news.bitcoin.com Archives - Page 3 of 164 -
Cheapair.com is asking for customer feedback on using Bitpay to process bitcoin payments as its existing processor, Coinbase, is getting out of that business at the end of the month. Cheapair.com has also revealed additional plans for cryptocurrencies.
Travel booking website Cheapair.com has been accepting bitcoin as a payment option for flights and hotel bookings since 2013. The company currently uses Coinbase to process its bitcoin payments. However, CEO Jeff Klee announced on Friday:
We were recently informed by our processing partner, Coinbase, that they will no longer support ‘custodial’ solutions for merchants, and are removing a number of the tools and features that we rely on to accept bitcoin from Cheapair.com shoppers. These changes are scheduled to occur in a matter of weeks.
He explained that bitcoins received by Cheapair.com are immediately converted to fiat because the company has to immediately transfer them to its travel supplier partners such as airlines and hotels. “Coinbase has been providing that service for us, but at the end of the month they are getting out of that business, leaving us scrambling for an alternative.”
Cheapair.com’s rival, Expedia, also accepts bitcoin payments via Coinbase, with a disclaimer on its Terms and Conditions page. “We do not guarantee and are not responsible for the availability of Coinbase’s services.” While Cheapair.com allows bitcoin payments for flights and hotels, Expedia only offers the payment option for hotel bookings.
Migrating to Coinbase Commerce
Coinbase first announced the launch of its new service for merchants in March. With the launch of Coinbase Commerce, the company is “retiring Coinbase’s Merchant Tools product to focus on making Coinbase Commerce the best possible solution for online retailers,” Coinbase detailed at the time.
The new service “enables merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies directly into a user-controlled wallet,” the company described, adding that:
We’ve designed Coinbase Commerce to be a free non-custodial solution for accepting cryptocurrency so merchants can maintain full control over their funds.
Specifically, Coinbase says that on April 30, “Merchants will no longer be able to generate new orders using Coinbase Merchant Tools. Merchant Tool users will still be able to process refunds.” May 31 will be the “Final date for Coinbase Merchant Tool users to migrate to Coinbase Commerce,” the exchange warned, admitting that “We recognize that this decision may be disruptive to Coinbase Merchant Tool customers.”
Cheapair.com’s Future Crypto Plans
Klee proceeded to outline the company’s additional plans for cryptocurrencies. “In the coming weeks, we hope to..Begin accepting additional digital currencies like bitcoin cash, dash, and litecoin. We have already begun testing these,” he wrote.
At the time of this writing, the “Bitcoin and Altcoins” payment option on Cheapair.com includes four cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin and dash. Payments are facilitated by Gocoin.
The CEO also detailed Cheapair.com’s plans to establish “a dedicated customer service phone line and email inbox staffed with advisors who have a deeper understanding of digital currencies and how they work.” Furthermore, some processes will be automated that are currently “semi-manual, so we can issue refunds more quickly.”
According to Klee, Cheapair.com’s “intention at this point is to use Bitpay as a processor,” noting that the company has “had a great experience with them so far and our integration is largely complete.”
However, he pointed out:
But our one giant concern is that Bitpay does not support “non-payment protocol wallets” (wallets that aren’t BIP-70 compliant). So if you do not have a compatible wallet, you would have to get one and use it as an intermediate stage for your Bitcoin payment.
BIP-70, a controversial upgrade for bitcoin wallets written by Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn in 2013, has had vociferous fans and detractors debating its use publicly since its introduction.
While designed to make bitcoin payments more secure and nearly foolproof, it limits the number of wallets that can be used to only the six that do support the upgrade. Anyone attempting to pay a merchant that uses Bitpay without coins in one of those wallets will have to download and install a BIP-70 compliant wallet first. This means an additional transaction from their wallet to the new wallet, thereby incurring a second transaction fee and delay.
While empathizing with Bitpay’s goal “to address–delayed or incorrect payments–are real and were especially rampant back in December and January when transaction volumes spiked,” Klee said:
I am not keen on the idea of asking our customers to, in many cases, do more work or change wallets just to be able to transact with us.
The CEO is now asking customers for their input. “Do you buy from other Bitpay merchants? Do you find the BIP-70 wallet requirement to be reasonable or too onerous? Candidly, would this make you more or less likely to do business with us?”
Do you think Cheapair.com should go with Bitpay? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitpay, and Cheapair.com.
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Wikileaks announced that Coinbase has blocked its official Wikileaks shop without notice or explanation. The organization will all for a global blockade of the cryptocurrency exchange and payment processor “as an unfit member of the crypto community.”
Coinbase Quits Wikileaks
Wikileaks announced on Friday that “Coinbase has blocked the official @Wikileaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation.”
The shop sells swag such as clothing, accessories, phone cases, stickers, posters, books, and has recently added Cryptokitties.
The organization also posted part of a letter they claim was sent to them from Coinbase which references the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen). The letter states that “Coinbase is a regulated Money Service Business under Fincen,” and is “obligated to implement regulatory compliance mechanisms,” adding:
Upon careful review, we believe your account has engaged in prohibited use in violation of our Terms of Service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service.
The letter then provides instructions for Wikileaks to withdraw its remaining balance. “We respectfully request that you follow the on-screen instructions presented when you log into your Coinbase account to send any remaining balance offsite to an external address.”
Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase
In response to Coinbase’s action, Wikileaks announced:
Wikileaks will call for a global blockade of Coinbase next week as an unfit member of the crypto community. Coinbase, a large Californian Bitcoin processor, responding to a concealed influence, has blocked the entirely harmless @Wikileaksshop in a decision approved by management.
Best selling Bitcoin author Andreas Antonopoulos commented, “We have come full circle. Many people’s interest in bitcoin started when Wikileaks was out under an extra judicial embargo by Visa, Mc, Paypal and banks. Now Coinbase has repeated history. Oops.”
He further elaborated, “It’s purely symbolic, unlike the first embargo. Now they have many options. But the symbolism is a pretty poignant reminder of what centralization and banking regulations mean.”
Antonopoulos is referring to the 2010 global payments blockade of Wikileaks which led the renegade news service to become one of the earliest and most public champions of Bitcoin. Six days before Satoshi Nakamoto mysteriously left the community, a debate broke out on the Bitcointalk forum between Nakamoto and those wanting Wikileaks to embrace Bitcoin. The event, described in Julian Assange’s book “When Google met Wikileaks,” is largely thought to be one of the reasons that Bitcoin’s creator left the project.
Recently, Coinbase also announced changes to its merchant services. The company will no longer support custodial merchant processing solutions, replacing them with a free, non-custodial solution. One vendor, Cheapair.com, has already announced that it is leaving Coinbase for this reason to seek a different payment processor for cryptocurrencies.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Andreas Antonopoulos, and Wikileaks.
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Influential investment bank Saxo released the 35 page, Q2 2018 Quarterly Outlook. In it, the bank’s newly hired Crypto Analyst, Jacob Pouncey, noted the perils of this year’s first financial quarter with regard to digital assets. Taking into account several factors, he believes the next three months could be a breakout time for digital assets, holding the potential to trigger a bull market.
Heavy Hitter Saxo Bank Released Bullish Outlook on Cryptocurrencies
It takes all of 33 pages to find it, but there it is: a very influential investment bank not only hired a “Crypto Analyst,” but allowed him to have an authored section titled – Are Cryptocurrencies Entering a New Cycle?
The Danish bank, Saxo, forwarded its general outlook for 2018’s second set of three months. Turning to cryptos, Mr. Pouncey prefaced, “Cryptocurrencies fell back to earth with a bang in the first months of this year, having enjoyed exponential growth in 2017. The situation remains fragile, given the outlook to increased regulation and social media advertising bans. That said, we can’t rule out the possibility of a comeback.”
Saxo is based in Copenhagen, and its products include online trading in futures spreads, funds, bonds, CFDs, stocks, and even a foreign exchange. It has the rare charter of being both a proper bank and a broker. As such, it typically caters to institutional, legacy financial companies (more than 100 globally). Its European presence is well established, though it has exposure in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Saxo claims to handle $ 12 billion USD daily, having clients in 180 countries.
That its main analyst in the crypto sector is optimistic going forward means cover for institutional investors who’re looking to dabble. Indeed, Mr. Pouncey details, “The market has seen several acquisitions of crypto exchanges from financial firms such as Goldman Sachs backed Circle acquiring Poloniex, Monex Group acquiring Coincheck, and Yahoo Japan buying a 40% stake in Bitarg Exchange Tokyo.” Additionally, crypto exchanges such as Coinbase have been able to recruit real talent from Silicon Valley, and they’re being placed in key executive positions. These moves seem poised to take advantage of price spikes.
Mr. Pouncey concludes, “several events could serve as springboards for a cryptocurrency bull market in Q2, whether it is through fundamental drivers, or it is just a self-fulfilling prophecy [….] In my opinion, we will eventually see the end of the current, negative cryptocurrency cycle, as many of the weak hands have been shaken out by the bear market and the remaining investors are on the ready to latch onto any good news after the bad start this year.”
Much of the Positive Outlook is Based on Institutional Investors Entering the Crypto Space
Many professional financial legacy gurus expect the easy credit market to dry up a bit in the coming months as a hedge against inflation. This could mean traditional equities are less attractive, and the search for “uncorrelated assets” begins.
These are “assets that lie outside the reach of the traditional financial system in which cryptocurrencies are a potential alternative,” Mr. Pouncey insists. “Historically, many of the blue chip cryptocurrencies have seen price increases in the face of global uncertainty and [… the] inflow of institutional capital to the cryptocurrency market due to the increase in regulation and investor protection could lead cryptocurrencies to a positive quarter.”
Do you believe institutional investors are going to enter the crypto market soon? Let us know in the comments section below.
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On Friday, April 20th the mining operation Antpool explained that the public may have recently noticed a fraction of bitcoin cash being sent to an unspendable address every time Antpool mines a block. Antpool says that it is burning the funds sent to the “black hole address” voluntarily for the good of the BCH economy.
Mining Operation Antpool Burns 12% of BCH Network Fees Found in Mined Blocks
Antpool is one of the oldest mining pools in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and is operated by the company Bitmain Technologies. Just recently it was discovered that the mining pool was sending bitcoin cash (BCH) to an unspendable address utilizing a process known as “burning.” Burning means the coins sent to the address can never be spent again and some people believe this process increases digital scarcity. Antpool states this Friday that BCH is nearing a “tipping point of becoming a widely used public blockchain,” and the decentralized currency has a “wave of innovation” forthcoming.
The mining pool mentions the latest Memo application and the many other platforms being built on the BCH chain. Further, the organization mentions the upcoming hard fork taking place on May 15 which aims to increase the block size to 32MB. Additionally, Antpool says that “more and more useful applications will be enabled on BCH” because of the enlarged OP_RETURN spaces, and re-enabled OP_codes. Antpool explains that it understands that BCH will be a cryptocurrency that will be widely used and spent but holding investors are also critical to the economy.
“Some bitcoin cash investors may have noticed that Antpool has recently begun burning BCH by sending mining fees to a black hole address with each block mined — Twelve percent of the transaction fees earned by the mining pool are burnt — This is voluntary and we want to explain why this burning might be good for BCH as a whole,” Antpool states. “While having active users spending BCH is very important for the ecosystem, having investors who hold BCH is also a fundamental requirement for maintaining a strong economy — Without these holders, BCH’s exchange value loses significant support.
We believe that they too should profit from the growth of BCH by their continued stake in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem — The transaction fees earned by miners are an important growth indicator of the BCH ecosystem, and if a portion of the fees are burnt, it is effectively miners sharing revenue with the entire BCH network.
Antpool Denounces Maximalism and Asks Other Mining Pools to Join the Burning Sessions
Antpool also details that the BCH ecosystem and community needs to keep its current passion going. The burning announcement also denounces cryptocurrency ‘maximalism’ and says that type of idealism is “dangerous” thinking. This is because Antpool believes the community benefits from the advancement of application tokens which will bring forth an arrangement that pushes the growth of an “on-chain transaction explosion.” Furthermore, Antpool is asking for other mining pools to join in on the bitcoin cash burning session.
“We call for other miners to join us in burning 12% of the transaction fees collected,” the pool concludes.
What do you think about Antpool sending 12% of its mined BCH fees to an unspendable black hole address? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Bitcoin Cash and Antpool logos.
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A new startup called Revealer is on a mission to create sound backup solutions for cryptocurrency mnemonic phrases and seeds. Just recently the company launched its first product dubbed ‘Revealer Zero’ – a small card system that visually encrypts and decrypts digital currency seed phrases or any alpha-numerical secret.
Revealer Zero Visually Encrypts a Cryptocurrency Seed Phrase
Revealer Zero is a new product created by Tiago Romagnani Silveira that allows users to print and store cryptocurrency backups in a visually encrypted manner. The secret can be decrypted optically “without a computer or any special knowledge,” explains the company. Basically, each Revealer has a unique code with 128 bits of entropy encoded in hex format, while the last three digits represent a checksum. Entropy is the ‘randomness’ found in a computer’s operating system which is utilized in many types of computational cryptography like creating public and private key pairs.
“The version number indicates the dimension of the revealer, the 128 bits of entropy are used as random seed to generate the noise that is encoded on the card — The checksum offers some protection against a typing mistake,” explains the company’s website.
Decrypt the Secrets Without a Computer
Essentially the product offers a deep cold, two factor backup for any random alpha-numerical secret or cryptocurrency seed. Revealer is a one-time pad that offers 128 bits of entropy that’s based on a cryptographic scheme developed by the well-known cryptographers Moni Shamir and Adi Naor. The user simply uses the platform’s encryption dialogue box to encrypt a cryptocurrency seed with the ‘randomness’ derived from the host computer. Then the program visually obfuscates the secret with cryptographic scheme called ‘noise’ which can then be printed. The seed or special secret can be decrypted with the Revealer card and the protocol will also be able to be used with an Electrum Wallet plugin.
Revealer says ‘aezeeds’ and ‘BIP 39 seeds’ that use more words, do fit on the cards, but font size is smaller and the software will adjust for character length. The product is a one-time solution meant to be used only once for the most optimal security, but the product does ship with two cards. The Revealer Zero encryption card sets costs €19.90 and the startup’s shop accepts BTC for payments.
The company also says that the firm’s product allows the user to encode the cards and the startup has virtually no access to the cryptographic paired secrets. In the frequently asked questions section, a question states: “But why should I trust you?”
“You shouldn’t, please don’t — Even if we were malicious, or compromised, we don’t know your secrets,” Revealer emphasizes.
We send you raw noise, encoded in a card. You generate your secret and encrypt it for the card on your own computer. Ultimately you add noise to your otherwise exposed backup with a Revealer.
Revealer Zero is an interesting concept for those looking to secure their cryptocurrency-based mnemonic phrases. News.Bitcoin.com also recently reported on another product called Safewords; a distributed backup system that secures digital asset seeds in a unique fashion.
What do you think about the Revealer Zero product? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse this new 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 and the author are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, Youtube, and revealer.cc.
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The post Revealer Card Visually Encrypts a Cryptocurrency Seed Phrase appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The cryptocurrency markets have enjoyed a strong week, with BTC, BCH, and many altcoins generating significant gains in recent days. There is considerable uniformity shared among major altcoin markets, with many cryptocurrencies recovering to test the 0.236% retracement areas after breaking above descending trendlines.
BCH Gains Over BTC
Whilst bitcoin (BTC) has made gains of 10%, this past week has seen Bitcoin Cash (BCH) perform with considerable strength, ramping up to gain nearly 50% against the dollar in just 7 days. Yesterday, the markets surged past resistance at $ 1,000 USD, breaking into the four-figure threshold for the first time since March. As of this writing, BCH appears to be consolidating above $ 1,000, with current prices sitting at roughly $ 1,080.
When measuring against BTC, BCH has gained 40% in a week – bouncing from a low of approximately 0.092 BTC to the current levels of roughly 0.13 BTC. When measuring from 2018’s high of 0.25BTC, BCH is currently consolidating at the 23.6% retracement area. Bitcoin Cash is currently the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a total capitalization of approximately $ 18.5 billion according to Coinmarketcap.
Altcoin Markets Begin to Reverse During April
After months of sustained downward price action that saw many markets lose upwards of 80% – 85%, many altcoins have produced substantial gains over the course of recent weeks after breaking above major descending trend lines against both BTC and the dollar. Many markets are now testing their respective 0.236% retracement areas when measuring from 2018’s highs.
The second largest crypto by market cap, Ethereum, has made gains of approximately 60% over the last fortnight, rallying from the local low of approximately $ 370 USD during early April to test the $ 600 area in recent days. After a strong initial bounce, ETH has made consistent gains over the past week, gaining approximately 20% in the last 7 days.
When analyzing the ETH/BTC charts, we can see that ETH has gained roughly 28% from April’s lows of approximately 0.054. As of this writing, ETH is testing the 0.236% retracement area of approximately 0.069 BTC and boasts a market capitalization of $ 59 billion.
Ripple Among Top Gaining Markets
Ripple is currently the third largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $ 33.25 billion. In the last two weeks, XRP has made significant gains of over 80%, rallying from a low of $ 0.45 to test resistance at the approximately $ 0.90 area. As of this writing, the price of XRP is roughly $ 0.86.
When measuring against BTC, XRP has bounced by approximately 40% since it’s April low of approximately 0.00007 BTC. As of this writing, XRP is consolidating just below the 0.236% retracement area of 0.0001, when measuring from Ripple’s early 2018 record highs.
Top Ten Crypto Markets Produce Significant Gains
Coinmarketcap’s list of the top ten cryptocurrency markets by capitalization has remained fairly steady during April, with all leading altcoins markets posting substantial gains.
EOS and Litecoin have been vying for the position of the fifth largest crypto market, with EOS leading with a nearly $ 9 billion market capitalization as of this writing. EOS has gained almost 90% in just two weeks, quickly surging from below $ 6 to the current price levels of $ 11.15. When priced against BTC, EOS has gained over 45% in the last fortnight, with current prices at around 0.0012676 BTC, and is currently testing a key resistance area.
Litecoin is currently the sixth largest crypto market with a total capitalization roughly $ 8.4 billion. In the preceding fortnight, LTC has gained over 30%, bouncing from $ 115 to $ 150. Measuring against bitcoin, LTC has made modest gains of roughly 10% from it’s April low. As of this writing, the price of LTC is approximately 0.017 BTC. LTC is the least correlated of the major altcoin markets, having spent the majority of 2018 channeling within a 30% when paired against BTC.
Cardano, Stellar, and IOTA Double During April
The price of Cardano has nearly doubled during April, with the ADA markets rallying from a low of $ 0.145 two weeks ago to now be testing resistance at $ 0.285. ADA has gained roughly 47.5% over BTC in the last fortnight, bouncing from roughly 0.00002200 BTC to the current prices of 0.00003250 BTC. Cardano is currently the seventh largest crypto market, boasting a market capitalization of $ 7.4 billion.
Stellar has also nearly doubled during April, surging from a low of $ 0.19 to test current levels at $ 0.37. When paired against bitcoin, Stellar has gained roughly 46.25% in two weeks, bouncing from 0.00002900 BTC to 0.00004250 BTC. Stellar is the eighth largest crypto market with a capitalization of $ 6.91 billion. Stellar rallied as high as the 0.618% retracement when measuring against BTC, and is now consolidating at the 0.5% retracement area.
IOTA is currently the ninth largest crypto market with a capitalization of $ 5.25 billion. IOTA has doubled in two weeks, bouncing from $ 0.095 to the current levels price are of $ 1.89. IOTA has gained 49% over BTC in the last fortnight.
NEO has gained 60% in two weeks, bouncing from roughly $ 46 to $ 74. Against BTC, NEO has gained 25%, rallying from 0.000675 to 0.000847. NEO is the tenth largest crypto market with a capitalization of $ 4.8 billion.
Altcoins Are Back?
Although the cryptocurrency markets have produced impressive performance during April, whether or not the markets can sustain the bullish momentum in the medium term remains to be seen.
With so many altcoin markets breaking above descending triangles and rallying to test the 0.236% fibonacci retracement areas, many analysts are waiting for the markets to pull back and produce a higher low on larger time frame charts before proclaiming that the first altcoin season of 2018 is indeed kicking off.
Do you that the altcoin markets will continue to rally in the coming weeks, or are altcoins just experiencing a dead cat bounce? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.
Credits.Energy, the “crypto with a mobile mining app that supports green energy,” aims to virtually eliminate the cost of supporting renewable energy. We asked Credits.Energy COO, Jared Wells, to explain what the current barri-ers to entry are in the renewable energy market:
“Mainstream adoption of solar and wind power is all about efficiency. Obviously, if I put a solar panel on my house, I need batteries to harness that power overnight, charge controllers to manage wattage and voltage, and a way to integrate that energy into the power system. These same basic components are required whether you have 1 panel or 400 panels . . . 1 turbine or 50 turbines. . . . So while the overall cost per watt in the solar and wind power har-nessing platform decreases incrementally by increasing the number of generation components involved in the sys-tem, it is inversely more expensive per unit of electricity to implement the smaller scale systems that can be afford-ed by an individual homeowner. In addition to that, there are so many people who live in leased or rented housing and are unable to attach solar panels or wind generators to their residences or who maybe just can’t afford to have their own system.”
Credits.Energy intends to resolve this problem by allowing for simple purchasing and management of the CRED cryp-tocurrency token through their intuitive website and mobile applications. CRED provides a way for the average per-son to support renewable energy in fairly priced increments that change in value proportionally, whether you’ve purchased 100 or 1 million. Here’s how it works: participants can download the Android App, the iOS app (released 04/16/18) or visit the website to purchase CRED using PayPal, Bitcoin, or Ethereum. Funds raised through the sale of CRED are then used to invest in projects that harness the earth’s renewable energy sources such as solar farms, wind farms, and renewable agricultural projects. Proceeds from those projects are then used to purchase CRED from exchanges to be “burned,” which removes those tokens from circulation forever. This should cause the Total Market Value of CRED to disperse among an ever-decreasing token supply, thereby raising the value of all remaining tokens by the percentage of the value of those that were burned.
Mr. Wells explained it this way: “Many of the other projects currently being developed in the cryptocurrency ener-gy sector rely on users to create and manage the power creation, which their platform then tokenizes and markets. Similarly, the comparable micropayment token providers rely on mass adoption of their token to increase the sen-timental value of the tokens, a portion of which the companies then liquidate to pay for ongoing business expenses. Both of these approaches place the “burden” of value creation on the token users. This approach not only drains liquidity from the market, but provides little incentive for team members to continue backing a project after it stabi-lizes. The value of CRED, however, will be supported directly through the investment, establishment, operation, and research of solar and wind power generation and sustainable agricultural projects. Only 5% of our total token sup-ply will be retained for use to develop infrastructure, research and development, and operations costs. We feel that this is more than adequate, as our goal is to be paying all ongoing corporate expenses and performing quarterly coin burns within 4 months after our first solar farm is completed.”
We hear about research and development often in the cryptocurrency space but almost exclusively wherein it re-lates to blockchain technology. The Credits.Energy team is looking at it much differently, however. As one of their recent investors noted, “Technological improvements in the coal, oil, and gas industries can only serve to increase the amount of energy derived from a measured unit of that natural resource, yet only finite amounts of those re-sources are available on the planet. When using green energy on the other hand, technological advancements not only allow people to derive more energy from the same measurement of source products, but they also allow us to capture more of that source which, no matter how much we use, will be here long after our children’s children pass away.” They’ll be working with industry leaders like the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy La-boratories to employ the latest technologies in their perpetual upgrade program. This, partnered with the continual reinvestment and expansion policy they’ve adopted, dramatically increases their future growth possibilities, thus the strength of the token value.
Renewable energy is really just one facet of the Credits.Energy project though. The team believes that the peer-to-peer micro-payment capabilities of their web and app-based wallets will help the “unbanked” in less developed nations enter the newly-formed “even playing field” cryptocurrency has introduced to the financial world. By utiliz-ing the mobile miner, people will be able to mine CRED from their phone and exchange those tokens for other cryp-tocurrencies or fiat when needed. This ease of use, combined with the anonymity of the CryptoNight algorithm that keeps hackers from tracking your purchases and expenditures on the blockchain, gives users unprecedented value, control, and peace of mind. Credits.Energy has truly developed a way for people to support each other while pro-tecting our precious planet—and this individuality and forethought clearly stands out as a winner in a sea of other-wise lackluster offerings.
To get 100 free CRED, join our Telegram Airdrop that kicked off first thing Thursday morning. Proceed to https://t.me/cred_cx to join the airdrop.
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The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 3: Decentralization
Chapter 7, Part 2. Here, there is no State.
The core innovation of cryptocurrency is decentralization—the diffusion of functions or power across a broad network. The decentralization of crypto is what yanked financial control away from concentrated authorities, like central banks, and into the hands of individuals.
Yet some people argue that decentralization does not exist in crypto. The argument comes from a tension between the original vision of Bitcoin and the hundreds of cryptocurrencies, the hundreds of communities that have arisen. On one hand, currencies like Bitcoin have no coordinated authority, no central management, and there is no one point at which they can fail. On the other hand, many vehicles of crypto are businesses run by a small number of people in a specific location, which bow to government dictates. In short, the technology is decentralized but many expressions of it are not. Adding to the confusion: some of the most prominent actors are centralized exchanges, like Coinbase, that resemble nothing so much as regular financial institutions in their reporting requirements and other demands. They are the type of institution that crypto was designed to avoid.
Which is true of crypto?–is it decentralized, a new form of centralized fiat and banking, or a hybrid?
The answer is “yes.” Cryptocurrencies are dividing into two broad camps, which are politically antagonistic. Things are centralizing in the sense that “mom-and-pop” shops for crypto are less frquent; corporations and government involvement are more common. The dividing line between the two camps is whether the centralization is government-mandated or the free market variety. The first is coercive and the death of crypto as a freedom tool. The second is voluntary, and it is usually a matter of nothing but convenience or efficiency. Free market centralization may well be a poor choice—I suspect it is–but it is a choice. This distinction becomes increasingly important as governments attempt to impose their control on crypto and to paint the free market as an enemy of common decency and the average user.
Radical individualism and Civil Society.
Two concepts are often depicted as incompatible: rugged individualism, and civil society. The rugged individualist, it is said, is uncooperative, whereas society is nothing more than a swirl of cooperation. In reality, the two concepts require each other.
Individualism is the right of people to say “yes” or “no” to every peaceful decision over their own lives; it is self-determination. “Civil society” is a community of individuals who voluntarily associate with each other for the remarkable advantages that society offers. Civil society is the natural community that evolves when people meet to trade, consume, form personal relationships, and otherwise benefit from the presence of others. It is often contrasted with political structures that are imposed on civil society in the form of regulations and power hierarchies. In short, government. These structures strip away the voluntary aspect of civil society and impose the will of those in power on those who are not. They slowly remove the benefits of society from the individual.
The key to retaining those benefits is not merely voluntaryism but also decentralization. Decentralization occurs when power disperses from a central authority down to a more local level. The most local level possible to power is the individual, from whom all rights derive. Every human being, simply by being human, has proper jurisdiction over his or her own body. Every right that exists—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience—belong exclusively to individuals. It does not even make sense for a committee or an elected body to have freedom of religion. What would that mean? Would they hold a vote on whether God exists? Would a minority who voted “yes” need to become atheists after the committee adjourned?
The decentralization of power means that everyone decides such peaceful matters for themselves, according to their own conscience and their own perceived self-interest.
The brilliance of Satoshi Nakamoto was to reweave the fabric of financial freedom by offering a decentralized means by which individuals could control their own wealth, the product of their own labor. This means control of their own lives. They had the choice to submit to centralized banking or to avoid it.
Financial well-being is too quickly dismissed or disdained as people “wanting to make a buck” or putting money before morals. The opposite is true. Earned wealth is independence, self-respect, the ability to feed families, and the means by which people advance on merit. The free exchange of wealth, including trade and charity, holds civil society together. Bitcoin was not perfect, but it was an incredibly impressive and successful attempt to decentralize financial power down to the level of individuals.
Those in power are pushing for one thing: the coercive centralization of cryptocurrency—under their own fingers, of course. They want centralized exchanges, government-issued crypto, management by central banks, regulated procedures, tax laws, and the prosecution of rebels. Whether they succeed depends on how strong the spirit of individualism is within crypto; how strong is it within individual users?
A Nod to Henry David Thoreau
How does an individual deal with morally intrusive government? The solution is quite simple: throw government out of your life. That’s what Thoreau did.
Thoreau’s most famous political tract is Civil Disobedience. It was his response to a 1846 imprisonment for refusing to pay a tax that violated his conscience. Not that Thoreau was embittered by his brief imprisonment. Near the end of his life, he was asked, “Have you made your peace with God?” Thoreau replied, “I have never quarreled with him.” For him, that would have been the real cost of paying the objectionable tax; it would have meant quarreling with his own conscience, which was akin to quarreling with God.
Civil Disobedience ends on a happy note. After Thoreau’s release, the children of his hometown urged him to join a hunt for huckleberries. Huckleberrying was one of Thoreau’s valued pastimes, and his skill at locating fruit-laden bushes made him a favorite with children. He ended his chronicle of imprisonment with the words, “[I] joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour…was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.”
The State was nowhere to be seen. This is the legacy of Thoreau and Satoshi for those who wish to grasp it: the State is nowhere to be seen if you are willing to cast it off. Thoreau, in his joy of running with all the other children, knew that his imprisonment was not real. The huckleberry hunting was real. Indeed, he referred to the joy of everyday life as “the business of living.”
Cryptocurrency is profoundly anarchistic because it allows users not to see the State, if they so wish. Although the preceding may sound like an unacceptably radical statement, most people reading this article already have a deep commitment to anarchism.
The Anarchism of Everyday Life
An easy way to grasp how anarchism functions is to realize that it is the principle upon which most people conduct their daily lives. Without realizing it, they live without the state.
When a person wakes up in the morning, it is not the law that makes him feed his children rather than allowing them starve to death. No bureaucrat makes him kiss his wife rather than beat her to a bloody pulp. When he carpools with friends, it is not the presence of a policeman that restrains him from picking their pockets; the theft does not occur to him. As he moves through the day, no regulation is required for him to pay for the cup of coffee he orders. As he walks down the street, he doesn’t punch or rape random strangers. When he drives his car, it is not fear of the State that prevents him from veering onto the sidewalk to mow down children under his wheels.
Two things prevent him from doing so. First and foremost is personal responsiblity, the natural bonds of humanity, and a moral conscience. A strong second reason is the presence of civil society, which offers a daily incentive to act well. It is from civil society that men acquire habits that come from the rewards of cooperation. In short, most people already deal with each other as though they live under anarchy.
Cryptocurrency is not an ideal vehicle. It is an evolving tool and the very best currency available for freedom.
Whenever someone uses crypto in a private, decentralized manner, they are saying the same thing as Thoreau: here, there is no state. Here, there is only the personal.
[To be continued next week.]
Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters
Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.
The stock of cryptocurrency investment firm, Ether Capital, has commenced trading on Toronto-based NEO Exchange. The listing comes days after the company completed its previously announced “reverse takeover transaction” that saw the company rebrand from Ethereum Capital.
Ether Capital Shares Commence Trading on Canadian Stock Exchange
The company’s chief information officer, Ben Roberts, has told reports that the company raised $ 45 million CAD – falling 10 percent short of the company’s expectations. Ether Capital had originally sought to issue 20 million shares priced at $ 2.50 each, however, was only able to sell 18 million shares. The private offer was co-directed by CIBC Capital Markets and Canaccord Genuity Corp.
Stock Listing Comprises “Critical Step” for Ether Capital
Mr. Roberts indicated that Ether Capital plans to convert approximately 90 percent of the raised funds into ETH tokens. Mr. Roberts did not disclose how many tokens had already been purchased with the newly raised capital. According to a January press release, Ether Capital indicated that it also plans on using a portion of the funds to obtain “controlling stakes in Ethereum-based businesses.”
Som Seif, the executive chairman and co-chief investment officer of the company, has stated that “The completion of this transaction and commencement of public trading represents a critical step in Ether Capital’s mission.” Mr. Seif added that the company is “excited to provide investors with the opportunity to invest in the first publicly listed company focused solely on the Ethereum ecosystem and to help drive industry-shifting disruptive technologies.”
Ether Capital Not Obstructed by Regulatory Hurdles During Formation
In contrast with the challenges encountered by many firms seeking to operate in the cryptocurrency industry, Mr. Roberts describes the process involved in setting up Ether Capital as having been relatively simple, stating “the first step was talking to the Ontario Securities Commission and getting their blessing, then talking to banks and getting them comfortable and setting up a custody solution to house the asset safely.”
Mr. Roberts indicated his expectation that it will ”take the market some time to really understand the value proposition” of Ether Capital. “The utility of that is two-fold, yes it gives people exposure in the marketplace and more importantly creating that pool of assets gives us space in the community and the ethereum platform. As we kind of scale that out we can have an opportunity to become something like ConsenSys, which is a large organized stakeholder in ethereum which can then use its platform to create value,” Mr. Roberts stated.
Do you think that the shares of other cryptocurrency investment firms that focus on markets other than BTC will also be traded on mainstream stock exchanges? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Ether Capital
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The Korean Customs Service has added cryptocurrency mining hardware to its list of items required to meet safety requirements in order to be imported into the country. The announcement comes following a $ 1.2 million USD seizure of mining hardware in recent months, prompting concerns over the potential for poorly manufactured hardware to increase fire risks across the country.
South Korea Announces New Regulatory Apparatus Regarding Safety Requirements on Imported Goods
South Korea’s customs department has revised its customs clearance system, placing greater regulatory conditions on the importation of cryptocurrency mining hardware, in addition to other goods. Korea’s customs service recently announced the introduction a newly created 292 point clearance system for goods, resulting in the number of goods subjected to the clearance system to grow to 7,382.
Cryptocurrency mining hardware has been targeted under the new system, owing to a perception that poorly manufactured hardware may pose an increased risk of fire due to the large amounts of heat discharged during the mining process.
Korean authorities have pointed to 454 cryptocurrency mining rigs that were detected by the Korean Customs Service during late last year, which had an estimated value of 1.3 billion KRW (approximately $ 1.2 million USD) – describing as being illustrative of the scale of demand for mining hardware, in additional to the risk potential posed by mass distribution of unregulated machinery that emits significant heat.
Mining Mania Hits South Korea
South Korea was among the nations to be hardest hit by the frenzy surrounding virtual currencies in recent months. Desperate to cash in on the crypto boom by whatever means possible, some brazen miners have sought to access cheap electricity illegally to dig for crypto.
At the start of April, fourteen Koreans from thirteen different companies were caught illegally stealing using power from various industrial complexes in South Korea. Local reports have alleged that since May 2017, between 100 and 350 mining rigs have been operated at each of the accused companies for the purposes of cryptocurrency. By misrepresenting their mining activities as day-to-day business operations, the miners were able to access subsidized electricity at a 10% discounted price when compared to general use prices. The companies are expected to receive fines from Korean police.
Do you think that increased regulation in the cryptocurrency sphere is beneficial or detrimental to virtual currencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, customs.go.kr
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