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The Blind Trust Described in the Kleiman vs. Wright Lawsuit Is a Real Head-Scratcher

June 12, 2019 |

The Complexity Behind the Alleged Blind Trust Described in Kleiman v. Wright Lawsuit

There’s been a number of developments in the ongoing Kleiman vs. Wright lawsuit lately. After Craig Wright’s sworn deposition, the plaintiffs contend that Wright’s categorical refusal to answer questions about his bitcoin addresses and his marriage(s) needs to be reevaluated. Wright’s legal team say he’s done everything possible to comply with the court’s orders but the Kleimans believe the self-proclaimed Satoshi has been stonewalling for nine months.

Also Read: Satoshi’s Pre-Release Bitcoin Code Contains Fascinating Findings

The First 70 Blocks and the So-Called ‘Blind Trust’

The ongoing Kleiman vs. Wright lawsuit has started to heat up as the plaintiffs want more answers from Craig Wright, the man who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto. The Kleiman estate represents the now deceased David Kleiman, a security researcher that some believe may have been a member of a pseudonymous group operating under the Satoshi Nakamoto monicker. According to Ira Kleiman, his brother David’s inheritance was manipulated during a multi-year partnership with Australian native Craig Wright. More recently Wright was deposed and refused to answer questions about his current and former wife and certain questions in regard to his alleged bitcoin addresses. Wright did claim to own the addresses to the first 70 blocks mined on the Bitcoin blockchain and provided some information concerning an ostensible blind trust.

The Blind Trust Described in the Kleiman vs. Wright Lawsuit Is a Real Head-Scratcher

Not long after the once redacted list of bitcoin addresses was unsealed, bitcoin security specialists Wizsec researched the addresses and stated Wright’s claim of ownership was still meaningless. Moreover, one of the addresses allegedly used in the case (Wright claims the address is a forgery) was signed by the real owner on May 16, 2019. The legitimate owner of the address in question called Wright a liar and a fraud in the signed message. Wright’s legal team explained that he could provide the public addresses for the first 70 blocks, but also said: “he did not have public addresses for bitcoin that was mined after those blocks because that information is held in a blind trust.” A court filing from June 11 describes in great detail the reasons why Wright presumably cannot disclose certain information tied to the purported trust. Wright’s lawyers did emphasize to the court that “Dr. Wright is the best person to explain the complex manner by which bitcoin was mined and held in the trust.”

The Blind Trust Described in the Kleiman vs. Wright Lawsuit Is a Real Head-Scratcher

Describing the Blind Trust’s Complexity

According to the court document, after he mined the first 70 blocks of bitcoin, Wright allegedly designed a unique algorithm. This algorithm automated the key generation process so that after block 70 was mined, blocks that followed would be assigned to a different public address. This supposedly means the coins were mined directly into the blind trust after this scheme was implemented. The document also says that Wright disposed of all of his mining rigs used to process bitcoin blocks throughout 2009 and 2010. “[Wright] did not keep any list of the public addresses associated with the bitcoin he mined after block 70,” the document explains. “Dr. Wright ceased mining by the end of 2010 — At that time, the value of bitcoin fluctuated between $ 0.06 and $ 0.29.” The defense filing continued:

The private key needed to access the encrypted file with the data necessary to retrieve information about bitcoin Dr. Wright mined after block 70 has been split into multiple key shares (in lay terms, multiple parts) through a version of “Shamir’s Secret Sharing Algorithm”, an algorithm created by Adi Shamir to divide a secret, such as a private encryption key, into multiple parts.

The Blind Trust Described in the Kleiman vs. Wright Lawsuit Is a Real Head-Scratcher

After using Shamir’s Secret Sharing Algorithm, Wright insists that the key shares were then distributed to multiple individuals included in the blind trust. The system Wright and his partners imposed made it so no single participant could extract the information and Wright alone does not have the ability to access the encrypted file. “Dr. Wright does not know the public addresses of the bitcoin held by the trusts (i.e., the bitcoin mined by Dr. Wright in 2009 after block 70, through 2010).” Because of the blind trust complications, the document seems to suggest that Wright doesn’t have enough information to claim ownership (sign) because the keys were transferred into the blind trust with multiple owners.

The Blind Trust Described in the Kleiman vs. Wright Lawsuit Is a Real Head-Scratcher

Plaintiffs Don’t Buy Wright’s Argument and the Crypto Community Continues to Fact Check

However, the plaintiffs still want a comprehensive list of the public addresses of all the bitcoin Wright allegedly mined before December 2013. An order signed by the Judge shows that Wright must produce this list by June 17, 2019, and if he cannot comply the court may conduct a show cause evidentiary hearing. The defense believes that the Kleimans’ demand that “Dr. Wright authenticate every single document related to the trusts is facially overburdensome and unreasonable.”

“Dr. Wright has produced hundreds of documents related to the trusts including documents that he did not sign or prepare,” Wright’s litigation team noted on June 11.

The Blind Trust Described in the Kleiman vs. Wright Lawsuit Is a Real Head-Scratcher

The last few weeks of documents stemming from the Kleiman vs. Wright case has opened more doors within this seemingly never-ending rabbit hole. Wright’s recent motion, Document 187, for a protective order, was heavily redacted because he feared criminals would seek retribution against him and an unredacted footnote also showed the name, Paul Le Roux. This information opened up another rabbit hole where some people have suggested that Le Roux may have participated in designing the Bitcoin network. In addition to Le Roux being added to the story, many cryptocurrency fans watching the case from abroad have been questioning some of the statements made by Wright so far. For instance, Vin Armani from Cointext and Dustin Dreifuerst from the podcast Didyouknowcrypto.com (DYKC) asked how the coins from blocks 1-70 can be in a blind trust if he used the private key from block #1 to sign in front of Gavin Andresen.

“Craig signed a message that I chose (“Gavin’s favorite number is eleven. CSW” if I recall correctly) using the private key from block number 1,” Andresen told the public three years ago. “That signature was copied on to a clean USB stick I brought with me to London, and then validated on a brand-new laptop with a freshly downloaded copy of electrum.”

In addition to this showing, Bitcoin Foundation member Jon Matonis revealed in a blog post written on May 2, 2016, that he also witnessed the signing and verifying of messages using private keys from blocks 1 and 9. Crypto enthusiasts have further pointed out that the coins from blocks 1-70 have never moved and the blind trust story sounds extremely far-fetched. As the legal battle continues to unfold in Florida, many onlookers still think that more information will uncover some of the mysteries behind this case and whether certain particulars are true or fabricated.

What do you think about the latest details in regard to the ongoing Kleiman vs. Wright case? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Wiki, Twitter, Pixabay, Court Listener, and Pacer.


Do you need a reliable Bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy Bitcoin with a credit card.

The post The Blind Trust Described in the Kleiman vs. Wright Lawsuit Is a Real Head-Scratcher appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Initial Exchange Offerings Are Showing No Sign of Slowing Down

June 12, 2019 |

Initial Exchange Offerings Are Showing No Sign of Slowing Down

Six months in and initial exchange offerings (IEOs) are refusing to die. Following a year of ICO stagnation in 2018, it appeared that the crypto crowdfunding bubble had popped, sending tokenized projects back to the drawing board. Instead, the medium has been reborn under a different banner. In 2019, IEO token issuance is all the rage, but how long will the trend last?

Also read: Coinbase Launches Crypto Debit Card in 6 European Countries

Wirex Announces a Token Because 2019

Initial exchange offerings are commonly used to bootstrap new crypto businesses – not profitable companies that have already been around for years. Nevertheless, when Wirex shared details of its proposed initial exchange offering on June 10, there was a certain inevitability about it. Despite having survived since 2015 without a token, the crypto payment app will soon be complemented by a native WRX token. A private sale will be held to verified users of the Wirex app, followed by an IEO on Okex’s Jumpstart launchpad on June 26.

Initial Exchange Offerings Are Showing No Sign of Slowing Down

Like any serious crypto project, the WRX token comes with its own whitepaper, which details ambitious plans to roll out Wirex to users in India, Japan, and Africa in the coming year. Wirex is seeking to raise $ 8M from its private in-app sale and subsequent IEO, but has been at pains to stress that this is not a cash grab, stating: “This is not Wirex’s top priority, which is why we’re only putting 1% of the total token supply up for sale during the IEO. Ultimately, the long-term success of Wirex and the eventual adoption of a token economy are our primary concerns.”

Initial Exchange Offerings Are Showing No Sign of Slowing Down
IEOs, marked in green, have exploded this year as a percentage of crypto industry fundraising.

Initial Exchange Offerings Are Getting Meta

As the craze to tokenize everything by IEO intensifies, it has led to some curious collaborations between companies that might otherwise have been regarded as competitors. Bitfinex’s LEO token is now listed on Gate – whose Gatechain Token (GT) is in return tradable on Bitfinex. Six months ago, exchanges listing one another’s tokens would have seemed unthinkable, but as the market share of runaway leader Binance, aided by its native DEX, grows, exchanges are learning that the enemy of their enemy is their friend.

Initial Exchange Offerings Are Showing No Sign of Slowing Down
Bitfinex’s LEO token.

That several initial exchange offerings to date have been for exchanges issuing their own token seems recursive, but is indicative of an industry that is still struggling to find practical applications for tokens other than trading them for other tokens – speculation, in other words. Following its $ 1B private sale, the Bitfinex LEO token has been on the rise, having gained 50% in the last week, and is now worth double its initial $ 1 price. Elsewhere, Bitsdaq will begin trading of its BQQQ token, which was issued via IEO last week, later today. The new exchange, which will gain its liquidity from Bittrex, is predictably planning to serve as an IEO launchpad for Asian crypto projects.

Initial Exchange Offerings Are Showing No Sign of Slowing Down

Raj Kadam of crypto data site Blockmodo told news.Bitcoin.com: “We’re seeing a lot of FOMO with IEOs, as exchanges clamor over whose sale sells out fastest, and retail investors pile in, without even fully understanding the token they’re buying. That said, there are some clear benefits to this model over the ICO.”

He elaborated: “With previous investments, both in terms of venture capital funding and initial coin offerings, the public were left as bagholders at the point of exchange listing. IEOs have flipped that and now a lot of the price discovery is occurring on-exchange, when tokens are listed. This makes for a much more level playing field, and incentivizes a wider community of token holders.”

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coincodex and Inwara.


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 Initial Exchange Offerings Are Showing No Sign of Slowing Down appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Buy From Home Depot and Walmart With Bitcoin Cash Through Alagoria

June 12, 2019 |

Buy From Home Depot and Walmart With Bitcoin Cash Through Alagoria

Ordering from large retailers doesn’t necessarily have to involve fiat money, even when these merchants have yet to adopt crypto payments. A platform called Alagoria lets you buy items sold by Home Depot and Walmart and you can pay with decentralized currencies such as bitcoin cash.

Also read: Bitcoin People Directory Lists Crypto-Friendly Merchants

Alagoria Gives BCH Holders Access to Major Retailers

Alagoria.com is a website that allows you to purchase products offered on Homedepot.com and Walmart.com. To do so, find an item you want to buy and then copy and paste the URL into Alagoria’s search bar. The platform will check its latest price and availability as well as the sales tax and shipping cost, before it lets you add it to the shopping cart.

At checkout you’ll be able to pay with your favorite cryptocurrency. Alagoria supports four major coins – bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and zcash (ZEC). Despite the irreversibility of crypto transactions, the company covers damages and costs resulting from purchases made with it for up to $ 10,000.

Buy From Home Depot and Walmart With Bitcoin Cash Through Alagoria

To shop via Alagoria you need to create an account. The website respects your privacy and requires only a valid email address and a password. Its team promises to place the order on the retailer’s website within five minutes of submission to ensure fast delivery. They will notify you as soon as the item is shipped and provide you with a tracking number. Most items are typically delivered within three to four business days. Alagoria currently ships only in the U.S.

The crypto-friendly intermediary claims you’ll be able to save around 10% by paying for your order with cryptocurrency. The platform buys discounted Home Depot and Walmart gift cards from people who don’t want or need them and uses these cards to fulfill orders placed by other customers. It pays for the gift cards in crypto.

If you need an alternative way to buy items with bitcoin cash, check out the Spend Bitcoin Cash page developed by Bitcoin.com. Use it to shop online for a variety of products or to order gift cards for major retailers including The Home Depot.

Have you used platforms like Alagoria? What other websites providing similar services do you know? Tell us in the comments section below.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable Bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy Bitcoin with a credit card.

The post Buy From Home Depot and Walmart With Bitcoin Cash Through Alagoria appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Coinbase Launches Crypto Debit Card in 6 European Countries

June 12, 2019 |

Coinbase Launches Its Crypto Debit Card in Six European Countries

Coinbase Card is being made available in six new countries across Europe. The service enables users to spend their digital funds in-store and online, supporting all crypto assets available to trade on the Coinbase platform such as bitcoin cash.

Also Read: How to Buy a Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet With Bitcoin Cash

Coinbase Card Expands Across Europe

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced that it is expanding its Visa debit card service in six new European countries. Coinbase Card, which was launched in the U.K. in April, will now be made available to customers in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The service enables account holders from the supported countries to spend their crypto balances in a familiar way to anyone with a debit or credit card.

Coinbase Launches Crypto Debit Card in 6 European Countries

The Coinbase-powered cards are issued by Paysafe Financial Services, part of the same multinational online payments group which operates Neteller and Skrill, and is regulated by the U.K’s Financial Conduct Authority. Customers of the exchange who wish to order the card need to sign up for a waitlist using the associated mobile app. Once the list is closed their balances will be spendable via an in-app virtual card while a physical card will be sent in the mail.

Crypto Cards Bring New Options for Spending BCH

The card supports all digital assets available on the Coinbase platform such as bitcoin cash (BCH) and customers can use it to pay in millions of locations where Visa is accepted, as well as to make fiat cash withdrawals from ATMs. The company has explained that when customers use their cards it instantly converts the selected crypto assets into fiat which is received by the merchant.

Coinbase Launches Crypto Debit Card in 6 European Countries

If you are not a Coinbase account holder or reside in an unsupported country, there are a host of other options available for using your BCH with a debit card. Hong Kong headquartered platform Crypto.com recently added support for BCH, Spain-based Bitnovo’s Bitsa card is another option and you can find additional BCH supporting cards here.

What do you think about the crypto card from Coinbase expanding across Europe? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post Coinbase Launches Crypto Debit Card in 6 European Countries appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Bitsa is a Crypto Card Europeans Can Top Up With BCH

June 12, 2019 |

Bitsa is a Crypto Card Europeans Can Top Up With BCH

The release of a new crypto debit card is an event that deserves attention. On one hand, the launch shows there is a growing demand from cryptocurrency users. On the other, it means businesses see an opportunity to profit from providing this type of product. Bitnovo, a Spain-based fintech company, now offers a Visa prepaid card which can be loaded with bitcoin cash.

Also read: Crypto Debit Cards You Can Use Now Plus a Few to Expect Soon

Bitnovo Introduces Bitsa to Several Markets in Europe

One of the latest offerings in this niche entered the market quite recently. Bitnovo’s prepaid Visa card called Bitsa was launched a couple of months ago in addition to the platform’s Bitcards. It can be topped up with bitcoin cash (BCH), among a total of seven cryptocurrencies, and a number of other payment methods.

Since April, some European users of Bitnovo, which is a platform that trades over 20 digital currencies, can order their new Bitsa card, which can be used to pay anywhere Visa is accepted and withdraw cash from ATMs around the world. It allows holders to make online purchases, pay in brick and mortar stores and online merchants.

Bitsa is a Crypto Card Europeans Can Top Up With BCH

With Bitsa you can not only transfer money between different cards but also make payments to any financial institution within SEPA, the single euro payments area. The card employs the Verified by Visa system, so payment security shouldn’t be a problem.

To order a Bitsa card, you don’t even need to have a bank account, although you’ll be able to transfer funds to other cards and accounts. This way Bitsa provides you with easy access to financial services and that’s something the unbanked in Europe should appreciate and take advantage of.

Load Your Card With Cryptocurrencies and Vouchers

The new card offered by Bitnovo can be loaded with bank transfers, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash, vouchers as well as gift cards that are sold online. You’ll be able to request a virtual or a physical contactless Bitsa from your account. To create one, you need to provide your email address, phone number, and choose a password.

The Bitsa account and the virtual card are free, while the plastic will cost you €19.95. There is no maintenance fee and the crypto top-up with cryptocurrencies is free of charge. Purchases outside the Eurozone are charged with a 1.5% fee. The maximum amount that can be withdrawn at ATMs is 1,500 euros daily. Purchases are only limited to the balance on the card.

The Bitsa card is also currently available on Sixthcontinent.com, an Italian profit sharing platform specialized in selling gift cards in various European markets. The prepaid card can be loaded with vouchers bought from the website.

Through Sixthcontinent, the crypto card is now offered in Italy, Spain and Portugal, and it will be released in France and Germany in the near future. Commenting on the launch of the prepaid Bitsa card, Bitnovo’s Chief Marketing Officer Roberta Quintiliano told news.Bitcoin.com:

Given the outcome we are having in Italy and other European countries, and since it is a card that allows free and easy access to financial services for the unbanked, this could be a very exciting news for the crypto community.

How to Top Up Your Bitsa Card With Bitcoin Cash

Loading the Bitsa card with cryptocurrencies – BCH, BTC, LTC, DASH, XLM, XRP, and ZEC – is fast and easy. To top up your card with bitcoin cash (BCH), for example, you need to first download and install the free Bitsa app, which is available in both Google Play and the App Store.

Once you link your virtual or plastic Bitsa is with the application, or associate with your online account, you have to go to the app’s Top Up menu, choose the Cryptocurrency option and select Bitcoin Cash. You can set the amount in either BCH or EUR equivalent and then hit Continue.

Bitsa is a Crypto Card Europeans Can Top Up With BCH

The next screen will show you a summary of the transaction and a couple of payment options. You can either pay with the wallet installed on your smartphone or choose to load the card with a wallet on a different device using the generated QR code. Once the BCH amount has been sent, your electronic cash will be converted to euros.

With cryptocurrencies it will be possible to instantly top up the Bitsa prepaid card, “thus guaranteeing quick and easy access to financial services, also to the unbanked public in Italy, Spain and Portugal,” Bitnovo noted in a press release. “We are very pleased with this achievement and we are sure that it is only the first of the many steps we will take to continue to provide everyone with free access to financial services, so they will no longer be an exclusive prerogative of banks,” the Spanish company stated.

Which crypto debit cards have you used? Do you have a favorite? Tell us in the comments section below.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitnovo.


You can now purchase Bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BCH and BTC directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a Bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.

The post Bitsa is a Crypto Card Europeans Can Top Up With BCH appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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After Fleeing From the US Government John McAfee Warns His Enemies

June 12, 2019 |

After Fleeing From the US Government John McAfee Warns His Enemies

For a few weeks now, the former antivirus software tycoon John McAfee has said he is fleeing from the U.S. government for not paying his taxes. More recently McAfee’s been on a tweet tirade, speaking directly to his “pursuers” and telling them to leave him alone.

Also Read: CME’s Bitcoin Futures Hit New Records

McAfee: ‘All I Wanted Was to Be Left Alone’

John McAfee is well known for starting a multi-billion dollar antivirus software corporation but he’s also known for his flamboyant personality over the years. McAfee’s recent troubles started during the beginning of the year when he tweeted to his 960,000 followers that he was now “living in exile.” He explained at the time that he was charged with felonies handed down by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). McAfee stated on his boat that he and his wife Janice received notice from a grand jury for “various tax fraud issues.” “I have not paid taxes for eight years and I have made no secret of it,” McAfee told his fans. For a while, McAfee didn’t seem to have any issues traveling around the Caribbean islands with his crew and shared pictures and videos of himself living at sea.

After Fleeing From the US Government John McAfee Warns His Enemies

Then, during the second week of May, one of McAfee’s campaign staff explained that John was going offline in fear for his life and freedom. “Developing events have made it necessary for John McAfee to go dark — Please be advised that this account will be operated by staff until further notice,” the staff member announced. “More details will be released in time.” When McAfee returned online, he told his Twitter followers that he and his wife Janice were “safe and sound in their new backyard as defiant, joyful and free as ever.” Many people suspect that McAfee has been meandering around the Bahamas from various posts on social media. However, McAfee’s geo coordinates, at least according to Twitter, shows he and his crew have been traveling the Atlantic, stopping off in places like Cuba, Bermuda, and Venezuela. On June 9, a specific Twitter post from Cuba addressed to McAfee’s followers explained that his recent tweets are really for his pursuers.

“My recent tweets are less for you than they are for my pursuers. They are shots across the bow — Leave me the fuck alone, or go down with the corruption you have embraced, because I will fucking bury you if you continue,” McAfee boasted. “Doubt me at your own fucking risk.” The very next day McAfee stated:

All I wanted was to be left alone. I paid tens of millions of dollars in taxes and received only the condescension of Federal employees, when I needed services, in return. I chose to pay no more. This is my crime. You should have left me alone.

The Backup Plan: 31+ Terabytes of Incriminating Data

McAfee now claims that the Department of Justice is in the midst of compiling a claim against him for money-laundering, racketeering, and even murder. According to McAfee, the Bahamas Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Rolle is now after him as well. The cryptocurrency advocate emphasized on June 11 that Rolle is cooperating with a rogue CIA agent in order to “collect” him. However, McAfee has a backup plan in place and insisted that he has collected files on corruption in governments and for the first time plans on naming names and specifics.

“I’ll begin with a corrupt CIA agent and two Bahamian officials — If I’m arrested or disappear, 31+ terabytes of incriminating data will be released to the press,” McAfee informed his enemies.

McAfee’s story and recent tweet tirade can be dizzying, but he’s managed to bring to the table the discussion of why he and many others believe taxation is theft and can only be done with the use of force and coercion. All John McAfee wants is to keep his hard earned money. “My entire life has been fighting, and running from corruption,” McAfee said on Tuesday. “We are in a sunny tropical country, surrounded by ocean, singing, dancing and drinking Mojitos — Please do not extricate me from this.” Moreover, after having to “mud wrestle the Bahamian Police Commissioner along with dodging assassins,” McAfee launched a cryptocurrency trading platform called McAfee Magic.

What do you think about the cryptocurrency advocate John McAfee on the run from government agents? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments section below.


Image credits: Pixabay, Twitter, and Youtube.


Enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely.

The post After Fleeing From the US Government John McAfee Warns His Enemies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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CME’s Bitcoin Futures Hit New Records

June 11, 2019 |

CME's Bitcoin Futures Open Interest and Daily Volumes See Significant Growth

Ever since the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) announced it was ending its bitcoin futures products back in March, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) has seen a huge influx of bitcoin derivatives volumes. During the second week of May, CME’s bitcoin futures touched a milestone when it surpassed 33,000 contracts ($ 1.3 billion notional value) in one day. In another instance, CME’s open interest for its bitcoin derivatives positions smashed an all-time record high of 5,190 contracts on May 28.

Also Read: Our Value of Money Is Subjective But That Doesn’t Make It Meaningless

CME Group’s Bitcoin Futures Markets Break Records Throughout April and May

There’s been a lot of action happening with bitcoin futures products specifically stemming from CME Group. Last March, Cboe decided to announce the end of its bitcoin futures markets, stating that the product saw low trade volumes. Although Cboe said at the time that it would ponder offering cryptocurrency derivatives products in the future. The last contract for bitcoin futures on the CBOE exchange will be settled on June 19th and according to an email response from Cboe’s Suzanne Cosgrove, the exchange is still assessing the situation. “Cboe is assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading,” Cosgrove remarked on June 11. Cboe’s decision to end its bitcoin futures seems to have caused far more demand for CME Group’s crypto derivatives offering.

CME's Bitcoin Futures Hit New Records

Last May turned out to be a record month for CME Group’s bitcoin futures with close to 300,000 contracts settled. Moreover, June volumes are currently starting to pick up and so are contracts in July. News.Bitcoin.com reported on how CME Group’s bitcoin derivatives saw $ 1.3 billion notional value (168K BTC) when 33,677 contracts were swapped on May 13. The record day was up nearly 50% from the last achievement of 22.5K contracts settled on April 4. When it comes to open interest month to month, the average daily open interest by month increased 755%. Moreover, on May 28, CME data shows that open interest jumped to 5,190 contracts. Throughout the months of April and May, bitcoin notional trading volume at CME Group surpassed the previous six months’ volume combined.

CME's Bitcoin Futures Hit New Records
Average Daily Volume (ADV) by month shows 1,188% growth since December 2017.

In addition to the record numbers, CME Group published a new report on June 5 analyzing of the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR). The report explains how the BRR system works and how the bitcoin-based index avoids manipulative practices and gives an accurate representation of price. The paper addresses several points in order to establish how BRR is a “reliable credible source for the price of bitcoin and intended to facilitate the creation of financial products based on bitcoin.” This includes eight distinct tests of: Relevance, Manipulation resistance, Verifiability, Replicability, Timeliness, Stability, and Parsimony. “It is possible to conclude that the BRR is representative of the underlying bitcoin spot market that it tracks, as by definition it represents the actual trades that have occurred within that market — By capturing the notional value of transactions, the BRR provides an accurate reference to the average spot price over the period,” CME Group’s latest bitcoin futures report notes. CME’s in-depth analysis of BRR continues:

There is liquidity in the BRR, in the 1 year to March 2019, over USD 3 billion worth of bitcoin trades were executed, over 1.8 million trades were included in the BRR based on a total of 607,000 bitcoins traded, this shows credibility in the computation of the BRR.

CME's Bitcoin Futures Hit New Records
Open interest sees 755% growth since December 2017.

Furthermore, the data aggregation web portal Tradeblock published a report on June 7 describing how bitcoin futures markets are gathering steam next to the already established spot market environment. “CME’s [bitcoin futures] product has even begun to close in on trading volumes at US accessible spot exchanges — For the month of April, bitcoin futures notional trading volume surpassed the combined volume from the six largest US accessible spot exchanges,” Tradeblock’s recently published study explains.

The Possibility of Institutional Players Hedging Their Bets

There’s also been a few noticeable gaps throughout May and the first week of June that give some speculators the impression that institutional traders are in the game. Traditionally gaps are filled when markets close at the end of the week and pick back up again on Monday, but there have been four gaps so far in the last few weeks.

CME's Bitcoin Futures Hit New Records
The very noticeable gaps on the Bitcoin CME Futures chart. Usually, when there’s a lot of interest in certain futures markets gaps can widen significantly. This can give traders the ability to profit between the market’s closing prices and opening prices the following week, but it can be risky and takes a lot of strategies.

Up until now, there haven’t been any unfilled gaps since CME Group launched its bitcoin derivatives product in December 2017. This has led people to believe big players might be hedging their bets with BTC spot market positions and profiting during a new open for the following week. This, in turn, could cause volatility with spot market prices and there’s been a lot of tumultuous action with BTC markets of late, coincidentally in parallel with growing open interest and volumes taking place on the CME exchange.

Cryptocurrency markets, in general, have seen significant gains this year as 2019 has erased some of the bear market blues from the year prior. Bitcoin-based futures trading wasn’t very active in 2018, but lately interest in bitcoin derivatives products has grown immensely, especially after Cboe announced it was leaving. However, no one knows how this action will affect BTC prices in the long run with interest in futures products picking up significantly and the possibility of big players jumping between both spot and derivatives markets in order to profit.

What do you think about all the bitcoin futures action happening on the CME exchange lately after Cboe called it quits? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, CME Group, Trading View, Twitter, and Pixabay.


Enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely.

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Bitcoin People Directory Lists Crypto-Friendly Merchants

June 11, 2019 |

Bitcoin People Is a Directory That Lists Merchants Accepting Cryptocurrencies

The number of businesses accepting cryptocurrencies for goods and services has been growing, particularly for P2P coins such as bitcoin cash. Finding places where you can spend your digital cash is easy thanks to platforms such as Bitcoin People.

Also read: How to Buy a Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet With Bitcoin Cash

Find Products and Services You Can Buy With BCH

Bitcoinpeople.online is a merchant directory listing companies that support payments in bitcoin cash (BCH) and several other major coins and tokens. It’s useful for both potential customers who want to find places to spend their digital currencies and for businesses that are willing to accept digital assets for their products.

If you are a crypto entrepreneur, you can sign up and list your businesses for free. To do so, you need to register with the platform. Creating an account requires you to choose a username and password and provide a valid email address. You can also promote your brand as a featured business on the Bitcoin People homepage and on other relevant pages for about $ 1 per month.

Bitcoin People Directory Lists Crypto-Friendly Merchants

If you need to find merchants accepting cryptocurrencies, you can use the website’s search feature or browse the listings by multiple categories. Those containing the most ads right now are Clothing, Food & Drink, Holidays & Travel, Home & Garden, Art & Crafts, Web Services, and Electronics. But there are also listings in categories such as Aircraft, Jewelry, Video Production, and Pet Food.

You can also filter the listed businesses by country and view them on a map. Each is linked to its dedicated page where you can find details about available products and services, accepted cryptocurrencies, acquire contact information, and even get directions from Google Maps. Bitcoinpeople.online has a section where you can find discounts as well.

For more ideas about items that can be purchased with BCH, check out Bitcoin.com’s Spend Bitcoin Cash page. You can use it to shop online for a variety of products or to order gift cards for major retailers such as Macy’s and The Home Depot.

Would you recommend any other platforms like Bitcoin People that offer ideas about where to spend your cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoin People.


Do you need a reliable Bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy BCH and BTC with a credit card.

The post Bitcoin People Directory Lists Crypto-Friendly Merchants appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

June 11, 2019 |

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

Excerpts from what could be India’s new cryptocurrency bill have been leaked. While local media have made outrageous claims about the details of the bill, industry experts have pointed out numerous flaws and inaccuracies. Meanwhile, the country’s finance secretary has confirmed that the crypto regulation is ready to be submitted to the finance minister for approval.

Also read: Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms

Indian Cryptocurrency Bill

The Indian government has been working on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency for over a year. Last week, Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg revealed that the report containing the recommended crypto regulation is ready to be submitted to the finance minister. He heads an interministerial panel tasked with drafting the regulation. The government has not made the details of the report or any draft bill public.

Some Indian news outlets, however, claim to have some knowledge of this cryptocurrency bill. While it is unconfirmed whether the bill they cited is the same one the Garg panel will submit to the finance minister, industry experts have analyzed the excerpts and details of the bill and have shared their analyses.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed
Subhash Chandra Garg

Unconfirmed Reports

Two major Indian news outlets have reported that the bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” is the one the Garg panel has proposed. The Economic Times wrote about it on April 26 and Bloombergquint on June 6. However, both publications have been vague about their sources, providing no evidence of the bill’s legitimacy.

The former wrote, “The government has kicked off interministerial consultations on a draft bill to ban cryptocurrencies and regulate official digital currencies.” It cited only “a government official who did not wish to be named” and certain minutes of the interministerial meeting it had reviewed.

The latter publication claims to have accessed the bill and boldly wrote, “India Proposes 10-Year Jail For Cryptocurrency Use…” However, an excerpt of the bill shared by the author of the article suggests that only certain activities are penalized and there is no blanket ban on general cryptocurrency use.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

Prohibited Activities

Following his article on Bloombergquint, journalist Nikunj Ohri tweeted excerpts of the bill he claims to be the one proposed by the Garg panel.

One excerpt reads: “Whoever directly or indirectly mines, generates, holds, sells, deals in, transfers, disposes of or issues cryptocurrency or any combination thereof with an intent to use it for any of the purposes mentioned in, or directly or indirectly uses cryptocurrency for any of the activities mentioned in clauses (e), (g) and/or (h) of sub-section (1) of Section 8 shall be punishable with fine as may be prescribed by the central government in the first schedule or with imprisonment which shall not be less than one year but which may extend up to ten years, or both…”

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed
An excerpt of the bill posted by Nikunj Ohri on Twitter.

Ohri did not share the most crucial part of the bill which details the outlawed activities despite attempts by many people asking for him to do so. “Why not post the entire document when you have it instead of snippets? For all we know, the ‘activities’ mentioned here could be money laundering, etc., which are prohibited when done with INR too,” a Twitter user replied to Ohri’s post.

Tanvi Ratna, a policy analyst and Blockchain Lead at EY who has worked with the Indian government on several projects, also offered her analysis of this bill.

“From this excerpt, you see clearly that it says that, for activities which are listed out in certain clauses of Section 8, there is a proposed punishment of a fine or imprisonment ranging from one year to up to 10 years,” she began. “So clearly, this is a proposed punishment for some specific kind of activity or intent, that is, for example money laundering. Those punishments are typically harsh … so saying that you get imprisoned for up to 10 years for something like money laundering would not actually be very abnormal.” Ratna reiterated:

The first thing to note is that there isn’t really a blanket ban and imprisonment for 10 years that people are making this out to be.

Crypto Assets Undefined

Ratna further pointed out that “the most important section of any kind for blockchain regulation or policy” is missing in the leaked draft bill shared by the Bloombergquint journalist. “The definition of what constitutes the virtual assets,” such as what is getting classified as a security token or a utility token or which aspect this legislation applies, is the bulk of where the issues lie for crypto regulations globally, she opined. Since “the definition section is empty,” she concluded that this particular draft bill is not ready.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

90 Days to Dispose of Crypto Assets

According to Bloombergquint, the bill also requires a person holding cryptocurrency to “declare and dispose it within 90 days from the date of commencement of the act.”

Kashif Raza, co-founder of Indian platform for blockchain and crypto regulatory news and analysis Crypto Kanoon, raised many questions regarding this requirement which the government needs to clarify before the bill can progress. Since the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has banned banks from providing services to crypto exchanges, he questioned how the government expects the people to exchange their cryptocurrencies for rupees.

With the banking restriction, he asked if the government would be encouraging people to conduct in-person cash transactions and how anyone would be motivated to buy crypto assets knowing that they will be made illegal after 90 days. Alternatively, he questioned if there will be government agencies appointed to buy people’s cryptocurrencies at market prices. These are some unanswered questions the government will need to clarify if this requirement were to be enforced.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

Raza also questioned how this law can be successfully implemented and how the government plans to enforce it and ensure compliance of 5 million registered crypto users in India after 90 days. He continued to question how practical it would be to put young people who embrace new innovations behind bars and what the government plans to do with Dapps startups since many projects have already gotten funds from banks and investors, elaborating:

If they don’t declare, would the government impound electronic devices of more than 5 million investors? … If they declare, would the government offer to redeem their funds as per market price?

Amending the Money Laundering Act

The Bloombergquint article also notes that “The draft bill proposes to amend the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 [PMLA] to include under its purview transactions like mining, holding, generating, selling, transfer and disposal of cryptocurrency.”

This route of regulating cryptocurrency is not a surprising one. Hatim Husain, co-author of the Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance report entitled “Global Cryptoasset Regulatory Landscape Study,” previously explained to news.Bitcoin.com how this law could apply to cryptocurrencies.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

The use of cryptocurrencies may fall under the PMLA, which carries statutory penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment. “It is possible to regulate transactions in cryptocurrencies, if they constitute money laundering, under PMLA Act,” he remarked. “Nevertheless, the effective application of PMLA to illegal transactions in cryptocurrencies is a grey area since it is unclear whether the reporting obligations prescribed under Chapter IV (Obligations of Banking Companies, Financial Institutions and Intermediaries) of PMLA Act would extend to wallet operators or bitcoin exchanges or any third party bitcoin services.”

He believes that an “Amendment to PMLA is certainly a faster process than introducing a new legislation, but has to meet the rigours of parliamentary approvals in any case,” emphasizing:

Further clarity (by way of amendment or otherwise) is indeed required before the government can effectively regulate illegal cryptocurrency transactions under PMLA.

More Reasons Not to Panic

The Indian crypto community has urged the public not to panic and read media reports with a grain of salt. Raza has shared a number of reasons why the public should stay calm. Firstly, he said that there is very little information about the bill and one cannot understand the bill on the basis of just a few lines posted on Twitter.

Secondly, he explained that there are two kinds of draft bills, private and public, and it is not clear which type of bill this is. Private bills can be prepared and introduced by any member of parliament, whereas public bills have to be introduced by a minister such as the finance minister. He further noted that the latter has a higher chance of getting approved in Lok Sabha, adding:

[The] bill is just a recommendation which may be rejected by the government.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

Raza reiterated that this is just a legislative proposal which has yet to be approved, presented and converted into an act. If a bill is passed in Lok Sabha, it will need to be approved in Rajya Sabha and then by the president. Even if the bill is approved by all, he said that its constitutional validity can still be challenged by anyone.

EY’s Ratna clarified that the Garg committee is authorized to prepare a report, provide a set of recommendations regarding India’s crypto regulation, and even draft a bill which ministries are allowed to do. However, the bill will not automatically become law as it needs to go to the finance minister and to parliament to be voted on. Emphasizing that “there is no guarantee that this is the final draft,” the Blockchain Lead revealed that there was a bill “made by a bunch of research assistants who were working with the Minister of Finance and that’s been floating around for a while between departments and there’s not been any action on it.”

Raza similarly suggested that this bill could be an old draft bill that had already been rejected by the government and replaced by a different bill. The media may have gotten a hold of this rejected bill and reported it as the current bill.

RBI Knows Nothing of This Bill

There are discrepancies in the claims made by the authors of both articles. One major such discrepancy concerns the involvement of India’s central bank in drafting this bill.

The Indian government has previously confirmed that the RBI is part of the Garg panel. However, in its reply to a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by Blockchain Lawyer founder Varun Sethi, the RBI denied having knowledge of this bill. Sethi filed the RTI on May 7 and received a reply on June 4. He commented, “RBI has actually stated that they have not received any communication from any department and they have also not given any communication to any government department pertaining to [the] drafting of this bill and this is very surprising,” elaborating:

RBI did not actually propose any ban on crypto assets … [We also asked] did anyone else also propose these things to RBI … RBI said no.

In addition, the Bloombergquint article claims that the bill proposes creating a digital rupee to be legal tender and “would be governed by regulations that will be notified by the central bank under relevant provisions of RBI Act, 1934.” It further states that “The draft bill also grants power to the RBI to notify any official foreign digital currency to be recognised as a foreign currency in India.” If the bill is legitimate, then all these proposals were made without involving the central bank.

India Participates in G20 Crypto Discussions

As speculation grows over what the bill entails, India’s new finance minister, who will soon receive the real crypto bill from the Garg panel, was busy discussing various issues with her counterparts from other G20 countries. Nirmala Sitharaman, formerly the country’s defense minister, succeeded Arun Jaitley on May 31.

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting was held on June 8-9 in the Japanese city of Fukuoka, ahead of the G20 summit which will take place on June 28 and 29. After several discussions regarding crypto assets, the G20, including India, issued a joint statement confirming that it will follow the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force whose new guidance on crypto assets is expected later this month. The G20 also welcomed work done by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions on crypto trading platforms.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, including Nirmala Sitharaman, at their meeting in Japan on June 8-9.

The Indian government has cited the opinion of the FSB several times such as in the central bank’s “Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2017-18” published in December last year. A recent FSB report submitted to the G20 meeting over the weekend reaffirms: “To date, the FSB continues to assess that crypto-assets do not pose material risks to global financial stability at present, but that they do raise a number of further policy issues beyond financial stability.”

In addition, the supreme court is expected to hear the crypto case on July 23. Until then, the Indian crypto community has urged everyone to wait for the official announcement by the government without jumping to conclusions.

Do you think this bill is legitimate? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bloombergquint, Nikunj Ohri, and the Japanese government.


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Local.Bitcoin.com Shows Lots of Active BCH Listings From Traders Worldwide

June 11, 2019 |

Local.Bitcoin.com Shows Lots of Active BCH Listings From Traders Worldwide

Six days ago news.Bitcoin.com announced the launch of Local.Bitcoin.com, a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows people to trade bitcoin cash (BCH) in a private manner. Since then there have been roughly 14,000 accounts created so far, and many people are actively trading throughout various countries worldwide.

Also read: G20 Starts Crypto Discussions – A Look at Global Standards

Local.Bitcoin.com Spreading Free Trade Everywhere

On June 4, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, Bitcoin.com launched our peer-to-peer BCH marketplace. Since then many individuals have executed trades on our new platform and so far the platform has gathered close to 14,000 account signups. Preliminary statistics show traders are from all around the world and you can find someone selling bitcoin cash throughout many countries and cities.

Local.Bitcoin.com Shows Lots of Active BCH Listings From Traders Worldwide
Local.Bitcoin.com traders from Venezuela.

For instance, bitcoin cash fans are excited to observe multiple traders offering to buy and sell BCH in Venezuela. Venezuelan citizens have been battling a rough economy and hyperinflation for a very long time and the sovereign bolivar is practically worthless. BCH supporters discussed the subject after seeing that Venezuelan traders are starting to post buy and sell orders, while some have already executed a few trades. On Reddit forum r/btc, one person remarked:

Trading in Venezuela is great to see and it is the place in the world that needs the most economical sovereignty/freedom to escape hyperinflation — That can literally save lives.

Local.Bitcoin.com Shows Lots of Active BCH Listings From Traders Worldwide
Local.Bitcoin.com traders from India.

A decent portion of traders are from within the U.S. and browsing various listings posted from multiple cities shows a number of American traders have fulfilled a number of BCH swaps. Trades have been carried out using gift cards and cash, and one trader has figured out how to swap crypto for crypto on Local.Bitcoin.com’s platform. The user dubbed “Shapeshift” has executed some trades by allowing people to swap crypto assets privately for bitcoin cash. With all the discussion taking place in regard to India’s crypto regulation lately, there’s a decent number of Local.Bitcoin.com traders from India. They have already carried out successful trades and people are offering trades with IMPS, Paytm, as well as cash. Browsing Local.Bitcoin.com’s listings shows there are quite a bit of offers available in Nigeria with all types of payment choices. Gift cards, cash deposit, bank transfers, and Western Union exchanges are popular among Nigerians.

Local.Bitcoin.com Shows Lots of Active BCH Listings From Traders Worldwide
Local.Bitcoin.com traders from Russia.

Local.Bitcoin.com visitors can find a slew of traders in Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada, Uganda, and Russia. For “in person” cash trades, there’s a wide variety of buyers and sellers utilizing this option on the BCH marketplace. Browsing the “any payment method” option opens up a greater variety of offers that can be used to trade without having to meet someone. Over the last six days, it’s been amazing for our team to watch the BCH marketplace grow organically.

Local.Bitcoin.com Shows Lots of Active BCH Listings From Traders Worldwide

Moreover, if you’ve just signed up for Local.Bitcoin.com or plan to register soon, existing account users can generate a referral code. Essentially this means you can earn income by recommending your friends and family members. For example, every time you refer someone to Local.Bitcoin.com and they sign up with your unique code, you will earn 20% of their fees for the lifetime of their account. You can even support Eatbch charity by signing up using the organization’s Local.Bitcoin.com referral link and 20% of all your fees will be sent to Eatbch every month.

Planting the Seeds of Economic Prosperity

Many BCH supporters also discussed the marketplace launch on Twitter and talked about how a few traders executed some trades on the first day. The anti-war advocacy organization that promotes free markets and liberty, Bitcoin Not Bombs, showed its excitement on Twitter about the marketplace launch. There’s also a bunch of people asking questions using the Local.Bitcoin.com Telegram channel as the group has 567 members at the time of writing. People are asking unique questions and giving feedback in regard to the bitcoin cash marketplace operations.

Local.Bitcoin.com Shows Lots of Active BCH Listings From Traders Worldwide

If you haven’t signed up for Local.Bitcoin.com yet, it’s very easy and only takes a few minutes to create a profile and list some trades. Simply head directly to the trading platform’s signup page and you can have an account set up in no time. Launching a peer-to-peer BCH marketplace means a lot to us and growth in the first week has been phenomenal. Local.Bitcoin.com facilitates BCH trading against local currencies, essentially making bitcoin cash far more accessible to everyone. In the grand scheme of things, Bitcoin.com believes in the future where bitcoin cash will be everywhere and we’re very happy to help plant the seeds of economic prosperity.

Have you signed up for Local.Bitcoin.com yet? If so, what do you think about Bitcoin.com’s new local BCH marketplace? Let us know your thoughts about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Local.Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay.


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