain and look forward to the growth that is to come in further bringing cryptocurrency mainstream.”

In addition to utilizing Binance Chain and the accommodating support to establish the TrustED application, TrustED plans to conduct a public token offering in the near future to assist with further fundraising and community building. TrustED will be the first Initial Token Offering to take place with the native Binance Chain BEP2 Token standard.

About TrustEd

Conceived in 2017 in Adelaide, Australia TrustED digitalizes academic credentials through innovative blockchain technology. TrustED revolutionizes the way we receive, share and verify our academic credentials. TrustED partnered with California’s NetObjex to produce an all in one solution which enables academic institutions to store and issue academic credentials, students to digitally hold and share their academic credentials, and employers and other verifying third parties to instantly verify academic credentials.

Media Contact

Contact Name: Kosta Batzavalis

Contact Email:  Kosta@trusteducation.io

Phone: +61 415943299

TrustED is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. Cryptocurrencies and tokens are extremely volatile. There is no guarantee of a stable value, or of any value at all. Token sales are only suitable for individuals with a high-risk tolerance. Only participate in a token event with what you can afford to lose.

This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored press release

The post TrustED and Binance Launch Service, First ICO Offering with Binance Chain appeared first on The Merkle Hash.

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Bitcoin SV Price Explodes After Craig Wright Is Granted US Copyright Registrations for the Bitcoin Whitepaper and Code

TheMerkle Bitcoin SV

In an impressive rally, Bitcoin SV is up over 60% almost setting a new all time high and currently trading at $102. The recent price spike comes due to news breaking out about Craig Wright being granted copyright registrations for the Bitcoin whitepaper and code.

In the press release published, Wright was granted two registrations from the Copyright office:

  • U.S. copyright registration no. TXu 2-136-996, effective date April 11, 2019, for the paper entitled Bitcoin:  A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, with year of completion 2008. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • U.S. copyright registration no. TX-8-708-058, effective date April 13, 2019, for computer program entitled Bitcoin, with year of completion 2009 and date of first publication January 3, 2009.  The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.  Wright wrote most of version 0.1 of the Bitcoin client software, and the registration covers the portions he authored.

It’s important to note the process through which one can register a copyright for certain texts. One simply needs to fill out a form claiming ownership of the content, there is no validation in place.

you just fill out a form. there is no validation

— Neeraj K. Agrawal (@NeerajKA) May 21, 2019

The recent actions by Wright are certainly bold, and Bitcoin SV market’s reaction is appropriate. Currently BTCSV is trading at $103 on Huobi, earlier surpassing it’s all time high of $104 when it peaked to almost $200 on Huobi. Currently the price is relatively stable around the $100 level.

Bitcoin SV Technical Analysis

Bitcoin SV Price AnalysisRelative Strength Index: The current RSI is at 57 points which is a healthy range. This means the market still has some good momentum available for potential gains.

Bollinger Bands: The price is also within the upper and lower bands which are narrowing as the market is stabilizing. Currently the price is tracing closer to the upper band signifying that the bulls are still present.

At this point it seems that the market has stabilized after the announcement last night. At this point, unless some more news come forward volatility should be minimal. My personal prediction is a somewhat sideways market the next couple of days following Bitcoin’s momentum.

Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin SV Charts By Tradingview

The post Bitcoin SV Price Explodes After Craig Wright Is Granted US Copyright Registrations for the Bitcoin Whitepaper and Code appeared first on The Merkle Hash.

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Winklevoss: Sitting on the Sidelines is Crazier Than Investing in Bitcoin

Winklevoss

Prominent Bitcoin investor and Gemini Exchange co-founder Cameron Winklevoss says that the future of money is currently being built with Bitcoin and crypto and that it’s ‘crazy’ to be sitting on the sidelines. 

‘The Future of Money is Literally Being Built’

Popular cryptocurrency commentator and a prominent Bitcoin investor Cameron Winklevoss has argued the craziness of investing in the crypto space. He said:

“Some people think it’s crazy to invest in crypto. Maybe. But definitely not as crazy as sitting on the sidelines when the future of money is literally being built before your eyes.”

The Winklevoss twins, in general, have been more than well-known in the space. Earlier in January, they said that Bitcoin will pass the $7 trillion gold market cap.

Mr. Wonderful Disagrees

One of those who seem to believe that investing in Bitcoin is more than crazy is popular TV personality and millionaire entrepreneur Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary. Those of you who’ve watched the popular entrepreneur show “Shark Tank” surely know him.

Kevin O'Leary bitcoin

Just yesterday, in a rather heated debate with Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano of Morgan Creek Capital, on CNBC’s SquawkBox, O’Leary argued that there’s no value in owning bitcoin as an asset class. He said:

Where is the value in owning bitcoin as an asset class? Tell me why this, which is basically a digital game, has any intrinsic value. And where is the long-term value? Just this idea that they’re going to cut the number of units in half is just a scam. That’s just total BS.

Despite Pompliano’s arguments, the investor couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around the idea and denied all merits of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as well.

Tom Lee Says Current Bitcoin Bull-Run Has Legs

Speaking on CNBC’s Markets Now, Fundstrat Global Advisors’ head analyst, Tom Lee, discussed the current case for Bitcoin. He outlined that the top ten days in any year account for all the gains for crypto.

tom lee Bitcoin price

However, Lee also said that there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic. He reiterated on the narrative that Bitcoin “has proven to be digital gold” – something also expressed by the Winklevoss twins themselves.

Lee also mentioned the upcoming Bitcoin halving which is estimated to take place in less than a year from now.

As Bitcoinist reported yesterday, the overwhelming majority of people bullish regarding the effect it will have on the cryptocurrency’s price given historical trends.

What do you think of Bitcoin going forward? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Shutterstock

The post Winklevoss: Sitting on the Sidelines is Crazier Than Investing in Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Why You Should Consider Investing in STELLAR (XLM)

TheMerkle Stellarport Decentralized Exchange

Stellar (XLM) is a cryptocurrency, a digital asset, a medium of exchange for secure financial transactions. Cryptocurrencies use a decentralized control as opposed to common central banking systems. This decentralization is usually controlled by a distributed ledger technology like blockchain processes.

The well-known Bitcoin currency, first released in 2009, is considered as the first decentralized cryptocurrency. However, since its release, over 4.000 alternative cryptocurrencies have been created. Stellar (XLM) is one of them, and it may unveil more value than most current altcoins.

The internet is made up of network servers containing our date, websites and applications. Like the Internet, Stellar is a network of decentralized servers in many locations that power the distributed ledger. This ledger records every transaction in the system for people and companies alike.

A complete copy of the global ledger exists on each Stellar server. The network become more robust and secure with more servers as they communicate with each other to verify transactions and sync the ledger periodically. The ledger records your money as credit, issued by anchors.

Anchors act as bridges between a given currency and the Stellar network. Banks and payment processors are an example of real-world anchors. The credit is issued to your online account, just like a virtual wallet, in exchange for deposits. Anchors have to be trusted to hold your money. Credit can be sent and received between people of the network.

Stellar has a distributed exchange so you can also send USD credit using EUR credit between your friends. The network will do it at the lowest rate possible. They will then receive the money which can then use by withdrawing using an anchor supporting the currency.

One lumen (XLM) is a unit of digital currency, like a bitcoin. Lumens are the native asset of the Stellar network. While you can’t hold a lumen in your hand, they are essential to the Stellar network—they contribute to the ability to move money around the world and to conduct transactions between different currencies quickly and securely.

Now that you know how crypto works and what Stellar does differently, why should you consider starting investing in it?

Deloitte, one of the world’s largest financial consulting firms, set out to innovate in the core banking space with blockchain technologies. They had a prototype that reduced transaction costs by 40%. Each transaction resolved in 5 seconds. Eric Piscini said, “the client was amazed by how fast and how cheap those transactions were.” In other words, this partnership launches the cryptocurrency world to a new higher level.

Although many recall all the buzz, regarding the Bitcoin value crash and the consequent controversy, Stellar invests in a continuous development approach. The partnership between Stella Lumens and IBM runs deep. They’ve announced steady progress on a wide range of shared initiatives. IBM along with 12 other banks across the world have joined hands for the faster transaction of financial assets throughout the world.

What about predictions? Stellar has been maintaining a steady trend since the beginning of 2019 with the price of the coin peaking up to 0.13 USD in the April. Stellar’s recent listing on the coinbase platform is now making it more accessible to the traders, and hence a price surge of over 75% can be expected till the end of 2019 with the highest peaking to almost 0.15 USD.

Google and other big companies already predicted that in the next 2 years, the value of each XLM coin will fall between 10 USD and 100 USD. Nothing is certain as cryptocurrency come and go, however, Stellar seams to be the one to bet on when it comes to target a bigger future revenue in the near future.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored article

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

The post Why You Should Consider Investing in STELLAR (XLM) appeared first on The Merkle Hash.

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Firefox Quantum Offers Anti-Cryptojacking Feature

Ripple Price Prediction And Analysis For May 21st – XRP to Recover

By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex

The XRP is recovering on May 21 after the previous selloff, trading around $0.4013.

Long term wise, after getting to the bottom at $0.2780, the crypto started trading sideways near $0.4540.

On H4, the price is testing the ascending channel support, which may then push the XRP to the resistance at $0.4540, and then to the ascending channel upper boundary at $0.5240; this is well confirmed with the MACD heading upwards.

XRP Price Prediction

On H1, the price is making lower highs, which is forming a descending channel. With the Stochastic headed down, the price may well hit the current channel support and reach first $0.3460 and then the major channel boundary at $0.3460.

XRP Price 521

After analyzing Ripple quarterly reports, Coin Metrics discovered discrepancies with the blockchain, which means the coins are allocated not in the way the RIpple Labs management said.

According to Coin Metrics, the number of XRP coins is by 200M ($84M) more than it is published officially. Meanwhile, the coins are allocated in such a way that at least $1B may remain, which is reasonable but may lead to tokens being released even faster, with all tokens being released in 21 years.

With more tokens, the price won’t be able to rise according to the exchange conditions.

Previously, the XRP got supported by the news on New York City based clients being able to trade XRP tokens in Coinbase.

Disclaimer

Any predictions contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboForex shall not be held liable for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

The post Ripple Price Prediction And Analysis For May 21st – XRP to Recover appeared first on The Merkle Hash.

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AT&T Claims Innocence In Recent SIM-Swapping Suit

Phone and internet service provider AT&T claims that it is not responsible for a series of recent SIM-swapping complaints.

Was AT&T’s Security Lacking Somehow?

Recently, Live Bitcoin News reported on a man named Michael Terpin, an AT&T customer that had allegedly been the victim of SIM-swapping. Terpin alleges that a man bypassed his phone’s security to gain access to some of his online accounts, of few of which were crypto-related. He then managed to steal Terpin’s login information and steal millions in crypto funds.

The culprit has since been charged for the crime and a court has ruled that he must pay back everything he stole. At first glance, it appears this case is closed.

But Terpin is taking things a few steps further. He alleges that AT&T’s security protocols weren’t strong enough, which is what allowed the culprit to take control of his login data in the first place. He’s also saying that much of the login information the attacker gained control of came from a single AT&T employee situated in Tucson, Arizona that the hacker potentially bribed.

What’s scary is that this employee is now being tied to several SIM-swap cases that involve the phone and internet provider. This employee has reportedly been bribed several times, and has provided login information regarding several customers, all of whom say they were victims of SIM-swapping or similar occurrences.

Terpin is now suing AT&T in federal court. The enterprise is denying any guilt and recently released a statement explaining:

Mr. Terpin is wrong, and we have asked the court to dismiss his complaint.

Terpin’s lawyer is David Silver, who has since turned Terpin’s case into a class-action suit. It appears SIM-swapping has become far more prominent over the last two years, and several people have fallen victim to the tactic. Right now, Silver is representing over 30 individuals through the suit, all of whom allege that AT&T failed to provide stronger security when it came to private data protection.

What’s unique is that Silver claims to have been a victim of SIM-swapping himself in the past. The pain and anger he felt from the situation caused him to connect with Terpin and the other 30 victims instantly, and he’s confident he’s the perfect person to tackle this.

This Seems to Be Happening Everywhere

In addition to the case against AT&T, Silver says he’s also pursuing similar cases against other cell phone providers throughout the United States including Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Terpin expressed his distaste for AT&T and commented:

AT&T’s security isn’t worth the money you pay for it… If you have an AT&T account, switch it over immediately to anybody else.

Silver also commented that AT&T was “working with” the hackers and said it was the “weakest link” when it came to cell phone security.

The post AT&T Claims Innocence In Recent SIM-Swapping Suit appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

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New York Post Publishes the Most ‘Insightful’ Anti-Bitcoin Article Yet

new york post bitcoin

There are certain mainstream media outlets which are well known for their generally anti-Bitcoin stance in published ‘news’ stories. But at least they usually try to back up their position with something vaguely resembling an argument. No such qualms for The New York Post in its latest cryptocurrency article, “Bitcoin will soon be worth zero.”

At Least Four Factual Errors In Just 89 Words

89 words (and 4 numbers). That’s all New York Post columnist, John Crudele, felt was required to back up his headline assertion. “But wait,” I hear you cry, “That’s not enough to put forward a well reasoned argument, or even a solid opinion.”

And you’d be right. It was however enough to make at least four factual errors, and of course required the omission of several important considerations. There was also a worrying lack of actual news; assuming that it was supposed to be a news article, and not a very-expensive-per-word column.

Let’s break down what appears to pass for journalism at the New York Post. We’ll take it a sentence at a time.

Not A Great Start If You Can’t Even Quote Yourself Correctly

I wrote in my last column that bitcoin is really a bitcon.

No, Mr Crudele, you didn’t, although you clearly think the pun is very clever as you do use it regularly. You actually just tacked a bit on the end of an unrelated column, overruling ECB head Mario Draghi, and mistakenly conflating cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. You wrote ‘They [Bitcoin] are part of a scam’, without backing up the claim. Still, it’s a column, so opinions are fine.

I’ve been telling you this since the price of this “investment” collapsed from around $20,000 to $4,000 last year.

True, and in this December 2018 opinion piece you do actually use your hilarious ‘Bitcon’ pun. However, your ’email from a reader’ rather trips itself up as the real con in this article. Weird that the ‘reader’ matches your writing style almost perfectly. And the content is obviously crafted to help you make your point. But yeah, that ’email came from a reader’.

Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, echoed a similar view last week but didn’t do it quite as colorfully.

mario draghi ecb

No. Again, he didn’t. He described cryptocurrencies as not being real currencies, but speculative assets, with high risks. That’s not the same as a scam or con. Plus, you already mentioned that in your ‘last column’…

So, Where Is The News In This News Article?

Last Thursday night bitcoin crashed by about $1,000, to around $7,000.

Nope. It crashed on Friday, and went a lot lower. If you’re going to sensationalise then do it properly. And is that the news element? You’re a bit late. It already back up towards $8000… or does that not fit your narrative?

Bitcoin will soon be worth zero.

No. No it won’t… and if you can define ‘soon’ for me, then I’ll happily place a bet on that. Well it worked for fil₿fil₿.

But until then criminals will still be able to use it and other digital currency to move money around the world without being caught.

Nope, criminals using Bitcoin leave an indelible trail, and are actually easier to catch, according to the DEA.

It’s Easy To Criticise Something You Don’t Understand

The New York Post shows once again that its handle on Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and how they work is none existent. Two weeks ago they were confusing Bitcoin and shitcoins, but at least there was a news story attached to that, however uninformed.

It is easy to criticise something you don’t understand… but it’s difficult to do it effectively. These 89 words are purely a badly-executed hatchet job, and Mr. Crudele should be embarrassed by his seemingly wilful ignorance of the topic on which he writes.

I just wish I got paid as much per word as he does.

What do you think of the NY Post article? Share your thoughts below!

Images via Shutterstock

The post New York Post Publishes the Most ‘Insightful’ Anti-Bitcoin Article Yet appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Bitcoin SV (BSV) Is Pumping Hard – Is Craig Wright Pushing It?

Crypto Miner: The Next Bull Run Could Take Bitcoin Up To $700k

Bitcoin SV just made a mega jump and now people are trying to figure out whether Craig Wright is responsible. A few hours ago, BSV began a surge that has since slowed down. Still, it’s a development that has had some effects on the charts. In fact, BSV’s surge led to it briefly dislodging Tron from the 11th spot on the charts. However, Tron has since reclaimed its position.

Craig Just Pulled Another One

Craig Wright, who happens to be the main force behind BSV, has just started another fuss. Craig has known to be a rather controversial character who claims to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin creator. In the recent past, Craig has threatened anyone who has stood against him with legal action.

However, the crypto community hasn’t been exactly welcome of him especially given that he has failed to provide any concrete evidence to prove he’s really Satoshi. Just a few weeks ago, Binance, along with other various crypto exchanges, decided to delist BSV.

Now, Craig has moved to file a copyright claim to seize ownership of the original Bitcoin whitepaper written by Satoshi Nakamoto. For one, Craig has in the past been known to make great efforts to cause FUD and FOMO within the crypto community, and this recent move seems to have panned out as BSV shot up by 100% when the news out his move to copyright the whitepaper broke out.

Bitcoin SV

The main driver for the surge was the FOMO as some people took the copyright registration as proof of Craig being the real Satoshi. That’s not the case. However, BSV has since recoiled back to around 58%, and it seems like it will be still dropping.

The Matic Network Is Up And Down

Bitcoin SV isn’t the only crypto making big strides today. The Matic Network, a cryptocurrency that currently sits at position 93 on the charts, just made a sharp surge before making a small recoil down by around 5%.

However, compared to its yesterday’s closing figures, the crypto is still ahead by about 45%. Still, according to this YouTube analyst, it’s still too early to buy it as it might be just a pump.

The post Bitcoin SV (BSV) Is Pumping Hard – Is Craig Wright Pushing It? appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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Report: Chinese E-Commerce Giant JD.com Has Applied for Over 200 Blockchain Patents

Tether Partly Backed by Bitcoin, Court Transcription Reveals

Tether And Bitcoin

Tether, a stablecoin tied to the dollar that is meant to mediate the volatility of other cryptocurrencies, is partly backed by bitcoin.

As detailed in court documents obtained by The Block, Tether admitted to using some of the cash reserves meant to back its stablecoin to purchase bitcoin, among other assets.

This revelation is the latest in legal proceedings between the New York Attorney General (NYAG) and Bitfinex, a leading cryptocurrency exchange which shares management with Tether. Bitfinex and the NYAG have gone back and forth in a battle of legal letters after the NYAG petitioned the New York Supreme Court to stop the exchange from drawing on a $900 million line of credit it established with Tether to cover $850 million in losses it incurred when its fiduciary relationship with payment processor Crypto Capital went south.

The war of words has offered a rare glimpse into Tether/Bitfinex’s shared business practices, including the revelation that Tether’s reserves are only 74 percent backed following the $850 million loss. Additionally, Bitfinex used Crypto Capital to commingle business and customer funds. Now, Bitfinex’s legal counsel is saying that some of these funds were used to buy bitcoin.

“Tether actually did invest in instruments beyond cash and cash equivalents, including bitcoin,” David Miller, Bitfinex’s attorney, testified, adding that it is a “small amount.”

Presiding Judge Joel M. Cohen responded by saying that, while it “may be a little beyond the issue,” that “Tether sounded to me like sort of the calm in the storm of cryptocurrency trading. And so if Tether is backed by bitcoin, how is that consistent? If some of your assets are in a volatile currency that Tether is supposed to somehow modulate,” then that supports the NYAG’s argument.

The rest of the document outlines an argument for why the NYAG’s injunction has grounds under the Martin Act, an anti-fraud law that gives the NYAG legal leeway to bring action against allegedly fraudulent securities issuers. The NYAG argues that, under the Martin Act, it has jurisdiction to pursue Bitfinex/Tether because neither offered sufficient disclosure to stakeholders (namely, Bitfinex users and tether holders).

But the judge opened up his remarks questioning this legal basis, stating that “it [isn’t] 100 percent clear what the violation [is].”

“The petitioner [NYAG] ... very clearly and correctly said that the Attorney General’s Office is not a regulator, so there is no general mandate in the Martin Act to maintain the financial stability of any given company unless there is a statutory violation to pursue,” Judge Cohen said. “So the petitioner ... has to show why in this particular case instability or failure to have enough coverage in terms of dollars constituted by itself a violation.”

Miller criticized the NYAG as having a “lack of jurisdiction” in the matter, arguing that the attorney general is only going after Bitfinex/Tether because it dislikes bitcoin as an asset. He also argues that Tether made proper disclosures regarding its fractional reserves in a February website update.

The May 16 hearing followed a temporary injunction granted by judge Cohen that would freeze Bitfinex’s line of credit for 90 days, a timeframe Bitfinex/Tether sought to reduce to 45 days.

In the background of the courtroom battle, Bitfinex launched a token sale to the tune of $1 billion to aid fund recovery efforts. The token, LEO, sold out and is currently trading; the $1 billion raised will go to cover some of the $850 million lost to Crypto Capital, with Bitfinex planning to buy back and burn outstanding supply until all tokens are out of circulation.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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5 Reasons why the Bitcoin Price Uptrend has Stalled

TheMerkle Bitcoin Price Sideways Trading

It has been a rather quiet week for Bitcoin so far. Despite a very promising start to May of 2019, the uptrend has ground to a halt. While that is not entirely unexpected, a lot of traders and speculators are growing antsy once again. There are several reasons as to why the Bitcoin price uptrend has stalled. How much of a role these all play in the big picture, is up for debate.

The Bitcoin Mempool is Filling up Again

There are always some things going on with Bitcoin which most people will not notice immediately. As has been the case for some time now, there will be periods when the BTC transaction queue fills up quickly and confirmations will take longer to materialize. While this problem can usually be solved by simply paying a higher transaction fee, it is a far cry from an ideal solution. After all, no one wants to pay more fees to move BTC across the network. When the unconfirmed transactions numbers rise, the Bitcoin price usually seems to enter sideways trading for a while. It is unclear if these events effectively correlate, though.

When looking at the weekly chart for the Bitcoin mempool, it is evident five key spikes can be noted. The last one materialized on the evening of May 20, yet it seems most of the queue was eliminated just a few hours later. That situation ultimately yielded a second spike, which further confirms there are still plenty of transactions waiting for confirmations. This problem was also present last week, when the number of unconfirmed transactions spiked well above 70,000 multiple times. Despite things settling down in the days after, it is evident the network is struggling to keep up with the demand.

Higher Fees Don’t Make Anyone Happy

When it comes to dealing with Bitcoin transaction fees, there will always be very conflicting opinions. Although low-fee TXes will always go through eventually, it seems the average fee has spiked five times in the past seven days. Not a promising sign, albeit this is somewhat to be expected under the current technical conditions. Bitcoin isn’t exactly suited to handle tens of thousands of transactions per hour without issues, albeit that situation may change in the future. For now, it is something users need to contend with and try to make the best of the situation. Either that or switch to altcoins for faster transaction speeds.

Novogratz Destroys Altcoin Season Expectations

Most cryptocurrency users are familiar with the name Michael Novogratz. He is a well-known Bitcoin price speculator, and one who still has high hopes for the world’s leading cryptocurrency throughout 2019. Interestingly enough, he also doesn’t believe there will be an altcoin season in 2019. A rather remarkable statement, especially since so many traders expect altcoins to pop off very soon. So far, there haven’t been any major surges outside of the market cap top 30.

Not this time. Market getting smarter. $btc will outperform.

— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) May 19, 2019

While this statement should primarily affect altcoins, it could also explain why the Bitcoin price trend has stalled. Depending on how one looks at this statement, one could argue the next Bitcoin bull run is just around the corner. Assuming that is the case, nearly everyone seems to be holding their breath, which results in a status quo in the price department more often than not. That wouldn’t explain why every recent price push has been shot down pretty quickly, albeit speculators are making some good money off flipping Bitcoin on such a regular basis.

VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF Delayed Again

Bitcoin enthusiasts and traders should get used to these developments by now. Over the past few years, the SEC has either shot down all Bitcoin ETFs or delayed the decision-making process numerous times. The final outcome is always the same, however, as there is no Bitcoin ETF on the market. Nor may there be for quite some time to come. One also has to wonder if this industry really needs such trading vehicles to attract more players. In its most recent communication, the SEC confirmed additional analysis may be required, albeit that is not necessarily a positive development.

Interestingly enough, the SEC is seeking comments on how the general public perceives this trading vehicle. That in itself shows they are not closing the lid on this product immediately, but it may not necessarily yield an approval either. It would appear a new “verdict” will be rendered in five weeks from the day the notice was made public. That means this ETF will be either approved or rejected by late June of 2019. At the same time, there may be further delays as far as this decision is concerned as well. The tug-of-war involving Bitcoin ETFs is far from over at this point, that much is evident.

Bitcoin Price Correction is Still Ongoing

As mentioned a few days ago, there are interesting parallels between the Bitcoin price surges of 2017 and 2019. As such, it seems plausible to assume BTC is still in its first of potentially five correction waves. While no one knows exactly how long this wave could last, it may take another few days until a new high for 2019 is reached in a convincing manner. Every pullback to a more normal level is healthy for financial markets and cryptocurrencies are no exception in this regard.

Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

The post 5 Reasons why the Bitcoin Price Uptrend has Stalled appeared first on The Merkle Hash.

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Authpaper delivery brings blockchain to data and document courier

Authpaper delivery brings blockchain to data and document courier

Authpaper, a Hong Kong startup working on electronic document stamping solution, started a P2P data courier solution which can deliver a huge amount of data or documents encrypted with an unforgeable delivery record.

Building a custom blockchain with delivery records, they aim to solve the multi-billion document fraud problem and speed up businesses of international enterprises by replacing the slow and expensive physical document courier services.

Physical mailing has been the default way to deliver documents and small goods between parties, especially the commercial and important ones. It is because only physical mailing or courier can provide a guarantee on delivery while making sure no one can read the data content. 

The mailing business is huge. For example, Hong Kong Post delivers over 3.28M commercial documents every day inside Hong Kong in 2017. The delivery fee is around 2 to 32 Hong Kong dollars (HKD) per mail, it means in Hong Kong alone the market size is at least HKD 6.56 million per day. SF Express (顺丰), one of the largest delivery service providers in the Greater China Region, worth around 190 billion Renminbi (RMB). UPS also worth around 110 billion US dollars (USD). 

Companies nowadays deliver documents via electronic medium, like email and online messengers. They provide nearly instant delivery, but the content will be known to the service providers, so are not suitable for private data. S/MIME allows people to send out encrypted emails, but the adoption is very low. There is also a size limit on the attachments. 

Online storage providers like Google Drive and Dropbox give terabyte of storage for users to keep data online and share to others. There is a concern about data privacy when using cloud storage. Data breaches like an iCloud hack in 2014 are more and more nowadays. 

Besides, the speed of delivery, on the other hand, is generally limited.

Which of the following is the fastest way to deliver 2TB data from San Francisco to Hong Kong? 

1) Dividing the data into small packages and send them one by one via email. 

2) Uploading to an FTP server for the other side to download.

3) Uploading to cloud storage and ask the other side to download.

4) Copy it to a hard disk, and send the disk to the other side by courier.

Surprising to most people, the answer is 4). This typical question in technical job hiring has brought the attention of Authpaper’s CEO, Solon.

“Even in the era of information technology, physical courier is still the most guaranteed way to send private documents and the fastest way to send huge data. It is not good. We need to do something on it.” — Solon, CEO of Authpaper Limited

To enter a mature industry like data courier as a startup, Authpaper has to think out of the box. Authpaper Delivery combines blockchain, BitTorrent, cryptography and other current technologies to build a peer-to-peer digital data delivery platform. All data delivered is confidential except the specified recipients.

Data is verified to be unchanged down to every single bit. Peers are rewarded on the Authpaper blockchain as they seed data they cannot read to speed up the data transfer. All delivery records are stored on blockchain so that they are public verifiable yet unforgeable. 

Unlike projects like FileCoin and BitTorrent (BTT) coin, peers are awarded for speeding up the delivery, not keeping data. Peers will actively seek new jobs to speed up the delivery and drop the old job once delivery is completed, the data transmission speed is incomparable.

“Authpaper Delivery can send data much faster than any other solutions, and have the same delivery guarantee and unforgeable delivery record on blockchain” — Solon, CEO of Authpaper Limited

Do you want to know more details on the project? Read more information here: https://authpaper.io

The post Authpaper delivery brings blockchain to data and document courier appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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TrustED and Binance Launch First ICO Project on Binance Chain

TrustED and Binance Launch First ICO Project on Binance Chain

TrustED, an Australian academic credential verification platform has joined forces with Binance crypto exchange to launch its ICO on the Binance Chain.

TrustED, a platform focused on fostering transparency in the verification of academic certificates has allied with Binance exchange, the creator of the Binance Chain blockchain network, to launch TrustED on Binance Chain.

The newly launched Binance Chain network boasts of one second block times, allowing transactions to get confirmed almost instantly on the platform.

Binance Chain is determined to promote the widespread adoption of crypto assets with its intricate properties.

TrustEd was established in Adelaide, Australia in 2017 and its main goal is to onboard academic institutions like universities and trade schools. TrustED provides educators with the technology and training needed to store, issue, and verify academic credentials via blockchain technology.

The immutability property of blockchain technology makes it the best solution for storing and issuing academic certificates since it fosters permanency of data, thereby curbing fraud and falsification of documents.

TrustED originally had plans to go live on the Ethereum blockchain, however, the introduction of Binance Chain has given it a more exciting choice since it will now be among the pioneers of the platform.

Commenting on the matter, Kosta Batzavalis, CEO of TrustED reiterated that:

“Being one of the first projects on Binance Chain is not only an honor but also a massive stepping stone for the TrustED project. With Binance technology behind us, TrustED can deliver on SLAs and security requirements necessary to make a blockchain-based academic solution enterprise-grade.”

Ted Lin, Chief Growth Officer at Binance stated that:

“Binance Chain and the introduction of the Binance DEX enables thousands of crypto tokens and companies to utilize the technology in an efficient and effective manner.”

TrustED partnered with California’s NetObjex to create the highly functional solution that enables academic institutions to store and issue credentials, while also making it easier for students to digitally hold the certificates and share it with employers and other third parties for instant verification.

TrustED plans to launch its token generation event in the future, in order to gather funds for community building. TrustED will be the first initial token offering to be launched on upon the native Binance Chain BEP2 Token standard.

Email: Kosta@trusteducation.io

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Bitcoin Recovers to $8,000 – Why The Market Sentiment Is Now Different

Bitcoin Recovers to $8,000 – Why The Market Sentiment Is Now Different

Earlier last week Bitcoin reached an important resistance level of around $8,300 and with many expecting a decisive move to occur, either way, BTC fell in price and even dropped as low as $6,400.

Bitcoin

However, what was interesting to observe was just how quick BTC managed to recover when many expected the decline in price to continue.

Twitter user and Cryptocurrency analyst Joseph Young recently tweeted his views regarding the recent drop in price and BTC recovery;

Bitcoin dropped to $6,400 on May 17 triggered by a 5,000 BTC sell order on Bitstamp that led to massive BitMEX liquidations.

Rapid recovery to $8,000 is a testament to how positive the sentiment around the market is currently.

— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) May 19, 2019

This certainly sparks the question of how the market is currently performing if Bitcoin can recover in such quick succession.

How would Bitcoin react to such a move during a bear market?

Well, the reversal in price certainly would have panicked many investors and we certainly believe the sell-off in BTC’s price would have gathered far more momentum to drive the price further only a few months ago.

Times are changing!

But if we take a closer look at what triggered the BTC sell-off, what exactly was the 5,000 BTC sell-order actually due to?

Bitcoin Rapid Decline – CME Futures Related?

Now the reason why there was a huge sell-off was reportedly due to the Bitcoin CME Futures GAP.

Josh Rager mentioned in a tweet a few days ago;

$BTC – CME Futures Gap officially filled

Looks like that was the dip to buy

This is very bullish pic.twitter.com/hYCRMKUj2i

— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) May 17, 2019

Futures have been around in Bitcoin since 2017 and the big players tend to use the Futures markets to bet on the price of Bitcoin to go up or down.

Now the futures market doesn’t tend to trade 24/7 or open on weekends so if there is a big price movement during those periods then this can result in a gap in price.

The gaps in futures markets often mean that an order needs to be filled to cover that gap. This would then make logical sense as to why price reached the $6,400 region.

Bitcoin to remain Bullish?

The recent drop in Bitcoin’s price and rapid movement up indicates that there were a lot of buyers interest in the $6,400 region which pushed priced back up to its current levels.

A sign to suggest that we currently remain in bullish sentiment.

Those lucky enough to pick up orders in that region will certainly be glad they were given another chance!

The post Bitcoin Recovers to $8,000 – Why The Market Sentiment Is Now Different appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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Crypto Scams More Than Tripled Last Year

Cryptocurrency is becoming a legitimate industry, but it’s probably not happening fast enough.

Fraud Is Still Too Consistent

A new report suggests that more than $32 million was lost to cryptocurrency scams in 2018. This is a raging sign that the industry still lacks appropriate regulation and that hackers and malicious actors are still too active throughout the space.

What can we do about this? It’s a question that’s likely on enthusiasts’ minds everywhere, whether they’re longtime traders with tons of experience or they’ve traded only .0001 percent of a bitcoin in the past. Either way, regardless of what you’ve traded or invested in, if you have a stake in the industry, consistent fraud is likely to pose a threat to you one way or another.

The Financial Conduct Authority released data regarding the massive losses incurred over the previous year in the United Kingdom with assistance from an organization known as Action Fraud. The number of scams that occurred in 2018 more than tripled than the number reported in 2017. This is proof that the crypto industry’s protection protocols have weakened. Either that, or scammers are developing newer and stronger ways of getting past the hidden lines.

In all, approximately 1,800 scams were reported in the U.K. in 2018. During the previous year, only 530 were reported. Victims lost an average of $18,500 each.

Director of Action Fraud Pauline Smith expressed her disappointment in the findings, claiming:

These figures are startling, and provide a stark warning that people need to be wary of fake investments on online trading platforms. It’s vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they’re considering is legitimate.

Indeed, Smith brings up a very valid point. Perhaps the problem is not that regulation is either too weak or non-existent in some areas. Perhaps it’s not even that hackers and malicious actors are becoming too prominent. Maybe people just aren’t being careful enough with their money.

Every analyst will probably tell you the same thing: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. People clearly aren’t considering their investments enough. It’s important to read the “fine print” on everything. While it may be boring or confusing, there’s no reason as to why a person shouldn’t be familiar with every aspect of the investment opportunity they’re considering.

Make Sure You Understand Everything Before Investing

If there’s something that seems strange or wacky, or if something is hard to understand, get a lawyer or legal compliance officer or whoever you need to make sure your money isn’t going to wind up in a black hole somewhere.

In case it’s not clear enough yet, the message from all this is, “Be careful.” There are simply too many fraudulent venues out there to be taking any risks, and regulation is not yet fully solidified in most areas.

The post Crypto Scams More Than Tripled Last Year appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

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Ethereum (ETH) Getting Ready for Another Shot Above $260

Ethereum price

Ethereum price is consolidating lock step with Bitcoin price but the current hourly chart suggests the top altcoin could be staging another attempt at $260.

Ethereum Market Overview

After rallying more than 100 percent since April, Bitcoin price has taken a slight breather and Ethereum (ETH) appears to be doing the same.

Yesterday the market paused while waiting for the SEC’s decision on a Bitcoin-ETF and even though the unsurprising delay seems to have had little impact on price action, Bitcoin and Ethereum could trade sideways for a tad bit longer. Let’s have a look at the charts to see what the short-term outlook is.

ETH/USD 1-HR, 4-Hr Charts

Since dropping from a 2019 all-time high to $222.88 ETH price 00 is slowly gearing up to tackle $260. However, momentum halted as Bitcoin double-topped and dropped on 8.7 percent Monday.

Currently, ETH is tightening within a narrowing triangle and there is support at $240, $245 and resistance at $260 and $280. At the time of writing ETH is tightly riding along the 12EMA and the hourly chart shows ETH well supported at the $245 ascending trendline, which aligns with the 38.2 percent Fib retracement level.

The Bollinger bands have drawn tight with ETH riding closely above the middle band and the RSI is flatlined slightly above 50. The Stoch RSI is rising from oversold territory and as volume increases a bullish cross could be on the verge of occurring.

4-Hr Chart

The ETH/BTC 4-hour chart also shows that ETH 00 has popped above the 12 and 26-EMA and if buyers maintain interest it could be on way to setting a low high at 0.032238 since its explosive move out of the falling triangle last week.

Generally, as ETH approaches the triangle tip we can expect a more decisive move that extends to $260 but this is likely to be impacted by Bitcoin’s price action. In the event of a mild pullback, ETH is well supported at the 50 percent Fib retracement level ($252).

Do you think ETH will recover to overtake $260 in the next 24-hours?

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice. Market data is provided by Bitfinex. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.]

Trade Bitcoin, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies on online Bitcoin forex broker platform evolve.markets.  

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Trading View. Market data sourced from Coinbase.

The post Ethereum (ETH) Getting Ready for Another Shot Above $260 appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Crypto Startup Circle Lays Off 30 Employees Citing Market, Regulatory Conditions

Elipay Celebrates the First of 100s of Crypto-Accepting Merchants in Croatia

Elipay Celebrates the First of Hundreds of Crypto Accepting Merchants in Croatia

On May 20, Eligma showed off its Elipay service, a crypto payment processing system that allows people to pay for products and services with cryptocurrencies at over 300 retailers in the region. The grand opening of Elipay’s Croatian launch started with the first transaction made by Bitcoin.com’s CEO, Roger Ver, at the five-star Navis Design Hotel.

Also read: Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

Using the Elipay System to Purchase Goods and Services With Crypto in Croatia

On Monday, Croatia got a crypto boost during a grand opening event that showcased a few Elipay merchants. The Elipay system allows for payments with crypto at both online and physical stores throughout the area. The Elipay mobile application integrates with existing Point of Sale (PoS) merchant systems and the platform was already supported by hundreds of locations in Slovenia. The first transaction in Croatia took place at the Navis Design Hotel located in the seaside town of Opatija. Bitcoin’s first angel investor and Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver used bitcoin cash (BCH) to pay for his stay at the Navis Design Hotel.

“[Roger Ver] is visiting Slovenia and Croatia in the scope of the partnership between Eligma and Bitcoin.com,” the company’s blog post mentioned. Eligma continued:

Great news for all Bitcoin.com enthusiasts: At all 300+ locations accepting Elipay, you are now also able to pay with the Bitcoin.com Wallet, also in Croatia, of course.

Elipay Celebrates the First of 100s of Crypto-Accepting Merchants in CroatiaElipay has onboarded over 300 online and physical merchants in Slovenia and Croatia. About 1/3 of those merchants are located in Bitcoin City.

The New Elipay System Helps Grow Crypto Adoption

The Elipay service offered by Eligma is available for Android and iOS mobile phones. Elipay supports cryptocurrencies like ETH, BCH, BTC, and the company’s native token called ELI. Out of the 300+ locations that accept cryptocurrencies, Eligma CEO Dejan Roljic told news.Bitcoin.com during the first week of April that about one third of the crypto accepting merchants are located in Bitcoin City. The notorious Slovenian crypto-metropolis is well known for being one of the most concentrated areas of cryptocurrency-accepting merchants worldwide. According to the merchant application Marco Coino, Slovenia has the most BCH merchants globally which is followed by other large concentrations like North Queensland, Australia, and Japan.

After Ver made the first crypto purchase at the Navis Design Hotel, he was also seen spending bitcoin cash at one of the largest Slovenian stores called Tuš market. Ver was again the first individual to pay with crypto at the store using the Bitcoin.com Wallet and Elipay service. The picture of Bitcoin.com’s CEO shared on Twitter shows him with a whole shopping cart full of groceries that are about to be purchased with bitcoin cash. Ver arrived in Ljubljana to visit the local BCH meetup on Tuesday in order to discuss the many benefits bitcoin cash has to offer the world.

Elipay Celebrates the First of 100s of Crypto-Accepting Merchants in CroatiaRoger Ver using the Elipay system and bitcoin cash to pay for accommodations at the five-star Navis Design Hotel and at the well-known Tuš market.

Ver has been relentlessly pushing bitcoin cash adoption nearly everywhere he goes. Just recently he announced the Tokyo-based Alliance Cargo Direct would be adding BCH and the SLP token ACD at thousands of online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Now with the recent push in Croatia and Slovenia, BCH and other cryptos have more merchant acceptance to rely on. Eligma plans to continue adding merchant partners to the Elipay system in order to grow internationally. The startup wants to take the crypto shopping experience to a whole new level by making cryptocurrency payments user-friendly. Eligma recently started a project called Eligmalabs and partnered with the firm Spartan Solutions this past March. Additionally, the company has detailed that in the future, debit cards, credit cards, and loyalty programs will be integrated into the Elipay system.

What do you think about the first crypto transactions using the Elipay payment service in Croatia? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Eligma has a strategic cooperation with Bitcoin.com. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is 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. This editorial is for informational purposes only.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Eligma, and Twitter.

Now live, Markets.Bitcoin.com: A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

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Op Ed: Lightning Network Consensus Is a Marketplace and That’s Okay!

Lightning

To Bitcoin or Not to Bitcoin

During the “scaling debate” before the SegWit2X user-activated soft fork (UASF), Bitcoin businesses were getting their first bitter taste of Bitcoin’s censorship resistance. They wanted change to be easier. They wanted their influence to be effective. They wanted to take shortcuts. Unfortunately for them, Bitcoin was created to resist control. Entities that seek to position themselves against Bitcoin are choosing a path of perpetual hypocrisy and frustration.

Those who follow me in interviews might be tired of hearing this, but each Bitcoin business has the choice of making Bitcoin its best friend or its worst enemy. The signers of the New York Agreement chose to make Bitcoin their biggest problem and, to this day, most of them have only gotten worse in this regard.

How can you tell the difference between a genuine Bitcoin business and an enemy? It’s simple! Sincere Bitcoin businesses focus on providing utility to Bitcoin and Bitcoiners, whereas antagonistic businesses maximize their ability to exploit their customers by securing as much of their value into their own custody as possible. That is the battle line. They are actors that want to compete with the old system, but there are true Bitcoin entities that work to delete the old system instead.

Back then, the big blockers claimed they merely wanted lower fees to make room for the billions of people clamoring at the imaginary gates of Bitcoin. But most of these businesses waited forever to activate SegWit, and some major ones still don’t even batch properly. They pollute our blockchain, withholding these efficiencies from their customers. Instead, they barrage new entrants with traps upon arrival, literally bribing them to learn about useless shitcoins and tokens.

Custody-preferring KYC businesses are wolves in sheep’s clothing seeking to liberate you from your BTC, but they should be seeking to liberate you from custodial banking.

Bitcoin is here to delete custodial trust and provide a new circular economy.

We’re Gonna Eat Their Lunch

Exchanges and other custodians basically acted as Bitcoin’s primitive second layer. They added central efficiencies, but the risks were exchange hacks, exit scams, closed accounts, censorship and surprise-KYC requirements.

Fast forward to the present and we have a new paradigm that has grown on top of Bitcoin. The Lightning Network anchors onto Bitcoin, providing a new way to transact. It is faster, less expensive, and capable of handling higher capacity. This is the first time we can truly use Bitcoin in a peer-to-peer fashion, instantly, within a much, much different protocol environment, an environment where you simply do not need to give trusted custody to receive centralized services.

But the former NYA SegWit2X players are mostly ignoring Lightning, with the most notable exception being Bitfury and their Peach project. More than 50 businesses supposedly wanted better Bitcoin scaling and supported forking Bitcoin. Now the great majority of those businesses aren’t helping with development, funding, products or services for the Lightning Network.

I’m not convinced fiat businesses like Coinbase can convert from being enemies into allies of Bitcoin. They are deeply invested into the State and traditional finance, employing strategies that leverage their relationships with them. They don’t understand how to design a new type of business that can actually profit from providing utility to Bitcoin. Thankfully, some of us do get it, and we’re gonna eat their lunch.

I’m so excited about all the ways we can build on Lightning. The fact that most Silicon Valley, VC-backed businesses aren’t interested in Lightning is embarrassing. We have a huge head start, but we need to start behaving more intentionally and strategically to capture it.

Dude, Where’s My Revolution?

Big blockers like to taunt Lightning supporters by pointing out how Lightning Network completion seems to perpetually be 18 months away. It’s an unfair perspective considering how far we have come. It’s probably silly to think programmable money will ever be “done” at all.

However, we have to be careful not to prove them right. In my opinion, Bitcoin and Lightning are at a turning point, and it is finally time to begin the Bitcoin Revolution. We have to ride the line between endlessly making tech and endlessly making toys. It’s time to start solving problems for people with actual products and stop making features for the sake of demonstrating tech. It’s time to start helping people break the rules with Bitcoin and to make Lightning irresistible to businesses and consumers.

The war to delete custodial Bitcoin as a concept has begun. The foundation for a circular Bitcoin economy is being laid out as I type. Pick up a hammer and get in here!

We keep saying that blockchain-not-Bitcoin is stupid. We keep mocking ICOs. But these projects keep getting all the investment dollars! That is about to change.

The Agile Bitcoin Business

In this new economy, a new type of Bitcoin business is emerging that will address following product cycle: Trust > Hybrid Trust > Trustless.

Until now, many businesses focused on providing trusted services that require or encourage the customer to relinquish custody of their coins. Lightning expands business opportunities to enable hybrid, or momentary, trust, as well as trustless services.

I believe this will result in an environment where smart entrepreneurs can identify products that people need in the interim between now and when all commerce can be trustless, advancing their products to require less and less trust over time with new technologies.

The Center for Decentralization

Lightning removes the trust aspect of centralization and creates new dynamics to leverage trust, reducing risks to mere inconveniences. This is a design tool for us to utilize. This is what Bitcoin commerce has been waiting for.

Familiarize yourself with the concept of hybrid trust: the temporary trust a business earns via reputation and their incentive to maintain it. This might sound like babble upon first reading it, but you can look at Bitrefill’s Thor Turbo channels for a great example.

People need to trust that Bitrefill will actually deliver the turbo channel when they purchase it, that Bitrefill will deliver the correct amount of Bitcoin in their channel, and that Bitrefill will relay any attempts to use the channel. But all of that happens in a moment. Then, Bitrefill delivers the channel instantly, and lets you spend your coin instantly. If you get skittish or Bitrefill doesn’t relay your spends, you can close the channel. You are free to opt out or in at any time, and Bitrefill only has custody of your BTC for the brief moment when you are purchasing the channel.

Thor Turbo channels can also follow the product path I mentioned earlier by going from a service purchased within the Bitrefill.com platform, to a Bitrefill white label API service, to a native protocol service in every node that could also be mapped when routing to instantly open new paths. Still with me?

Bitcoin was always a push payment system, but Lightning allows businesses to get creative with it because we don’t have to break the protocol to change rules for new products and services.

Consensus Is Not Required in the Lightning Network

The landscape on the Lightning Network is such that it allows for subnetworks and external networks to be interoperable. While there is a BOLT specification process, it is only necessary if you want to get a feature into the consensus of cooperating developers, not the consensus of users.

The nature of the Lightning Network being truly peer-to-peer allows for you to have special rules with any peer or set of peers. This is a feature Bitcoin’s base layer isn’t very good at. Use it.

The Lightning Network Protocol Is Market Driven

Here is an example of a recurring question I overheard at the New York Blockchain Week conferences last week:

“When do you think they will raise the Lightning channel size limit?”
“When Lightning Labs is ready, I guess.”

I have tons of respect for Lightning Labs and everyone on that team. I met many of them for the first time last week, and it was truly a delight to talk shop with them. I have so much to thank them for, but I cannot allow this misconception to grow.

There is no such thing as consensus on the Lightning Network; instead, we have compatibility. That means you can literally break the rules of the majority, as long as there are other people that have an incentive to break the rules with you.

If you want bigger channels, make them bigger. You do not need permission, you need cooperation. You do not need consensus, you need incentive.

Let me let you in on a little secret. Objectively speaking, Bitrefill is running the most economically relevant nodes on the Lightning Network and demonstrating the concept of a Lightning Service Provider (LSP) in its early stages by creatively leveraging hybrid trust to provide utility to real consumers.

Lightning payments are currently at 5 percent of unique payments received by Bitrefill, growing at a rate of ~35 percent monthly.

People are asking a lot from us and putting some pretty big expectations on our shoulders. A little bit of that is our fault for being Lightning cheerleaders in the media, but most of it is just pure natural market-demand behavior. Users are using our platform to secure real utility.

I am surrounded by all of this every day, and now all kinds of cool observations are becoming apparent to me. We don’t have to perform acrobatics to route transactions because everyone already likes being connected to us. We don’t have to question whether to do more with Lightning because the market is quite literally demanding it.

We don’t have to wait for permission to make new Lightning products.

It sounds scary, doesn’t it? Bitcoin has a playground now, and it’s kind of a big deal.

While decentralization is very necessary to make Bitcoin work, it is not necessary to advance Lightning’s usefulness.

Competition, Cooperation and Consolidation

I see a LOT of Lightning projects, wallets, games, labs and businesses popping up, but I’d like to see some consolidation and cooperation, both for efficiency and for the users’ sake. I do not want to use a different app for everything, nor do I want any of my favorite apps to be abandoned.

If Lightning is a marketplace of implementations and services, that means there will be winners and losers. Entities are competing for funding, users and overall uptake within the network.

These dynamics are evident at Bitrefill already. Some of our nodes use the Eclair implementation because the other implementations don’t support the tech necessary to provide Thor Turbo channels. Turbo channel buyers have to use Bitcoin Lightning Wallet on Android for the same reason. Should Bitrefill lobby all wallets and implementations to add support? Should we submit a BOLT when we already know some developers don’t appreciate this feature? Should we wait for Bitcoiners to complain to their favorite wallet providers to implement support? Should we make our own wallet and skip these concerns?

I’m not sure if cooperation will merely result in consolidation or if it can transcend competition in this environment, but I’m sure everyone will try all angles to stay agile.

Now that Bitcoin and Lightning can actually advance in a path that the market demands, we should be more strategic about the projects we choose to invest our time and money on. Start thinking like a product manager, UX designer and business development person all at once. Zoom out, plan and be intentional.

I hope no one sees this post as hostile to Bitcoin or anyone involved in Lightning Network development. I’m trying to share my observations in hopes they will accelerate Bitcoin’s inevitability.

If I have time, I will do a follow up post going deeper into the interesting kinds of products you can create if you leverage a little centralization and some of Lightning’s unique qualities.

… Or, I will keep the ideas to myself and get back to work!

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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IRS Commissioner Makes Crypto Tax Clarity a Priority

IRS

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is planning to overhaul its methods for determining the federal taxes due on cryptocurrency payments to improve clarity for taxpayers.

The decision stems from the recent attempt by Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer to pass legislation reforming the way that hard forks and the resultant “forkcoins” are viewed by tax agencies. Joined by members of his “Blockchain Caucus,” Emmer’s initial attempt to pass the bill failed in September 2018 and he has promised to reintroduce a similar bill in May 2019.

On April 11, 2019, Emmer and the Blockchain Caucus sent an open letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig drawing attention to their concerns about forkcoins under the U.S. tax code and raising more general questions about crypto tax reform.

On May 16, 2019, Rettig responded with an open letter to Congressman Emmer, thanking him for his request for more clarity around cryptocurrency taxes.

“I share your belief that taxpayers deserve clarity on basic issues related to the taxation of virtual currency transactions and have made it a priority of the IRS to issue guidance,” Rettig wrote. “Specifically, your letter mentions (1) acceptable methods for calculating cost basis; (2) acceptable methods of cost basis assignment; and (3) tax treatment of forks. We have been considering these issues and intend to publish guidance addressing these and other issues soon.”

As a show of good faith, Rettig also invited Emmer and the members of the Blockchain Caucus to contact him and his office with any questions they may have about the IRS’ future efforts.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Australian Contractor Uses Government to Mine Crypto

An IT contractor is under fire for allegedly using government computer networks to mine cryptocurrency.

When Crypto Doesn’t Belong

A 33-year-old man in Sydney, Australia was charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) force for utilizing government-based equipment and laptops to mine digital currencies while serving as a tech contractor. It is estimated that the man earned more than $9,000 in Australian dollars through mining.

He is set to appear today in an Australian court. He is facing two criminal counts, including one for restricting data without authorization, and one for modifying data to “cause impairment.” If found guilty, he could face up to 12 years in an Australian prison.

Federal officials have also raided the mans home and confiscated several pieces of personal equipment including a cell phone, employee ID cards, a laptop and several “data files.”

AFP acting commander and manager of cybercrime operations Chris Goldsmid expressed his disappointment in the situation, saying that government agents in Australia should be trustworthy and shouldn’t play around with data that isn’t theirs. He states:

Australian taxpayers put their trust in public officials to perform vital roles for our community with the utmost integrity. Any alleged criminal conduct which betrays this trust for personal gain will be investigated and prosecuted.

Australia seems to be a haven for crypto-related crime. Recently, Live Bitcoin News reported that officials within the country had busted a drug ring that was comprised of three leading individuals, two of which were former crypto entrepreneurs.

In March of last year, two Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) staff members were being investigated on charges of “using the bureau’s equipment to mine crypto.” A search warrant was issued in February of 2018, and the BOM premises were being investigated.

Several other instances have occurred in Australia as of late, including a 27-year-old man who had been charged with drug-related offenses. He is being investigated for potentially running a dark net site that was being at least partially funded by cryptocurrency. In addition, a woman in Australia has been arrested for stealing over $450,000 worth of Ripple.

Scams, Scams and More Scams

Overall, approximately 100,000 units were taken through what has become an ongoing scam, and many authorities are advising traders and crypto enthusiasts not to use any of Australia’s bitcoin ATMs due to fraudulent activity that has thus far resulted in over $5,000 being stolen.

It’s strange that Australia is such a target for crypto-crime. Either criminals feel they won’t get caught, or not enough regulation exists within the country to nail all those who commit fraud, and the few arrests and charges made are relatively slim in comparison to what’s going on. Either way, every wave of negative cryptocurrency energy is likely to take the industry away from full legitimacy.

The post Australian Contractor Uses Government to Mine Crypto appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

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People Are Flocking to Bitcoin Exchanges Again, New Data Shows

people crowd bitcoin exchange

Bitcoin exchanges are surging in popularity during the 2019 bull-run, with Binance entering the top 1000 most popular websites in the world.

Binance Reenters Top 1000 Websites

Statistics from Alexa.com reveal a renaissance in exchange popularity after a lengthy bear market quashed interest.

This week, Binance rose to position 913 in global rankings, marking its peak in popularity since bitcoin price 00 fell from $6500 to around $3100 in November 2018.

Close behind it were other major platforms, such as Coinbase, which ranked 1258th worldwide, and Bittrex (3128).

Even the embattled Bitfinex, subject to an ongoing lawsuit over $850 million in missing funds, has upped its popularity, currently sitting within the top 5000 sites.

Regardless of the platform in question, the past two months since the price of bitcoin began its surge upwards have cemented a return to form for exchanges – another indicator cryptocurrency markets have definitively reversed their previous decline.

The trend goes beyond exchanges. More broadly, as Bitcoinist reported, search interest in the crypto industry is returning – recently outpacing that in terms including Beyonce Knowles and US president Donald Trump.

Money Pours Into Bitcoin Exchanges

Meanwhile, research suggests the current market leaders in bitcoin exchange fervor are South Korean traders. According to CryptoCompare, local exchange Bithumb is outstripping other platforms’ volume by a significant margin.

“South Korea is completely dominating this market,” eToro senior analyst Mati Greenspan said commenting the data.

Bithumb’s operator recently received $200 million in funding from a Japanese blockchain fund, underscoring corporate faith in the exchange sector.

Others in the space have cash to spare, with the parent company of South Korean platform Upbit set to invest around $100 million in blockchain startups through 2020.

TD Ameritrade Starts Trading Bitcoin Futures on Monday

More recently, US broker TD Ameritrade announced it had made an undisclosed investment exchange ErisX.

“As an investor, you’re always looking for opportunities. And as a firm we are, too. That’s why TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation has invested in ErisX,” part of an accompanying statement read.

In terms of enthusiasm about the future of the exchange sector, however, it was US platform Kraken which led the way this week. Launching a $10 million equity funding scheme at the weekend, the San Francisco-based exchange raised almost two-thirds of its target in just under 48 hours.

With €6.275 million ($6.99 million) gathered from 375 investors at press time, the average injection in Kraken – which stipulated a modest €1000 ($1110) minimum investment – currently stands at over $18,650.

What do you think about exchange interest? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Shutterstock, Alexa.com

The post People Are Flocking to Bitcoin Exchanges Again, New Data Shows appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Dutch Man Arrested for $111 Million Fake Mining Scheme

News Bit: Netherlands

On March 21, 2019, Dutch news outlet NL Times reported that “Berry van M.,” a 33-year-old Dutch businessman and the operator of now-defunct trading platform Koinz Trading, has been arrested on charges of deceiving investors with a bogus bitcoin mining scheme.

The report claims that van M. was the director of companies that sold “computers for mining Bitcoin” since 2017 and that he “managed the computers in a so-called ‘mining farm.’” He convinced investors that they would receive returns of 0.3 BTC per month. But when the investors did not receive these funds and found that they could not get their hands on the hardware they had invested in, they contacted the police.

In total, the report claims that van M. raised investments totaling about €100 million (approximately $111 million). But instead of using the investments to purchase mining rigs, he used them to bankroll a lavish lifestyle.

“The man spent the money received from investors on all kinds of luxury items like cars, motorbikes, traveling and gambling,” per the report.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Bitcoin OTM in Beijing Lasted Less Than a Week Under Regulatory Pressure

China

This article was originally published by 8btc and written by Lylian Teng.

Bitcoin ATM services in China have once again proved to be hopeless, after the first Bitcoin OTM (OTC Teller Machine) in Beijing was removed shortly after its installation.

As Bitcoin ATMs are gaining traction throughout the world, the first Bitcoin OTM appearing in Beijing seemed like a giant leap forward for the country, who often holds a hostile approach toward bitcoin. However, the machine, which stood in a Beijing courtyard, was taken down within a week.

What Is a Bitcoin OTM?

Different from a Bitcoin ATM, which allows users to buy bitcoin by using cash or debit cards, a BTC OTM acts as a go-between for bitcoin OTC (over-the-counter) transactions. Money paid by the buyer of bitcoin goes directly to the seller’s Alipay or WeChat accounts.

If a trader wants to get some bitcoins via the machine, they need to choose the amount they wish to buy and the machine will provide three offers from different sellers. The trader chooses one and pays via Alipay or WeChat. After that, a card will come out from the machine and the trader needs to scan a QR code on the card and input a password via a BitPay wallet to transfer the bitcoin in.

“Transactions via the machine are free of charge,” said Liu Heming, the founder of the Bitcoin OTM startup. “Our profits come from machine sales.”

Why the Hasty Removal?

The machine, installed in Beijing on May 14, 2019, has already been removed. It seemed that the firm behind the machine has chosen to retreat from mainland China in order to avoid potential policy risks, though it is not illegal to trade and hold bitcoin within the territory.

“For policy reasons, we’ll not install any machines in mainland China,” Liu explained on May 20.

According to Liu, the firm was invited to test the machine there and it was removed after the test run completed that day. Days ago, when the machine was unveiled in Beijing, he stated that “the machine just helps people to buy bitcoin, which is defined as a commodity in the country, and it is not illegal to trade and hold bitcoin.”

This marked a new attempt from crypto firms to facilitate bitcoin transactions in the country, though it turned out to be another failure.

In April 2014, the country’s first Bitcoin ATM was installed in Shanghai at a time when the Chinese yuan dominated global bitcoin trades. The machine has been out of operation following an ICO ban in China.

According to CoinATMRadar, there are currently 4,823 bitcoin ATMs in 77 countries. The U.S. has the highest number of crypto ATMs, with 3,030, or 62.8 percent of the world’s total, followed by Canada (696) and Austria (270).

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Bitcoin Businesses Push Back Against Proposed Canadian Crypto Regulatory Framework

Canada Coins

On May 16, 2019, San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken posted on Twitter a summary of its response to the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) “Proposed Framework for Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms”:

“Kraken strongly recommends against Canada imposing a security law framework on cryptocurrency exchanges in public response to the Proposed Framework for Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms published by the CSA,” Kraken wrote.

Jonathan Hamel, a Bitcoin technology consultant with the Montreal Economic Institute and founder of Académie Bitcoin, told Bitcoin Magazine that, in his view, the proposed security framework is a clear attempt to regulate Bitcoin and bring it under the purview of the CSA.

“Canadian Regulators are wandering outside their jurisdiction when it comes to Bitcoin,” Hamel said. “There are already sufficient safeguards such as KYC/AML imposed on money services businesses by Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).”

And, beyond any attempt to regulate Bitcoin, Hamel believes that the proposed framework overreaches for other cryptocurrencies as well.

“Let's be clear, this is an obvious regulatory capture attempt in which some crypto businesses are participating to gain market advantages,” he said. “Regarding other tokens (ICOs), they should be treated under the existing securities regulation framework. There is no need for additional regulation.”

Bitcoin Is Not a Security

At the heart of many comments on the proposed framework, like the following tweet from Bitcoin entrepreneur Francis Pouliot, is the assertion that bitcoin is not a security and thus has no place under security regulators.

Most (likely all) cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are already securities in Canada as per existing laws and regulatory guidance.

Bitcoin-only exchanges not affected. Shitcoin exchanges should delist shitcoins if they don't want to comply.

No new law needed indeed. https://t.co/pwK7xMiY0k

— Francis Pouliot 🐂 (@francispouliot_)

In her submission to the CSA, financial services consultant and Octonomia founder Elisabeth Préfontaine, elaborated on the security status of bitcoin and the definition of a security, including an explanatory list pointing out that bitcoin has never been a security because no monetary capital was raised to develop it, there was no investment of capital from a founder and it has been functional since its inception, among other reasons.

“Bitcoin is not a security, therefore not a securities regulators matter,” Préfontaine told Bitcoin Magazine. “[The CSA] fail to recognize that there are bitcoin-only businesses and their lack of clarity is quite problematic for the bitcoin industry in Canada.”

A Case of Language Mushiness

Both Hamel and Préfontaine told us that there is a problem with the vague language in the proposal.

As the crypto space evolves, language is also evolving and not always with clear meaning and not always in agreed upon ways. For example, do “blockchain” businesses include bitcoin exchanges?

“The orientation of the consultation paper is problematic because it packages everything (including Bitcoin) under the vague notion of ‘crypto-asset’,” said Hamel.

Préfontaine raised the same issue.

“Canadian Securities Regulators are attempting to regulate something before they have properly defined it,” she said. “They are trying to include bitcoin in the securities framework by using vague language and by bundling it with the rest of crypto assets (as one big category).”

Canadian Chamber of Digital Commerce

The new Canadian Chamber of Digital Commerce (CCDC), an affiliate of the U.S. CDC, made a submission to the CSA that took a more middle-of-the-road approach.

The CCDC sees difficulties in regulating crypto enterprises that are not based in Canada, like Kraken, but have a significant number of Canadian users.

The CCDC submission says there should be a balanced regulatory approach so as not to threaten innovation in the space.

“The risk related to an error in regulatory judgement is also high — overregulation will stifle or displace digital asset innovators and investors in Canada, and ineffective regulation and regulation with unintended harmful consequences for industry innovators and investors will also do the same,” per the submission.

Andrei Poliakov, CEO and co-founder of Coinberry Exchange, worked with the CCDC on this feedback.

“My most important concern is making sure that whatever regulations are passed do not stifle the nascent cryptocurrency industry in Canada,” Poliakov told Bitcoin Magazine. “The cryptocurrency industry is a global one that truly knows no borders. Odious legislation and over-regulation will simply put Canadian business at a disadvantage.”

Outlier Canada CEO Amber D. Scott, a crypto compliance consultant, told us that there are currently laws in place that protect users, but they need to be enforced.

“While effective regulation is important, we also need to consider the laws that are already in place, and how they are enforced (or not enforced),” she said. “For example, fraud is already illegal in Canada, but we have little enforcement — few investigations and even fewer convictions.”

So, what happens now? The CSA can hold roundtables and the initial draft regulations could be released six months after that. It may be that the CSA will proceed to draft regulations without roundtables, which would then have to be resubmitted for comment.

Each province has to approve these new regulations, so it isn’t likely that anything will be published into law in the near future.

NOTE: The security regulations consultation process was undertaken jointly by the Canadian Securities Administrators and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Price Analysis: ADA/USD Consolidating At $0.08, Bulls Await Phenomenal Breakout

Cardano (ADA) Still proving Different Despite Being Kicked Out Of Top Ten Ranking

Resistance levels: $0.08, $0.09, $0.10

Support levels: $0.07, $0.06, $0.05

ADA/USD Long-term Trend: Ranging

ADA 

On the Long-term outlook, ADA/USD is on the sideways movement. ADAUSD was strongly bullish last week. The bullish momentum drove the price up with full pressure, broke up barriers at $0.07, $0.08 and $0.09 levels and topped at $0.10 resistance level. The Bears did not allow a further increase in Cardano price.

The price was pushed down, the strong bullish candle at $0.10 converted to upper long tail candlestick called inverted pin bar. This candle pattern triggers the bearish momentum and the price declined towards $0.07 level. Since that time, the momentum of the Bulls and the Bears seems to be equal and the price is moving sideways with the formation of the symmetrical triangle.

The breakout is imminent; which could either be at the upper trend line of the triangle or at the lower trend line. Cardano price is hovering over the 21-periods EMA and 50 periods EMA. The two EMAs are parallel on the 4-hour chart without specific direction; this indicates that consolidation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Relative Strength Index period 14 is at 50 levels with the signal line bending down to indicate sell signal. The breaking out of the price at the upper trend line of the triangle is guaranteed only in the increase of the Bull’s strength.

In case the Bears defend the price level of $0.08, there will be a breakout at the lower trend line of the triangle and ADA price may target $0.07 level.  

ADA/USD Medium-term Trend: Ranging

ADA

On the Medium-term outlook, ADA is on the ranging mode. The Bears bottomed the coin at $0.07 on May 17. The Bulls pushed up the price but could not break up the $0.08 level. The price returned to the previous low at $0.07. It continuously moves up and down within the range. The price movement has resulted in the formation of a symmetrical triangle in the 1-hour chart.  

The two EMAs are interlocked to each other with the ADA price moving over and around the two EMAs; which indicates that consolidation is ongoing in the Cardano market. However, Relative Strength Index period 14 is below 60 levels and the signal line points up to connotes buy signal.

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Is KaratGold Coin (KBC) the Answer to Tether’s Phony Reserve System?

Is KaratGold Coin (KBC) the Answer to Tether’s Phony Reserve System?

Another week in crypto, another sudden price crash. This time the blame goes to Tether and Bitfinex. The New York Attorney General alleges that Bitfinex had an $850 million shortfall (let that news on its own sink in for a moment!). To fill the gap, Bitfinex is said to have taken $700 million from Tether reserves.

That’s fraud any way you cut it, and it gives credence to suspicions regarding Tether’s supposed 1:1 Dollar reserves. Since its introduction to the market, Tether advertised itself as a cryptocurrency that would always be worth $1, because for every USDT coin there was $1 US held in reserve. Industry analysts have always been skeptical, believing that Tether instead had some kind of fractional reserve system in place. If this news is true, then it proves the point, and no one can predict the future of Tether.

If Tether loses in court, it could sink USDT prices to zero. We’re not saying this is sure to happen, but the smart money in crypto is seeking out other stablecoin alternatives. One of the most interesting we’ve found in the market within the past couple of years is KaratGold Coin (KBC). KBC has all of the earmarks of a classic cryptocurrency. It is instantly transferable to any recipient in the world. It’s secure and fraud-proof. However, KaratGold Coin has a set value relationship with CashGold, which are physical bills for which KaratGold Coins can be exchanged. The coin’s circulating supply is also linked to CashGold reserves. With CashGold Karatbars presents a gold-as-money approach, with tiny bars of gold built into physical bills (just like Dollars or Euros). ) As part of a global Karatbars International’s promotion campaign, the Gold Independence Days, KaratGold Coin holders will be able to swap their coins for real, physical CashGold notes from Karatbars International.

Though the system isn’t available just yet, there is a good reason to believe that KaratGold swapping will work just as advertised, because Karatbars has been trusted in the gold selling world for almost a decade.

The most interesting aspect of this is not the fact that the gold can be swapped, but that this system makes gold into an asset that can be spent online. Using the K-Merchant application, users can buy or sell KaratGold Coin with Ethereum, Bitcoin, or one of several fiat currencies. K-Merchant has been integrated into many different e-commerce systems, such as WooCommerce, meaning that users can already spent K-Merchant through thousands of online retailers. K-Merchant will be very useful on the IMpulse K1 Phone, a smartphone powered by the Ethereum blockchain and KBC.


In one fell swoop, this system makes it possible to buy gold without having to transport or store it; buy online goods and services with gold; trade gold for cryptocurrency and vice versa, and use gold as a fully modernized and tokenized asset.

KaratGold Coin is still very much under the radar in the crypto world., It has nonetheless held its value admirably in the time between now and its February 2018 ICO debut. We can’t say that KaratGold Coin will replace Tether, but it does seem fairly certain that KaratGold Coin will be an island of stability in the volatile sea of cryptocurrency prices, and one that brings the world’s oldest asset into the modern era.

The post Is KaratGold Coin (KBC) the Answer to Tether’s Phony Reserve System? appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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IRS Plans to Issue Guidance on Virtual Currency Taxation

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner Charles Rettig has explained to U.S. representatives that the tax department plans to issue clearer guidance toward cryptocurrency taxation soon. Since 2014, Americans have been asking the tax agency for better clarification in regard to official tax guidelines.

Also read: Last Will Platform Allows Your Loved Ones to Inherit Your BCH

IRS Pressured to Issue New Crypto Tax Guidelines

In September 2018, news.Bitcoin.com reported on a group of U.S. bureaucrats who sent a formal letter to the IRS asking for more clarification in regard to the way cryptocurrencies are taxed in America. U.S. representative Kevin Brady, Tom Emmer and a variety of other state officials insisted in the letter that digital asset taxation needs clearer guidelines. Since the tax agency’s official statement in 2014, the current guidance for taxpayers is to file each and every transaction executed when using a cryptocurrency as each transaction is considered a taxable event. Meanwhile, in the U.S., cryptocurrencies are also taxed under traditional capital gains laws that apply to property investments. The letter from various representatives notes that most officials believe the IRS should have no problem issuing a comprehensive virtual currency strategy for taxes.

“[We] strongly urge the IRS to issue updated guidance, providing additional clarity for taxpayers seeking to better understand and comply with their tax obligations when using virtual currencies.” the letter read.

IRS Plans to Issue Guidance on Virtual Currency Taxation

Acceptable Methods of Calculation and the Tax Treatment of Forks

IRS commissioner Charles Rettig responded with an official statement which explains that the tax commissioner agrees with the request and the agency plans to issue tax guidelines soon. “I share your belief that taxpayers deserve clarity on basic issues related to the taxation of virtual currency transactions and have made it a priority of the IRS to issue guidance,” Rettig wrote in response to the request from congressional leaders.

IRS Plans to Issue Guidance on Virtual Currency Taxation

Rettig’s letter details that the IRS issued Notice 2014-21, which essentially says that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are to be treated as property. This means that existing tax statutes that apply to property transactions also pertain to virtual currencies. However, Rettig’s response notes that things have changed since then and virtual currency use as a medium of exchange and as an investment vehicle have continued to develop. The IRS commissioner details that the tax agency has received “numerous comments in response to the notice (2014-21)” and the IRS claims to be working with “internal and external stakeholders.” The stakeholders and the IRS have been identifying areas that need guidance. According to the IRS, there are three identified areas underscored by Rettig’s letter and the new guidelines should include:

  • Acceptable methods for calculating cost basis.
  • Acceptable methods of cost basis assignment.
  • Tax treatment of forks.

“We have been considering these issues and intend to publish guidance addressing these and other issues soon,” Rettig wrote. Following the letter, congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06), a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and coauthor of the initial letter, replied back to the IRS commissioner. “I am glad to hear of the IRS’ plans to issue guidance on this important issue — Taxpayers deserve clarity on several basic questions regarding federal taxation of these emerging exchanges of value,” Emmer’s correspondence said. “I look forward to seeing their forthcoming proposal, and working together to serve the American taxpayers.”

The original bi-partisan letter from U.S. representatives expressed hope for more guidance from the IRS with a deadline for May 15, 2019. People have been complaining about the lack of well-defined tax guidelines for quite some time as many Americans believe the process is confusing. Further, the IRS has had no issues with the enforcement aspect of making people pay up and the agency has regularly sought to remind taxpayers of the penalties for non-compliance. The tax entity has also applied criminal prosecution to U.S. residents who have failed to ‘properly’ report their income tax in regard to virtual currency transactions.

What do you think about the IRS Commissioner’s response letter to the bi-partisan representatives? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, and the IRS.

Now live, Markets.Bitcoin.com: A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

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Big Bang Games Hosting 2019 Asia Pacific Blockchain Summit

Big Bang Games Hosting 2019 Asia Pacific Blockchain Summit

The Summit is an Exclusive VIP summit to be held on 1st June 2019, in Singapore.

Blockchain technology has become a subversive core technology as important as the steam engine, electricity, and the Internet because of its non-tamperable, traceable and transparent nature. It will change the way in which the values of human society are transmitted and will lead a new round of technological and industrial revolutions in human history. It will undoubtedly be increasing global productivity by reshaping business systems and social relations, opening the door to a new era of Internet investment.

Whether it’s instant messaging, social networking, media, banking, e-commerce, public services, finance, cyber security, education, the Internet of Things, supply chain management, copyright, cloud storage, energy/resource management, file management, etc.,   blockchain technology will be at the heart of their development. A new era of “blockchain” applications is coming.

On June 1st, 2019, the “2019 Asia Pacific Blockchain Summit” and BigBang Games Genesis Conference will be held at the Singapore Turf Club. These events will be hosted by BigBang Games and co-hosted by CoinVoice.

The organizer, BigBang Games, referred to as BBGC, is operated and managed by the BBGC Foundation. With their headquarters in Singapore, the BBGC Foundation partnered with the Singapore Horse Racing Club & Equestrian Community – HORSEY/FULIFE Stable. BBGC aims to break through the barriers between games, optimization of the game asset trading process and new game development. This will lead to improved gamer experience and provide a better environment for game publishers.

With the theme of “blockchain application”, this summit will discuss the practical application of blockchain technology in various fields.. Discussion topics will cover the application of blockchain technology in various fields such as games, finance, and energy/resource, as well as future development trends and investment opportunities.

The summit intends to invite top experts, scholars and government leaders: Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Financial Technology Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; CEO of FULIFE Founding Chairman, Dato’Prof. Dr. David Cheang, Datuk, Malaysia; USA Vevue CSO/COO, Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Graham Leach;  LA token Co-founder Valentin, Ye Haoming, Business Culture Leader of Johor, Malaysia; Prashant Surana, Co-founder of Snapper, India Block Chain; Satish Mostra, Executive Director of Abloom Next Service, India; Malcolm Tan, Founder of Block Vitalis, Singapore; Tong Global Capital founder Moon Woo Sung; South Korea CLET.IO CEO Connor Tack; US PAXFUL Asia Sales Director Summi Kwan; Vietnam BlockAce co-founder Anh Le; node capital founder Du Jun; Chuangshi Capital co-founder Sun Zeyu; The founder of the Bean Capital, Zhang Yiyun, etc. will attend the summit.

The conference also received strong support from the Singapore Turf Club. The conference specially arranged for the  VIP guests to enjoy the great atmosphere of international horse racing. In addition, this conference will also hold the BigBang Games global launch ceremony guaranteed to be a spectacular event. This summit has also received strong support from many industry partners such as HKBA, RAPIDZ, RUBY, ISAC, MAXX, and Blockvoice.. This spectacular event is sure to draw attention from all over the globe.

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Japanese Parliament Moves New Crypto Regulations to the Upper House

Of Course, The IRS is Updating Its Bitcoin Tax Guidelines as Price is Rising

IRS bitcoin Crypto tax

With Bitcoin spiking more than 120 percent since the start of 2019, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says it is readying an updated set of guidelines to cover cryptocurrency taxation.

IRS Preparing Additional Crypto Tax Guidelines

In a letter to a bipartisan group of U.S. Congressmen, the IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig declared that clear-cut Bitcoin tax guidelines were a top priority for the agency. The letter was in reply to an April 2019 letter from the 21-member congressional coalition led by Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN).

An excerpt from the reply sent by Commissioner Rettig reads:

I share your belief that taxpayers deserve clarity on basic issues related to the taxation of virtual currency transactions and have made it a priority of the IRS to issue guidance. Specifically, your letter mentions (1) acceptable methods for calculation cost basis; (2) acceptable methods of cost basis assignment; and (3) tax treatment of forks. We have been considering these issues and intend to publish guidance addressing these and other issues soon.

IRS Readies Clear Guidelines on Bitcoin Tax

The timing of the IRS’ statement comes as Bitcoin in enjoying a stellar price run, having more than doubled since January 2019.

How timely… BTC spikes and the IRS commissioner decides to comment ;)

— Crypto Tax Girl (@CryptoTaxGirl) May 21, 2019

As previously reported by Bitcoinist on multiple occasions, there have been calls for a more definitive structure for Bitcoin taxation in the U.S. Several institutions and stakeholders have decried the ambiguous nature of the current IRS crypto tax framework developed in 2014.

Both the American Institute of CPA and the Treasury Department have previously called on the IRS to provide clear guidance on the Bitcoin taxation process. Many critics of the current framework say taxpayers bear too much of a burden trying to follow pre-emptive steps to avoid falling into the trouble of cryptocurrency-related tax evasion charges.

Bitcoin is Both Currency and Property

Back in 2014, the IRS chose not to recognize Bitcoin and other cryptos as currencies, characterizing them as property. Thus, their exchange falls under the purview of capital gains tax.

Fast-forward to 2018 and the IRS says cryptos are a digital representation of value akin to traditional fiat currency. This declaration opens the door to income tax considerations for virtual currency transactions.

Buying crypto isn’t a taxable event.

Selling crypto for fiat (e.g., USD) is a taxable event.

Trading one coin for another is a taxable event.

Using crypto to purchase goods or services is a taxable event.

— Crypto Tax Girl (@CryptoTaxGirl) July 11, 2018

Then there are also the implications of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to make purchases. Back in March 2019, Bitcoinist reported that the proposed Bitcoin for Starbucks coffee as part of the Bakkt–Starbucks agreement might bring up additional BTC tax filing palaver.

I trade the “magical internet money” on infrastructure that does not belong to ANY sovereign state, it’s a non productive asset depending on 0 state owned common goods, to avoid sovereign theft, aka taxation

Paying “capital gain” tax for such activity is such a joke LMFAO

— Dovey Wan 🗝🦖 (@DoveyWan) May 20, 2019

There are, however, stakeholders in the industry who believe cryptocurrency shouldn’t fall under government tax. Tweeting on Monday, Dovey Wan of Primitive declared that paying capital gains tax of cryptocurrency transactions was “a joke.”

Do you think taxes on cryptocurrencies are lawful? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Coincenter.org ,Twitter @CryptoTaxGirl, @DoveyWan, Shuterstock

The post Of Course, The IRS is Updating Its Bitcoin Tax Guidelines as Price is Rising appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Remains Bullish After The SEC Delays VanEck Bitcoin ETF Decision

Second Chance: SEC’s Decision To Review ETF Denials Is Putting Crypto Markets In A Good Mood

In the last day or so the U.S SEC has delayed yet another Bitcoin ETF decision. The agency has added a 35 day period to the original 90 days, in which it says it will gather more information and opinions. In its response, the SEC has asked 14 questions in which the public is to answer and help the SEC make their decision.

Predictably, the questions surround the issue of protecting investors from fraudulence and exploitation from bad actors in the industry.

The agency stated in its report:

““The Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of the proposed rule change’s consistency with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade,’ and ‘to protect investors and the public interest.’”

Bitcoin (BTC) Reaction To The Delay

Despite the delay by the SEC Bitcoin is having a positive day. The SEC decision was bound to have some effect on prices with a rejection most probably seeing a short dip as speculators cash out. On the other hand, if the SEC was to approve the proposal, prices would skyrocket. But as some analysts have stated, a Bitcoin ETF approval looking unlikely soon.

While it was hard to predict what would be the reaction from Bitcoin in the event of a decision delay, the asset seems to be ignoring this news and forging on. At the time of press, Bitcoin has soared by around 2% seeing prices climb to around $7,950.

In the last couple of days, Bitcoin has been flirting with the $8,000 position. In the several attempts where it has climbed above it, it has lacked enough support to stay above and slipped right back below.

With this recent moderate rally, we could see it again climb above this but the bulls will need to push further up to find support above it. Last week Bitcoin hit a high of $8,300 which is the bulls current resistance position, a retest of this could see Bitcoin return to its bullish pattern from the last couple of weeks and find support above $8,000.

The post Bitcoin (BTC) Remains Bullish After The SEC Delays VanEck Bitcoin ETF Decision appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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SEC Shuts Down Ponzi Scheme Which Duped 300 Into ‘Diamond-Backed’ Cryptocurrency

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