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| September 20, 2018

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Letter Makes Latest Church Sex Scandal Look Worse

September 8, 2018 |

A 2006 letter from a top Vatican official confirms that the Holy See received information in 2000 about the sexual misconduct of now-resigned US cardinal, lending credibility to bombshell accusations of a cover-up at the highest echelons of the Roman Catholic Church, the AP reports. Catholic News Service published the…


What to look for as North Korea celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding

September 8, 2018 |

For months, North Korea has been preparing a massive display of national unity and military might to mark the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding. – RSS Channel – World

U.S., India Look to Patch Up Rocky Relationship With Defense Deals

September 6, 2018 |

In a rare top-level meeting set, senior U.S. and Indian officials will try to push past an array of irritations in the two countries’ relationship to forge new, far-reaching agreements for military and diplomatic cooperation. What’s News Asia

It Doesn’t Look Good for Frank Underwood

September 5, 2018 |

Netflix didn’t just pull the plug on Kevin Spacey . His House of Cards character Frank Underwood looks to have kicked the bucket in a new 25-second teaser for the show’s upcoming sixth season. It features Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright, addressing Frank’s grave, sitting next to his father’s tombstone…

SEC Wants Second Look at Nine Bitcoin ETFs

August 25, 2018 |

SEC Wants Second Look at Nine Bitcoin ETFs

One day after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected proposed rule changes for nine bitcoin ETFs, the Commission initiated a review of all related decisions. Three rejection orders made on August 22 are now stayed pending the review by the SEC Chairman and the Commissioners.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

SEC Initiates Review of Nine Bitcoin ETFs

SEC Wants Second Look at Nine Bitcoin ETFsAfter rejecting the proposed rule changes for nine bitcoin ETFs, the SEC sent out notices stating that it will review the delegated actions on all of them. All August 22 rejection orders are now stayed.

This is the first time the SEC initiated a review of its staff decisions on bitcoin ETFs. In contrast, when the proposed rule change for the Winklevoss bitcoin ETF was rejected in March, it took Bats BZX exchange to file a petition for the Commission to review the decision. reached out to the SEC for comments. According to Rule 431(c) of the SEC’s Rules of Practice:

The Commission may, on its own initiative, order review of any action made pursuant to delegated authority at any time, provided, however, that where there are one or more parties to the matter, such review shall not be ordered more than ten days after the action. The vote of one member of the Commission, conveyed to the Secretary, shall be sufficient to bring a matter before the Commission for review.

Commissioner Peirce’s Comments

While the Commission did not confirm which Commissioner(s) called for the review, Commissioner Hester Peirce has been vocal on social media about the review taking place.

She has since tweeted, “Yesterday’s staff orders disapproving SRO rules related to a number of bitcoin ETFs are stayed pending Commission review,” elaborating:

The Commission (Chairman and Commissioners) delegates some tasks to its staff. When the staff acts in such cases, it acts on behalf of the Commission. The Commission may review the staff’s action, as will now happen here.

SEC Wants Second Look at Nine Bitcoin ETFs
Commissioner Hester Peirce.

In March last year, when the SEC rejected the proposed rule change by Bats BZX exchange, Peirce was not yet at the Commission. In a recent interview with CNBC, she said that she had been at the Commission for only six months and was not part of the original decision made on said bitcoin ETF.

Following the March rejection, Bats BZX exchange filed a petition for a review with the SEC; the final decision was made over a year later. Peirce was part of the final review and she voted for the approval of the bitcoin ETF while three of her colleagues voted against.

Furthermore, she said during the interview that the Commission overstepped its bounds by rejecting bitcoin ETFs based on the underlying market.

Three Review Orders

On August 23, the SEC sent out three letters. One was sent to Cboe Global Markets regarding two Graniteshares bitcoin ETFs. Two were sent to NYSE Group regarding five Direxion bitcoin ETFs and two Proshares bitcoin ETFs. All nine were rejected on August 22, as reported.

The three letters similarly read:

This letter is to notify you that, pursuant to Rule 431 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice, 17 CFR 201.431, the Commission will review the delegated action. In accordance with Rule 431(e), the August 22 order is stayed until the Commission orders otherwise.

What do you think of the SEC’s action? Do you think the SEC will approve any of the nine bitcoin ETFs after the review? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images via Shutterstock and Hester Peirce.

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The post SEC Wants Second Look at Nine Bitcoin ETFs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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A Look at Two More Bitcoin Cash Token Projects in the Works

August 24, 2018 |

A Look at Two More Bitcoin Cash Token Projects in the Works

Since the Bitcoin Cash upgrade last May there’s been a sudden emergence of token creation protocols introduced to the BCH protocol. Lots of projects and ideas have been released over the past few months priming up the flames of competitive development. Now there are two more BCH-based token protocols that have been introduced to the BCH community — Recursive Smelting and a javascript project called Bitcoin Token.

Also Read: Steve Eisman of ‘The Big Short’ Fame: What Value Does Cryptocurrency Actually Add?

Two More Bitcoin Cash-Powered Token Projects Revealed

So many representative token creation projects have been revealed to the BCH community over the past few months that it’s been like a flood of tokenization innovation. Projects like these really started kicking into high gear after the BCH hard fork that increased the block size to 32MB, expanded the default data-carrier-size to 220 bytes, and re-enabled previously disabled Satoshi Opcodes. The last two upgrade features really sparked the start of token projects being built with the BCH protocol. Over the last couple of weeks, has been reviewing each proposal and testing some of the token platforms that have already been released into the wild. This week we looked at two more unique tokenization ideas that have been recently introduced to BCH supporters.

An Introduction to Recursive Smelting

One interesting project that has not yet been released into the wild is a concept called ‘Recursive Smelting’ an idea authored by the developers Harry Barber, and Chris Novick. The proposal introduced by Barber on August 8 describes a system that allows for provable token burns, token issue escrow, atomic swaps (Bitcoin Cash-to-token), and miners’ fees payable via tokens. Furthermore, the developers say that the project uses a protocol called DAG and also uses a cryptographic method called ‘SNARKs.’

A Look at Two More Bitcoin Cash Token Projects in the Works
An introduction to Recursive Smelting.

“In Recursive Smelting (RS) the primary objectives are to create a permissionless protocol using on-chain data, while maximizing SPV compatibility and avoiding invasive protocol changes — Our proposal originates in the DAG category and then breaks from it using novel cryptographic techniques — specifically Succinct Non-interactive ARguments of Knowledge (SNARKs),” explains the RS introductory. “An RS token’s ledger is a collection of transactions adhering to one of three primitive transaction formats.”

Each primitive transaction interfaces with one another, creating a subgraph within the graph of all Bitcoin transactions. These primitive transactions are the genesis transaction, minting transactions, and ownership transactions. Ownership transactions are required to conserve token quantity while minting transactions are not.       

The developers of the RS project have published a proof-of-library which has a wallet interface allowing for proof generation and verification required for the Recursive Smelting protocol. The RS creators have also published a white paper and an example implementation as well. Additionally, the developers have published the project’s two-week review which details that RS is getting a lot of development. The team added script design changes, a reference wallet implementation which will possibly use the Electron Cash client. The RS creators still have a lot of work to do, they explain, detailing that the project needs further testing of parsing and validation, decluttering the code, and SNARKs compatibility. “Lastly, we are currently working on a powerful framework for very general smart contracts, based on the foundational principles of RS,” explains Barber on August 22.

Bitcoin Token: Building Tokens and Smart Contracts Using the BCH Protocol

Another project introduced on Friday, August 24 called ‘Bitcoin Token’ aims to build tokens and smart contracts by using the BCH protocol. The Bitcoin Token project was launched by a software developer named Clemens, and he aims to release his new platform by the end of the year.

“Bitcoin Token is a tool for developers to build tokens and other smart contracts on top of Bitcoin Cash — It grants the programmer very low-level access, think of it as writing smart contracts in assembly code,” Clemen’s website explains.

You can also use a pre-defined library and launch a token in a few lines of Javascript — We are in prototype stage and plan to launch towards the end of the year.

Clemens says the project is based on the well-known and “battle-tested” concepts behind colored coins. Although the developer says his project expands by featuring smart contracts that can be “defined by allowing the issuer/developer to customize the tokens behaviour in Javascript.”

A Look at Two More Bitcoin Cash Token Projects in the Works
The Bitcoin Token project.

“Bitcoin Token is as scalable as the underlying blockchain. Issuing a new token or sending tokens to another user can be done within seconds,” the website notes.  

Receiving tokens is usually the bottleneck for token solutions on top of Bitcoin — However our solution guaranties lightning fast token validation with minimal storage overhead.

The Bitcoin Cash community seems to be fine with the large focus on token projects and the variety of concepts and projects launched so far. Right now each project is in its very earliest stages but some are further ahead of others as far as SPV compatibility, and are user-friendly so anyone can make tokens, not just people who are savvy with command prompts. Recursive Smelting and Bitcoin Token are in even earlier stages, but still have some innovative ideas behind them, and there is nothing wrong with developers testing their concepts prior to production.

What do you think about Recursive Smelting and the Bitcoin Token project? Let us know your thoughts about these two ideas in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, The Recursive Smelting project, and the Bitcoin Token project.

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

The post A Look at Two More Bitcoin Cash Token Projects in the Works appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

A Look at Venezuela’s Other Cryptocurrencies, While the Petro Takes Center Stage

August 21, 2018 |

A Look at Venezuela’s Other Coins, While Petro Takes the Center Stage

Financially troubled Venezuela, which is introducing the new, denominated, crypto-anchored “sovereign bolivar” this week, is also the birthplace of a number of alternative coins beside the state-issued, oil-backed national cryptocurrency, El Petro. Crisis-hit Venezuelans are actually using some of them in real life, according to the local crypto community.     

Also read: Coinhive Mints Quarter Million Dollars in Monero a Month, Report Reveals

El Petro in the Spotlight

Public attention is focused on the petro this week, with authorities in Caracas launching the country’s new and denominated bolívar soberano (sovereign bolivar) that has five zeros less than the bolívar fuerte – the current Venezuelan fiat which is going down in history as one of the world’s most depreciated and inflated currencies. What makes the occasion special is that the new bolivar is pegged to the petro – arguably the world’s first national cryptocurrency. From Monday, the two will coexist together and will remain the only two official units of account in the Bolivarian Republic after the old bolivar is phased out.

A Look at Venezuela’s Other Coins, While Petro Takes the Center StageVenezuela’s leftist administration, led by President Nicolás Maduro, looks at the oil-backed petro and now the petro-tied bolivar as crucial instruments in the struggle to overcome the country’s economic hardships. But while the socialist government is obsessed with imposing the state-issued coin and restoring state control over the shattered Venezuelan economy, a growing number of Venezuelans have been seeking refuge in “volatile” cryptocurrencies – a relative notion in this case. With almost 12% of all bitcoins traded on Localbitcoins by Venezuelans, according to a new report, their nation accounts for BTC trade worth over $ 700 million USD and places fourth in the leaderboard of the peer-to-peer platform, right after the United States, Russia, and the UK.

In a recent radio interview, the president of the Venezuelan Association of Cryptocurrencies “Asonacrip”, Jose Alvarez, spoke about cryptocurrencies in the light of the opportunities they present to his compatriots who have seen the purchasing power of their fiat money literary evaporate before their eyes. Mr. Alvarez claims there are successful developments beyond the petro in Venezuela. Besides bitcoin and the bolivar, Venezuelans have other alternatives at their disposal, and some of them actually already work, with real-life use cases, as the representative of the crypto community points out. They are both local and crypto, like the petro, but not government-issued, unlike the national cryptocurrency.

Meet Venezuela’s other coins.

Venezuela’s Private Cryptocurrencies

A Look at Venezuela’s Other Coins, While Petro Takes the Center StageBolivarcoin – Talking about bolivars, maybe we should mention this one first. There’s not much information about it but let’s summarize what’s available. According to some older forum posts, the Bolivarcoin (BOL) is a crypto inspired by Bitcoin and based on the Litecoin script. The authors say everyone is invited to mine and use “the main virtual currency in Venezuela.” Bolivarcoin’s website, however, does not have the looks of a well marketed project. It gives you the option to ask questions and that’s about it. The last post on Bolivarcoin’s Facebook page is from a couple of years ago. BOL currently ranks 1,265th among digital coins tracked by Coinmarketcap. It has a market capitalization of 17 BTC (~$ 108,000) and costs $ 0.009528 USD per coin at the time of writing.

A Look at Venezuela’s Other Coins, While Petro Takes the Center StageOnixcoin – Marketed as “Venezuela’s first cryptocurrency,” it has a decent website. Its team has set a goal to “bring financial tools to all Venezuelans and Latin Americans” by providing access to international transfers, unlimited credits and currency trading. The project is actually targeting people with little financial history – recent graduates, students and entrepreneurs were mentioned in a Steemit post earlier this year. ONX, the crypto that “anyone can mine or buy,” currently costs $ 0.002914 USD. It has a market cap of $ 312,048 USD and ranks 957th on the Coinmarketcap platform.

A Look at Venezuela’s Other Coins, While Petro Takes the Center StageRilcoin – Another Venezuelan cryptocurrency that according to Alvarez is used in the tourism industry, the goal stated by its team on the coin’s website. Its developers say Rilcoin has been created as a fast, safe and simple cryptocurrency to be used daily in stores and help improve Venezuela’s economy. And because of the crisis, the company is distributing a percentage of the coins mined each month to local charities. There is no data on Coinmarketcap about Rilcoin, but according to the calculator on its website, 1 Rilcoin currently costs $ 0.003 USD.

A Look at Venezuela’s Other Coins, While Petro Takes the Center StagePerlacoin – The president of “Asonacrip” mentions there have been some developments with this cryptocurrency in Margarita. Earlier this year, the island was designated as a special economic zone by Maduro’s administration along with Los Roques, Paraguaná, Ureña, where the government wants to stimulate the circulation of the state-issued petro. Not a lot of information is available about Perlacoin and the crypto is not listed by Coinmarketcap either. The last activity on the project’s Twitter page is from early March.

Beside these privately-issued cryptocurrencies and the state-emitted oil-backed petro, the government also had plans to create another coin – Petro Oro (petro gold), to be backed by precious metals like gold. In February, right after the launch of the petro, President Maduro announced authorities were preparing to issue the “even more powerful” Petro Oro as well. No details were provided as to whether the second national Venezuelan coin would be backed by the gold reserves of Banco Central de Venezuela or the country’s mineral deposits. Months later, the fate of the project remains unclear.

On August 20, Venezuela devalued the national fiat currency. The new, petro-pegged “sovereign bolivar” has five zeros less than the current “strong bolivar”. The monetary reform was announced as part of a package of measures to improve the socio-economic conditions in the country and restore government control over the economy. The minimum salary will be raised 60-fold to 0.5 PTR, or $ 30 USD a month, but VAT will jump from 12 to 16 percent. Maduro also vowed to restore the price ceiling mechanism which is supposed to allow authorities to limit inflation.

What do you think will happen with Venezuela’s private cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Binance, Adab Solutions.

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The post A Look at Venezuela’s Other Cryptocurrencies, While the Petro Takes Center Stage appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Art Exhibit Made to Look Like ‘Endless Chasm’ Claims Victim

August 21, 2018 |

The “dizzying experience” of peering down into an “endless chasm in space” made a visitor to Portugal’s Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art especially woozy, reports Artnet , and now the 60-year-old man is recuperating from his injuries. Last week, the Italian in Porto was checking out Chicago “Bean” creator Anish Kapoor’s…

A look at the leading candidates for Brazil’s presidency

August 21, 2018 |

With poll-leading former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in jail and likely to be barred from running, Brazil’s presidential election is wide open.
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