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How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely

October 20, 2019 |

How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely

With mainstream exchanges becoming progressively cumbersome due to privacy invasive policy and regulation, some crypto traders are switching to more private, face-to-face trading. While this route isn’t for everyone, and comes with unique risks, it does offer a very real solution to many of the problems plaguing mainstream exchanges currently. The goal of this breakdown is to provide a few best practices for safety and success when trading crypto in person.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments

Why Face to Face?

For anyone that’s ever had their money frozen on an exchange, this question is a no-brainer. Since most exchange wallets are custodial, meaning the service itself holds and manages user funds centrally, one bug in the code, hack, or audit from a governmental regulatory agency could mean that you and your money are parted indefinitely. Stomach sinkers of this nature have occurred often enough that many, understandably, don’t want to run these risks anymore. Others are concerned about privacy and the security of their personal data and information. Trading in person via a non-custodial platform or otherwise lets traders hold funds until the very last second, and guarantees more control. Still, there are important things to be mindful of in order to trade safely and successfully.

How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely

Best Practices

To avoid getting scammed, set up, or potentially endangered, there are some time-tested best practices for trading face to face. The overarching one is simple, though: just use common sense.

Choose a trustworthy platform / trader

Maybe you know someone in your community who also uses cryptocurrencies. Perhaps a friend of a friend, or an acquaintance interested in getting into crypto, but they don’t know how. Online, reliable peer-to-peer platforms such as that currently offered at local.bitcoin.com are great places to start. Platforms that offer blind escrow, and end-to-end chat encryption are the safest bets. Whatever one’s approach, testing first and vetting for reliability is critical.

Using shoddy, unproven platforms or trading with strangers who’ve no reputation for being honest probably won’t end well. There are scammers as well as government agents on some p2p networks, and in real life, more than happy to ensnare even innocent, legal users of crypto for their own benefit.

Well-managed platforms will have a reputation system in place so users can verify which traders have completed the most trades successfully, and feedback features for rating their quality of service. Be sure to work out all the specifics of the trading process and procedure in clear detail on an encrypted chat application prior to meeting for the trade.

How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely

Meet in an open, highly visible public space

After working out the specifics of your deal, and providing only necessary information to the contact, meet in an open, highly visible space that is frequented by people but also provides enough serenity to conduct business. A well-lit coffee shop or popular meeting spot in view of the public can be a great place to conduct crypto trades. Trust your gut in meeting someone for the first time, and if anything “feels off,” don’t hesitate to politely back out.

How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely
Offers for trading in person at local.Bitcoin.com.

Show me the money, discreetly

A great way to get scammed face to face is to send your bitcoins to the guy across the table and watch him run off without paying you. In this situation you could give chase (risky), yell, flail about, or call the cops, but you’re more than likely just SOL. Be sure the other person lets you see the money, gift cards, etc., first, before sending any coins.

Most respectable traders will place money on the table discreetly (in an envelope or book) so that it is within reach of both parties, and sudden moves to bolt are not likely to succeed. Once the tx has enough confirmations for the buyer’s liking, they should slide the money over and invite the other party to count it. If you are the one buying crypto be sure to make the seller feel at ease by setting up the trade similarly. Crypto-to-crypto deals require a bit more creativity perhaps, but having both devices in reach and openly in view can help.

How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely

Horse Sense Is Number One

There are limitless options for working out trustworthy trade arrangements, including step-by-step, fractional trades to test the waters on first meeting, PGP contracts making it difficult for a party to lie about the agreement after the fact, and verification via other contacts of a trader’s reputation. However, as mentioned earlier, the main thing is to trust your reason, and gut instinct. If some aspect of a crypto trade arrangement feels spooky or inconsistent, it’s more than okay to kick the deal and get out. More often than not, however, in person trades are fun, friendly experiences that can be a good way to get out of the typically isolated, smugly self-referential hell that is crypto Twitter, catching a breath of fresh air while stacking sats and building the bitcoin economy.

What are your recommended best practices for trading in person? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of vidalgo, Shutterstock, local.Bitcoin.com.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments

October 19, 2019 |

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) adoption, development, and participation continue to spread as there’s been a myriad of BCH-related announcements in the last few weeks. Moreover, there’s now over 18 million bitcoin cash in circulation and only three million coins left to mine.

Also read: Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support

Bitcoin Cash Adoption and Announcements

The last few weeks have seen a variety of new adoption stories, software development, and new platforms that utilize BCH. Proponents of the decentralized cryptocurrency have been relentlessly pushing for mass adoption while showing a strong dedication toward scaling. Right now the price of bitcoin cash is hovering between $ 210-230 after most digital assets dropped a few percentages in value last week.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments
Coin Dance BCH statistics in comparison to BTC.

According to Coin Dance statistics, it is 489x more expensive to transact on the BTC chain in comparison to using the BCH network. Additionally, at the time of publication it is currently 3.5% more profitable to mine on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. BCH fans have also witnessed the 18 millionth coin mined on the chain and there’s now only three million BCH left to mine. The fact that there are so few left makes bitcoin cash scarce and far superior to the fiat currencies that can be printed on a whim.

Bitcoincash.org’s Developer Portal

On October 10, the website bitcoincash.org announced it is launching a developer portal so programmers can utilize tools to develop and build on BCH. “Create amazing apps with Bitcoin Cash with resources for developers, by developers,” the website explains. The bitcoincash.org developer portal has tools like Python and Javascript libraries, vocabulary and associated APIs for Bitcoin Cash, the Badger Wallet software development kit (SDK), and an SLP SDK. The portal gives blockchain engineers the means to create infrastructure and third-party services for the BCH chain.

Bitcoin ABC Version 0.20.4 and the November 15 Upgrade

Six days later, the Bitcoin ABC development team released Bitcoin ABC version 0.20.4. The latest client release provides users with a new ‘createwallet` RPC command, bug fixes, and more. The 0.20.4 version is available to download now for a variety of operating systems. In addition to the recent release, BCH developers from across multiple clients are preparing for the forthcoming November upgrade. BCH engineers plan to implement two new features: Schnorr support for OP_Checkmultisig and enforcing Minimaldata in script, otherwise known as the “Minimaldata” rule.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments

Telefuel Accepts Bitcoin Cash

A new unofficial platform for the Telegram messaging application Telefuel has announced the firm is now accepting bitcoin cash payments for its premium-tier services. Telefuel is an application for Telegram power users who can leverage the platform for coworking, collaboration, and productivity offerings. For instance, with Telefuel users can access Slack-like services that can support individual and group workflows. Features include chat folders, workspaces, keyboard shortcuts, unread mention filters, and split tabs for DMs, groups, bots, and channels.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments
Telefuel.

“We’re building Telefuel to serve power users on Telegram, so crypto-industry professionals are obviously an important focus for us,” Telefuel co-founder Alan VanToai detailed. “Bitcoin Cash is an important pillar in the industry, so we’re happy to include BCH among the currencies we’re accepting for Telefuel Pro.”

Visual Recognition Engine Visionati Accepts Bitcoin Cash for Services

Another service that now accepts BCH is Visionati, a visual recognition engine that leverages artificial intelligence (AI). Visionati believes it’s the “most robust computer vision API on the market” by offering advanced algorithms and data. Users can harness the platform to interact with image and video metadata. Services offered include image and video analysis so people can make images and films searchable with the ability to filter as well. This includes automatic tagging, NSFW filtering, facial recognition, logo detection, color analysis, and optical character recognition. For services, Visionati accepts BCH, ETH, and BTC. The startup believes it is one of the first visual recognition products enhanced by AI that accepts digital assets.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments
Visionati.

Blockchain.poker’s Tournament Feature

A new feature is available at blockchain.poker for users who want to play poker for BCH, BTC, or BSV. Users can simply log in and sit down for a game or they can create their own tournament on the platform with the added functionality. The site’s owners recently revealed the poker platform’s tournament update on Twitter, explaining: “You can now earn bitcoin by creating your own sponsored tournaments on blockchain.poker. Create a tournament by clicking the “+” button at the bottom of the tournament lobby.”

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments
Blockchain.poker.

This morning a few players announced on the Reddit forum r/btc a 0.5 BCH guaranteed prize pool tournament on the web portal. BCH fans seemed to enjoy the poker site’s announcement and one person remarked: “Keep up the great work guys — I’m convinced this is going to be huge once the key features you described here are implemented. The reputation system should mitigate a good portion of the risk of cheaters if done right.”

Upcoming Consensus Changes and the Road Forward

Overall there’s been a lot happening within the BCH ecosystem and passionate Bitcoin Cash proponents continue to truck forward. Bitcoin Cash miners, businesses, and node operators are also preparing for the consensus changes coming November 15. The upgrade is a touch over two weeks away and according to developers, the added features will continue to bolster the BCH roadmap going forward.

What do you think about all the Bitcoin Cash developments and adoption stories? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Bitcoin ABC, blockchain.poker, Telefuel, Visionati, Coin Dance, and Twitter.


Did you know you could win big with Bitcoin gambling? Choose from a range of BCH games including BCH poker, BCH slots, and many more. All games are provably fair—good luck!

The post Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Circle Drops Poloniex Leaving US Crypto Traders High and Dry

October 19, 2019 |

Circle Drops Poloniex Leaving US Crypto Traders High and Dry

According to a blog post published by Circle, the cryptocurrency firm is releasing its subsidiary exchange Poloniex which is now owned by an “Asian investment group.” The trading platform will become an independent company called Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., and after November 1, 2019, U.S. residents will no longer be able to use the platform.

Also read: Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support

Circle Spins Out Poloniex

Circle, which specializes in digital assets and over-the-counter swaps, has decided to sell the cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. The terms of the deal are unknown, but Circle paid roughly $ 400 million for the trading platform in February 2018. In a message to the public, Circle cofounders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire disclosed that the exchange will be its own entity known as Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., and it is now backed by an investment agency located in Asia. Circle’s blog post disclosed that Poloniex will be performing “aggressive hiring” and the new entity will spend $ 100 million on operations management. On October 21, Polo is offering 0% trading fees until the end of the year but U.S. customers received some bad news.

Circle Drops Poloniex Leaving US Crypto Traders High and Dry
The crypto firm Circle purchased Poloniex in 2018 for $ 400 million and less than two years later the company announced it was spinning out Poloniex.

“This transition will mean some significant changes for existing U.S. customers of Poloniex,” Circle’s blog post underlines. “As detailed in a separate announcement from the Poloniex team, U.S. customers will no longer be able to trade on the exchange starting on November 1, 2019.” Neville and Allaire’s announcement further details:

U.S. customers will continue to be able to access and use their wallets and withdraw funds through wallet and custody services operated by Circle until at least December 15, 2019.

US Regulations Stifle Digital Currency Businesses

The cofounders mentioned that it was “bittersweet” for the company to release the firm, but also highlighted that Circle “faced challenges as a U.S. company growing a competitive international exchange.” On social media and forums, U.S. residents were flabbergasted by Circle’s announcement. One person wrote that he was “getting really sick of losing access to crypto markets due to being a U.S. citizen.” “Someone needs to put up an easy how-to guide on how to set up an offshore corporation U.S. citizens can put their assets into, and then how to use a VPN to access exchanges,” the individual continued on the Reddit forum r/cryptocurrency.

Additionally, the cryptocurrency community discussed the Asian investment group that allegedly purchased Poloniex. Celia Wan and Frank Chaparro from The Block assert “Tron founder Justin Sun is behind Poloniex’s spin-off.” The founder of Digibyte, Jared Tate, remarked that it was “sad to see Poloniex is kicking all U.S. customers off their platform.” Tate added:

One major step backward for crypto in the USA.

U.S. residents have been at a loss when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges that offer a large assortment of digital currencies. Recently Binance shut down operations in the U.S. for a while and when it returned, the number of tradeable coins was far less. Bitfinex explained that it would “be discontinuing services to our existing U.S. individual customers” in 2017. Last summer Bittrex banned 32 cryptocurrencies from American citizens including QTUM, STORJ, and BCTP.

Since 2017, interest in cryptocurrencies has surged and many U.S. states have implemented regulations toward digital currency trading platforms and money transmitters. There are certain states in the U.S. exchanges won’t go near like New York due to the strict Bitlicense guidelines. New York’s measure of regulations and guidelines consists of a 44-page document and lots of upfront fees. When the Bitlicense was enacted into law, cryptocurrency startups like Shapeshift, Poloniex, and Xapo left the state and never returned.

What do you think about Circle parting ways with Poloniex? What do you think about U.S. residents losing more access to cryptocurrency exchanges? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Circle, Poloniex, and Pixabay.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Circle Drops Poloniex Leaving US Crypto Traders High and Dry appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites

October 19, 2019 |

Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites

Russian authorities have restricted access to a couple of cryptocurrency news outlets. The formal reasons for the censorship move are different in each case but the end result is the same. In both, regulators have acted on the basis of a law that empowers them to block online sources of information that have been banned in the Russian Federation.

Also read: Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network

Moscow Restricts Access to Cointelegraph and Coinspot

The restrictive measures have been imposed against Cointelegraph, a global information source about the latest developments in the crypto space, and Coinspot, a Russian language portal spreading news and other useful information about decentralized digital currencies, fintech trends and financial innovations. Both have been blocked for readers in Russia, starting from October 16.

The formal reason in the case with Cointelegraph is a request from Russia’s Federal Tax Service filed on Dec. 25, 2017. The outlet explained that although Cointelegraph was blacklisted almost two years ago, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) technically implemented the ban only this week. It remains unclear why it took the watchdog so long to act.

Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites
Roskomnadzor

Cointelegraph quoted the developer of a Russian anticensorship browser extension who, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the block, noting that the website’s URL has been added to the blacklist file Roskomnadzor emails to internet service providers. However, it seems not all of them have updated their databases at this point as the website is still available to some users in the country.

The other affected news outlet, Coinspot, has been blocked at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office of Danilovsky District in Volgograd region, Forklog reported. According to an August 22 ruling by the Central District Court of Volgograd, only a single article detailing how to find a blockchain casino had to be taken down. However, most Russian internet providers have restricted access to the whole site.

In both cases, Roskomnadzor’s decisions are based on the Law “On information, information technology and information protection,” which went into force in July, 2006. Its provisions are typically used to justify the blocking of websites containing information the dissemination of which in the Russian Federation has been prohibited for various reasons.

Sarkis Darbinyan, lead legal expert at Roskomsvoboda, confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com his organization is aware of these developments. The NGO, which is fighting internet censorship in the country, is currently trying to gather more details about the blocking of the websites.

Government Internet Censorship Intensifies

The Russian telecom regulator has in the past taken actions against other web portals related to cryptocurrencies, usually on request from other government institutions and the judiciary. For example, the supervisory service blocked the online exchanger Buybit.net in April of this year. But there have been also cases where such attempts have failed.

Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites

In May, Roskomnadzor had to take a similar platform, removing Bestchange.ru from its blacklist after prosecutors gave up efforts to block the website citing pending legislation expected to regulate digital assets. In March 2018, the Saint Petersburg City Court struck down a ban on 40 websites offering information and services related to cryptocurrencies, and in April, the Supreme Court overturned a decision to block the Bitcoininfo.ru portal.

Despite these positive developments, the government has been tightening the noose on the Russian segment of the internet. In March, Roskomnadzor demanded that 10 VPN service providers connect to the Federal State Information System, the register that keeps information about all websites that have been banned in Russia.

Later, in April, the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, adopted a law designed to channel Russian internet traffic through routing points controlled by authorities in Moscow and effectively isolate the Russian internet space (Runet) from the rest of the web in the future. It grants Roskomnadzor powers to go after internet providers that refuse to participate in Russia’s version of the Great Firewall.

Do you think Russian authorities will try to block other crypto news websites? Share your expectations in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious

October 19, 2019 |

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious

If you’ve got a few thousand satoshis burning a hole in your wallet, the darknet beckons. There’s no obligation to spend a single sat while scouring the darker recesses of the web, but it’s nice to know that should you get the urge, your crypto’s good. There are few certainties when shopping on darknet markets (DNMs), but acceptance of BTC, XMR, and other leading cryptos is a given. Here’s a snapshot of what the current crop of darknet markets has to offer.

Also read: Bitcoin ATM in Miami Airport Raises Questions About Traveling With Crypto

Sliding Into the DNMs

Although darknet markets are under increased threat from law enforcement, business continues to boom. Every time a darknet market is taken down, a new head of the Hydra springs up in its place. Dark.fail lists around 20 DNMs, as well as forums and other darknet resources. A cornucopia of forbidden pleasures is but a Tor connection away, but as with all endeavors that involve dabbling in gray or black markets, discretion is advised. Intrepid bitcoiners eager to indulge in a little retail therapy can boot up their browser and mosey down any of the following bazaars.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious

Empire Market

Reliance on any single DNM is unwise, as you never know when a site might be busted, backdoored, DDoSed into oblivion, or head for the exits. That said, at this point in time, Empire is the DNM leader by some distance. It’s got almost 40,000 listings for drugs alone and has a thriving ecosystem of vendors and customers who congregate on darknet forums like Dread. Empire’s a little over a year old, but you wouldn’t think it to look at the size of the place. Its subdread board of over 8,000 users vastly exceeds that of any other DNM. If there’s one criticism of Empire, it’s that it’s often offline. That’s the trouble with being the king: everyone wants to topple you.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious
Grey Market

Grey Market

Grey Market is one of the newer DNMs, making its online debut in mid-2019. Despite its youth, it already boasts over 450 vendors and some 4,700 products, from cannabis vape oil to goods aimed at those with a stronger constitution. As a wallet-less market, there’s no need to deposit funds before you can shop. For every order, you dispatch coins from a wallet you already control to a newly generated address. In theory, this ensures better security for users. Grey Market accepts BTC and XMR and has a 10-tier EXP (experience) structure for vendors.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious
Cannazon

Cannazon

Cannazon’s logo gives a good indication of the sort of products it offers, with kush lovers well catered for. Like Grey Market, the accepted currencies here are BTC and XMR and there’s a multisig escrow system which is standard with DNMs. Cannazon has been operating since mid-2016, which is practically forever in the world of darknet markets. One good thing about Cannazon is that they vet vendors pretty hard to ensure a high level of product and service and there are 15 vendor tiers. Unlike Grey Market, Cannazon will not ship to or from the U.S.

Cryptonia

Cryptonia cares about security. That’s why, as soon as you alight on the site, you’re bludgeoned with reassurances: “Cryptonia features the most secure 2/3 Bitcoin Multisig implementation of any market, a transparent wallet-less escrow system” and so forth. XMR and BTC are the accepted cryptocurrencies, and though the UX isn’t a strong point, the thousands of product listings more than compensate.

Tochka

Whatever your poison, you’ll find it on Tochka. This DNM, which has been operating since 2014, offers a seven-day escrow system and two-of-three multisig. BTC, XMR, and LTC are the favored currencies. Over 6,800 products are on sale at the time of writing, from just under 600 vendors: everything from seeds and edibles to viagra and growth hormone. Interestingly, Tochka has joined forced with DNMAvengers, a forum dedicated to reducing harm and spreading awareness via testing of products suspected of containing adulterants. What’s more, the site allows dead drops, should customers wish to subtly pick up their wares from a prearranged location.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious
Tochka

Apollon

With over 10,000 listings for drugs alone, Apollon can’t be accused of scrimping on choice. It accepts a good selection of cryptocurrencies too: bitcoin cash as well as BTC, XMR, and LTC. It’s a traditional direct deposit market, so you need to fund your wallet address and wait for the deposit to clear before you can order. There’s nothing novel about Apollon, but that’s okay. The mere existence of multiple DNMs, no matter how generic, lessens the likelihood of them all becoming unavailable at once.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious

Needless to say, if you do decide to avail yourself of any of the aforementioned darknet markets – or any others not included in this list – keep your opsec on point and exercise caution at every pass.

What are your thoughts on darknet markets? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post 6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network

October 18, 2019 |

Telegram Offers to Postpone the Launch of the TON Network

Telegram, which was surprised with a last minute restraining order on the sale of its tokens in the U.S., is now ready to delay the launch of the TON network until the spring of next year. The company has informed the New York court reviewing the case that it can suspend all operations with grams until the legal issues around the coin offering are resolved.

Also read: 104 Addresses Hold 70% of Tether, Research Reveals

Messenger to Halt Operations With Grams

Lawyers representing Telegram Group and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ton Issuer Inc., have filed documents containing their clients’ proposal to the District Court for the Southern District of New York, Tass reported. The entities behind the Telegram Open Network (TON) have also expressed disagreement with some of the demands put forward by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On October 11, the regulator announced that it had obtained a temporary restraining order for Telegram’s ICO. The court will conduct a hearing on the case on October 24. Due to the legal proceedings, the company now offers to effectively freeze the blockchain project. Before the SEC filed its lawsuit, TON was scheduled to launch by the end of this month.

Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network

The court has already satisfied some of the SEC’s demands regarding Telegram’s plans. The regulator claims the messaging platform held an unregistered offering of TON’s native GRM tokens. In two private sales between January and March 2018, Telegram sold the rights to 2.9 billion coins to 171 investors worldwide for $ 1.7 billion. The total includes a billion tokens bought by 39 U.S. residents for $ 424.5 million.

Telegram is now proposing to halt the sale and transfer of its cryptocurrency for a period of five months to give the court enough time to resolve the legal issues. In the recent filing, it also declared its commitment to inform the Securities and Exchange Commission 30 days before it starts any operations with the gram tokens.

SEC Rejects Proposal

Telegram’s petition to the district court notes that over the past 18 months the company has voluntarily cooperated with the commission and requested its feedback regarding the launch of TON and gram. Its developers even introduced changes to the blockchain platform to address some of the concerns expressed by the SEC.

The lawyers disagree with the regulator’s opinion that gram is a security and insist the token has to be regarded as a currency. The Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom law firm, which represents the messenger, has asked the court to relieve Telegram of the obligation to meet a number of demands and respond to new requests for additional information from the SEC.

However, in its own petition to the court, the commission argues that a postponement of the launch would not be enough. The regulator claims that such arrangement would allow Telegram to continue to commit offenses. If the court does not establish the appropriate prohibitions for the duration of the proceedings, future violations related to the distribution of gram are guaranteed, the SEC insists.

Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network

Investors Asked to Vote on April 30 Deadline

Reaching out to the participants in the two fundraising rounds held last year, Telegram has updated investors on the situation around the TON project and its disagreement with the SEC’s arguments. In recent correspondence with investors, the company asked them to share their position on the proposed extension of the deadline for the network.

In case the majority agrees, the messenger plans to proceed with a new launch date before April 30, 2020, using the time to make additional investments and further develop the blockchain platform. However, if either of the two groups of investors disagrees with the delayed start, they will be partially compensated and fewer gram tokens will be issued at launch.

Do you think the majority of TON investors will agree with the newly proposed deadline for the launch of Telegram’s blockchain? Share your expectations in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support

October 18, 2019 |

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support

On October 16, the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) announced multi-currency support and integration with 15 platforms and wallets. The fusion will provide users with the ability to use a single ENS name across a wide spectrum of crypto applications alongside leveraging a variety of digital assets.

Also read: Honestnode Founder Discusses the First Stablecoin Built on Bitcoin Cash

15 Wallets and Platforms Pledge to Support the Ethereum Name Service

Anyone who has used a cryptocurrency like bitcoin cash (BCH) or ethereum (ETH) knows that long alphanumeric addresses can be awkward, especially to newcomers. The Ethereum Name Service attempts to solve this issue by providing a decentralized method of using simple, human-readable names. So users who use ENS don’t have to rely on long addresses and anyone can use names like “alice.mywallet.eth.” In order to send ‘Alice’ funds, you simply use the ENS name with a compatible wallet.

ENS is already supported by well known platforms such as Opera Touch, Pandax, Cipher, Myetherwallet, Metamask, and Argent. On Wednesday, ENS detailed that 15 more wallets and applications will be supporting the ENS infrastructure. With a total of 24 platforms, multi-coin support will be available as well for a large number of digital assets. ENS representative Brantly Millegan said that the first version of multi-currency support will integrate with ETC, ETH, BTC, and LTC. However, the manager UI will be expanded for other assets like bitcoin cash (BCH).

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support
15 more wallets plan to add ENS support in the future including Bitcoin.com’s noncustodial wallet. If you want to keep your coins secure by storing them in our free Bitcoin mobile wallet click here.

The 15 new additions implementing ENS support include the Bitcoin.com Wallet, Atomic Wallet, Coinbase Wallet, Opera, Imtoken, Dcent, Trustwallet, Portis, Haven, Squarelink, and Coin Request. Apart from the new client support, ENS is going beyond .ETH namespace names Millegan noted. “We still plan on expanding the namespace available for use on ENS by integrating the DNS namespace. For example, the Ethereum Foundation owns the DNS name “ethereum.org”; with our system, they could also have an ENS record for “ethereum.org” (notethereum.eth, which is a separate name). In this way, the Ethereum Foundation could use “ethereum.org” both for their normal website (using DNS) and for receiving cryptocurrency payments (using ENS).” Millegan added:

This already works for .XYZ names, as well as in a special way for names on .LUXE, .KRED, and .ART. And soon we will be rolling out this functionality to all DNSSEC-enabled DNS TLDs, which includes all the major ones.

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support
The website ethereum.org uses the ENS infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Governance for the Distributed Web

With multi-coin progression and the integration with major DNS namespace names, the ENS team believes the project is key in creating a powerful decentralized web. Millegan stressed that ENS and IPFS are accessible in Opera and the Metamask extension. He further highlighted that Ethdns with .LINK can be an answer to the Tor .onion address naming problem. “Support for voluntary personal Whois data has a project underway for serving traditional DNS records,” Millegan said.

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support
In August, ENS announced that the Ethereum Name Service now supports the resolution of Tor .onion addresses.

The nonprofit hopes the project will bolster a censorship-resistant system for the internet’s name system. Further multiple wallets pledging to support ENS will help spread human-readable addresses as well. The team behind ENS thinks that with all the prior crypto-namespace attempts in the past with projects like Namecoin, “ENS operates in a distributed fashion for both its infrastructure and governance.” Other wallets and platform developers can integrate ENS support as resources are available like the EIP for ENS multi-coin support and the Github repository. Check out the Devcon5 video demo below showing off multi-coin support for ENS at the event in Osaka, Japan.

What do you think about ENS being supported by 15 more wallets including Bitcoin.com, Coinbase, and the decentralized marketplace Haven? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Ethereum Name Service, Bitcoin.com Wallet, and Pixabay.


Do you want to keep an eye on moving cryptocurrency prices? Visit our Bitcoin Markets tool to get real-time price updates, and head over to our Blockchain Explorer tool to view all previous BCH and BTC transactions.

The post Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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CME Bitcoin Futures Sees Institutional Interest and Demand from Asia

October 18, 2019 |

CME Bitcoin Futures Sees Institutional Interest and Demand from Asia

Global markets business CME Group said that institutional interest toward the firm’s Bitcoin futures is thriving and 2019’s third-quarter data showed a record number of open interest. Moreover, despite the lackluster start, the Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) Bakkt platform has seen an increase in interest with the company’s physically-settled bitcoin futures product.

Also read: Honestnode Founder Discusses the First Stablecoin Built on Bitcoin Cash

CME Group’s Bitcoin Futures Continue to Prosper

Since going live with its bitcoin futures in December 2017, CME Group’s BTC derivatives has allowed individuals and organizations the ability to hedge exposure to the digital currency. Throughout 2018 and 2019, CME has seen a significant rise in open interest in its bitcoin futures. This summer CME saw unprecedented numbers compared to the volumes recorded a few months prior.

“CME Bitcoin futures reached a record $ 1.7B in notional value traded on June 26, surpassing the previous record by more than 30% — The surge in volume also set a new open interest record of 6,069 contracts as institutional interest continues to build,” CME Group stated. The Chicago-based exchange detailed on October 11 that open contracts during the third quarter grew significantly in comparison to Q3 2018. The number of outstanding positions almost doubled and the company explained that the rise stems from institutions.

“Institutional interest in CME Bitcoin futures (BTC) continued to build in Q3 with a record number of large open interest holders (25+ BTC),” the trading platform imparted last week.

CME Bitcoin Futures Sees Institutional Interest and Demand from Asia

The news follows CME’s announcement that due to “growing interest in cryptocurrencies and customer demand for tools to manage bitcoin exposure” the exchange would begin offering options on Bitcoin futures (BTC) in early 2020. The day before it’s third-quarter update, CME Group’s global head of equity index and alternative investment products, Tim McCourt, explained there is a huge interest in bitcoin futures in Asia. For instance, cryptocurrency miners based in Asia appreciate derivatives products because they can hedge their costs. Even though the company is preparing for BTC options, McCourt disclosed that CME is not planning to provide physically-settled products like Bakkt. In an interview, McCourt stated:

While futures give you a one-for-one exposure, whereby the movement of the underlying bitcoin translates directly to a specific dollar value per contract, an option gives you varying strike-price levels and can give you either downside protection, or upside exposure at a fraction of the underlying [assets’] price.

Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures Volume Spikes and Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash Derivative Products Are Coming Soon

When Bakkt launched its physically-settled bitcoin futures the first week was quite dismal and only started to pick up steam after it executed its first block trade between Galaxy Digital and XBTO. Despite the weak start, Bakkt’s BTC trading volumes rose sharply on October 10, from 25 contracts to 224 contracts seeing a 796% rise. The Bakkt Volume Bot shows that futures volumes touched 53 on October 15 and went up 49% with 79 contracts the day after.

CME Bitcoin Futures Sees Institutional Interest and Demand from Asia

Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler believes the future of these derivatives products is just getting started and recently wrote about the subject in a blog post called “The Dawn of an Asset Class.” “Seamless coordination between ICE Futures U.S., ICE Clear US, and the Bakkt Warehouse is an important feature of Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures,” Loeffler wrote for FIA’s global futures magazine. “Much like cotton and coffee futures contracts that can go to physical delivery, many of the same processes apply to the Bakkt Bitcoin Futures,” Loeffler added:

The Bakkt Warehouse stands between the customer and the clearing member to securely manage bitcoin movements based on deep domain knowledge, along with significant investments in infrastructure and operations. This design allows clearing members to manage margin balances in USD or U.S. Treasuries, rather than bitcoin.

CME Bitcoin Futures Sees Institutional Interest and Demand from Asia
Intercontinental Exchange chairman and CEO, Jeff Sprecher (right), with his wife and Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler (left).

The market has shown demand for futures products tied to BTC, but there’s a strong desire for other cryptocurrency derivatives products as well. At Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit in New York City on October 10, Heath Tarbert told the press that he believes Ethereum-based futures will be coming. “It is my view as Chairman of the CFTC that Ether is a commodity, and therefore it will be regulated under the CEA. And my guess is that you will see in the near future Ether-related futures contracts and other derivatives potentially traded.” Further, David Shin, the head of the exchange business at Bitcoin.com recently revealed that the public could see a bitcoin cash (BCH) futures products in Q1 2020.

What do you think about the rising interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency products? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, CME Group, Bakkt Volume Bot, Twitter, and Bakkt.


Do you want to keep an eye on moving cryptocurrency prices? Visit our Bitcoin Markets tool to get real-time price updates, and head over to our Blockchain Explorer tool to view all previous BCH and BTC transactions.

The post CME Bitcoin Futures Sees Institutional Interest and Demand from Asia appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Global Crisis Looms as IMF Report Cites Its Own Policy as Dangerous

October 18, 2019 |

Global Crisis Looms as IMF Report Cites Its Own Policy as Dangerous

In a new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) entitled “Global Financial Stability Report: Lower for Longer,” the group gives an overview of the current debt-ridden and precarious state of affairs in global economics. Not lost on some economists, however, is the irony that these modern realities are the direct result of policies historically supported by the IMF itself.

Also Read: IMF Has Another Trick Up Its Sleeve When Fiat Fails – Its Own Coin SDR

Flip-Flopping

The six-chapter, 109-page report breaks down the ominous state of global finance and “identifies the current key vulnerabilities in the global financial system as the rise in corporate debt burdens, increasing holdings of riskier and more illiquid assets by institutional investors, and growing reliance on external borrowing by emerging and frontier market economies.” The assessments are not inaccurate, but fail to turn the lens back on the source, and the very causal factors contributing to these realities.

Global Crisis Looms as IMF Report Cites Its Own Policy as Dangerous
Source: IMF

Citing continued easing and precipitously falling bond yields, the IMF calls for more conservative approaches to the management of economic problems, stating:

To reduce the risk that additional easing may have the unintended consequence of leading to a further buildup of financial system vulnerabilities, macroprudential policies should be tightened, as warranted.

The IMF is suddenly very interested in prudence, and the management of systemic risk, encouraging the use of prescribed tools for mitigating dismal effects of prolonged negative interest, QE and easy credit, and the resultant movement of investors into riskier, more illiquid assets. The report maintains that “Low interest rates have reduced debt service costs and may have contributed to an increase in sovereign debt. This has made some governments more susceptible to a sudden and sharp tightening in financial conditions.”

Global Crisis Looms as IMF Report Cites Its Own Policy as Dangerous
Source: IMF

Just three years ago, however, in a 2016 blog post, the group was praising these very same practices, noting that “Although the experience with negative nominal interest rates is limited, we tentatively conclude that overall, they help deliver additional monetary stimulus. Wholesale interest rates have fallen as have some bank lending rates, which should help support demand and price stability.” The post further warns of the very same risks the new report cites, such as institutional entry into risky assets, but still concludes that such policies are helpful overall.

Global Crisis Looms as IMF Report Cites Its Own Policy as Dangerous

 

Greater Risk Now Condemned

IMF, 2016: “Banks benefit overall from [negative interest] policies that support price stability and growth…” even though “There may also be excessive risk-taking. As banks’ margins are squeezed, they may start lending to riskier borrowers to maintain their profit levels.”

IMF, 2019: “The monetary policy cycle may have reached a turning point in major advanced economies … Persistently low and declining yields on fixed-income instruments have continued to drive institutional investors … to boost returns by using leverage and investing in riskier and less liquid assets.” The report concludes that “Policymakers can help mitigate the buildup of vulnerabilities through appropriate incentives, minimum solvency or liquidity standards, and enhanced disclosures.”

In other words, they warned everyone of their risky, economically unsound plan, encouraged its implementation and adoption, and now are encouraging everyone to pull back quickly.

Global Economic Outlook Unstable

The executive summary of the report states:

Accommodative monetary policy is supporting the economy in the near term, but easy financial conditions are encouraging financial risk-taking and are fueling a further buildup of vulnerabilities in some sectors and countries.

The “some” here may be the understatement of the year. As news.Bitcoin.com has reported extensively, the current global situation is deteriorating rapidly with reckless capital injections, rampant negative interest rate policy implementation, negative yielding debt and once mega-powerful economies beginning to fail. In this sense, the IMF’s report is a mere statement of the obvious for many who are paying attention to the situation. Combined with the continued crackdown on free trade of proposed sound money alternatives like bitcoin, and it’s hard not to wax at least a little bit paranoid. Who knows, perhaps tomorrow the International Monetary fund will be pushing further for the creation of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) as the palliative for all the economic pain they’ve promoted and effected over the years.

What are your thoughts on the IMF’s new report? Let us know in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, fair use.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Global Crisis Looms as IMF Report Cites Its Own Policy as Dangerous appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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SEC Wants Second Look at Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Proposal

October 18, 2019 |

SEC Wants Second Look at Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Proposal

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reviewing its order issued last week pertaining to a rejected proposal for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The proposal was filed by NYSE Arca for the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust. Meanwhile, the SEC is also evaluating a proposed rule change for a different type of bitcoin ETF.

Also read: SEC Rejects Another High-Profile Bitcoin ETF Proposal

ETF Order Stayed

The SEC has sent a letter dated Oct. 15 to Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the NYSE, concerning its recent order disapproving NYSE Arca’s proposal to list and trade shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust. This proposal was rejected on Oct. 9. “This letter is to notify you that, pursuant to Rule 431 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice, 17 CFR 201.431, the Commission will review the delegated action,” the letter explains, adding:

In accordance with Rule 431(e), the October 9, 2019 order is stayed until the Commission orders otherwise.

SEC Wants Second Look at Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Proposal

The letter continues, “The Office of the Secretary will notify you of any pertinent action taken by the Commission.”

Prior to the Oct. 9 rejection, ICE and Bitwise had been actively discussing their bitcoin ETF proposal with the SEC. The Commission emphasized that its disapproval “does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment.” This is also not the first time the SEC has taken this action. In August last year, the Commission did the same with three orders for nine bitcoin ETFs.

T-Bill Bitcoin ETF in the Running

Besides reviewing the order disapproving the proposal for the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust, the SEC is currently evaluating another proposed rule change filed by NYSE Arca. The exchange is seeking to list and trade shares of the United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust.

SEC Wants Second Look at Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Proposal

The proposal was first filed with the agency on June 12 and published in the Federal Register on July 1. The exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change on Oct. 4, after which the SEC proceeded to solicit comments from the public. As of Oct. 10, the agency says it has received nine comments on the proposal.

According to the amendment, “the trust will have no assets other than (a) bitcoin and (b) short-term U.S. Treasury securities with a maturity of less than one year (‘T-Bills’).” Further, the trust will hold U.S. dollars for short periods of time in connection with the maturity of the T-bills, the sale and purchase of the underlying assets, redemptions, if any, and expenses of the trust.

Do you think the SEC will approve any bitcoin ETF proposal anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post SEC Wants Second Look at Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Proposal appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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