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

Spain’s 2gether Unveils Crypto Debit Card, as Polispay Is Forced to Cancel Its Mastercard

Spain's 2gether Unveils Crypto Debit Card, as Polispay Cancels Theirs

2gether, a Spanish banking platform, has announced the launch of its prepaid Visa debit card that allows holders to pay for goods and services using cryptocurrency. Customers can use the card to make payment in euros or via bitcoin core, bitcoin cash, ripple, ethereum, EOS, litecoin and stellar.

Also read: Cboe Discontinues Bitcoin Futures for Now

Fee-Free Card Available for Users in the Eurozone

In a statement, 2gether revealed that the card “instantly” converts the cryptocurrency to fiat currency. Users within the 19-member Eurozone economic bloc can utilize the card without paying any fees. The Madrid-based banking startup believes that with its prepaid card it is solving problems associated with making purchases using virtual currencies.

“Currently, spending crypto is a long and difficult process involving exchanges, personal keys, and lots of waiting,” the company stated. Customers are expected to complete full KYC verification to use the card. Thereafter, they will be able to manage their balances online through a mobile app that also allows users to trade cryptocurrencies. 2gether, which was founded in 2016, has stated that purchases are offered at “no mark-ups to exchange prices.”

Spain's 2gether Unveils Crypto Debit Card, as Polispay Is Forced to Cancel Its Mastercard

Although there has been significant growth in cryptocurrency use throughout the world, most companies and service providers have yet to fully embrace the technology. Adding crypto functionalities to existing card platforms will help to improve adoption. 2gether explained that the latest development will allow it to incorporate Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technologies to assist with financial management, product choices, and investment decisions.

“2gether is developing the bank of the future, where consumers can take full ownership and control of the services they use and go beyond solely interacting with euros and dollars,” Ramón Ferraz, chief excutive officer of 2gether, opined.

Polispay Cancels Crypto Debit Card

Meanwhile, Mexico-based Polispay has canceled its Mastercard cryptocurrency debit card for users outside of the South American country. The company blames its Mexican card provider for violating Mastercard rules. In a statement released March 18, Polispay lamented:

It has come to our knowledge … that our provider was having a set of problems with Mastercard. Mastercard never gave them permission to sell cards outside of Mexico, a situation we were unaware of as we had been guaranteed our provider had the faculties and required licensing to do so.

With immediate effect, Polispay will no longer to be able to issue its prepaid crypto debit card outside of Mexico. Cards already in existence outside of the country no longer work as Mastercard will not validate their transactions. Polispay deposits, shifts and new/existing card orders have been suspended until further notice.

Spain's 2gether Unveils Crypto Debit Card, as Polispay Is Forced to Cancel Its Mastercard

Polispay has committed to refunding users in BTC whose cards have been invalidated. The company said it is “working on ways to restore the worldwide availability of the platform [as well as] searching for new card providers and evaluating different options,” but warned the process “will take time.”

What do you think about onboarding crypto payments to traditional cards like Mastercard or Visa? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and 2gether.

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Hacker Requests Bitcoin Payment to Reveal Personal Details of 26 Million Users

A prolific hacker, known as “Gnosticplayers”, has put the details of 26 million users of six companies from across the globe up for sale. This is the fourth round of stolen data sales by the cyber criminal via a dark web marketplace in exchange for Bitcoin.

The cache of data varies depending on the company comprised. Most contain email addresses, usernames, password hashes, IP addresses, and various settings associated with the platform.

Gnosticplayers Wants Just 1.4231 Bitcoin for 26 Million Users’ Data

The companies impacted by this fourth round of data sales are video game development firm GameSalad; South American book shop, Estante Virtual; scheduling services Coubic and LifeBear; Bukalapak, a large Indonesian e-commerce platform; and YouthManual, a student career service also based in Indonesia.

The details are on sale at popular dark net marketplace Dream – one of many services that sprang up in the wake of the FBI seizure of Silk Road and ensuing Bitcoin auctions.

GameSalad users contributed 1.5 million of the more than 26 million impacted users. Gnosticplayers wants 0.0785 BTC for this cache of data, which includes passwords hashed using SHA1/SHA256.

Estante Virtual users made up a further 5.45 million. For these names, usernames, SHA1 passwords, addresses, emails, and phone numbers, the hacker demands 0.2618 BTC.

Coubic users account for 1.5 million of the total. This collection consists of names, emails, and passwords hashed using SHA256. It is priced at 0.157 Bitcoin.

The data of 3.86 million LifeBear users are also up for sale at 0.2618 BTC. This collection contains emails, passwords hashed using MD5, usernames, and other application data.

Accounting for the largest share of stolen data is Bukalapak at 13 million users. A payment of 0.3407 Bitcoin is required in exchange for this collection of usernames, names, emails, passwords (SHA256+salt), IP addresses, and other application data.

Finally, the other 1.12 million individuals impacted by Gnosticplayers’s work are from YouthManual.com. For these names, emails, passwords (SHA256+salt), and other background information, the hacker wants 0.144 BTC.

According to a report in ZDNet, Gnosticplayers is selling the data because they feel that the security standards of these huge companies is grossly inadequate. The tech publication managed to reach the hacker via an instant messaging platform:

“I got upset because I feel no one is learning. I just felt upset at this particular moment, because seeing this lack of security in 2019 is making me angry.”

Gnosticplayers went on to state that they had many more details that they had not published. The hacker reportedly came to an agreement with some of the companies they had breached. For this reason, some of the details had to be held back.

As mentioned, this is not the first time Gnosticplayers has sold caches of stolen data on the dark web for BTC. This is the fourth such example in less than two months. The previous three rounds saw the sale of more than 700 million users’ data, obtained from services like live video streaming site, YouNow and Gif-sharing platform, Gfycat.

 

Related Reading: Former HSBC & Barclays Hacker to Demo Crypto Security Flaws at SXSW ‘19

Featured Image from Shutterstock.

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Overstock to Retain Retail Arm, Support Blockchain and Crypto Ventures

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Slow Grind Could Lead to Short Squeeze

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Last Friday, we discussed a macro resistance level bitcoin would likely test. The level was tested three times prior and immediately rejected. Now, for the fourth time, we find ourselves situated above the level as we wait to see if our support holds:

Figure_1.png

Figure 1: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Fourth Test of Macro Resistance

The first three attempts to hold support above the black, broken resistance have been stifled with relatively high amounts of volume. However, something to note is that the three rejections of the overhead resistance have become weaker and weaker. Now, on our fourth attempt, we are doing so in a very meandering/drifting manner. Typically, impulsive moves (like the last three attempts) react with impulsive moves in response to the strong move into the level. Grinding moves, however, (like the fourth attempt we are currently experiencing) are often tactics used to trap early shorters and not allow them an opportunity to exit. This sort of position stacking often leads to a “short squeeze.”

A short squeeze occurs when the market stacks a large amount of people trapped in a position without an opportunity to exit. As the market drifts upward, more and more people continue to short the market expecting a pullback. And, in some cases, the market continues to drift upward, causing these short positions to go deeper and deeper into a losing position.

Ultimately, these positions hit a breaking point where they will either be stopped out or force-liquidated, causing a large number of market buy orders to hit the market all at the same time. Right now, we have yet to experience the short squeeze, but we are laying the foundation to create a lot of trapped short positions in a relatively narrow price band:

Figure_2.png

Figure 2: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Upward Drift on Fourth Attempt

This upward drift has been persistent as we just ground right through the black resistance shown above. An upward grind like this can often be indicative of bearish exhaustion — especially when we have been strongly rejected several times before. At this level, it seems supply has been exhausted, and we will likely see a retest of the red zone shown below:

Figure_3.png

Figure 3: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Macro Resistance Zone

The red zone represents the maximum extent the market has been willing to extend itself prior to being rejected. When the market develops well-defined zones of resistance, it also develops, as a consequence, a tight band of logical stop losses that can be used to fuel either a bullish or bearish rally, depending on the context.

It seems logical that we will revisit this level whether the next major macro move is upward or downward. If we move upward, break new highs and fail to maintain new highs, that can be a bearish signal that large institutions are still unloading their supply and we are ready for a strong reversal.

However, if we visit this zone and continue to grind upward, that could lead to a very powerful breakout of the level. Almost everyone who shorted over the last three to four months would have a logical stop order placed just above the red zone, and it could potentially cascade a short squeeze that would yield a very violent move to the upside.

Summary:

  1. So far, we are content to stair-step our way through local resistance levels and, for the time being, are finding support on the macro black level shown above.
  2. If we continue to hold this support level, we can expect to visit the low $4,000 level as this seems like a logical source of liquidity.
  3. A break of the red zone outlined in this article will likely yield a violent move to the upside as a short squeeze would fuel a bullish rally.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Inc related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Inc and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Could the Emerging Markets be Playing a Role in the Bitcoin (BTC) Bear Market?

As the Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto bear market persists, investors are growing increasingly keen on discovering what events could be holding the markets down, and what events could act as a catalyst for a widespread market recovery.

Now, one notable Bitcoin bull is now claiming that the 2018 bear market was the direct result of overall weakness in the emerging markets (EM), and that growing strength in the EM will lead the crypto markets to surge in the year ahead.

Bitcoin (BTC) Incurs Growing Fundamental Strength

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down marginally at its current price of $4,030 and is up significantly from its weekly lows of just over $3,800.

Analysts have long claimed that $4,000 was a key level of resistance for Bitcoin, so its ability to break and hold above this price level is certainly a positive development for the cryptocurrency.

Despite this, it is important to note that earlier this month BTC surged to $4,200, where it incurred a significant amount of selling pressure that sent its price spiraling downwards. It is likely that this price level will be the next significant region of resistance that the crypto must break above.

Regardless of the less-than-ideal market conditions, there have been multiple positive developments that could have large and lasting impacts on the entire crypto industry in the years to come. Some of these include the launch of Fidelity’s cryptocurrency custody solution, as well as the Bakkt platform – which is expected to launch in the near future.

Furthermore, regulatory authorities in the United States are continuing to express a balanced and well-reasoned approach to regulating the nascent markets, with the SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton, recently offering an affirmation his colleagues’ previous stance on the non-securities status of Ethereum, and further claiming that his agency intends to take an approach to the markets that “fosters responsible innovation.”

“Overall, I believe we have taken a balanced regulatory approach that fosters responsible innovation in this area, while also protecting investors and the markets,” Chairman Clayton explained in a recent letter regarding the application of federal securities laws to digital assets.

Could the Emerging Markets Really Have an Impact on Bitcoin?

Although there is undoubtedly growing fundamental strength in the cryptocurrency markets, it remains unclear as to whether or not the persistence of the current bear market can be attributed to anything more than mere trading psychology.

Tom Lee, a notable Bitcoin bull who has infamously made some very inaccurate and sanguine price predictions about the crypto markets, is now claiming that the Emerging Markets (EM) have played a role in the 2018 crypto market downturn, and that they will now help BTC surge in the year ahead.

“Earlier this year, we noted the ‘macro’ factors such as rally in risk assets plus USD no longer surging are tailwinds 4 $BTC… Chart shows EM in 2018 pulled down $BTC. Notice especially how #bitcoin tried to diverge in late 2018 but ultimately succumbed,” he explained.

CRYPTO (1/2): earlier this year, we noted the “macro” factors such as rally in risk assets plus USD no longer surging are tailwinds 4 $BTC #bitcoin

Chart shows EM in 2018 pulled down $BTC. Notice especially how #bitcoin tried to diverge in late 2018 but ultimately succumbed. pic.twitter.com/kWoPXYctOf

— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) March 17, 2019

Lee further claimed that if Bitcoin is able to “catch up” to the aforementioned macro factors, it will likely surge to between $10k and $20k in the year ahead.

“Natural question is how much implied upside #bitcoin to ‘catch up’ to macro. S&P 500+small-cap rally  since 12/24 is >2 std dev. 1-std dev for $BTC is +185% gain. ‘Catching up’ to equities implies $10k-$20k. NOT OUR BASE CASE. Just highlighting macro tailwind,” he noted.

CRYTPO (2/2): natural question is how much implied upside #bitcoin to “catch up” to macro.

S&P 500+small-cap rally since 12/24 is >2 std dev.

1-std dev for $BTC is +185% gain. “Catching up” to equities implies $10k-$20k.

NOT OUR BASE CASE. Just highlighting macro tailwind. pic.twitter.com/p67FDNGmI3

— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) March 17, 2019

Although this is simply one possibility, Lee’s price prediction may actually be accurate for once if the global markets continue to express strength in 2019, and if that strength has a positive influence on nascent markets, like crypto.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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5 Popular Crypto ATMs That You Can Purchase Today

Over the last few years, cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs) have proliferated. According to statistics, there are now over 4,400 digital currency dispensing machines worldwide with new models under development. The following ATMs can be purchased today, allowing anyone to deploy a crypto-dispensing kiosk at their local convenience store or tavern.

Also read: Why Colombia Has Become a Hotspot for Bitcoin ATMs

A Few Things to Consider Before Looking at 2019’s Crypto ATM Providers

Crypto ATMs are growing in popularity as numerous manufacturers have helped make these machines more accessible. There are now more than 4,400 cryptocurrency dispensing ATMs worldwide located in 77 countries. There’s also a slew of producers who build these devices, enabling anyone to purchase one or more machines in order to sell cryptos locally. Starting a crypto ATM operation is not easy as the entrepreneur must come up with capital for the cost of the device(s) and they have to be able to maintain the ATM as well. Moreover, people thinking about purchasing a bitcoin ATM should consider the laws where they reside and make sure it’s okay to deploy a money transmitting device in the region. Finally, the crypto ATM has to have a decent location where it will see a lot of foot traffic and visitors. You can’t just install a crypto ATM wherever you please as operators usually make deals with local bars or convenience stores so the machine rests in a busy area. Only once these matters have been determined is it possible to begin shopping for the perfect crypto ATM.

The World’s Top Crypto ATM Providers

Lamassu

Israel-based company Lamassu has been a well known cryptocurrency ATM manufacturer for years. The firm was the first to create a two-way ATM that allows people to not only purchase cryptocurrencies like bitcoin but sell the digital assets as well. Lamassu currently manufactures four different models: the Douro II ($5,897), the Sintra Forte Cryptomat ($10,094), the Sintra two-way ($8,506), and the recently launched Gaia ($4,083).

5 Popular Crypto ATMs That You Can Purchase TodayThe Lamassu Gaia series.

Lamassu calls the Gaia a “bare bones cryptomat” that still uses high-end components that are manufactured in the same Portuguese facility as the company’s other models. As far as local fiat currencies, Lamassu ATMs support nearly every major currency in the world and the currencies can be configured before shipping. At the moment Lamassu machines also support LTC, BCH, BTC, ZEC, DASH, and ETH. According to the data site Coinatmradar.com, Lamassus can be found at 436 different locations.

General Bytes

General Bytes has been selling crypto ATMs since 2014 and is one of the most popular device makers worldwide. The Prague-based company has machines in more than 70 countries and was the first ATM provider to add near field communication (NFC) technology to its products. Coinatmradar.com says that there are roughly 1,384 General Bytes machine locations.

5 Popular Crypto ATMs That You Can Purchase TodayGeneral Bytes Batm Two machines.

The company has two machines for sale: the Batm Two and the Batm Three. The Batm Two can be purchased in two options: the ‘classic’ ($3,249) and the ‘large’ ($3,999). The Batm Three series can be bought in four different models that range in price between $7,499 and $9,499 and that does not include accessories. General Bytes machines accept nearly every major fiat currency and 40+ cryptocurrencies are also supported.

5 Popular Crypto ATMs That You Can Purchase TodayThe General Bytes Batm Three machine with NFC support.

Genesis Coin

Genesis Coin is another popular machine used by a wide range of crypto ATM providers. The company sells two models: the Genesis 1 two-way machine ($14,500), and the smaller Satoshi 1 model ($6,800) which can be configured to a two-way device. Each machine delivered has a lead time of 7-14 days. Genesis 1 comes with features like a bill validator, barcode scanner, thermal printer, EMV card reader, optional fingerprint reader, and a high definition camera. The Genesis 1 machine is very big, measuring 30″ wide, 24″ deep, 56″ tall and weighs about 400 lbs. The smaller Genesis machine the Satoshi 1 measures only 18″ wide, 23″ deep, 65″ tall and weighs roughly 285 lbs. According to Coinatmradar.com, Genesis machines can be found in 1,383 locations.

5 Popular Crypto ATMs That You Can Purchase TodayThe Genesis 1 and Satoshi 1 models manufactured by Genesis Coin.

Bitaccess

Canadian blockchain company Bitaccess offers a few different services but also manufactures crypto ATMs. The company offers two types of models: the Btm C ($6,000), and the Btm SE ($8,000). The Btm C is an entry-level model two device with a 19” touchscreen and customers must order a minimum of two machines. The special order Btm SE is a high-security configuration that’s ideal for large deployments, explains Bitaccess. The machines allow support for a variety of fiat currencies, but the Btm C and the Btm SE support BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH, ZEC, and a few other coins. Currently, Bitaccess ATMs can be found in 254 locations worldwide.

5 Popular Crypto ATMs That You Can Purchase TodayRyan Wallace, the CEO of Bitaccess, launching Ottawa’s first Bitcoin ATM back in 2014.

Sumo ATM or Bitxatm

Sumo ATM (Bitxatm) is a popular machine provider that sells two types of product series: Sumo ATM V.4S ($6,691), and the White Label ($55,575). The V.4S series is made from industrial-grade components and the design makes it easy to fit into small places. According to Sumo, the plug and play setup process is easy and takes only 30 minutes to set up. Sumo ATM V.4S allows for the use of a variety of cryptocurrencies including BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH, and XMR.

5 Popular Crypto ATMs That You Can Purchase TodaySumo ATMs (Bitxatm) are different looking to traditional crypto dispensing machines and take up less space.

The White Label series really isn’t a different model; rather, it’s an order of 10 Sumo ATM V.4S being sold for a bulk rate. With the White Label deal, people who purchase the package get to include their logo on the background, feature personalized menus and interactive elements, use specially designed paper rolls, or support multiple resellers and currencies. There are 69 locations across the globe that host Sumo machines.

Getting Started Is Most of the Battle — Choosing a Machine Should Be Easy

The rapid increase of crypto ATMs across the world is quite noticeable as their presence is steadily growing throughout Europe and the U.S. But the increase of installed crypto dispensing machines is also rising in Latin America, and Asia in great numbers. It’s not easy to get started when you first contemplate operating a crypto ATM. But having confirmed that the business will be viable, aspiring operators will find a bunch of machines to choose from days with a variety of features from several leading manufacturers.

What do you think about the different crypto ATM manufacturers? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned crypto ATM companies/manufacturers or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. This editorial is for informational purposes only.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Genesis Coin, Bitaccess, Sumo ATM, General Bytes, Lamassu, the Genesis Block crypto community center in Hong Kong and Coinatmradar.com.

Did you know there are over 1,400 Bitcoin Cash (BCH) ATMs worldwide? Find them all here at Bitcoin.com.

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Anti-Euro Bitcoin Art Pops Up in Paris Amid Protests

pboy bitcoin art paris protests

The French are nothing if not expressive. In the country of the language of love, free speech, and Charlie Hebdo, Pascal Boyart has revealed his third piece of revolutionary street art in Paris with a Bitcoin QR code hidden inside.

The Bitcoin Revolution in France

Onlookers around the world, especially from the Bitcoin clan, watched excitedly as Bitcoin became a part of the Paris protests.

3rd street art piece in Paris with a #Bitcoin QR code pic.twitter.com/xW7sw5C0sI

— Le Crypto Yannick (@ymorin007) March 18, 2019

One of the Yellow Vest protesters wore a sign on his back saying ‘Buy Bitcoin,’ and the movement became associated with more than just unemployment, taxation woes, and various other social unrest issues.

For many, they believed it to be more about cryptocurrencies, a movement to run the French banks, topple the Euro, and spark the Bitcoin revolution.

In all likelihood, the percentage of yellow vest protestors who actually know about cryptocurrency is pretty slim. Ledger’s CEO Eric Larchevêque previously told this author in an interview:

The yellow vests do not really know about Bitcoin… They do not really think that cryptocurrency will solve their problems.

However, the fact remains that the Bitcoin movement is taking to the streets in France. This is now the third piece of street art from Pascal Boyart spreading the word about Bitcoin.

In the same vein as other pieces, the mural is provocative and radical in nature. It depicts French painter and Impressionist Eugène Delacroix burning a $100 euro note.

The piece signals the end of a reign of centralized institutions devaluing people’s savings and controlling their financial independence.

The significance of using the French romantic artist in his moral will not be lost on artists, historians, or literature aficionados. Delacroix is famous for his use of expressive brushstrokes and for shaping the movement of the Impressionists.

PBoy Pascal Boyart Is a Legend in Himself

Now the third piece of street art he’s created to spread awareness about Bitcoin, a quick glance at his website or Instagram account is enough to leave you breathless. Pascal Boyart is one really, exceptionally creative and hard-hitting artist with strong political views.

View this post on Instagram

"Delacroix vs BCE", action. Paris 2018. Photo @alywood_ Fresque réalisée pour la serie carrés crème à @laerosol_paris, merci à @maquisartwalloffame @jolycoeur.sock @tomgallagherparis 🙏 Ce portrait de Eugène Delacroix qui brûle un billet de 100 euros à été peint pendant trois jours d'affilée sur une surface de 5 x 9 mètres. #pboy #pascalboyart #painting #peinture #pointillism #impressionism #contemporaryart #gallery #artgallery #artexhibition #acrylic #nistreetartnigraffiti #graffiti #streetart #parisstreetart #streetartparis #portrait #delacroix #eugenedelacroix #money #bitcoin #btc #cryptoart #bitcoinart #cryptocurrency #paris #75018 #maquisart #laerosol

A post shared by PBOY | Pascal Boyart (@pboy_artist) on Aug 6, 2018 at 10:22am PDT

He’s also staunchly anti-centralist, sells his artwork through OpenBazaar, and accepts donations in cryptocurrencies.

Boyart’s work has been featured not only by several cryptocurrency outlets including Bitcoinist, but also in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, and Reuters, among many others.

Bitcoin may be smaller than Amazon in terms of market value. We may still be in the nascent stages, and perhaps most French people don’t know about cryptocurrencies. But with activists like Pascal Boyart spreading the word, at least there are sparks starting the fire.

What do you think about the latest Bitcoin-inspired mural in Paris? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, pboy-art.com

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Is Crypto Trading Volume Really Being Faked to the Tune of $13.8 Billion?

According to a report conducted by crypto trading information portal The Tie, a huge percentage of cryptocurrency trading volume is suspicious. Estimates were arrived at using average website visits versus reported trading volume and comparing this figure those found at the digital asset industry’s most reputable exchanges.

Using this methodology, The Tie have argued that as much as 87% of the reported trading volume at crypto exchanges could be fraudulent and that real trading volume might be as low as $2.1 billion.

Report: Up to 87% of Crypto Exchange Trading Volume Might be Fake

The Tie reported their findings in a lengthy Twitter thread and accompanying Google Document.

1/

🔍🧐 Cryptocurrency exchange trading volume investigation 🧐🔎

Our team set out to determine whether volumes reported on cryptocurrency exchanges were genuine.

Thread Follows:

The data: https://t.co/w3bILdQ2Yw pic.twitter.com/V6nmi6hGx8

— The TIE (@TheTIEIO) March 18, 2019

The crypto trading information firm’s report focused on the top 100 digital asset trading platforms by reported monthly volume. The study used the trading volumes reported by Coinbase Pro, Poloniex, Kraken, Gemini, and Binance to try to come up with an accurate representation of trading volume per visit to each exchange website. The Tie reasoned the following with regards these choices:

“We selected these exchanges because of large usage among institutions, reputation within the market, and because their web viewership appeared consistent with their reported trading volumes.”

The reported trading volume was divided by the number of times each website was visited. The average of the five exchanges was taken, resulting in the figure $591 traded per visit.

The Tie then did the same calculation on each of the remaining top 100 exchanges by monthly trading volume and found that many exchanges had suspiciously high volume per visit figures – DOBI Trade, for example, worked out at a massive $356,625 per visit.

The study went a step further and multiplied the $591 average trade per visit with the website viewing figures found at Similar Web for the 100 exchanges. The Tie were careful to acknowledge that this methodology neglected API or mobile application trading – one of a few flaws with the study.

It found that 59 percent of crypto exchanges had 10 times greater reported volume than was expected if they had a similar volume per visit as the control group. An even greater number of the exchanges were more than double what would have been expected at 75 percent.

The Tie concluded its Twitter report by stating that if each of the exchanges on the list share the same volume per visit as Gemini, Coinbase Pro, etc., then the current total trading volume across the top 100 exchanges would be just $2.1 billion – a far cry was from the reported $15.9 billion. It added that an estimated 87% of crypto exchange volume seemed suspicious based on the study.

The Tie acknowledged additional limitations to the study to those mentioned above:

“There were limitations to this report including some of the aforementioned, but the point of the exercise was to show those exchanges that appear most suspicious and to start a greater conversation around wash trading, transaction mining, and liquidity.”

The study has been favourably responded to thus far on Twitter. One user offered convincing reasoning as to why exchanges might be so keen to fake trading volume, arguing that being at the top on comparison sites such as Coinmarketcap was a large marketing incentive:

Exchanges will continue to fake their volume as long as they are ranked by trading volume on CoinMarketCap or other crypto comparison sites. I recently ranked exchanges by the depth of their orderbook and it resulted in a completely different ranking.https://t.co/EhszivgxSm

— Christian Ott (@footballelixir) March 18, 2019

 

Related Reading: What’s Driving The Bitcoin (BTC) Rally Past $4,000? Factors and Trends

Featured Image from Shutterstock.

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Tron has had a Historic Journey So Far, Where is it Headed Next?

Tron Adds 77,105 New Wallets in 2 Days Reaching 1.9 Million TRX Wallets

Tron is arguably one of the fastest growing blockchain startups in the world with very unusual speed and unconventional success. The project which started in on the Ethereum blockchain broke out and launched its own mainnet in June 2018. This was celebrated as “independence” day for the project which has been operating independently since then.

Its founder and CEO Justin Sun has since then perceived Ethereum as its sole competitor, probably because the Tron blockchain is quite similar to that of Ethereum and its native token TRX was based on Ethereum’s ERC20 token upon which most cryptocurrency tokens were built. Sun’s number one goal has been to beat Ethereum in smart contract and dapp deployment, the two major functions they share in common.

Four months after the mainnet launch and independence, Tron launched the Tron Virtual Machine, again similar to the Ethereum Virtual Machine. This was another significant landmark achievement for the project which led to the commencement of dapp and smart contract deployment on the blockchain. Sun also acquired BitTorrent in his effort to decentralize the internet.

This added significantly to Tron’s popularity and usefulness in the cryptocurrency space which was also aggressively pursued by Sun. Tron users increased rapidly since then sometimes increasing by 100% in months, which drew a lot of attention to Sun and his project. Currently, Tron boasts of over 2 million accounts on its network and recently announced that the project has surpassed $100 million in 24-hour Dapp volume.

Because of Tron’s phenomenal success, many individuals, as well as the SEC, find it a bit suspicious that a startup could grow so fast. The reason for such suspicion has been that Sun hasn’t really put a lot of technological effort into his project but rather his selling point is the active publicity he engages in on social media. Earlier this year, a supposed SEC insider hinted that the project was marked for destruction, warning fans and investors to stay away from the project.

There has been no action from SEC with regards to the warning though and the project seems to be pushing on. Sun had promised to unveil several amazing packages for the project this year that will take it much higher than it did in 2018. Sun seems to always have something new to announce, therefore the question is, what does Tron have in mind and what will be its next landmark achievement in the industry?

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Good News! Stellar (XLM) now Available on Coinbase.com for Android and iOS Users

Stellar (XLM) now Available on Coinbase.com for Android and iOS Users

Good news for Android and iOS users! From today, Stellar (XLM) is now available for use on these platforms. This is according to a post on the Coinbase blog earlier today. Coinbase customers using these apps can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive or store XLM, according to the announcement.

XLM was listed on Coinbase Pro last week for trading making it available on the Coinbase exchange. It was however not immediately available on Coinbase.com, but Coinbase promised it will soon be available for Android and iOS apps. Today, this has been fulfilled and customers with mobile devices can now enjoy the same access as users of other devices. However, customers from the United Kingdom and the State of New York are not able to use this service until further notice.

Coinbase is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States and is one of the leading ones globally. The exchange initially supported only Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) before recently listing Ripple (XRP). This was followed by XLM which is the latest addition to the list of cryptocurrencies.

Stellar XLM is one of the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap and is currently the 8th largest. The crypto project, like Ripple, is focused on facilitating cross-border payments. Stellar shares the vision of making funds transfer as seamless as possible and is arguably one of the crypto assets with the brightest future.

Listing XLM and making it available to mobile device users is in an attempt to bring as many crypto assets to its users as possible and increasing the ease of buying, selling and storing digital assets supported by the platform.

XLM has been one of the top gainers according to Coin Market Cap and has been in the lead until yesterday when it dipped slightly into the red zone. At press time, however, the asset is back in the green with a gain of 3.40% in the last 24 hours. Unlike the initial listing, access on Android and iOS apps will not be in stages and users can start using it right away.

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Sats Back: How the Ebates of Bitcoin Plans to Convert Holders to Spenders

lolli.jpg

“The merchants don’t want the banks either — that’s the alignment no one talks about. Look at what Kroger did. They pulled out of Visa. The retailers are on the good side.”

Alex Adelman, co-founder and CEO of Lolli, should know. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, the entrepreneur started Cosmic, an e-commerce gateway “with the idea to democratize commerce, allowing anyone to buy anything anywhere,” he told Bitcoin Magazine. The company, after an initial acquisition by PopSugar Inc., would end up in the hands of e-commerce cashback giant Ebates, and Adelman and his CTO, Matt Senter, would stay on staff after the buyout.

Now, the duo are taking their experience working at Ebates and their original dream to “democratize commerce” to a new network of technology and clientele: Bitcoin.

From Cash Back to Sats Back

While working at Ebates, Adelman told us that he learned "why people buy, how people use cashback programs," — the hows and whys that would eventually lay the foundation for building Lolli's bitcoin-back platform.

From craft beer memberships to VPNs to clothing, you can shop for just about anything on Lolli, though Adelman says travel is the most popular category (this is perhaps due to the fact that most airline booking sites, like CheapOAir, which accepts crypto as payment, give a flat rate in bitcoin back rather than a percentage).

Like Ebates’ own model, Lolli’s is simple and enticing: Shop online with Lolli’s participating retailers and earn a variable amount of bitcoin back as a reward. Launched just six months ago, the platform already has 10,000 active users, Adelman told Bitcoin Magazine, and it’s struck up partnerships with retail and online service leaders like Walmart, Overstock and Bookings.com. These are just a few names out of the 500 partners Lolli has brought to the platform as it continues to sprout and grow.

The seeds for the company were sown over five years ago when Adelman was on a trip to New York while he was still building Cosmic. He was couch surfing at the time while navigating the choppy waters of New York’s sea of industry, attempting to form partnerships and secure capital for his first startup.

Adelman said he doesn't like the "Hollywood-ization" of those moments when the entrepreneurial light bulb clicks on and a business idea shines forth. But he also said that, if he could pick a moment when the initial spark for Lolli's conceptualization was kindled, it was one fateful night at a New York bar when he met the soon-to-be co-founder of Blockstack, Ryan Shea.

"A couple of years into [Cosmic], we learned about bitcoin. On a trip to New York, I bumped into Ryan Shea randomly through a friend of a friend at a bar, and he had just learned about bitcoin and he talked my ear off for like three hours. And everything he said resonated with me,” Adelman said.

"Everyone has that friend or that moment. I was obsessed. Everything we were building was on top of fiat rails and all breakages we were seeing were with payments. We were getting taxed by every single one of these layers that has no real purpose or reason."

Still, it would take years of careful deliberation and focus before Adelman and Senter would go full bitcoin with Lolli. Adelman's glad they waited, telling Bitcoin Magazine that he doesn't think they "would have had the same success if we tried to implement it five years ago."

Originally, though, the team wasn't going to build it for Bitcoin. After leaving Ebates, Adelman said that he and Matt toyed with Solidity to see if they could build a DApp for this use case. He was on a bit of an altcoin kick, he admits, and thought that Ethereum might be a good fit for the platform. That was until he took a walk in Washington Square Park with friend and fellow Bitcoiner Arjun Balaji.

"I was talking about some of the stuff we were building in Solidity and he asked pretty bluntly, 'When's the last time you read the Satoshi Whitepaper?' And truthfully, I hadn't read it in a couple years. It's so basic, so I felt like I knew it," he said.

"I read it again, and it hit me like this source of truth. And speaking candidly, I said, ‘What am I doing? Everything's in Bitcoin. That's where it starts.’"

"So I started the concept for this idea that was so simple: Ebates but for bitcoin. Giving people cash back in the form of bitcoin as a way to distribute bitcoin to more people."

Between Adelman's background of shopping Cosmic to retailers over the last seven years and Senter’s developing skills, "all these things beautifully came together, and Matt and I just started building."

Matt hammered out a prototype in "about two weeks," and Adelman began shopping around this beta to some retailers.

Turning Holders into Spenders

Today, Lolli continues to grow and, as it grows, Adelman believes that not only will it bring more people into the bitcoin ecosystem to passively earn the cryptocurrency, but it will eventually convert holders into users. Then, the companies that participate in the sats-back program will be incentivized to accept bitcoin as more users leverage the program and show interest in spending their bitcoin on actual services.

"The next stage — these earners are going to become spenders. Once they hold bitcoin, they're going to want to spend it."

For now, though, he says that the retailers are just happy to have the additional coverage. It wasn’t hard to convince them to play ball, he told us, because much like with Ebates, the cost is negligible and can be seen as a marketing expense. Lolli drives users to their sites because, like with Ebates, “people are loyal to [the service], not the particular brands.”

After these users purchase goods on these sites, Lolli receives a commission from that purchase and they credit the user’s account with bitcoin that the company buys from “top OTCs,” Adelman said. He emphasized that all user information is anonymized (the retailers don’t see names, only user IDs when someone shops using the service) and that the company does not make money by selling data, a misconception that the company has been crusading against online.

When asked whether or not the platform would expand to other cryptos, Adelman said he’s a big believer in free markets, and that people can spend their bitcoin or trade it for other cryptos if they wish. So, for now, he’s loyal to bitcoin, and he would rather focus on enriching the platform’s functionality before adding support for other coins.

In the works, for instance, is a category search function that will allow users to type in the item or services they’re searching for on the site to streamline their search. Until that feature is ready, customers can reach out to Lolli customer support to request an item and they will search for participating retailers to find the best deal for you. Adelman believes that this human factor and customer service will ultimately allow his new company to outcompete the legacy cashback company he came from.

“It’s all about good branding. We want people to associate good customer service with bitcoin. And if we can do that, it’ll mean more people defaulting to Lolli for bitcoin over Ebates in the long run."

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Satoshi Nakamoto May Have Considered a Bitcoin Kill Switch

With so little known about the person or group behind the mysterious pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, it’s difficult to imagine the motivation behind designing and developing the first-ever peer-to-peer electronic cash system with Bitcoin.

One goal was clear: create a decentralized cryptocurrency that cannot be controlled by governments. To do that, Nakamoto built in certain fail-safes into Bitcoin’s blueprint, including cryptography, decentralization, a proof of work consensus, a hard-capped supply and more. And according to speculation over what Satoshi meant in a quote being shared around social media could suggest that he or she was considering ways to render Bitcoin useless if it were stolen.

Was Satoshi Nakamoto Considering Ways To Render Bitcoin Useless if Stolen?

Ten years ago, following the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, Satoshi Nakamoto designed what is the closest thing to a perfect currency the world has ever seen. It’s deflationary, decentralized money, protected by cryptography and consensus, in order to prevent governments from ever seizing control over an individual’s funds.

Related Reading | Fundamentals Grow While Bitcoin Price Stagnates, Where Does BTC Go From Here?

As long as an individual retains their private keys, no one else can control their Bitcoin. In the rare case if someone did gain control over someone else’s Bitcoin, possibly by the way of theft, Satoshi may have been researching a way to render that Bitcoin useless. And if the person who rightfully owned the Bitcoin ever regained control of it, the Bitcoin would be restored to its former value and use.

What was Satoshi trying to say here regarding $BTC? https://t.co/is6oDXFDl3

🌱Popepe🌱 (@BTCDJS) March 18, 2019

A tweet from a Twitter account dedicated to Satoshi Nakamoto quotes has crypto Twitter stirring today, as top crypto speculators discuss what the mysterious entity had meant when the thought was shared.

“Imagine if gold turned to lead when stolen.  If the thief gives it back, it turns to gold again,” the quote reads.

This Satoshi quote is very intriguing to me.

How do you guys interpret it? https://t.co/9Y6063pTEq

— AwyeeBitcoin (@DeaterBob) March 18, 2019

Satoshi appears to be using gold as an example for what might be possible with Bitcoin.

Related Reading | Precious Metals Firm Drops Crypto: Is the Bitcoin Digital Gold Narrative In Trouble?

The quote was taken from a 2010 BitcoinTalk forum post about moving funds into escrow in order to complete transactions where both parties are satisfied. In the post, Satoshi sheds more light into his thinking process.

“Imagine someone stole something from you.  You can’t get it back, but if you could, if it had a kill switch that could be remote triggered, would you do it?  Would it be a good thing for thieves to know that everything you own has a kill switch and if they steal it, it’ll be useless to them, although you still lose it too?  If they give it back, you can re-activate it,” Satoshi said.

In the months following the comment, Satoshi vanished from the Internet and ceased all communication with the public and anyone involved with Bitcoin. Given Satoshi’s ability to create world-changing technology, it’s incredible to stop and think of just how much further their development support and leadership could have taken Bitcoin. Even without him or her, it’s come so far in just short ten years.

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Denver Municipal Election: Another Small Stop on the Road to Universal Blockchain Voting

AI-Enabled Crypto and Fiat Payment Solution Bitenny Launches Token Presale (With Bonus!)

AI-Enabled Crypto and Fiat Payment Solution Bitenny Launches Token Presale (With Bonus!)

Despite widespread innovation and technological development over the past couple of years, the biggest problems with cryptocurrencies today are the same as they were back then.

It’s safe to say that most people who are going to adopt cryptocurrencies for ideological reasons or as speculative investments have already done so. Unfortunately, those groups haven’t pushed crypto into the mainstream. The majority of people still see cryptocurrencies as extremely risky and complicated, and there are few solutions that make cryptocurrencies easy to use in everyday life.

Then, of course, there are problems for merchants. Online merchants already have to deal with several Payment Service Providers (PSPs) that lack interoperability, and adding cryptocurrencies to the mix can be both times consuming and confusing for them. Likewise for brick-and-mortar shops, but with the additional obstacle of limited options for specialized software or hardware.

These are big problems, but they are not insurmountable. The internet faced similar obstacles and growing pains during the 1980s and 1990s before becoming the backbone of the global economy in the past two decades.

In the future, using cryptocurrencies in our day-to-day lives will be easier than using credit and debit cards are today. Around the world, people will grow increasingly familiar and comfortable with new types of transactions that are cheaper, more secure, more efficient, and borderless.

Bitenny is an AI-driven financial asset management and payment platform that can play a big role in making that future reality in the years to come. At the heart of the platform is Prally, a digital assistant powered by artificial intelligence. Prally will be integrated into Bitenny’s free digital wallet, which allows users to:

  • Securely swap cryptocurrencies, with full legal compliance
  • Easily exchange cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies
  • Capitalize on trading opportunities thanks to Prally’s insights
  • Rest easy knowing that Prally is there to minimize their risk in the market

As for merchant adoption, Bitenny has a solution to overcome the obstacles there as well. Key to that will be a feature-rich Bitenny API that can be easily integrated into online stores at zero cost to the merchants. This will allow merchants to immediately begin accepting over 50 methods of payment, including a comprehensive collection of the leading cryptocurrencies.

On top of that, Bitenny’s solution can help brick-and-mortar shops to start accepting cryptocurrency payments too. This will be done through a specialised software application that can be installed on any tablet or computer to convert it into an easy-to-use point of sale device.

Meet the Bitenny Team

Ultimately, cryptocurrency projects can only succeed if they have great engineering teams driving their development. Bitenny’s CTO, Nardie Scharenbord, inspires plenty of confidence in that respect, having 20+ years of experience as a program manager and entrepreneur in finance and IT, specializing in AI.

Co-founder and CEO Shahdad Kiyani leverages his background in IT, digital marketing, and business development to manage the project, while fellow co-founder and CCO, Mahdad Kiyani, has more than 15 years of diverse experiences in software engineering.  

More information on the Bitenny team and advisors can be found on the About section of the project website.

How to Participate in the BTNY Token Presale

Bitenny has developed a utility token, BTNY, which will be used as an in-between for converting tokenized fiat currencies between Bitenny wallets, enabling rate discovery and advancing liquidity in the process. Additionally, BTNY will be a payment option for payments relating to good and services through the Bitenny wallet.

The BTNY Token Presale begins on February 28th at 12:00 UTC and ends on May 28th at 23:00 UTC. BTNY can be purchased with USD, AUD, BTC, ETH, and XEM.

There will be a total of 700.000.000 BTNY available for sale, priced at 1 BTNY = $0.07. The minimum investment amount is 0,3 ETH. Investors who participate in the presale will receive a 40% bonus on their investment.

Links

Website: https://www.bitenny.io/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bitenny_io

Telegram: http://t.me/Bitenny

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bitennyio-935538879978419/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Blog: https://medium.com/bitenny-io

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Ripple’s XRP Finally Integrates with Woocommerce to Reach 3 Million Customers

"Can't argue, the XRP army is strong", Binance CEO CZ Compliments the Ripple Community

Ripple’s XRP has achieved another major landmark in its journey to mainstream adoption. The cryptocurrency is now fully integrated with Woocommerce the online market giant that powers 3.3 million online stores. The asset achieved this through a bounty program by Wietse Wind who is the founder of XRPL Labs.

It was announced just last week that Wind was offering 3,000 XRP (over $900) as a prize to anyone who successfully integrates XRP with Woocommerce. Today, this has become a reality and well, XRP is potentially witnessing adoption by over 3 million users overnight.

Wind’s XRPL Labs have come to be friendly with XRP because of his love for the cryptocurrency. The lab is making significant contributions in the promotion of cryptocurrency especially XRP. apart from the integration which Winds just achieved, XRPL Labs is also working on launching a decentralized exchange similar to what Binance is working on.

XRP has also contributed to supporting the projects executed by Winds which are mostly XRP-centred e.g. the XRP Tip Bot which is now a popular bot for sending tips on social media.

Ripple (XRP) has been favored in most of the developments in the cryptocurrency space recently. Notably, the asset was listed on Coinbase Pro just weeks ago and also, its payment services are increasingly being sought after.

Just recently, Israel’s leading cryptocurrency exchange eToro announced its intention to adopt xRapid, the famous Ripple payment platform that uses XRP for liquidity. These and many other happenings in the space point to increasing popularity for Ripple and XRP despite the several controversies surrounding the company and digital asset.

Integration with Woocommerce will be one of the greatest achievements recorded by Ripple and XRP this year as millions of users are likely to adopt the asset which is a dream come true for any cryptocurrency.

Ethereum has been the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin for months now which some XRP fans are not okay with because they believe XRP is bigger than Ethereum. With more than 3 million online stores on the verge of adopting it, XRP may just be able to reclaim the second spot, or maybe not. Only time will tell.

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Governments Exploit Christchurch Tragedy to Enforce Censorship and Thought Policing

Governments Exploit Christchurch Tragedy to Enforce Censorship and Thought Policing

No sooner had the victims of the Christchurch attack fallen than governments were clamoring to mine the tragedy for political capital. Despite the shooting having been live streamed on Facebook, antipodean officials have directed their ire against fringe websites in a desperate bid to control the narrative and criminalize curious civilians.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Developers Launch Privacy-Preserving Light Client Neutrino

Politicians Can’t Let a Crisis go to Waste

In the wake of the mass shooting that left 50 people dead in Christchurch, New Zealand, the usual activists have emerged to condemn their particular bête noire. Some want greater gun controls, some want a crackdown on online extremism, a few object to violent video games, while others seek greater internet surveillance, enhanced police funding and increased investigative powers. The ability to openly debate emotive issues is an integral part of the democratic process. Few would deny the right of the offended and the grief-stricken to table these topics, even if they might blanche at some of their knee-jerk solutions.

While debate can be healthy, the actions taken by Australian and New Zealand officials has been anything but. Working in cahoots with ISPs, these governments have encouraged the blacklisting of websites – many of which have no connection to the Christchurch shooting. Even more disturbingly, police and prosecutors have detained individuals whose “crime” is to have watched video footage of the incident. The criminalization of individuals for accessing materials has had the reverse effect, heightening interest in the footage and fueling conspiracy theories in a classic case of the Streisand effect.

Translation:
If you say something we don't like we'll lock you in a cage and shoot you if you resist.#hypocrisy https://t.co/PgIDRt38mA

— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) March 17, 2019

Blocked, Banned, Prosecuted and Detained

Across New Zealand and Australia, internet users have shared stories of being barred from popular websites. These include 8chan, where the shooter first shared the link to his livestream and manifesto, 4chan, Liveleak, Zero Hedge, Kiwi Farms, free speech video site Bitchute and Gab’s Dissenter service, which enables comments on third party websites. Of these websites, only 8chan has a direct connection to the shooter, while the site that played the most pivotal role in spreading the video – Facebook – has been untouched.

We've started temporarily blocking a number of sites that are hosting footage of Friday’s terrorist attack in Christchurch. We understand this may inconvenience some legitimate users of these sites, but these are extreme circumstances and we feel this is the right thing to do.

— Telstra News (@Telstra_news) March 18, 2019

The video of the Christchurch massacre is undoubtedly disturbing, yet many are struggling to understand why authorities are so desperate to suppress it. Given the prevalence of high definition ISIS videos that depict beheadings, burnings, stonings, and stabbings in far more gruesome detail, it is unclear why this particular incident should be treated differently to the scores that have gone before including the Bataclan massacre and the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

One NZ man, accused of sharing the the livestream Christchurch video while cheerleading the massacre, has been locked up and denied bail. He could face a maximum of 14 years in jail. Free speech campaigners, among whom cryptocurrency supporters feature prominently, are objecting vociferously to being told what to watch, read and think. They see the campaign to criminalize internet users interested in learning more about the shooting from first-hand sources as the thin edge of the wedge. Censorship is a slippery slope.

Governments Exploit Christchurch Tragedy to Enforce Censorship and Thought Policing

Crackdown Strengthens the Case for Censorship-Resistant Platforms

As government-led censorship has ramped up, interest in censorship-resistant services, and in finding ways to circumvent ISP filtering, has intensified. Users of the websites caught up in the New Zealand-orchestrated ban have been sharing information on VPN use, adjusting DNS settings, and tools that bypass ISP deep packet inspection.

Pro-privacy and pro-speech cryptocurrency users are already cognizant of the alternatives to centralized platforms that can be easily blocked, censored and shut down. While social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter rushed to delete links to footage connected to the shooting, on anti-censorship platforms like the BCH-powered Memo and ETH-based Peepeth, it was business as usual. For censorship-proof file upload and information sharing, there’s Bitcoinfiles, and Bookchain for uploading documents that are tethered to the BCH blockchain. As the Bookchain website explains, “Bitcoin Cash is the perfect platform to store important and “dangerous” things. Items on the blockchain cannot be subject to censorship, banning or silencing for the duration of the internet.”

Governments Exploit Christchurch Tragedy to Enforce Censorship and Thought Policing

For as long as the internet has existed, it has been filled “dangerous things” that governments have sought to outlaw and eradicate. From 3D gun blueprints to encryption itself, and from violent games to message boards that promote open discourse, the list of targets is as long as it is incongruous. As incidents like the Christchurch shooting provoke copycats and violent responses, such as today’s fatal shooting in Utrecht, the only certainty is that government efforts to control the narrative and filter the internet will continue. Meanwhile, those who prefer their information unvarnished and unbowdlerized will seek sanctuary in pro-privacy and anti-censorship platforms that are beyond the reach of the thought police.

What are your thoughts on government attempts to control the flow of information in regards to the Christchurch shooting? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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

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Stellar Lumens (XLM) Rally as Volumes Double After IBM Move

  • Stellar Lumens up 11 percent from last week
  • IBM and six banks sign a letter of intent for World Wire stable coin issuance
  • Transaction volumes double in eight days

With IBM single-handedly bringing on board six banks, XLM prices are surging and up 11 percent in the last week. We expect prices to edge higher in days ahead. If prices close above 15 cents, Stellar Lumens (XLM) could double to 30 cents

Stellar Lumens Price Analysis

Fundamentals

Similar to Ripple, Jed McCaleb’s Stellar is a low-cost platform that enables cross border fund transfer aimed at the unbanked. It is the latest to receive support from CoinBase three months after the exchange placed the asset under consideration.

Coinciding with this liquidity boosting development is the announcement that IBM has successfully drawn six banks to World Wire. By signing a letter of intent, these banks are committing to use with three of them having received regulatory approval. As a result, they are ready to issue a stable coin pegged to fiat via the IBM’s World Wire enabling fast and cheap settlement. The Stablecoin will complement Stronghold that is unfortunately unavailable to US citizens due to regulatory hurdles.

All the same, Jesse Lund of IBM is ambitious, and in this era of stable coins, this is what he had to say:

“As more stable coins come on board, the whole notion of FX changes over time. We are working very hard to expand the ecosystem of stable coins that will include many more banks and many more fiat currencies – so digital representations of fiat currencies – and even, eventually, the central bank issued digital currencies. “

Candlestick Arrangement

Stellar Lumens

Like Bitcoin Cash, Stellar Lumens (XLM) is the top performer adding 4.3 percent and 11 percent in the last day and week. We expect prices to expand as these new banks get approval from their respective regulators. With IBM strong ties with banks, their single effort to expose six banks at once is a big move for Stellar and would eventually help support XLM prices.

From the chart, it is clear that buyers are in charge and trading within a bullish breakout pattern. As mentioned in our previous trade plans, risk-off traders should fine-tune entries in lower time frame, take advantage of the strong bull momentum—prices are banding along the upper BB, with targets at 15 cents.

Meanwhile, risk-averse traders should ramp up once prices print above 15 cents. After that modest targets would be 30 cents or Nov 2018 highs.

Technical Indicators

Volumes are picking up as momentum increase. After breaking above 8 cents, average volumes have doubled from 4 million of Mar 10 to 8 million by Mar 18, hinting at demand. However, prices above 11 cents should be with high volumes exceeding 16 million of Mar 11

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US Dollar Mirrors 1920s Weimar Republic Hyperinflation Against Bitcoin

weimar republic hyperinflation us dollar bitcoin

The Bitcoin price in US dollars has begun exhibiting a trend which closely mimics the price history of Germany’s Papiermark during hyperinflation.

Against Fiat, Bitcoin Follows Gold’s Price Trajectory

A summary chart uploaded to social media by the cryptocurrency analysis account planB compares BTC/USD over the past eight years with the Papiermark’s value versus the previous gold mark.

Germany abandoned the gold mark in 1914, shifting to the Papiermark, which subsequently became a symbol of hyperinflation in the early 1920s.

As the chart data shows, the past eight years of BTC/USD performance is eerily similar to the last five years of the Papiermark’s devaluation – from the end of the First World War in 1918 to 1923.

During that time, the government of the then Weimar Republic printed paper banknotes in ever increasing quantities.

Last 8 years USD lost 99.98% .. against BTC #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/Dx8RuJBdbw

— planB (@100trillionUSD) March 17, 2019

“What is really interesting is that the Germans in 1918-1923 didn’t realize their Mark was going down (because of the printing), they thought currencies of other countries were going up (so the printed even more),” PlanB commented, likening the effect to current central bank policy of quantitative easing.

SegWit Success

As Bitcoinist reported, Bitcoin’s use in hyperinflation cycles continues to penetrate public consciousness in 2019. Venezuela, which is currently suffering annual inflation of over one million percent, is reportedly now struggling to pay foreign money printers for its ballooning supply of paper notes.

At the same time, cryptocurrency and financial industry commentators continue to debate Bitcoin’s place in the future economy.

Bitcoin, some argue, can only reach significant value if it can scale to meet transaction demands of a global audience.

Countering the perspective this week was Brendan Blumer, the CEO of blockchain platform EOS’ parent company Block.One.

Bitcoin, Blumer argued, does not in fact have to meet those demands as its place will be as a store of value – specifically, a definite replacement for gold.

Considerable efforts remain tied to giving the Bitcoin network greater capacity, with more data noting that expanding block sizes have not resulted in higher fees due to the apparent success of Segregated Witness.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s price and scaling future? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post US Dollar Mirrors 1920s Weimar Republic Hyperinflation Against Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Local Media: Qatar Telecommunications Giant Ooredoo Launches Blockchain Initiative

Ripple (XRP) CTO: Existing Security Laws Vague, Hinders Development

  • Ripple prices stable below 34 cents
  • Security laws relating to blockchain still fuzzy says, David Schwartz
  • Transaction volumes shrinking as prices consolidate

David Schwartz, the CTO of Ripple Inc, believes that existing security laws are vague and are therefore a hindrance. Even so, he is confident and comfortable that Ripple (XRP) is a utility and security laws don’t apply. Perhaps this would help support prices and eventually firm the ground in readiness for higher highs.

Ripple Price Analysis

Fundamentals

In an unregulated space of which blockchain applications are supposed to flourish in, the entry of regulators or third parties do slow down innovation but for good reasons.

By design and according to the original blueprints as laid out by Satoshi Nakamoto, the network should be completely decentralized with no point of weakness and high reliability. It is these properties that define blockchain. Unfortunately, this is where Ripple Inc critics have their reservations with XRP, the native currency of the XRP Ledger, questioning whether the coin has all the hallmarks of a utility token.

However, it is the never-changing position of Ripple Inc officials that is remarkable. Maintaining the same stance, David Schwartz strongly believes that XRP is not a security. While speaking at the SXSW Conference, the renowned coder said:

“Security law has not changed concerning blockchain technology… the SEC recently has talked about how they are going to think about how these tokens meet security laws. However, they haven’t given a black and white test. They’ve given a test, but it’s filled with vague terms.”

Candlestick Arrangement

Perched at third, XRP prices are stable and consolidating inside a 4 cents channel. As emphasized in previous XRP/USD price analysis, we maintain a neutral position on the third most valuable coin.

Although we are bullish, it is after prices close above 34 cents—which is our buy trigger line—at the back of above average volumes, that risk-off, aggressive type of traders can begin fine-tuning and ramping up in lower time frames with first targets at 40 cents.

On the other hand, if XRP prices collapse below 30 cents then we shall cancel our trade plan. In that undesired case, it is likely that prices will tank towards 25 cents further fueling asset sell-off.

Technical Indicators

Trade averages stand at 15 million—after yesterday’s close. Because we are bullish, gains above 34 cents must be complete with high volumes exceeding 15 million averages or 61 million of Feb 24.

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Dogecoin Price Uptrend Targets $0.0021 as Holders Expect a “Moonshot” Soon

dogecoin logo

With most of the top crypto markets still in the red, it is difficult to predict what today will have in store. Excessive bearish pressure is not welcome right now, although there isn’t much one can do about the overall trend at this time.  As is usually the case when the going gets tougher, the Dogecoin price stands tall once again. A promising development, as reaching $0.0021 is not out of the question at this pace.

Dogecoin Price Momentum Triggers Excitement

It is always interesting to keep an eye on Dogecoin. Although a lot of people claim this currency should never have existed in the first place, it is still one of the most successful brands in all of cryptocurrency today. Especially from an inclusion and marketing point of view, Dogecoin has most of the competition beat hands down. This also explains why this meme currency remains in the market cap top 30 without any real problems.

Over the past 24 hours, the Dogecoin price trend has not been stellar, nor has it been problematic. A 0.6% gain in USD and BTC value looks rather poor on paper, but in reality, it offers a lot of hope. With a current value of $0.002084, or 52 Satoshi, the trend seems to be rather solid, all things considered. Its trading volume of just under $20m can prove to be rather problematic in the long run, though, as it may not necessarily suffice to warrant long-term excitement.

One of the main reasons why so many people stay loyal to Dogecoin is because of the high amounts of volume transacted over the network every single day. As the statistics indicate, Dogecoin transferred another $207m in value over the past 25 hours, which can only be considered to be a major success. This means Dogecoin still ranks ahead of many other top cryptocurrencies in this regard, even though this statistic tends to get overlooked quite regularly.

#Dogecoin "sent" $207M USD last 24hrs https://t.co/IL8PwXMqSm

— mj (@silkmarketindex) March 17, 2019

Although it seems highly unlikely Binance will ever add Dogecoin trading to its platform, the community has found a good reason for this approach. More specifically, CryptoPahmp claims the lack of a centralized leader to shill DOGE, combined with the lack of a financial “boost’ for liquidity purposes make this altcoin unappealing to the company. A bit of a strong sentiment which is rather negative, but there may be some truth to part of the claim, at least.

That’s my point. No centralized leader to shill #Dogecoin to CZ and no additional $DOGE fund ICO token premine to commit to “aid in liquidity” aka help binance pump & dump on plebs

🦡🔑Smash $20 into #Bitcoin every Monday🔥🚀 (@CryptoPahmp) March 18, 2019

Regardless of what the overall market sentiment might indicate, a lot of people are confident Dogecoin will rise in value eventually. Keyifkolik even goes as far as claiming now is a good time to stock up on DOGE. More specifically, he expects the Dogecoin value to “explore’ at any given time. It is not impossible such a scenario plays out, although Dogecoin isn’t necessarily known for its major price gains either.

top up your bags #dogecoin looks pretty good … sell wall is thinning around 52 … can explode anytime. $DOGE

— keyifkolik (@S5RD1R) March 18, 2019

All of the current market signs seem to indicate Dogecoin might push through to $0.0021 fairly soon. Now that the $0.002 level seems to act as solid support, there is a good chance this may be a sign of what is yet to come for all other markets. The main question is whether or not Dogecoin’s trading volume will increase in the coming hours, as that will be more than necessary to make this minor uptrend a success.

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

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Bitcoin (BTC) Flat-Line Below $4,000; Bears of Feb 24 Likely to Flow Back

  • Bitcoin price up but under pressure
  • MimbleWimble protocol could be an excellent match for Bitcoin
  • Transaction volumes more than half those of Feb 24

There are specific benefits of the MimbleWimble protocol, and one of them is privacy through CT. If the Bitcoin community decides to incorporate this untested protocol, then the network will not be scalable but be completely anonymous. Perhaps it will be the only trigger that will drive prices above $6,000 to $12,000 as demand Bitcoin (BTC) demand surge.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Fundamentals

To understand emerging technology is tasking. It will demand time to dissect data—which may at times be controversial or against the status quo. Some of these technologies may be futuristic and theoretically untenable. However, like everything else, time is the only measurement of progress. As the world shift to digital the evolution and adoption of better, the world will demand efficient and fast solutions of which blockchain applications are ready to offer.

Therefore, just like every other technology that has changed humanity, time and patience are the two ingredients necessary for Bitcoin–which is fashioning itself as a global currency–to blossom and dominate the internet. We may be in the early stages, but already Bitcoin is the largest and the most capitalized in the space enjoying the pioneering advantage.

In the future that may change as better solutions spring up.  All the same, the network could scalable by default while retaining the original consensus of proof of work—via MimbleWimble protocol if only the community agree.

As attractive as it may—thanks to privacy available through CT and the lack of addresses, it isn’t battled-tested like the unaltered Bitcoin protocol. Besides, there are elements specific to MimbleWimble that are applicable in theory only.

Candlestick Arrangement

Regardless of scarce fundamentals, Bitcoin (BTC) is stable in the last week and day registering negligible gains. However, the fact that prices are trading above $3,800 and $3,500 means buyers have the upper hand at least in the short-term.

Like we have been emphasizing in all our previous BTC/USD price analysis, any breakout above $4,500 would usher bulls aiming at $6,000. Aside from that, it will also signal a breakout from the $1,300 range with bases at $3,200 or Dec 2018 lows which have been binding prices in the last three months.

Since bulls are yet to confirm bulls of Mar 16,  it is likely that prices will correct lower to $3,800. It is so thanks to Mar 17 bar closing above the upper BB pointing to a possible over-valuation of BTC.

Technical Indicator

Participation averages are low, averaging 7k registered by Mar 7 close. With Feb 24 averages at more than double at 19k, any gains above $4,500 reversing losses of Feb 24 must be at the back of high trade volumes above 40k—exceeding those of Feb 18 and 24.

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XRP Sentiment Manipulated by Thousands of Bots, Analyst Claims

XRP Sentiment Manipulated by Thousands of Bots, Analyst Claims

In January, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the so-called ‘XRP army’ harassing Ryan Selkis, the cofounder of cryptocurrency data startup Messari. A recent data analysis has now alleged that the XRP army of shills is compromised of thousands of bots trying to sway market sentiment across social media channels like Twitter.

Also read: Jeff Garzik Subpoenaed in Kleiman Bitcoin Lawsuit Against Craig Wright

Thousands of XRP Bots and Fake Ripple Shills Have Infested Twitter, Researcher Claims

When people discuss Ripple Labs and the XRP digital currency, the conversation can sometimes turn ugly and controversial. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have noticed on platforms such as Twitter that if someone says something negative about Ripple or XRP, they are swarmed by Ripple supporters. The cofounder of Messari, Ryan Selkis, otherwise known as @twobitidiot, recently detailed how he was harassed by XRP supporters who called his home phone number. Now, a few reports from independent researchers have concluded that there are thousands of phony accounts or bots on social media being used to manipulate XRP sentiment. In fact, Geoff Golberg has spent a lot of time studying XRP-related bots and phony accounts on Twitter and first revealed his findings last year.

XRP Sentiment Manipulated by Thousands of Bots, Analyst ClaimsIndependent researcher Geoff Golberg’s data sets showing a large number of fake accounts and bots tied to popular accounts like ‘Giantgox’ and ‘Xrptrump.’

“Astroturfing = the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with an interest in shaping public opinion,” explained Golberg after sharing his data. “There are various types of graphs I use and analyses I conduct — It’s quite manual and requires lots of time.” One particular Twitter account called ‘@Giantgox’ raised Golberg’s curiosity as many bots showed signs of being tethered to the Twitter account.

Golberg’s analysis continued:

Every dot/node is a Twitter account which is following and/or being followed by Giantgox.

Golberg Continues to Share His Data Despite Threats

Last year, Golberg wrote about his investigation in great detail, which uncovered around 8,000 suspected phony XRP accounts on Twitter. The researcher also claims he made a bet with Ripple’s CTO, David Schwartz. In the post called “Dissecting a key (Twitter) account from the XRP Army,” Golberg says that Schwartz told him that if “there’s a real problem” the CTO would be “willing to deploy resources to investigate it.” However, since Golberg began sharing his data sets and analysis, he claims Schwartz has turned silent about his alleged promise. “There’s been crickets from Schwartz since I shared data outlining the magnitude of the XRP/Ripple astroturfing efforts,” Golberg tweeted.

Here are 87 accounts created in 2019 which follow @haydentiff and have XRP in their usernames #XRParmy

Examples: @XRPeedmyself @GivesAwayXrp @xrpcuck @XRPHome @allinxrp @xrpslut @smalltownxrp @xrpstar @dailyxrpnews @xrpbigfoot @silver_foxrp @XRPwow @XRP49140672 @xrpdeathstar pic.twitter.com/BCGw25YTee

— geoff golberg (@geoffgolberg) March 10, 2019

Besides the Giantgox account, Golberg also found questionable data tied to another popular XRP-related Twitter account, ‘@Xrptrump,’ which has roughly 30,000 followers. While sharing his data, Golberg emphasized: “The large highlighted cluster is comprised of 8.2K accounts which follow Xrptrump — Take a look at this spreadsheet for yourself — do these look like real accounts?” The researcher’s seething critique of the allegedly manufactured support added:

The majority of Xrptrump’s followers are inauthentic accounts/accounts that have zero interest in XRP (large clusters, for example) — XRP army manufactures support.

According to the researcher, and similarly to Ryan Selkis’ experience, Golberg was harassed by the XRP army. After sharing his studies concerning the magnitude of alleged Ripple bots, the researcher received a message from a Twitter account that said: “Who can kill him?” He then reported the account to Twitter and the social media company told Golberg that the person did not violate Twitter’s harassment guidelines. Two days later, the account holder messaged Golberg directly and apologized for the threat and the account owner also deleted the profile. Despite this, the harrying and intimidation will not stop Golberg from sharing his research and analysis. “I eat XRP army shills for breakfast,” Golberg proclaimed.

What do you think about the XRP army and the accusations of bots and manufactured Ripple/XRP support? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Geoff Golberg, Shutterstock, Twitter, and Pixabay.

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

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Visa Hiring Blockchain Expert for ‘Visa Crypto’

Visa

Visa is hiring a Technical Product Manager for its Fintech division, according to a recent job listing on SmartRecruiters. 

Visa Crypto

American multinational financial services giant Visa is taking the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” strategy when it comes to cryptocurrencies. In order to not be left behind by the promise of high-tps (transactions per second) cryptocurrencies — or Bitcoin (BTC), for that matter — the company is hiring someone to help stay up to date with the nascent technology.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a “blockchain-not-crypto” job, either. According to the listing, Visa is looking for candidates that are “passionate about the intersection of payments and cryptocurrency” and are “deeply familiar with permissionless blockchain technology and have a close network of experts in the fast moving cryptocurrency and fintech ecosystem.” Furthermore, the candidate will help Visa develop “new products for Visa to deliver value to fintechs looking to support cryptocurrencies.”

Visa wants this Visa Crypto product manager to create and execute the company’s “product strategy within the cryptocurrency ecosystem” while examining the impact cryptocurrencies will have on payments.

visa

Visa and ‘Cryptocurrency Related Opportunities’

Specifically, the position’s responsibilities are as follows, verbatim:

  • Manage the product strategy and roadmap for cryptocurrency related opportunities
  • Define product scope and feature prioritization and be flexible to iterate/change per latest developments to meet deadlines
  • Ideate and execute opportunities to build products that leverage Visa’s core competencies
  • Influence and provide market feedback and knowledge sharing to the entire cross-functional team and executive leadership
  • Work closely with all stakeholders to ensure successful end-to-end delivery of products
  • Keep up with cutting edge technology especially open source projects, and strive to contribute to Visa’s IP portfolio

This should leave little doubt in anyone’s mind that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and legacy financial systems know that they must either adapt or die.

What do you think of Visa Crypto’s job listing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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ETH Market Update And Joseph Lubin’s Bold Prediction Over Ethereum In The Next Two Years

Ethereum (ETH)'s Average Number of New Daily Accounts Increases Despite Price Crash

The market after a sudden charge during the weekend has pulled back, seeing a good number of cryptocurrencies record marginal drops. Though the last 48 hours have seen cryptocurrencies turn red, most coins seem to have strong support and have remained above key support positions. This is key for the next rally since a high support position allows prices to aim high and establish high resistance positions.

Ethereum in the last couple of hours has seen a significant drop of around 1% extending into yesterday’s drop. This at the time of press has seen the coin drop to trade for a little over $139. The stability being witnessed from around the market suggests that prices will soon pull away rather than go through a further pullback. ETH could soon get above $140 and continue its rally towards $150.

While the bearish trend continues, pundits continue to make bold predictions both in the short term and long term. Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum has been making a bold and positive prediction over the future of Ethereum. Joseph Lubin, who has been a believer in the revolutionary capability of cryptocurrencies, with his prediction, further reiterates his belief in cryptocurrencies becoming the preferred means of payment.

Ethereum Will Expand By 1,000 Times In The Next Two Years

Joseph Lubin, who was speaking at South by Southwest (SXSW), made one of the boldest predictions over the future of Ethereum. According to Lubin, Ethereum will grow by a thousand times.  In his statement, Lubin reflected on where Ethereum began and stated that there plans to make it even bigger.

“Ethereum 2.0 is coming…We have 8 teams building it and we are currently in Phase 0 of the four phases of the roadmap. We continue to build the base layer of the Layer 2 expansion solution, which will be in the next 18- At least 1000 times in 24 months. After that, Ethereum will continue to expand.”

With the battle to become “king” of dapps continuing to intensify, Ethereum is in need of radical growth if it is to retain its authority. If Lubin’s prediction is correct and Ethereum grows by a thousand times, this could see it undoubtedly become the number one dapp platform. This will further see ETH prices soar throughout the development of the project and possibly set new all-time highs.

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Honeypod and Lethean Partner to Help Protect Your Internet Privacy

Honeypod and Lethean Partner to Help Protect Your Internet Privacy

March 18, 2019 – Today, Honeypod and Lethean Privacy announced a strategic partnership that brings internet users one step closer to a more secure, private, and anonymous global internet. The two companies are teaming up to integrate their services for collaboration across all Honeypod devices.

With the need of internet privacy on the rise, many people around the world have turned to both Honeypod and Lethean Privacy to help them protect their internet connect against an increase in unwanted data collection by many large corporations around the globe.

“Technologies that prioritizes privacy allow all people wherever they are to communicate, transact, live without fear, censorship, reprisal, or monitoring,” said Honeypod CEO Bryant Maroney. “At the current moment, digital freedoms and privacy stop where the user accesses the internet. No longer should we accept a trade-off between privacy and security. Privacy should not be for sale, nor should anyone be allowed to unknowingly take it from another.”

Honeypod will begin integration of the ability to run and manage Lethean VPN nodes into their software in the second quarter of this year offering all of Lethean VPN node capabilities to run within Honeypod devices.

Lethean Privacy is a decentralized VPN service with anonymous payments backed by the cryptonote blockchain. Lethean Privacy harnesses the power of the blockchain combined with virtual private networks and proxy technology allowing you to surf the web restriction free. Your identity belongs to only you. It also empowers users to reclaim their internet freedom and anonymity. Through the use of running a Lethean VPN node, users are able to be compensated from their unused bandwidth.

Honeypod is smart home hardware that is the size of your palm. It connects directly to your router to provide you with the freedom from unwanted 3rd party tracking systems, advertisements, and malware. Safe internet browsing from all of your devices including IOT and non-computer related items. Honeypod gives you a faster, cleaner, safer, more privacy-friendly internet connection with absolutely no knowledge or technical ability required.

Both of the companies believe that such kind of cooperation will give users the safest way to be online.

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Big Move Awaits After 4 Consecutive Weekly Gains

bitcoin price green

Bitcoin price completed a fourth consecutive week with a green candle close for the first time since April 2018, reaching highs during the week of $4040 and finding support when $3800 was tested. We take a closer look at the price action and what lies ahead for the week.

WEEKLY CHART

The Weekly chart shows that going into the week, Bitcoin price 00 is applying pressure to the 20-week moving average (the center on the Bollinger bands). This has proven too much to overcome in the bear market, with the only two previous breaks during 2018 failing the following week.

This is clearly a critical level, with BTC price finding another reason for resistance on top of the $4,000 psychological level. Despite this, bitcoin continues applying pressure to the upside, rather than the downside.

image

The upper and lower bands (being two standard deviations from the 20 WMA) are still rather far apart and suggest that any sizable move would have the scope to take BTC towards either upwards to $5000 or down to $2500.

Support in the 200 WMA lies below and will act as a last line of defense should the bulls need to rely upon it. Whether it be the 20 WMA or the 200 WMA, which ultimately breaks in the near term, it will likely result in a fast move.

DAILY CHART

The Daily Chart shows that bitcoin price finished Sunday on a red candle and is currently a doji midway through Monday. The market continues to be trapped in the range between $3850 and $4000, which has been the case for the best part of the last 10 days.

image

The market structure is that of an incomplete inverted head and shoulder pattern, which would complete on a close above $4300. This is also effectively the eve cup of a larger Adam and Eve bottom.

Should these bottom patterns play out, a move between $4885 and $5280 becomes the technical target.  The volume profile illustrates that a break above $4400 would see a void in price history and a fast move could follow.

MARKET SENTIMENT

Although generally there are reasons to be upbeat and there are signs of it being bullish on social media, the long to short ratio at Bitfinex is almost flat, leaning a slight 1% bullish and the Bitmex Futures contracts are currently trading at a discount against Spot, implying that the market is not (yet) reflecting the upbeat conversation.

image

With the market remaining in a long term bearish position but threatening to break to the upside, the week is likely to be a pivotal one which we will be monitoring closely at Bitcoinist.

Trade Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) and other cryptocurrencies on online Bitcoin forex broker platform evolve.markets

To get receive updates for the writer you can follow on Twitter (@filbfilb) and TradingView.

The views and opinions of the writer should not be misconstrued as financial advice.  For disclosure, the writer holds Bitcoin at the time of writing.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingview.com

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While Tether Withdraws Claim of USD Backing, Rival Stablecoins Provide Monthly Attestations

Tether Withdraws Claim of USD-Backing While Rival Stablecoins Provide Monthly Attestations

The controversy surrounding the backing of Tether’s USDT tokens has resurfaced following a recent alteration to the company’s terms of service that now state the reserves backing USDT comprise “traditional currency and cash equivalents and … other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties.” Despite tether’s dominance among stablecoins by market share and capitalization, Tether is facing increasing competition from newer stablecoin projects that have been able to provide regular attestations evidencing U.S. dollar backing since launch.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Developers Launch Privacy-Preserving Light Client Neutrino

New Tether Terms of Service State Stablecoins are not Exclusively Backed by USD

Tether has updated its terms of service regarding the backing of its USDT token, apparently reversing previous assertions that all USDT tokens are backed one-to-one with USD reserves.

Tether’s homepage now states that “Every tether is always 100% backed by our reserves, which include traditional currency and cash equivalents and, from time to time, may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties, which may include affiliated entities.”

While Tether Withdraws Claim of USD Backing, Rival Stablecoins Provide Monthly Attestations

The company’s legal page also states that “the composition of the Reserves to back Tether Tokens is within the sole control and at the sole … discretion of Tether,” adding that “Tether reserves the right to delay the redemption or withdrawal of Tether Tokens if such delay is necessitated by the illiquidity or unavailability or loss of any Reserves held by Tether to back the Tether Tokens, and Tether reserves the right to redeem Tether Tokens by in-kind redemptions of securities and other assets held in the Reserves.”

Rival Stablecoins Evidence USD Backing Through Monthly Attestation Reports

While Tether appears to have backed down on its previous claim that all outstanding USDT are tokens are backed by USD, many of its rivals have provided regular attestation reports demonstrating fiat backing.

Trueusd has provided between one and three attestation reports per month since launching during March 2018, with top 40 accounting firm Cohen & Company producing the reports. As of Trueusd’s most recent report, which refers to accounts examined as of Feb. 28, 2019, the company’s 201,727,658 outstanding TUSD tokens were then backed by $202,621,765 dollars that were held in Trueusd’s bank accounts.

While Tether Withdraws Claim of USD Backing, Rival Stablecoins Provide Monthly Attestations

On Feb. 15, 2019, Circle published its fourth monthly attestation report pertaining to the USD reserve for its USDC token. The report states that as of January 31, 2019, the outstanding 307,7903,924 USDC tokens were backed by $307,848,312 held in custody accounts.

Since launching in Sep. 2018, Paxos has provided monthly attestation reports provided by Withum for its Paxos Standard Token Stablecoin. Paxos’ most recent report asserts that as of Feb. 28, 2019, the 109,543,189.7 PAX tokens were backed by USD reserve “at least equal to or greater than “$109,543,189.70.”

What is your response to the changes recently made to USDT’s terms of service? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Binance Coin, Stellar, Tron, Cardano: Price Analysis, March 18

CPI Technologies Presents Turnkey Blockchain Solutions, for Secure, Scalable Software Development

March 14th, 2019, Mainz, Germany – Blockchain Software Development and Marketing company CPI Technologies provides the development, deployment, and maintenance of finance and blockchain systems. The German-based company specializes in highly scalable, secure, intuitive blockchain software.

IT & Marketing Combo

Unlike other software development platforms, CPI Technologies offers the support of professional marketing tactics that are integrated into the development of the software. This ensures that each software is fine-tuned according to the customer’s sales and is scalable as the client grows.

CPI Technologies CEO Maximilian Schmidt shared a conclusion, that highlights the growth of the company, stating:

“In the last few years we spent much effort and millions of euros for developing our software suite, based on a rock-solid, law compliant double-entry bookkeeping to provide our customers the framework to scale up big, handle huge traffic and also to cover necessary questions of security. My phenomenal developer team built up very sophisticated mechanisms for processing huge amounts of crypto coins in a very secure way.“

With its turnkey solution, CPI Technologies offers a holistic and comprehensive package that saves it’s clients considerable income, as it prevents the need to seek out a separate marketing company to promote its products. CPI achieve this through their carefully designed workflow, done in cooperation by their experienced IT and marketing team. This includes:

  1. Planning and Analysis
  2. Architectural Design
  3. Software Implementation
  4. Testing and Integration
  5. Marketing and Promotion Strategy
  6. Launching of The Platform
  7. Measure and Optimize

CPI Blockchain Software

CPI Technologies offers various levels of blockchain software development, from ground zero to a fully functional ecosystem:

  • Crypto Exchange Platform: The star product of CPI Technologies is their high frequency, custom built exchange for fiat, cryptocurrencies or tokenized assets, like real estate or companies. It’s empowered by a law-compliant double-entry bookkeeping and easy-care KYC/AML modules.
  • Blockchain Development: From a wholly new cryptocurrency to a full enterprise level blockchain, CPI offers a complete end to end blockchain system
  • Payment Service Provider: With integrated and easy to use Point of Sales (POS), clients can set up a payment service that accepts both cryptocurrencies and fiat. The POS is implementable in both online and offline environments.

CPI Marketing

Having a good blockchain system is just one step in running a successful business. With its integrated marketing strategy, CPI Technologies brings the best of both worlds. Its marketing solutions offer:

  • Digital Media Marketing: With professional video ads, clients can woo clients.
  • Social Media Marketing: Promotion of the client platform on the biggest social media guarantees visits from potential customers.
  • Sale Strategies: CPI’s professional marketing team creates the best strategy that combines with the blockchain software and its intended market audience.
  • Organic and Paid Traffic: Organic traffic is the real game. With methods such as SEO and paid traffic campaigns from the largest advertising platforms (Facebook and Google AdWords), clients can be assured that maximum interest is generated in their products.

CPI Founder, Marvin Steinberg

Marvin Steinberg is the founder of CPI Technologies. A staunch marketing guru with a weight of experience and success stories, helping his clients reach their goals has been the driver of his passion. In 2015 he founded an direct selling Company which was sold in 2016 to large American multi-billion dollar company, Just Energy Group. In 2016, Marvin launched one of the first Blockchain service providers, helping aspiring Blockchain startups reach their goals, securing in excess of $250,000,000 in funding over the last three years.

In his work with CPI, Marvin has made it his mission to champion growth and development, which has allowed the numerous projects they work with to reach funding targets and sign up figures of over 2,000,000 users for whitelabel exchange platforms, to grow into some of the most influential blockchain companies we see on the market today. That same mission is carried forward to the host of other projects Marvin works his magic in, including Steinberg Invest, and Steinberg Marketing. In 2019, the mission continues, where Marvin is bringing his success to the STO market.

Marvin shares some stats which outline the companies evident growth, stating;

“Since its inception, CPI Technologies has delivered successful projects, one after another. My team has more than 47 completed projects that have processed more than 32,000 BTC and helped increase sales by 182% through analysis, split-testing and continuous optimization of the customer experience. We know what to do, where and especially how to do.”

Although currently focused on developing leading crypto exchange platforms, CPI Technologies is already looking to the future, where it plans to really expand. The German-based company have already announced its new flagship platform to be published in May 2019, instanced first for exclusive customers only.

Maximilian Schmidt (CEO) stated;

“It will revolutionize not only crypto markets, but also the real estate, crowdfunding, patent, certificate and stock markets with bringing this all into a single, easy-to-use and huge selling application. CPI will publish press releases for this product in the next months.”

To know more about CPI Technologies and their offerings, visit their website here.

Media Contact Details
Contact Name: Christine Steinberg
Contact Email: c.steinberg@cpitech.io

Visit the CPI Technologies Official Site – https://cpitech.io/
Meet the CPI Technologies Team on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/all/?keywords=CPI%20Technologies%20GmbH
Follow CPI Technologies on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/cpit3ch/about/?ref=page_internal

CPI Technologies 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 stable value, or of any value at all.

Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Article

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AI-Enabled Crypto and Fiat Payment Solution Bitenny Launches Token Presale (With Bonus!)

Despite widespread innovation and technological development over the past couple of years, the biggest problems with cryptocurrencies today are the same as they were back then.

It’s safe to say that most people who are going to adopt cryptocurrencies for ideological reasons or as speculative investments have already done so. Unfortunately, those groups haven’t pushed crypto into the mainstream. The majority of people still see cryptocurrencies as extremely risky and complicated, and there are few solutions that make cryptocurrencies easy to use in everyday life.

Then, of course, there are the problems for merchants. Online merchants already have to deal with several Payment Service Providers (PSPs) that lack interoperability, and adding cryptocurrencies to the mix can be both time consuming and confusing for them. Likewise for brick-and-mortar shops, but with the additional obstacle of limited options for specialised software or hardware.

These are big problems, but they are not insurmountable. The internet faced similar obstacles and growing pains during the 1980’s and 1990’s before becoming the backbone of the global economy in the past two decades.

In the future, using cryptocurrencies in our day-to-day lives will be easier than using credit and debit cards is today. Around the world, people will grow increasingly familiar and comfortable with new types of transactions that are cheaper, more secure, more efficient, and borderless.

Bitenny is an AI-driven financial asset management and payment platform that can play a big role in making that future a reality in the years to come. At the heart of the platform is Prally, a digital assistant powered by artificial intelligence. Prally will be integrated into Bitenny’s free digital wallet, which allows users to:

  • Securely swap cryptocurrencies, with full legal compliance
  • Easily exchange cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies
  • Capitalize on trading opportunities thanks to Prally’s insights
  • Rest easy knowing that Prally is there to minimize their risk in the market

As for merchant adoption, Bitenny has a solution to overcome the obstacles there as well. Key to that will be a feature-rich Bitenny API that can be easily integrated into online stores at zero cost to the merchants. This will allow merchants to immediately begin accepting over 50 methods of payment, including a comprehensive collection of the leading cryptocurrencies.

On top of that, Bitenny’s solution can help brick-and-mortar shops to start accepting cryptocurrency payments too. This will be done through a specialised software application that can be installed on any tablet or computer to convert it into an easy-to-use point of sale device.

Meet the Bitenny Team

Ultimately, cryptocurrency projects can only succeed if they have great engineering teams driving their development. Bitenny’s CTO, Nardie Scharenbord, inspires plenty of confidence in that respect, having 20+ years of experience as a program manager and entrepreneur in finance and IT, specializing in AI.

Co-founder and CEO Shahdad Kiyani leverages his background in IT, digital marketing, and business development to manage the project, while fellow co-founder and CCO, Mahdad Kiyani, has more than 15 years of diverse experiences in software engineering.

More information on the Bitenny team and advisors can be found on the About section of the project website.

How to Participate in the BTNY Token Presale

Bitenny has developed a utility token, BTNY, which will be used as an in-between for converting tokenized fiat currencies between Bitenny wallets, enabling rate discovery and advancing liquidity in the process. Additionally, BTNY will be a payment option for payments relating to good and services through the Bitenny wallet.

The BTNY Token Presale begins on February 28th at 12:00 UTC and ends on May 28th at 23:00 UTC. BTNY can be purchased with USD, AUD, BTC, ETH, and XEM.

There will be a total of 700.000.000 BTNY available for sale, priced at 1 BTNY = $0.07. The minimum investment amount is 0,3 ETH. Investors who participate in the presale will receive a 40% bonus on their investment.

Links

Website: https://www.bitenny.io/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bitenny_io
Telegram: http://t.me/Bitenny
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bitennyio-935538879978419/?modal=admin_todo_tour
Blog: https://medium.com/bitenny-io

The post AI-Enabled Crypto and Fiat Payment Solution Bitenny Launches Token Presale (With Bonus!) appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

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Enjin Coin Price Gains Another 20% as Bullish Momentum Returns

enjin coin

Due to all of the rather uneasy cryptocurrency market momentum in place right now, it remains to be seen how things will unfold over the next few hours and days. While there is some excitement in certain markets, the top currencies are rather disappointing right now. The Enjin Coin price, which recently saw a major value surge, is still going strong as of right now.

Enjin Coin Price Resumes its Uptrend

No one will be too surprised to note some altcoins succeed in noting strong gains whereas the majority of the top coins are struggling. While projects such as Enjin Coin would certainly benefit from bullish Bitcoin price momentum, it seems they can effectively move on their own as well. That is part of what cryptocurrency so interesting right now, as one never knows where the next batch of profits might come from.

Over the past 24 hours, it would appear there is a 21% increase in the Enjin Coin price. More importantly, this is an uptrend which affects the USD, BTC, and ETH value alike, further confirming the uptrend is going strong. Because of this new surge, one ENJ is valued at $0.201, 5,004 Satoshi, or 0.00144592 Ether. A very promising turn of events, even though most holders recently noted some strong gains as well.

When looking at social media, it would appear there is some interesting information pertaining to Enjin Coin. Quantza would love to see Binance.je add Enjin Coin. That would make things rahte ritneresting, a sit cna provide a lot more epxosure for ENJ in the process. Getting the word out about different altcoins is usually very difficult, yet it seems there are ways to make this process a lot more straightforward. 

#ENJ
Enjin is growing crypto adoption in Korea, and providing a more sustainable development path for game developers.
I'm sure it will take off around the world!

— Quantza (@_Quantza_) March 18, 2019

It also appears Binance has plans to conduct an AMA with altcoin developer teams through their own Telegram channel. Enjin Coin is one of the options to vote on, as are Holo, Aion, and others. This seems to indicate Binance knows all too well what ENJ is about, although one shouldn’t jump to conclusions right away. An AMA for any of the listed coins would certainly yield some excitement, as this kind of exposure can be invaluable.

6 of the teams you wanted to host an AMA in the #Binance Telegram https://t.co/6A44tBuhB8 @enjin $ENJ@H_O_L_O_ $HOT@Mainframe_HQ $MFT@Taelpay $WABI@Aion_Network $AION@go_chain $GO
There will be two polls with the rules included on the second
Poll 1:

— Binance (@binance) March 18, 2019

For those merely interested in the actual price chart, it seems things are looking promising, but not without potential price pressure. VIP25 Crypto Coin Analysis claims a pullback to 5,000 Satoshi is possible, which is in line with the current value. However, breaking the resistance at 6,100 Satoshi will be a massive challenge. Altcoin markets remain rather unpredictable, even under the best of circumstances.

📉 ENJ 4H chart 📈

ENJ could be starting a new wave. Now pullback to 5000-5200 possible – good buy zone if not yet in. To fly higher will need to breakout resistance 6100-6200 which is 15-20% above. Breakout targets will be 7500 – 7900 – 8500.

@vip25_contact #ENJ #EnjinCoin

— VIP25 CRYPTO COIN ANALYSIS (@crypto_coins_25) March 18, 2019

What makes Enjin Coin a rather remarkable market is how it notes almost as much trading volume as its current market cap valuation. With most of the trading coming from UpBit, Bithumb, and Binance, it seems there may be more of the same for the foreseeable future. How high the price will go, remains to be determined, as there may be some bearish pressure in the near future. Such steep gains can hardly ever be sustained without any repercussions.

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 Enjin Coin Price Gains Another 20% as Bullish Momentum Returns appeared first on The Merkle Hash.

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ICO Fundraising Trending to Zero a ‘Healthy’ Sign, Says Fundstrat

ICO fundraising figures continue to slide downwards in 2019. Cryptocurrency token sales are down almost 90 percent from the figures obtained 12 months ago.

Investor Interest in Token Funding Plummets

According to data from ICObench, token funding continues to plummet. At the end of Q1 2018, ICOs had raised about $4.75 billion. However, from January 2019 till date, token offerings have only eked out a meager $575 million in comparison.

Apart from being down almost 90 percent based on fundraising amount, the number of projects is also on the decline. December 2018 recorded 248 ICOs alone, meanwhile the total number seen from the start of the year till press time stands at 238.

This 2019 decline is a continuation of the trend that began to emerge in the middle of 2018. In October 2018, Bitcoinist reported that ICO fundraising was at a 17-month low.

token funding is trending toward zero, via @fundstrat pic.twitter.com/XTqaT29LuL

— Rebecca Ungarino (@ungarino) March 17, 2019

Maturing Market, Increased Regulations, or Both?

What could be the cause of the emerging trend in cryptocurrency fundraising? For Tom Lee of Fundstrat, startups in the crypto and blockchain space appear to be pivoting away from token sales towards equity raises.

If Lee’s summation is indeed accurate then it could signal the emergence of maturity in the market, with projects looking towards utility and value creation rather than the ‘get rich quick’ ICO trend.

Tom Lee

Speaking to CNBC last week as part of a series of forecasts and market outlooks for cryptocurrencies in general, Lee opined:

We believe 2019 is a year of repair, setting up for a strong recovery in crypto prices broadly in 2020. Any improvements in supply/demand dynamics is positive for prices and hence, the slowdown in ICO funding is a net positive. Sentiment is also quite muted, which is positive.

Cryptocurrency Purge

The lack of utility and value creation continues to be a major criticism of many ICO projects. While Bitcoin continues to find greater adoption across the world, many ICO tokens have failed to make any significant impact on the market.

The reason for this failure is usually easy to deduce – it takes more than merely grafting a token to an existing business model and expecting it to become the “next Bitcoin.” Thus, commentators like Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group even believe that most tokens will go to zero.

Silbert’s opinion echoes those of Bitwise executive, Matt Hougan who expects 95 percent of cryptocurrencies to die out in a ‘purge’ akin to that of the dot-com era. If these predictions are correct, then the continued ICO fundraising decline may be a precursor to the start of the cryptocurrency purge.

What do you think are the factors responsible for the decline in ICO fundraising since the turn of the year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Twitter (@ungarino), Shutterstock

The post ICO Fundraising Trending to Zero a ‘Healthy’ Sign, Says Fundstrat appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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How Crypto is Beating Charity Fraud and Binance is Bringing Uganda’s Children to School

The topic of charity often brings disparity of opinion. On the one hand, most of us recognize the injustices of the world and want to help those in need. But, given the reports of fraud and misconduct, as well as the sheer scale of problems, it’s understandable why many become numb to the issue. However, crypto and blockchain technology is working to change that.

Charity Fraud

Figures show that more than a third of charity fraud was perpetrated by staff, trustees or volunteers. These findings came about during a study by The Charity Commission. They noted that weak governance, poor financial controls, and excessive trust in key individuals were common factors to the problem. Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, said:

“charities could protect themselves from internal and external fraud through the robust and consistent application of financial controls.”

With this in mind, it’s clear to see how a decentralized blockchain system and crypto can address people’s concerns over charity.

How Blockchain and Crypto Can Help

A decade on since Bitcoin first paved the way, many institutions are beginning to realize how blockchain is more than financial speculation. With blockchain technology, there exists a significant opportunity for charities to benefit the world.

Blockchains are inherently designed to eliminate corruption and non-transparency in situations involved multiple participants. As well as that, the technology facilitates an audit trail, where benefactors can track donations across its complete cycle.

The implications of this are massive. Blockchain technology has the potential to completely change the way the sector operates, allowing organizations to run more efficiently by eliminating waste, and therefore providing real help to those in need. Also, from a credibility standpoint, use of blockchain would undoubtedly instill greater trust, which is something often lacking in people’s reasoning for not giving.

The Plight of Ugandan School Children

When it comes to important cases, few are more deserving than feeding children. In Uganda, the problems of war, famine, and AIDS make for dangerous living conditions. Here, more than a third of people live below the poverty line, and children are the primary victims of this desperate economic situation.

Binance recently launched their blockchain solution to tackle hunger and access to primary education. The Lunch for Children campaign is asking for 1 BNB to provide a lunch program for children who need your help. Contributing will provide a month’s worth of food for a child in remote African areas. Without which some will be forced to abandon their education.

The 50-Cent Dream: How Blockchain Brings Uganda’s Children Back to School

Read the stories from three of Uganda’s children, whose futures are being built, 50 cents at a time. @BinanceBCF

Make the difference: https://t.co/l0mKM9lmvKhttps://t.co/28fEitmmx4

— Binance (@binance) March 15, 2019

The Solution

The collaboration between Binance Charity and Dream Building Service Association will select schools that serve poor children, and choose reliable food suppliers. Donations made will go to the crypto wallets of children’s parents or legal guardians, who will then use the funds to pay food suppliers. 

This system is a real life example of how blockchain is revolutionizing the charity sector. The verified audit trail of transactions deals with issues related to lack of transparency and accountability. The foundation will collect monthly reports from the school, and provide updates on how the project is progressing. All of which ensures your donations are making a real difference.

The post How Crypto is Beating Charity Fraud and Binance is Bringing Uganda’s Children to School appeared first on NewsBTC.

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