Spending Archives -
The BCH-centric web portal Bitcoinbch.com published on September 13 an in-depth report that shows the aggregate of cryptocurrency expenditure for Australian retail businesses. According to the 10-page document, BCH transactions in the country exceed BTC transactions by a wide margin and BCH is the top digital currency in Australia.
In Australia, Bitcoin Cash Is Soundly #1
This week the website Bitcoinbch.com revealed a report that covers cryptocurrency usage in Australia in regard to Australian merchants that support digital currencies for products and services. The research combs through the various payment processors and point-of-sale systems located throughout the country. Sources used in the analysis stem from the underwriting firms Travelbybit (TBB) and Hula (Hockings Underwriting Logistics App).
The multi-coin payment processor TBB started operations in 2017 and has around 195 merchants to-date. Hula was launched two months ago and the company has roughly 17 retailers utilizing the underwriting system. “This report captures and analyses the majority of all merchant cryptocurrency payments in Australia for the month of September 2019 by harvesting data from both the underwriting systems,” explains the report’s author and Bitcoinbch.com CEO Hayden Otto.
“Cryptocurrency adoption in Australia has taken some interesting turns — Today there is an obvious shift toward a mono-cryptocurrency adoption policy, where merchants have chosen to accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH) only rather than point-of-sale systems supporting a basket of different cryptos,” the report highlights. Otto’s study continues:
Further, a large percentage of these merchants have chosen to accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in a purely peer-to-peer fashion rather than by way of payment processors.
Bitcoin Cash Accounted for 92% of Australia’s Crypto-Based Retail Sales
The study of cryptocurrency retail sales in Australia for September 2019 notes that approximately $ 39,405 were spent across 625 separate transactions. “The vast majority of economic activity occurred on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain,” the report mentions. Bitcoinbch.com’s summary says the combination of datasets between TBB and Hula clearly shows that “BCH is by far the preferred choice for Australian users of electronic cash.” BCH sales dominated by 92.45% while Lightning Network had 3.1% and traditional onchain BTC transactions turned out to be 1.9%. Cryptocurrencies like LTC, BSV, and ETH are barely seen on the scope of data with 0.01% to 0.19% of retail sales.
Bitcoinbch.com’s analysis also points out that TBB has only enabled BCH as a minority on the company’s PoS system. Despite the policy, BCH still captures “the 3rd most spent and 2nd most transacted among their supported cryptocurrencies.” Otto recommends that TBB change its policy to be more accepting of BCH from a business perspective. Additionally, when observing the transactions processed by each service, Hula commands 76% of the $ 39K spent while TBB is only processing 24%. “The data confirms that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is fulfilling the original promise of Bitcoin as “Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash” of a fast, reliable, secure, and efficient currency,” the report emphasizes. Bitcoinbch.com’s research further stresses:
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) alone accounted for 92.45% ($ 36,431) of all cryptocurrency spent and 80.3% (502 tx) of all cryptocurrency transactions in Australia.
The study concerning cryptocurrency expenditure for retail businesses shows that at least in Australia BCH has surpassed BTC in the retail space by a longshot. The 10-page report underscores that BCH outspent BTC by 48.93 to one and had 20x the transaction count. Otto concedes by saying that the BTC experiment seems to have run its course or at the very least has a lot to accomplish to even catch up to the number of BCH transactions spent. “Bitcoin Cash is soundly number one,” the report concludes.
What do you think about bitcoin cash transactions used in retail outshining BTC transactions spent in Australia? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
The post Bitcoin Cash Outshines BTC Retail Spending in Australia by a Wide Margin appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will spend $ 6 million to run digital and TV commercials in the early voting primary and caucus states, his campaign said Thursday, as he attempts to keep pace with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, his main rival right now for the Democratic presidential nomination.
A bug discovered in the Lightning Network in June, which allowed lightning bitcoins not backed by actual bitcoins to be spent, has officially been addressed in a new dev full disclosure report released on Friday. The problem has reportedly been remedied, but the security oversight casts doubts on an already heavily scrutinized protocol, and whether a proper release of LN anytime soon is actually feasible.
Lightning Bug in June
On June 27, developer Rusty Russell discovered the security flaw while running tests on the network. As the bug was not independently discovered by malicious entities, it is unlikely that major damage was done, although conclusive evidence did show that at least one exploitation of the bug did occur “in the wild” on September 7. A quiet fix was made and the issue was revealed in August after most users had upgraded, culminating in the September 27 release of the full disclosure report.
The report states:
A lightning node accepting a channel must check that the funding transaction output does indeed open the channel proposed. Otherwise an attacker can claim to open a channel but either not pay to the peer, or not pay the full amount … Implementations did not always do this check.
Listed implementations which were vulnerable were c-lightning v.0.7.0 and below, lnd v.0.7.0 and below, and eclair v.0.3.0 and below. Some implementations only checked for partial data necessary to confirm the authenticity of the transaction. According to the report “It did NOT, however, require the receiver to actually check that the transaction is the one promised by the funder: both the amount and the actual scriptpubkey.”
All systems seem to be back on track now, the bug report detailing that the discovery, for all the trouble it caused, “did provide an opportunity to test communications and methods of upgrade across the entire lightning ecosystem.”
While this security flaw was dealt with relatively efficiently, and no network is beyond critique, many in the crypto space still take issue with the layer two payment protocol for various reasons. Addressing this most recent report on Twitter, Bitcoin Unlimited’s Peter Rizun wrote:
Many people pointed out how LN channel balances were claims on real bitcoins, and not actually real bitcoins themselves, and that problems like this would surface.
LN proponents retorted that it was impossible for channel balances to be unbacked.
LN proponents were wrong.
— Peter R. Rizun (@PeterRizun) September 27, 2019
Still others are critical of the trust that is required to use the network, and the necessity of remaining online, as it is ultimately an off-chain solution requiring intermediaries who are also online at the same time, and who have enough funds available to move a user’s desired transaction along. Controversial ideas like watchtowers have not helped folks take a shine to LN, either, owing to the potential they hold for surveillance bodies like police and governments to establish undue influence, and stifle liquidity. For those relatively new to LN and some of the potential obstacles it presents, Rizun has also posted an easy-to-understand illustrated video here. Should Lightning ever emerge from its experimental stage, then the market can have a good, full go at it. Trouble is, some are still wondering if that elusive day will ever come.
What are your thoughts on the Lightning Network? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock.
The post Hidden Lightning Network Bug Allowed Spending of ‘Fake’ Bitcoins appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Are you embarrassed to admit you play Candy Crush Saga for way too long each day? No worries—you don’t have an addiction, per a rep from King, the game’s maker. The Guardian reports senior executive Alex Dale recently appeared before a UK Commons committee looking into addictive tech and…
Italy has had its share of economic problems in the past decade and a growing number of its citizens blame the euro for their country’s misfortunes. Italians, many of whom still prefer to use cash, are now turning their attention to cryptocurrencies such as BCH. Federico Pecoraro, the CEO of Chainblock, one of the first crypto companies in the country, thinks it’s the right time to enable more people and businesses to benefit from using decentralized money. He considers bitcoin cash a good candidate to become the world’s digital coin for daily spending.
Rome’s Troubles Create Conditions for Cryptocurrency Adoption
Italy is an interesting case in Europe. In certain aspects, the country is part of EU’s Southern Flank, a region facing serious economic and financial challenges in the past 10 years. On the other hand, it’s one of the world’s largest economies. And just like the rest of the continent, it has its own North-South disproportions in terms of industrialization and level of economic development. As a whole, Italy remains one of the most advanced economies, it’s the third-largest in the Eurozone and the eighth in the world by nominal GDP. It is also one of the largest exporters on the planet, including of high value added products.
The Italian economy took a hard hit from the 2008 financial crisis. The country’s problems were exacerbated by its huge public debt accumulated due to excessive spending by the government in Rome during the previous couple of decades. Since then, Italy has managed to catch up with the average Eurozone growth indicators. However, many ordinary Italians, over a third of whom live in poverty or risk of social exclusion, blame the adoption of the euro for the loss of economic power. Critics say Europe’s common fiat currency has been tailored to the interests of others further north.
In these circumstances, cryptocurrencies are gradually winning hearts and minds in Italy. Despite the ups and downs, the long-term trend in the economy built around decentralized digital assets has been mostly positive. Crypto winter, which seems to have passed already, has been a tough time for almost any company involved in cryptocurrencies, according to Federico Pecoraro, CEO of Chainblock. There has been an overall decrease in transactions in the Italian crypto sector during last year. “Media coverage has been quieter after March 2018 too,” the entrepreneur told news.Bitcoin.com.
Leading Italian Crypto Company Launches New Services
Chainblock is a well-established crypto company which started in 2013 as the first Bitcoin ATM operator in Italy. It has recently expanded its portfolio and now operates Chainblock Buy, a hybrid exchange for buying, trading and selling cryptocurrencies, Chainblock Buy With Cards which is a service for people who want to buy coins with debit and credit cards, and Chainblock Pay, a solution for merchants that want to accept crypto payments. The latter already has a prominent client – Vapor Art, which is the largest supplier of e-cigarettes in Italy. Pecoraro explained:
We love small businesses that want to accept crypto payments but we want to enable as many merchants as we can with a strategic market approach. Our goal is to provide affordable and scalable solutions for both big and small shops and spread real cryptocurrency mass adoption. We plan to enable 5,000 merchants to accept Bitcoin payments.
Pecoraro pointed out that Chainblock Buy With Cards and Chainblock Pay are the company’s latest products that were launched in 2019, while Chainblock Buy has been online since last year. At the same time, the company remains a market leader with its core ATM business – people can use its teller machines to purchase digital coins with fiat cash. “Our mission is to allow anyone to easily buy and spend cryptocurrencies, and we proudly support Bitcoin Cash from its beginning,” emphasized the company’s chief executive.
Like other crypto businesses with strong foundations, Chainblock has used the “winter months” in the industry to develop new products in order to expand its customer base. It also installed six new ATMs in 2018, including one device in a large shopping mall visited by over 8 million customers annually. “At the end of 2018, we had a 156% increase in transactions and a 144% increase in new users,” Federico Pecoraro revealed. He believes Italy has what it takes to become the starting point of an economic revolution that embraces cryptocurrencies and says this could happen sooner than people might think. That’s why, during a meeting with representatives of Banca d’Italia, the country’s central bank, his team proposed the conversion of some of the nation’s gold reserves into bitcoin. Italy actually has the third biggest gold reserve in the world, the businessman noted.
Pecoraro further elaborated that while bitcoin core (BTC) may have the role of a store-of-value currency at the moment, bitcoin cash (BCH) could be the cryptocurrency that would fit perfectly as a real global coin for daily spending. “We’re proud to support it on our products. Indeed, our clients have the opportunity to buy BCH through any of our services,” he stressed. The entrepreneur also shared details about the profile of his company’s customers. Most often, young clients buy online while older customers generally prefer to purchase digital assets from ATMs with cash.
“Italian people still use a lot of cash, and we give them an easy way to convert it into their favorite cryptocurrencies. The average Chainblock Buy user is a male aged 24-35 who wants to invest some money in cryptocurrencies, while the average Chainblock ATM user is rather a curious person exploring cryptocurrencies for the first time,” said Federico Pecoraro. “Our ATMs guarantee a unique experience through which people can understand how easy it is to buy bitcoin cash and bitcoin core.”
Italy is home to large diasporas from Eastern Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean region, and Pecoraro acknowledged that immigrants and guest workers were among Chainblock’s first clients. “In fact, cryptocurrencies are still the best way to send money worldwide, a cheap and fast way, especially in countries where there is no strong banking system. At the same time, due to strict KYC/AML policies, sending coins is not as easy as it was years ago and this could be a barrier for first-time users. We try anyway to do our best and we also expect to work soon on specific remittance products and services,” the CEO added.
Lack of Regulatory Clarity for Digital Assets Persists
Chainblock is operating as a crypto company that provides non-custodial services but it’s compliant with the applicable know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) requirements and is partnering with traditional financial institutions including the central bank. However, Italian authorities have so far taken few steps to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. In February 2019, lawmakers approved a bill introducing legal definitions for terms associated with the crypto sector such as “smart contract” and “distributed ledger technology” (DLT). The law, which is the first attempt to regulate some aspects of the industry, tasked the country’s Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale with creating specific technical standards DLT technologies will be expected to meet.
Despite the new legislation, the legal status of cryptocurrencies in Italy remains largely undefined. Banca d’Italia has previously described them as “digital representations of a value” and some substatutory acts on money laundering have noted that coins can be transferred, stored and traded electronically, used as a means of exchange and to pay for goods and services. In early 2018, public consultations were conducted on the adoption of rules to govern the registration of companies dealing with crypto assets, and in December the Ministry of Economic Development selected 30 individuals to develop the country’s regulatory strategy regarding blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.
The Italian securities regulator, Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (Consob), has so far issued multiple warnings against unlicensed companies promoting crypto investment opportunities. Meanwhile, the debate on how to tax crypto holdings and profits continues. More clarity regarding cryptocurrency regulations in Italy and other countries is likely to come after the recent release of the international standards for virtual assets issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The intergovernmental body vowed to closely follow their implementation in member states within the next 12 months.
Do you expect Italy to regulate cryptocurrencies by the end of 2019? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Anna Jarvis, who led the push in the early 1900s for a national celebration of Mother’s Day, later decried the holiday because she felt it became too commercialized.
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