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This week Bitcoin Cash (BCH) fans were pleased to hear another well-known merchant is now supporting BCH for payments. The South Korea-based food dispatch platform called Shuttle Delivery now accepts BCH for door-to-door meal deliveries throughout the Seoul region.
Food Service Shuttle Delivery in South Korea Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash
People visiting and residents of the Seoul region in South Korea can now use bitcoin cash to pay for tasty cuisine delivered straight to their door. The firm, Shuttle Delivery, is a South Korean food delivery platform that people can use to order meals with their mobile devices. The application is available in Korean and English and for both Android mobile phones and iOS as well. Shuttle Delivery not only accepts traditional credit cards and Paypal but yesterday, on September 16, a website update revealed that it offers full bitcoin cash acceptance. The Shuttle Delivery application connects BCH users in South Korea to 200+ local restaurants.
“Shuttle Delivery provides delivery services from a variety of Seoul’s best restaurants,” explains the company’s website. “So you can enjoy the best food in the comfort of your home, office, or wherever you happen to be! We offer a fully bilingual service where customers can place orders in either English or Korean (한국어).”
‘Buying Food for the In-Laws Without Kissing Visa’s Ring’
The wide variety of restaurants available to order from using Shuttle Delivery includes local Korean, American Grill, Italian, Indian, Vegetarian, Turkish, and European food.
BCH fans on r/btc were elated to hear about Shuttle Delivery accepting bitcoin cash for door-to-door food delivery. One BCH supporter writes that they are pleased to not have to use a credit card to buy food for relatives.
“This is nice,” says the BCH proponent u/ricardotown on Reddit.
I can now internationally buy food for my in-laws without kissing Visa’s ring.
Shuttle Delivery in South Korea is not the only meal transport service that accepts bitcoin cash. The platform Takeaway.com also accepts BCH which and it connects over 30,000+ restaurants throughout Europe and Vietnam to bitcoin cash customers. This includes the well-known online German food marketplace Lieferando.de, a subsidiary of Takeaway.
What do you think about Shuttle Delivery in South Korea accepting bitcoin cash for payments? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, and Shuttle Delivery in South Korea.
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The post Seoul-Based Food Delivery Service Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash appeared first on Bitcoin News.
President Trump had said trillions of dollars would flow back to the U.S. quickly in the wake of the new tax law, but a WSJ analysis finds many companies are taking their time.
WSJ.com: US Business
The following opinion piece on Canonical Transaction Ordering (CTOR) was written by Jonald Fyookball the lead developer of Electron Cash.
Canonical Transaction Ordering (“CTOR”) is one of the planned changes for the November 2018 Bitcoin Cash protocol upgrade. There has been quite a bit of discussion in the Bitcoin Cash community about this change.
Also read: Philippines Okays PDAX Crypto Exchange
I had previously published an article explaining in simple terms what the change is.
Although that article satisfied some readers and convinced them that CTOR is not dangerous, others were still critical and wanted to know if the change is necessary.
The questions on many people’s minds are: “Why do we need CTOR? Why do we need it now? And are there other proposals that could accomplish the same thing?”
I attempt to answer those questions here.
CTOR is part of a comprehensive technical roadmap designed to help Bitcoin Cash become peer to peer electronic cash for the entire world. More specifically, there is a clear and major benefit in CTOR which is that of faster block propagation. There are also some additional minor benefits.
Unfortunately, much of the technical discussion about CTOR has been in the area of block validation rather than block propagation, which has brought considerable complexity and confusion to the overall debate.
Review of Four Different Transaction Ordering Schemes
Let’s begin our analysis by considering four different ways we could do transaction ordering in Bitcoin Cash.
1.TTOR – Topological Transaction Ordering Rule
This is the current consensus rule for Bitcoin Cash. Transactions have a partial ordering rule. They can be in any order but must enforce the topology which puts parent transactions before child transactions.
2. ATOR – Any Transaction Ordering Rule
This ordering would remove the current TTOR rule and allow any order of transactions. It’s an idea that has been discussed as both an alternative to CTOR and also a precursor.
3.GTOR – Gavin’s Transaction Ordering Rule
This was proposed by Gavin Andresen in 2014. It is essentially a canonical transaction ordering, but the ordering is not mandatory (non-consensus) and it also preserves the current TTOR rule.
4. CTOR – Canonical Transaction Ordering Rule
This is the current proposal. “Canonical” refers to the requirement that only ordering is permitted. The current proposal is also “lexical” or “lexicographic” meaning that all transactions in a block except the coinbase are sorted in dictionary order. This aspect is referred to elsewhere in discussions as “LTOR”.
For the sake of simplicity, the remainder of this document will typically use “CTOR” to refer to the current proposal (which also happens to be LTOR) even if a particular point applies more to the lexical property.
Let’s start at the beginning. In 2014, Gavin proposed a new approach to block propagation and one ingredient of his idea was the canonical ordering for transactions in a block. The “secret sauce” of his proposal was the use of Invertible Bloom Lookup Tables (IBLTs) to communicate the differences in the set of transactions in a node’s mempool with that of a peer.
This line of thinking formed the roots of the now famous Graphene protocol.
Gavin’s original ordering proposal is not currently part of any BCH implementation proposal but it is important historically to show the roots of the idea. The most obvious application for CTOR today is that it helps Graphene work better.
A more intuitive explanation of why a unique ordering helps propagation is that you can save bandwidth if you only have to transmit data for missing transactions without communicating anything about the order of the transactions in a block. Thus, a canonical ordering can help other block propagation schemes such as Xthin; its benefits are not just limited to Graphene.
In a published critique, a developer had implied CTOR isn’t beneficial for block propagation because a miner can choose to re-order his own transactions under the current rules. However, no explanation is given how that would improve efficiency, except to provide a link to a forum post which states “… The rest of the transactions are completely free to be reordered. For instance by sorting them by txid…”
In other words, avoid canonical ordering so miners can be free to choose… a canonical ordering?
If the point is freedom of choice, we will address that consideration later.
It is also noteworthy that the author of the critique (Awemany) shifted his opinions on CTOR subsequent to his publication and after the Bangkok miner meeting… and he emphasizes that none of the proposed changes are worth splitting the coin over.
A benefit of the CTOR proposal is to simplify parallel processing for block validation. This is a result of removing the topological ordering requirement. However, parallelization is not a unique benefit; you can still parallelize the process even under the existing topological ordering scheme.
The entire debate over block validation is a bit of (an unintentional) red herring since block propagation is a much bigger bottleneck than block validation.
Still, it may be helpful to readers to review the history of the main arguments on this specific topic. The original debate went something like this:
CTOR critics noted that (at least in a naive implementation) nodes can verify transactions more quickly under TTOR since the dependencies for each transaction will have already been processed. CTOR supporters pointed out that the topological restriction is an additional burden that needs to be verified. (In other words you cannot simply divide up the transactions in a block into parallel partitions and be done.)
Jonathan Toomim then published an algorithm showing how parallel validation can be accomplished using the current topological ordering by processing outputs first, then inputs (e.g. “OTI”).
The OTI method can be applied to both TTOR and CTOR. In the case of TTOR, a map of positions for each transaction needs to be generated in the first loop, and the second loop ensures that each transaction only spends coins that are older than itself. The requisite multiple loops here render the TTOR advantage in the naive implementation a moot point.
To summarize, both TTOR and CTOR can be parallelized. Initial tests produced roughly equal performance. But to reiterate, this is a tangential issue because CTOR clearly helps block propagation which is a more important bottleneck.
Other Benefits of CTOR
There are some other benefits to CTOR. UTXO handling may be improved because sequential inserts can make the use of tree structures for the UTXO cache more efficient as well as expanding the possibilities for UTXO commitments.
SPV/Light wallets may also enjoy a minor benefit of transaction exclusion proofs. CTOR can also allow routing to shards to coincide with merkle construction and validation.
But the biggest secondary benefit seems to be a simplification of the code. Allowing any transaction order makes the code more complicated as any order must be supported. By contrast, assuming the lexicographic ordering allows blocks to be constructed the same way each time and makes testing easier.
TTOR vs ATOR vs CTOR
Some of the arguments surrounding the validation issue are not specific to CTOR; they are more of a TTOR vs ATOR issue. In other words, should we keep this topological ordering requirement or get rid of it?
Some experts have pointed out that fundamentally, the ordering of transactions holds no inherent value. I interpret this to mean that while it’s true that topological order handles dependencies, there is a cost to creating that order initially. Most developers do not oppose removing TTOR. This even applies to the lead developers from Nchain.
Furthermore, once the topological requirement is discarded, it is a relatively small change to adopt a canonical ordering. This is one of the principles behind the CTOR proposal. In the ABC implementation, adding CTOR on top of ATOR is 20 lines of code.
The “Central Planning” Objection
One objection to CTOR (that does not seem valid) is the idea that miners should be free to come up with their own order — that they should be allowed to “compete” for the best ways to structure blocks and that forcing an order on them is tantamount to “central planning”.
I am a staunch supporter of the free market in all its forms. However, this idea that miners should compete on transaction ordering doesn’t make any more sense than competing on transaction formats, or ECDSA curve parameters, or any number of protocol details.
There are certain parts of the protocol that are simply infrastructure “plumbing”. It may even be counterproductive to the system as an inefficient ordering scheme must be supported by all nodes.
The “Optimize First” Objection
Certain developers (Tom Zander in particular) have expressed a desire to continue efforts to optimize the code using the current topological ordering. They do not want to upgrade or modify the transaction ordering because they believe we should explore and exhaust the possibilities of the existing scheme.
Protocol development should not be stalled for the sole reason of a developer wishing to continue exploring on a certain trajectory.
Although optimizing within the current protocol limits is a possible approach, it is not necessarily the best approach. At the end of the day, we must choose a distinct path even if that means discarding other paths.
More importantly, this approach prioritizes optimizations over choosing correct data structures, which runs counter to best practices in computer programming.
Bitcoin ABC has published a technical roadmap that details how we can improve the protocol and meet our goals of better scaling, usability, and extensibility for Bitcoin Cash. It is the best example of a comprehensive and practical plan for our future.
CTOR is one small but important building block in this roadmap.
Although the Bitcoin Cash community is much larger than Bitcoin ABC, it should be noted that the ABC roadmap is compatible with the other roadmap statements published from various groups following a multi-group meetup in London in November 2017. In fact, the exact same canonical ordering proposal appeared on Nchain’s roadmap in December, 2017.20
A Holistic Approach May Be Best
CTOR should be evaluated not as an independent protocol change, but as an integral part of the well planned technical approach that Bitcoin ABC is spearheading.
There is more than one way to scale the Bitcoin Cash protocol, but it makes more sense to take a “holistic”, logical approach rather than one based on isolated changes and “hacky” fixes.
For example, we could use GTOR to get some of the benefits of the canonical ordering, but it would require a topological sort during graphene block reconstruction, and would be more complicated.
It would also be possible to implement the OTI algorithm to handle parallel validation with the current topological ordering, but why take a piecemeal approach when CTOR also allows this, provides tangible benefits, and simplifies the code?
Is CTOR a Safe and Proven Protocol Change?
As explained in the “ELI5 article”, a different transaction order is fundamentally NOT a radical change.
Although more testing and benchmarking would be nice, it is necessary to have the correct data structures in place before further development can commence. It is unrealistic for some groups to work for months building on protocol changes that are not guaranteed to exist later.
There is a risk/reward tradeoff for most protocol changes. I have seen a misguided comment that changes should be proved for 3-5 years on testnet before deploying. But attempting to mitigate risk with hyperextended caution beyond the point of reasonableness is not necessarily prudent.
We are in a race against payment solution competitors, both traditional and other cryptocurrencies, as well as in a race with ourselves to grow the transaction volume ahead of the block reward halvings. Some thoughtful calculated risks are required, and there is also risk in stagnating.
CTOR has been on the roadmap for nearly a year and has been discussed at large for multiple years.
As a challenger to the incumbent systems, we must be an order of magnitude better. And we must establish the technical base for scalability sooner rather than later so that businesses and applications have the confidence to choose Bitcoin Cash as a platform.
On a final note, solid evidence that Graphene will benefit greatly from CTOR can be found from data collected during the BCH stress test.
There has been considerable debate, discussion, and confusion over the CTOR proposal. After review, it seems that CTOR is a sensible change with clear benefits and no significant drawbacks. It is part of a well-planned roadmap for scaling Bitcoin Cash. Miners, developers, users, and businesses should support its inclusion in the November 2018 protocol upgrade.
What do you think about Canonical Transaction Ordering (CTOR)? Let us know in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, and Bitcoin Cash
OP-ed disclaimer: 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 Op-ed: The Case for Adding CTOR to Bitcoin Cash in November appeared first on Bitcoin News.
For well over a year now the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) protocol has shown quite a bit of capability as far as on-chain scaling is concerned. The creator of Bitcoin knew that the technology had to expand in scale quite vastly in order to accept the magnitude of global commerce and businesses on the blockchain. In the early days, Satoshi told people that the technology would follow alongside Moore’s Law with high-performance computing, and the past year has shown the BCH chain can scale to fulfill the needs of the global economy.
Even Before Satoshi Nakamoto Launched the Bitcoin Network, the Creator Knew Blockchain Technology Could Scale
For a while now there’s been a lot of confusion and purposeful manipulation spread by people who have said that Satoshi Nakamoto’s creation cannot scale. Since August 1, 2017, the Bitcoin Cash chain has consistently performed despite all the naysayers. In fact, like the rise in merchant adoption, the Bitcoin Cash protocol itself has recorded many scaling milestones this year. The size of the blockchain and block propagation speed has always been some of the excuses people like to use when they object to on-chain scaling. However, on November 2, 2008, Satoshi wrote about the growth of the chain and believed the technology would not only rely heavily on the Simplified Payment Verification model, but also follow right alongside Moore’s Law.
“Visa processed 37 billion transactions in FY2008, or an average of 100 million transactions per day,” Nakamoto emphasized.
That many transactions would take 100GB of bandwidth, or the size of 12 DVD or 2 HD quality movies, or about $ 18 worth of bandwidth at current prices. If the network were to get that big, it would take several years, and by then, sending 2 HD movies over the Internet would probably not seem like a big deal.
Take Notice: Society Now Has 7nm Semiconductors, New Phones That Can Process 5 Trillion Operations a Second, and 14TB Storage Drives for Only a Few Hundred Dollars
Gordon Moore the founder of Intel had a very good observation back in 1975 that has been fairly accurate when it comes to society’s technological advancements. Gordon’s original prediction started in 1965 when he said the number of transistors added to an integrated circuit would double every twelve months. But in 1975 he changed his forecast to the component cost of a semiconductor doubling every two years. Moore’s Law has been very accurate and many businesses and individuals base the speed and growth of computational scaling using his observation. Moreover, Moore’s law shows a fairly accurate assessment of not only how our technology is blooming but also how the BCH protocol itself can expand global scaling and maintain protocol affordability.
However, blockchain storage has been used a primary excuse to stall scaling in the past even though semiconductor technology is improving vastly, central processing units and ram continues to grow more affordable, and storage space has been following the same path. One could even attribute the mining of cryptocurrencies towards the improvement of semiconductors. Moore’s law is still alive and well and it may be a hair behind the observation’s timeline of increased performance every two years, but it is still growing at an exponential rate.
We can see this proof with 10nm and 7nm chips that are making their way into our computational lives. 45 years ago Intel’s first microprocessor could only process 90,000 operations per second, but now the latest A12 Bionic 7nm chip for the new iPhones can process 5 trillion operations per second. Small mobile devices we keep in our pockets show how fast technology is growing while laptops, and other types of computers are no different. This means there is absolutely no reason to slow down scaling efforts, because of Moore’s Law and its theoretical limitations. That’s like saying we should toss in the towel in because future quantum computers could ‘maybe’ crack Bitcoin’s elliptic curve cryptography.
The Need for a Higher Level of Bandwidth for Network Communication Has Driven Widespread Low Latency Fiber Optics Growth Worldwide
Another fallacy individuals like to use is block propagation delay or latency issues. This is the amount of time it takes for computer networks like the Bitcoin protocol to propagate blocks. However, latency is a really easy fix for any computer network by making adjustments to both the software and hardware specifications. The argument may apply to non-mining nodes using 56K modems, but with concepts like Fiber optical cables latency is really a non-issue.
Miners the ones who truly depend on speed, and propagation time will scale linearly with the world’s fastest connections. Further ideas like bloom filters and Graphene are just a few examples of how scaling past latency can be dealt with easily going forward.
The BCH Unspent Output Set Size is More Efficient Than BTC’s Set Size Today and Can be Improved Easily
To add to this excuse, another horrible reason people fight against on-chain scaling is because of so-called ‘uncontrollable’ UTXO set size growth. Individuals think the data from the unspent output (UTXOs) from bitcoin transactions could cause the UTXO set size to grow exponentially too large. However, BCH proponents are not worried about UTXO bloat as the UTXO set could easily be sharded, and right now the Bitcoin Cash protocol is consolidating unspent outputs in a more efficient fashion than the BTC network. This can be seen by quickly observing the UTXO set for BTC in comparison to the BCH set. Fortunately for BCH developers, there are more efficient methods of UTXO selection and there are plenty of concepts to test and determine which process works best.
The Bitcoin Cash Chain Is Proving on-Chain Scaling Can Work, While Other Blockchains Depend Heavily on the Concept of a New Network That Could Be Riddled With Security Vulnerabilities and Centralization
All of the theoretical limitations of blockchain scaling can be solved, and some of us know — Things do not get solved by doing nothing. Both Moore’s Law and Nielsen’s Law of internet bandwidth are still growing and there’s no need to think it’s going to stop any time soon. Low-latency fiber-optical cables and other ideas are improving global bandwidth speeds drastically. Semiconductors are faster than ever before and terabytes of hard drive space are super affordable compared to ten years ago. The Bitcoin Cash chain has also proven that hard forks are safe and the block size can be increased easily. The community can now see in real-time and on mainnet when miners process big blocks what needs to be done to fix mempool bottleneck and other software issues.
With the data provided by Moore’s observation, Nielsen’s Law, new improvements in network latency, our perspective of current software and hardware limits, and the recent large blocks mined, shows the Bitcoin Cash community that the protocol can scale easily. We know Satoshi Nakamoto’s technology works, and it’s not very intelligent nor conservative to push people towards a second layer that’s not even close to being as secure as the original proof-of-work model.
For close to a decade now we know that Nakamoto consensus is very secure. Bitcoin Cash proponents plan to keep the security layer pure and scale the protocol so it can sustain the global economy. Processing 2.2M transactions in one day at a rate of 26 transactions per second within multiple large blocks (23MB block) mined shows true performance. While at the same time the network has managed to keep BCH network’s transaction fees around $ 0.001 per transaction. The past 13 months of Bitcoin Cash upgrades and stress tests are merely the baby steps towards massive on-chain scaling.
What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash network’s ability to scale on-chain? Let us know what you think about this project in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Bitcoin.com. The web portal and firm 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.
Images via Shutterstock, Statoshi.info, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, and Apple’s latest keynote.
At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.
The post Bitcoin Cash Can Scale Exponentially and Support the Global Economy appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Users of the cryptocurrency exchange and wallet app Abra can now make deposits and withdrawals to their accounts with bitcoin cash (BCH). Bill Barhydt, the founder and CEO of the company, also published a video chat with Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver about bitcoin cash.
Abra Adds Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Support
Abra, a cryptocurrency wallet app and exchange, has announced on Wednesday native support for bitcoin cash (BCH), including deposits and withdrawals. This means that in addition to funding the wallet with BTC, LTC, bank transfers, wire transfers, or credit and debit cards, users can now also fund Abra from any bitcoin cash wallet anywhere in the world.
The company explained in its announcement to any users that might not be familiar with BCH that: “Bigger block proponents, including the creators of bitcoin cash, argue that the increased blocksize is important to keep the Bitcoin code aligned with the original vision laid out in the Bitcoin Whitepaper written by Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. Put simply, bitcoin cash was created to act like a better version of peer-to-peer digital cash because, at the time of the hard fork, processing transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain had become slow and expensive.”
Abra is an all-in-one global app offering a crypto exchange and digital wallet in one place – designed for making cryptocurrency investing simple. It enables users to buy, store, invest and hold 28 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies on a single app, and manage all crypto investments in one screen. The wallet is defined as non-custodial, meaning that cryptocurrencies and the wallet’s private key are held directly by the user. The Abra model is said to be 100% peer-to-peer, with no middleman ever holding, managing or touching the funds at any point in any transaction.
The company was founded in 2014 by Bill Barhydt, a veteran in the cryptocurrency space and an early Netscape employee. Investors include American Express Ventures, First Round Capital, Foxconn Technology Group, Arbor Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, RRE Ventures, Silver8 Capital and others. Last week Abra announced support for SEPA bank account holders – increasing the number of countries serviced by the company by 35.
Did you already use BCH for deposits or withdrawals with the Abra app? Share your experience in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.
The post Abra App Launches Support for Bitcoin Cash Deposits and Withdrawals appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Cryptocurrency may be banned in Zimbabwe, but bitcoin is helping ordinary folk make payments bank-free. It makes for a great fit for the more than 10 million Zimbabweans who lack access to basic banking services. And it’s even more beneficial to the banked few, a distrusting lot, keen to protect their savings against bank failure, inflation or even political turmoil.
How Do You Feel About Paying Rent in Bitcoin?
How would you feel about paying rent in bitcoin (BTC)? Josh from Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, feels great about it. “I didn’t have cash at hand, so, my landlord who is open-minded about cryptocurrency said I could pay in bitcoin,” Josh told news.bitcoin.com.
The 23 year-old unemployed psychology graduate, who mines bitcoin at a small scale, zipped 0.02281BTC to his landlord, the equivalent of US$ 120 at the time.
Zimbabwe is faced with a two-fold problem: a shortage of foreign currency, and that of a surrogate currency called bond notes, initially billed as a panacea to the forex crunch. The Southern African country gave up its own currency in 2009, the same year bitcoin was born, after hyperinflation peaked at over 230 million percent, according to official estimates.
Some businesses, importers and informal traders particularly, often now offer discounts on cash purchases in US dollars – or bond notes – while charging more for mobile or card transactions.
Bitcoin a Silver Bullet
Now, as Zimbabwe struggles with a severe cash crisis that has forced people to spend hours queuing for money at banks, bitcoin is proving a silver bullet. Not only is the benchmark cryptocurrency helping people like Josh pay for apartment rentals and rates, but it is also making it easier for Zimbabweans to pay for goods and services that are charged in US dollar terms.
A few days ago, this writer used bitcoin to pay subscription for satellite TV – about 0.0042BTC or US$ 27 at the time, including fees, because I could not get or afford the US dollar equivalent. Around the same time, Stanbic, one of the few remaining local banks accepting deposits for pay television, announced it will no longer be processing such payments, citing a shortage of foreign currency.
The forex crunch means that people can’t pay for goods and services that are dollar denominated using the bond notes, a currency the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) claims is tied 1:1 against the US$ . It is not. The greenback is selling at a premium of 85 percent on the streets of Harare.
Cheaper Than Banks
Study263, a platform originally created to help Zimbabweans studying abroad pay fees with ease via cryptocurrency, has now gained thousands of users as people seek to circumvent the RBZ’s chokehold on foreign currency allocations.
“We don’t only use bitcoin but any other available cryptocurrency – they are cheaper, faster, and in Zimbabwe’s situation it (bitcoin) works now that card payments do not work out of the country anymore,” said Study263 co-founder Tinashe Jani.
Jani said his company had facilitated over 900 transactions with amounts ranging from $ 10-$ 10 000+ since starting operations a year ago. For pay television, Study263, which is based in South Africa, receives bitcoin into its wallet before converting that to Rand and making payment there, for a fee of between 2 to 3 percent. Connection is almost instant.
Banks like Stanbic were charging up to $ 10 for a similar service.
DSTV, Africa’s biggest satellite TV company, is South African-owned.
Jani said his company was getting requests for services they don’t provide such as “someone asking us to give Rand to their siblings who cannot have access to bitcoin in Zimbabwe or South Africa.”
For a fee of 3 percent of the amount transfered, Study263 obliges the request, he said. In Bulawayo, Josh is looking to continue making BTC-based rentals going forward after his first successful ‘test run’ with his landlord.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum and liteoin are banned in Zimbabwe. The country had started to emerge as a critical part of the crypto market in Africa when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in May shut down two exchanges, Golix and Styx24, that were helping people buy and sell bitcoin and other digital coins from a central platform.
The RBZ accused the exchanges of violating Exchange Control laws, and of taking on banking activities, such as accepting deposits – something they weren’t allowed to do. When Golix tried to raise $ 32 million via a token sale in June, central bank governor John Mangudya described the process as a “pyramid scheme”. Today, Golix is contesting the ban in the High Court.
How are people in your area making use of bitcoin in everyday transactions? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.
The post Faced With Cash And Forex Shortages, Zimbabweans Turn To Bitcoin – Even When It’s Banned appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Buying cryptocurrency in Russia these days increasingly means parting with fiat cash, be it Russian rubles or American dollars. According to numbers quoted by local media, the 24-hour market turnover, just in Moscow, reaches a staggering $ 50 million dollars on peak days. Some say the cash-crypto trade resembles the wild-wild-east street forex of the 90s, while others claim that if it’s not prohibited then it’s allowed.
Multi-Million Cash Market for Crypto in the Capital
Last year’s skyrocketing prices have tremendously increased the popularity of cryptocurrencies around the world and Russia is no exception. The 2017 all-time highs drew a lot of attention and investment creating a multi-million dollar cryptocurrency market in Moscow which is still blooming. A big part of it involves cash transactions and as there are no dedicated regulations in the country yet, this type of crypto trading is neither legal nor illegal. According to estimates quoted by the local press, the daily crypto turnover in the capital alone is between $ 10 and $ 20 million USD but it sometimes peaks at $ 50 million.
A number of currency exchange shops and individual traders in Moscow are offering the service of fast and anonymous purchases and sales of cryptocurrency with rubles and dollars. An investigation by leading Russian business edition Vedomosti has found that the situation resembles that of the notorious 90s when forex deals were sealed right in the street. Now anyone can go to an office with a bag of cash, change it to crypto without identifying themselves or proving the origin of the funds. Isn’t it the same with fiat-to-fiat exchange?
According to Roman Zaguba, a representative of the UK-based crypto bank Wirex, most of these exchangers dwell on peer-to-peer platforms like Localbitcoins. Because of the lack of relevant laws, online trading platforms are also entirely outside of the legal field. The draft legislation that was voted on first reading in May and was supposed to be adopted in July has been delayed. The texts of the initial three bills have been synchronized and the revamped law “On digital financial assets” will be presented for public discussions in October before it’s reviewed again in the State Duma and hopefully adopted by the end of the year. Quoted by BFM, Zaguba added that the legal document contains definitions such as “exchange operators” and he believes the term applies to cryptocurrency exchanges that will be allowed to trade digital coins with fiat money.
A Third of the Turnover Comes From Chinese Merchants
In its report, Vedomosti writes that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), currently with the largest market capitalization, are popular with Russian traders. Their circulation, exchange with fiat currencies and use in payments for goods and services are neither allowed nor officially banned. At the same time, the paper notes, they remain largely invisible for the central bank, the tax authority and the customs service. According to Aleksei Karpenko, senior partner at the law firm Forward Legal, Russian citizens have the right to buy cryptocurrency as property. This would only be illegal if the cash comes from proceeds obtained through criminal means. Laundering such money would be a crime, but the lawyer says this has nothing to do with cryptocurrency itself. “There is a common rule – if specific transactions are not prohibited, then they are allowed. This is a matter of agreement between a buyer and a seller,” Karpenko explains.
As part of the investigation, Vedomosti journalist Alena Sukharevskaya visited the office of one of the companies offering exchange services on the market in the Moscow International Business Center, also known as the Moscow City. Denis Polohin, founder of the Berkut Corporation, told her the number of deals worth over $ 100,000 had increased in the last couple of years. About 50% of the deals are sealed with investors that want to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs), 10% of his clients are traders and 10% dealers. Another Moscow City-headquartered company, the International Cryptocurrency Center, which trades digital assets in partnership with the Estonian firm Aridika Asset Management, said it had between 10 and 15 customers every day.
The publication also claims that 30% of the turnover registered by Moscow exchangers comes from merchants operating in the city’s major wholesale markets such as Moskva, Sadovod, and Food City. Earlier this year, Russian media reported that most of them are Chinese nationals who use cryptocurrency for cross-border payments for the goods they import from the People’s Republic. Vedomosti has estimated the exchange shops make around $ 400,000 daily from an average commission of 1.5 – 2% on top of Bitfinex and Binance rates.
What is your opinion about the cash-crypto trade? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
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The post Cash to Crypto Trade Blooming in Moscow, Reports Say appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Over the last few weeks, there’s been a heated discussion within the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community concerning the scheduled November 15 hard fork. There’s a strong disagreement between the BCH development teams, Bitcoin ABC, Nchain, and Bitcoin Unlimited in regard to the hard fork’s upcoming consensus changes. Fast forward to this week as Nchain has published the Bitcoin SV beta release, Coingeek’s Calvin Ayre speaks out against chain splitting rumors, and there have also been a few insightful studies done on Bitcoin ABC’s proposed canonical transaction ordering (CTOR) upgrade.
Nchain Launches Bitcoin SV Beta Version
Last week’s BCH Stress Test Day took everyone’s minds off of the ongoing upgrade debate taking place within the Bitcoin Cash community. It all started during the last week of July when Bitcoin ABC revealed the team’s roadmap and published the 0.18 ABC codebase in the second week of August. Nchain’s chief scientist Craig Wright was one of the first to oppose the upgrades proposed by the ABC team. Wright explained he was vehemently against adding the opcode called OP_CHECKDATASIG (CDS), and the implementation of canonical transaction ordering (CTOR). Wright detailed his team Nchain would create their own BCH full node client that would entail completely different upgrades within the codebase. Nchain disclosed the new client would be called Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision) and the full node client will restore the Satoshi opcodes OP_MUL, OP_LSHIFT, OP_RSHIFT, OP_INVERT, remove the 201 opcode script limit, and increase the base block size to 128MB.
About a week and a half ago BCH miners, developers, and industry leaders met in Bangkok to try and hash out the differences, but the meeting didn’t pay off with any compromise between the disagreeing camps. At the time Nchain also launched the Bitcoin SV alpha release and revealed a new mining pool dedicated to the SV codebase. Now, this week Nchain has released the Bitcoin SV beta version on Github. Observers have noted that there was some newly added code related to the 128M increase, some revised release documentation, and some other minor changes.
Coingeek & Calvin Ayre: We Will Fight Any Attempts by Anyone That Cause a Chain Split
On Monday, September 10 Calvin Ayre, owner of the blockchain firm and mining pool Coingeek, explained in a recent post that his company will not allow a hash war to split the BCH chain. Ayre emphasizes that his firm has never had the intention of splitting the true version of Bitcoin (BCH).
“We will fight any attempts by anyone else to cause a chain split,” Ayre details. “Coingeek and friends believe in the Satoshi Vision for the evolution of Bitcoin and that means all disputes should be settled by Nakamoto consensus and miner hash elections.”
Nakamoto consensus dictates that at all times the longest chain (with the most Proof-of-Work) shall prevail and this will be respected at all times by Coingeek media and mining.
Ayre believes other “contentious, untested and unnecessary protocol changes” have recently been introduced to the BCH community, placing a lot of blame on the Chinese mining firm Bitmain Technologies. The Coingeek owner says Bitmain seeks “to constantly experiment with the protocol creating constant instability and driving corporate investment away.” Bitmain has denied all of the Wormhole security issues and CTOR allegations in a recent blog post addressing these accusations. Ayre says he and Coingeek are quite confident that in the end, smart miners will not follow a path towards their own annihilation.
Coingeek is confident that no miners are stupid enough to support a path that leads to their own destruction so we are also confident that this election will be won by the miners and will prove the wisdom of Satoshi Vision.
Some Examinations of CTOR
Lastly, there’s been a lot of insightful studies concerning the CTOR upgrade proposed for November. A post on r/btc gives a comprehensive technical dive into the implementation of canonical transaction ordering. Many developers such as Andrew Stone, Peter Rizun, and Amaury Sechet discussed the topic within the post’s comment section.
According to the study, CTOR could theoretically benefit ideas like Graphene and possibly help with the mempool bottleneck. The author of the post explains, “In the last stress test, we also saw limitations on mempool performance (tx acceptance and relaying). I hope both of these fronts see optimizations before the next stress test, so that a fresh set of bottlenecks can be revealed.”
Further, the BCH mining pool Rawpool has also published a review of CTOR this week. Rawpool’s study is insightful and details that the mining pool has been testing the new upgrade. Essentially Rawpool details that the current method the Bitcoin protocol uses right now is topical transaction ordering (TTOR). However, the study says that in time it “cannot be denied” that “traditional TTOR sorting will inevitably face problems such as rising memory overhead and increasing computing time.”
“On the other hand, the fully optimized CTOR ordering should be a completely new data maintenance system, which is bound to have considerable complexity,” Rawpool’s translated research explains.
Rawpool will continue to communicate with the development teams of Bitcoin ABC and Nchain. The deployment of test nodes has been completed and will actively participate in the testing of new upgrades and stress testing throughout the network.
For Now, the BCH November Upgrade Debate Still Remains Unsettled
There’s been a lot of discussions and debates regarding the November 15th BCH upgrade. Bitcoin Unlimited’s lead developer has also critiqued canonical ordering in a post that declares “ABC’s CTOR will not scale.” Stone says that there are two significant problems with CTOR and he explains the sharding proposal (scaling by distributing data to multiple machines) “will not work,” and “lexicographical transaction ordering is unnecessary.” Moreover, Nchain’s Craig Wright has been writing a lot of long-form posts about this subject and generalized Bitcoin topics concerning the technology’s economics nearly every single day.
For now, it seems the debate will continue, and Bitcoin Cash proponents will have to wait to find out what will happen when it gets closer to the upgrade. News.Bitcoin.com will be sure to keep our readers informed every step of the way.
What do you think about the BCH November upgrade debate? Do you think the disagreeing parties will come to a compromise? Let us know in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, Coingeek, and Pixabay.
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The post Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Debate Reconvenes After the Stress Test appeared first on Bitcoin News.
In prepared testimony given before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained how though terrorists have tried to raise funds through cryptocurrencies, instances are rare to non-existent. Instead, groups seeking to cause mayhem much prefer good, old cash.
Terrorists Prefer Cash to Cryptocurrency to Fund Efforts
“The good news is that most terrorists, particularly those operating on jihadist battlefields, inhabit environments that are not currently conducive to cryptocurrency use,” Mr. Fanusie clarified for an anxious U.S. Congress Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance this week. “They usually need to purchase goods with cash (which is the most anonymous funding method), often in areas with unreliable technology infrastructure. In addition, cryptocurrencies are based on distributed ledger (blockchain) technology, where users’ pseudonymous transactions are recorded for public viewing. This leaves a trail that unsophisticated users may find difficult to obfuscate. However, as digital currency usage grows, such barriers may fall away.”
It turns out, Mr. Fanusie is something of a trope killer for crypto. This isn’t the first time he’s disabused Congress of its assumption decentralized digital money is a force for evil. He worked for the better part of a decade at the CIA as a counterterrorism analyst. He routinely had the ears of the US military, White House policy wonks, and law enforcement. He even personally briefed then-President George W. Bush on the spectre of threats as far back as 2008.
“Cold hard cash is still king,” Mr. Fanusie continued, “but jihadist groups are building diverse portfolios. Illicit actors adopt new technologies earlier than the broader public. When paper checks, credit cards, and Paypal each emerged, criminals exploited them early on. There are enough case studies of jihadist groups experimenting with cryptocurrencies to suggest that law enforcement and the intelligence community must prepare for terrorists to try to exploit digital tokens as the technology spreads.”
Connection Still a Little Fuzzy; Job Security
The crypto currency committee has been fighting connections to terrorism put forward by governments since the day politicians discovered Bitcoin existed. As these very pages summarized, “The first conflation of digital currencies and terrorism actually stems from a 2008 paper in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology in which the author stated that ‘[terrorists] seeking to avoid detection have turned to other methods of transferring money, such as commodities trades, hawala, and digital currencies.’ In defining this latter phrase, the report referenced a paper entitled ‘The Cyber-Front in the War on Terrorism: Curbing Terrorist Use of the Internet.’ It was published in 2005. That’s right, terrorists allegedly using digital currencies is older than bitcoin itself.”
And the test for enthusiasts has always been: if in fact bitcoin core or some other crypto was used during a terrorist act, such news would be sounded to the heavens. That neither has seemingly happened is telling. For experts such as Mr. Fanusie, merely dismissing the threat won’t get him invited back to hearings. So, anyone wishing to maintain intellectual integrity, yet hope to keep their job, seem to have to thread a testimonial needle. Sure, an expert might have to admit terrorists are not using it, but they could!
“Cryptocurrencies may become the way we transact in the future,” Mr. Fanusie concludes. “But they are also becoming part of the illicit financing toolkit available to terrorists. FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) has now documented cryptocurrency fundraising campaigns run by social media entities associated with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Although public evidence indicates that terrorist groups have had only limited success so far with cryptocurrency fundraising efforts, the rising profile of digital currency has been accompanied by jihadist networks experimenting with them more frequently. By preparing now for terrorists’ increasing usage of cryptocurrencies, the U.S. can limit the ability to turn digital currency markets into a sanctuary for illicit finance,” thus preserving his and his policy group’s return invitations to Congress for years to come.
Is use by terrorists a real problem for cryptocurrency adoption going forward? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The post Terrorists Prefer Cash to Crypto, According to Congressional Testimony appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Ryan X Charles, the founder of Yours.org, has been talking a lot about a new bitcoin cash-powered tipping plugin for websites called Money Button. According to Charles, the Money Button software is almost complete and the developer plans to launch the tipping button for websites soon. On September 6 the software programmer showed a preview of the new Money Button website prior to launch, showing how the button works and how people can send BCH tips in an effortless manner.
Ryan X Charles Shows a Preview of the Money Button
The developer Ryan X Charles is the creator of Yours.org a BCH-infused social media blogging platform. Over the last few months, the programmer has been introducing a new tipping plugin for the internet called the Money Button. When users visit the Yours.org website they can read or create posts about any subject and the platform’s participants can tip content creators using bitcoin cash. There are a few ways the social media application allows people to send funds to the author of a story in BCH. Or they can use a much quicker method by utilizing the website’s Money Button and send a person a fixed amount of BCH instantly. This week Charles has published a preview video of the Money Button standalone plugin for websites that will allow anyone to add a BCH tipping button to their website. Charles released a beta testing version of the Money Button weeks ago so people can test the application’s features such as an easy-to-integrate API for apps and publications. There’s also zero confirmation support as well for instant transactions. Website owners and content creators can test the Money Button today using the early prototype release at the user’s discretion, but the platform will officially launch its production version very soon. The platform is basically a configurable client-side Bitcoin Cash (BCH) wallet in an iframe, explains the app’s creator. Simply adding a valid BCH address to the Money Button is all it takes to receive funds. After filling in all the details to make a customized Money Button, the site owner just copies and pastes the code so it can be added it to their website.
A Mainstream Accessibility Layer for the Blockchain
Money Button is free for small publishers and apps, Charles explains, and larger publishers and platforms will be charged a monthly fee based on traffic or a percentage of transactions. Because the Bitcoin Cash network transaction fee is typically around $ 0.003 or a third of a US penny per transaction, using the Money Button for microtransactions is ideal. However, the app can be used for much larger payments as well, and with Money Button the user can set the conversion rate to any local currency. “[The Money Button] can be used in any kind of app, such as social networks or games, and it can be used for payments of any size, from one cent to millions of dollars,” explains the Your.org team back when they announced the project.
The Money Button is effectively an accessibility layer for the blockchain — We’re making possible for a mainstream audience to access the revolutionary properties of the blockchain.
During the video, Charles details that the entire website and UI/UX was refined by the Aerolab development team, and the developers have a few more kinks to iron out before Money Button launches. So far the app’s beta prototype was used by a few businesses and websites but the latest preview looks like the app has a whole new look and feel. Charles says the development team has put a lot of work into this project and for the end user sending a tip “should be as easy as clicking the Facebook Like button.”
What do you think about the Money Button? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, and Boney Button, and Youtube.
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