News

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

Cardano [ADA] Prices Soars As Ethereum’s Delayed Hard Fork Causes Uncertainty

Cardano [ADA] Prices Soars As Ethereum’s Delayed Hard Fork Causes Uncertainty

Cardano ADA has been performing exceptionally well for the last couple of hours in what has been a fairly bearish market. At the time of press, Cardano has soared by over 3% and is now trading for a little over $0.044.

Cardano’s bullish charge comes in the wake of a milestone achievement from the network. On Jan 09, Charles Hoskinson announced that Cardano’s sidechain paper had been accepted on the Oakland cybersecurity conference. This is a major conference that will see Cardano receive great exposure.

Cardano is also expecting a major boost in the coming days with its Shelley phase expected to launch in Q1 2019. This phase will see the Cardano blockchain move from its current Byron phase and become fully decentralized.

In the coming days, Cardano should continue being largely bullish as more positive news emerge and the network continues to expand on its adoption.

The wider market is today recording marginal drops with no major movements from top tier cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin BTC is at the time of press trading around $3,670 after a slight drop from $3,700. XRP, on the other hand, is trading a little over $0.33, recording a marginal gain of 0.30%.

Ethereum ETH Response To Constantinople Hard Fork Delay

The upgrade on the Ethereum network has been anxiously awaited with “cautious optimism”. While everyone was looking forward to the improvements that would be born out of it, there was no telling what was going to go wrong during or after the upgrade. On Jan 15, hours away from the upgrade, the Ethereum team canceled the upgrade- temporarily at least.

The delay on the upgrade came after a red flag was raised on a potential loophole that could allow hackers to attack the network. Now, a new date for the upgrade is expected to be issued on the 18th of January during the next development meeting.

The delay doesn’t seem to have affected Ethereum ETH prices by much. At the time of press, Ethereum is recording marginal losses and is trading for $126. Ethereum was on a bullish run for the better half of yesterday but following the announcement, Ethereum dropped from $129 to a little over $120.

A price correction has seen Ethereum make a recovery and close on to yesterday’s highs. The vulnerability, which was flagged off by ChainSecurity, although well timed will see more investors get cold feet in regards to the upgrade.

The post Cardano [ADA] Prices Soars As Ethereum’s Delayed Hard Fork Causes Uncertainty appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bulls Too Confident, Too Soon

Bitcoin price analysis

After the sharp decline for Bitcoin price yesterday retesting the low $3,500s we take a closer look at whats going on with the market.

Bitcoin Price: 4-Hour Bitcoin Chart

Bitcoin price 00 has failed to regain the critical $3750 point of control so far this week and is still consolidating under it after being rejected by the $4k handle and scuppering the short term hopes of an inverse head and shoulders bottom.

Last night saw the price fall from highs of $3680 and a subsequent bounce back today, before once again being rejected and settle around $3600, but seemingly continues to be drawn towards the mid $3000s rather than pressing on to new highs.

image

Sentiment Analysis

Looking more closely at the market we can see that the sentiment in the market is bullish, with longs out weighing shorts by 30k to 22k at Bitfinex.

While this may suggest that the market believes that there is hope that the bottom is in and upside can be expected, the issue is that generally speaking, the longs at 30k is reaching the maximum levels the market tends to see, with these positions being built all the way down to $6k.

During this time, short positions have also closed from 40k down to 22k.

This means that despite the buying pressure of both combined, the market remains stuck around the mid $3ks, which is the 61% retracement of the bounce from $3.1k.

image

Looking at the total leverage exposure, this is also beginging to reach out towards the 50k lows that we have previously seen.  As highlighted on the chart, it becomes clear that where we have seen these conditions in the past, we have seen a sharp selloff to retest the lows.

Bitcoin is therefore starting to reveal some underlying weakness in its market posture and indicates that another retest of the low $3ks could be on the horizon in the near future.

With CBOE XBT futures expiring today, there may be some hope of a short term relief rally as we have seen previously but generally speaking it seems likely that Bitcoin price needs to prove its metal at the $3.1ks before we move higher.

[Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author and do not reflect the views of Bitcoinist. The information in the article should not be taken as financial advice.]

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

Does Bitcoin price action suggest we will head lower? Where is the bottom? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Chatter Report: Pacia Shows Avalanche Regtest Data, Powell Advocates Hardware Wallets

Pacia Showcases Avalanche Regtest Data, Powell and Zhao Express Different Opinions on Crypto Safety

In today’s chatter report, Chris Pacia reveals his BCH transaction using Avalanche on regtest finalized in just 185.822377 milliseconds. Also, Changpeng Zhao advocates storing crypto on reputable exchanges while Jesse Powell advises his followers to store crypto on hardware wallets. Lastly, Eric Wall proposes targeting children to spread crypto adoption. 

Also Read: Jason Cox Extends Open Invitation for Assistance With Development and Review of Bitcoin Cash Code

Avalanche Regtest Results

Recently, Openbazaar developer Chris Pacia was testing the pre-consensus implementation Avalanche on regtest. Pacia was optimistic when sharing his results, as his transaction finalized in just 185.822377 milliseconds.

Chris Pacia: 2019-01-14 18:20:01.776 [INF] AVAL: Starting avalanche for tx 46db02b656673509670b5a952215015bebd4a97155022132d6cb206c046c6178 2019-01-14 18:20:01.963 [INF] AVAL: Avalanche finalized transaction 46db02b656673509670b5a952215015bebd4a97155022132d6cb206c046c6178 in 185.822377ms from btc

In an attempt to lower expectations, lead developer of Bitcoin ABC Amaury Séchet explained that he does not believe that transactions will confirm at the same speed on mainnet, because a round trip around the earth via the internet typically takes 500-600 milliseconds.

When asked by Reddit user “CatatonicAdenosine” if Pacia thinks the numbers will stay this low, Pacia said he doesn’t expect transactions to take more than one to two seconds to finalize. Pacia also stated that he plans to run pre-consensus mechanism Avalanche on mainnet in a few weeks and begin logging data.

CZ’s Advice on Safe Crypto Storage Causes a Stir

In response to Cryptopia exchange being hacked, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao proposed three different options for storing cryptocurrency safely. Many users were critical of Zhao’s proposal to store coins on “reputable” exchanges and raised eyebrows when Zhao criticized the practice of storing coins in noncustodial wallets.

Store coins yourself. You fight hackers yourself, and guard from losing wallet yourself. Computer breaks, USBs gets lost.

Store on an exchange. Only use the most reputable, proven secure, exchanges.

Or move to DEX, disrupt ourselves. https://t.co/Ci4ux9I3VD

— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 15, 2019

Zhao’s comments were in contrast to those of Kraken exchange CEO Jesse Powell, who advised users to store only the coins they plan to actively trade with, and no more, on exchanges. Powell also advised storing crypto on a Ledger or Trezor hardware wallet instead of an exchange.

PLEASE do not store more coins on an exchange (including @krakenfx) than you need to actively trade. Use @LedgerHQ or @Trezor. DEXes are not a panacea — look at The DAO. Open source just means exploits will be discovered sooner (probably not by good guys). 🙏https://t.co/LmzhtCjpM0

— Jesse Powell (@jespow) January 16, 2019

Other cryptocurrency community members like developer David Shares also echoed Powell’s advice, advising users to store crypto in a wallet where they control their own private keys.

Targeting Children For Crypto Adoption

Cinnober cryptocurrency lead Eric Wall recently took to Twitter to argue that children should be a target for spreading future crypto adoption. While many in the cryptocurrency space believe that the future of crypto adoption lies with people living in emerging markets, Wall believes the focus should be on children, as they are an unbanked group that are more likely to adopt the technology.

1/ There's a lot of talk about crypto banking the unbanked (people living in emerging markets), but I think there's a larger (>2bn) unbanked group that is far more likely to adopt crypto in the near-term. An innovative, playful group who are great at using apps:

Children.

— Eric Wall (@ercwl) January 15, 2019

The 17-strong tweet-storm contains some compelling arguments on why children will integrate well with the crypto ecosystem. Wall believes that kids are more sophisticated when it comes to using social media apps because they explore the full functionality of them. They also are better at online marketing as they direct message all their friends instead of just uploading content like adults do. Also, kids today understand virtual goods and in-app purchases because of things like Fortnite V-bucks and WoW gold. Creating crypto-based apps that directly target children, Wall believes, will help to spread adoption and introduce the next generation to cryptocurrencies

What do you think of Eric Wall’s hypothesis? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Bitcoin.com offers up-to-the-minute charts on bitcoin price and other stats. Our feeds show the bitcoin price index in all three major currencies (USD, CNY, EUR). Also, if you want to dig deeper into how the bitcoin network is performing behind the scenes, check out the statistics page too.

The post Chatter Report: Pacia Shows Avalanche Regtest Data, Powell Advocates Hardware Wallets appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Crypto Market Watch: VeChain (VET), NEO and Lisk (LSK)

Crypto Market Watch: VeChain (VET), NEO and Lisk (LSK)

All of today’s focus coins are on a Bullish momentum with the upward trend signaled to continue by various indicators. Previously held support levels have been upped and prices bettered. The result of this has been an improvement in investor confidence in these coins despite Bitcoin taking a further dip within the last 24 hours. VeChain, NEO as well as Lisk are headed on an upward momentum, registering O.5%, 3.03% and 1% increase respectively.

VeChain/USD

VeChain has seen a Bullish run over the last 24 hours, coming from $0.0038 yesterday to the current $0.004. This slight upsurge in VeChain’s value pushed down the Relative Strength Index (A) indicating growing confidence from investors. The RSI dipped slightly indicating slowed market activity – meaning that VET sale offs over fear of losses due to reduced price were few.

Additionally, both Moving Averages were upward facing, with the 9 day EMA(B) crossing over the 30 day EMA (C). The Bullish momentum seems to be dwindling however, as the 30-day EMA is attempting to cross back over the 9 day EMA. Unless the Bulls can increase the upward momentum, VET will start on a downward trend.

NEO/USD

NEO beat off a strong Bearish momentum to register a 3.03% increase in its price. The markets reacted quickly to the price surge, many investors making sell-offs which pushed the RSI (A) upwards. This signaled increased buying activity, perhaps out of fear of missing out on the boom.

Increased buying activity saw NEO’s 24-hour volume reach $134 Million with its market capitalization at $513 Billion. The 9-day EMA(C) and the 30-day EMA (B) formed a reverse contracting triangular pattern – indicating a strong Bull Run. In the short term, the Bullish trend is likely to continue as signaled by all the indicators.

Lisk/USD

As was with NEO, Lisk beat off a strong Bearish trend yesterday to regain its previous price zone as seen in the above chart. This has been followed with a rise in Lisk’s Relative Strength Index (A) as a result of the confidence boost to investors.

The 9-day moving average (B)skyrocketed sharply to cross over the 30 day EMA (C). the tables have however turned and all indicators point towards a slight bearish trend in the short term.

The post Crypto Market Watch: VeChain (VET), NEO and Lisk (LSK) appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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The Daily: New Platform to Offer Tokenized Securities, Ledgerx Launches Volatility Index

The Daily: New Platform to Offer Tokenized Securities, Ledgerx Launches Volatility Index

In today’s edition of The Daily, we cover a number of stories that are of importance to cryptocurrency traders. A new trading platform is set to offer tokenized securities, Ledgerx releases a volatility benchmark based on U.S. BTC options, and the police investigate an exchange that suffered a significant security breach.

Also Read: Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETF

A New Tokenized Securities Trading Platform

The Daily: New Platform to Offer Tokenized Securities, Ledgerx Launches Volatility IndexMinsk, Belarus

Currency.com, a company licensed in Belarus, has announced the launch of a new trading platform for tokenized securities. Starting with over 150 instruments, the company plans to issue over 10,000 tokens which will track the underlying prices of equities, indices and commodities. The service is in invite-only mode right now, but prospective clients can apply to be added to a waiting list.

Users will be able to buy these tokens with cryptocurrencies, and will have the ability to trade them on margin. The tokenized securities platform will also be supplemented by a service for buying cryptocurrencies using fiat, storing them and making cross-crypto exchanges, as well as with a portfolio tracking app. Currency.com is said to be using the technology of Capital.com, its sister CFDs platform.

The platform is said to implement Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and verify all transactions with blockchain intelligence services such as Coinfirm, Elliptic and Chainalysis. Ivan Gowan, the CEO of the company, commented, “We are excited to be launching this revolutionary blockchain venture and providing crypto investors with a concrete option to diversify their portfolio by investing in traditional asset classes, without the pressure of exchanging cryptocurrencies into fiat money to do so. Currency.com is committed to providing users with superior security and fraud protection, and preventing any potential risks by leveraging the full traceability of blockchain transactions and adhering to the strictest regulatory standards set by Belarus’s Decree No. 8 ‘On the Development of the Digital Economy’.”

Ledgerx Launches Benchmark Volatility Index

The Daily: New Platform to Offer Tokenized Securities, Ledgerx Launches Volatility IndexThe Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX)

Ledgerx, the CFTC regulated digital currency clearinghouse and options exchange, has announced the launch of Ledgerx Volatility Index (LXVX) a volatility estimate for BTC based on live U.S. options trading. The company says that the LXVX is designed to incorporate the level of fear and uncertainty in the crypto market, and thus can be thought of as the “bitcoin fear index”, in the same way the VIX is commonly referred to as the stock market fear index.

“Having cleared half a billion in derivatives, we feel confident that the LXVX is the only credible indicator for future bitcoin volatility,” said Juthica Chou, the company’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. “The importance for a volatility estimate is a range of strikes and terms. Ledgerx has active options contracts from $2k to $50k in strikes, out to June 2020.”

“One of the fascinating things about volatility indices is that they’re of interest to a lot of participants, even if they don’t trade the options directly. For example, if you are a large holder of bitcoin or a risk manager, you’d be very interested in how much the market expects bitcoin to move over the next month. To finally have an estimate of volatility for bitcoin is another step in the maturation of the market,” she added.

NZ Police: We Didn’t Storm Cryptopia Exchange

The Daily: New Platform to Offer Tokenized Securities, Ledgerx Launches Volatility Index

Christchurch, New Zealand-based Cryptopia is the latest exchange to get hit by hackers. After initially claiming the service was only taken down for “unscheduled maintenance” on Monday, the company revealed yesterday that it has “suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses.” The New Zealand authorities updated the public today, Wednesday Jan. 16, that they are working with Cryptopia to establish what exactly happened, which seems to counter the fears of some commenters that the company pulled a $3.6 million exit scam.

“Police are not yet in a position to say how much cryptocurrency is involved, other than it is a significant amount,” the investigative force stated.“A large team, including Canterbury CIB and specialist staff from the police High Tech Crime Unit, have been assigned to the case. There has been a visible police presence at the company’s Colombo Street headquarters throughout the day as police take the steps needed to progress the investigation. While police are unable to go into details about specific steps being taken at this stage, we can say that our focus includes commencing both a forensic digital investigation of the company and a physical scene examination at the building.”

“We are dealing with a complex situation and we are unable to put a timeframe on how long the investigation may take. We are also aware of speculation in the online community about what might have occurred. It is too early for us to draw any conclusions and Police will keep an open mind on all possibilities while we gather the information we need. A priority for police is to identify and, if possible, recover missing funds for Cryptopia customers; however there are likely to be many challenges to achieving this. We would also like to make clear that Cryptopia are cooperating fully with the investigation team and a media report that police ‘stormed’ the building today is entirely incorrect.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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

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Kraken CEO Warns: Don’t Keep More Coins Than Needed on Exchanges

cryptocurrency

Binance and Kraken CEOs weighed in on industry best practices for storing cryptocurrency in the wake of Cryptopia getting hacked. The question remains, which means of storage has the least risk exposure?

CZ Sees Three

For Binance CEO, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, users have three options; self-storage, on exchanges, or using decentralized exchanges (DEX). Yesterday, CZ commented on coin security in reaction to a hack of Cryptopia, weighing the pros and cons of the three options.

Store coins yourself. You fight hackers yourself, and guard from losing wallet yourself. Computer breaks, USBs gets lost.

Store on an exchange. Only use the most reputable, proven secure, exchanges.

Or move to DEX, disrupt ourselves. https://t.co/Ci4ux9I3VD

— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 15, 2019

The Binance CEO advised those looking to store on centralized exchanges to use only the most reputable ones. Though, Mt. Gox used to be the most reputable exchange in 2014, but then got hacked for over half a billion dollars.

Despite later providing clarification, CZ’s tweet seemed skewered to favor the use of third-party services, especially DEX platforms. He later even admitted that the statement should be considered as a promotion of the company’s DEX platform. However, hackers did manage to steal $12 million from Bancor, a supposed ‘decentralized’ platform, in 2018.

Don’t Use Exchanges to Store Cryptocurrency

For Kraken CEO, Jesse Powell, users shouldn’t more cryptos than they need to trade actively. Instead, cryptocurrency owners should use (admittedly, also reputable) hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor.

Jesse Powell

Powell countered CZ’s claims of decentralized exchanges being safer, saying:

DEXes are not a panacea — look at The DAO. Open source just means exploits will be discovered sooner (probably not by good guys).

PLEASE do not store more coins on an exchange (including @krakenfx) than you need to actively trade. Use @LedgerHQ or @Trezor. DEXes are not a panacea — look at The DAO. Open source just means exploits will be discovered sooner (probably not by good guys). 🙏https://t.co/LmzhtCjpM0

— Jesse Powell (@jespow) January 16, 2019

Pierre Rochard of Bitcoin Advisory also disputed Zhao’s comments noting that exchange wallets were at a much higher risk than personal storage wallets.

In October 2018, Bitcoinist reported that hackers had stolen close to $900 million from exchange platforms over the past two years.

Since the Mt. Gox heist of 2014, several other platforms have fallen victim to cybercriminals, and possibly inside jobs as well – though this is hard to prove.

So while Zhao talks about reputable and trusted platforms, it appears centralized exchanges are playing a game of ‘cryptocurrency musical chairs.’

“You fight hackers yourself, and guard from losing [password] yourself. Computer breaks, [2fa] gets lost.”

More individual exchange accounts have been hacked than individual wallets.

Disappointing but not surprising to see “industry leaders” spread bad info. https://t.co/xX4MJJhBUJ

— Pierre Rochard [⚡] (@pierre_rochard) January 15, 2019

Meanwhile, former Trezor CEO, Alena Vranova, echoed Powell, advising crypto owners to limit their risk exposure by controlling your own private keys. Instead of using third-party services like online exchange wallets, Vranova says hardware wallets with multisig function provide far greater security.

No storage option, however, can be considered to be 100 percent secure. But as the likes of industry veterans like Vranova and Powell recommend, cryptocurrency users should always strive to minimize risk and never keep more funds than required on exchanges.

Which cryptocurrency storage option do you think has the most positive upside-downside tradeoff? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Twitter (@cz_binance, @jespow, @pierre_rochard, and AlenaSatoshi), Shutterstock

The post Kraken CEO Warns: Don’t Keep More Coins Than Needed on Exchanges appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Canada Digital ID System Could Use Blockchain to Secure Data, Says Banking Executive

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Here’s Why BTC’s Recovery Won’t Be Easy

  • Bitcoin price declined recently and settled below the $3,700 support area against the US Dollar.
  • There was a break below a crucial contracting triangle with support at $3,780 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Coinbase).
  • The price tested the next important support at $3,480 and it is currently consolidating losses.

Bitcoin price is struggling to gain bullish momentum above $3,700 against the US Dollar. BTC must stay above $3,480 to avoid a downside break towards $3,200 in the near term.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

After trading as high as $4,117, bitcoin price faced a fresh round of selling against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair started a sharp downward move and broke the $4,000, $3,800 and $3,750 support levels. There was even a close below the $3,700 level and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours). It opened the doors for more losses and the price traded below the $3,600 support.

More importantly, there was a break below a crucial contracting triangle with support at $3,780 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair. The pair even spiked below the $3,500 support before buyers took a stand near the $3,480 support area. Later, the price started consolidating losses and corrected above the $3,600 level. Buyers pushed the price above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $4,117 high to $3,478 low. However, the $3,700 pivot level acted as a strong resistance and prevented an upside break. Besides, there is a connecting bearish trend line in place with resistance at $3,640 on the same chart.

Bitcoin Price Analysis BTC Chart

Looking at the chart, bitcoin price must gain strength above the trend line and the $3,700 resistance to move into a positive zone. The next hurdle is near $3,800 and the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $4,117 high to $3,478 low. Alternatively, a downside break below $3,480 may push the price towards $3,330 or $3,220.

Technical indicators

4-hour MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is placed in the bearish zone, with hardly any positive sign.

4-hour RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI is currently well below the 50 level.

Key Support Level – $3,480

Key Resistance Level – $3,700

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Here’s Why BTC’s Recovery Won’t Be Easy appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

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The Crypto Winter is Far From Over, ChainFront CEO Warns

crypto winter

It is still unclear what the short-term and long-term future will hold for Bitcoin and all other markets. The overall sentiment looks as bearish as it was throughout 2018. A repeat of the year 2017 might not necessarily happen soon, although that is only to be expected. Al Warms is confident the “crypto winter’ will remain in place for quite some time to come.

No Crypto Market Improvement in Sight

Whereas a lot of people had high expectations for early 2019 in terms of crypto market momentum, the reality is very different. While there was no reason to expect nay major positive changes, it is still odd to see this bearish momentum continue. That is not how most users had expected things to move ahead, yet there is very little one can do about this current trend. In fact, it seems there may not be any improvements on the horizon for the foreseeable future either.

According to ChainFront CEO Al Warms, the current market momentum was to be expected. It has to be said how the year 2017 was exceptional in many different ways, although it ended up hurting the credibility of most cryptocurrencies and digital assets in the process. That is not how enthusiasts and experts hoped for the situation to pan out, but there isn’t much that can be done about it in hindsight.

When looking at the current market situation, Warms is convinced the “exuberance of 2017” caused these conditions in early 2019. Now that the ICO business model is no longer as appealing as it once was and cryptocurrencies bleeding value all over the place, it would appear the uneasy momentum might remain in place for some time to come. Warms wouldn’t go as far as calling the market a “bubble” by any means, although it is not hard to see where the sentiment would come from. However, he does add:

“What I will say, however, is that it’s time for the industry to put up.  We need some wins – mainstream, widely used, applications built upon various public blockchains. Even in the early days of the internet, there were applications that really gave visibility into the potential – early Amazon.com – which only sold books – for example.  In 2017 doctors and lawyers and other high net worth individuals started getting into the space – for the most part they’ve left. To get them back, it’s time to really showcase the potential of this technology through actual working implementations. That the focus of Chainfront.io – my company – enable mainstream adoption.”

It is especially this latter part which has been a key issue in the industry. Mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies has not increased much throughout 2017 and 23018. Although more people invested in Bitcoin and altcoins, it is plausible to assume most of them cut their losses and have moved on until the situation improves. As that improvement remains elusive for now, it remains to be seen if those users will come back in the near future.

All of this seems to indicate the bearish cryptocurrency market trend will remain in place for some time to come. There is nothing that warrants a bit uptrend right now, and it seems overall interest in these markets lacks any real growth as well. The crypto winter can last a very long time, for all anyone knows. That is not necessarily something that makes traders and speculators happy, but keeping one’s expectations in check is the only realistic approach right now.

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.

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Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet

HTC's Blockchain Smartphone Can Be Ordered With Bitcoin

After weeks of delays and hundreds of frustrated customer messages in its Telegram channel, HTC finally shipped its “blockchain phone” on Jan. 14. The HTC Exodus 1 promises an array of features for cryptocurrency users, but the manufacturer couldn’t keep its promise to ship the devices in December. With the phones finally rolled out, news.Bitcoin.com unboxed one of the semi-transparent devices and put it through its paces.

Also read: These Developers Claim They Can Crack Any Hardware Wallet

The Exodus 1 Is a Big Phone With Grand Aspirations

There’s no mistaking the Exodus 1 when it slips out of its protective wrapping and into the palm of your hand. Even if you’ve hands like baseball mitts, you’ll struggle to operate this phone with one paw. Thankfully it’s got a feature called Edge Sense 2 which enables one-handed convenience by shrinking the visible screen when you double tap on the side of the phone. At 157 x 74 x 9.7 mm, 188 grams, and $750, the Android O-powered Exodus 1 is a phone that’s as hard on the pocket as it is on the wallet. For that $750, however (or rather its BTC, LTC, or ETH equivalent), you’re getting a whole lot of smartphone.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto WalletBig phones come in big boxes

While this review will focus on the cryptocurrency elements of the phone, we’ll start with the basics. Given that you’ll be using the Exodus 1 as a smartphone a lot more than you’ll be using it to send or receive crypto, it’s imperative that you can abide what it has to offer when compared to flagship Android phones such as the Goggle Pixel 3 ($799) or the Samsung Galaxy S9 ($720). The Exodus 1’s features include:

  • 6.0” Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 3500mAh battery
  • 12MP + 16MP main camera with high quality zoom
  • 8MP+8MP dual front camera with natural bokeh
  • 4k/60fps 3D audio recording quality
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB – DDR4x RAM
  • 128GB storage

The Exodus 1 has twice as much internal storage as the Galaxy S9, the same processor, and same resolution cameras. The Exodus 1’s battery is the same size as the larger S9+ and has the same 6GB of RAM, while both phones are of similar dimensions. Samsung’s S9 and S9+ are both 1.2mm slimmer than the HTC however. The Google Pixel 3 only has 4GB of RAM, a smaller battery and the same processor as the Exodus 1. The Pixel 3 does have some things in its favor though: its main camera, while lower resolution, is arguably better than the Exodus 1’s, it’s slimmer, at just 7.9mm, it has an eSIM, which some users may prefer, and runs a newer version of Android.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto WalletUnboxing the Exodus 1

With the Exodus 1, you’re getting a phone that can match Samsung and Google’s leading models pound for pound in most areas. Aside from being a little bulkier, there’s not much between the handsets performance-wise. The question, then, is whether the HTC’s exclusive feature – a built-in cryptocurrency hardware wallet, with the key stored in a secure enclave – justifies choosing the Exodus 1.

Take a Trip to Zion

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto WalletZion crypto wallet

Zion is the name of the wallet app that comes pre-loaded on the Exodus 1 and, while limited in functionality, it works just fine. It is beyond the scope of this reviewer to determine whether the “secure enclave,” separated from the rest of the phone’s operations, makes Zion more secure than the average crypto wallet app. “Theoretically” is the likeliest answer, though that’s probably a matter for the Wallet Fail team to resolve. The Zion wallet supports BTC, LTC, ETH, some ERC721 tokens, and ERC20s such as BAT, the latter the native token of the Brave browser, which also comes installed.

Sending and receiving cryptocurrencies is easy, and the UX is reasonable. The collectibles section of the wallet is less scintillating though; import a Cryptokittie and all you’ll get is a small thumbnail of the cat, with no ability to view it full-screen or read its “cattributes.” It’s all very meh. From a privacy perspective, the Zion wallet isn’t great either. There’s no ability to create new addresses, for instance, so you’re stuck with the same three wallets for BTC, LTC, and ETH unless you chose to create an entirely new 12-word seed and install a fresh wallet.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto WalletCrypto collectibles viewed in the Zion app

The social recovery option, enabling you to select trusted friends to help restore the wallet in the event of phone loss, is a welcome touch. While this presents an additional attack vector, it’s a trade-off cryptocurrency users may be willing to make in return for having access to crypto on the go. There are clear drawbacks to owning a blockchain phone of course. The very fact that you have one suggests you have crypto stored on it, which instantly makes you a target. If you’re lazy and have enabled fingerprint access to your wallet, a physical attacker or law enforcement could gain entry without too much trouble.

A Solid Phone That’s Likely to Get Better

iPhone owners are unlikely to swoon over the Exodus 1, but if you’re an Android user who’s due an upgrade, the mere act of switching to a new handset running a current OS and that’s fully equipped with the latest spec makes the Exodus 1 a pleasure to use. Features such as squeeze force, which will open the camera or shrink the screen when you grip or tap the side of the phone, are very nifty. Edge Sense will also ensure the phone doesn’t time out when held in your hand, and the rear fingerprint sensor is responsive and well positioned.

The biggest drawback to the Exodus 1 – the lackluster cryptocurrency wallet – could and likely will be improved through software updates. Even if advanced features were to be added, and the number of supported cryptocurrencies was to increase, however, you’re unlikely to hold much funds in the Zion wallet. Secure enclave or otherwise, it’s debatable whether the Exodus 1’s wallet is any more robust than the leading crypto wallet apps it’s competing against.  

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto WalletThe back of the Exodus 1 is fully transparent

While a little industrial in places, the Exodus 1 is a significantly slicker device than Sirin Labs’ “Finney” blockchain phone and can stake a claim for being the leading smartphone in what is still a very small vertical. Whatever the fate of the Exodus 1, it’s likely this won’t be the last time we see a hardware manufacturer targeting the crypto crowd. In fact, with Samsung’s trademark filings suggesting it’s thinking of following suit, blockchain phones could soon go from being niche to the norm.

What are your thoughts on the Exodus 1 phone? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.

Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Cloudbet at 5: Who We Are & How We Got Here

Cloudbet at 5: Who We Are & How We Got Here

Five years is an eternity in crypto. Since Cloudbet first launched, the landscape has changed countless times. One thing has been constant though, the community.

  • Win bitcoin to celebrate our fifth anniversary
  • Cloudbet is born
  • How Cloudbet built trust
  • Rewarding the early players
  • What went wrong
  • What the future holds

These are the dates that made us.

October 2013 – Cloudbet is born – Bitcointalk makes the delivery

Cloudbet took its first ever wager in October 2013; 0.12 BTC (worth just $24 at that time) was placed on Korea’s K-League (soccer) – it won. We’d like to thank that first player for trusting Cloudbet; there have been over 6.5 million wagers in our sportsbook since, including plenty more winners, who we’ve happily paid out in bitcoin, contributing to the amazing growth of Satoshi Nakamoto’s dream.

Our customers continue to play with Cloudbet because we have built a site that meets the needs of the growing number of gamblers who appreciate the advantages of Bitcoin over traditional fiat operators.

When Cloudbet was launched back in October 2013 it was the first major site that enabled users to bet on sports with bitcoin. Our mission was to address the shortcomings of fiat bookmakers by leveraging the power of bitcoin in an intuitive platform – we wanted (and still strive) to provide ‘the easiest way to bet with bitcoin.’

At that time BTC was trading at just $200 and awareness of crypto’s huge potential was limited to early adopters. Understanding the grassroots nature of Bitcoin (Cloudbet’s founder was inspired by Satoshi’s white paper to build a payment engine) there was unanimous agreement among the small startup team that the only way to gain meaningful traction and feedback on the product was to announce Cloudbet in Bitcoin’s most active community – bitcointalk.org.

So on the morning of November 13th, 2013 – with some trepidation – Cloudbet posted its meta thread on Bitcointalk and immediately began to receive friendly but cautious responses, which is perhaps representative of the community at large. Ideas are welcomed but trust must be earned, and Cloudbet set about gaining that with a thread that has now spanned 263 pages and over 5000 posts.

November 2013 – Adjusting our limits

With a background in professional betting the Cloudbet team understood the importance of offering meaningful betting limits – mainstream fiat bookmakers routinely limit or even close the accounts of successful bettors – which is why from the start, maximum bets were set at 50BTC, but back in those days with the price fluctuating so much, minimum limits were pricing out smaller players.

Knowing that to succeed we had to offer what people wanted we took on board the feedback adjusting the minimum bet limits down to 0.001BTC for most events. That is still the case today but we have retained our exceptionally high maximum limits, as demonstrated at the 2018 World Cup where we were accepting 100BTC bets on the final. The same is true of our casino where you can play table games for up 5BTC a hand. We want to keep pushing the boundaries and making the case for crypto over fiat.

November 2013 – Instant Withdrawals

As a crypto sportsbook and casino Cloudbet is entirely free of third-party payment providers, and the inevitable processing delays they incur, so from the outset we wanted to fully leverage the benefits of decentralised transactions. Just a few months after launching Cloudbet had automated the majority of withdrawals, and since then 90% of withdrawals have been processed instantly.  We do still process larger amounts manually, which as Bitcointalk members rightfully point out, is frustrating, but our commitment to responsible gambling means that we have to make sure that, on occasion, we need to verify some player’s activity.

January 2014 Rewarding our earliest players

Having focused on the critical aspects of our service, such as the limits, markets and payment processing, Cloudbet started to earn a loyal customer base. In order to reward those early adopters and attract a wider audience, Cloudbet introduced a 100% first deposit bonus – up to 5BTC – which was retroactively applied to existing customers.

The Welcome Bonus was intended to be a short-lived promotion, but is still available to this day, though active players can expect a wider range of ongoing incentives across sportsbook and casino.

February 2014 – Cloudbet Live Casino launch

Though our original idea was to be the home of bitcoin sports betting, it soon became clear that our users wanted other ways to play. So with the launch of our live casino, we made sure that our users could play with live dealers, just like you would in real life.

Each month we add more games to our casino. And as our range of online slots grows, the number of winners also increases.  Our casino has seen a number of successful players, the most impressive of which was the record 160 BTC ‘Troll Hunters’ winner, to players learning the ropes in the free to play area, our casino welcomes everyone.

May 2014 – Trust & Security

As much as we recognised the importance of gaining trust we also realised that we had to demonstrate that funds held by Cloudbet were secure, so the decision was made that Cloudbet would go to market offering cold storage as standard. If you’re not sure what that means you can read this article about why it’s important, but in short we keep all funds offline – except for those required to honour withdrawals – where they are impossible for hackers to reach. And we’ve done that since day one.

  1. Set up your wallet
  2. Buy bitcoin
  3. Deposit into your account

Though Cold Storage was a good start, it was clear from community feedback that there was more we could do. So in May 2014 we introduced two-factor authentication (2FA). Widely available thanks to the Google Authenticator app, it gives users a second level of authentication, to help keep your Cloudbet account secure.

Security has remained a fundamental aspect of our service, and as recently as June of 2018 we took further measures to make accounts even more secure, adding SMS Verification. By registering your phone number to your account you get a further layer of security.

July 2014 – Live betting for the World Cup

Though we are a bitcoin sportsbook rather than simply a sportsbook offering bitcoin, we appreciate that without an excellent betting product the advantages of crypto are meaningless. The biggest development in betting over the last decade has been live betting, so from the very beginning Cloudbet was focused on being able to offer a wide a choice of live markets as possible – something that sets aside from other crypto operators. This began at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and has grown every year since.

As well as listening via communities like Bitcointalk we regularly survey our customers, and we consistently hear ‘we love your live betting options’ but equally ‘we want more’. We are listening, and are continually expanding live markets.

January 2017 – The First Steps For Localisation

Though bitcoin has proven itself to be a global currency, we knew that as long as our site was only available in English, we wouldn’t be offering the best experience possible. That’s why in January 2017, we rolled out Korean and Indonesian translations for our site. This was followed by Turkish, Chinese and Russian. In our quest to bring bitcoin gambling to as wide an audience as possible, we’ll be looking to add even more in the coming months.

April 2018 – Bitcoin Cash & Fork Funds

The world of cryptocurrency gambling is almost unrecognisable from when we first announced the site to the bitcoin community, and these positive changes allow us to bring new features faster than ever. It’s why we introduced Bitcoin Cash as the first altcoin to our site in April 2018 – announcing exclusively on Bitcointalk – not in preference to Bitcoin, but because we want to provide customers with more choice. We don’t simply convert Bitcoin Cash deposits into bitcoin either, that would mean added costs for our users. Players can deposit, bet and withdraw Bitcoin Cash in just the same way as bitcoin.

Introducing a new currency might be enough for most sportsbooks. But not us. As another way of giving something back to our players, in the same month as we launched BCH as a currency on Cloudbet,  we honoured the Bitcoin Cash fork. Every player who had bitcoin funds in their Cloudbet account at the time of the fork was granted corresponding Bitcoin Cash to match their bitcoin balance. If you were playing with us at that time, check your account, you might still have some of your windfall. Adding Bitcoin Cash has proven to be a popular choice, with over 11,000 BCH paid out as winnings in our sportsbook since it launched, and players still place huge amounts of bets daily.

May 2018 – More than just a bitcoin betting site

Cloudbet has come a long way over the last five years, but because our business is predicated on cryptocurrency, our progress is also a testament to bitcoin’s resilience (both big and little ‘b’). In order to talk about Cloudbet’s intrinsic connection to the wider Bitcoin movement we created our blog in May of 2018; it is also the means to tell this story. We have great plans for the blog, not just as advocacy for the power of cryptocurrency, but as a comprehensive guide to sports betting and casino games as well as the place to learn the basic bet types all the way up to the intricacies of progressive betting strategies.

Getting things wrong

We haven’t always got it right. There are things the community have rightly held us to task about. We know that sometimes withdrawals can be delayed and that support hasn’t always been up to scratch. But we’re investing heavily into our customer service team, even opening another dedicated office to make sure we’re able to respond to queries as fast as possible, no matter what timezone you’re in. It’s our number one priority.

Thanks to the early improvements and the feedback from the community from our early adopters we saw incredibly rapid growth in the number of our users. It was an incredibly exciting time for us, despite bitcoin having a troubled year, we saw more players than ever before. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. We weren’t able to respond to our customer’s queries as quickly as we’d liked. And there’s a good chance that some were frustrated by that. Even though we couldn’t sort the situation out as quickly as possible, it was a reminder that we had to invest in the right places.

What does the future hold?

We’ve used this line a lot in 2018 but it still holds true, five years is an eternity in crypto so it is hard to know for sure what the future will hold, but we firmly believe crypto will go from strength-to-strength. Because of that, we’ll be looking to add more coins, revamp our website, and improve the experience for all players, but above everything else listen to what the community wants and move forward and grow along with the burgeoning crypto industry.

The original version of the article was published by Cloudbet and is part is part of the Cloudbet Blog’s series on big-picture blockchain stories. For more in-depth discussions on all things crypto, tune into our In the Cloud section and follow us on Twitter.

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Is Coinbase responsible for the downfall of the Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

Is Coinbase responsible for the downfall of the Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

When cryptocurrency exchanges announce that a new cryptocurrency is in review and new listings are soon to be added, traders usually welcome the news with excitement as it can only mean that the token or coin will be made available to a larger audience for trading and transacting, which will eventually affect the trading volume of the token on the long run.

However, with the case of Coinbase and the ERC-20 token BAT, it remains puzzling whether the listing limited the token’s adaptability instead of the other way round.  More precisely, traders have been wondering whether BAT’s listing on Coinbase did more harm than good to the growth of the token as it has continued to face consistent declination since the Coinbase encounter. Even though the US-based exchange went ahead to list BAT on its Pro exchange platform, BAT had already lost momentum.

The Coinbase Altcoin effect

Although BAT rose 20% after Coinbase’s announcement, a few days later, the token would go on to drop from the 29th to the 30th spot and even further. At this writing, BAT which had previously been trading at a price of $0.31 has now dropped to the 34th spot, with a struggling price of $0.12 at press time.

This pattern of a short term rally, followed by a long term price drop has been occurring precisely with altcoins and we can notice that in 0x (ZRX). Back on October 11, 2018, ZRX 0x saw an upsurge in trading price as the token moved from $0.63 to $1.01 shortly after its listing on Coinbase. Currently, ZRX is worth $0.29, nearly half of its initial price before Coinbase came along.

This consistent pattern in price decline has lead traders to conclude that perhaps XRP is on the safer side and is probably better off without getting listed on the US exchange platform. However, this conclusion holds no logical point as exchanges are not exactly responsible for the market movement.

The price of a token is solely dependent on trading interest, which seems to be the case for BAT. Seeing that Coinbase is a top exchange, users expect that the token would skyrocket upon landing on one of the world’s leading exchange and that in itself remains impossible. Conclusively, the deflation of BAT is a case of a growing token that is in its early infancy and is still managing to live up to trading expectations, which will inevitably happen, but certainly not at this beginning stage.

The post Is Coinbase responsible for the downfall of the Basic Attention Token (BAT)? appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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Euro Exim Bank Joins Ripple to Initiate Advanced Payment Solutions

Euro Exim Bank Joins Ripple to Initiate Advanced Payment Solutions

Euro Exim Bank, the first bank to adopt Ripple financial tool xRapid which is powered by its token XRP declared that coming together with Ripple will bring in innovations that will launch a new era of payment solution. This partnership which will soon kick off is aimed by the bank to boost liquidity, starting from the first quarter of 2019.

The bank director, Kaushik Punjani says the bank intends to test both Ripple xCurrent and xRapid, with these they expect to create new payment channels that will offer better payment solutions to their customers and boost the bank’s liquidity. Working together with Ripple, the bank will be able to eliminate cross-border payment restrictions by creating a channel that allows settlement of payment in a cheaper and hassle-free manner.

According to the bank’s head of compliance and operations, Graham Bright as he was speaking with American Banker, he revealed that the bank plans to use Ripple products, XRP and xRapid in eighty countries to test run the efficiency of the digital currency. The bank intended to use these financial tools to enhance trade finance by creating a better platform for their customers in eighty countries to experience a seamless method of paying their local people.

“There’s been a lot of talk around the markets about how blockchain technology can assist in trade finance. We’re interested in moving forward and creating a platform for payments for our clients who are in over 80 countries at the moment, making sure they have a smooth, frictionless way of paying local people.”

Exim became interested in Ripple since last year after some of its executives attended Ripple’s Swell Conference held in San Fransisco in October.

“We realized the type of companies there were very forward thinking in the innovation they were putting in place. We saw the technology would let us easily and quickly originate payments without having bilateral relationships,”

The Ripple community is so pleased that the bank went for Ripple instead of SWIFT. Bright who has been a regional manager at SWIFT for over 20 years says their clients are prepared to ensure the partnership becomes a success.

Ripple is already shaking hands with over 200 firms who are benefiting from its product, CEO, Brad Garlinghouse in a recent interview said that more banks are ready to “flip the switch.” Ripple’s coverage is growing rapidly as more banks come on board the platform.

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Best Ways to Protect your Crypto Portfolio from Hackers

Best Ways to Protect your Crypto Portfolio from Hackers
  1. Avoid Crypto Exchanges
  2. De-sync Your Gmail Account
  3. Refuse the Password Autofill
  4. Opt for a Hardware Key
  5. Clear Password Autofill
  6. Go for hardware wallets

Despite the vibrancy of the crypto market, with its immeasurable opportunities, it comes at a small price. The price of the security. It is safe to say that cryptos are one of the most vulnerable assets a person can hold, ones that require extensive safekeeping.

It is hard to remember that, not everything can be predicted. Therefore there is never an exact measurement of your security, even if you have your coins on a crypto exchange. It is always heartbreaking to see how all of that hard work you put into growing your crypto portfolio, be snatched away by a hacker. Even crypto exchanges have suffered these fates, but there are always measures you can take to avoid this scenario.

First things first, what can these hackers actually do, which is far more dangerous than just wiping your wallet clean? Well, they can suspend your account because of some suspicious activities, which means that even if you do get your funds back, it will take a long while to restore your account, which will forever be tarnished. What’s even worse is that if you have your wallet connected to your mobile phone, the hacker can easily access your phone number, which he can later use to contact your family and loved ones, asking for money. This has happened before, it is no mere theory. Therefore, in order to protect yourself and those around you, let’s find out some of the best ways you protect your cryptos.

How to protect your cryptocurrencies from hackers

Before we start I have to mention that there is never a 100% for anything. All of the options I will list here will definitely increase your chances of bypassing a hack attempt, but all they do is they make the process of hacking your account a nightmare for the hacker. If he stays persistent enough, he can still get in, but it will take him months, if not years.

Avoid Crypto Exchanges

This is probably the most extreme measure you can take. You can completely avoid crypto exchanges and cryptos in themselves, especially an ICO. The financial world was able to adapt to the new digital currencies and have incorporated them as CFDs on many platforms. However, crypto CFDs come with a plethora of disadvantages (you don’t actually own cryptos, and commissions). Therefore the avoidance of actually buying cryptos on exchanges should only be done in the most extreme of cases.

De-sync your Gmail account

What Gmail does is that it attaches your phone number to the account. Therefore if the hacker is able to decrypt the password, he not only gains access to your Gmail account but your phone number as well. Therefore it is paramount that you do not indicate any type of personal information such as your phone number, sure you can sync it with your smartphone, but don’t give away the number. Just make sure you also clear any confirmation emails as well.

But after the de-sync, you may encounter a completely different problem, which is identification. In order to retain your mobile authentification, I suggest you get a different number, insert it to a phone that never connects to the internet and use it only for the login process, nothing else. This should help keep your data off the web and away from the hackers.

Refuse the Password Autofill

If you carelessly attach the passwords to a specific email then it becomes even easier for a hacker to access your accounts. Even worse all of the passwords connected to that email account will be accessible for the culprits. It is best to keep your passwords in a written manner, something as far away from the internet as possible.

Opt for a hardware key

A hardware key is basically a bypass of the SMS authentification. It’s best if you get two of these keys, one as the primary key and another one in reserve. This adds a backup-plan in case something goes wrong like, you forget your primary key. In order to activate it, you will have to replace all of the passwords and add the main key as the primary password.

Clear password autofill

It is easy to get comfortable with your login process. So comfortable that you activate the autofill feature. In no circumstance is this safe, as anybody with access to your computer can easily log into your every account. It’s best to refuse the autofill, or if you already have it, clear it. It sure sounds tedious, but it’s a small price to pay for maximum security. If you are not so sure that you can remember your password, then just write it down on paper and keep it safe in a dry and dark space. Just keep it as far away from the internet as possible.

Go for hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are like impenetrable fortresses when compared to online wallets. The best ones to go for right now are Trezon and Ledger. However, it’s sometimes hard to remember to redirect all of the cryptos from your exchange account to your hardware wallet, so try to turn it into a hobby as it cannot be automated.

The way the wallet works is that it has your closed key. This makes sure that nobody but you will have access to it. There is also a back-up plan involved in this and it is just another key. It’s best to have the other one printed out and saved in a dry and dark place, same as a normal password.

These are currently the best ways you can protect your cryptos, but as time goes on, developers pay more and more attention to security and come up with genius alternatives. If you find these to be very tedious, just go for the least time consuming one before something better is available.

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New Zealand Police Confirm Investigation Into Alleged $3.6 Million Hack of Cryptopia

Bitcoin Too Risky? US Lottery Ticket Sales Exceed Entire BTC Market Cap

Lottery tickets

Every year, US citizens spend north of $70 billion on state lottery tickets. That’s almost $8 billion more than the entire market cap of Bitcoin. And more than half of the entire crypto market as a whole.

US Citizens Spend Billions on Lottery Tickets

Comparison is a great way of putting things in context. Lose your wallet, arrive late to a meeting, miss a flight… These can all seem like catastrophic events when you’re living through the painful moment. But there’s usually a voice of reason from your partner, a caring relative or stranger, or simply just turning on the news. People are dying in Africa. Your problem is insignificant.

In a similar and yet totally off-the-topic sort of a way, the US state lottery spend does the same thing to crypto. In the US every year, they spend more than the entire market cap of Bitcoin on lottery tickets. Money that is simply shot straight into the drain.

The latest accurate information on just how much of their savings the hopeful masses plow into lottery tickets is from 2016, the latest year the US Census has data on.

And in 2016, some $80.55 billion was readily thrown away on what is to all intents and purposes just another tax, albeit one that citizens willingly pay.

US Spend on Lottery Tickets

US Spend on Lottery Tickets

In 2017, the number dropped a little with CNN placing it at approximately $73.5 billion.

Here’s another mindblower for you. About half of all US adults buy a state lottery ticket. Around five percent of them hold Bitcoin.

Facebook Active Users Make Bitcoin Look Tiny

And just one more comparison to give you food for thought. Despite gathering controversy over data usage and leaks, Facebook has almost 2.3 billion active monthly users around the world.

Facebook Monthly Users

Facebook Active Monthly Users

How many does crypto have? It hasn’t quite pierced 32 million. With Bitcoin Market Journal placing the number at 22 million Bitcoin wallets as of July 2018.

Okay, so Facebook had a headstart on Bitcoin of four years. It was also a free product until people realized they were paying with their data. But still, 2 billion+ for a social media platform compared with less than a third of a billion for a revolutionary neutral, sound money based financial system puts things into perspective.

Moreover, of the people who have actually heard of Bitcoin around the world, a recent video by Naomi Brockwell shows that the majority have no idea what it is.

What Does All This Mean?

Bitcoin may be all-consuming in the lives of many, but it’s barely a fly on the windshield of most people around the world. It’s still early days. However, let’s do the math:

According to the Washington Post, taking a state by state average on US lottery spend places the figure at around $600 per person per year.

If the average person had invested $600 in Bitcoin in January 2016, they would have scored around 1.25 bitcoin. By January 2018, that would have translated into $21,250.

Even if they didn’t cash in on their investment back then, they’d still have around $4,500 now–rather more useful than a pile of scraps of paper.

It’s interesting that Harvard professor Ken Rogoff compared buying Bitcoin to buying a lottery ticket. Even with fewer users than the most unpopular of social media platforms, and a market cap dwarfed by US lottery sales, the simple numbers alone prove this to be incorrect.

Not to mention the obvious fact that when buying bitcoin, everyone holding wins. When buying a lottery ticket, only one person in hundreds of millions of people wins.

With odds at something like 100 million to one, even your chances of riding a spontaneous ‘shitcoin’ pump are infinitely higher. Whichever way you swing it, lottery tickets are mathematically proven to get you rekt–and it’s still an $80-billion industry in the US alone.

Would you rather buy bitcoin than a lottery ticket? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Bitcoin Too Risky? US Lottery Ticket Sales Exceed Entire BTC Market Cap appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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IBM, Ford Blockchain Pilot Targets Cobalt Supplies From Democratic Republic of Congo

How Indian Cryptocurrency Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

How Indian Crypto Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

Banks in India have been closing the accounts of customers they believe have made transactions involving cryptocurrencies. The majority of crypto users in the country, however, have reportedly found a way to avoid their accounts being closed by their banks which are complying with the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank.

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

Avoiding Problems With Banks

Reports of banks in India closing customer accounts with cryptocurrency-related transactions have been on the rise. Banks cite compliance with the circular issued by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), that bans them from providing services to customers and businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies.

How Indian Cryptocurrency Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

A spokesperson for local cryptocurrency exchange Instashift told news.Bitcoin.com that banks have been closing the accounts of customers when they find any cryptocurrency-related words such as “bitcoin” in transaction remarks. He clarified that if a customer’s bank account “comes under scrutiny and the bank officers read the crypto keywords in remarks” then the bank account will be closed.

The CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday that the:

Majority of the people understand not to enter such terms in the remarks. So simply avoiding entering anything related to crypto in the payment remarks is more than enough to avoid any problems from banks. There’s no other way for banks to know if a P2P transaction was done to transact in crypto.

Other Indian crypto users agree with this strategy. Twitter user Cryptomaniac advised, “Use P2P without writing anything related to crypto in remarks. And don’t do heavy transactions.” P2P is the exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer style of trading which has been growing in popularity since the RBI ban. Most crypto exchanges in India offer this type of trading. Another Twitter user, Vivekmacha, agreed and wrote that “If we use P2P they can’t track us,” emphasizing the importance of not writing any crypto-related terms such as bitcoin or BTC in remarks when making transactions.

The Instashift spokesperson explained that crypto users that have their bank accounts closed just “open a fresh account in another bank” and continue to trade without “using any crypto terms for transactions,” emphasizing:

It’s easy to open a new account for a person in India & banks also welcome people to open accounts.

He noted that “no matter how many accounts you open, all bank accounts get linked with your PAN card” which he said is similar to the social security number used in the U.S.

More Banks Closing Accounts of Crypto Users

Many banks in India have been closing customer accounts showing evidence of cryptocurrency transactions. Two major banks in the country — Kotak Mahindra Bank and Digibank — have recently gained more attention for doing so when Twitter user Indiancryptogirl posted letters she claimed to have received from them. Digibank is powered by DBS, a major Asian financial services group. “We have observed few transactions in your account with brokers / traders, dealing in virtual currencies,” the letter reads, adding:

Since these types of transactions are not permitted in India, we are constrained to place a credit freeze in your account. Further as per the extant guidelines, we are required to exit such relationships where transactions with brokers / traders, dealing in virtual currencies are observed.

A credit freeze, the bank explained, means that customers “will not be able to deposit any funds” into their accounts. The bank proceeded to inform that “Hence 30 days from the date of this communication your account will be closed by the bank.”

How Indian Cryptocurrency Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

Kotak Mahindra Bank and Digibank are not the only ones taking a hostile approach toward customer accounts showing crypto transactions. Twitter user Pushpendra Singh wrote, “So many Indian banks doing the same thing,” claiming that one of them is UCO Bank. Another Twitter user, Bluecrypto, said the “same happened with me and my HDFC account got closed.”

Another bank with a similar policy is Standard Chartered bank which requires customers opening an account in India to agree to this statement: “I confirm that this account will not be used for settling transactions or dealing in virtual currencies, including but not limited to bitcoins.”

However, Twitter user Yatharth Vashishth pointed out that banks are only following RBI’s order. “Kotak Bank is acting as per regulations by the RBI. All banks are instructed to shut accounts of all entities dealing in crypto. Not a big deal.”

What do you think of how Indian crypto users respond to banks closing their accounts? 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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Venezuelan President Raises Petro’s Value Again in Bid to Create ‘New System’

Venezuela President Raises Petro's Value Again in Move to Create 'New System'

For the second time in a little over a month, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has hiked up the value of the national cryptocurrency, the petro, this time to 36,000 sovereign bolivars. The move has again been met with criticism. 

Also read: Russia Not Ready for the Petro, Proposes Plan to Aid Venezuela Without It

‘A New Monetary System’

President Nicolas Maduro introduced a “new monetary system” on Jan. 14 which included another increase in the country’s cryptocurrency and a higher minimum wage in a bid to combat the “criminal dollar.” As the country continues to struggle with the world’s highest inflation – around 2 million percent – the leader of the South American nation said the move would protect the national bolivar.

“I want us to create a great alliance to produce and create new formulas of investment and financing,” Maduro told the Constituent Assembly in a video broadcast by local media. President Maduro said he would up the the minimum wage by 300 percent to 18,000 bolivars per month, around $6.70, and increase the value of the petro fourfold. His new monetary system will be based on the petro and he said he would stabilize the economy with his new measures.

Venezuelan President Raises Petro's Value Again in Bid to Create 'New System'

But this isn’t the first time President Maduro has made such pledges. In December he hiked up the price of the petro, with experts and civilians alike expressing their skepticism, while the minimum wage was raised a total of five times last year. There is still no sign of a crypto wallet for the petro, the links to download it don’t work, and the Venezuelan government still strives to sell the digital currency and issue certificates of purchase to buyers. Venezuelans, meanwhile, are still fleeing the country’s dire economic situation in the hundreds of thousands.

The Reaction

Previously, when Nicholas Maduro hiked up the value of the petro and increased the minimum wage, he was slammed. It was the same story on this occasion. Henkel Garcia, director of the Caracas consultancy Econometrica, wrote on Twitter: “The announcement will exacerbate both hyperinflation and economic downturn. The monetary restriction that continues, both for banking and for companies, is very dangerous.” He added: “They try and try to give the petro circulation. They ignore that the use of a coin is a voluntary act and in which confidence plays an essential role.”Venezuelan President Raises Petro's Value Again in Bid to Create 'New System'

Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Ecoanalitica, a Caracas-based economic research organization, told news.Bitcoin.com: “There is no intention to rectify the direction of the economy so it will continue on its deteriorating path in 2019.” Elsewhere, the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaido, said: “Today, Nicolas Maduro mocks the Venezuelan people, once again, after taking economic measures that only bleed more in the pocket of Venezuelans,” adding:

The Venezuelan economy does not improve with an increase of the salary.

Other Venezuelans told news.Bitcoin.com that they had little faith in the petro improving the economy. One law student, Rafael Gutierrez, 23, opined: “It’s not even worth speaking about it. The whole thing is a sham – and the economy is doomed.” Fabian Camacho, a 28-year-old software developer and systems engineer, added: “No one has and no one ever will have faith in the petro, nor Maduro’s economic knowledge.”

What do you think about President Maduro upping the value of the petro again? 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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Bitwage Service Adds Payroll Tax Payment Funding Options for U.S. Businesses

bitwage taxes.jpg

Cryptocurrency payroll service Bitwage has partnered with Texas-based payroll and Human Relations firm Simply Efficient HR to help companies fund W2 Employees and payroll tax payments using crypto. The initiative, which launches today, January 16, 2019, is available in all 50 American states.

Essentially, this partnership allows companies across the United States and Puerto Rico to fund their W2 payrolls and payroll taxes in ether and bitcoin. At the other end, employees can choose what percentage of their wages will be paid in bitcoin or paid in fiat currency.

Apart from payroll funding, the service also provides U.S.-based companies with the ability to fulfill HR and payroll compliance obligations for the employer to the U.S. government.

According to Jonathan Chester, co-founder and CEO of Bitwage, companies that earn crypto often find it hard to pay W2 employees and taxes, as "traditional payroll and payroll tax systems are designed for the fiat world."

He added: “Companies with banking issues using cryptocurrency could only hire employees as contractors, because paying taxes on behalf of W2 employees in fiat was impossible. This new product release changes this.”

While some companies hold lots of crypto assets, they lack the means of paying employees, freelancers, vendors or tax agencies with local currencies.

"We are enabling BTC or ETH to be a part of this. The BTC or ETH gets converted into fiat to be able to interact with these traditional systems. The worker can choose to receive a portion of their wage in BTC at the end as well," Chester explained.

He noted that Bitwage does not yet include the option for companies to pay out in ETH, just pay in. “However, now companies such as ICOs and decentralized applications with a lot of ether can hire people as W2 employees/offer benefits and stay in compliance,” he said.

In addition, these companies can fund their crypto holdings and make payments to local and foreign vendors, with adoption in countries such as India, Argentina, Britain, Brazil and others.

“While the partnership is for U.S.-based payroll, tax, hr, benefits, we can also pay fiat to freelancers and vendors internationally,” said Chester.

Live Beta Results

Bitwage has been running a beta version of this service for peer-to-peer crypto marketplace Paxful, as it seeks to improve crypto acceptance and fiat currency payouts.

“Bitwage bridges the gap between Bitcoin and the traditional finance system,” said Hayel Abbassi, a Paxful controller based out of their New York office. “As a company that earns 100 percent of revenue in bitcoin, we are always looking for service providers who will accept digital currency … Bitwage has recently formed a partnership with a traditional payroll company who integrates into their platform to provide these services.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Satoshi’s Vision ‘Not a New VISA’ But An Alternative to Banks, Says Dan Held

bitcoin

Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto wanted it to be an “alternative to banks,” not a “new VISA,” cryptocurrency veteran and former Blockchain executive Dan Held has said.

What’s In A ‘Vision’?

In a series of tweets January 14, Held became the latest well-known figure to take issue with pundits who claim Bitcoin’s intended purpose is primarily as a currency for payments.

They, he argues, especially those who champion the concept of “Satoshi’s vision,” do not take into account the full implications of the Bitcoin whitepaper Nakamoto published in 2008.

“Satoshi’s Vision… is a silly endeavor, as it doesn’t matter what it was, we are where we are now,” he began.

However, those pushing the ‘Bitcoin was first made for payments’ narrative insist on cherry-picking sentences from the white paper and forum posts to champion their perspective.

1/ Satoshi’s Vision™ is a silly endeavor, as it doesn’t matter what it was, we are where we are now. However, those pushing the “Bitcoin was first made for payments” narrative insist on cherry-picking sentences from the white paper and forum posts to champion their perspective.

— Dan Hedl (@danheld) January 14, 2019

World ‘Needed’ A Banking Alternative

As Bitcoin price 00 has fallen almost continuously since December 2017, the largest cryptocurrency has faced multiple votes of no confidence, mostly from mainstream economists and proponents of altcoins such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Amid issues involving volatility and acceptance, many sources have queried where Bitcoin’s place will ultimately lie in tomorrow’s market.

Gold Litecoin's Charlie Lee: Buy At Least 1 Bitcoin... Before Litecoin

For Held, this is undeniably as a store of value (‘SOV’), rather than an alternative to payment processing networks such as VISA and MasterCard which critics complain surpass Bitcoin in terms of speed and transaction capacity.

“With the 2008 financial crisis, trust had been lost in a world that ran on trust. Bitcoin was launched in a time of absolute necessity, Satoshi planted the seed at precisely the right moment,” he continued.

The world didn’t need a new VISA, they needed an alternative to banks.

As Bitcoinist reported, the mainstream media tone around Bitcoin appeared to change over the new year.

Two conspicuous articles – from TIME Magazine and this week from the Spectator – both argued Bitcoin had fundamental use cases for the global community which no other asset could rival.

In terms of capacity, however, Bitcoin will ultimately offer better options than credit card networks via off-chain processing on the Lightning Network – millions of transactions per second compared to VISA’s 45,000.

What do you think about Dan Held’s perspective on Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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ABCC Exchange Partners With Tron to Become First Platform to List TRC10 Tokens

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears Completion

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears Completion

One of the Cashshuffle development team contributors, Josh Ellithorpe, revealed on Jan. 14 that the BCH-focused privacy shuffling protocol is near completion. The developers are planning to run a security audit on the code and have launched a fundraiser on the Bitbacker.io platform to help secure funding for the audit.

Also read: Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018

Cashshuffle Crowdfunds Security Audit on Bitbacker.io

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears CompletionThe Cashshuffle protocol is an open source project being developed by the Electron Cash programmers and other well-known BCH developers. Cashshuffle is a client-server mixing application that allows servers to coordinate with users in order to shuffle bitcoin cash (BCH) UTXOs. After the coins are shuffled it is difficult for law enforcement and blockchain surveillance entities to track coin movements. News.Bitcoin.com has reported on the project’s roadmap on multiple occasions, and the project is nearing completion according to Cashshuffle contributor Josh Ellithorpe. A few hours ago, Ellithorpe launched a Bitbacker.io fundraiser to help raise BCH for the security check. So far there’s a slew of people who have donated $5-10 increments of BCH over the last 24 hours.  

“Getting ready for the Cashshuffle security audit from Kudelski Security — Can’t wait to finally release a mature privacy solution for BCH,” reads Ellithorpe’s fundraiser post.

The Cashshuffle concept was first announced back in 2017 and has seen steady development since then. Initially, there was the pre-release version launch and people experimenting with the plugin for the BCH wallet Electron Cash. “Privacy and fungibility go hand in hand and are vital for cryptocurrency — free people living in a free society should have a right to privacy without fearing the state peering into their personal finances,” Electron Cash developer Jonald Fyookball told news.Bitcoin.com at the time. Once the funds are raised, Ellithorpe believes Kudelski’s audit may take anywhere between three weeks to a month to finish.

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears CompletionThe free and open source protocol has its own website, Cashshuffle.com, which hosts the current plugin repository, the Cashshuffle server specification, and other documentation.   

Cashshuffle and Protocols Like It Will Increase Privacy

After the audit and a further code polish, the Cashshuffle protocol will likely become a default installation on the Electron Cash wallet, in contrast to the plugin available today, and it may see the light of day on mobile versions of the light client as well. The Cashshuffle team has been upfront about the project’s progress and development since the protocol’s plugin was launched. Last summer Ellithorpe and Fyookball detailed that Coinshuffle testing was going very well and they couldn’t wait to release it to the public.

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears CompletionThe Cashshuffle plugin.

At the time developers were working on solving a critical issue with cryptocurrency-centric tumbling and shuffling platforms — liquidity. Cashshuffle engineers designed a proof-of-concept automated liquidity bot that could provide shuffles if insufficient participants are online. The team had also discussed developing some kind of incentivization program similar to the join market protocol. Further, because the shuffle platform is open source, the Cashshuffle protocol can be implemented into other BCH light clients like the Bitcoin.com Wallet. Lots of Bitcoin Cash community members were thrilled to hear about the fungibility concept getting closer to being finished. A few BCH supporters also commented on Ellithorpe’s Bitbacker page.  

“Love fungibility features and building onchain — Thank you guys, keep up the great work,” the anonymous person wrote, while donating $5 in BCH to the security audit fundraiser.

What do you think about the Cashshuffle developers planning a security audit for the platform? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments section below.

Images credits: Shutterstock, Electron Cash, Cashshuffle website.

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

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Bitcoin Hovers Just Above $3,600 as Crypto Markets See Another Slump

You Can Now Buy Tokenized Apple Shares With Bitcoin and Ethereum

apple stock

A Belarus-based startup has launched a tokenized securities trading platform enabling investors to buy into traditional markets with bitcoin and ethereum.

Tokenized Securities

Blockchain tech company Currency.com has announced the launch of its trading platform for tokenized securities. The Belarus-based platform is intended to enable investors to trade and invest in common financial instruments such as equities, commodities, and indices directly, without having to convert their cryptocurrencies in fiat.

According to the official release, it will eventually issue over 10,000 tokenized securities but will start with over 150, including everything from popular stocks to silver, oil and natural gas.

Users will be able to purchase tokens, which mirror the performance of certain conventional assets such as Apple shares listed on NASDAQ. It will cost the same price as an actual Apple share and can be bought with BTC or ETH.

Currency.com is the very first blockchain-based business licensed by Belarus’ High Technology Park (HTP) under the country’s Decree No. 8 “On The Development of a Digital Economy.”

Apart from being compliant with local legislation, the platform imposes strict KYC and AML requirements aided by blockchain intelligence services such as Elliptic, Chainanalysis, and Coinfirm. In other words, blockchain tracking software will be used to monitor transactions.

Additionally, Currency.com is going to use its FCA and CySEC regulated sister platform to offer access to the tokenized versions of a contract for the exchange of a specific index, commodity or equity.

Tokenized Assets: A Trend in The Making?

Earlier this month, Bitcoinist reported that an Estonian-based platform called DX Exchange would offer users to trade big-name stocks using tokens on the Ethereum blockchain through smart contracts.

Meanwhile, back in 2018, Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) – the country’s de-facto central bank, teamed up with major firms like Deloitte, Anquan, and NASDAQ, to develop solutions for simultaneous exchange and settlement of tokenized digital currencies and security assets.

It appears that the tokenization of traditional assets like stocks is becoming a growing trend as the number of platforms enabling this is increasing with each day.

What do you think of token-based traditional assets? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post You Can Now Buy Tokenized Apple Shares With Bitcoin and Ethereum appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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European Banking Regulators Call for Unity in Crypto Regulations

EU crypto reg.jpg

Last week, two of the largest banking regulators within the European Union released reports calling for uniformity in the regulations of crypto assets and Initial Coin offerings (ICOs) across the continent.

The EBA Calls for Pan-EU Crypto Regulations

On January 9, 2019, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published its assessment of crypto laws. The document, which examines the sustainability of EU laws to cryptocurrencies, analyzed the use of digital assets within the EU, as well as some of the pan-EU laws that currently govern them.

In the report, the EBA decried the lack of uniformity in crypto laws. It stated that this lack of equilibrium means that companies can move operations to “crypto havens” and face less-stringent regulations.

Essentially, this could create an uneven competitive playing field. Certain countries such as Malta and Gibraltar have been known to enforce crypto-friendly rules. However, the EBA is looking to achieve a uniform regulatory environment in the zone.

Adam Farkas, executive director of the EBA, said, “The EBA calls on the European Commission to assess whether regulatory action is needed to achieve a common EU approach to crypto assets.”

The ESMA Discourages Crypto Legitimization

On the same day, the second regulator, the Europe Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) also published its advice to various EU-based banking institutions on ICOs and crypto assets.

The regulator pointed out that the crypto industry is quite small and presents little threat to traditional financial stability. However, it also expressed some concern over the risks posed to market integrity and the protection of investors.

The ESMA said, “Wider regulation of crypto-assets and related activities may have trade-offs, such as risking legitimizing crypto-assets and encouraging wider adoption.”

In addition, the report recommended that cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be legitimized, while also claiming that all digital assets should be subjected to anti-money laundering legislation.

The regulator warned about the significance of protecting the capital markets. Also, investors should be warned against buying crypto assets that aren’t financial instruments, as excess regulation could bring them “into a similar regulatory remit as the one for crypto-assets that are financial instruments.”

Gemini's Viral Ad

The sentiments of the two regulators seem to echo those of Gemini Inc., the crypto exchange owed by the Winklevoss twins.

Just last week, the company engaged in a viral, city-wide advertising campaign. Buses, taxi tops and bus stops carried signs with messages such as “Crypto Needs Rules” and “Crypto Without Chaos” being boldly displayed.

At the time, Chris Roan, head of marketing at Gemini, said, “We believe that investors coming into cryptocurrency deserve the exact same protections as investors in more traditional markets, adhering to the same standards, practices, regulations and compliance protocols.”

Also, while speaking about their ad campaign in an interview with Fortune, Tyler Winklevoss added, “The idea is that companies that build on top of things like Bitcoin should have a regulation that’s thoughtful and that doesn’t stifle innovation … People believe in the dream of crypto. They just don’t know how to engage in it without getting burned. We’re here to say Gemini’s a place you can do that.”

The Gemini ad campaign generated some to-be-expected reactions from the Bitcoin community, with many pointing out the folly in its approach to regulation.

In a tweet, Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, said, “Saying crypto needs rules is like saying the poor need sanctions. Here's a rule: no more rules.”

Nick Foley, a former support staffer at Coinbase, also stated that the rules required by crypto are already there — and based in mathematics. Foley took to Twitter to downplay the prospect of bringing complex regulations to the crypto space, calling most of these regulations unnecessary.

Rules like mathematics? Sure. Crypto needs that. Rules like "KYC AML licencing taxation Patriot Act bitlicense bullshit?" No. Crypto doesn't need that. pic.twitter.com/8azzqCKlwa

— Nick Foley (@BookofNick)

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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French ATM Glitches and Bank Closures Reported After Scheduled Bank Run

The grassroots yellow vest movement in France has been participating in protests for weeks on end. Just recently, high profile yellow vest members have been promoting a “bank run” on financial institutions and automated teller machines in Paris. According to reports, the scheduled bank run began in phases, the first of which started on Jan. 12 and since then a few ATMs have been shut down due to “glitches” while some banking offices have allegedly closed shop temporarily.

Also Read: Embracing Utility in 2019: Unreliable Crypto Networks Will Lose to Hyperbitcoinization

Reports of ATM Glitches and Bank Closures Spread After Yellow Vest Movement’s Bank Run Begins

Over the last nine weeks, Gilets Jaunes, otherwise known as the yellow vest movement, have caused quite a stir in regions like Bordeaux and Paris, France. The political movement has been upset about high taxes, fraudulent banking practices, and a higher cost of living. Protesters specifically blame bureaucrats like the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the French banking system. A few high profile yellow vest leaders have been promoting a run on French banks and ATMs in order to show the opposition they mean business. A bank run occurs when a large number of customers of a bank withdraw their deposits simultaneously, which can easily threaten a bank’s solvency.

For instance, the bank run proposals have been called the “Tax Collectors’ Referendum” and French activists Tahz San and Maxime Nicolle, also known as “Fly Rider,” have been telling protestors in videos to withdraw their funds on Saturday. The activists say people should continue to “scare the banks” without any violent provocation. One of the videos has since been scrubbed from the Youtube platform.

A bank run occurs when a large number of customers of a bank withdraw their deposits simultaneously which can threaten a bank’s solvency.

“For Act IX, we will scare this state legally and without any violence and through the Référendum des percepteurs [Tax Collectors’ Referendum],” explained one of the yellow vest members on Youtube. “We all know that the power of a country is not in the hands of the government but in those of the banks — If the banks weaken, the state weakens immediately.” 

Maxime Nicolle added:

On Saturday, at 8 a.m. we will all vote by withdrawing our money.

A dismantled ATM in Bordeaux, France.

News.Bitcoin.com spoke with a correspondent residing in France, who wished to remain anonymous, who said the Gilets Jaunes have been pressing people to run on the banks. “They [yellow vest participants] said to scare the government and go to the ATMs and withdraw the most money as possible,” a person familiar with the matter told our newsdesk Tuesday. Interestingly enough on Saturday reports of ATMs having “glitches” and alleged “bank closures” were described by the journalist Gilbert du Motier. The reporter explained that the glitches were similar to the situation in Greece a few years ago when banks implemented withdrawal limits of 60 euros per person. According to the report, the French government is also planning to implement withdrawal restrictions as well as laws to make sure the protests end.

Photo of an out of service ATM in France after Saturday’s scheduled bank run phases.

While discussions of a massive bank run heat up, many Bitcoin proponents have been vocally supporting the run on these financial institutions and hope the money will funnel into the crypto economy. High profile cryptocurrency advocates like Max Keiser and many others have been telling their Twitter followers the French should buy bitcoin.

One thing for certain is that if thousands or millions of French activists simply removed their funds from their bank accounts then the “fractional reserve” banking scheme used in France would be exposed, along with many of its EU extensions. Bitcoin, on the other hand, cannot be stopped by a central banking system as financial executives and bureaucrats like Macron are powerless to limit withdrawals or produce systemwide technical glitches on account of the cryptocurrency’s decentralized design.

What do you think of the yellow vest movement’s proposed bank run phases? Do you think they should move funds into cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Lucas Barioulet, Gilbert du Motier, and Pixabay. 

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.

The post French ATM Glitches and Bank Closures Reported After Scheduled Bank Run appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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