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The Daily: Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections, Trader Bets on the Price of BTC

July 14, 2018 |

The Daily: Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections, Trader Bets on the Price of BTC

Russian intelligence officers accused of meddling in the 2016 presidential elections in the US have used bitcoin to finance their campaign, cover the tracks and obscure their identities, a new federal indictment suggests. You can check the details in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Also in the daily, billionaire Steven Cohen invests in crypto hedge fund, mysterious expert bets that 1 BTC will cost more than the Berkshire Hathaway’s share in five years, and a leading horse-betting platform now accepts BTC and BCH.

Also read: Crypto-Inheritance Service, Taiwanese Stablecoin, Bitcoin Gift Cards

Russian Agents Used Bitcoin, Mined Cryptocurrency

The Daily: Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections, Trader Bets on the Price of BTC
Rod Rosenstein

This Friday, a federal indictment announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein turned another page in the story of the alleged Russian meddling in the last US presidential election, and it features cryptocurrency. According to the document, which was released just before a major summit between Trump and Putin in Helsinki next week, Russian agents used cryptos like bitcoin in their campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 vote.

Authorities in Washington claim that hackers working for the Russian foreign military intelligence paid in crypto for servers in the US and Malaysia, website domains, and virtual private networks (VPNs) used to release information stolen from the Democratic camp and to obscure their identities and cover their tracks. They also laundered more than $ 95,000 through bitcoin.

The 12 GRU officers indicted by the United States special counsel Robert Mueller are said to have acquired bitcoin (BTC) in different ways, including through peer-to-peer crypto trading platforms, using other digital coins and prepaid credit cards as well. US investigators claim the Russians even mined their own cryptocurrency.

The indictment, the first to level criminal charges against Russian officials pertaining to the alleged election interference, suggests that crypto funds were used to lease servers in two US states, Illinois and Arizona, where the hacked information was stored, and pay a Romanian company through a US-based processor to set up a website used to spread it.

Billionaire Steven Cohen Invests in Crypto Hedge Fund

The Daily: Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections, Trader Bets on the Price of BTCBillionaire Steven Cohen has reportedly invested in the crypto hedge fund Autonomous Partners. The investment was made through his Cohen Private Ventures, Bloomberg reported, quoting an unnamed source. The fund, founded last year, is focusing on cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based companies. It has already attracted investments from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Craft Ventures cofounder David Sacks.

Autonomous Partners invests in major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) but has stayed away from ripple (XRP) over concerns that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may decide that the token is a security. Crypto advocate Arianna Simpson, founder of the hedge fund, commented that she is interested in investing in cryptocurrencies that serve as general purpose money and companies that are building the next generation of financial infrastructure.

The number of crypto hedge funds increased significantly with the rising prices of cryptocurrencies last tear. Recently released data suggests, however, that they have suffered a negative growth in the past months due to the bear market, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

A Billion-Dollar Bet on the Price of Bitcoin

A crypto trader from Australia has requested to place a unique bet. According to famous Australian bookmaker Tom Waterhouse, the “well-known crypto expert,” who preferred to remain anonymous, wants to wager $ 8.5million AUD ($ 6.3 million USD) that by the end of 2023 the price of one bitcoin (BTC) will exceed that of a share in Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. If the bitcoin punter is right, he is expected to win $ 1.2 billion AUD (~$ 890 million).

The Daily: Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections, Trader Bets on the Price of BTC

Waterhouse said in a tweet this week he had put the man in touch with a large syndicate. Judging by the shared numbers, the prospective crypto gambler is looking for odds of 1/141. Bitcoin is currently trading at $ 6,200 USD per coin, while the share price of the US-based conglomerate currently stands at almost 290,000 USD, which is over 45 times the price of 1 BTC. Bitcoin reached almost $ 20,000 in December last year, and Berkshire Hathaway’s shares have been trading above $ 220,000 since 2016.

Horse Betting Site Now Accepts BTC and BCH

Amwager.com, a leading website for watching and betting on live horse racing, is now accepting bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) deposits. The US-based online platform is arguably the first advance deposit wagering (ADW) company to obtain regulatory approval that would allow the implementation of cryptocurrency payments.

The Daily: Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections, Trader Bets on the Price of BTC“Over the past several years we have witnessed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies evolve from an esoteric concept to a widely recognized digital currency that is quickly making its way into the mainstream. With mainstream acceptance, cryptocurrencies have the potential to drastically transform our global payment systems, and we at Amwager seek to be on the forefront of that transformation,” said company CEO Nelson Clemmens.

Amwager’s executive added that the company has been working with the Oregon Racing Commission and Bitpay to bring cryptocurrencies to the ADW industry. According to a press release, bitcoin and bitcoin cash offer Amwager customers an attractive alternative to the traditional methods for adding funds to their wagering accounts. The platform notes that the crypto technology addresses the “inefficiencies that exist in our current banking system by verifying and finalizing transactions rapidly,” mitigating chargeback risks and eliminating delays in the availability of funds.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell is 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 The Daily: Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections, Trader Bets on the Price of BTC appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Daily: Crypto-Inheritance Service, Taiwanese Stablecoin, Bitcoin Gift Cards

July 13, 2018 |

The Daily: Crypto-Inheritance Service, Taiwanese Stablecoin, Bitcoin Gift Cards

Featured in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief are a service that allows inheritance of crypto assets and a new stablecoin launched in Taiwan. Also in our daily roundup, crypto terminals have been installed by a restaurant chain in Hong Kong, and a company now offers bitcoin gift cards for easier access to the crypto space.  

Also read: Crypto Phones, Spy Games, Binance CEO vs Vitalik

Startup Offers Crypto-Inheritance Service

A new platform supporting a crypto-inheritance service has been launched by a Latvian startup. The idea was born when cofounder Normunds Kvilis experienced health issues while on a business trip. “It occurred to me then that there was no provision for my own crypto assets, should something serious happen to me,” Kvilis said, quoted by the ICO examiner. “That was essentially where Digipulse came from – I realized there was simply no service on the market for this kind of thing,” he explained.

Digipulse uses a blockchain-based vault allowing its users to upload data that is then stored securely for as long as the platform observes online activity from the account holder. In case no activity is observed over a period of time, the platform sends an automated message to a specified recipient with details on how to access the vault’s contents.

The Daily: Crypto-Inheritance Service, Taiwanese Stablecoin, Bitcoin Gift Cards

According to Kvilis, the business model extends beyond inheritance, incorporating any situation which requires the automated transmission of assets or other information, like documents, passwords and cryptocurrency wallet keys, in accordance with certain pre-set criteria. The platform, which conducted its ICO in October last year, is currently available both as an app and a web-based solution.

Quoted by LSM, Digipulse Head of Business Development, Jānis Zaltāns, added: “We see an increasing trend amongst tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter towards developing tools for managing their inactive accounts. However, each service can only operate within their own platforms. Digipulse’s B2B ‘Pulse Network’ aims to provide a unified service for enterprises and user bases of all sizes.”

New Stablecoin Pegged to the Taiwanese Dollar

The Daily: Crypto-Inheritance Service, Taiwanese Stablecoin, Bitcoin Gift CardsA new digital currency, another so-called stablecoin, has been introduced by a company that operates one of the major payment processors in Taiwan. Green World Fintech Services says the crypto is pegged to the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). The coin has been created using the Ethereum network and is called Taiwan Digital Token (TWDT).

Local media reported that the value of the ERC20 token will be calculated according to the NTD market. Green World claims to have patented a dollar-to-token process that is supposed to protect the TWDT from fraud and money laundering risks.

The project will be realized in cooperation with some established Taiwanese banks. The crypto accounts of TWDT users will be tied to “trusted bank accounts” in order to verify personal data before transactions are permitted.

After the launch, the Green World plans to offer the tokens online and through terminals located in some retail stores. The company hopes that the NTD peg will increase confidence in TWDT among Taiwanese users who seem to be the main target group of the stablecoin.

Hong Kong Restaurants Install Crypto Payment Terminals

A chain of organic food restaurants and other associated businesses in Hong Kong now accepts cryptocurrency. The service has been introduced through a partnership between the conglomeration, FAMA Group, and Pundi X, a company that produces and installs point-of-sale devices supporting crypto payments.

The Daily: Crypto-Inheritance Service, Taiwanese Stablecoin, Bitcoin Gift CardsThe Pundi X terminals accept a number of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and the company’s own token, NPXS. They are also capable of processing transactions from other cryptocurrency wallets through a QR code scan. Once a payment is accepted, customers are also issued a paper receipt.

According to Pundi X CEO, Zac Cheah, 25,000 crypto terminals have been ordered already by businesses in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland in the last six months. The company hopes to supply at least 100,000 Pundi XPOS units globally within the next three years.

Bitcoin Gift Cards to Improve Access to the Crypto Space

Used by individuals who don’t have direct access to the banking system for various reasons, including legal status or age, traditional gift cards have been offering their holders the opportunity to purchase products and services without a bank account or a credit card. Applied in the crypto space, gift cards can significantly improve access to cryptocurrencies and crypto payments.

The Daily: Crypto-Inheritance Service, Taiwanese Stablecoin, Bitcoin Gift Cards

A startup is now working to do exactly that. Kaiusb offers a hardware-software USB wallet which holds an amount of bitcoin (BTC) or ethereum (ETH) determined at the time of order. The product, KUSB, is currently available online, but the team plans to start selling it at a number of physical stores and through other online retailers by the end of this year.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell is in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pundi X, Kaiusb.


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 The Daily: Crypto-Inheritance Service, Taiwanese Stablecoin, Bitcoin Gift Cards appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by Scambots

July 11, 2018 |

The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by Scambots

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover why Google founder Sergey Brin has become a crypto miner, and why Elon Musk is impressed by crypto scambots on Twitter. Additionally covered are a new response from Fcoin regarding recent allegations and a $ 100 million venture capital fund for blockchain startups in Israel.

Also Read: Opera Browser Introduces a Built-in Cryptocurrency Wallet

Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner

The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by ScambotsSergey Brin, one of the two founders of Google and current president of its parent company Alphabet, took part in a blockchain conference in Morocco a few days ago and revealed that he is a crypto miner. With a net worth of over $ 50 billion, Brin has no need for an extra income, but he started mining to further his son’s knowledge about the technology and got hooked himself. “A year or two ago my son insisted that we needed to get a gaming PC,” Brin said. “I told him If we get a gaming PC we have to mine cryptocurrency. So we got an ethereum miner on there and we’ve been making a few pennies and dollars since.” He added: “That definitely got me interested and I started to study the technology behind it and found it to be fascinating.”

Elon Musk Impressed by Scambots

The founder of Tesla and Spacex, Elon Musk, knows how to recognize great tech when he sees it. Twitter is infested by scams that automatically reply to messages by high profile accounts with promises of giveaways while mimicking them in every possible way. This phenomena has spread from just crypto influencers to even people such as the original Captain Kirk, William Shatner. Musk has taken note of this and he seems to be very impressed with the scammers. He said: “I want to know who is running the Etherium (sic) scambots! Mad skillz …” The geniuses behind these might want to reach out to Musk to seek work on getting humans to Mars, developing a self-driving car, or even preventing an AI takeover of the Earth. Sounds more challenging than taking money away from fools, no?

Fcoin Denies Fake Volume Bots

Speaking of bots, Fcoin, which was previously pilloried for slowing the ethereum network, has came under fire from critics with new accusations of employing bots to drive up its exchange volume. The team denied this to us, saying: “Just like Bitcoin cannot control miners’ activity, FCoin cannot control the mining activity of the community. With that said, FCoin doesn’t encourage bot-trading on the platform. The ‘Trans-Fee Mining’ model is designed in a way that it eliminates such possibilities…FCoin doesn’t hire or own bots to increase the trading volume. As far as fake volume is concerned, FCoin cannot indulge in such practices. It simply doesn’t make any sense to create fake volume and use our own funds to reimburse the 100% transaction fee.”

$ 100 Million for Blockchain Startups in Israel

The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by ScambotsIsrael might not be the most welcoming of cryptocurrency environments, but its specialized tech and cryptographic talent continues to attract venture capital. Benson Oak, an investment bank which raised over $ 5 billion for young technology companies such as AVG, has announced it has already secured $ 25 million in commitments for a new $ 100 million fund. Benson Oak Ventures is said to be focused on Israeli startups, with an emphasis on blockchain technologies. Managing partner Robert Cohen said: “I believe that there are great entrepreneurs in Israel who are leading the platforms of the future, with creating and disruptive use of blockchain technologies. I moved to Israel six years ago, and with a passion to build companies, I have established Benson Oak Ventures as a new platform to provide financial and operational capital to the best entrepreneurs in Israel and around the world.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by Scambots appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Decentralized Exchanges – New and Hacked, and Some Lost Coins

July 10, 2018 |

The Daily: Decentralized Exchanges – New and Hacked, and Some Lost Coins

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief, we cover two decentralized exchanges – an Irish team that’s launching its Local Token Exchange and the already operating Bancor that has reported a security breach and admitted the loss of $ 12.5 million worth of coins. Also, hackers in China have mined cryptos worth $ 2 million using malware installed on 1 million computers, and in the US, digital forensics firm Chainalysis claims a fifth of all bitcoin is missing.

Also read: Bitmain Valued at $ 12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for Business

New Decentralized Exchange Launches Next Month

The Daily: Decentralized Exchanges – New and Hacked, and Some Lost CoinsTwo Irish entrepreneurs are behind a project to set up a new decentralized crypto exchange in Europe. Joe Haslam and Conor O’Connor plan to launch Local Token Exchange (LTE) in August, according to the Irish Independent. The platform aims to enable trading in over 100 cryptocurrencies by the end of the year. It has already gathered a team of nine employees and six advisors.

O’Connor notes that most crypto transactions currently take place on centralized exchanges while there are very few decentralized trading platforms operating at the moment. “Our approach is peer-to-peer and it democratizes the process. Our transactions take place using smart contracts and escrow,” the cofounder explains.

His partner, who lectures in entrepreneurship at the IE Business School in Madrid, says: “When my students look at what’s happening in Venezuela, say, or the fact that the Turkish lira lost 20pc of its value against the dollar this year, I lose their interest very quickly talking about the traditional worlds of finance and accounting when crypto allows a 21-year-old to raise $ 25m in 15 minutes, as Reuters reported last year.”

Hacked Decentralized Exchange Freezes Coins

While the Irish team is still raising the funds to complete their project, another crypto exchange branded as decentralized proves that maintaining an operating platform of this kind comes with challenges. On Monday, Bancor reported it had experienced a “security breach”. In a tweet, the company assured its customers that “No user wallets were compromised” and informed them that the platform is currently under maintenance.

Updating users on the situation, the exchange later said the details of the breach are still being investigated but released some of the findings. According to the tweeted statement, a wallet used to upgrade some smart contracts has been compromised and used to withdraw ethereum from the BNT (Bancor’s native token) smart contract. The stolen amount, 29,984 ETH, is worth approximately $ 12.5 million.

The post details that “The same wallet also stole: 229,356,645 NPXS (~$ 1M) [and] 3,200,000 BNT (~$ 10M).” Bancor claims that “once the theft was identified, we were able to freeze the stolen BNT”, explaining that the ability to do so was built into the Bancor protocol to be used in an “extreme situation.” However, the exchange notes that it’s not possible to freeze the ether or any other stolen coins.

The heist and Bancor’s countermeasures prompted comments on social media questioning the decentralized status of the hacked crypto exchange which doesn’t square with the centralized freezing of tokens and shutting down the network.

Chinese Hackers Mine Over $ 2M in Two Years

Police in the Chinese Da Lian city have arrested 20 suspects, employees of a computer tech company, who allegedly infected over 1 million computers with mining malware. According to the local news outlet Legal Daily, they reportedly mined more than $ 2.2 million USD worth of digital coins over a period of two years.

The Daily: Decentralized Exchanges – New and Hacked, and Some Lost CoinsThe publication details that the hackers developed and embedded the malware in plugins promising faster browsing speeds and other “improvements”. It has been estimated that the ads have reached 5 million computers in the People’s Republic. The hackers also employed a network of more than 100 agents to spread their malicious software.

According to the Chinese investigators, more than a million users have installed the plugins so far. The hackers have mined a total of 26 million units of digibyte, decred and siacoin worth around 15 million yuan. These altcoins do not require a lot of computing power and background mining is harder to detect, the article notes.

$ 20 Billion Worth of Cryptocurrency Lost

The Daily: Decentralized Exchanges – New and Hacked, and Some Lost CoinsAccording to a research conducted by New York based company Chainalysis, about a fifth of all bitcoin is missing. The total amount of lost cryptocurrency, mostly bitcoin (BTC), is worth $ 20 billion dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported. The blockchain-analysis firm says the main reason is the loss of access to the funds as a result of users failing to securely store their wallets or remember their passwords and secret phrases.

Chainalysis does not help people find their lost bitcoin, its senior economist Kim Grauer said. The digital forensics firm noted, however, that it can point out “at least one counterparty for 80 percent of all bitcoin transactions.” It has been reported as well that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has successfully tracked down almost $ 1 billion in lost cryptocurrency revenue in the last two years.

At the end of 2017, Chainalysis published a similar report claiming that access to almost 3.8 million bitcoins might be permanently lost. Wallet Recovery Services, a company that helps users remember passwords to their crypto wallets, claims it has about a 30 percent success rate.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell is in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Now live, Satoshi Pulse. A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

The post The Daily: Decentralized Exchanges – New and Hacked, and Some Lost Coins appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for Business

July 9, 2018 |

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $  12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for Business

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover how Bitmain’s valuation reached $ 12 billion, the opening of a new US-based crypto exchange, and Binance’s decision to donate $ 1 million to flood victims in Japan. Additionally, we explore what parts of the current crypto ecosystem Vitalik Buterin hates.

Also Read: Youtube Dragged Into Bitconnect Class Action Lawsuit for Failure to Protect Victims

Bitmain Valued at $ 12 Billion

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $  12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for BusinessBitmain Technologies Ltd., the Beijing-headquartered bitcoin mining machines (ASIC chips) producer, has raised up to $ 400 million in its latest fundraising round, valuing the company at $ 12 billion, Chinese media outlet Caixin has reported. The company’s B round of fundraising was led by the venture capital firm headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Sequoia Capital, along with the New York based tech sector hedge fund Coatue, and EDBI Pte Ltd., the private equity and venture capital arm of Singapore Economic Development Board, according to sources close to the deal. Based on this new valuation, Bitmain might seek a massive initial pubic offering (IPO) on the stock market in Hong Kong in the future.

New US Exchange Opens

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $  12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for BusinessThe American crypto trading market is getting a little bit more competitive with a new exchange opening. HBUS, a strategic partner of Huobi, has begun accepting new user registrations by U.S. residents on July 6th. Users are able to deposit BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, USDT, CVC, DASH and TUSD. The actual marketplace will go live tomorrow, July 10th, when users will be able to trade and withdraw funds. The launch is not nationwide yet as HBUS does not currently serve residents in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington.

“Our strategic partner, Huobi, has grown to be the largest digital asset marketplace globally. As investors‘ acceptance of virtual currency and digital asset increases, we have seen incredibly high demand in the U.S. We are excited to launch as Huobi’s strategic partner, to serve the growing number of people participating in virtual currency trading,” commented Frank Fu, CEO of HBUS.

Huobi has been expanding globally for a while and most recently launched AUD trading in Australia.

Binance Donates $ 1M

The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which expects to make a net profit of up to $ 1 billion this year, has announced it donated $ 1 million to Japanese flood victims. The company stated that “To help out the victims in West Japan that were affected by the heavy rains on 7/7/2018, Binance is donating $ 1,000,000 USD and calling for our crypto friends and partners to join us in the relief initiative.” According to Japanese agencies in the field, the death toll in the western part of the country reached 112 on Monday and many more people are still missing after floods and landslides destroyed homes, disabled infrastructure and sent around 23,000 people fleeing to evacuation centers.

Similar natural disasters have been on the mind of the Bitcoin community recently with floods in southern China affecting many miners.

Vitalik Hates Centralized Exchanges

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $  12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for BusinessVitalik Buterin has recently expressed a deep hatred for the particular business model at the heart of the current crypto trading ecosystem. “I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible,” he said. A particular issue the Ethereum founder raised was how the centralized platforms can extract up to $ 15 million from projects that want to list their ICO tokens. According to Buterin, crypto-only exchanges are preferable to venues which offer fiat pairs as “the fiat world only has centralized gateways.” And he also seems to not be a big fan of Bitmain and its growing power. “Back in 2013, when GHash had 51 percent everybody freaked out. It’s happening a second time and people aren’t really talking about it this much,” Buterin said at a Techcrunch event.

OTCXN Live Test

OTC Exchange Network, Inc. (OTCXN), an institutional finance infrastructure company, has completed its first live test trades of tokenized USD and tokenized Bitcoin between two separate trading accounts over an electronic trading platform with assets held at a neutral custodian. The platform is designed to remove counterparty and settlement risk with an atomic exchange of assets and facilitates settlement of transactions instantly. “We believe that OTCXN’s platform will transform the marketplace, by enabling assured and transparent execution, becoming a trusted cornerstone driving the maturation of the fiat and crypto markets,” said Barry Thompson, Managing Partner of Volantis Escrow which served as the custodian. “We’ve received dozens of inquiries from trading firms and custodians about our launch date. I’m thrilled that our live test trades were a success and that we’ll soon bring our solution to the market,“ added Rosario M. Ingargiola, founder and CEO of OTCXN. The company plans to launch the public beta on July 9, 2018.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $ 12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for Business appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows

July 7, 2018 |

The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows

On the backdrop of recent developments concerning the status and the future of cryptocurrencies in India, Bitcoin has been dragged into a political scandal between the country’s two major parties. We’ve covered the story in today’s Bitcoin in Brief. Also in the daily, check the details around some BCH-related projects and services, as well as the latest incarnations of the blockchain technology.

 Also read: Bittrex Invades Europe and Blockchain Gets Raunchy

Bitcoin in a Blame Game

With all the emotion surrounding the fate and future of cryptocurrency in India, it was just a matter of time before Bitcoin entered big politics and big scandals in Delhi. This week, the Indian National Congress (INC), one of the two leading parties in the country, accused its major political opponent, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of being complicit in a “bitcoin scam”. On Thursday, INC spokesman Shaktisinh Gohil demanded a judicial probe into an alleged money-laundering scheme using the cryptocurrency.


During a press conference, the Congress representative claimed BJP leadership participated in a scam in the state of Gujarat involving the conversion of “black money” through hawala and bitcoin transactions. According to Gohil, the “massive multi-layer extortion and hawala scam” was carried out by some top BJP leaders to the tune of at least 5,000 crore rupees, almost $ 730 million, Crypto News reported. However, he also quoted local press mentioning figures of up to 88,000 crore rupees, close to 13 billion USD.

One of the main allegations is that BJP politicians have used bitcoin to convert illicit money and transfer them to businessmen in Gujarat during the demonetization, which was used as a cover. “We demand an impartial Supreme Court-monitored judicial investigation in this maze of ‘mega bitcoin scam’ so that the truth comes out,” Shaktisinh Gohil insisted, quoted by Indian media. BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni has since rejected the allegations calling them laughable. “The dirty tricks department of the Congress is at work to spread confusion and lies,” he said.

Blockchain Craze Goes On

While the Indian political class is exploiting bitcoin as a modern weapon in its never-ending wars, the government administration in Delhi has expressed willingness to explore the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency. The latest idea is to use blockchain in the management of fertilizer subsidies. The National Institution for Transforming India has recently signed a statement of intent to collaborate with Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals on a solution to achieve that. The two organizations hope to create a proof of concept for an application that would improve the efficiency of the fertilizer distribution chain and increase the transparency of the subsidy system.

The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows

That’s not the only new blockchain-related development in the Agribusiness sector. It was reported this week that the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has completed a pilot program employing the technology at a cattle slaughterhouse. The FSA has experimented using blockchain technology as a regulatory tool in order to ensure compliance in the food sector.

“This is a really exciting development. We thought that blockchain technology might add real value to a part of the food industry such as a slaughterhouse, whose work requires a lot of inspection and collation of results,” said FSA information management head Sian Thomas, quoted by the specialized outlet Foodprocessing Technology. The news comes after reports of another crypto project in the food industry – an Israeli startup is working on creating a global vegan-friendly decentralized platform fueled by its own token, Vegancoin.

Some representatives of the higher education system are also fascinated by blockchain. The state-funded Financial University, an institution under the Russian government, has announced plans to store diploma records on a distributed ledger, RTT News reported. Starting this September, employers will be able to verify the authenticity of any digital diplomas issued by the university on its official website, which provides a convenient and fast verification service. The idea for the project came from students of the International Finance Faculty.

BCH Universe Expands

Cointext, a blockchain startup that has developed a service allowing offline bitcoin cash (BCH) transactions, announced it had closed a round of $ 600,000 in BCH seed funding led by the Texas-based venture capital firm Yeoman’s Capital. The platform allows users to transact cryptocurrency with any type of mobile phone over text messages, without the need for Internet. They can send BCH to phone numbers or BCH addresses communicating with the blockchain through an SMS gateway.

The beta release of the service was launched in March, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. The English language version is currently available in eight countries – US, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. No accounts, passwords, apps, or complicated cryptocurrency addresses are needed to use Cointext. Anyone can get a Cointext wallet by texting the word RECEIVE to the access number for their region, or when another user texts funds to their phone.

The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows

Another positive development involving Bitcoin Cash this week was the announcement that Japanese exchange and wallet provider Bitpoint had started accepting BCH through its Bitpointpay service. The application has been upgraded to add support for BCH payments as part of efforts to expand payment options. Its users can now initiate payments in three cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH). Currently, the Bitpoint merchant app accepts payments only from Bitpay accounts but the team plans to allow transfers from any wallet in the future.

What are your thoughts about today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Bittrex Invades Europe and Blockchain Gets Raunchy

July 6, 2018 |

Bitcoin in Brief: Bittrex Invades Europe and Blockchain Gets Raunchy

From the sublime to the smutty, today’s Bitcoin in Brief runs the full gamut of emotions and stories. These include Bittrex’s new foray into Europe, EOS’ quest to offload its billion-dollar warchest and Jackson Palmer’s viral new project, 50 Shades of Blockchain.

Also read: Switzerland Considers Granting Crypto Businesses Access to Banking Services

Bittrex Teams Up with Invest.com

Bitcoin in Brief: Bittrex Invades Europe and Blockchain Gets RaunchyUS-based exchange Bittrex has released details of a new venture with Invest.com. The pair will be creating a digital asset trading platform, to open to EU traders initially. It will feature over 200 tokens whilst leveraging Invest.com’s knowledge of derivative trading, equity trading and portfolio management. “We believe that excellent product experience coupled with supreme customer support, value added services and regulation state of mind will provide the community of traders with the ultimate platform to trade cryptocurrency in a safe and secure environment,” said Invest.com cofounder Itai Avneri. “Our goal is to become the most reputable platform in the EU and later in numerous countries across the globe.”

Bittrex will handle trade execution while Invest.com takes care of marketing, sales and compliance. Interested parties can now register for the service.

BIS Chief Rages at Cryptocurrency

Yesterday we reported on the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) assertion that the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies is in fact a weakness. It’s since emerged that its rotund leader Agustín Carstens has complained that young people should “stop trying to create money” in the form of cryptocurrency. Only banks are allowed to do that, apparently. Carstens also took the time to share the kindly advice that cryptocurrencies are “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster.” The crypto community took the BIS’ chief’s wisdom in their usual measured manner. “Keep dismissing bitcoin, it will make the next bull run that much sweeter,” countered Matt Odell.

Bitcoin in Brief: Bittrex Invades Europe and Blockchain Gets Raunchy

Monaco Spends Millions on Crypto.com

Crypto debit card service Monaco has purchased the coveted domain Crypto.com, Tech Crunch reports. It’s believed to have cost them several million dollars. The publication explains:

Registered in 1993 by Matt Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania who sits on the board of directors of the Tor Project, the domain has attracted a vast amount of interest as you’d expect given the explosion of crypto in recent years. However, Blaze has turned down all offers. In January, Blaze repeated that the domain was “not for sale” and that people shouldn’t both to contact him.

It appears that Monaco made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As part of a rebrand, Monaco will take on the name of its new domain and will rename its native token as simply MCO, which is its current abbreviation, in a move reminiscent of Ripple and XRP.

EOS Creates $ 1 Billion Fund

Faced with the question of what to do with the billions of dollars raised in its year-long ICO, EOS has turned to VC. Block.one have appointed Michael Alexander, former CEO in Asia of an investment banking firm, to identify projects to nurture with VC money. Focus will fall, naturally, on ventures that are built on the EOS platform. While the news will be welcomed by blockchain projects wishing to integrate with EOS, it’s been criticized by some as further evidence of EOS’ excessive raise, leaving them with more money than they can spend.

Bitcoin in Brief: Bittrex Invades Europe and Blockchain Gets Raunchy

Blockchain Gets Sultry

Fifty Shades of Blockchain is the latest venture from Jackson Palmer. The former dogecoin and Are We Decentralized Yet creator is unrelenting in his quest to point out the idiocy and vacuousness of most ICOs and crypto whitepapers. The @blockshade account he’s created combines machine learning-generated whitepaper snippets with extracts from EL James’ much mocked novel. The results are as amusing as they are unsettling.

Bitcoin in Brief: Bittrex Invades Europe and Blockchain Gets Raunchy

What do you make of the BIS chief’s indictment on cryptocurrencies and today’s other stories? Let us know in the comments section below.


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She Prays for Death Daily, Doesn’t Love the Baby in Her Arms

July 5, 2018 |

First the media reported on the rapes. Now, more than 10 months later, the babies. Writing for the AP , Kristen Gelineau profiles several Rohingya Muslim women who were raped by Buddhist soldiers in Myanmar and became pregnant; one is just 13. It’s a fate seemingly just as bad as death…
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The Daily: Malta Enacts Crypto Bills, Bermuda Wants New Banks, Dotcom Loses Appeal

July 5, 2018 |

The Daily: Malta Enacts Crypto Bills, Bermuda Wants New Banks, Dotcom Loses Appeal

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover stories from various corners of the world. In Malta the parliament has enacted three crypto bills into law, in Bermuda the authorities want to create a new type of crypto friendly banks, and in New Zealand Kim Dotcom has lost his extradition appeal.

Also Read: Get Yourself a Mustang, Custom Car Builder Now Accepts Bitcoin

Malta Enacts Crypto Bills

The Daily: Malta Enacts Crypto Bills, Bermuda Wants New Banks, Dotcom Loses AppealThe parliament of Malta has given the final approval on Wednesday evening for three bills meant to create a welcoming regulatory framework for crypto ventures. The bills now enacted into law are the Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act. The European island-nation has already been able to attract a number of players in the field thanks to the promise of these bills, including the exchanges of Binance, Okex and Bitbay.

“Through innovation, Malta is fast becoming a pioneer in economic innovation in order to strengthen its economy through the creation of a new economic niche. This is resulting in other bigger countries following the footsteps that Malta took in this field,” the Digital Economy secretariat stated.

Bermuda Wants New Type of Banks

The Daily: Malta Enacts Crypto Bills, Bermuda Wants New Banks, Dotcom Loses AppealBesides a welcoming government, a jurisdiction must also have a willing banking system, if crypto business are to integrate into the wider economy. In Bermuda, which recently passed an act to regulate and legitimize initial coin offerings (ICOs), banks were obstructing the establishment of new ventures despite the law. So now the local authorities reportedly want to create a new type of banks to overcome this problem.

David Burt, Bermuda premier and minister of finance, said that banks “cannot be allowed to frustrate the delivery on our promise of economic growth and success for Bermudians. The fintech industry’s success globally depends on the ability of the businesses operating in this space to enjoy the necessary banking services. In other jurisdictions, banking has been the greatest challenge and for us in Bermuda, it is equally so and therefore it must be resolved.”

Kim Dotcom Loses Extradition Appeal

Kim Dotcom, the colorful file-sharing and crypto entrepreneur, has lost his latest extradition appeal. The New Zealand’s Court of Appeal has decided today that he can be handed over to the US where he will stand trial for copyright infringement and fraud. American authorities have been after Dotcom since at least 2012, primarily for enabling the loss of more than an estimated $ 500 million for media copyright holders via Megaupload, a charge he denies. Still, the extradition to the US is not yet a done deal. New Zealand’s Justice Minister Andrew Little has to approve it as well as the court system, and Dotcom’s lawyer responded that “We will seek review with the NZ Supreme Court.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts Off US Investors, Analysis Confirms – ICOs Spike

July 4, 2018 |

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs Spike

Some potential investors find the process of acquiring cryptocurrencies rather complicated, according to a new survey conducted among US residents. Despite that finding, and other obstacles, another study confirms the recently reported increase in capital raised through coin offerings this year. Also in today’s Bitcoin in Brief, the Swiss city of Zug concludes successfully its experimental vote on blockchain.  

Also read: Coinbase Custody Opens, Hitbtc Hits Back at McAfee, BTCC Relaunches

Purchasing Process Deemed a Hurdle for New Crypto Investors

The complicated process of purchasing cryptocurrencies is the biggest obstacle for new investors entering the crypto space, according to a recently released study. The authors polled 1,000 US residents to profile crypto holders and better understand how they are using their digital coins. The poll also attempted to gauge the cultural perceptions surrounding cryptocurrency ownership.

According to the compiled data, almost 40 percent of millennials have confirmed owning cryptocurrency, 48 percent of males and 26 percent among females. At the same time, 24 percent of polled Generation X Americans and 15 percent of Baby Boomers also admitted owning bitcoin or any of its alternatives.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs Spike

The survey, conducted by Creditcoin, made other interesting findings regarding a possible connection between cryptocurrencies and personal relationships. Three-quarters of the questioned stated they would be more likely to date someone who is knowledgeable about cryptocurrency. Many of them, however, remain reserved about dating someone who is obsessed with cryptos. The majority said they would date a divorced person rather than someone who keeps all their savings in cryptocurrency.

Nevertheless, over half of the respondents believe they would have about 10 percent of their savings in cryptocurrency in the next decade. When asked what they would do if given $ 10,000, almost 40 percent said they would buy cryptocurrency than invest in a down payment on a house, 33 percent, or a car – 28 percent.

Investors Still Bullish on ICOs, Despite Issues

Despite regulatory pressures and other issues like bad publicity due to fraudulent or unsuccessful projects, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have raised $ 11.8 billion through May 2018, according to a new analysis released by The Wall Street Journal. The estimate covers nearly 900 token sales listed on ICObench.com. The authors point out that this year’s total is more than double the amount collected by coin offerings for the whole 2017, ~$ 5.5 billion.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs SpikeThe researchers claim that the problems around ICOs have not deterred big tech-oriented investors. Some of the notable token sales this year include the coin offering conducted by the company operating the popular messaging service Telegram, which raised $ 1.7 billion USD,

and that of Block.one, which attracted an estimated $ 4 billion for its EOS network in June.

The study found that the number of ICOs has increased as well, with around 490 token sales raising an average of $ 24 million in the first five months of 2018, compared to $ 14 million collected on average by 300 startups in the last five months of 2017.

According to another report, authored by the Swiss Crypto Valley Association (CVA) and PwC’s consulting division, Strategy&, the capital raised through ICOs has reached $ 13.7 billion USD in the first five months of this year. Both studies conclude that the US remains a major destination for initial coin offerings, while countries like Switzerland are catching up.

Zug Concludes ‘Successful’ Test Blockchain Vote

Authorities in the city of Zug, home of the Swiss Crypto Valley, announced that the country’s first experimental municipal blockchain-based vote has been conducted successfully. The trial started on June 25 and was completed on July 2. Voters were able to participate via an app they had to download and install on their mobile devices. The small scale consultative vote also utilized the city’s eID system introduced in November.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs SpikeThe residents of Zug were asked if they were in favor of setting alight fireworks during the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they thought digital IDs should be used to borrow books, pay parking fees, and for identification on regular referendums. The city has been issuing its residents with digital identity documents since the winter, and is currently examining various possible applications for the blockchain technology.

What sets the Zug referendum apart is that the voting did not take place via a single central server, but was distributed using blockchain across many computers, Swissinfo reports. “The premiere was a success”, Dieter Müller, Head of Communications for the city, told the Swiss News Agency. He added that the technical details of the test will be evaluated over the coming months to estimate the level of protection of privacy and voting secrecy. Authorities will also focus on ensuring that voting results are verifiable and immutable.

Israeli Startup Launches Vegancoin

While establishing a chain of vegan restaurants in the US, American entrepreneur Isaac Thomas and his Israeli partners, Nati Giat, Shenor Shapira, and Yossi Raybi, realized that the millions of vegans and vegetarians around the world need more than that. Their Tel Aviv based company, Vegannation, is now building a global vegan-friendly decentralized community platform.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs Spike

The idea behind the project is to create an ecosystem where vegans can find food products, other vegan commerce and share content like recipes, news and blogs in one place, The Jerusalem Post reports. The platform will have its own crypto, Vegancoin, and joining members will be provided with a Vegannation digital wallet. According to the entrepreneurs, all affiliated businesses are “vegan and cruelty-free.”

“We are moving toward a world where people can see everything and can be responsible for the way they consume. So bringing cryptocurrency to the vegan community brings it full circle,” said Vegannation CEO and co-founder Isaac Thomas. In his words, veganism, cryptocurrency and blockchain go hand in hand toward a world of transparency and awareness.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits in Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments section below.


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