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| April 26, 2018

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The Notorious Bunny Ranch Brothel Now Accepts Bitcoin

April 25, 2018 |

The Notorious Bunny Ranch Brothel Now Accepts Bitcoin

According to the infamous licensed brothel in Nevada, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a sex worker named Lana West was paid for her intimate favors with a few thousand dollars in bitcoin. Since then the Bunny Ranch has announced accepting the digital currency for sexual services.

Also read: Five Reasons Why Bitcoin Cash is About to Win Big

The Cathouse Goes Bitcoin

Lately a few escort business and sex workers have been revealing that they accept cryptocurrencies for sexual services. Now the well-known Bunny Ranch, a legal bordello owned by Dennis Hof is accepting bitcoin. The brothel’s location is in the state of Nevada, which allows legal prostitution as long as it is outside the jurisdiction of Las Vegas. The Bunny Ranch is a pretty popular destination on the outskirts of Carson City, and Dennis Hof and the brothel girls have been filmed on multiple occasions for the HBO documentary ‘Cathouse.’

The Notorious Bunny Ranch Brothel Now Accepts Bitcoin

Sex worker Lana West, who is a Bunny Ranch employee, exchanged an “intimate girlfriend experience” during the first week of April. According to West, clients can pay for services with a credit card but the brothel will show up on statements. That week a client asked West if she would accept bitcoin for payment.                

“A wonderful and rather tech-savvy client came in offering to purchase my services with Bitcoin,” West details in an interview. “Dennis approved it, and we executed a transfer from the customer’s bitcoin wallet to my own.”

It was a mid-four-figure payment for an intimate girlfriend experience with me that lasted just over an hour — My client walked out with a smile on his face — but little did he know we actually made history together.

The Notorious Bunny Ranch Brothel Now Accepts Bitcoin
Dennis Hof and the Bunny Ranch Cathouse girls.

Cryptocurrency Revolutionising Adult Companionship Services

The Bunny Ranch in Nevada is not the only sex service to accept cryptocurrencies. Bubble Escorts has recently announced accepting bitcoin for a “dream escort.” The company’s website proudly displays a BTC logo and the business provides an address during the booking process.   

“We have taken this decision upon our desire to move with the times as we have always been dedicated to revolutionising the way people book London escorts,” explains Bubble Escorts. “Cryptocurrency is growing in popularity and we are delighted to be the first London escorts provider to have listened to the demand.”

We believe that accepting bitcoin payments is a new feature which will allow our clients to pay for our adult companionship services in the most discreet and safe way possible.

The Notorious Bunny Ranch Brothel Now Accepts Bitcoin

The trend of sex workers accepting digital currencies for intimate services has increased over the past year. The Reddit forum /r/sexworkers discusses the subject and one individual states, “accepting bitcoin best thing ever decided.” Moreover, both female and male cryptocurrency accepting escorts can be found on the web portal Adultwork. For a while, the very popular website Backpage.com had a lot of advertisements for individuals offering escort services for bitcoin but the site has been shut down recently by the U.S. government.

What do you think about the Moonlite Bunny Ranch accepting bitcoin for intimate services? Let us know what you think about this trend in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Jim Wilson/The New York Times


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post The Notorious Bunny Ranch Brothel Now Accepts Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 1

April 25, 2018 |

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 1

The following opinion piece was written by Jonald Fyookball.

The bitcoin cash (BCH) community understands key principles: Bitcoin should be a peer to peer Electronic Cash system; most users can use SPV wallets instead of running their own node; “second layer” scaling solutions are often unnecessary and problematic. While important, and it places the BCH ahead of others, education isn’t only about the scaling debate. It’s important to understand all aspects of Bitcoin.

Also read: Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested

Bitcoin Cash Knowledge is Power

If I were to ask a question: “Why did Bitcoin (BTC) fail its mission to become Peer to Peer Electronic Cash?” — you would likely hear many answers.

Some would say “censorship”. Others would point to “centralization of protocol development” or “apathetic, complacent miners”… or even “Nakamoto Consensus doesn’t work”.

Those answers may be correct to a certain degree. I’ll address each of them throughout this series, but there’s an overarching principle that connects all of these.

And that principle is this: Not enough people in the Bitcoin community actually understood how Bitcoin is supposed to work.

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 1

I say that humbly — it’s not that I’m so smart that I can explain how it’s all supposed to work, but here’s the point: Bitcoin is like a school of fish. We all have to be swimming together. Maybe not in perfect unison, but at least in the same direction.

Isn’t it amazing how a school of fish can move together with coordinated body positions and synchronized movements? Scientists do not fully understand it, but it’s believed to be rooted in genetics.

So how can we, the BCH community, be like the school of fish, and move together toward our destination without getting chewed apart by predators? Ultimately it boils down to this: Knowledge is power. The most important tool for liberty has always been a well informed populace.

Another word that means the same thing, is: Education.

A Deeper Problem than the Blocksize Debate

Many in the BCH community understand key principles… like how Bitcoin should be a peer to peer Electronic Cash system. Or that most users can use SPV wallets instead of running their own node. Or that “second layer” scaling solutions are often unnecessary and problematic.

Those things are very important. By understanding those (and other) fundamental principles, the BCH community is already well ahead of other communities, and that understanding goes a long way toward the goal of all swimming in the same direction.

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 1

But education shouldn’t stop with knowledge of the scaling debate. We should understand all aspects of Bitcoin. Technical, economic, social… everything. The more we know, the better prepared we’ll be against whatever form a future spectre takes to try to destroy Bitcoin.

As individuals, we should first take the responsibility to educate ourselves, and then educate others. And, perhaps education about the importance of education is the widest-scope principle we can formulate. It’s a meme-worthy idea.

In Part 2, we’ll take a closer look at consensus, decision making, and the social aspect of Bitcoin.

Written by Jonald Fyookball
Jonald Fyookball (pseudonym) is a cryptocurrency enthusiast, best known as the project leader of the Electron Cash wallet, and for a series of hard hitting articles on the Bitcoin scaling debate. Jonald is a computer scientist, businessman, investor, libertarian, and Bitcoin advocate.

What are your thoughts on educating the BCH community? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article.

The post How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 1 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Crypto Leakers, Hackers and Rappers

April 25, 2018 |

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Crypto Leakers, Hackers and Rappers

Today’s collection of Bitcoin in Brief stories from across the cryptosphere showcases how bitcoin is an unstoppable force. Even if one centralized avenue can be pressured by some governments, others will soon pop up to replace it in the decentralized global ecosystem.  

Also Read: 20% of Financial Institutions Examining Starting Cryptocurrency Trading Soon

Wikileaks vs Coinbase

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Crypto Leakers, Hackers and RappersA couple of days after Wikileaks called for a global blockade of Coinbase because the cryptocurrency exchange and payment processor blocked its official swag shop without notice or explanation, the organization has switched to a competing solution. Wikileaks announced that the shop has moved to using Canada’s Coinpayments and that its publishing arm has expanded its own bitcoin and privacy system.

The organization then called out its former service provider again, explaining that: “Coinbase has become an unreliable and even dangerous service, subject to arbitrary, non-transparent actions as it merged with the US banking sector and started to provide information on its customers to the US government. It has become everything that Bitcoin was designed to stop.”

Tellingly, while the US-based Coinbase remained silent on the matter, its competitor Kraken commented and explained the problem with relying on centralized services. The company tweeted: “Thank you all for suggesting Kraken as an alternative for @wikileaks, however, Kraken is also a centralized choke point. Those who require uncensored financial autonomy should control their own private keys and rely only on the blockchain for processing.”

Ripple Seeking Street Cred

If you’ve always considered Ripple to be a boring banking technology corporation riding the coattails of the cryptocurrency revolution, think again because they just got Snoop Dogg to perform at an upcoming event. The 46-year-old rapper, who has been a part of mainstream culture for a couple of decades now, will join a “VIP gathering” in New York next month. While Ripple will limit admission to only those on their invite list and tickets can’t even be purchased, they will offer ten members of the community a chance to enter by wining a trivia and a “Make the Meme” contests. The latter is not an original meme making competition but rather one in which the company will share two images and ask people to add captions for them.

Hackers Shake Down Governments for Bitcoin

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Crypto Leakers, Hackers and RappersWhether ransomware hackers are getting more brazen or just shooting aimlessly in every direction to see what they can hit, they are becoming a nuisance to more government bodies around the world. The latest example comes from the Ukraine where the energy ministry’s website has been blocked with a ransom request for just 0.1 bitcoin. Ukrainian cyber-police spokeswoman Yulia Kvitko reassured the public that: “This case is not large-scale. If necessary, we are ready to react and help. Our specialists are working right now. We do not know how long it will take to resolve the issue.”

While paying off a modest 0.1 bitcoin ransom should not be too difficult for Ukraine, governments aren’t exactly known for efficiency. It was recently revealed in the US that Atlanta’s city government spent about $ 2.7 million to recover from a ransom demand of just $ 50k. In fact, city officials paid that sum for communications crisis management alone.

New Crypto VC Fund

Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm that previously invested in Coinbase, Earn.com and Cryptokitties, is apparently looking to spin-off a separate crypto-focused fund. While the company hasn’t announce anything publicly yet, it has published wanted ads for a “Finance and Operations Manager, Crypto Assets” and a “Legal Counsel, Crypto Assets” detailing it is planning “a separately managed fund focusing on crypto assets,” spotted by Recode.

Majority Votes Against Restoring Parity’s Lost Ethers

All the votes are in and the motion to restore Parity’s lost ethers has failed. 55% voted against implementing EIP 999 which was meant to patch the contract which was accidentally self-destructed costing users more than half a million ether, worth over $ 230 million at the time. Now it only remains to be seen if everyone will respect this decision and move on or if another ethereum fork is inevitable.

San Marino Wants Part of Blockchain Action

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Crypto Leakers, Hackers and RappersThe tiny nation of San Marino joins other small locations in the European periphery, like Malta and Switzerland’s Zug, which see themselves potentially benefiting from the recent hype around blockchain.

“We are the world’s oldest Republic and we are proud to begin a transformation lead by technology. We believe this partnership will have an significant impact on the economy, growing the innovation sector which is at the core of our development strategy” explained Andrea Zafferani, Secretary of State for Economic Development. “The Republic will also acquire a state of art set of regulations to become a world-leading blockchain hub.”

“San Marino is ideally placed to become an innovator with this type of technology,” added Sergio Mottola, Executive Chairman of San Marino Innovation. “We are not interested in short term or opportunistic policies to take advantage of the speculation surrounding today’s cryptocurrency world. Rather, we are intrigued by the revolution implicit in the underlying technology: the “blockchain”, which we expect to bring an impact on the global economy greater than what the Internet has”.

What other developments in the cryptoshpere caught your attention today? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Crypto Leakers, Hackers and Rappers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Quebec Chief Scientist Rejects “Myth” of Widespread Illicit Bitcoin Use

April 25, 2018 |

Quebec Chief Scientist Rejects "Myth" of Widespread Illicit Bitcoin Use

The Chief Scientist of Quebec, Rémi Quirion, has published a document rejecting the popular “myth” that illicit transactions are among those for which bitcoin is principally used. Quebec’s Chief Scientist is closely associated with the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) – a publicly funded institution dedicated to “providing support for the production and dissemination of knowledge.”

Also Read: 20% of Financial Institutions Examining Starting Cryptocurrency Trading Soon

Quebec’s Chief Scientist Dismisses Claims That Bitcoin is Commonly Used for Illicit Purposes

Quebec Chief Scientist Rejects "Myth" of Widespread Illicit Bitcoin Use
Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec

Mr. Quirion asserts that “Bitcoin is often blamed as a good tool for crime or money laundering,” adding that “Even Christine Lagarde, president of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently called for more regulation of cryptocurrencies to counter illegal activities.”

Whilst the Chief Scientist acknowledges that bitcoin can be used as a means to achieve greater anonymity whilst conducting transfers, Mr. Quirion states that “the facts do not support the theory” that criminal use of bitcoin is widespread.

“Pseudonymity” Deters Criminals From Widespread Adoption

Quebec Chief Scientist Rejects "Myth" of Widespread Illicit Bitcoin UseQuebec’s Chief Scientist argues that bitcoin offers it’s users “pseudonymity,” rather than total anonymity, which detracts from its potential illicit utility.

According to a rough translation, Mr. Quirion quotes cryptocurrency analyst, associate researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute, Jonathan Hamel – who has argued that the public nature of bitcoin’s blockchain detracts from its anonymity. “Every transaction is transparent and public. They are indeed recorded in a kind of ledger whose copies are distributed among thousands of computers.”

Cryptocurrency analyst, Erwan Joncheres, is also quoted in the document as arguing that “The anonymity of bitcoin is a myth.” Mr. Joncheres has argued that bitcoin is “no more transparent [than] money, because you have to go through a platform where you have to give personal information,” adding that at a bare minimum, information pertaining to “the address of the transmitter and that of the receiver” is recorded by a third party that facilitates the transaction.

Illegal Transactions Comprise Less Than 1% of Bitcoin Circulations

Quebec Chief Scientist Rejects "Myth" of Widespread Illicit Bitcoin UseThe document points to research conducted by the “Center for Sanctions and Illicit Finance of the Defense of Democracies Foundation” that, after analyzing bitcoin transactions executed between 2013 and 2016, found that only 0.61% of trading transactions in the period were deemed to be associated with illegal activities.

The Chief Scientist also points to center’s findings that illegitimate transactions within the bitcoin economy are extremely centralized, further undermining the suggestion that illicit activities pervade the bitcoin economy. Said research indicated that less than 10% of anonymous free markets were responsible for 95% of illicit transactions involving bitcoin between 2013 and 2016.

As such, Mr. Quirion argues that “The claims of recent years that some of the bitcoins would be used to circumvent money-laundering rules must, therefore, be questioned.”

Money Laundering in Crypto “Anecdotal,” Says Researcher

Quebec Chief Scientist Rejects "Myth" of Widespread Illicit Bitcoin UseMr. Quirion similarly rejects associations between tax evasion and bitcoin, quoting Canada Revenue Agency Communications Officer, Karl Lavoie, as stating “It’s just like money and you have to declare what you’re doing with it.”

Mr. Jonchères has also dismissed assertions that bitcoin and money laundering go hand-in-hand, stating “I think that tax evasion and money laundering are anecdotal on cryptocurrency networks. Since bitcoin is transparent, it will be very easy to identify all the people trading on an online exchange or portfolio platform.”

The document concludes that “bitcoin is not above the law, nor is it a magnet for illicit transactions: it forms only a tiny part of the criminal money circulating around the planet” due to it being “less attractive for anyone who wants to make transactions without leaving a trace […] Ultimately, the user must also take responsibility, […] In case of loss or theft, there is no 1-800 number to recover its bitcoins,” Mr. Quirion stated.

Do you agree that mainstream claims that cryptocurrency and criminality go hand-in-hand are unevidenced? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, www.scientifique-en-chef.gouv.qc.ca


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The post Quebec Chief Scientist Rejects “Myth” of Widespread Illicit Bitcoin Use appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin

April 25, 2018 |

Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin

Authorities in the state of Wisconsin have discussed the adoption of guidelines regarding cryptocurrency contributions to political campaigns, as requested by the Libertarian Party. Other states, like California, have urged politicians not to accept bitcoin donations. Kansas is the only state prohibiting such contributions. The Federal Election Commission allows crypto donations to campaigns for federal office. 

Also read: Majority of US States Have Taken a Stance on Bitcoin and Blockchain

Libertarians: The Question Is Not “Whether” but “How”

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission held on Tuesday a public hearing on a request from the state’s Libertarian Party regarding the adoption of guidelines for crypto contributions to political campaigns. The party’s chairman, Phil Anderson, wants to know how such donations would be counted toward the limits set by the state in dollars.

Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin“Digital currencies, such as bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum, are more and more widely accepted as currency and as stores of value,” the libertarian said, quoted by the La Crosse Tribune. “The Chicago Board Options Exchange offers a futures market for bitcoin. Corporations and governments are weighing in on not ‘whether’ to address cryptocurrencies, but ‘how’,” Anderson wrote in the request.

David Buerger, staff counsel for the commission, admitted he is not yet aware of any instances in Wisconsin in which cryptocurrency contributions to state campaigns were given or accepted. Libertarians are among the stronger supporters of bitcoin. The idea of a decentralized cryptocurrency, not controlled by a central authority or bank, is in line with their political views and opposition to government control over the national currency.

During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners suggested that if digital currencies were counted as a monetary contribution, crypto donations would be subject to the $ 100 limit applicable to cash contributions. Larger donations must be made by a credit card or a bank check.

Only One State Prohibits Crypto Donations

The question of cryptocurrency contributions to political campaigns is one of many crypto-related issues that have been addressed differently in each state. For example, California has issued a warning against such donations. The Fair Political Practices Commission in the Golden State urged campaigns not to accept digital coins because their transactions are considered “virtually impossible to trace”. Last year Kansas became the first state to ban bitcoin contributions. According to its ethics commission, cryptocurrency is “too secretive”.

Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin

Most US states have adopted some crypto regulations according to a recently published report by the Brookings Institution. The attitude towards cryptocurrencies, however, varies significantly between different jurisdictions. On national level, crypto contributions to campaigns for federal office were approved by the Federal Election Commission. In 2014 FEC said they should be treated as “in-kind donations” and “noncash items”.

Politicians Taking Bitcoin

The popularity of bitcoin among American politicians seems unaffected by recent market volatility. A growing number of political candidates are accepting cryptocurrencies to fund their campaigns. Republican Andrew Hemingway, the youngest gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire, was the first to do so in 2014, as reported by CNBC. Hemingway, also a tech entrepreneur, said he decided to accept crypto contributions after many of his supports asked if they could donate bitcoin.

Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in BitcoinAustin Petersen, Republican candidate from Missouri, received 24 bitcoin contributions while running for Senate. He is also the beneficiary of the largest crypto donation worth $ 4,500. Democrat Patrick Nelson, running for Congress from New York, is accepting cryptocurrency contributions through the payments provider Bitpay. “We’re a 21st century campaign and as such we embrace new technologies like bitcoin,” he tweeted. Democratic candidate for Congress Brian Forde of California and Republican Kelli Ward running for the Senate from Arizona are also taking bitcoin donations.

The first candidate for the White House to do the same was Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who ran for the Republican nomination at the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Paul has in the past stated that the US government should adopt a “hands off” approach to controlling money. His campaign accepted bitcoin donations worth up to $ 100. That’s the maximum amount for individual contributions in cryptocurrency, as set by the Federal Election Commission.

What do you think about bitcoin contributions to political campaigns? Share your views in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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James Bond-Like Villain in $2 Million Bitcoin Heist Caught in Amsterdam

April 24, 2018 |

James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $  2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam

Amsterdam police have announced the re-arrest of Sindri Thor Stefansson. He was initially arrested days ago in Iceland in connection with a bitcoin hardware mining caper that included 600 computers worth $ 2 million. In a James Bond-like villain move, after his first capture he managed to escape, reportedly hitching a ride on a plane carrying Iceland’s prime minister.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: ICO Scares Investors with Ghost Prank

Bond-Like Bitcoin Villain Re-Arrested

Mr. Stefansson, after have absconded, wrote to a popular online site to plead his case. “I simply refuse to be in prison of my own free will,” he explained to Frettabladid, “especially when the police threaten to arrest me without explanation. I’m not trying to say that it was the right decision to leave, I really regret it…I didn’t expect an international arrest warrant to be issued against me, as I was legally free to leave, and believed it was out of the question that I would be labelled a fugitive. I would never have done this if I didn’t believe I was a free man.”

James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $  2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam
Sindri Thor Stefansson shown on CCTV while at large

It’s something straight out of a movie. Media outlets are claiming Sindri Thor Stefansson to be a “mastermind”. He, at the very least, was implicated recently in a major crime for the country of Iceland: $ 2 million in computer mining hardware is missing, believed to be part of an elaborate theft conspiracy, involving a gang of 11 others including Mr. Stefansson’s wife.

Mr. Stefansson escaped what local press refers to as “low-security” confinement after first being arrested. He was held in Sogn, an open prison 59 miles from the country’s international airport (95 km). It’s so loose it doesn’t have a fence, and detainees can even surf the net.

Thought He Could Avoid Capture Indefinitely

The mastermind slipped out through a window. He somehow later made it to the airport, procuring a flight boarding pass under an assumed name (though he paid with his own debit card), and managed to put himself on a flight to Sweden carrying Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir. He wasn’t discovered missing by guards until well after the plane was airbound. An international warrant was soon issued for Mr. Stefansson.

James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $  2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam
Downtown Amsterdam

The Big Bitcoin Heist, as it has been tagged on the frozen island, involved bitcoin mining rigs grabbed in conjunction with four data center break-ins. Iceland has become a magnet for crypto miners due to relatively cheap electricity and its cold climes, helping the notoriously overheated instruments cool as they mine.

Mr. Stefansson’s unorthodox public letter while on the run insisted he could remain elusive to authorities for “as long as I like”. Dutch police disagreed, arresting him downtown without incident and are presently arranging for his extradition back to Iceland. 

Do you think bitcoin mining rigs present a lucrative target to thieves? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Dutch police.


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The post James Bond-Like Villain in $ 2 Million Bitcoin Heist Caught in Amsterdam appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Nchain Launches Nakasendo SDK for Bitcoin Cash Development

April 24, 2018 |

Nchain Launches Nakasendo SDK for Bitcoin Cash Development

Earlier this week the blockchain technologies research and development firm Nchain released its 1.0 version of Nakasendo a software development kit (SDK) specifically designed to bolster the Bitcoin (BCH) network. Nchain details that the Nakasendo SDK is available for software programmers focusing their energy and resources towards bitcoin cash application and platform development.

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn

A More Flexible Method of Key Generation and Sharing

Nchain Launches Nakasendo SDK for Bitcoin Cash DevelopmentThe London-based Nchain has released an SDK this week for software developers looking to innovate using the BCH blockchain. The SDK is called ‘Nakasendo,’ which is a Japanese name of an ancient trail connecting Edo to Kyoto. In Japanese, the translation means “road through the middle mountains” or “central mountain route” according to Nchain. At the moment, the 1.0 version of Nakasendo is only available to a select group of developers and teams that have been chosen in an initial testing pool. Nchain says that the Nakasendo SDK will be made more available at a later date.

Nchain reveals that the Nakasendo SDK will help Nchain port software libraries that will assist programmers in designing bitcoin cash applications. The SDK designed by Nchain is meant to navigate the complexities of blockchain development, and accelerate work. The London firm states that the SDK incorporates two patents from the company’s intellectual property portfolio.  

“Version 1.0 of the SDK focuses on providing a cryptographic library, to allow for a more flexible method of key generation and sharing,” Nchain explains.   

This cryptographic library can be used to improve security for any cryptocurrency exchange, and more broadly for controlling access to any type of digital asset or resource.

The Open Bitcoin Cash License

Nchain Launches Nakasendo SDK for Bitcoin Cash DevelopmentThe company reveals two inventions in the SDK that were curated by Nchain’s Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright. The concepts enable the deep prevention of “Mt. Gox-type” hacks of cryptocurrency wallets, and Nchain says they can also be used “far beyond Bitcoin and blockchain environments — for any situation in which sensitive data, assets, communications or controlled resources need to be secured.” Moreover, the firm is releasing the Nakasendo SDK for use under what they call an “Open Bitcoin Cash License.” The license is crafted similarly to the Microsoft Limited Public License, and the BCH license will allow royalty-free usage of the SDK libraries, and any associated patents — but only for developers who create software or applications that operate on the Bitcoin (BCH) blockchain.    

“We are excited to reach this milestone with the Nakasendo SDK, which will help developers navigate the mountains of blockchain work — Although the SDK libraries will be useful for developers on any blockchain or digital platform, we want to use key elements of nChain’s patent portfolio to help benefit the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem,” Nchain Group’s CEO Jimmy Nguyen explains.

That is why we are providing the SDK for free usage only for applications and products that operate on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain. The SDK is one of many tools Nchain will use to ignite the BCH blockchain, and help re-invent the business world.

Nchain Launches Nakasendo SDK for Bitcoin Cash Development
Nchain’s chief scientist Dr. Craig Wright (left) and the company’s CEO Jimmy Nguyen (right)

No Other Coin or Fiat Will Do These Things

One of the selected testers of the Nakasendo SDK has explained the building blocks provided have helped them further accelerate their application. The bitcoin cash wallet provider Handcash an SPV client that enables Near Field Communication (NFC) transactions has been testing Nchain’s SDK.

“We are currently testing Nchain’s Nakasendo SDK. It turned out to be the missing piece for an upcoming feature that will allow us to advance to the next stage with Bitcoin Cash — Good thing about patents: No other coin (or fiat) will do these things,” Handcash notes on April 22.

What do you think about Nchain’s SDK and open license for bitcoin cash developers? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Nchain.


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post Nchain Launches Nakasendo SDK for Bitcoin Cash Development appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Vinny Lingham Interview: Scaling, Securities and Bitcoin Extremism

April 24, 2018 |

Vinny Lingham Interview: Scaling, Securities and Bitcoin Extremism

One of bitcoin’s leading luminaries, Vinny Lingham has an opinion on everything and an uncanny ability to sense market movements, earning him the moniker of Bitcoin Oracle. News.Bitcoin.com caught up with the serial entrepreneur to get his thoughts on bitcoin cash, Lightning Network, token models and more.

Also read: Five Reasons Why Bitcoin Cash is About to Win Big

Vinny Lingham on Regulation

Vinny Lingham Interview: Scaling, Securities and Bitcoin ExtremismOn April 20, over 1,000 delegates gathered at the Fairmont in Santa Monica for Start Engine’s ICO Summit 2.0. The event began sharply at 8:30am, with Vinny Lingham the most recognizable figure on a panel titled The State of ICO Regulation. Afterwards, news.Bitcoin.com sat down with the Civic founder for a chat about dual token models, blockchain scaling, and the acrimony that’s riven elements of the bitcoin community.

The overarching message to emerge from the summit was that most tokens are securities, and following the regulatory route – likely Reg A+ – is the only way to avoid SEC censure. “If the price of something is determined by its ability to deliver an investment return then it’s a security,” acknowledges Vinny. Belatedly accepting that many, if not most, ICO tokens may fall into that category, a number of projects have opted for a dual token model, one a utility, the other a dividend. Vinny Lingham is not a fan of this setup however, opining:

People will raise money by whatever way they possibly can [even] if it means bending the rules, changing the system, and unsuspecting people will wind up putting up the money to buy it. But just because you can raise money in a certain way doesn’t mean you should.

Like most of the delegates at the Start Engine conference, he’s convinced that the industry is headed towards securities, complete with the full regulatory compliance that brings, venturing: “I think security tokens will outpace utility tokens by a mile in the next three years”. A month previously, in a blog post titled The Value Trap Dilemma, he wrote: “If you’re building a utility token, it has to have real utility — if you’re just using it to raise money, then it’s a security.”

Don’t Fear the SEC

On the same day that news.Bitcoin.com spoke to Vinny Lingham, details were emerging of the SEC-led complaint against Centra, including allegations of the ICO’s founders pumping the price and creating fake team members. When asked whether there’s likely to be further subpoenas in the token space, Vinny responds: “There will definitely be some. They’re going after the most egregious people.” He doesn’t believe that escalating SEC activity could impact on all U.S.-based token projects, though, including his own Civic, adding “I sleep very well at night, I don’t worry about the next day waking up and [receiving a subpoena]”.

Vinny was tight-lipped about future developments for Civic other than to confirm there are “lots” on the way, some of which will emerge at the Consensus summit on May 14-16 in New York. He gives short shrift to the string of identity-based projects that have emerged since Civic, referencing a recent tweetstorm he composed on the topic, and proclaiming: “If you ask someone what are the top companies in the [identity] space, Civic will always come up number one. And there’ll always be a different number two.”

Vinny Lingham Interview: Scaling, Securities and Bitcoin Extremism

Vinny Lingham Interview: Scaling, Securities and Bitcoin Extremism

Vinny Isn’t Struck by Lightning

When conversation switched from the token economy to bitcoin, Vinny predictably had a lot to say about BTC, BCH, and the scaling methods attempted by both sides. There’s a tendency for proponents (or “maximalists” as the more devout are sometimes branded) to fall on one side of the divide rather than straddle the fence. Vinny Lingham is much more measured, seeing the merits in both strands of bitcoin, whilst remaining broadly supportive of the approach taken by Bitcoin Cash.

The South African entrepreneur isn’t a fan of the elements that are “too extreme” and encourages both camps, Cash and Core, to “exercise some restraint”, particularly when it comes to asserting which brand of bitcoin is the true bitcoin. A day after talking to news.Bitcoin.com, he shared the following tweet:

Vinny Lingham Interview: Scaling, Securities and Bitcoin Extremism

When asked whether he believes a sizeable Bitcoin Core contingent are pinning all their scaling hopes on Lightning Network (LN), Vinny agrees vigorously. “It is the panacea for them right now. Lightning is a big thought experiment which is in code right now and is not proven. How much money is in Lightning – less than $ 100k? There’s nothing there.” While acknowledging the effort that has gone into developing LN he says:

Lightning, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. The point is, you’re going from something that’s proven, that can scale [increasing the block size], at least to some degree, versus something which is unproven [LN] and it may not be able to scale, and we’re pinning our hopes on it. It’s very impractical.

Place Your Bets! Bitcoin Core Lightning Network Fails to Complete Basic Transaction“I think Segwit’s got some flaws in it,” says Vinny at one stage, before asserting that in the short to medium-term it makes more sense to increase the block size, venturing that “There’s no real centralization risk with [increasing the BTC block size to] two megabytes. There’s no centralization there and anyone who thinks otherwise is stupid. Let’s say the number of nodes that could afford to run in the long-term dropped by around 2%, that’s not going to create centralization.”

Decentralization Isn’t Everything

On the topic of decentralization, and the sacrifices that must be made to increase the speed of new blockchains, Vinny predictably has a lot to say:  

EOS is one where there is a trade-off, it’s more centralized, but it’s not very centralized. I think there’s a balance you can get. Like, how many nodes is enough [to ensure decentralization]? That’s the real question and no one can give me an answer…Is it a billion? Give me a number, any number.

He agrees that new blockchains are still years away from needing to fulfil the half a billion transactions a day they purport to offer, adding: “That’s exactly my point. We’re nowhere close to the usage of needing to worry about it. Instead of kicking the can down the road and worrying about it later, we’re trying to deal with this now and it’s not an issue right now.”

Vinny Lingham Interview: Scaling, Securities and Bitcoin ExtremismThe interview concludes with Vinny reflecting a sentiment that is expressed multiple times during the course of the summit by investors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs: that the token economy is “such a dynamic space you’re basically just guessing what [governments and regulators] are gonna do next.”

The Bitcoin Oracle has been proven right about many things, but when it comes to figuring out regulators, even he’s in the dark.

Do you agree with Vinny Lingham that certain elements within the BCH and BTC communities are too ‘extreme’ in their views? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Vinnylingham.com.


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Bitcoin Miners Unaffected by Price Decline — Hashrates Spiked Exponentially

April 24, 2018 |

Bitcoin Miners Unaffected by Price Decline — Hashrates Spiked Exponentially

Despite the multitude of headlines declaring that bitcoin mining was becoming unprofitable over the last four months, the hashrate between both Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) networks has exploded. At the moment both SHA-256 proof-of-work (POW) powered protocols have been maintaining more than 35 exahash per second, becoming one of the most powerful computational systems in the world.

Also read: Play Music on Jukebox.cash – a Bitcoin Cash Infused Global Playlist

BTC Mining Hashrate Unphazed by ‘Crypto Winter’

There has been a massive decline in fiat value for nearly all cryptocurrencies represented within the digital asset universe during the 2018 ‘Crypto Winter.’ During this time, researchers and pundits have declared that when BTC/USD prices dipped below $ 8K, mining was allegedly unprofitable in some regions. However, as far as blockchain data is concerned mining has grown exponentially even during the last four months when BTC prices found new lows. This year pools such as BTC.com, Antpool, Slush, and Viabtc have increased their hashrates considerably. A factor possibly due to new semiconductors and innovations in mining technology.   

Today the BTC global hashrate is 30 exahash per second. Over the last four months even when the price declined hashrate increased.

Over the last seven days, BTC miners have held a fairly consistent 30 exahash per second. From December 2017 up until April 2018, the BTC chain’s hashrate has increased significantly. According to estimates, Chinese mining pools make up most of the BTC hashrate (80%) as eight of the top ten pools are based in China.

Chinese mining pools make up more than 80 percent of the BTC global hashrate.

The top five pools command close to 75 percent of the global BTC hashrate with BTC.com taking the cream of the crop. BTC.com now captures 28.9 percent of the BTC hashrate today, with Antpool’s 15.2 percent following behind. There are a total of seventeen known mining pools pointing their resources at the BTC chain and one unknown operation controls 10 percent of the network.

Bitcoin Cash Hashrate Explodes

The Bitcoin Cash network has also increased its hashrate significantly as well, as BCH miners are now processing between 3.6-5 exahash per second. Just a few months ago the BCH hashrate was between 0.5-1 exahash per second. At the time of writing due to the 60 percent bitcoin cash price increase, it is 1.7 percent more profitable to mine BCH than to mine on the BTC chain. Presently the Bitcoin Cash Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA) is operating at 14.8 percent of BTC’s difficulty. March and the month of April were the biggest hashrate spikes for BCH since the DAA was fixed last November.

A side-by-side chart of BTC and BCH hashrates. BCH is represented in purple while the orange trendline is BTC.

BCH has roughly thirteen known mining pools and 2-3 unknown mining operations pointing their resources at the chain. The biggest BCH mining pools over the last seven days include BTC.top, Viabtc, BTC.com, Antpool, and Bitcoin.com. Over the last week, the 2-3 unknown mining pools have captured 31 percent of the BCH network hashrate. Roughly 60 percent of the BCH global hashrate stems from China, as bitcoin cash has a more diversified spectrum of countries within its hashrate distribution.

Bitcoin Cash mining pool hashrate distribution over the last seven days and 24-hours.

The Entire Cryptocurrency Ecosystem Has Seen Hashrates Spike

Overall there is a lot of computational power directed at both of these two networks, and they eclipse the entire landscape of 1500+ other digital asset hashrates. Although the processing power for those cryptocurrencies has increased as well over the last four months. Since January 2018 until now, the Ethereum network’s hashrate has grown immensely during the ‘Crypto Winter.’

Nearly every PoW cryptocurrency’s hashrate has spiked over the past four months.

The same thing for the Litecoin network, as its hashrate has exploded during its 4-month price downswing. This trend has taken place across nearly every single cryptocurrency that uses a POW-type of consensus algorithm. Most all of the cryptocurrency hashrates worldwide have spiked considerably this past January through April 23, 2018. It’s safe to say all these theories of miners shutting down machines soon, and ‘losing their shirts’ is pretty far fetched.

What do you think about the hashrate explosion between BTC and BCH and all the other currencies over the last four months? Let us know your thoughts about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Fork.lol, BTC.com, Blockchain.info, Coin Dance, and ETHscan.io.


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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking Bitcoin

April 23, 2018 |

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking Bitcoin

No one likes missing the train. Of course, jumping on the wrong one is sure to delay the arrival even more. In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, we cover the latest attempts by big corporations to stay close to the crypto waters without really wetting their feet. Also, do you want to know how Cryptokitties have inspired a new Ebay-like platform for crypto enthusiasts?

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn

Another Badge of Patents

While it is somewhat understandable when central banks want the blockchain but not bitcoin, it isn’t that clear why serious businesses make similar choices. Some of them prefer to shy away from the decentralized cryptocurrency, for which the awesome technology was actually invented. Getting on the crypto train has the power to lift stock prices. If it’s the wrong train, however, it could also postpone the arrival at the final destination.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinThe blockchain technology is what makes bitcoin possible, but Walmart wants to use it without the cryptocurrency. The US retail giant has announced plans to employ blockchain in payment systems for vendors and customers. Two patents, filed by Walmart last year, were approved last week. The vendor payment sharing system will automatically process payments for products and services, the company explained. The system will also encrypt the transactions on a blockchain.

The planners at Walmart may not have noticed, but processing encrypted payments on the bitcoin blockchain has been working flawlessly for many years. Much smaller businesses, like some companies in the Baltic states, have realized that already. Besides, instant conversion to fiat, offered by crypto payment providers, eliminates the risk that comes with the volatility in crypto markets. So, what’s so scary about using bitcoin and its blockchain?

Tracing the Untraceable

Realizing, probably, that bitcoin is here to stay, another giant, Amazon, has recently obtained a bitcoin tracking patent. The online retail behemoth wants to track multiple datastreams, combine the information, and sell the data. The patent explicitly mentions bitcoin. Amazon claims that every time a bitcoin transaction takes place, related data can be captured and correlated. That’s interesting! “Untraceable and anonymous” transactions have often been cited among the “mortal sins” of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinNow, it turns out that a bitcoin address could be easily associated with a shipping address, an IP, an email, a bank account, or a social media profile by online retailers, internet providers and banks. The patent aims to make the presumably anonymous crypto information relevant and identifiable by collecting data from multiple sources and then finding the correlation with other transactions. As Tamebay reports, the authors specifically note that law enforcement may be interested in receiving data for bitcoin transactions by country.

Here Comes a “Rare” Competitor

Another global retailer, Ebay, may soon feel competition from a young fintech startup. Rare Bits brands itself as an Ebay-like platform for crypto enthusiasts who want to buy digital assets. The platform allows users to purchase, sell and search for virtual assets denominated in cryptocurrency. The startup launched just a couple of months ago but has since raised $ 6 million. As CNBC reports, some big names are on the investors list, including Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and founder and former CEO Justin Kan.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinRare Bits is a matchmaker for sellers and buyers of crypto assets. For its services, the platform takes a cut of a developer’s revenue from the sale of their assets. The business idea has been inspired by the success of Cryptokitties, a game of buying and selling digital kittens with ethereum-based contracts. The company claims to have processed more than $ 100,000 in transactions during its first month. Unlike cryptocurrency exchanges or crypto wallet providers, Rare Bits doesn’t trade cryptocurrencies but crypto products. Its users are offered a catalogue of more than half a million such items.

The platform focuses on consumers familiar with cryptocurrencies but its co-founder Amitt Mahajan says there is plenty of room for new people to get on board. “Imagine if a celebrity like Beyoncé or someone really well known were to release ten backstage passes on the blockchain… How many millions of people do you think would go out of their way to acquire one of those things?”

What do you think about businesses trying to separate blockchain technologies from decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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