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| May 26, 2019

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8 razor blades found on Michigan gas pump handle: police

April 17, 2019 |

Police in southwestern Michigan are warning residents to be vigilant after a patron reported finding razor blades on a gas pump handle.
FOX News

To handle Star Wars crowds, Disneyland nixes smoking areas, bans wide strollers

March 28, 2019 |

Wide strollers, children’s push wagons and several smoking areas are getting nixed at Disneyland to help ease the crowding that is expected when the theme park opens its much-anticipated Star Wars land in two months.

Walt Disney Co. has been a crowd-control pioneer dating back to Disneyland’s earliest…

L.A. Times – Business

Tron Can’t Handle Bittorrent’s Transaction Volume, Former Exec Claims

January 12, 2019 |

Tron Can’t Handle Bittorrent’s Transaction Volume, Former Exec Claims

Simon Morris, who was Bittorrent’s chief strategy officer until July 2018, has expressed his doubts about the capability of the Tron blockchain to process the vast number of transactions that the popular file-sharing platform will demand. Morris believes there’s more marketing than technology behind the launch of the new crypto token.

Also read: Iran Labels Telegram’s Coin a Threat to National Security

BTT Transactions Will Melt Tron’s Blockchain

Bittorrent is planning to become one of the first projects to offer its coin on Binance Launchpad, a platform developed by the leading cryptocurrency exchange to facilitate fundraising. The upcoming launch of the Bittorrent Token (BTT), a digital coin based on the Tron protocol, has delighted Tron investors who saw the price of TRX jump from around $ 0.02 to over $ 0.03 in the week following the announcement. It has since dropped to almost its previous level.

Tron Can’t Handle Bittorrent’s Transaction Volume, Former Exec Claims

Not everyone is excited about the new crypto, however, as some skeptics doubt the peer-to-peer file-sharing platform needs the tokenization in the first place. After all, it has been operating for years without a dedicated digital coin. Others, like Simon Morris, think a token is a good idea but note that Tron won’t be able to handle the enormous transaction volume that’s needed to tokenize the Bittorrent network.

At Bittorrent, Morris was responsible for exploring the potential benefits of the implementation of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency. In an interview with Breaker Magazine, he shared that when he was the company’s chief strategy officer (CSO), his team realized that tokenization could potentially make the platform significantly faster, for example, though automated auctions to prioritize download queues. The former executive believes Tron is trying to implement a similar concept but he thinks there’s “no way” the capacity of its network would be sufficient.

The transactional capacity we were looking at was needing hundreds of transactions a second just to get started. It’s simply not there. You hear all the bullshit out there, oh, this does 10,000 transactions a second. It’s all crap. We were going to melt Tron. Literally destroy it.

Marketing Machine on Thin Veneer of Technology

Simon Morris expects Tron to proceed with the plan to tokenize Bittorrent, regardless of the outcome, seemingly doing what his team was trying to achieve. “But what’s very clear is that they’re going to say they’re going in the same direction, come what may, because that’s what Tron does … it’s basically a marketing machine layered on a very thin veneer of technology,” he said.

The former Bittorrent executive who left the company after its acquisition admits that Tron’s CEO Justin Sun is very strong at marketing: “He has a very nice personality from a marketing point of view. He doesn’t have a technical bone in his body. He wouldn’t understand, technically, anything,” said Bittorrent’s former CSO.

Tron Can’t Handle Bittorrent’s Transaction Volume, Former Exec Claims

That’s why Morris believes that the new BTT coin will be issued on a different platform. “I suspect that what they’re really going to do is they’ll do it on some central server, they’ll wave their hands and say, ‘Oh, it’s a Lightning Network for Tron,’ or something, and pretend it’s Tron-based, but it’s not really Tron-based,” he elaborated.

In the interview, Simon Morris talks about the accusations from last year that Tron’s developers released a plagiarized whitepaper and used code without proper attribution. He also claims Tron’s chief executive Justin Sun dismissed his suggestion to admit that’s what happened before moving on.

What are you expectations about the tokenization of Bittorrent? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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The post Tron Can’t Handle Bittorrent’s Transaction Volume, Former Exec Claims appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

California wants to test how big a financial hit PG&E can handle

January 10, 2019 |

California has already determined that Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s parent, PG&E Corp., is responsible for a string of deadly wildfires. Regulators are now getting ready to figure out how much that could cost the company.

The California Public Utilities Commission is set to open proceedings Thursday…

L.A. Times – Business

Finma: Crypto Startups Can Handle up to $100M of Deposits in Switzerland

December 4, 2018 |

Finma: Crypto Startups Can Handle up to $  100M of Deposits in Switzerland

Crypto-asset companies can now apply for licenses to handle as much as 100 million Swiss francs ($ 100 million) in public deposits under new regulations published on Dec. 3 by Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma). The development underscores the European country’s efforts to promote technological innovation, as in the past only commercial banks were allowed to receive such large deposits.

Also read: Australia’s Financial Regulator Grants License to Bitcoin Exchange Coinzoom

Companies Cannot Reinvest or Pay Interest on Deposits

There is a catch, however. Blockchain and cryptocurrency-related businesses that are granted the fintech licenses to manage large amounts of investor funds “may not invest” or “pay interest” on the deposits, according to the new guidelines, which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Finma: Crypto Startups Can Handle up to $  100M of Deposits in SwitzerlandFinma has also set out stringent fiduciary and operational requirements for applicants. For example, cryptocurrency startups must submit clear documentation describing their business, target market and location. The regulator also requires full disclosure about board members, including their home addresses and any record of past criminal activity.

In addition, shareholders that directly or indirectly own 5 percent or more of the issued capital of a company must be disclosed to Finma. The same applies to foreign shareholders that hold equivalent equity stakes. Finma said that companies must submit any information on agreements, such as shareholder deals, and any “other ways in which the applicant may be controlled or materially influenced.”

“The license application must contain a detailed justification,” it added. “All relevant information must be documented, and changed documents must also be submitted with changes tracked.”

Boosting Innovation, Stemming the Flow

Finma: Crypto Startups Can Handle up to $  100M of Deposits in Switzerland

The fintech license was created after the Swiss parliament amended the Banking Act earlier this year, in a move aimed at boosting innovation within the cryptocurrency industry. In February 2017, Switzerland’s Federal Council released three measures for consultation to promote innovation in the financial sector and remove barriers to market entry for financial technology companies.

Two of those measures — the extension of the holding period for settlement accounts and an authorization-exempt innovation area, or sandbox — went into force on Aug. 1, 2017. And with the announcement of the new legal amendments, it is now possible for the third measure — a new authorization category with simplified requirements in the Banking Act — to take effect on New Year’s Day. In addition, the sandbox will be extended to include crowdlending business models, under which public funds of up to $ 1 million in total can one day be brokered for commercial and industrial purposes, as well as private consumption.

A number of countries in continental Europe are now coming to terms with the loss of numerous digital currency businesses to competing, offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands, where regulation is less strict. But Switzerland, with its crypto tax haven of Zug, appears intent on stemming the flow.

 Progressive Stance

The country has taken a progressive stance toward cryptocurrencies by legalizing their use and formalizing crypto transactions in a range of different contexts. But some crypto projects still struggle to open bank accounts, and cryptocurrency-focused bankers and investors still complain about a relative lack of regulatory clarity, as it remains unclear whether cryptocurrencies can be considered legal tender in certain contexts.

Finma: Crypto Startups Can Handle up to $  100M of Deposits in Switzerland

Switzerland sees virtual money and blockchain technology as strategic innovations in global finance. It is therefore determined to maintain and expand the jobs it has to offer in the field. The country’s tax regulator views cryptocurrencies as assets that should be subject to wealth taxes and declared on annual tax returns.

According to reports, Zug — also known as “Crypto Valley” — ranks favorably among the most crypto-friendly destinations in the world, boasting more than 400 crypto businesses. Four of the 10 biggest ICOs in 2017 were registered in Switzerland, which is more than any other country, according to a report by PwC.

What do you think about the Finma decision? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coinzoom.

Express yourself freely at’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check

The post Finma: Crypto Startups Can Handle up to $ 100M of Deposits in Switzerland appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Think You’ve Got a Handle on Foreign Languages? Meet Thaksin

November 17, 2018 |

A young boy who’s picked up parts of at least 12 languages and dialects while selling souvenirs to tourists at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex is about to get a change of scenery—and a free education. Thaksin first won hearts around the world in a viral video showing him…

He’d Find Bats on His Bed and Handle Them. Now He’s Dead

November 10, 2018 |

Gary Giles and his wife, Juanita, would often use their hands to catch the bats that would end up flying around inside their home in Moroni, Utah, and they never had any issues. “The bats would lick our fingers, almost like they could taste the saltiness of our fingers, but…

Can the Internet Handle Another April Pregnancy?

July 25, 2018 |

April, the giraffe whose pregnancy became an internet sensation , is pregnant again. Jordan Patch of Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY, announced the pregnancy Wednesday on NBC’s Today show. Patch says the calf is due during the early part of spring, around March, reports the AP . April’s pregnancy drew more…

How Suspect’s Car Door Handle Hurt Him in Golden State Killer Case

June 2, 2018 |

After four decades of hunting for the Golden State Killer, a pivotal piece of evidence that may have sealed the case was DNA evidence secretly lifted from the suspect’s car door at a Hobby Lobby parking lot in Roseville, Calif., reports the Los Angeles Times . Newly released court documents paint…

No, Visa Doesn’t Handle 24,000 TPS and Neither Does Your Pet Blockchain

April 20, 2018 |

No, Visa Doesn’t Handle 24,000 TPS and Neither Does Your Pet Blockchain

When it comes to measuring the speed of new blockchains, the comparison is always with Visa. Despite not being a blockchain, the 24,000 transactions per second Visa reportedly handles have attained mythical status. That figure is unquestioningly trotted out whenever scaling is discussed. In reality, claims of Visa’s throughput, as well as those of emerging blockchains, have been greatly exaggerated.

Also read: The Bitcoin BCH Block Explorer Explodes With Blockchain Data

Visa, Scaling, and the 24k Hoax

Visa CEO: Bitcoin is Not a Payment SystemBitcoin was envisaged as a payments system and so it was natural, long before the store of value notion emerged, that comparisons would be made with existing global payment systems. Bitcoin’s early adopters knew that if the technology took off, some time in the future it would need to handle magnitudes more transactions per second than the 7 it could muster. Someone mentioned Visa with their magical 24k per second, and it’s stuck ever since.

Only that figure isn’t entirely accurate. In fact it’s not even remotely accurate. In reality, Visa processes around 1,700 transactions per second, a figure it rarely exceeds. The larger number is the one that Visa claims, and it’s the one that’s usually referenced in comparison to bitcoin and every other blockchain. In theory Visa should be able to handle that volume – in fact it’s been reported that its servers can handle as much as 56k tps – but that’s all theoretical, much like the claimed throughput of new blockchains that can operate at the speed of light in the lab, but significantly worse in the wild. There’s a big difference between operating a testnet on a bunch of Amazon servers and a mainnet distributed around the globe.

You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It

Speed and throughput come at the expense of decentralization, and the more you increase the former, the more of the latter you lose. Blockchains such as EOS and NEO are certainly faster than bitcoin, but they’re also highly centralized because they rely on a much lower number of validator nodes, among other things. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a fast but semi-centralized blockchain, but it is never going to become a global payment system with censorship-resistant properties that can rival bitcoin.

No, Visa Doesn’t Handle 24,000 TPS and Neither Does Your Pet Blockchain

Even at 1,700 transactions per second, Visa is still significantly faster than bitcoin and most other blockchains, but this figure is at least a far more realistic one to reference and a more achievable one to aim for. Blockchain scaling can be implemented in a range of ways, from increasing the block size to layer two solutions (Lightning Network) to using techniques such as sharding, all of which carry various trade-offs. There is no reason why Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash, and other blockchains cannot reach much higher speeds and levels of throughput without compromising on their decentralization, but this will take time and tech.

No, Visa Doesn’t Handle 24,000 TPS and Neither Does Your Pet BlockchainFor now, any time a new blockchain starts making promises about “beating Visa’s 24,000 tps”, be sceptical and examine the fineprint. IOTA’s meant to be fast and scalable, but like a kid who’s terrified of removing the stabilizers from their bike, it still doesn’t function without its coordinator. Hashgraph is also meant to be fast, but it comes with threats to sue anyone who tries to fork it and any blockchain that can be sued isn’t a decentralized network. Come to think of it, it’s more like Visa.

Do you think the performance of new blockchains is typically overstated? Let us know in the comments section below.

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The post No, Visa Doesn’t Handle 24,000 TPS and Neither Does Your Pet Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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