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Crypto Week In Review: CFTC Dives Into Ethereum, Coinbase Integrates Paypal

As 2018 comes to close, a number of analysts expected a “Santa Claus” rally, whereas the crypto market would undergo a positive reversal in the holiday season. Yet, the value of Bitcoin, along with the altcoins it reigns over, has continued to suffer. Amid this market turmoil, this industry’s news cycle has also faltered, with discussion regarding promising product releases and institutional forays becoming a rare sight. Still, there remain many optimists that are hopeful for what’s to come in 2019. CFTC Requests For Public Feedback On Ethereum, Altcoins After over a year of hype surrounding Bitcoin (BTC) futures, as CBOE and CME launched contracts, and Bakkt unveiled plans for its own, a new contender is expected to enter into crypto’s alternative investment vehicle scene. This, of course, is Ethereum (ETH), which formerly sat at Bitcoin’s side as the second-most valuable capitalized cryptocurrency. The U.S. Commodities Trading Futures Commission (CFTC) only confirmed these rumors in the past week, as the entity made a “request for information” to the public on the matter of alternative cryptocurrencies, namely ETH. The governmental regulator wrote: “The RFI [Request For Information] also seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between Ether and bitcoin, as well as Ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.” It is believed that the CFTC is seeking public sentiment and comments to precede its ruling on an ETH-backed instrument, like proposed Ethereum futures backed by CBOE. Interestingly, not everyone is convinced that futures based on Ether will be beneficial for the asset. Tom Lee, for instance, told Business Insider that ETH futures will allow speculators to push the asset’s price lower, even if the contract isn’t physically-backed. Su Zhu, the CEO of Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital, echoed these concerns, issuing a poll questioning if the advent of such a product would aid ETH. Bitcoin Friendly Square Cash Tops Apple, Google Play Store Last Saturday, Miles Suter, a prominent Bitcoin commentator, divulged that Cash App, a mobile financial services application backed by Square, had become the #1 free application on Apple’s iOS App Store, a monumental accomplishment for any startup. Although this development isn’t exciting in and of itself, the fact that Cash App (Square’s Cash) natively supports the purchase and sale of BTC is undoubtedly a fact that struck a chord with crypto diehards worldwide. Commenting on this surprising occurrence, Matt Odell, a long-time “Bitcoiner,” exclaimed that Square’s Cash, which has the stamp of approval from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, will be a primary catalyst behind Bitcoin’s growth in the years to come. Odell noted that the application, available throughout the U.S., is much more impactful on this budding market than a Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF). Just days after Square Cash topped the charts of iOS, the popular fintech program gained on the standings of the Google Play Store, Android’s go-to location for applications and content. The Jack Dorsey-backed application purportedly became the most downloaded free finance-related application on the Play Store, due to a rapid influx of downloads. Square’s flagship product now sits in front of its most notable competitors — Venmo, ranked third on the same chart, and Paypal. Related Reading: Square’s Crypto-Friendly Cash App is the Most Downloaded Financial Application on Play Store Facebook Bolsters Blockchain Division Amid Bear Market Those familiar with the matter have told Cheddar, and up-and-coming, crypto-friendly business news outlet, that Facebook has been bolstering its blockchain division, even amid the dismal market downturn. The insiders claimed that nearly 40 employees, which consist of blockchain developers and former members of Paypal’s top brass, now work within the walls of the secretive initiative. The Menlo Park-based social media giant doesn’t intend to cease its expansion efforts anytime soon, however. In recent months, as bears took hold of the cryptocurrency industry, Facebook reportedly shot representatives across the globe in a search for potential team members at industry events. Recruiters at Facebook Blockchain have also reportedly reached out to prominent crypto projects, specifically in an apparent bid to poach talent with potential. Although while Facebook evidently means business with its blockchain foray, not much is known about the spoke’s inner workings and long-term ambitions. One source, who remains anonymous, reportedly told Cheddar that the company has intentions to launch a “decentralized digital currency,” but this statement could not be confirmed by NewsBTC. Still, while such a digital asset is undoubtedly an absurd plan, as it would have to operate efficiently at scale, multiple rumors have accentuated that a token could be in development at Facebook’s new arm. Crypto Tidbits: Basis Shutters $133 Million Stablecoin Project: In an apparent sign of th

a day ago

Interview: Alex Mashinsky on the Celsius Network, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the blockchain’s killer app

It has been a phenomenal year for VoIP pioneer and Celsius Network mastermind Alex Mashinsky: he’s successfully launched a blockchain project which has a clear plan, is compliant, and has a well-defined use case, he’s participated some of the most important debates in the industry, and he has grown his business and influence even in the middle of a destructive bear market. Under these considerations, it made a lot of sense to invite the Ukrainian entrepreneur to a discussion about the most important developments and phenomena in the ever-bourgeoning blockchain industry. During this exclusive Crypto Insider interview, he spoke about some of the most notable events he’s witnessed in 2018, as well as his vision for Celsius. Attached you will find the first part of the interview in both video and written form. The second part contains a more in-depth analysis of the Celsius Network app, with practical examples given during a process where Vlad deposits some coins into the ecosystem. Full transcript: Vlad Costea: Hello and welcome to another Crypto Insider interview! I am Vlad and today I’m speaking with Alex Mashinsky, who is the creator of the Celsius Network as well as an innovator in the field of TCP/IP. Hello, Mr. Mashinsky! Alex Mashinsky: Hi, Vlad. Thanks for having us. Vlad Costea: So it’s VOIP not TCP/IP, right? Alex Mashinsky: It’s VOIP, but it uses TCP/IP so yes, it’s part of the protocol. Vlad Costea: Okay. So... I have so many questions to ask you right now, I’m not sure what I should begin with. But let’s talk about the way I found out about you and your activity. And it was during the Milken Institute debate, which I found fascinating. You debated a representative of the US reserve. I think his name was Macintosh. Alex Mashinsky: Yes, there were um... there was the founder of Abra which is a wallet company. Yeah, and Nouriel Roubini and we had a representative from the Federal Reserve. [1:16] Vlad Costea: Okay, so I noticed during the debate that you’re basically the first crypto socialist I ever discovered. You talk about the policy - you talk about all these issues with the world wealth and you talk about where this redistribution trick through crypto currencies and that to me was an eye opener. Alex Mashinsky: Well, so I was born in the Ukraine - so, born in communism. Grew up in socialism in Israel. Spent 30 years in the United states. I tried all three systems, you know economic systems that we have. And each one of them has its own set of problems. Obviously, communism does not work for most people, but the system has tried to create equality for everybody. Socialism is basically saying we have to have a safety net for everybody, right? So we’re going to catch anyone who is falling through the system - you know, has medical problems or anything like that. And capitalism is a system that’s very good for the 1% but not so good for the 99%. So really, humanity is struggling to come up with an inclusive system that could be acting in the best interest of the 7 1/2 billion people that are living on this planet. And I view the blockchain powered by crypto currencies as the 4th system. So it’s not that I’m a crypto socialist, it’s more that I think we can take the best ideas from the other 3 systems and create something that is for the people by the people vs people like me that got to immigrate to the US and do several start ups and be successful get to enjoy all the benefits, but most people on the planet don’t have access to these opportunities. [3:20] Vlad Costea: Do you find any ideological common ground with Nick Szabo who talks about social scalability? Alex Mashinsky: Nick is a good friend. He’s based here in New York, as well. I think he is a purist - meaning he believes that Bitcoin is the solution for everything. And, my views - I agree with him at the high level on the ideas but I think that the killer app or the blockchain that is going to enable everything that I just talked about has not yet been invented. Vlad Costea: Oh, ok. But it was much more about the idea that there are nearly 8 billion people living on this planet and the resources are very limited. He believes that blockchain and Bitcoin are going to enable a fairer and smarter distribution of resources. Alex Mashinsky: Well, fairer and smarter distribution is definitely the right thing. That, I would not say that we have limited resources. Just to give an idea we, in the US, we throw away a 1/3 of all the food we produce every year. Just throw it away because of expiration date because it wasn’t consumed on time, or because it was not eaten completely or whatever. The modern waste that the West generates, especially the US, is just colossal. We can feed the entire planet with just the waste the US is produces. [5:04] Vlad Costea: I’ve watched you debate Nouriel Roubini, who is maybe the most vocal critic of cryptocurrencies and I’ve seen you take on him during the Milken Institute debate and later during the Blockchain

2 days ago

Dutch Central Bank Takes Closer Look at Exchanges

The Dutch Central Bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has announced its plans to impose regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges in the country in order to counter money laundering and fundraising for terrorist activities. In future, registering exchanges will need to ensure that any “unusual transactions” are reported and that exchanges’ KYC rules are tightened. The new legislation was not completely unexpected by the Dutch cryptocurrency community. The central bank has long been unreceptive to the idea of digital currency, maintaining back in November of 2017 that Bitcoin had no real worth. According to DNB regional director Petra Hielksma at that time, “If something wants to be treated as money, you have to be able to spend, save and calculate with it.” The Netherlands has been quick to find numerous worthy use cases for DLT, particularly in projects that support local communities, health, and civic pride. The larger community has been mainly positive towards cryptocurrencies too, despite the country’s Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra proposing a ban on cryptocurrency advertising and trying to douse enthusiasm. Arnhem, near the German border, has become the country’s crypto haven, where Bitcoin can be used to buy anything from bread to beer using Bitcoin and other major currencies. Despite the DNB’s concerns about cryptocurrency, approximately 60% of the households in the Netherlands have some cryptocurrency investment. However, the DNB points to the more than USD 88 million reportedly laundered over 46 cryptocurrency exchanges around the globe during the past two years, as enough evidence that the government needs to take firmer measures with exchanges with regard to money laundering and other illegal activities. In terms of expressing a social conscience though, the nation continues to demonstrate its progressive uses for blockchain by forming partnerships with the World Bank, the UN, and the EU Forum. Earlier this year, the Dutch government announced that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy had created a special unit devoted to researching the ways in which blockchain technology could be harnessed to provide reliability in the area of tech development while being energy sustainable. Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? - View our Media Kit PDF here. Image Courtesy: Pixabay The post Dutch Central Bank Takes Closer Look at Exchanges appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

4 days ago

Decentralized prediction markets are our bread and butter. S...

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7 days ago

Bitcoin’s Tech Trends of 2018: What This Year Brought Us (Part 1)

Where 2017’s dizzying price highs embedded “hodl” into the public consciousness, 2018 was the year in which “buidl" became a trend in the crypto-industry — and Bitcoin was no exception.Anticipated in Bitcoin Magazine’s first cover story of 2018, Bitcoin’s technological progress only accelerated this year. Improving Bitcoin from around the world, developers and entrepreneurs furthered Segregated Witness adoption, rolled out the Lightning Network, released privacy solutions, realized sidechains and made progress on a Schnorr signature solution — all of which were still around the corner only a year ago. Following up on January’s cover story, 2018’s closing two-parter cover story explores how these five technologies progressed throughout the year.In part one: Segregated Witness and the Lightning Network.Segregated WitnessThe Segregated Witness (SegWit) soft fork that activated in August 2017 was arguably Bitcoin’s biggest protocol upgrade to date. Fixing the long-standing malleability bug, it better enabled second-layer protocols while replacing Bitcoin’s block size limit with a block weight limit. Transactions that utilize SegWit are partly stored in a new part of Bitcoin blocks, allowing the network to process more than one megabyte of transaction data per 10 minutes.Back in 2017, SegWit adoption was off to a somewhat slow start. By the end of the year, most wallets had not integrated the upgrade yet — and not many exchanges or other Bitcoin service providers had either. At the start of this year, less than 15 percent of transactions utilized the additional block space, and blocks barely exceeded 1.1 megabytes.Throughout 2018, however, adoption increased quite a bit, as more wallets and services implemented SegWit. This perhaps most notably included the Bitcoin Core wallet, which enabled SegWit transactions with its 0.16.0 release in March. Other popular wallets, such as Coinomi (March), Bither (September) and BRD (November) followed suit, while Mycelium is expected to roll out the feature before the end of the year. Some of the biggest Bitcoin service providers also implemented Segregated Witness in 2018, including Coinbase (February), Bitfinex (February) and Xapo (May).As an overall result, SegWit usage statistics increased to well over 40 percent over the year. Still, while about a threefold increase, this is lower than some would have expected it to be by now.“I'd say the main reason SegWit usage isn’t well over 50 percent by now is inertia,” Coinmetrics data analyst Antoine Le Calvez speculated when asked by Bitcoin Magazine. “If you didn't adopt it when fees exploded last year — either due to lack of time or other priorities — I don't think you'd support it until fees explode again, when SegWit transactions will have a clear cost advantage over non-SegWit transactions.”On top of SegWit itself, the new bech32 address format also saw its first non-trivial adoption in 2018. These addresses, that start with “bc1” instead of a 1 or a 3, are a natural fit for SegWit. Transactions from such addresses require less data to be included in a block and are, therefore, even cheaper. Several wallets — like Coinomi, Electrum and Wasabi — moved straight to this new format.The popular BRD wallet for iOS and Android did this too and, in September, even launched a campaign to further bech32 adoption: “When SegWit?”“We've always taken the stance that bech32 stood the best chance of being the gold standard for SegWit implementation,” said BRD CSO Aaron Lasher, in explaining the idea behind the initiative to Bitcoin Magazine. “The backwards compatibility of using P2SH-enabled SegWit gave the industry a much-needed jump start, but to really drive adoption, raw SegWit is the way to go.”He continued:“As one of the larger wallets, we enjoy an element of influence over the state of the network, as a non-trivial percentage of bitcoin transactions are conducted through BRD wallets. Getting wallets and other service providers to upgrade their software to interact with bech32 addresses is the goal in general, and with this initiative we're targeting them in a respectful and persuasive manner.”Perhaps thanks to the campaign, in part, and on top of SegWit adoption itself, bech32 use increased throughout 2018 as well."5.6 percent of the outputs created these days are bech32 outputs," Le Calvez said, “though bech32 outputs store only ~0.8 percent of all bitcoin, so it means that bech32 users are quite active. That could be because Coinbase and LocalBitcoins support it, and exchanges attract arbitrageurs that move money around faster. Another reason could be that, since bech32 is the cheapest way to transact, it attracts high-activity users.”All in all, Bitcoin blocks have grown along with SegWit adoption over the past year. While average numbers aren’t quite as telling (because not all blocks fill up in the first place), the typical full block today is around 1.3 megabytes. The biggest Bitcoin block to date was also mined this year,

14 days ago

Making $2,000 a Month With Cryptocurrency - Arbitrage Preparations

A lot of people want to make money with cryptocurrency. There are numerous ways of doing so, although using a combination of different methods can yield the best results. It is also a bit more time-consuming. In this series, I will personally share my preparations and portfolio changes as different options are explored. The ultimate goal is to make $2,000 a month or more from exploring these opportunities. An Arbitrage Adventure Begins As is the case with any plan to make money - or at least, attempt to do so - one needs ample preparation to be successful. In the cryptocurrency world, there is no one-trick-pony which will automatically keep yielding money. Although I am a long-term holder at heart, there has always been a desire to explore different opportunities as well. Arbitrage trading, a topic discussed on this website every day, has certainly piqued an interest in this regard. The main reason why arbitrage opportunities are of interest is easy to explain. First of all, there are always price gaps in between different currencies on different exchanges. That is the upside of a volatile cryptocurrency industry first and foremost. Second, this method does not require technical analysis. Although I intend to pursue gaining more knowledge in that regard as well, it is not the objective of this daily article series at this time. Preparation Requires Patience On paper, it sounds very easy to move funds from one exchange to the next. While that is certainly the bread and butter of arbitrage trading, one also needs funds on those exchanges in the first place. As a non-active trader, my funds sits either in a hardware wallet or pass through one exchange at most. For the time being, I am still in the process of setting up multiple exchange accounts with a balance of at least 0.1 BTC. Speaking of using Bitcoin, it remains a very cumbersome experience. It is by far the least useful option of moving money to and from exchanges right now. One transfer yesterday took over two hours to hit six confirmations. That is another problem with some smaller exchanges, as they require six Bitcoin network confirmations. Exploring other options to move money between all exchanges - such as XRP or LTC - will be explored over the weekend. The Plethora of Exchanges and KYC Procedures In the world of cryptocurrency, using an exchange is very straightforward. When dealing with multiple exchanges - a must for anyone exploring arbitrage options on an active basis - that situation is a bit more complicated. Setting up unique passwords and 2FA for every exchange account can be quite time-consuming. It is a one-time “investment” one has to make, as account security should be everyone’s number one priority at all times. For me personally, any exchange not offering 2FA should be avoided at all costs. Luckily, most platforms actively offer such an option. Another aspect to take into account is how one should complete a KYC verification process on every exchange one decides to use. This is not that big of a problem, as the same documents can be used for every platform. However, every exchange seems to request a third type of verification which is slightly different. Users are often advised to take a selfie and hold up a paper with the exchange name and their platform ID. A very positive change, in my humble opinion, although it adds to the time-consuming part as well. Even though it would, in theory, be possible to sign up for every exchange out there, it is not necessarily something to do right away. Currently, my verified exchange accounts span Kraken, Poloniex, Bitstamp, and Exmo. The current goal is to get verified on Livecoin, CEX, Gate, and Binance as well. Other exchanges may be added over time, but these all seem to be the more common platforms for arbitrage opportunities in general. There is still a lot of work to be done over the weekend. The post Making $2,000 a Month With Cryptocurrency - Arbitrage Preparations appeared first on NullTX.

17 days ago

The Daily: Kucoin Enables Credit Card Payments, Coinbase Pro Adds Zcash

Digital asset exchange Kucoin has partnered with an Israeli startup to introduce credit card payments for cryptocurrency purchases and we’ve covered it in The Daily. Also, Coinbase has added privacy coin zcash to its professional trading platform, while Okex has delisted dozens of trading pairs with low liquidity. And in Ghana, over 100,000 investors have lost millions of dollars in a coin scam. Also read: Coinbase Launches OTC Desk, Huobi Opens Derivatives Market Kucoin Introduces Credit Card Payments Kucoin has teamed up with Simplex to allow its users to buy cryptocurrencies with credit and debit cards. The Singapore-based exchange’s new service is now available in over 100 countries. Its customers can use U.S. dollars and euros to purchase bitcoin core (BTC), ether (ETH) and litecoin (LTC). Simplex is a provider of payment processing solutions headquartered in Israel. The fintech startup operates globally and has subsidiaries in the U.S., U.K. and Lithuania. Merchants using its services receive their payments from Simplex, even in the case of fraudulent chargebacks. The company already cooperates with some of the leading platforms in the crypto space, including Shapeshift and Changelly. Kucoin recently raised a total of $20 million in a series A funding round. The exchange, which started trading digital assets in September of last year, now has more than 5 million registered users in over 100 different jurisdictions. Coinbase Pro Adds Privacy Coin Zcash Leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has listed privacy-centric digital coin zcash (ZEC) on its professional digital asset trading platform, Coinbase Pro. According to an official announcement, Coinbase Pro started accepting ZEC deposits on Thursday, Nov. 29. “We will accept deposits for at least 12 hours prior to enabling trading,” the company explained in a blog post, which also detailed: “Once sufficient liquidity is established, trading on the ZEC/USDC order book will start.” The San Francisco-based exchange also revealed that initially ZEC trading will be available for residents of the Unites States, excluding New York, and Coinbase Pro users in the U.K., EU member states, Canada, Singapore and Australia. Support for other jurisdictions may be provided in the future, Coinbase noted. The company will also consider adding ZEC to its consumer platform and mobile apps if there are no technical issues with trading on Coinbase Pro. Following the announcement, the price of zcash jumped by about 15 percent. At the time of writing, the coin was trading at around $88. Okex Delists Trading Pairs With Low Liquidity Okex, currently the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it’s delisting 38 trading pairs and tokens with weak liquidity and low trading volume. The decision pertains to firstblood, district0x, iconomi, santiment network and singulardtv, among other coins. The full list is available on the platform’s website. The trading pairs will be delisted on Nov. 30. Okex advises users to cancel their orders with the affected coins or the exchange will cancel them automatically and credit the assets to the trading accounts. Okex customers holding a number of tokens — VEE, LEV, AVT, CBT, WRC, QVT, MTL, DNA, DNT, OAX, 1ST, CAG, UKG, BRD, SAN, ICN, ATL, SUB, REQ, NGC, AMM, LA, DENT, CIT, DAT and MAG — have been asked to withdraw them to other cryptocurrency platforms before Dec. 14. Investors in Ghana Lose $27M in Coin Scam More than 110,000 Ghanaians have been reportedly defrauded in a scheme involving cryptocurrency investments. According to local media, Kwaku Kumi and David Opatey — executives of an entity called Global Coin Community Help (GCCH) — have been arrested and interrogated by the country’s Economic and Organized Crime Office. Both have been released on bail, however. The swindled investors lost an estimated 135 million Ghanaian cedi, or roughly $27 million, the Ghanaian news outlet Daily Graphic reported. According to investigators, GCCH accepted deposits without a license from the Bank of Ghana. The company promised to pay customers a monthly interest rate of 27 percent for a period of one year. Unable to pay the high interest rate, the fraudsters later offered to compensate the investors with digital coins traded on an exchange called Mintcrtx. When their deposits were converted, the tokens were valued at 20 Ghanaian cedi per coin, but their price has since dropped to only 2 cedi. Police found that the trading platform is owned and operated by GCCH. What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we. The post The Daily: Kuc

18 days ago

The Difference Between Custodial and Noncustodial Cryptocurrency Services

Since the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) fork occurred recently, it’s a good time to discuss the difference between custodial and noncustodial cryptocurrency services. Newcomers to the digital asset economy often get confused when they hear about a blockchain split and may wonder how they should handle the outcome. Individuals should note that the best solution depends greatly on how they prefer to store their cryptocurrencies - in a custodial or noncustodial wallet. Also read: Follow This Branch: A Guide to Splitting BCH and BSV Third Party and Sovereign Control Over Private Keys If you have just joined the cryptocurrency space, you might find some parts of the ecosystem confusing. One of the most important lessons to learn is the best way to keep your assets safe and secure because no one likes to lose money. In the early days, around eight years ago, there were very few service providers offering wallets and exchanges. But now there are hundreds of wallets and exchanges offering a storage solution for cryptocurrencies. What some digital currency newcomers may not understand is that there is a big difference between custodial and noncustodial services. The recent Bitcoin Cash fork is a good example of why people should understand the differences between both systems. Custodial Wallet Services Custodial cryptocurrency services include most exchanges, brokerage services, and platforms that allow you to buy, sell, and store digital assets. A custodial business is basically a third party that offers to protect your assets within their system. People who store digital assets with a third party need to understand that they are not 100% in control of their cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is a great example of an exchange and brokerage service that also allows people to store digital assets within their wallet system. When you download the Coinbase application that allows purchases and sales, you’ll note that it is described as “the world’s most popular cryptocurrency wallet.” Therefore it’s safe to assume some users may think the application is a noncustodial wallet, but that isn’t the case. For example, with the last hard fork, Coinbase and a multitude of other third-party services paused customers from sending and receiving BCH to their wallets. Noncustodial wallets were 100% operational before, during, and after the hard fork, because these kinds of wallets are not controlled by a third party. In another instance, Coinbase explained to their customers that BCH wallets had been recently enabled and that in the future they will disperse BSV funds. In essence, this means that if you stored BCH on Coinbase before the fork you must wait for them to allow you access to the BSV tokens that were once tethered to your BCH. So the third party services that have re-enabled BCH transactions have split the coins stored there already, enabling you to transact once again with BCH without worrying about a replay attack or sending two types of coins. However, one of the most important slogans within the cryptocurrency community is “If you don’t possess your private keys you don’t own bitcoin.” And this is true for any cryptocurrency held on an exchange or custodial wallet, as that third-party service is in control of your coins to a large degree. Examples of custodial services include Kraken, Coinex, Bitstamp, Poloniex, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Binance, and the myriad of other trading and brokerage service platforms that also offer storage. Noncustodial Wallet Services That Give the User 100% Control Noncustodial wallet services are platforms that allow users to possess their private keys. The application will either give you a file or have you write down a mnemonic phrase that can consist of 12-24 random words. A platform that provides users with the ability to store a cryptocurrency’s private keys gives the user 100% control over the funds. If you possess your private keys, you wholly own bitcoin or any of the other 2,000+ cryptocurrencies in existence. Understanding private keys is important to financial sovereignty. So moving back to the BCH hard fork example, if you held pre-fork bitcoin cash in a noncustodial wallet, this will have allowed you to have complete ownership over your BCH and BSV. Noncustodial wallets include the Bitcoin.com client, BRD, Blockchain, BTC.com, Electron Cash, Copay, Jaxx, Coinomi, Edge, and many more because these platforms give users the ability to store their own private keys. An example of an Electron Cash mnemonic phrase or private key. Individuals using these types of user-controlled wallets had the ability to split their BCH and BSV right after the split happened. Because individuals store their funds in a wallet they have sovereign control over, they are 100% responsible for the safety and security of the keys. Noncustodial wallet owners also need to split their BCH on their own, unless the wallet software offers a native splitting solution within the client. This means that if a user sends some BCH wit

19 days ago

OKEx Delists Another 49 Trading Pairs, Withdrawal of 26 Affected Tokens To Close by December 14th

Earlier today, the popular cryptocurrency exchange of OKEx announced that it was delisting another batch of trading pairs. This is after it just delisted over 50 trading pairs this past October. The delisting is to create a robust trading environment and offer the best trading experience for users. The affected trading pairs have been found by the exchange as having weak liquidity and low trad volume. The list of affected pairs can be found below. Ticker Name of project Affected trading pair(s) 1ST FirstBlood USDT AMM Micromoney USDT ATL ATLANT ETH AVT Aventus BTC BRD Bread ETH CAG Change USDT CBT CommerceBlock BTC CIT Carinet BTC, ETH, OKB DAT Datum BTC, ETH, USDT DENT DENT BTC, ETH, USDT DNA EncrypGen USDT DNT district0x USDT EVX Everex ETH GNX Genaro Network USDT ICN Iconomi USDT KEY Selfkey USDT LA LAToken ETH LEV Leverj BTC, ETH, USDT MAG Maggie USDT MTL Metal BTC, ETH MVP Merculet BTC NGC NAGA BTC OAX OAX USDT OST Simple Token BTC QVT Qvolta USDT RDN Raiden Network Token BTC REN Republic Protocol ETH, USDT REQ Request Network ETH RNT OneRoot Network BTC SAN Santiment Network Token USDT SHOW Show BTC SNGLS SingularDTV BTC, ETH SPF Sportyco USDT SUB SubStratum BTC TRA Travel USDT UKG Unikoin Gold ETH VEE BLOCKv ETH WRC Worldcore USDT Delisting to Be On November 31st, 2018 OKEx stated that the above pairs will be delisted at 5:00am (UTC + 1) on the 31st of November this year. Users are advised to cancel their orders before the set time. All orders that will be active and related to the affected pairs at the time of the delisting, will be automatically canceled and the system will credit them to the trading accounts of the users. Withdrawals of 26 Affected Tokens Supported Till December 14th, 2018 OKEx goes on to state that withdrawals of 26 of the affected tokens will only be supported till 5am (UTC + 1) on the 14th of December, 2018. The exact statement listing the affected tokens is as follows: For users who are holding VEE, LEV, AVT, CBT, WRC, QVT, MTL, DNA, DNT, OAX, 1ST, CAG, UKG, BRD, SAN, ICN, ATL, SUB, REQ, NGC, AMM, LA, DENT, CIT, DAT, or MAG, please withdraw your tokens immediately to other platforms or to your wallet. The withdrawals of the above token will be closed from 05:00 Dec 14, 2018 (CET). The delisting of the trading pairs is in line with the exchange’s guidelines. What are your thoughts on OKEx delisting the trading pairs and the subsequent announcement of only supporting withdrawal of 26 tokens affected tokens till mid December? Please let us know in the comment section below. The post OKEx Delists Another 49 Trading Pairs, Withdrawal of 26 Affected Tokens To Close by December 14th appeared first on Ethereum World News.

21 days ago

US State of Ohio Accepts Bitcoin for 23 Types of Taxes

The U.S. state of Ohio has set up a cryptocurrency payment portal and reportedly starts accepting payments in bitcoin for 23 types of taxes this week. “Ohio has become the first state in the United States, and one of the first governments in the world, to accept cryptocurrency,” the Treasurer’s Office wrote. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations Ohio Accepts Bitcoin for Tax Payments The office of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has set up a cryptocurrency tax payment portal at Ohiocrypto.com. The website explains that businesses do not have to be Ohio-headquartered to pay their taxes in cryptocurrency, adding: Under the leadership of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, taxpayers are able to pay their state business taxes with cryptocurrency for the first time anywhere in America. Ohio has become the first state in the United States, and one of the first governments in the world, to accept cryptocurrency. “Beginning this week, Ohio businesses will be able to go to the website Ohiocrypto.com and register to pay everything from cigarette sales taxes to employee withholding taxes with bitcoin.” the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. “Eventually, the initiative will expand to individual filers.” 23 Eligible Types of Taxes According to the Ohiocrypto website, cryptocurrency can be used to pay for 23 types of taxes. Eligible taxes are 911 wireless, cigarette / other tobacco products, commercial activity, consumer’s use, direct pay permit, financial institution, interest on lawyers trust accounts, international fuel tax agreement, kilowatt hour, motor vehicle fuel, municipal net profits, municipal tax electric light & telephone, natural gas distribution, non-resident motor vehicle sales tax, pass-thru entity tax, petroleum activity, premium insurance tax, public utilities tax, sales tax, seller’s use tax, severance tax, streamlined sales tax, and withholding tax. Josh Mandel. The Ohiocrypto website also outlines the benefits of paying with cryptocurrency. Firstly, it is “quick and easy” for taxpayers, the website claims. There are three steps to follow: registering on the website, entering tax payment amounts and tax period dates, and then using “your compatible cryptocurrency wallet to pay the invoice with bitcoin.” Secondly, payments are tracked in “real-time on the blockchain.” Thirdly, they are secured as “Cryptocurrencies cannot be transferred to third parties without user initiation,” the site notes, adding that transparency is another benefit since “anyone can view all transactions on the blockchain.” Furthermore, there are mobile options allowing taxpayers to make payments on their phones or tablets. The website also notes that “A minimal fee is charged to confirm transactions on the blockchain network.” Bitpay and Compatible Wallets Regarding which cryptocurrencies are accepted, the Ohiocrypto website clarifies, “Taxpayers can currently pay their taxes with Ohiocrypto.com in bitcoin,” adding “the Treasurer’s office looks forward to adding more cryptocurrencies in the future.” The state will not be keeping any bitcoins, however. The Treasury’s Office emphasizes: At no point will the Treasurer’s office hold cryptocurrency. Payments made on Ohiocrypto.com, through our third party cryptocurrency payment processor partner Bitpay, are immediately converted to USD before being deposited into a state account. Bitpay usually processes both BTC and BCH payments. However, BCH payment processing is unavailable at this time due to the Nov. 15 hard fork of the BCH network. “Bitpay has temporarily paused bitcoin cash payment processing until we determine that customers can pay safely,” the company wrote. In general, to pay taxes using either BTC or BCH, taxpayers need to use compatible wallets which both the Ohiocrypto website and Bitpay have listed. Compatible wallets include Bitpay’s own wallet, Copay wallet, Btc.com wallet, Mycelium wallet, Edge wallet (formerly Airbitz), Electrum wallet, Bitcoin Core wallet, Bitcoin.com wallet, BRD wallet (breadwallet), and Electron Cash Wallet. “First, select the cryptocurrency you’d like to pay in from the drop-down and select either bitcoin or bitcoin cash (currently unavailable at this time),” the payment instruction on the Ohiocrypto website reads. The website further describes: Our third-party cryptocurrency payment processor locks an exchange rate (USD to BTC or BCH) for 15 minutes. If you do not submit your payment within 15 minutes, then you must restart your transaction - which will include an updated exchange rate. What do you think of Ohio accepting bitcoin for tax payments through Bitpay? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, State of Ohio, and Bitpay. Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section. The post US State of Ohio Accepts Bitcoin for 23 Types of Taxes appeared first on Bitcoin News.

22 days ago

Zimbabweans Use BTC to Pay for Food Hampers Amid Foreign Currency Crisis

Study263, a Zimbabwean-owned fintech startup operating from South Africa, has opened an online store allowing Zimbabweans to buy food hampers that are delivered directly to their homes. Shoppers have the option to pay for items like cooking oil and baked beans in BTC, Paypal or Ecocash, a local mobile money payment system. Also Read: Ivy and Hiveex Launch Ivypay to Facilitate Consumer Bill Payments in Australia As Prices Spiral, Study263 Helps Zimbabweans Import Food Using Bitcoin The southern African country of Zimbabwe, which adopted the U.S. dollar after abandoning its currency at the height of hyperinflation in 2009, is gripped by a shortage of foreign currency which has seen prices of imported goods spiral in recent weeks. Some supermarket shelves have emptied as shoppers panic buy, stocking up on essential goods such as mealie meal, beef, bread and cooking oil in fear of a return of the 2008 food and prices crisis. Until recently, fuel was in short supply, and basic foodstuffs remain scarce or are priced out of reach of ordinary people. Tinashe Jani, co-founder and chief executive officer of Study263, told news.Bitcoin.com that the idea was conceived early October, “when colleagues and family in Zimbabwe started complaining of shortage of basic commodities as prices increased daily.” At the time, for example, the price of cooking oil moved from $3.20 to $20 per two-litre bottle, if available, he said. “Our regular customers for sending money back home started hinting that the money they are sending isn’t buying much any more and that if only they could send groceries with someone they trust,” said Jani, whose company was founded in 2017, initially to help Zimbabweans studying abroad pay fees with ease using cryptocurrency. Around mid-October, Study263 tested out the market and received a positive reception. People suggested what grocery items they would want included in the hampers, which are designed to cater for different types of family setups according to income levels. “We analyzed other players in the market and realised our strength was in our acceptance of all forms of payment, including bitcoin,” Jani stated. ‘We have the mini blue, blue and mega blue hampers, which contain the most basic food commodities. The red hamper caters for toiletries and the purple hamper caters to those who want the more expensive products,” he added. South African Imports Driving Trade The goods are imported from neighboring South Africa before they are delivered to the buyer’s home within 10 days of payment. A deal by Study263 with a Harare-based logistics company ensures safe delivery. To make payment in BTC, shoppers typically send the bitcoin equivalent to a given address, which the company converts to fiat to facilitate purchase of the product on order. Jani said customers have slowly been coming on board since the service was launched earlier this month. Study263 will have to pay taxes on imports. But the waiver on import licenses announced by the Zimbabwe government a few weeks ago allows the company to operate without one. The import licenses suspension - enacted as part of efforts to ease basic food shortages - gives holders free funds to bring in a select number of goods from other countries license-free. “Our hampers are selected from a variety of shops to ensure affordable pricing. They are also flexible to allow other customers to pick and drop items,” Jani detailed. “In terms of payment, our packages are pegged against the U.S. dollar and upon need to transact we convert to whatever the client wants to use to pay, from Paypal, cryptocurrency and Ecocash.” Bitcoin Payments Catching on in Africa Cryptocurrency may be banned in Zimbabwe, but bitcoin is helping ordinary folk make payments bank-free. It makes for a great fit for the more than 10 million Zimbabweans who lack access to basic banking services. And it’s even more beneficial to the banked few, a distrusting lot, who are keen to protect their savings against bank failure, inflation or even political turmoil. Bitcoin is also being used to pay for TV subscriptions (a service offered by Study263) and accommodation rentals. But above all, it is looked at more as a store of value against fiat currency devaluation, rising inflation and policy uncertainty, as is the case is across much of Africa. In east Africa, a new deal between digital currency exchange Bitpesa and a Japanese firm shows Kenyans are using bitcoin to pay for used Japanese cars, cosmetics and electrical gadgets. In Nigeria, Sure Remit is helping make cash transfers cheaper and in Ghana some small businesses have started to accept payment in BTC while basic services like buying mobile phone airtime and data can also be done using the digital currency. What do you think about the Study263 initiative? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. The Bitcoin universe is vast. So is Bitcoin.com. Check ourWiki, where you can learn everything you were a

a month ago

Blockchain Birds Are Coming This Thanksgiving, Complete With ID

This Thanksgiving, 600,000 turkeys in the US are being delivered with a difference, as blockchain technology lends a hand. Americans eat an estimated six billion pounds of turkey meat each year according to the US National Turkey Federation. Thanks to the Honeysuckle White Traceability Program, some of the 45 million Turkeys eaten this Thanksgiving, and a further 22 million consumed over the festive season, will be delivered as fully traceable birds from pen to oven, courtesy of DLT. The company responsible is Cargill, one of the nation’s biggest suppliers of turkeys, based in Minnesota and founded in 1865. This year, the company has decided to go hi-tech and utilize blockchain in order to trace its birds from 70 contracted individual family turkey farms in Missouri and Texas. The new blockchain traceability program will track around 600,000 Honeysuckle white hens which will eventually find their way into major stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, and Amazon. To promote the programme, a TV ad will explain the process of tracking the turkeys. Cargill’s Debra Bauler explained: “Each Honeysuckle White turkey will have an identification code, which can be entered into a website that will guide the consumer to the specific farm that raised that exact turkey... And from a technology perspective, it represents the complete digitalization of the supply chain. We feel that both are long-term competitive advantages for our product.” The idea is to link consumers to the farmers that raised the birds in an attempt to set a precedent for the future in terms of supply chain transparency and supplier product accountability. Fox Business Network commentator suggests that using blockchain solutions for supply chain management in this way may well become the industry norm: “The average consumer of tomorrow will come to expect that they have full access to where the wheat in their bread was grown, what were the conditions of the cow that provided the milk in their ice cream, and who picked the grapes in their glass of Pinot. The Honeysuckle White traceability program is a watershed moment in the retail food industry.” Participating farmers have been highly motivated by the programme and suggest that projects such as this will equip consumers with another way of looking at the production of the food which arrives on their tables. Participating farmer Sharon Albertson, who’s been supplying Cargill with turkeys for over 20 years, maintains, “Now, consumers can see how hard we work and all the effort and care that goes into getting that bird to the Thanksgiving Day table.” French supermarket chain Carrefour recently introduced blockchain technology into a data system allowing shoppers in Auvergne, Southern France, to get a full detailed history of chickens on sale in their stores. The system offers a record of the chickens’ life from egg to supermarket. Shoppers can use a smartphone to scan in a code on the packaging to obtain details on each stage of production, including origins, earlier location, feed and where the meat was finally processed. Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? - View our Media Kit PDF here. Image Courtesy: Pixabay The post Blockchain Birds Are Coming This Thanksgiving, Complete With ID appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

a month ago

I Built An Ethereum Classic DApp In 40 Minutes

I have a soft spot for Ethereum Classic (ETC). I’ve been in regular contact with some of the project’s key developers since the summer when, to the surprise of many, ETC was listed on Coinbase. After two years of wandering in the wilderness, things finally started going right for a project that held the immutability of the blockchain as scripture. The Coinbase listing gave Ethereum Classic the publicity it needed to ramp up its programming efforts. In mid-September ETCDev, one of the key development companies working on the platform, released the Emerald sidechain development kit (SDK). It’s a one-stop shop, with a whole array of tools and resources needed to design an ETC dApp. The idea was to make building an Ethereum Classic dApp as easy as building a website. Projects can focus on their product, rather than the technicalities of the blockchain. “A lot of people find it hard to do dApp development,” said Stevan Lohja, ETDev’s tech writer. “Emerald means web designers don’t have to worry too much about hashing power and all the backend blockchain stuff.” When I first spoke to ETCDev about it, Lohja was on his way to San Francisco to talk to a number of developers about using Emerald. Part of his pitch was that the SDK would be far simpler and more lightweight than the other toolkits offered on other platforms. According to Zachary Belford, the Javascript developer who led the project, Emerald allows projects to set up a working Ethereum Classic dApp in minutes. “You can pick the tools and start building,” said Belford. “It’s like using WordPress or something, it’s the foundation that can be used by both novices and professionals.” But can you really build a dApp that quickly? I’m no developer, and I read code as well as I speak ancient Etruscan. But during our first chat, both Lohja and Belford said that even I could build an Ethereum Classic dApp, with their assistance, in under an hour. Challenge accepted. My own Ethereum Classic dApp So, earlier this week I called up Lohja to help build my own Ethereum Classic dApp. Lohja ran through all of the stuff we would cover, and made sure I had all the requisite programming materials. That meant setting up a Command Line Interface (CLI) and becoming familiar with functions which - like Terminal - I didn’t even know existed. Next stop, ICO. The dApp was built mostly using my Mac’s CLI. The instructions on the ETCDev website basically meant that all I had to do was copy code across. Lohja explained what all the bits meant, but I would be lying if I said I understood everything. ETCDev provides a list of instructions principally designed as a step-by-step guide for developers to quickly create a dApp. A few weeks previously Lohja’s wife, who is also a programmer but not in blockchain, built a rudimentary ETC dApp with Emerald. Lohja explained that for a well-versed programmer, dApp creation can take as little as ten minutes My own ETC dApp has a very simple function: a basic to-do list. It launched on a testnet, with a princely ‘gazillion’ ETC tokens to play with. The idea, according to Lohja, is for developers to get something up, which they can use to quickly become familiar with the basic processes. Projects can then use the list as a base to build their own dApps or start again from scratch with the programming tools provided. On my own dApp, eloquently named “To do List,” I could put a reminder on the dApp and use some ETC from the Emerald Wallet to then place my reminder on the blockchain. In all, it took me about 40 minutes to build. Is Emerald the jewel in ETC’s crown? The Emerald SDK shares multiple similarities with centralized services, like Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon Web Services. The main difference is that Emerald is free and according to Lohja, far easier to use. There’s no profile set-up or subscription fees with Emerald, which is open-source. The code is also very lean, again to help early-stage developers familiarize themselves quickly with the underlying technology. “I think one of the best aspects about Emerald is you can see the code,” Lohja said. “That’s the bread and butter for developers. If they can see the code in action, they can see how different parts work. It’s like lifting the hood of a car. They can then go about tinkering with it, understanding what they need to do to build their own dApp.” Most Ethereum Classic dApps that are currently live are to do with gambling. ETCDev hopes that lowering the barrier to entry will diversify the type of projects using ETC. They admitted that Emerald may lead to some poor quality ETC applications, but according to Belford that wasn’t their responsibility: “Of course there’s a danger that some of the projects that begin to use Ethereum Classic will be spammy, but we’re decentralized, right? It’s not for ETCDev or some self-appointed body to go about policing the blockchain.” “Decentralization gives people the sovereignty to make their own mistakes,” added Lohja. “Part of the tradeoff is c

a month ago

Revolutions and Counter Revolutions: Andreas Antonopoulos Reflects on 10 Years of Bitcoin

As Bitcoin approaches its 10th anniversary, its community, old and new, has begun taking stock of how a decade has come to alter or define the cryptocurrency — and what Bitcoin has done to alter or define the decade.Ten years has invited room for undeniable change. Bitcoin has seen roughly half a dozen market cycles, spawned a secondary market of more than 2,000 altcoins and laid the foundations for a surging blockchain industry. It has evolved from the obscure interest of cypherpunks and crypto anarchists to a viable, private currency that has provided a financial lifeline to underbanked, underprivileged populations in floundering economies. There are few voices so well equipped to reflect on the changes as Andreas Antonopoulos. One of Bitcoin’s chief evangelists and arguably its most vocal educator, Antonopoulos has spent the years following his industry entrance in 2012 traveling around the world to share his knowledge on the subject. His books, which include Mastering Bitcoin, The Internet of Money, Vol. 1 and 2 and the forthcoming Mastering Ethereum, are praised as some of the space’s most thorough and informative reads.His impact on the space is something of a widely-recognized truth, one that has made him one of the industry’s most-respected and definitive thought leaders. While others were getting rich, he was enriching the community, reminding others that bitcoin is about much more than lambos and moon memes. A testament to his influence, the community rewarded him with donations amounting to about $1.6 million during the last bull run upon learning that he held little — if any — bitcoin. In the following interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Antonopoulos reflects on the metamorphosis the ecosystem has undergone, the lessons learned from these myriad changes and why, after 10 years of challenge, the ethos of Bitcoin itself has doggedly persisted.This interview is part of Bitcoin Magazine’s retrospective series for Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary. Starting from the white paper’s birthday on October 31, 2018, to Bitcoin’s launch on January 3, 2019, we’ll be publishing a series of interviews, op-eds and think pieces that reflect on where we’ve come from, where we are and where we’re going.Bitcoin Magazine: Just going straight into it, what has changed?Antonopoulos: So many things have changed. Where do I start?Back in the day, when I first got involved, this was a very small community, a very tight-knit community, a very focused community. There was a lot of commonality of purpose, and it felt very tight-knit. And I remember at the time, the main thing I wanted to explain and persuade people about was that this was bigger than payments. This isn’t just PayPal; this is bigger than that. It’s not just a payment network. And so, in order to express that, I said that it’s a platform. You’ve got to think of this not just as bitcoin but broader: the blockchain. That backfired badly. I wanted to broaden it a bit to give people vision, but what happened then, over the next three years, was that people took hold of the word “blockchain,” rammed it right over, and threw everything and the kitchen sink in there — a lot of things that have nothing to do with it. So, in four years, I came full circle and released a talk called “Blockchain vs. Bullshit,” which is my number one talk.So are you talking about the altcoin ecosystem?And even broader than that. The distributed ledger technology, private blockchain, bank-chain, business-as-usual, slap a word on it, “pretend it’s decentralized when it’s not” type of ecosystem. Trying to embrace, extend and diverge — derail even — this industry by hijacking it. Subsuming it completely. At the first conferences — even the first 2013 conference I went to — the suits had shown up and it was beginning to get that vibe. By the end of 2013, when the fourth or fifth bubble happened and the price hit $1,000, that’s when the suits really descended. So it felt like a tight-knit community and then the sharks started circling around, and they were all trying to grab a bit of this grand phenomenon and monetize your influence. And there was all of this shilly, shitty, disengenuous, fake “Hey! I’ve got a project. We’re going to revolutionize real estate, we’re going to revolutionize exchanges, we’re going to revolutionize medicine.” And most of it’s bullshit. Most of it is completely naked profiteering. So I had to turn it around and refocus it, try to figure out what is real, what is the real “killer app,” what are the real things that are happening.And did you come to the conclusion that it’s bitcoin?It’s not necessarily bitcoin. It’s about decentralized money and other decentralized things. But, of course, the core is decentralization. And money is a killer app in itself, if it’s decentralized.So that changed.The other thing that changed was that one of the things that attracts people to this space is the fact that it gives them the feeling of belonging to this kind of adventure — that goes a

a month ago

Bitcoin.com Store Now Offers Hundreds of Top-Branded Gift Cards

The Bitcoin.com Store has now partnered with the company Egifter. Thanks to the collaboration, Bitcoin.com Store patrons can purchase an assortment of over 300 top-branded gift cards to stores and restaurants worldwide with bitcoin cash. Also read: Coinbase Raises $300 Million, Reaching $8 Billion Valuation Over 300 Gift Cards for Food, Entertainment, and Top Retail Brands Last April we re-launched the Bitcoin.com Store, revamping the entire site with the hottest bitcoin merchandise, gear, art, and hardware devices. Ever since, the shop has relentlessly added new items to the store’s vast supply of cryptocurrency-focused products. Now, on Oct. 31, in parallel with the tenth anniversary of Satoshi’s whitepaper, the Bitcoin.com Store has partnered with the gift card service Egifter in order to offer customers a wide variety of gift cards. The alliance between Bitcoin.com and Egifter will provide the shop’s visitors with the ability to purchase hundreds of gift cards with bitcoin cash. Essentially, the Egifter Marketplace has been tethered to the Bitcoin.com Store user interface and patrons can simply click the ‘gift cards’ section at the top of the screen. From there, the customer can choose from the assortment of cards and fund them with a specified amount of money. For instance, a customer could choose to purchase a Best Buy gift card in increments of between $5-$2,000. Gift cards available at the shop include popular places like Applebees, American Eagle, Dunkin Donuts, HBO Now, Macy’s, Nike, Nordstrom, Uber, Panera Bread, Domino’s and many more brands. There’s a wide variety of gift cards to choose from at the Bitcoin.com Store. After choosing a card and a desired amount of funds, the customer can simply choose another gift card to purchase or checkout. At the checkout section, the Bitcoin.com Store uses Bitpay as a payment processor so the item needs to be purchased with a Bitpay Payment Protocol compatible wallet. Following the purchase, the customer will get a virtual gift card that can be redeemed for food, entertainment and hundreds of retail brands. Spreading Bitcoin Cash Adoption One Step at a Time Blake Moore, Bitcoin.com’s ecommerce manager, explained that the partnership with Egifter gives bitcoin cash proponents a new method to spend their coins by adding more merchant accessibility. “Well over 300 cards from the world’s top brands are now available to our valued users which adds a great deal of accessibility,” Moore emphasized. The Bitcoin.com Store also has a large assortment of Bitcoin swag that can be purchased alongside the newly added gift cards. Gift cards are available for purchase today and customers can choose from a range of categories such as food and restaurants, music, movies, entertainment, electronics, sports, travel, and more groups of well-known products and services. Bitcoin.com Store patrons will still be able to purchase hardware wallets, BCH swag, t-shirts, and more gear alongside the awesome redeemable gift cards. Bitcoin.com is a one-stop destination for all things Bitcoin. Providing our visitors with the ability to spend their BCH on gift cards accepted worldwide is just another example of the many steps our site is taking towards spreading bitcoin cash adoption. What do you think about the Bitcoin.com Store collaboration with Egifter? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com Store, Egifter, and Pixabay. Why not keep track of the price with one of Bitcoin.com’s widget services. The post Bitcoin.com Store Now Offers Hundreds of Top-Branded Gift Cards appeared first on Bitcoin News.

2 months ago

6 Unexpected Altcoin Delistings Enforced by OKEx

While it is not uncommon for exchanges and trading platforms to delist specific currencies these days, OKEx is doing things in grand fashion. The platform is removing several dozen currencies at once, all because they do not perform as expected or hoped. The following six currencies stand out a bit in this regard, as they tend to generate some buzz. #6 NAGA One of the biggest surprises on OKEx’s delisting list is how NAGA will be removed from this trading platform. NAGA Positions itself as a decentralized cryptocurrency for trading and investing. It also has the backing of Roger Ver, one of the more prolific users in all of cryptocurrency. Even so, the coin is to be removed from OKEx tomorrow. It remains available on Bittrex and Upbit, until further notice. #5 Monetha Although there has never been too much excitement surrounding Monetha, a fair few people will be surprised to see OKEx delist Monetha all of a sudden. This altcoin has dropped in market cap rankings and is almost outside of the top 400 at this stage. Losing OKEx is a big deal, as the platform offers three trading pairs for this altcoin. It will remain listed on Binance and Mercatox. #4 Bread The native “currency” of the popular iOS Bitcoin wallet Bread seemingly isn’t performing as one would have expected. Its volume on OKEx has all but dried up, and removing this currency from the exchange seems to make a lot of sense. Binance generates a lot of volume for BRD right now, thus the removal from OKEx should not disrupt the flow too much. #3 Metal Although the cryptocurrency community has built up a love-hate relationship with Metal over the past year, the altcoin is getting removed from OKEx. Although metal no longer is in the top 200 market cap rankings, the loss of OKEx can shake things up a bit. For now, this altcoin will have to rely on Binance and Upbit for its trading volume. #2 Substratum This particular altcoin is one of those currencies which generated a lot of initial excitement, yet seems to have tapered off somewhat ever since. That is not abnormal where altcoins are concerned, although Substratum will pay the price in terms of an OKEx delisting. For the altcoin, OKEx is its second-biggest market, although Binance generates over 92% of all trades on a daily basis. #1 Iconomi For a currency still in the market cap top 150, one would expect Iconomi to generate a lot more trading volume on OKEx. That is, unfortunately, not the case, forcing the exchange to delist this currency altogether. Most of this altcoin’s volume comes from Kraken and Bitsane, this OKEx’s removal will not have any real impact for the foreseeable future. The post 6 Unexpected Altcoin Delistings Enforced by OKEx appeared first on NullTX.

2 months ago

OKEx chops out illiquid trading pairs to improve trading environment

An exchange is considered to be robust if it actively keeps making changes to exchange that helps in keeping the trading environment healthy and improves the user experiences. OKEx has just done that by delisting trading pairs weak liquidity and trading volume according to the OKEx Token Delisting / Hiding Guideline. OKEx delisting pairs which are illiquid According to the latest notification issued by OKEx, the exchange will delist several TRADING PAIRS with weak liquidity and trading volume according to the OKEx Token Delisting / Hiding Guideline. The execution time for this actin would be at 06:00 Oct 31, 2018 (Central European Time). The exchange advises users to cancel their orders of the affected pairs from the platform. If the order is not cancelled in time, the order will be cancelled by the system and the asset will be credited to your trading account. The exchange also emphasised that only the TRADING PAIRS with weak liquidity and trading volume, but NOT THE TOKENS themselves, will be delisted. Other satisfactory trading pairs can still be traded normally. The exchange also put forward that it strictly monitor all listed projects and implement the delisting / hiding mechanism for substandard projects when necessary. Protecting the interest of the exchanges users is key for the exchange. There are total 50+ pairs that are being delisted. Details of the mis as follows Ticker Token Name Pair READ READ BTC NGC NAGA ETH, USDT PRA ProChain BTC IPC IPChain ETH, BTC MAG Maggie ETH , BTC TRA Travel BTC VEE BLOCKv USDT RCT RealChain BTC, USDT CBT CommerceBlock ETH, USDT DNA EncrypGen BTC, ETH VIU Viuly ETH, BTC RCN Ripio Credit Network ETH MTH Monetha BTC, USDT AVT Aventus ETH, USDT CAG Change BTC, ETH REF RefToken USDT UKG Unikoin Gold USDT BRD Bread USDT ATL ATLANT USDT CAN Content and AD Network BTC CHAT ChatCoin ETH AUTO CUBE USDT, BTC MTL Metal USDT SUB SubStratum USDT EVX Everex BTC ICN Iconomi BTC, ETH OAX OAX BTC 1ST FirstBlood BTC, ETH SDA SixDomainChain BTC XAS Asch ETH AST AirSwap BTC, ETH GSC Global Social Chain BTC MOT Olympus Labs BTC, ETH UCT UCOT BTC AIDOC AI Doctor BTC TOPC TopChain BTC SPF Sportyco ETH ACE ACE ETH AMM Micromoney BTC, ETH FAIR FairGame BTC STC Starchain ETH XUC Exchange Union BTC This step is really prominent for OKEx and leaves an example for other exchanges as well to follow the suit if then need to keep themselves robust and enrich user experience. This also eliminates redundant tokens Will other exchange also follow suit like OKEx? Do let us know your views on the same The post OKEx chops out illiquid trading pairs to improve trading environment appeared first on Coingape.

2 months ago

OKEX To Delist Over 50 Trading Pairs By October 31st

The delisting of cryptocurrencies by prominent exchanges has been a common occurence in the crypto-verse in the past one month. The delistings started when Binance ceased all trading of the four digital assets of Bytecoin (BCN), Chatcoin (CHAT), Iconomi (ICN) and Triggers (TRIG). OKEX would later also delist Bytecoin (BCN) from its trading platform. OKEX To Delist Over 50 Trading Pairs but Not Individual Tokens In an announcement on the 25th of October, OKEX announced that it was delisting 58 trading pairs linked to 42 digital assets/tokens. The reasons outlined by the exchange were two. Firstly, the trading pairs had a weak liquidity. Secondly, the trading volume of these trading pairs was too low to continue supporting them on the platform. The affected tokens and trading pairs are listed below: Ticker Token Name Trading Pair to Be Delisted READ READ BTC NGC NAGA ETH, USDT PRA ProChain BTC IPC IPChain ETH, BTC MAG Maggie ETH , BTC TRA Travel BTC VEE BLOCKv USDT RCT RealChain BTC, USDT CBT CommerceBlock ETH, USDT DNA EncrypGen BTC, ETH VIU Viuly ETH, BTC RCN Ripio Credit Network ETH MTH Monetha BTC, USDT AVT Aventus ETH, USDT CAG Change BTC, ETH REF RefToken USDT UKG Unikoin Gold USDT BRD Bread USDT ATL ATLANT USDT CAN Content and AD Network BTC CHAT ChatCoin ETH AUTO CUBE USDT, BTC MTL Metal USDT SUB SubStratum USDT EVX Everex BTC ICN Iconomi BTC, ETH OAX OAX BTC 1ST FirstBlood BTC, ETH SDA SixDomainChain BTC XAS Asch ETH AST AirSwap BTC, ETH GSC Global Social Chain BTC MOT Olympus Labs BTC, ETH UCT UCOT BTC AIDOC AI Doctor BTC TOPC TopChain BTC SPF Sportyco ETH ACE ACE ETH AMM Micromoney BTC, ETH FAIR FairGame BTC STC Starchain ETH XUC Exchange Union BTC 31st October Deadline The announcement further gave the deadline of 6am, 31st October, Central European Time (GMT + 1). Users are advised to cancel their orders of the affected pairs before the deadline. If orders are not canceled in time, the system will cancel them and the digital assets will be credited to the users’ trading accounts. Only Trading Pairs, Not Tokens The exchange went on to clarify that the delisting only affected trading pairs and not the individual tokens: Please note that only the TRADING PAIRS with weak liquidity and trading volume, but NOT THE TOKENS themselves, will be delisted. Other satisfactory trading pairs can still be traded normally. What are your thoughts on OKEX delisting the over 50 trading pairs? Please let us know in the comment section below. The post OKEX To Delist Over 50 Trading Pairs By October 31st appeared first on Ethereum World News.

2 months ago

Why half a million people from Punjab enlisted to fight for Britain in World War I

Let us start with a scene of farewell. A son touches the feet of his mother as we see soldiers embark on the train to the front. The elderly father looks on as the mother wipes away her tears with her chunni (scarf ). Emotion is suggested through gesture and colour rather than through the art of close-up. White, the colour of mourning, visually unites the grieving parents and spills over through the world of fabric to a similar scene on the right-hand corner with two distraught women, suggesting a wider female community of mourning, before the white is carried over to the waiting train—the cause of the sorrow, the harbinger of death. The painting, by the Punjabi artist Pran Nath Mago, is titled Farewell and was painted in 1945. The emollient contours and the flowing clothes of the civilian figures contrast with the Western military uniform and rigid gestures of the soldiers, while the three distant figures on a bridge amidst the billowing smoke of the train take the painting to a different place, different time—the world of no-return. The immediate trigger of the painting was the Second World War, but it was based on Mago’s childhood memories of soldiers taking leave at the Gujar Khan railway platform for the front during the 1914-1918 war. The painting fuses the two wars as both depleted Punjab of its young men. The painting lifts the veil on what still remains one of the weakest links in First World War history: the colonial home front. Of the over one million Indians who served abroad, some 480,000 came from Punjab. The massive recruitment figures from a single province were the fruition of a process that had begun in the nineteenth century—the “militarisation of Punjab” and the “Punjabisation of the Indian army.” Scholars have noted how Punjab’s frontier location with relation to Afghanistan and the display of Punjabi loyalty during the Sepoy Uprising of 1857 influenced the shift of the Indian army’s recruitment centre to this province. Political expediency was soon welded to Victorian racial ideology. As early as 1879, the Eden Commission Report noted that “the Punjab is the home of the most martial races of India and is the nursery of our best soldiers.” Lord Frederick Roberts—the Commander-in-Chief in India from 1885 to 1893—was an enthusiastic proponent of the theory of the “martial races” and reshaped the class components of the Indian army, in particular replacing men from the “unmartial” south with the “martial” races of the north. Of the over one million Indians who served abroad, some 480,000 came from Punjab. The army was further reorganised by Lord Herbert Kitchener, who became the Commander-in-Chief in India in 1902. The province soon evolved into the recruiting ground for soldiers and policemen for the empire. In August 1914, Punjab (including the British districts and princely states) had 100,000 men in its armies, including 87,000 combatants and 13,000 non-combatants; by the end of the war, Punjab had contributed one-third of all the Indian recruits and over 40% of the total number of Indian combatants mobilised. However, the conventional idea of Punjab as the “exceptional” colonial state—prosperous, loyal and unified—has increasingly come under pressure. As Mark Condos has recently argued, the “garrison state” was also the “insecurity state” par excellence, bristling with anxiety, almost bordering on panic, about its “warlike” inhabitants. Mixed Motives: Livelihood, Tradition and Incentives In 1914, India had one of the largest voluntary armies in the world. Of the 27,522 new recruits enlisted in India between August and Dec. 31, 1914, 13,400 were from Punjab alone. The total number of men to have served from Punjab, including the British districts and the Indian states, by the end of the war was 480,000, including 410,000 combatants and 70,000 non-combatants. Of the 282,170 combatants recruited from Punjab from 1915 until 1918, some 156,300 were Muslims, some 63,900 were Hindus, and 61,970 were Sikhs, though the last religious group—the Sikhs—comprised only 12% of the population. These men were mostly “peasant-warriors” belonging to tribes designated as the “martial races” as mentioned in the introduction. Why did they enlist for a foreign war? The question has provoked much debate. The men, it was officially claimed, fought for their izzat; in his introduction to the letters of the Indian soldiers, David Omissi has observed that “Indian soldiers fought, above all, to gain or preserve izzat—their honour, standing, reputation or prestige,” a notion he goes on to develop in greater complexity elsewhere. On the other hand, Kaushik Roy, among others, has labelled them “quasi-mercenaries,” pointing to the dense network of “tangible goods and intangible incentives.” Part of the problem lies in the very definitions; can there be more of a common ground, particularly if we up-end the telescope and move from the colonial archives to popular culture? At the outset, it must be admitted that e

2 months ago

A fasting expert’s tips for making it to your next meal

“You’re starving yourself?” That used to be a common reaction to fasting diets, but the regimen started gaining widespread acceptance in recent years—from Silicon Valley biohackers to Beyoncé—in large part because of Canadian doctor Jason Fung. According to a survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation (paywall), intermittent fasting is now the most popular diet, ahead of Paleo, Whole30, and keto. Fung, a nephrologist who authored the books The Obesity Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting, is one of the most vocal advocates of intermittent fasting, having seen its effects in his type 2 diabetes patients. But there is a big difference between starvation and fasting, he notes. “Fasting is voluntary and controlled,” whereas starving is not, he says. “It’s the difference between running for fun and running because a lion is chasing after you.” On certain Reddit communities, such as r/keto and r/intermittentfasting, Fung is regarded as a cult hero of sorts, often cited to provide scientific legitimacy for a diet that can seem outlandish to the unfamiliar. After all, intermittent fasting purports to tout weight-loss benefits without forcing people to change what they eat (though Fung says people really should try to cut out sugar and processed foods) or adding exercise to their routines. The key, instead, lies largely in when one eats. “We never talk about the timing of the meal,” Fung tells Quartz. One major change he’s seen to the North American diet over the decades is the rise of snacking. People went from eating three meals a day to eating at all waking hours. “You go back to the 1950s,” he says. “They’re eating white bread, they’re eating white pasta. No one’s eating whole wheat pasta... But they’re fine. There’s not much obesity.” This, he says, suggests it’s not the nutritional content that’s led to the modern rise in obesity, but rather the change in the frequency of eating. Somehow over time, the idea that people should eat many small meals throughout the day to “boost” their metabolism became mainstream, a direct result of snack-food companies’ advertising, he notes. Snack makers also had a strategy to legitimize their claims. “The insidious part is the food industry sponsors a lot of dietician food conferences, and they were able to teach dieticians you should eat six times a day to lose weight,” says Fung. “It sounds really stupid because it was really stupid.” The benefits of fasting When you stop to think about it, it’s remarkable how little we know about nutritional science in 2018, as evidenced by ongoing debates over whether coconut oil is “pure poison” and new fad diets that seem to pop up every season. Jason Fung Fung doesn’t claim to have all the answers, though he has his opinions. (Coconut oil and egg yolks are fine by his book.) But when it comes to the virtues of intermittent fasting, he says he espouses the results he’s seen in his patients. He himself skips breakfast regularly and doesn’t feel bad for foregoing lunch a few times a week. Which brings us to the strange question of how a kidney specialist became Reddit’s favorite diet guru. As a doctor working with diabetes patients, Fung says he saw a clear relationship between insulin and weight gain. As he wrote in The Obesity Code: I can make you fat. Actually, I can make anybody fat. How? By prescribing insulin. It won’t matter that you have willpower, or that you exercise. It won’t matter what you choose to eat. You will get fat. It’s simply a matter of enough insulin and enough time. It was this observation that led him to intermittent fasting, as a way to quickly lower insulin in the body. Prolonged periods of low insulin force the body to turn to stored sugar as a fuel source, and when that’s been depleted, to turn to fat. Insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, helps the body use sugar for energy, but insulin resistance and prediabetes can occur when the body doesn’t use normal amounts of insulin properly. Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure. Fung says he’s prescribed intermittent-fasting diets, which restrict eating to a fixed schedule, to thousands of patients at his company, Intensive Dietary Management, where he serves as cofounder and medical director. Variations on intermittent fasting include alternative-day fasting, in which people eat normally one day and under 500 calories the next; 18:6, referring to fasting for 18 hours a day and eating within a six-hour window; or one meal a day, or OMAD for short. Occasional longer fasts, which should be done under the supervision of a doctor if one is diabetic, for example, would see even more pronounced effects, which in addition to weight loss can include mental clarity and a detox process called autophagy. “I have a bit of an advantage because I tell people to fast all the time—if you do surgery, a colonoscopy, blood work, you had to fast,” he says. “I thought about it from a physiological standpoint and read the studies. Well, there’s no reason

2 months ago

At what point does researching your interviewer before a job interview go too far?

Q: How awkward is it to look up your interviewer on LinkedIn before your job interview? Dear 007, Uninformed is unprepared, and you should do ample research on the person in whose hands your professional fate may soon rest. The more you know about your interviewer’s individual interests, personality, background, and approach to doing business going in, the better-equipped you’ll be to have a conversation. Yes, if you look at a potential interviewers’ LinkedIn profiles, and you’re not in incognito mode, they’ll be able to see that you did so. If you’re worried about this, a simple skim of online searches or social media channels is often enough to uncover useful details without LinkedIn letting others know that you’ve been snooping. Friends unknown to the party in question can also help you by logging in to the service and loaning you their web browser. However, you might also consider that it’d be weirder for interviewers to discover you hadn’t done some homework up-front. They aren’t likely to fault you for looking at their LinkedIn pages. It is, however, important not be too overzealous when it comes to playing private investigator. Case in point: Cursory details that are in the public eye —say, your interviewer’s passion for artificial intelligence or history working for household-name consumer electronics brands—are fair game to mention in interviews. By contrast, should you become aware of more personal or private info (say, that your interviewer has three young children, loves Notre Dame football, and was once part of a popular boy band in high school) through your searches, it’s best not to mention it. You might use these insights to subtly steer conversation in an advantageous direction, say by mentioning how excited you and your family is about the position or how the job would put you back near your alma mater. Without revealing that you know more than you let on, you can drop subtle bread crumbs that lead to where you know your interviewer may share your interests. There’s a fine art to small talk. The more you can learn about your interviewer before your first encounter, the better, and the subtler you are about applying these insights, even more so. Scott Steinberg is the author of The Business Etiquette Bible. Do you have a workplace etiquette question? Submit to Scott by emailing work@qz.com.

2 months ago

Zimbabwe economic troubles in 2018 are starting to look like 2008’s hyperinflation crisis

Empty shelves in supermarkets, rising cooking oil prices and never-ending queues for petrol queues. In recent weeks it has seemed like Zimbabwe’s economy has returned to the 2008 crisis characterized by hyperinflation and shortages of basic everyday items. Back then, Zimbabweans regularly travelled to Messina, just across the border in South Africa and Mozambique to buy basics like toilet paper and cooking oil. Today, scarcity of goods is once again the new reality for many Zimbabweans. The government has been scrambling to replenish its coffers after years of economic mismanagement and uncertainty. In a controversial move the finance minister hiked taxes for mobile wallets and electronic payment transactions in a bid to raise funds for the treasuru. In the past, transfers were taxed at five cents per transaction, now it’s two cents per dollar for any transaction above $10. Given the last decade of economic difficulties, cash shortages have been an on-again and off-again feature of Zimbabwe’s economy for years. Even after the introduction of the Zimbabwean bond note in 2016 most ordinary financial transactions in the country today are done with mobile money. A man buys bread at a supermarket in Harare, Zimbabwe, Oct. 9. The problem for the government and central bank is that news of higher taxes combined with the ensuing panic buying makes Zimbabwe in 2018 start to look like 2008, at the nadir of the country’s hyperinflation nightmare. Many Zimbabwean adults today live with the existential threat of a return of hyperinflation and that feeling is more palpable this month than it has been for a while. The value of the US dollar to the Zimbawean bond note and Zimbabwean mobile money skyrocketed on the black market. Where one dollar was traded at around 40 bond notes on average for the past several months, within a few days the price had reached $1 to 400 bond notes and in some quarters as high as 600 bond notes/$1. Retailers, whether individual or companies, have been unable to accurately price their goods. Some supermarkets and stores removed prices from their goods, similar to 2008 where hyperinflation meant prices increased several times during a single day. Other stores are only accepting US dollars and not the local bond note or mobile money. At first a few stores raised prices of goods, some declaring the cost of restocking would be higher because of the cash shortages and the increase of buying the US dollar on the black market. Then petrol became scarce and long queues formed at gas stations. The local franchise of the fast food restaurant KFC Zimbabwe closed doors saying it was a temporary measure.“This is due to the fact that we are unable to source stock from our suppliers as they require US dollars,” KFC said. Prices started to come down on Friday when the finance minister said Afreximbank would guarantee settlement value of transactions at one to one with the US dollar. Civil servants, which include the army and police, will be paid on October 15, another reason the government apparently wanted to stabilize the local currency and to add value to it. The finance minister Mthuli Ncube warned ordinary Zimbabweans against “panic buying” as prices were bound to drop. He also warned retailers and wholesalers against hoarding goods or taking advantage of the situation. “I urge everyone to be patient,” said Ncube. Despite his statements another week started with uncertainty. Black market traders whose presence is ubiquitous on the streets of Harare city center are scarce. Some are reluctant to trade while the value of the dollar to bond has dropped to 120. People are holding on to their hard currency waiting to see what happens. Sign up to the Quartz Africa Weekly Brief here for news and analysis on African business, tech and innovation in your inbox Sign up for the Quartz Africa Weekly Brief — the most important and interesting news from across the continent, in your inbox.

2 months ago

What Does The Liquid Network Mean For Bitcoin?

The Liquid Network is now live, allowing fast, secure transactions without the encumbrances of the main Bitcoin blockchain. In a blog post announcing the launch, Blockstream, one of Bitcoin’s leading development companies, declared that the new sidechain would facilitate transactions between “exchanges, brokers, market makers, and financial institutions around the world.” In addition to faster, more secure transactions, Blockstream says that the Liquid Network will allow “Issued Assets” with ERC-20 like properties, allowing exchanges of tokenized fiat or other assets. But before you dive into the Liquid Network with your life savings, it’s important to understand what it is—and isn’t. A Side-Eye at Side Chains In short, a sidechain is a private blockchain between a small federation of Bitcoin nodes. Since it’s based on a smaller network, side chains allow faster, more secure transactions without the burden of mining. Instead of a trustless network, Liquid is maintained “by a Strong Federation of trusted functionaries,” Blockstream says in its Frequently Asked Questions. “This allows transaction on Liquid to reach a state of finality faster and more reliably than those on the Bitcoin blockchain.” We’ve previously covered Rootstock, a Bitcoin sidechain with a built-in Turing-Complete Virtual Machine. Although the regular rules of the Bitcoin network do not allow for complex smart contracts, Rootstock allows users to skirt those limitations by exchanging regular bitcoins for SBTC and using them to interact in RSK’s Ethereum-like smart contracts. When the interaction is concluded, SBTC tokens can be traded back for bitcoins on the regular blockchain. The Liquid Network does not allow smart contracts, but it does have other benefits like one-minute blocks and advanced privacy. It’s a bit like the Lightning Network, except instead of being geared towards micropayments among thousands of users, Liquid is aimed at improving the payments between high-volume players. In addition to faster transactions, it also includes the possibility of Confidential Transactions and private solvency proofs. Getting Your Feet Wet But don’t get too excited about mining Liquid Bitcoins. There’s no proof-of-work on the Liquid Network—and in any case, it’s currently restricted to 23 nodes, maintained by major exchanges like Bitfinex, BitMEX, and OKCoin. Participation is currently free, but it will move to a monthly subscription model after beta testing. That means that most of us won’t touch the new network, at least not directly. Instead, the Exchanges will do the heavy lifting on our behalf. “Exchanges that are members of the Liquid Network have the ability to send bitcoins to other participating exchanges through the Liquid Network,” Blockstream explains in the Liquid Network FAQ, before continuing: First a customer would request a deposit address from the destination exchange....The end user would then take this address to the source exchange and request a withdrawal from that exchange and enter the destination address. The source exchange would then send bitcoins through the Liquid Network to the other exchange who would wait for confirmations of the deposit and credit your account. Users never need to directly access the Liquid Network or hold bitcoins on the Liquid Network - exchanges will do this for you. That’s not likely to satisfy the most hardened Nakomoto purists, and Blockstream admitted as much. “Liquid is a federated sidechain, so it will never be as decentralized as Bitcoin,” the company writes, but “No single party, including Blockstream, can control the Liquid network.” That’s not going to be much good for decentralized or peer-to-peer payments. But for the hedge funds and high-volume traders who make their bread from price differences between multiple exchanges, the ability to securely transmit value without waiting for six confirmations is likely to make the Bit-economy a little bit faster. The author has investments in Bitcoin. The post What Does The Liquid Network Mean For Bitcoin? appeared first on Crypto Briefing.

2 months ago

A diet guru explains why you should eat dinner at 2pm

There have been two main changes in dietary habits from the 1970s (before the obesity epidemic) until today. First, there was the change is what we were recommended to eat. Prior to 1970, there was no official government sanctioned dietary advice. You ate what your mother told you to eat. With the publication of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we were told to cut the fat in our diets way down and replace that with carbohydrates, which might have been OK if it was all broccoli and kale, but might not be OK if it was all white bread and sugar. But the other major change was in when we eat. There were no official recommendations on this, but nevertheless, eating patterns changed significantly, and I believe contributed equally to the obesity crisis. From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey study in 1977, the most people ate was three times per day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I grew up in the 1970s. There were no snacks. If you wanted an after-school snack, your mom said, “No, you’ll ruin your dinner.” If you wanted an bedtime snack, she just said “No.” Snacking was not considered either necessary or healthy. It was a treat, to be taken only very occasionally. By 2004, the world had changed. Most people were now eating almost six times per day. It is almost considered child abuse to deprive your child of a mid-morning snack or after-school snack. If they play soccer, it somehow became necessary to give them juice and cookies between the halves. We run around chasing our kids to eat cookies and drink juice, and then wonder why we have a childhood obesity crisis. Good job, everybody, good job. Without any science to back it up, many nutritional authorities endorsed eating multiple times per day as a healthy practice. There were no studies that remotely suggested this was true. It was likely the successful efforts of snack-food companies advertising to dietitians, and doctors, clueless about nutrition at the best of times, who simply went along for the ride. This was not merely an American phenomenon. More recently, China has followed in America’s footsteps with increased snacking. Large-scale surveys show that from 1991 to 2009, the percentage of children and adults who regularly snack has skyrocketed. Among children aged 13 to 18, those who snacked went from 8.7% to 46.3% — a more than fivefold increase. Adults showed the a similar rise from 8.7% to 35.6%. So what, right? Who cares? This shift has given rise to China’s obesity crisis. Along with this is a huge increase in the prevalence of diabetes in China. Eating at all waking hours Recently Satchin Panda, a professor at Salk Institute and author of the book The Circadian Code, did an interesting study on current eating habits, tracked via a smartphone app. The 10% of people who ate the least frequently ate 3.3 times per day. That is, 90% of people ate more than 3.3 times per day. The top 10% of people ate an astounding 10 times per day. Essentially, we started eating as soon as we got up, and didn’t stop until we went to bed. The median daily intake duration (the amount of time people spent eating) was 14.75 hours per day. That is, if you started eating breakfast at 8am, you didn’t, on average, stop eating until 10:45pm. Practically the only time people stopped eating was while sleeping. This contrasts with a 1970s-era style of eating breakfast at 8am and dinner at 6pm, giving a rough eating duration of only 10 hours. The “feedogram” shows no let up in eating until after 11pm. There was also a noticeable bias toward late-night eating, as many people are not hungry in the morning. An estimated 25% of calories are taken before noon, but 35% after 6pm. When those overweight individuals eating more than 14 hours per day were simply instructed to curtail their eating times to only 10 to 11 hours, they lost weight (average 7.2 lbs, or 3.3 kg) and felt better even though they were not instructed to overtly change when they ate. This has huge metabolic consequences. A fascinating study was recently published directly comparing a regular eating schedule to an optimized time-restricted feeding schedule. Both intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating tend to produce some reduction in food intake, and therefore it is never clear whether the benefits of these strategies are due to timing (when to eat) or food intake (what to eat). The circadian rhythm, as I’ve discussed previously, suggests that late-night eating is not optimal for weight loss. This is because excessive insulin is the main driver of obesity, and eating the same food early in the day or late at night have different insulin effects. Indeed, studies of time-restricted eating mostly show benefits from reducing late night eating. So it makes sense to combine two strategies of meal timing (circadian considerations and time-restricted eating) into one optimal strategy of eating only over a certain period of the day, and only during the early daytime period. Researchers called

2 months ago

What is a snack? Not even nutritionists can agree

Lately, the world of snacks has been a battleground. Once seen as a friendly gesture at work, breakroom treats like birthday cake and banana bread are now considered uncouth, and some offices have taken to sugar-shaming sweet-toothed employees. Children at some schools have been banned from bringing snacks to protect students with allergies, to reduce sugar consumption, and to keep classrooms clean. Even freewheeling, Kind-bar loving start-ups are reconsidering whether free snacks should be a standard perk. Meanwhile, startups that deliver customized high-end snack boxes, such as Naturebox and Bokksu, have built a dedicated following of snackers. But despite all these strong views pro and against snacking, no one can quite agree on what actually constitutes a snack. No official guidelines to define a snack exist, whether you’re talking time of day, categories of food consumed, or number of calories. Are high tea, fika, or elevenses snacks or meals? Does it even matter? A number of studies, including one published by researchers from the University of Surrey in 2017, suggests that the nomenclature matters. The researchers fed 80 volunteers pasta presented either as a snack or as a meal. The snacks were eaten standing up, out of a plastic container, the meals sitting down on ceramic plates. The snackers not only ate more than the diners, they also ate more when subsequently asked to “taste test” traditional snack foods like crackers and candy. “What we have found is that those who are consuming snacks are more likely to over eat as they may not realise or even remember what they have eaten,” Jane Ogden, one of the researchers and a professor in health psychology at the University of Surrey said in Science Daily. A 2016 review of the existing research from the journal Advances in Nutrition found that snacking patterns, and the effect that snacks have on a healthy diet and weight, are incredibly difficult to track—and that’s precisely because of the slippery definition. It cites a study of American college students that found that the connotations of the terms “snack,” “snack food,” and “snacking” were so variable that “the root word ‘snack’ should be avoided in research questionnaires.” Despite the clinical confusion around the terminology, the review was definitive about one thing: Snacking—as defined by calories consumed outside of the distinct meals of breakfast, lunch, or dinner—happens. Around the world, chocolate is the single most popular snack, followed closely by fresh fruit, which despite some fad diet-driven concerns about its sugar content, is a nutritionist favorite. The juxtaposition of chocolate and fruit as the two most favorite snacks around the globe actually offers a useful way to think about snacking healthfully. If your snack is a treat—like chocolate or a pastry—plan for it and enjoy it, preferably paired with some good conversation. To snack well you have to choose to snack, instead of mindlessly grabbing chips out of the open bag of Doritos on your desk and then realizing in horror that it’s empty. The Japanese approach to snacking is instructive here: Healthy diet is thought to be a major contributor to Japanese longevity. At the same time, snacks are huge in Japan, where they’ve been elevated into covetable, and often adorable, items, like a bite-sized apple cake, shaped like an apple. They’re small, they’re special, and they’re delightful—and made to be savored, not shoveled. If what you need is an energy boost—say, to raise flagging energy in the late afternoon, or between a workout and a meal—make it an opportunity to eat some fruits or vegetables, which very few of us get enough of. Mood, energy levels, and blood sugar are related. There’s a reason that “hangry” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year: Irritability is the emotion most closely associated with the hunger, and it comes from ignoring the internal hormonal cues to eat the happen about five hours after a meal. (Hedonic hunger is feeling the need to eat for pleasure alone.) Some people can stick to three meals a day and feel fine; others need some apple slices and peanut butter at 4pm to handle the last few hours before dinner without a meltdown. Nutritionists agree that snacking is not the enemy, especially when snacks contain fiber, protein, healthy fat (check, check, and check for that apple and peanut butter). And they say planning is key: Otherwise, decision fatigue can make it hard to make a healthy choice when you’re hungry, tired, or both. If you’re packing lunch, throw in an apple and peanut butter, or carrots and celery with herby cream cheese—a safer bet than hoping to make a good choice at a café or vending machine late in the day. And there’s more to health than choosing the right foods. Snack time can also be an opportunity to relieve stress and connect. A Scandinavian-style coffee break isn’t just about eating a cinnamon roll. It’s also about pausing, reflecting, and building a moment of con

2 months ago

TEL is now live in BRD "BRD is a simple and secure way to g...

TEL is now live in BRD "BRD is a simple and secure way to get started with crypto." https://t.co/TFeIRNWyVE

5 months ago

Honest Feedback from a Sia user.

I want this project to succeed. Here are some problems from a user's experience: Buying storage on the wallet should be easy and intuitive. It's not. This should be Sia's bread and butter. This part is easy. Make the simple task of buying storage clear and clean. A user could guess the difference between "allowance" and "contract fees" and "estimated fees" but they layout could be much more inviting, elegant. This really matters to acquiring users. Sell the experience of easy, world class storage. The tab should be "storage" not "files". The layout should first ask: "How much data would you like to store?" Following that a simple cost in SC should appear. That should be the total for the time period. As I understand it, it's 3 months. The time period should be customizable. Right now I'm still confused about why it it costs me 120.86 SC to store ~5TB with a 1006 SC allowance. Do what Apple first did to the user experience of the iphone but to storage. Think elegance. Outsource this if you have to. Let's make Sia an exceptional experience in storage. Deliver the message that this is world class security like nothing seen before. And it's easy. Up-vote this so developers see it....

a year ago


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