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Updated: 15 min 54 sec ago

Here’s Bitcoin.com’s Updated Stance on Specific Bitcoin Chain Symbols and Monikers

8 hours 29 min ago



A lot has changed in the cryptocurrency space, and things are entirely different than they were when bitcoin was launched by its anonymous creator back in 2009. One of these changes has affected the entire ecosystem, as the bitcoin scaling debate has caused significant strife between bitcoin proponents.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin

This summer on August 1 the bitcoin cash fork took place, but fundamental differences between bitcoiners remain, and there is still a fierce debate concerning the upcoming hard fork(s). At Bitcoin.com we have decided to clarify our position on the naming of each chain associated with the original protocol design created by Satoshi Nakamoto based on technical associations.

At present, there are two blockchains that have derived from the original bitcoin protocol design released to the world in January of 2009. On August 1 the bitcoin cash blockchain split away from the network, due to a long and ongoing debate concerning the technology’s key principles. Since the bitcoin cash network started, the foundations of each chain have shown underlying differences. For instance, the bitcoin cash chain did not adopt the controversial Segregated Witness (Segwit) protocol. The protocol had also increased the base block size limit to 8MB, and the development team removed the tendentious Replace-by-Fee (RBF) protocol as well. The bitcoin cash chain operates now with significantly lower fees than its sister chain, and confirmation times are faster with more room for transactions.

Segwit coins remove signature data from a transaction. Source: Peter Rizun, Segwit Coins are not Bitcoins.

The other chain which we will refer to as “Segwit Core” has adopted Segwit and continued to utilize RBF. Further, the chain still has problematic issues with fees and network congestion as the Segwit protocol change hasn’t shown much difference. At the moment this chain is called BTC, but the network is expecting another fork this November that may change that moniker, if “Segwit Core” survives. As stated above, the scaling debate’s flames did not stop when bitcoin cash split away. There is now escalated drama between Core supporters and Segwit2x supporters.

Segwit2x is a protocol that has also adopted Segwit and RBF but aims to raise the block size limit from 1MB to 2MB. Additionally, there is another fork this October called bitcoin gold that plans to change the consensus mechanism, proof-of-work, into a GPU mineable algorithm called Equihash. The bitcoin gold fork will also have Segwit implemented, and RBF as well, alongside a large pre-mine for the founding developers.

With all the chaos and confusion concerning this summer’s fork and the forks approaching in the next few weeks, Bitcoin.com has decided to clarify how we will respectively name each chain and price ticker. News.Bitcoin.com will be reverting to these symbols within our articles that mention price tickers, and certain bitcoin sister chains.   

  • The Bitcoin Cash Chain: Ticker symbol will be “BCC.”
  • The Segwit Chain/Segwit1x: Ticker symbol is currently “BTC,” but our suggestion is symbol “SW1,” post Segwit2x split.
  • Segwit2x (Planned Fork): Ticker symbol could be “BTC” (planned), but we suggest potentially “SW2” as this is no longer perceived as Bitcoin.
  • SegwitGold (Planned Fork): Ticker symbol suggestion is “SWG.”

Read this link here for more information concerning Bitcoin.com’s stance on this subject and why we decided to choose these specific names and symbols.

Images via Shutterstock and Bitcoin.com.

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, check out our Tools page! Be sure to share this article, and help spread the word about bitcoin. Thanks. 



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Service Marketplaces Go Online with Blockchain Startup CanYa

9 hours 54 sec ago


Tech behemoth Amazon.com started on July 5, 1994 out of Jeff Bezos’ garage as an online bookstore. Today, Amazon is a legendary company whose stock is trading at an incredible $1,000 a share, with almost $136 billion of revenue in 2016. So what happened over the past thirty plus years that launched Amazon to such lofty heights? The answer is simple; it created an online marketplace.

Amazon forever revolutionized the way products are sold and distributed. Window shoppers now shop in malls and buy their goods on Amazon. It isn’t uncommon to find something desirable in a Target, Best Buy, or Walmart, look it up on the Amazon app, and purchase it on the spot. Amazon Prime members can enjoy their purchases within just two days, and even same day and next day shipping options are available.

What is remarkable is how service distributions have not enjoyed the same boom as product distributions, until now. CanYa, a blockchain based platform, is an online distribution network that focuses primarily on the service industries. With the platform, users can list their skills and capabilities while potential buyers can find labor for tasks that need to be completed.

The benefits of CanYa are directly tied to its decentralized structure. The blockchain platform allows buyers and sellers to interact directly, keeping costs low and transparency high. Like Amazon, CanYa hopes to disrupt an important part of the online marketplace.

Decentralized Marketplaces will Revolutionize Service Distribution

CanYa’s blockchain platform provides a decentralized marketplace for services. The platform’s structure allows users to connect directly with each other without a central mediator, as is the case with traditional online marketplaces like Craigslist or TaskRabbit.

Buyers can find, book, and instantly pay for services either locally or globally, all without having to pay an additional fee. Such is the power of decentralizing an exchange. Additionally, users have the unique role of curating and verifying new services and providers through the reviews they submit. Popular services and service providers will experience increased business as the direct result of a job well done.

CanYa’s platform is an excellent way for service providers to earn CanYaCoins (CAN), the platform’s token. These coins can be spent on the platform or exchanged for free and sent to a Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet. Providers can also freely advertise their skills on both a local and global scale, and a small monthly subscription fee can be paid to be listed with a “featured status”.

A blockchain-based service marketplace sounds complex. But in actuality, it’s incredibly easy to use. Users, whether buyers or sellers, can downloaded the app on Apple’s App Store or Google Play. After creating an account, the transactions begin. Users can list themselves as service providers or search for services they want–or both. They also have the flexibility to choose a payment program and timeframe that best suits their desires. One time payments, subscription fees, ongoing maintenance–these are all options on CanYa’s blockchain marketplace.

Cryptocurrencies Have a Volatility Problem; CanYa has a Solution

Cryptocurrencies have a volatility problem. To quote the current U.S. President, “you know it, and they know it, and everybody knows it.” So what happens if someone buys two months of window washing services, begins payments, and then two weeks in the contract cryptocurrencies get cut in half? Will users be subject to crypto-volatility? With CanYa’s blockchain platform, the answer is “No.”

According to CanYa’s whitepaper, the platform “is uniquely protected against this by its hedged escrow contract, which collaterises the value of the coin with a proven store-of-value in a trustless manner.” In essence, the platform stores the original value of a user’s CanYa Coins and collateralizes them so that $1 in means $1 out. The internal hedge can withstand a drop of 0.8 or 80 percent, with further downside movements partially covered. Therefore, CanYa buyers and sellers can use the platform with the utmost sense of security–their money is safe and sound.

CanYa unveiled its beta version in Australia in December 2016. But in order to reach their long term objectives, they are turning to the public to raise funds and awareness. The coin sale is currently underway and can be accessed online on their website. 60,000,000 CanYa coins will be sold, with proceeds going towards the global launch scheduled for March 2018. Four months later, CanYa 2.0 will be debuted, featuring in-app translation services, video calling, chat-bots, and advanced desktop features. By 2019, CanYa hopes to be a mature platform with extensive global reach.

Plenty of companies have launched with the hopes of being the next Amazon, and plenty have failed. But with an incredible proprietary platform and a growing user base under its belt, CanYa has what it takes to become the next tech behemoth.



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dstm’s ZCash Nvidia Miner v0.5.2 Available For Windows Now

9 hours 28 min ago


The dstm’s ZCash Nvidia miner has been available for a while and we’ve been keeping a track, but it was only for Linux operating systems – not anymore. With the latest version 0.5.2 the miner is also released for Windows in a 64-bit binary and not anymore available only for Linux miners. The miner is closed source one and comes with a 2% developer fee included. It support Nvidia-based GPUs with Compute Capability 5.0 or later, meaning it is for Maxwell or the newer Pascal video cards. There is support available for stratum as well as for NiceHash’s extranonce, so it can be used there as well without problems for selling Equihash hashrate.

The dstm’s ZCash Nvidia Miner is supposed to be slightly faster than the popular and widely used EWBF’s CUDA Zcash miner that has not been updated for quite some time, so you might want to give the new miner a try. Our initial tests show a bit better hashrate with the same GPU settings as with the EWBF, though the difference is not huge. Do note that dstm’s miner has its own specifics that you need to get used with such as the use of a separate thread for each GPU and getting 6 separate workers on the pool from one mining rig for example. The interface could also use some improvements and some color coding can further help in readability, but in general it is quite Ok even at the moment. Do note that the 64-bit Windows binary is built with Visual Studio 2015, so if you do not have the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 installed you might get an error about a missing DLL.

If you want to check out the dstm’s ZCash Cuda miner available for Linux and Windows (64-bit only)…



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Slotland Online Gaming Site Now Offers Bitcoin Deposits and Withdrawals

9 hours 31 min ago



Popular online gaming site, Slotland, just announced they are offering deposits and withdrawals in bitcoin for gaming purposes. The company processes bitcoin deposits immediately, withdrawals by the next business day. Furthermore, it is the site’s 19th birthday and they added a new game along with other bonus features. 

Also read: Bitmex Exchange and Samourai Wallet Details Plans on How to Handle Upcoming Forks

Slotland manager, Michael Hilary, elaborated: “Bitcoins are perfect for online transactions. We can process Bitcoin transactions really quickly – players have their withdrawals by the very next business day. For many players, Bitcoins are the easiest, safest and quickest way to get their winnings!”

How Bitcoin Deposits Work, Games Available

Bitcoin deposits are immediately converted to USD in a person’s Slotland account. The Slotland page also provides its customers with the best possible bitcoin exchange rate. Their system takes the average of the top 3 exchanges. It is also updated every 15 minutes, according to Hilary.

Slotland is also offering bonuses for depositing in bitcoin. “To introduce the convenient new banking option to players, Slotland is offering a choice of Bitcoin deposit bonuses with a variety of wagering requirements.” Customers can use these deposited bitcoin funds to play a variety of games.

After this month’s debut of the new Chinatown slot, Slotland now offers 60 unique games.  Chinatown is a 21 pay line real-money video slot with an expanding Wild symbol and chances to win up to 15 free spins.

Online Gaming with Bitcoin

Overall, playing games online is a popular way to spend bitcoin. There are many different kinds of casinos just like Slotland (right here to; casino.bitcoin.com). One site, Bitcoin Game List, provides abundant information on various bitcoin gaming sites.

Slotland itself has been around for 19 years and has a history of being a respectable online gaming site. According to an Igamingbusiness page, it is one of the most trusted and reputable places to play games. Now that it has bitcoin banking options, its appeal may even increase and more gaming sites could follow its lead in accepting bitcoin.

What do you think about this popular gaming site adding bitcoin deposits and withdrawals? Will more online gaming sites like Slotland follow suit? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Gold Versus Bitcoin, Goldman Sachs Prefers Metal to Crypto

10 hours 33 min ago



Bitcoin’s creator patterned his digital commodity money after history’s most famous analog store of value for currencies, gold. Debate rages as to whether bitcoin will overtake gold’s place. 

Also read: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Latest Exec to Flirt with Bitcoin

Gold Remains Goldman Sachs’ Refuge

Recent volatility analysis of bitcoin’s “exchange rate means that merchants accepting Bitcoin (who do not, implicitly, want to become Bitcoin speculators themselves) should demand large volatility premia to hedge” against their assumed risk in accepting the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Goldman Sachs’ Michael Hinds, Mikhail Sprogis, and Jeffrey Currie urge.

Their report, provocatively titled Fear and Wealth, stressed how “a 3-day USD/BTC put option at historical average volatility results in a premium of around 2.3%.” Mr. Hinds, et al, find such a premium to be prohibitive, concluding their outlined barrier “clearly illustrates that Bitcoin as a unit of account and medium of exchange is nowhere near as favourable as it first appears.” Fiat to bitcoin volatility this year stands at more than six times its gold counterpart.

Metcalf applied to bitcoin transactions and market cap.

Goldman’s Fear and Wealth examines four fundamentals: durability (bitcoin is forever subject to hacks, be they personal, network, institutional), portability (gold weight exposes it to high expense and need for security measures, while bitcoin moves relatively undetected), intrinsic value (existence of alternative cryptocurrencies mean an oversupply), and unit of account (gold’s four-millennia track record means it has conquered volatility). For these reasons “gold wins out over [bitcoin].” Bitcoin’s Metcalf Future

Business Insider‘s affable Executive Editor, Sara Silverstein, mentioned to news.Bitcoin.com she “wouldn’t say I use bitcoin.” Ms. Silverstein has some, but is “not interested in using bitcoin for transactions right now.”

In her new weekly video program, The Bit, she snagged Wall Street bitcoin bull Tom Lee of Fundstrat. Their conversation quickly turned to valuing bitcoin versus gold. Ms. Silverstein knew Mr. Lee “modeled bitcoin’s price based on two different methodologies, and [I] wanted to dig into both of these and talk about the question more generally,” she told news.Bitcoin.com.

Expanding on his use of Metcalf’s Law, Mr. Lee explains to Ms. Silverstein “if you build a very simple model valuing bitcoin as the square function number of users times the average transaction value, 94% of the bitcoin moved over the past four years is explained by that equation.”

Sara Silverstein

Also known as the network effect, it can help to understand “Facebook, Alibaba, and Google,” Mr. Lee cited as examples, and their respective increases in utility value. He explains “bitcoin represents a store of value because it’s an encrypted, personal encrypted database, that for seven years hasn’t been hacked.”

That “is a way to store value,” Mr. Lee insists. The nine trillion USD gold market “was [the previous] store of value. I think this next generation of young people view bitcoin as their store of value. And if it captures 5% of the gold market, it’s worth at least $25,000 per unit.”

Calling his price “conservative,” he said it “really reflects the assumption that investors will allocate in their blended portfolio only 5% to alternative currencies. Today, that allocation is much greater,” he explained.

It might be the case investors and adopters will use both gold and bitcoin, revealing either/or debates to be more about blackening bitcoin’s reputation than substantial analysis. Legacy banks usually prefer status quo to radical innovation.

Are you hedging in preference to bitcoin over gold? Tell us your reasoning in the comments below!

Images courtesy of: artsfon, reddit, Business Insider.

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, check out our Tools page!



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Please Welcome ‘Komodo Platform’: the B Conference Gold Sponsor

11 hours 4 min ago


This year’s Blockchain Conference in Abu Dhabi is set to be one of the largest industry conferences in the Middle East. On December 7, 2017, our event stage will feature amazing speakers from around the world, who will share their experiences and present to a lucky audience all about the growing industry that is Blockchain. This fantastic event is a must visit, a special day packed with the unique perspectives of thought leaders and visionaries sharing insights and wisdom in a beautiful setting.

We are pleased to present the ‘Komodo’ as our Gold Sponsor. The ‘Komodo’ team is focused on providing anonymity through zeroknowledge proofs and the security through a novel Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol. The project’s primary goal is to decentralize token issuance, exchange & distribution. They also provide a framework for dapps (decentralized apps) and corporate Blockchain-based solutions. They have accomplished this by introducing one of the most complete and trustless ecosystems in cryptocurrency.

‘Komodo Platform’ is the first cryptocurrency project to provide full atomic swaps with automatic order matching. It is the first project to create a private ICO participation and distribution mechanism by leveraging Jumblr and BarterDEX technology (dICO). Recently, the project has realized the first Atomic Swaps on SPV (electrum) clients. It allows users to swap atomically without having to download the entire Blockchain.

‘Komodo’ is one of the first cryptocurrencies to partner with the Fintech e-banking platform (Monaize). The same fintech company will launch the first-ever dICO using Komodo Platform’s technology.

‘Komodo Platform’ will be represented at the Blockchain Conference by their Chief Security Officer Karim D. J. Stadelmann. At the age of 21, Karim launched his first startup, which was successfully sold three years later. Following that, he joined several cryptographic and open source projects concentrated on IT related security and intrusion detection systems. In 2016, Karim started to cooperate with the Komodo core developers. Since that time, he has proofed his ITSEC skills and has been announced as their Chief Security Officer.

Join the B Conference Abu Dhabi to build our common future today!

To register for Blockchain Conference Abu Dhabi, please visit bconference.org



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Ethereum Fork Happened. Byzantium is Live. But Not Without Issues.

11 hours 35 min ago


Ethereum has forked for the fifth time and while Byzantium update had some bugs and delays, it was implemented with success and no significant community arguments.

Vitalik Buterin celebrated with a few developers, the success of the fork and posted this on twitter.

Hard fork celebration! pic.twitter.com/mL1ZyJOYeA

— Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) October 16, 2017

Byzantium is part of a package of improvements to the protocol that has been in development since 2015.

“Metropolis is a planned Ethereum development phase that includes two hard forks: Byzantium and Constantinople. Byzantium is occurring at block number 4.37mil. Constantinople does not currently have a release date, but is expected in 2018,” a blog post from late last week confirms.

After the fork, the price of ETH remained mainly stable, but it may seem that it will drop bellow 300$ in the following days.

Metropolis intended to provide greater flexibility to smart contract developers. According to Hudson Jameson of the Ethereum Foundation, smart contracts will eventually be able to automatically pay their own fees, thus eliminating the need for users to externally fund smart contracts themselves.

Instability and risks still remain.

Aside from the faulty nodes that have yet to upgrade, there’s also a chance of security bugs in the current Byzantium software.

The most severe and frequent of these is the consensus bug (as mentioned above), which occurs when nodes cannot transmit and the blockchain splits into opposite chains creating a secondary “coin” based on Ethereum code.

Developers are now said to be running tests to try and locate these risks, hoping to catch any before they active.

According to Wood, if the network does contain this bug, it will take time to show itself.

“I don’t think anyone believed the network was going to self-combust on block 4,370,000,” Wood said.

Rather, if there is a problem, it will come to light over the following days.

And if this does happen, Wood is confident the developer team will release debugged software variations quickly, to avoid any excessive damage to the platform.

Regarding the faulty software that is already out there, lead security developer for Ethereum – Martin Holst Swende said:

This isn’t a cause for concern.

If consensus splits happen as a result of running the old software, he assured:

“They’ll simply be dropped off the chain, [then] look into it and update their client.”

Of course, Ethereum is no longer monitoring these nodes, so if a bug does show up, it won’t be visible on any of the blockchain explorers. Further, should the bug be exploited on the older software, we’re unlikely to hear about it, beyond the “noise on Reddit,” according to Holst Swende.

New security check for Ethereum called the “Fuzzer”, a future saver tool Anti-Forks.

Ethereum relies on a number of security screening processes, but the one that probably didn’t get sufficient airtime prior to release is what’s known as a “Fuzzer” – an automated testing process that can draw out the most subtle of code weaknesses.

This is a new security check for Ethereum, and as core developer Peter Szilagyi explained,

“It takes time to polish and effort to really make it part of the workflows. Rest assured that the Fuzzer will be a much more organic part of the next fork preparation.”

The Fuzzer is now running to ensure the safety of Byzantium, and, so far, no bugs have been discovered since the hard fork. And while the whole experience has led some developers to vouch for more careful updating in the future, the Ethereum team doesn’t seem keen on dialling back its more aggressive approach to blockchain upgrades.



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CEX.io and Unocoin Announce Fork Arrangements

12 hours 6 min ago



This week two more exchanges revealed their plans for the upcoming Segwit2x fork this November. The London-based exchange CEX.io explains that whether the company supports the split or not customers will receive split tokens if the fork takes place. Further, the Indian exchange Unocoin has revealed it will be supporting the chain with the most “mining/community” support.

Also read: Bitfinex Launches Segwit2x ‘Chain Split Tokens

The Trading Platform CEX.io Closely Observes the Ongoing Transformations and Considers the Measures Taken Under Emerging Conditions

The exchange CEX.io revealed its position towards the Segwit2x fork on Tuesday, October 17. The trading platform’s official statement details that there has been a lot of rumors and concerns about this particular fork. With all that aside, CEX.io believes the security of customer funds should never be at risk “no matter how the market evolves.”

“As for now, we are still closely observing the ongoing transformations and considering the measures to take under the emerging conditions — While tracking the further development of the situation, we will take action to secure the profit and ensure the safety of our existing and future customers,” explains CEX.io’s Helga Danova. “Currently, our team works on the technical side of every expected outcome, including the rejection of the protocol change.”

Whether we support the split or not, add new pairs for trade or not, our existing customers will receive new coins if Segwit2x hard fork happens. We will inform you later about the payout details and the time when additional options will be available on CEX.io.

Unocoin: ‘Only Tokens From the Majority Chain Will Be Supported After a Successful Split’

Following the CEX.io announcement, the well-known bitcoin exchange based in India, Unocoin, also disclosed its Segwit2x contingency plan. First and foremost Unocoin says there is no action required from customers in regard to the upcoming event of fork or split. Additionally, the trading platform will only support the chain that captures a majority of “mining/community support,” in order to utilize trading with INR.         

“All our customers holding any amount of bitcoin in their Unocoin wallet before the event of the fork would be entitled to an equivalent amount of coins on both the chains after the split — There is no action required from customers in this regard either before or during the fork as long as the replay protection is available,” explains Unocoin’s announcement.

However, only tokens from the majority chain would be supported for further trading on the Unocoin platform after the successful split — On determining the stability of each chain after the fork, users will be encouraged to submit their addresses to redeem their coin balance on the minority chain starting within two weeks after the split.

Both Unocoin and CEX.io join the growing list of exchanges who are announcing contingency plans for the Segwit2x fork. The trading platforms both say they will update their customers with a more definitive fork timeline down the road. Over the past two weeks, businesses have also had contrasting differences to how they will handle this particular fork. It will be particularly interesting to see how the entire industry cumulatively deals with the Segwit2x event as it unfolds.

What do you think about CEX.io and Unocoin’s statements about the upcoming fork? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com, CEX.io, and Unocoin. 

At news.Bitcoin.com all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.



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Flyp’s Inclusive and Seamless Exchange will Innovate Crypto-trading

12 hours 37 min ago


A new crypto-to-crypto exchange is launching, backed by industry veterans and the team behind HolyTransaction.com, the first web wallet to support Ethereum. With a 50 percent profit sharing feature, no requirements to create an account and a mechanism to propose and vote on, Flyp.me is holding a crowdsale so individuals can gain a stake in this new exchange.

The Problems with Crypto Exchanges

The exchange can already be accessed through the website and Flype.me is committed to advancing the cryptocurrency community by taking a stand against centralization. For instance, one major problem with the exchanges of today is that of centralized storage; for a user to deposit funds into his account, they must send cryptocurrency to the exchange which holds the private keys. As evidenced by numerous hacks, traders are taking a risk with their money with such custodians. A further problem relates to privacy; many exchanges may not request user identification but will utilize their digital fingerprint to ascertain who they really are.

Another barrier to trading cryptocurrencies is down to the limited number of trading pairs. For instance, to trade many of the different cryptocurrencies, you may have to set up two or three exchange accounts to access the cryptoassets you are interested in. It would be much more efficient to use a single service. FInally, many exchanges can be cumbersome for new users as existing exchanges do not cater to those with a novice understanding of how exchanges work and other technical details.

How will Flyp.me Address these Shortcomings?

For the problems mentioned above, Flyp.me is introducing an exchange that does not require an account, where the only information needed to use it is the user’s cryptocurrency address os that they can receive their funds. The exchange promises not to give away data about its customers to third parties voluntarily. Moreover, Flyp.me does not hold private keys, and the exchange’s reserve fund takes the role of processing trades instantaneously. Also, the exchange rate is calculated the moment a deposit is sent, ensuring that users get the best rates at the time they initiate a trade.

The business will aim to ride the wave of the colossal increase in trading volumes of top cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, litecoin, and ether and provide a service geared towards new entrants into this exciting market. The exchange service will put usability as one of its priorities, and utilize the services of many different exchanges to offer a complete experience, allowing the exchange of many different types of cryptocurrencies and tokens.

In short, Flyp.me address the shortcoming of current exchanges by basing its business strategy on six main pillars; accountless experience, uncompromised privacy, fastest speed thanks to a reserve fund, profit sharing, participatory policy-making, transparency and accountability and permissionless API.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature is the profit-sharing, which distributes 50 percent of the profits from fee generated every three months to FYP token holders. The revenue of the exchange is driven by the exchange rate offered by Flyp as well as the strategic partnerships that integrate the permissionless API for multi-currency payments.

Following the initial coin offering (ICO), FYP token holders will vote on the desirable balance between driving the userbase of Flyp and profitability. Token holders will also participate in a vote on the frequency of payouts following the first two payouts after the ICO.   

Encouraging and incentivizing the participation of users is what set Flyp apart from most exchanges and one of the main benefits that a FYP token holder receives is their inclusion in the governance of the exchange, allowing their voice to be heard to make proposals and decisions on key aspects. Votes will be proportional to the number of FYP tokens held.

The community-based aesthetic will be driven by the adoption of innovations such as decentralized asset platforms and atomic trading. Decentralized asset platforms will ensure the uptime of the exchange and promote privacy, while atomic exchanges will improve the efficiency of the operations.

The FYP Initial Coin Offering

Flyp.me is now running its ICO to fund the dev roadmap which includes Research and Development for second-layer solutions, the integration of decentralized asset platforms and cryptographic auditing.

You can now get Flyp.me Tokens (FYP) with a 10 percent bonus. As mentioned previously, FYP Tokens give token owners benefits including 50 percent share of the profits generated by the exchange, the ability to propose new features and coin additions, vote for key decisions and audit volumes.

FYP is an ERC20-based token and will be on offer until October 21 (15:00 UTC). You can join the ICO with various cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, LTC, ZEC, DASH, PIVX, FAIR, GAME, DCR, SYS, PPC, DOGE, BLK, and GRC.

The team behind Flyp.me are experienced in the world of cryptocurrency. For instance, Francesco Simonetti, the CEO of Flyp.me and HolyTransaction, has been active in the cryptocurrency space since 2013 and is the founder of the Rome Bitcoin Meetup and the Blockchain Education Network Italia. Six professionals with varied backgrounds currently work full-time at Flyp, but their identities are kept a secret to avoid external corruption or personal attacks.

Francesco Simonetti, Flyp.me CEO says:

“Flyp.me is designed for anyone who wants to exchange crypto instantly. We only ask the address where you want your exchanged crypto to be received. It is as simple as that. We are excited to accelerate our development roadmap following the ICO.”

In summary, the Flyp token sale will contribute toward advancing the exchange’s features and growing the user base. With prior experience at HolyTransaction, the team is well-suited to delivering an accountless, private cryptocurrency exchange that incentivizes users with a profit-sharing scheme.

You can find out more about the Flyp.me exchange and ICO via their whitepaper. Flyp.me are in the list of companies that do not support SegWit2X.



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Calvin Ayre Declares Bitcoin Cash “The Only Bitcoin”

13 hours 9 min ago



In a statement addressing the upcoming the bitcoin (BTC) fork that is scheduled for mid-November, Calvin Ayre has stated it’s belief that Bitcoin Cash [Bitcoin (BCC)] is “the only bitcoin.”

Also Read: Fork Debate Drops to New Low, Outspoken Developer Lopp’s Home Surrounded by Police

“When We Say Bitcoin, We Mean Bitcoin Cash”

With the number of chains forked from the original bitcoin blockchain expected to increase, a number of companies and media organizations are seeking to provide clarification regarding the specific nomenclature referring to each chain.

Calvinayre has issued a statement clarifying that when using the term ‘bitcoin’, the website will be referring to the bitcoin (BCC) chain. The statement expresses Calvinayre’s belief that “bitcoin cash is the true remaining bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper. The release states that although “the Segwit chain may have inherited the name “BTC” largely due to history but it is bitcoin cash that much more closely resembles the bitcoin that sparked the entire digital currency boom.”

Calvinayre states that it will refer to the respective bitcoin chains as “Segwit1x (currently BTC, and likely SW1 after the Segwit2x split), Segwit2x (planned BTC, but likely SW2 after the fork if it fails to achieve majority miner support), and Segwit Gold (SWG).”

Calvinayre Describes the Distinct Bitcoin Chains As “Relatives Sharing a Common Ancestor”

The release states that “cryptocurrency was created to solve the problems brought by traditional banking. For the online gambling industry, the appeal lies in its promise to cut out the middlemen, along with their outrageous fees, and help secure transactions with the distributed ledger system.” As such, Calvinayre advocates that “the entire gambling industry… move across to [bitcoin (BCC)].”

Calvinayre advances that the comparatively high fees associated with bitcoin (BTC) compromise the fundamental utility of bitcoin, and deter non-speculative user adoption.

“We define an electronic coin as a chain of digital signatures” – Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin Whitepaper

Calvinayre’s website describes bitcoin (BTC)’s segregated witness protocol as defining “a new transaction type… that removes the digital signatures from the transaction and places them in a separate data structure.” By contrast, bitcoin (BCC) is described as having “increased the capacity limit of each block… and preserved a version of bitcoin with digital signatures intact.” It is largely on the basis of preserving digital signatures that Calvinayre argues bitcoin cash (BCC) is the chain that most resembles the original vision as laid out in the bitcoin whitepaper.

Which chain do think is most deserving of the title ‘bitcoin’? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CalvinAyre.com

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Opporty – Giving Opportunities to Startups

13 hours 37 min ago


Opporty describes itself as a one-stop-shop, an all-in-one solution for starting and doing business. Opporty is like Wikipedia – it is the best platform to share knowledge and gain exposure. At the same time, Opporty is a lead generation platform used to attract clients and get leads. It is a multifunctional tool for approaching your target audience and building your professional reputation. Opporty tries to tackle the problems smaller to medium size companies have, like attracting new clients and gaining exposure, especially competing with bigger and more established companies.

Opporty implements renewable ratings. It’s a flexible rating system where your rating is not only based on the amount of stars you receive, your community contribution and activity is also taken into account. People with a higher rating are eligible to become an escrow judge (who act in case of problems and review service quality). The Opporty team creates fair conditions for every user (and so also companies).

Opporty’s background

 Sergey Grybniak, CEO of Opporty, has been doing market research for seven years in CIS countries, China and the US. He used this knowledge to try to grow businesses, but experienced the difficulties startups have to get their first clients and receive exposure. Even with the right market knowledge and dose of ambition, it is very hard to join any marketplace. So this got Sergey thinking, what if there was a single platform where a new business could:

  • Conduct market research
  • Approach a target audience to offer unique opportunities that have no equivalent in the market
  • Receive requests from others who are actively looking for services you provide
  • Resolve issues of closing first deals without losing a buyer’s interest, which is hard for a provider with no reputation
  • Get your first reviews
  • Share your knowledge to educate a community and increase exposure

“This is how I arrived at the idea of Opporty”, Sergey said.

Major Competitors

 In general, all online service marketplaces can be labeled as competitors to some extent. Currently, there exists an impressive number of similar companies that effectively operate in one or more niches. And here, Opporty faces two major challenges:

  1. Tackling strong competition within niches
  2. Introducing blockchain to users who know nothing, or very little, about it
Team Formation and Culture

 In 2014, Sergey came to the US where he founded his second service company – Clever Solution Inc. Half of his staff at Clever Solution Inc. has been allocated to the Opporty project (25+ team members and still growing). They have adopted an open and respectable environment in which team members can grow both personally and professionally.

Behind the token sale

 The ICO will help them raise the necessary funds to develop the platform further, without relying on third party investors. In this way, the team will be able to focus on growing the Opporty community, and shift the focus away from realization of short-term profits. Their goal is to remain a free platform for the majority of their services. To make this feasible, they will keep their margins as low as possible.

Token use

The Opporty token (OPP) is an ERC-20-standard cryptocurrency that can be purchased or gained as a reward for contributing knowledge and expertise to Opporty’s knowledge-sharing system.

OPP tokens can be spent on:

  • Advertising and promotion on the platform
  • Additional services
  • Services provided by contractors

The OPP token can also be used for staking, necessary for applying for certain roles on the platform like Curators, Arbitrators, Escrow Judges, etc.

Marketing

Sergey has already pointed out that marketing is key for the adoption of the platform in niches with strong competitors. “We also have well planned PR, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Offline Marketing strategies. There are a number of experts with relevant knowledge and experience on our team”, Sergey said.

Whitepaper

The whitepaper notes the use of escrow judges. We asked for some further explanation about this subject. Apparently, during the first phase (more info about phases in whitepaper at 10.1 and 10.2), anyone who can prove their expertise in a certain field will be able to become an Escrow judge (arbitrator) after Opporty’s team approval. To become a judge, one needs to identify the niche in which he or she is an expert and upload the required documents (KYC) and certifications. All judges will be rewarded automatically by Opporty’s system, in accordance with their contributions to the judgment process. Moreover, they will receive massive exposure and be awarded special badges on their profiles.

During the second phase, all judges will only be selected through community voting. Prior to applying for the position of an Escrow judge, a user will have to establish a good reputation and contribute some OPP tokens to the system. This will protect users and the platform from unfair and unlawful judgements in the future. On the other hand, there is a possible threat with community voting. Larger companies might have a larger stake because they can assign more resources to contribute to the platform, furthermore these companies could utilize their larger stakes for upvoting employees to become judges.

Luckily, Opporty is working on automating contract execution through Oracle. This middleware can be of three types: semi-automated, fully automated or AI-enabled. Here is how it works: Each niche utilizes its own measurable quality metrics. If we talk about contracts or tax reports, in most cases they can be verified without any problems. However, in some cases escrow processes require additional information which can be provided by Oracle.

The Challenge of Opporty

 The two major challenges they face are marketing and community education. Even now few people know about blockchain. It is important to pass on the benefits blockchain has to offer. Next, marketing will be key because the platform will have to compete with many businesses in many niches.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Opporty offers smaller to medium size companies a better chance of landing their first clients. The flexible rating system gives companies a fair chance in showing their potential in comparison with bigger companies. Besides that, the token has a true meaning within the platform. It can be used for staking (voting on judges), but also for promotion and additional services.

Cons

Opporty will experience a tough time competing with other companies or platforms offering niche-specific lead generation, especially in well-established niches. So, marketing is key for their success and it will require a big chunk out of their marketing budget. Added to this, people are not familiar with the principles of blockchain and attached tokens. Next, escrow judges are chosen by manual selection (phase 1) and voting (phase 2). I would like to see those autonomous judges being implemented as fast as possible to avoid the possibility of fraud.

The Future of Opporty

 “In two years’ time, we see Opporty functioning as a fully autonomous DApp with its own flexible blockchain. Small and medium companies will be able to do business completely on Opporty, without having to rely on old-fashioned courts. Within this time frame we expect to offer fully functional solutions for the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, India, CIS countries, and Europe.”

“In five years’ time, we intend to have fully automatic and AI-enabled escrow smart contracts, with the implementation of autonomous governments and multiple entry points. These points will be apps for various devices, chatbots, audio assistants, and so on”, Sergey told us.

In Conclusion

The idea behind Opporty is pretty cool. They try to offer an all-in-one solution for smaller businesses to give them equal opportunities. It can be used as a lead generation tool. Contributing knowledge to the community gives you more exposure. Besides that, I like the idea of a monthly recalculation of your rating. However, it will be difficult to enter niche markets with strong competition and to educate people on the use and the benefits of blockchain.

More Info and Technical Details

Whitelisted presale: 19/10 – 26/10

Main sale: 27/10 – 24/11

Hard cap: 50k ETH

Official Website

Whitepaper

Telegram



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Bitcoin Cash Developers Propose New Address Format

14 hours 11 min ago



This week the lead Bitcoin ABC developer, Amaury Séchet, proposed to add a Bech32 address format to the Bitcoin Cash (BCC) network. Currently, the BCC community has been discussing modifying the bitcoin cash address format, alongside preparing to fix the protocol’s Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA).

Also read: Meet the New Bitcoin Cash P2P Exchange Localbitcoincash.org

The Bitcoin Cash Community and Developers Propose Changing the Protocol’s Address Format

On October 14, Amaury Séchet proposed to implement a new address format to the bitcoin cash network. The subject of changing the BCC address format has been debated for a few months now, but even more so after Bitpay released a new address format for the company’s BCC integration in its Copay wallet. The discussion initially started on the Bitcoin ABC Github repository back in July. A few weeks ago Bitpay stated it had created “new conventions to ensure users don’t accidentally send BTC to a BCC wallet or vice versa.” However, Bitpay’s new address format wasn’t received well by the BCC community and developers.

Electron Cash Wallet Developer Weighs In

For instance, the Electron Cash wallet developer, Jonald Fyookball, detailed on the Yours network, that “Bitpay’s new bitcoin cash address format breaks wallet compatibility and requires community discussion.” Fyookball explains he’s a “fan of Bitpay,” but he believes releasing a new format without community discussion creates issues. The “main problem” Fyookball details, is that unless every single BCC user within the entire community upgrades to this new software there will be address “incompatibility between the new (Bitpay format) and the existing format for addresses.”   

“Newer wallets theoretically should still be able to support sending to old addresses unless those wallets intentionally stop supporting legacy addresses,” Fyookball explains. “But actually, it appears that Bitpay has done just that on their own platform.”

This may be a matter of design choice if the idea is to prevent a user from sending to a BTC address — Yet, since many users still use old addresses, it breaks backwards compatibility.

Amaury Séchet Favors the Bech 32 Address Format

The community believes it is essential for bitcoin cash addresses to be distinguished from bitcoin addresses, but think Bitpay’s method may not be the best answer. Bitcoin ABC’s Amaury Séchet explains on the team’s developer mailing list that maybe BCC programmers “have been moving too slowly and that is why Bitpay has gone ahead.” But Séchet also says he thinks they should have discussed the move as address upgrades can be “disruptive.” Séchet also revealed at the time he is in favor of Bech 32 address styles, a proposal first introduced by bitcoin developer Pieter Wuille.         

“At this point, I am in favor of the Bech 32 style addresses as they have a number of advantages — The most notable one, is that the format can be extended to support new features in the future,” Séchet’s developer mailing list post details. “The current address format or the variation proposed by Bitpay doesn’t, which means we’ll likely have to change it again in the future.”

As a result, I think we should adopt an extensible address format rather than doing a quick fix that makes us feel better now but fails to anticipate needs down the road — We are in this for the long run.

Lots of Bitcoin Cash Proposals and Ideas Being Tossed Around

The Github proposal pushed forward by Séchet seems to be favored by other developers who assist with the BCC protocol. One reviewer writes, “very elegant proposal, I like it,” and the pull request was also sent to the Bitpay/Copay code repository. The developer who recommends the address format changes to Bitpay asks, “Would you remove your new address format starting with C and add the Bech32 format (described here: Bitcoin-UAHF/spec#21) if some wallets start using it? It is more useful.”  

Bitcoin Cash development and infrastructure seems to be moving along with the recent EDA proposals and the latest address format idea. Further, the community has been greeted by another plan to create color coins on the BCC network. Bitcoin Unlimited developer, Andrew Stone recently proposed bitcoin cash scripting applications on October 16, in order to issue representative tokens on the network. 

What do you think about the proposal to change the bitcoin cash address format? Which development proposal do you think should be a priority right now for the BCH chain? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoincash.org, Electron Cash, and Bitcoin.com.

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Miniapps.pro Crowdsale: Bridging the Gap Between Small Business And High-tech World

14 hours 42 min ago


Miniapps.pro develops and promotes a new generation chatbot marketplace and platform powered by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies to make them available for a broad market of micro, small and medium enterprises around the world, which number estimated up to 300 million.

You can find plenty of articles about Why Businesses Need Chatbots. They need it because chatbots help automate responses to routine customer requests, they’re engaging, they’re particularly good when targeting at millennials, and they are cost effective comparing to mobile apps for example. They are also use Artificial Intelligence. But while okay for big companies, its too resource consuming for SME. Headlines like “Chatbots are Helping Businesses” are mostly about a software giant, its supercomputer and its corporate clients like banks. 

Miniapps.pro democratizes the chatbot deployment for Small and Medium-sized Enterprizes by making it even  more affordable through its innovative decentralized marketplace and cloud platform. The platform has already been built and put into commercial service, working for about 10 mln mobile users around the world, sending about 1 billion messages every month. More than 5000 development teams are registered with Miniapps.pro chatbot platform.

Now Miniapps.pro is building a  decentralized chatbot marketplace that comprises sale partners from one side and developers from the other side. Developers create chatbot/miniapps templates and make them available through the Miniapps.pro  marketplace to sales partners. Sale partners work with SME clients and use those chatbot templates to create customised solutions for their clients. Partners do not need to have any software development or machine learning competencies. Instead they use Miniapps.pro Visual Builder to stick together templates just like Lego bricks, and AI components provided by connected partners.

Miniapps.pro has launched the crowdsale of its MAT tokens, which will last until December 18, allowing both chatbot and cryptocurrency communities to become part of its initiative. The total amount of 20 million MAT will be generated. The soft cap is set at $5 million. During the crowdsale 10 million MAT will be offered to participants  at the price of 0.01 ETH. As the platform has been already developed, collected funds will be spent mostly for business scaling and development of the partner network. 

The MAT token holders are offered an opportunity to take advantage of the Miniapps.pro decentralized ecosystem at attractive prices. A single MAT token (equivalent of ETH 0.01 or $3.00) gives an owner rights to participate in Miniapps.pro marketplace and get benefits worth $500 per year or even more depending on the amount of tokens under the operation. The detailed calculation of various MAT business cases can be found in the whitepaper.

The forms of the participation include becoming a partner and getting partner’s discounts, placing one’s chatbot templates in the marketplace, getting extra commission from template sales, running a referral program and others. If a token holder is not going to get involved in marketplace activities she can lease her tokens through the referral system to someone who wants to participate in the Miniapps.pro without purchasing its tokens.

There are 300 million micro, small and medium size enterprises in the world, according to The World Bank. Miniapps.pro estimates the MSME chatbot market as at least $3 billion a year, and  is set to take 10 percent of it. It is enormous number of the  platform and the marketplace’s  participants with different jurisdictions, financial regulations, national currencies and level of mutual trust, which are resolved by Miniapps.pro with the help of blockchain, smart contracts, cryptocurrency and tokenization.

The founder and CEO of Miniapps.pro, Vitaly Gumirov, emphasized the economic value of the token by saying, “Our token is made not only for fund raising, but in order to create a decentralized global marketplace and the community of developers and partners that will be able to meet demands of small businesses around the globe. This market is largely underserved by big tech companies, which prefer B2C or corporate B2B. At the other hand, SMEs often don’t have competencies or resources to implement IT solutions themselves. Miniapps mission is to bridge the gap between SME and high-tech world. By offering our token we invite participants to our future ecosystem, that will help to achieve this mission and make Artificial Intelligence, chatbots, and other state-of–the-art technologies affordable by small businesses over the world.”

In September 2017 Miniapps.pro collected $500,000 in a private presale. The entire amount was earmarked to launch the crowdsale of MAT token, which is being presented by the company as an attractive opportunity for those who want to be part of its revolutionary initiative to launch a decentralized global chatbot ecosystem and cloud platform.



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KYC Bill to Regulate Bitcoin Exchanges Green Lighted by Australian Senate Committee

15 hours 13 min ago



A bill to regulate Australia’s digital currency exchanges has gained support from the Senate committee tasked to review it. The committee recommended for the bill to be passed. However, public comments from the industry’s participants suggest that some provisions in the bill are unclear and could reduce competition in the payment industry.

Also read: Australia Introduces Bill That Regulates Bitcoin Exchanges

Crypto Exchange Bill Receives Support

The Australian Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee published a document last week recommending the “the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017” be passed.

This bill was first introduced in August by the Senate and was referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry. It contains measures to amend the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2006 (AML/CTF Act) in order to strengthen the act and increase the powers of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (Austrac).

The bill also contains provisions to regulate digital currency exchange providers. For example, it “seeks to introduce a new designated service and register in order to regulate digital currency exchange, to be introduced within six months of the bill’s commencement,” the document read, adding that:

The bill amends the AML/CTF Act to establish a number of civil penalties in relation to an unregistered person providing digital currency exchange services, which are all subject to strict liability.

Comment Submissions

During the review period, the committee called for public comments. “Submitters to the inquiry were generally supportive of the bill’s measures to implement the reforms,” the document detailed.

Nine submissions were received, as shown on the Parliament of Australia website. Two of them were related to digital currencies. One was from a leading Australian criminal law firm, Nyman Gibson Miralis. The firm asserted that “the proposed legislative amendments do not seem to contemplate for the likely scenario that an individual can simply choose to exchange with a digital currency provider outside of Australia’s national jurisdiction.” In addition, the firm wrote:

What is unclear is whether the legislative amendments capture a person who exchanges with a digital currency provider outside of Australia. The very nature of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are that they transcend Australia’s national jurisdiction.

Hindrance to Small Businesses

The other submission concerning digital currency provisions was from an Australian fintech company that enables customers to pay bills with bitcoin, Living Room of Satoshi. CEO Daniel Alexiuc wrote, “the proposed legislation will have the effect of requiring KYC procedures of our customers for even very small transactions.”

He noted that most of his company’s transactions are under AUD$1,000 and that any amounts over $1,000 are subject to full KYC procedures. “Adding KYC requirements to low-value payments like this would add unnecessary friction and make this payment system far less attractive than using incumbent payment systems, even if they are more expensive,” he detailed and then elaborated:

The legislation will impact our current business and stifle future innovation in the area of small payments, since many of our customers will feel KYC is unwarranted and too much of a hassle for small amounts. This will also reduce competition in the payments industry.

Subsequently, he proposed for the legislation to include “an exemption from KYC requirements for low-value payments,” and suggested for the same threshold of $1,000 for Low-Value Non-Cash Payment Facilities to be used.

What do you think of this bill? Will it help or hinder bitcoin adoption in the land down under? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nyman Gibson Miralis, and Living Room of Satoshi.

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Kazakhstan Set to Launch National Cryptocurrency Backed by Fiat

16 hours 15 min ago



Kazakhstan’s Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) and Exante have announced a partnership regarding the development of a national cryptocurrency. The Kazakhstan government intends to launch a state-issued cryptocurrency that is backed by fiat.

Also Read: Kazakhstan Seeks to Become Regional Hub for Cryptocurrency Industry

The AIFC has announced a partnership with Exante, in which the company’s ‘Stasis’ platform will be used as the foundation for Kazakhstan’s national cryptocurrency. Exante is a Malta-based investment company that that was founded in 2011.

The governor of the AIFC, Kairat Kelimbetov, has expressed the institution’s belief that “blockchain and cryptocurrencies are entering the mainstream of today’s economic reality.” Kelimbetov emphasized the AIFC’s desire to become an international frontrunner in the development and adoption of distributed ledger technology. “Astana’s leading financial regulators have already commenced their work and are laying the foundation for Kazakhstan’s fintech-ecosystem. We believe that the AIFC can become an international hub for blockchain operations and the development of the digital assets market is our key priority in the near future,” he stated.

Kazakhstan Will Host an Upcoming Expo for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Kelimbetov recently discussed an upcoming expo that the AIFC hopes will bolster international perceptions of the fintech and distributed ledger technology industries in Kazakhstan. As reported by local media, the AIFC governor stated “we assume that the territory of the expo will become a kind of crypto valley or crypto harbor. The whole world is very interested in this. Some central banks are supporting this direction, others are looking [at cryptocurrencies] closely.”

During the discussions, Kelimbetov emphasized the AIFC’s desire to balance the fostering of innovation and adoption of cryptocurrency technology with the ensuring of financial stability. “The United States and Singapore want to equate the activities of crypto-economic with ordinary activities in the financial sphere. In Switzerland, this direction is strongly encouraged and Japan supports some cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. We want to say that in this direction AIFC will be on the ‘edge’ concerning understanding the processes that are taking place. But on the other hand, we are responsible for issues of financial stability and regulation of certain financial institutions.”

Kazakhstan Is Working to Develop Its Emerging Fintech Sector

Kelimbetov stated that “the head of state has instructed making AIFC a leading expert center in the development of new financial technologies.” In order to achieve such, the AIFC is expected to soon “join a consortium of international hi-tech hubs which include leading global banks which are currently searching for appropriate solutions, including national and regional cryptocurrencies and in the field of blockchain technologies.”

Earlier this month, the AIFC signed a memorandum of cooperation with Microsoft for the establishment of the country’s Blockchain Innovation Centre – which is intended to foster innovation within the distributed ledger technology start-up space. In July, the AIFC announced that it would work in partnership with Deloitte and Waves to develop a permissive regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrency, blockchain, and fintech businesses.

Do you think that Kazakhstan will become a competitive force within the international blockchain and cryptocurrency arenas? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Ukraine’s New Bill Treats Bitcoin as Financial Asset and Encourages Mining

17 hours 17 min ago



Two bills to provide legal frameworks for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin have now been submitted to the Ukrainian parliament. The latest one proposes recognizing them as financial assets. It also defines cryptocurrency derivatives, as well as proposes simplifying taxation and reducing electricity tariffs for mining activities.

Also read: Putin Orders the Issue of Russia’s National Cryptocurrency – the Cryptoruble

Two Bills Submitted to Parliament

Following the first bill on cryptocurrency which was submitted on October 6, the second bill has been submitted to the Ukrainian parliament. Entitled “On the stimulation of the market of cryptocurrencies and their derivatives in Ukraine,” Bill No. 7183-1 was submitted last week.

In the new bill, the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Financial Policy and Banking, Serhiy Rybalka, proposes to recognize cryptocurrency as a “financial asset,” The Financial Club reported. “It makes no sense to reinvent the wheel and invent new rules for it. The most effective model is the adaptation of cryptocurrencies to the already existing legislation,” the publication quoted him saying. “That is why we propose to recognize cryptocurrency as a financial asset.”

Ain publication elaborated:

According to this document, state bodies are responsible for monitoring cryptocurrency exchanges. Cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to obtain a license for their activities. They have the right to open accounts in cryptocurrency both for citizens of Ukraine and for non-residents.

Taxation and Other Terms

The second draft law also calls for “reduced tariffs for electricity and the simplest taxation” in order to “stimulate the ‘extraction’ and turnover of cryptocurrencies,” The Financial Club detailed. Rybalka further “proposes not to tax cryptocurrency investments,” the publication added, noting that the bill proposes a 2% fee when cryptocurrencies are exchanged for hryvnia.

In addition, the bill calls for the National Financial Services Commission to be the primary regulator of cryptocurrencies. In the first bill, it was proposed for the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to act as the regulator of the crypto market.

While the second bill contains the definition of cryptocurrency derivatives, neither bill contains references to initial coin offerings (ICOs), explained Orlovsky Maxim, Head of Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine. Furthermore, the first draft law does not mention AML and KYC procedures for cryptocurrency operations, while the second one suggests for them to be determined by the central financial regulator as part of their licensing requirements, he added.

Cryptocurrencies Not Prohibited

Even though there is not yet a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in Ukraine, cryptocurrencies including bitcoin are not prohibited by law. The Ukrainian finance minister Oleksandr Danylyuk wrote on his Facebook page on Monday that his ministry is working with the NBU and other financial regulators to formulate the right regulation for them. He wrote:

There are many open issues and in Ukraine the status of cryptography is not defined by law, but this does not mean that cryptocurrency is prohibited. Ukraine should monitor world trends and not miss a chance to use new technologies and innovations in the financial sector.

What do you think of this bill’s proposals? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Op-Ed: Why ICO’s Nauseate Me

17 hours 49 min ago


All the rage these days in the Blockchain startup world are Initial Coin Offerings (aka ICO’s). And quite frankly as these campaigns continue to proliferate, they have become downright nauseating to my stomach.

Before pontificating further as to why I feel this way, below is a brief definition of what an ICO is.

Defined by the online site Investopedia:

“An (ICO) is unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks. In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, but usually for bitcoin.”

So if you’re a startup founder that was previously unfamiliar with what an ICO is, then your ears probably perked up. This approach certainly has garnered tons attention from businesses seeking to raise obscene amounts of money; often in the millions for the project they are pushing.

The hype around Ethereum-based ICO’s has reached epic levels. And sadly the vast majority of these projects have no proof of concept, consist of a white paper that only a Ph.D. can comprehend, and are marketed via a website that was thrown up in record time.

As a result, despite being a heavy Bitcoin/Blockchain enthusiast since 2012, I have not invested in a single ICO. The projects that do have credible legs are in my opinion few and far between. The rest feel speculative, in some cases downright slimy.

I know, I know, my views here are harsh and will probably subject me to some hate mail. But it is what it is.

As a journalist, I feel this energy every day as my email inbox is often inundated with press releases pitching the latest and greatest ICO campaign on the planet. The email subject line typically starts out with the often repeated mantra of “we’re the world’s first blockchain blah, blah, blah” in an attempt to loosen me up so that I’ll cover the story.

Then there are the magical fairy tale success stories about ICOs that have already broken it big. The new brief typically reads something like the following:

“The groundbreaking (insert a name) project which is poised to revolutionize the global blockchain landscape sold out its ICO in 15 minutes, all while the co-founders were sipping lattes at their favorite coffeehouse. The project is now set to launch, the alpha version details of which are covered in their 30-page whitepaper. And no worries, the actual proof of concept will be forthcoming in 2020.”

Ahhh, maybe.

It’s also interesting to observe the tsunami of celebrity ICOs that are now popping up. Celebrities like Jamie Fox, Paris Hilton, and Floyd Mayweather are all jumping on the bandwagon.

All of this feels like the irrational exuberance leading up to the global financial crisis of 2008. Could the world of ICO’s ultimately experience this same fate?

The truth of the matter is that if I had a cool blockchain project that was valued at $250 million and I would walk away with at least 10 percent, then why would I continue innovating. Hell, I’d just cash in my tokens and retire on a beach. Because in reality, what sort of incentive is there for the co-founders to have a functioning project when their pockets are already full of money.

Perhaps the most obscene aspect of this racket is that everyday blockchain and crypto enthusiast are apt to toss money at these projects anyway, often based on pixie dust claims of a rich future return.

Now with Ponzis, pump and dump schemes and hacks becoming more prevalent, the howling jackals of the regulatory community are starting to step forward and say, enough is enough.

In full disclosure, I consider myself a free market libertarian who harbors a general disdain for regulations that constipate small business and free enterprise. But in this case, I’m even willing to admit that a common sense approach to reigning some of this in may be warranted.

One stakeholder that appears to be taking a leadership role here is Coinfirm. This blockchain-based regulatory compliance company recently announced a new Ethereum and ICO Anti-Money service that enable ICO compliance with AML/CTF regulations. In offering this, Coinfirm hopes to address a major roadblock to the Ethereum ecosystem becoming commercially adoptable, namely, the compliance risk associated with cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related entities.

Says Coinfirm CEO and Co-founder, Pawel Kuskowski, “We’ve been met with a great response so far from clients who use our AML reports for ICOs and token issuance. Our capability to service Ethereum for AML/CTF changes the game not just for us but the cryptocurrency ecosystem overall. Now one of the largest regulatory problems around ICO’s and tokens, for example, is being solved.”

Coinfirm is the first company to publicly break out and also offer AML/CTF capabilities for Ethereum on top of their services for Bitcoin and Dash. The company is also working on additional features and efficiencies for the platform that will be disclosed soon. My sincere hope is that their efforts signal the first of much more broader steps in bringing some rationality and common sense to the ICO landscape.



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How to Buy IOTA – A Basic Beginner’s Guide

18 hours 20 min ago


The post How to Buy IOTA – A Basic Beginner’s Guide appeared first on 99 Bitcoins.

What Is Iota? The name Iota comes directly from the Internet of Things (IoT).  In the coming decade, it is expected that there will be an excess of 50 billion Internet enabled devices.  With that in mind, Iota offers a way to transfer micro-transactions between these devices.  The goal with Iota is to allow these […]



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Russian Regulators Consider Establishing a ‘Crypto-Detective Agency’

18 hours 51 min ago



At a recent State Duma Financial Market Committee meeting, an initiative to create a “crypto-detective agency” in Russia was proposed. This specialized agency will primarily collect all information on Russian companies planning to launch an initial coin offering (ICO) as well as create a registry of them.

Also read: Putin Orders the Issue of Russia’s National Cryptocurrency – the Cryptoruble

Proposal for Crypto-Detective Agency

At the State Duma Financial Market Committee meeting of the expert council on the legislative support of financial technologies last week, the issue of cryptocurrency regulation in Russia was discussed. Representatives from the regulators and major domestic banks attended, reported Izvestia Russian Daily.

The Internet Development Institute (IRI) is an organization whose goal is to develop and operate the industry of modern technologies in Russia. IRI Foundation president Alexei Fyodorov proposed an initiative at the meeting “to create a specialized crypto-detective agency,” the news outlet detailed and reported him explaining:

To protect investors in cryptocurrencies in Russia, it is planned to create a specialized crypto-detective agency. It will collect information on Russian companies intending to launch an ICO. Information will be stored in a special register.

This registry will contain all of the information about these companies that can be found, he described.

“Our agency will be able to extract information about their beneficiaries and their real state of affairs. Is this a startup or an attempt to solve the company’s current problems with the help of the ICO,” he asked, before detailing the need for this agency. “Our task is to protect investors. When a company that has attracted funds from a large number of people fails, its investors will seek protection from the state.”

Ineffective Method

Russia’s internet ombudsman, Dmitry Marinichev, acknowledged the need to collect such data.

In August, news.Bitcoin.com reported about him building a mining infrastructure in Russia to challenge China’s bitcoin mining supremacy. His company, Russian Miner Coin (RMC), recently held an ICO which raised 1,205 BTC, 4,022 ETH, and $37 million, according to the company’s website. The RMC tokens “have rights to 18 percent of the revenue earned with the company’s mining equipment, according to a presentation posted on its website,” Forbes described.

Regarding a registry of companies planning an ICO, Marinichev said “to force a company to register on the register is pointless,” Izvestia wrote and quoted him saying:

Mechanisms for controlling ICOs are needed…But the registers are ineffective.

Eugene Gordeev, Managing Partner at Russian Ventures, believes that “any initiative to register companies is not needed by the market,” the publication wrote.

“It’s like trying to create an agency that evaluates startups at the seed stage when the project has only an idea and a team,” he said. “At this stage, the project has a lot of data that cannot be analyzed. But investors, in case of success, will receive a thousand times more than they invested.”

What do you think of this “crypto-detective agency”? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Ukraine’s Finance Minister Says Cryptocurrencies Will Not Be Banned

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:00


Ukraine’s finance minister Oleksandr Danyliuk insists cryptocurrencies will not be banned in the country even though its legal status is yet to be determined.

Earlier this week Mr. Danyliuk took part in the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group with financial technologies being one of the key talking points of the event.

“There are many open questions, and the status of cryptocurrency in Ukraine is not legally determined, but it doesn’t mean that cryptocurrency is banned. Ukraine will keep on looking into the global trends not to lose its chance of using technological innovations in finance,” he wrote on Facebook.

According to Mr. Danyliuk, the participants in the Annual Meetings regarded the cryptocurrency as a challenge, not a problem, and agreed on the need to take a common stand.

The minister also reminded that the future regulatory framework will take into account opinions of both regulators and experts. According to Danyliuk, this issue is also relevant for the Ukrainian government and the National Bank.

“In Ukraine, we are also working with the NBU and other financial market regulators and experts to better research the nature of the cryptocurrency and to work out a stand regarding the appropriate regulation in Ukraine,” he added.

The National Bank of Ukraine earlier issued a statement that, while cryptocurrency lacks a legal status, its mining does not violate any laws.

Earlier this month, two bills on cryptocurrency regulation were registered with Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.



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