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The Hodler Manifesto, Are you a True Crypto Coin Hodler

bitcoins channel - 53 min 46 sec ago

The Hodler Manifesto website is a cool and short explanation about What is HODL. There are just eight short rules that a true crypto coin HODLer will follow, though most of these are also good advice for pretty much anyone into crypto. So even if you are not a true crypto HODLer, you might still check it out… who knows, maybe you are actually a HODLer, but didn’t know it until now.

Rule 1: A True HODLer Does Not Sell Their Coin.
Rule 2: A True HODLer Buys the Dip.
Rule 3: A True HODLer Remains Steadfast In Spite of FUD.
Rule 4: A True HODLer Keeps Their Coins Off Exchanges and Online Wallets.
Rule 5: A True HODLer Buys Goods and Services With Their Coin.
Rule 6: A True HODLer Spreads the Good Word.
Rule 7: A True HODLer Does Not Get FOMO When Another Coin Rises.
Rule 8: A True HODLer Will Run Their Own Full Node.

Read more about the 8 rules that a true crypto HODLer should follow at the The Hodler Manifesto…


The post The Hodler Manifesto, Are you a True Crypto Coin Hodler appeared first on Bitcoins Channel.

Cboe Bitcoin Contracts Slide 36 Percent as January Futures Expire

bitcoins channel - 1 hour 48 min ago

Chicago Board Option Exchange (Cboe) historic bitcoin futures market has had its first month, and results are decidedly mixed depending on the analyst. Some see the experiment as a dud, while others champion the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency. So far, bears are trouncing bulls.  

Also read: Have Lunch with Bitcoin Jesus!

Cboe Futures Didn’t Tame Bitcoin

That run-up though! Coming bitcoin futures in December of last year were supposed to bring about mainstreaming and liquidity galore in the ecosystem. Oh, what a difference a little over a month makes. 17 January 2018 is a marker which will help professional investors analyze the facts of the matter.

It’s the official expiration of Cboe bitcoin futures contracts, and at present the verdict appears to be, well, mixed. The world as we know it did not end, as some Wall Street pros worried, despite two rather dramatic price flubs, including the current dip as of this writing. Volume was mostly flat, dominated by foreign trading.

It appears bitcoin can be shorted successfully, though maximalists scorned even the possibility, as net figures from the CFTC witness: shorts clicked over 1,900 contracts in the new year’s second week according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC is expected to testify before congress at the end of this month about cryptocurrencies. Lawmakers in the US have been eager to get a handle on just what is happening in a market few understand.

Since Cboe’s entrance into the ecosystem, bitcoin has given up a quarter of its value and has dropped a staggering 36 percent in spot price, dipping beneath even the coveted champagne mark of 10,000 USD.

The Future of Futures

Futures took on greater significance beyond the hype to include widespread hope the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would allow exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on well-known markets like the New York Stock Exchange Arca (NYSE), but even that has proven not to be the case thus far. Two funds just recently pulled their applications as a dozen more are awaiting approval.

This year, Cantor Fitzgerald and Nasdaq are expected to jump into the fray, though plans can change if the price continues to bottom and volume remains blah. Out-front firm Gemini Exchange (they’re appealing ETF rejection from the SEC) is the auction from which bitcoin price in USD is determined for Cboe.

Its crosstown rival, Chicago Merc (CME), has contracts expiring on 26 January. Cboe investors are expected to close contracts without much trouble, and usually futures are folded into the following month. Usually. This is crypto. Because settling is done in government paper, buying and selling orgies could monkey with prices at the very end as arbitrage fever takes hold.

Wall Street needs steady. This is why it simultaneously complains but ultimately welcomes government intervention by way of regulation so they can be insulated. But, again, this is crypto. Big daddy government can’t save them. Still, relatively calm closings of contracts consistently could lead to what some enthusiasts salivate over: options. Option traders, however, often want a hedge, and that requires open interest.

You look at the entire crypto space and you look at what other products have, the liquidity and the notional size, a derivative makes sense.

Options and Alts

To get to options, traders need to see several months of smooth closes in the futures contract, as well as large open interest in the contracts, and that may be an issue. Options traders want large open interest because they will want to hedge using futures. And that’s the rub, so far. Volume and open interest have been weak, leading some to believe options are all but out of the question.

Chris Concannon, Cboe president, is looking further ahead, musing, “You look at the entire crypto space and you look at what other products have, the liquidity and the notional size, a derivative makes sense,” Bloomberg quoted, hinting at even more futures to come with regard to altcoins.

For its part, Gemini celebrated in a blog post by quoting Cboe Chair Ed Tilly: “This is an encouraging initial milestone, and we look forward to working with customers to power the growth of this nascent market.”

What do you think about bitcoin futures thus far? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Pixabay.

Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoin, a podcast updated each Friday.


The post Cboe Bitcoin Contracts Slide 36 Percent as January Futures Expire appeared first on Bitcoins Channel.

South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

bitcoins channel - 2 hours 51 min ago

South Korean government officials have reportedly been caught insider trading. They sold all of their cryptocurrency holdings and profited just before the regulators announced crypto regulatory measures. The country’s Financial Supervisory Service is investigating the case.

Also read: South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading

A Case of Government Insider Trading

At a meeting of the National Assembly’s Committee on Thursday, January 18, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) confirmed that some employees invested in cryptocurrencies and sold them just before the government announced crypto regulatory measures, local media reported.

A right-wing party lawmaker said at the meeting, as reported by Joongang Ilbo:

There is intelligence that FSS staff sold all of the virtual currency that they invested in just prior to the announcement of the government’s measures.

“We have confirmed the intelligence,” FSS Governor Choi Heung-sik admitted. “We have confirmed that some public officials have done such an act,” Chief of the Office of the Prime Minister, Hong Nam-ki, added. The news outlet noted that the lawmakers called for “thorough investigation and punishment,” and quoted them emphasizing:

It is a tremendous thing for civil servants to influence the market and gain profits.

Chosun elaborated, “It is expected that the moral hazard controversy will spread if the government uses the inside information and profits from virtual currency transactions while the financial authorities publish a hard-line policy saying that ‘the cryptocurrency transaction is gambling’.”

FSS Crypto Policies

The Korean Public Service Ethics Act “strictly restricts the stock trading of public officials in order to prevent misuse of internal information,” Chosun pointed out. However, since cryptocurrency is currently not defined as a financial asset or currency, “there is no code of ethics and no code of conduct for virtual money investment in the FSS regulations.” However, “the misuse of internal information could lead to punishment,” the publication added.

Recently, the FSS advised its employees to refrain from trading cryptocurrencies, stating that “If the supervisory officials engage in speculative transactions, it will be difficult for the public to understand ethically,” Chosun also reported.

On Tuesday, the FSS announced that it has created a Virtual Currency Task Force which has two divisions: a “virtual currency counterpart” and a “virtual currency checkpoint,” Asia Today explained. The former is dedicated to cryptocurrency-related tasks while the latter is a consultation body of crypto-related inspections and supervisions.

What do you think of South Korean officials profiting from insider knowledge? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.


The post South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations appeared first on Bitcoins Channel.

Cryptocurrency hardware wallet company Ledger raises $75 million

CryptoNinjas - 3 hours 32 min ago

Cryptocurrency and blockchain security company, Ledger, today announced a USD 75 million (EUR 61 million) Series B round, led by Draper Esprit. The investment will enable the company to significantly scale up its operations...

Cryptocurrency hardware wallet company Ledger raises $75 million was published on CryptoNinjas.

Alibaba Opens up to Crypto

Bitcoinist - 3 hours 45 min ago

Despite yesterday’s market slide, crypto mania is still alive and kicking. More and more companies are investing in their own blockchain solutions and cryptocurrencies. The latest to enter into the world of digital assets is Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

According to reports, the online shopping behemoth is launching its own crypto mining platform called P2P Nodes. This comes in the same month that China has vowed to crackdown on crypto mining, peer-to-peer trading, and local and international trading platforms, services, and groups.

Cloud Mining

There is little info about the real intention behind Alibaba’s move. However, it has been speculated that the system could be used to provide cloud mining services for its customers. P2P Nodes was registered in October last year, one month after the government banned crypto exchanges in the country.

The original story was posted by local media Tencent News, which translated as:

Alibaba has recently launched a virtual currency mining platform “P2P node”, from the terms of the service agreement terms platform, the main operating platform is Alibaba East China Ltd. It is reported that the company on October 10, 2017, has been completed registration, registered in Nanjing.

It has also been suggested that blockchain technology and cryptocurrency could be incorporated into the company’s e-commerce platform in the future.

No Alibaba Coin

Alibaba chief Jack Ma has been standoffish towards the crypto space, stating that the world was not ready for it last year. This apparent U-turn is a bold move in a country that is determined to prohibit all forms of crypto trading. In a CNBC interview, the billionaire internet mogul went on to say:

I said honestly, I know very little about it, and I’m totally confused. Even if it works, the whole international rules on trade and financing are going to be completely changed.

At the present time, there is no indication that the online shopping giant is planning to develop its own cryptocurrency. However the company is evidently looking into crypto technologies to enhance their business operations and has spent a lot of effort researching them.

As large crypto mining operations, such as ViaBTC, leave the country, the news that one of the largest internet companies is planning to adopt the technology is a very positive sign.

Will China ever open up to crypto? Add your views in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Bitcoinist archives.

The post Alibaba Opens up to Crypto appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Cryptocurrency Activities Will Be Legal and Tax Free in Belarus Starting in March

bitcoins channel - 3 hours 53 min ago

The decree signed by Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko which legalizes cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and smart contracts, will enter into force in March. Cryptocurrency activities are not restricted by the decree and will be tax exempt until 2023.

Also read: South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading

Cryptocurrencies Soon To Be Legal Alexander Lukashenko.

The decree which legalizes cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and smart contracts in Belarus will go into effect on March 28. Entitled “On the development of the digital economy,” it was signed by President Alexander Lukashenko on December 21, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

“The decree entitles legal entities and individual entrepreneurs who are residents of the High Technology Park (the HTP) to perform operations with tokens (including cryptocurrency),” explained Iryna Chelyshava, an associate attorney at the Belarusian law firm of Vlasova Mikhel & Partners. “Others can use tokens in the territory of Belarus through residents of the HTP,” she elaborated on Jurist.

The HTP is a special economic zone with a special tax and legal regime in Belarus, analogous to Silicon Valley in the US. According to its website, 192 companies that develop software products and provide IT services to customers from 67 countries worldwide are residents of the park, 35% of which are enterprises with 100% foreign investments.

The park describes itself as “the main experimental site for the implementation of pilot projects,” including those based on cryptocurrencies. According to its announcement this week:

The HTP Administration draws your attention to the fact that Decree No.8 ‘On the development of the digital economy’ comes into force on March 28, 2018.

No Restrictions and No Taxes

“The new decree legalizes ICOs, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts,” the HTP explained. It “does not imply any restrictions and special requirements for the operations of creation, placement, storage, alienation, exchange of tokens, as well as the activities of crypto exchanges and crypto platforms.” Furthermore, the park clarified:

Activity such as mining, acquisition, alienation of tokens, carried out by individuals, are not entrepreneurial activities, and tokens are not subject to declaration. At the same time, until 2023, activities related to mining, the creation, acquisition and alienation of tokens are not taxed.

Chelyshava explained that the decree provides the definition of tokens, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts. “The definition given in the decree for cryptocurrency lists it as a version of the token,” she conveyed, adding that “for now the decree does not provide the criteria of cryptocurrency that would distinguish it from tokens.” As for smart contracts, the definition “is broad enough to encompass various approaches to the understanding of smart contracts that exist now,” she emphasized. For tokens, she wrote:

The decree does not specify the nature of the certain civil right, and therefore the concept of ‘token’ is provided with a high degree of flexibility.

By making smart contracts legal documents, “Belarus becomes the first country in the world to legalize smart contracts at the country level,” the HTP noted.

Anton Myakishev, the head of Microsoft’s Belarus office, told Reuters that “the decree is a breakthrough for Belarus,” adding that “it gives the industry the possibility to make a leap forward in its development and allows foreign capital the possibility to come to Belarus and work in comfortable conditions.”

What do you think of Belarus making a tax-free zone for cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and HTP.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.


The post Cryptocurrency Activities Will Be Legal and Tax Free in Belarus Starting in March appeared first on Bitcoins Channel.

Another Upcoming SiaCoin ASIC, the DragonMint B52 Blake2b Miner

bitcoins channel - 4 hours 3 min ago

Things around the SiaCoin (SC) ASIC miner market seem to be heating up lately as soon after the new BitMain Antminer A3 Blake (2b) ASIC miner was announced there is a fresh new announcement coming from another new ASIC manufacturer for a Blake2b ASIC Miner. The DragonMint B52 Blake2b ASIC miner was just announced by Halong Mining, a newcomer on the ASIC market that looks promising, but we are yet to see it start delivering any mining hardware.

The device they have announced is supposedly capable of 3.5 THS Blake2b mining hashrate at 1000W -/+8% with 135 ASIC chips, making it probably the most efficient ASIC for SiaCoin (SC) if they manage to deliver what they are promising of course. There are not many details, including price or release date for the device and it seems more of a move to judge the interest by launching a waitlist, but still interesting to see there are possible alternatives popping up. So you might want to keep an eye on the product and join the waitlist to get more details as soon as they become available.

Check the official product page for the Halong Mining DragonMint B52 Blake2b ASIC Miner…


The post Another Upcoming SiaCoin ASIC, the DragonMint B52 Blake2b Miner appeared first on Bitcoins Channel.

US Treasury Warns Investors: Venezuela’s Petro Could Violate Sanctions

Bitcoinist - 6 hours 15 min ago

The US Treasury Department has cautioned investors that Venezuela’s Petro could be in violation of Washington-imposed financial sanctions.

In December last year, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro announced that his government would be creating a digital currency, the Petro. In a country that is rapidly spiraling into a financial abyss, Maduro sees the state-controlled cryptocurrency as a sanction workaround and subsequently, a way to improve the country’s deep economic problems.

During his annual message on the 15th of January, President Maduro stated:

The center of financial policy will be the consolidation of the Petro. This cryptocurrency is the future of humanity. Venezuela has entered the future.

However, the US Treasury Department doesn’t agree. According to Firstpost, the department cautioned a possible sanction violation through the usage of the digital currency.

Coming up Short on Sanction Evasion

Because of these sanctions, the country is unable to refinance its seemingly insurmountable mountain of debt. In addition, thanks to hyperinflation, Venezuela’s fiat currency, the bolivar, has dropped to record lows.

A representative for the department previously told Reuters:

The Petro digital currency would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government (and) could therefore expose US persons to legal risk. (It) is another attempt to prop up the Maduro regime, while further looting the resources of the Venezuelan people.

Oil Backing a Concern

This is a concern also shared by the country’s opposition Congress, who have stated that they will not recognize the Petro. They have also questioned the legality of the Petro as using oil to issue debt is unlawful.

Maduro has said that each Petro will be backed by, and will cost the same as, one barrel of oil. In addition, he has said that 100 million petros will be issued soon with a subsequent value of approximately $6 billion. However, Maduro’s government has not detailed how and when investors will receive the actual oil.

Venezuela’s Parliament: Maduro’s #Petro #Cryptocurrency ‘Illegal’ https://t.co/IdBNieHD2P pic.twitter.com/j4ZT5LGgUN

— Bitcoinist.com (@bitcoinist) January 11, 2018

Discounted Private Petro Sale

A document seen by Reuters shows that VIBE, a crypto advisory group working with the government, has proposed that Maduro first sell $2.3 billion worth of Petro privately, with a discount of up to 60%. The public would then be able to buy their share of $2.7 billion worth of Petro one month after the private sale. The remaining petros would be divided between the Venezuelan government and VIBE.

The document went on to add that tax can be paid in petros and that PDVSA, the state-owned oil company, can use the crypto to help facilitate cross-border payments.

VIBE also suggested that the Petro token be developed on the Ethereum network, a popular choice in the virtual currency industry. An anonymous source noted that the contents of the document have allegedly already been discussed by government officials.

According to Maduro, exchanges would deal with both bolivars and cryptocurrencies when trading with the pre-mined petros.

Do you think that these issues will put a dent in investor interest and contribution for the Petro? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The post US Treasury Warns Investors: Venezuela’s Petro Could Violate Sanctions appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Finom blockchain platform begins its second token sale in market first

CryptoNinjas - 7 hours 5 min ago

Financial blockchain company Finom AG, the developer of a unified platform for mining and trading cryptocurrencies and tokens, announces the launch of NOM token crowdsale intended for private investors and the crypto community. Over...

Finom blockchain platform begins its second token sale in market first was published on CryptoNinjas.

Austrian Bitcoin Miner May Seek an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in 2018

bitcoins channel - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 23:09

Are you an environmentally conscience stock investor looking to add some bitcoin exposure to your portfolio without fearing you might be melting the polar ice caps? A new “green” energy cryptocurrency mining venture may soon be available for you to invest in.

Also Read: Businessman Outright Buys Two Electric Power Stations to Do Bitcoin Mining in Russia

Bitcoin IPO

Hydrominer GmbH, An Austrian cryptocurrency miner, is reportedly considering an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange AIM during 2018. This is meant not just to capitalize on the current ‘blockchain mania’ in the markets but to actually be used as a way to fund its global expansion plan beyond Austria.

The company already raised about $2.8 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in November 2017, but now believes that listing its shares on an exchange will provide a more suitable venue to raise finds safely. “I want investors to be able to invest in a company that is genuinely risky but that operates within a framework which is secure,” said Hydrominer Chief Financial Officer Davies Guttmann.

AIM is the LSE’s venue for smaller companies to float shares with a more flexible regulatory system than is applicable on the main market. The Vienna-based miner plans to raise a “double-digit million” sum, according to its CFO. “We will not be able to raise nearly enough money than we could use.” He also added that a leading auditor has been invited to review the business and that it is profitable.

Green Bitcoin

Austria’s has over 2,000 small hydroelectric power stations, many of them derelict, making for energy cheap if you can tap into this unused potential. Hydrominer operates its mining rigs within modular shipping containers near the stations in the Alps. The company thus reportedly pays only about 4.5 cents a kilowatt-hour, estimated to be 85% lower than the average in the EU.

Hydrominer also claims to be in advanced negotiations to form joint ventures in Austria, Canada and eastern Europe. A partnership deal could be announced within months, according to the CFO. Longer-term, Hydrominer plans to be an infrastructure provider for others in the cryptocurrency industry, offering hardware, software and skills.

Should bitcoin firms seek the validation of traditional securities markets? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.


The post Austrian Bitcoin Miner May Seek an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 appeared first on Bitcoins Channel.

Giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer TSMC Bullish on Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoinist - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 22:30

Bitcoin mining has been pushing the growth of important chipmakers, such as Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD). Now, tech giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd. (TSMC) plans to significantly increase its revenue from the crypto-mining devices segment.

Crypto-Mining Driving TSMC’s Growth

TSMC provides semiconductor manufacturing devices and services for a range of industries. Most notably, the company supplies chips to Apple.

AppleInsider reports that TSMC might have reached a deal to be the exclusive supplier of the “A11” bionic processor that will be embedded in Apple’s 2018 iPhones.

However, TSMC management is bullish on the cryptocurrencies. Motley Fool writes that TSMC expects to profit more from the cryptocurrency industry than from supplying electronic components for Apple’s iPhone.

Already, TSMC’s fastest growing segment involves the designing and assembling of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies mining. According to Bloomberg, manufacturing crypto-mining devices could represent about one-tenth of TSMC’s revenue in 2018, thus becoming its fastest-growing segment.

Why Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Stock Jumped 26.4% in 2017 – Motley Fool https://t.co/Pq3K9KiFui pic.twitter.com/Kb2wGJGntM

— Hsinchu News (@hsinchunews) January 16, 2018

Data from S&P Global Market Intelligence shows that TSMC achieved a 28 percent return in 2016, partly thanks to the surging interest in cryptocurrency mining. And, in 2017, fueled by crypto-based sales, TSMC rose 26.4 percent. According to Motley Fool:

When TSMC reported 18% sequential sales growth in the third quarter, CFO Lora Ho pointed to cryptocurrency miners as a significant growth driver.

Bitcoin Mining Fueled Chipmakers’ Spectacular Growth

In 2017, the biggest chipmakers such as Nvidia, AMD, and other manufacturers of electronic components fared well. They continued to profit from manufacturing devices used in cryptocurrency mining, IoT, artificial intelligence, robots, driverless cars, and other Fourth Industrial Revolution innovations.

Regarding cryptocurrency mining, for example, in August 2017, cryptocurrency mining devices had pushed Nvidia’s sales to rise 52 percent to $1.2 USD billion. This year, Nvidia’s stock continues its spectacular ascending trajectory, reaching an all-time high of $227 USD, on January 16, 2018.

Not only manufacturers of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, including Bitcoin-related devices, remain bullish for 2018. So do financial entities. For example, most recently, Daiwa, the big Japanese investment bank, upgraded TSMC believing that 1Q revenues will be higher partly because of “continued demand strength from cryptocurrency processors.”

What are your thoughts about the relationship between Bitcoin and Nvidia, AMD, and TSMC? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, Twitter

The post Giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer TSMC Bullish on Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Visa CEO: Bitcoin is Not a Payment System

bitcoins channel - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 22:07

Visa, the world’s largest credit card company, is widely regarded as being hostile to Bitcoin. It would seem intuitive that a traditional financial provider should look unkindly on anything that threatens its hegemony. Publicly, though, the company has had very little to say about Bitcoin, preferring to focus on matters within its own domain. In a CNBC interview on Wednesday, the corporation’s CEO broke his silence, opining – predictably – that Bitcoin is not a payments system.

Also read: Visa Veto Leaves Several European Cryptocurrency Cards Locked Out

Legacy Finance Meets Future Money Alfred Kelly

In an interview on Wednesday, recorded at New York’s National Retail Federation conference the previous day, Kelly was pressed for his thoughts on Bitcoin. “I don’t view it as payment system player,” said the CEO. “We at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions.”

This tallies with the actions of Visa subsidiary Wavecrest, which cut off debit card services to dozens of European crypto card companies less than a fortnight ago. At the time, Visa denied that it was striking back at the threat posed by cryptocurrencies. The company was adamant that it was irregularities on behalf of Wavecrest clients that triggered the ban.

As news.Bitcoin.com noted at the time:

Given that it processes more than 100 billion transactions a year versus bitcoin’s circa 130 million, it’s premature to assert that Visa is feeling threatened by cryptocurrency. Whatever bitcoin is, be it a store of value or a medium of exchange, it is not, as yet, a Visa killer.

Visa stated that the crypto cards had been suspended due to “continued non-compliance with our operating rules”, and insisted it wasn’t part of a targeted campaign against cryptocurrency. Many in the crypto community weren’t so sure, and Alfred Kelly’s comments this week will only bolster their suspicions. They arrived on the same day that the US Treasury described cryptocurrencies as an “evolving threat”, whose undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence made the usual noises about bitcoin and terrorism.

Visa Vetoes Cryptocurrency Support

“My take is that bitcoin is much more today a commodity that somebody could invest in; and honestly, somewhat of a speculative commodity,” Kelly told CNBC. Given that bitcoin has been unspendable for everyday purchases for some time on account of high fees, this is an argument that carries merit. While alternatives such as bitcoin cash can be used for peer-to-peer transactions and micro-payments, the cryptocurrency market as a whole has yet to threaten Visa’s supremacy.

Corporations exist to protect their own interests, and the CEO of Visa was never going to exhort the world to start buying bitcoin. Cryptocurrency companies intent on bridging the gap between fiat and crypto will know what they have suspected from the start: they’ll need to do so without the support of Visa and its global subsidiaries.

Do you think Visa feels threatened by the rise of cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Visa.

Tired of those other forums on the subject of Bitcoin? Check forum.Bitcoin.com.


The post Visa CEO: Bitcoin is Not a Payment System appeared first on Bitcoins Channel.

Lightning Network Debuts On Blockstream Store As New Strides Announced

Bitcoinist - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 20:30

Blockstream has implemented Lightning Network Bitcoin payments on its store as part of a continued roll-out of the revolutionary technology.

Store Tests Consumer Lightning Payments

In a blog post on Tuesday, developers Christian Becker and Rusty Russell introduced the Lightning Charge addition to its long-running Elements Project. This is designed in their words to “make it simple to build apps on top of Lightning.”

The pair explains:

Lightning Charge is a micropayment processing system written in node.js. It exposes the functionality of c-lightning through its REST API, which can be accessed through JavaScript and PHP libraries, both of which have also been released through the Elements Project. […] Together, these additions make it easy for developers to use c-lightning to create their own, independent web-payment infrastructures.

Presenting the Blockstream Store, which launched together with the post, Becker and Russell indicated a desire to implement practical use applications as a priority:

By offering an early demonstration of this cutting-edge technology, we hope to bring Lightning to life with real-world functionality, providing a way for you to test Lightning and become a part of the micropayment revolution.

They added that the tool was still in a “testing stage” and invited participants to report any bugs or unusual behavior.

Introducing #LightningCharge, a new micropayment processing system that makes it easy to build apps on top of #Lightning. It’s already powering the @Blockstream Store, an e-commerce site we're launching today! https://t.co/Sqmv4d2ze6#LightningNetwork #Layer2 #micropayments pic.twitter.com/18jZcAXY6o

— Blockstream (@Blockstream) January 17, 2018

Antonopoulos ‘Very Confident’ In Multifaceted Benefits

Reactions to the news were broadly positive on social media, with users continuing to support what is likely the decisive improvement to end high Bitcoin transaction fees and long confirmation times.

In a Q&A session in November, pioneering evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos confirmed his belief in Lightning’s ability to solve such issues, saying he was “very confident” that it would improve Bitcoin’s scalability and privacy.

In his opening remarks, Antonopoulos declared:

I’m not only confident that we will be able to achieve tremendous scaling with Lightning Networks, but I think we will also be able to achieve that in a scale-free manner, and we will also get much better security and privacy.

What do you think about the latest Lightning Network developments? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Lightning Network Debuts On Blockstream Store As New Strides Announced appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.


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