Status SNT

$0.0358
Market Cap $ 124.171 MM (#55)
24h Volume $ 1.253 MM
Chg. 24h: -1.87%
Algo. score 4.0/5  (#50)
Show Quick Stats

Status News

Mt. Gox Bitcoin Stash Worth $1.3 Billion Won’t Move Before Summer 2019

The latest chapter in the Mt. Gox saga reveals that creditors are looking to be paid in Bitcoin with the first payment expected no earlier than next summer after the approval of the rehabilitation plan. BTC Payments Will Be Most ‘Simple and Efficient’ A revised civil rehabilitation proposal document published August 2 by lawyers representing several Mt. Gox creditors notes that the first payments to creditors are expected in summer 2019. “Mt. Gox is not capable of returning all BTC deposited by creditors,” it reads. “Accordingly, we consider that all assets of Mt. Gox should be distributed to creditors and not to shareholders.” Approved in June, the current rehabilitation plan aims to distribute the Mt. Gox stash — which is currently about 166K BTC (or almost $1.3 billion USD). The creditors want the rehabilitation plan to be as simple as possible so that claims are paid back as soon as possible. One way of doing this will be to make payments in BTC/BCH instead of cash. “In general, we consider it appropriate to make payments to creditors who had been depositing BTC (BTC creditors) with Mt. Gox, in BTC and BCH instead of cash,” the document reads. The creditors believe payments using BTC and BCH will be the “most simple and efficient way” to distribute the funds while minimizing transactions costs such as bank fees. Citing concerns of market volatility and the timing of the sale, the creditors also note that exchanging BTC for cash could also have a negative impact on the BTC spot price 00 to the relief of current bitcoin holders. Instead, the coins will be sent to exchange accounts of the creditors’ choosing. “We think it esirable [sic] that the BTC and BCH be sent to exchanges in which many creditors have accounts or can open accounts easily,” the document reads. Mt. Gox Cash and Altcoins Nevertheless, Mt. Gox does have a significant amount of cash from the sale of bitcoin and bitcoin cash. This “remaining cash amount after the repayment to the monetary creditors should be paid to BTC creditors in cash without exchange to BTC,” the document notes. In this case, we think it desirable that the cash be sent to the accounts of the exchanges, as chosen by the creditors. The creditors add that payments in other altcoins may be possible but “unrealistic” as the number of exchanges supporting various types of altcoins are limited. Moreover, this option could hamper altcoin prices, affecting the entire cryptocurrency market. there is a possibility that the sale of the altcoins by the trustee would cause a sudden fall in the price of altcoins and security problems may arise if the trustee moves the altcoins. Therefore, the trustee should proceed with the sale of altcoins with careful consideration of these matters. It is not clear which altcoins (not BTC or BCH) besides BTC derivatives (e.g. Bitcoin Gold) are in possession of the Mt. Gox trustee. First Payment Expected Next Summer The lawyers representing the group of creditors are seeking further comments before the civil rehabilitation plan is approved in February 2019, which the creditors say “is several months behind the standard schedule.” In any case, the first payment to creditors would comprise the lion’s share of the total funds. It “will be made promptly” after the rehabilitation plan is approved sometime in May or June of 2019 based on the schedule in the commencement order. “We are of the opinion that most of the assets, including approximately 166,000 BTC and 168,000 of BCH and other derivatives currently held by Mt. Gox, should be paid to creditors at the time of the first payment,” the document adds. Until then, it is unlikely that the Mt. Gox bitcoins will be touched before next summer by the so-called Mt. Gox ‘Bitcoin Whale’ trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, who was previously blamed for the sell-off earlier this year. Nevertheless, the tentative schedule can still change and traders will keep a close eye on any movements of the Mt. Gox funds. The next creditors’ meeting to report on the status of the civil rehabilitation process is scheduled for September 26, 2018. Will the Mt. Gox bitcoins affect price in the future? Share your thoughts below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, bitinfocharts.com. The post Mt. Gox Bitcoin Stash Worth $1.3 Billion Won’t Move Before Summer 2019 appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

44 minutes ago

Bill O’Reilly is still the undisputed king of US nonfiction

US conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly was ousted from his massively watched news show last year after revelations that he paid millions in settlement money to women who accused him of sexual harassment. In one moment, he lost access to nearly 4 million nightly viewers. Despite the investigations, which show O’Reilly’s settlements now total about $45 million (paywall) across six women, people are still happily buying the O’Reilly brand elsewhere. His latest history book, Killing the SS, out Oct. 9 and co-written with Martin Dugard, has, just like 10 of his other books in the past decade, hit the No. 1 spot on the New York Times nonfiction list. According to rankings from the New York Times bestsellers list going back to 2008, O’Reilly has had the most books hit the No. 1 spot of any single nonfiction author. Second to O’Reilly is Dugard, his frequent collaborator. The overall list is made up other conservative commentators, like Dinesh D’Souza, author of The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, and Ann Coulter, author of In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! Rank Author No. 1 books 1 Bill O’Reilly 11 2 Martin Dugard 9 3 Michael Savage 7 4 Dinesh D’Souza 6 5 Ann Coulter 5 6 Dick Morris 5 7 Eileen McGann 5 8 Jimmy Carter 5 9 Mark R. Levin 5 10 Michael Lewis 5 11 Bob Woodward 5 Even if you remove those titles with spurious sales, O’Reilly is still the top author. The New York Times marks titles with † to indicate possible bulk sales, a tactic authors and publishers use to create the illusion of genuine public interest. When bulk sales are removed, Coulter and D’Souza fall in their rankings, for example. Rank Author Non-bulk No. 1 books 1 Bill O’Reilly 11 2 Martin Dugard 9 3 Jimmy Carter 5 4 Michael Lewis 5 5 Bob Woodward 5 6 Ann Coulter 4 7 Chelsea Handler 4 8 David Sedaris 4 9 James Patterson 4 10 Jeff Pearlman 4 11 Jon Meacham 4 O’Reilly’s sheer output is obviously a big contributor to his top status, but the fact remains: In spite of everything, if O’Reilly writes it, they will come.

2 hours ago

In an age of super-fast fashion, Mexico and Turkey may be the new China

Fashion’s global supply chains run thick and fast through China. It’s by far the world’s biggest clothing exporter (pdf), a status it acquired by being quick, reliable, and inexpensive, and has for decades offered many big brands the most cost-effective option to produce their clothes. But shifts now taking place in China and across fashion could eventually redraw the world’s garment-manufacturing map. A new report by the management consultancy McKinsey finds that rising costs in China and the imperative for fashion brands to deliver goods faster than ever are making it more cost-effective for Western brands to produce their simple styles in low-cost countries nearer at hand. For brands selling in the US, that primarily means Mexico, while Turkey has emerged as a prime manufacturing destination for labels selling in Europe. The case for nearshoring In 2005, labor costs in China were about one-tenth what they were in the US, according to McKinsey. Today they’re about one-third. The rise has made it so that labor in some “nearshore” countries is not much more expensive—or possibly even cheaper—than in China, the report says. Add in savings on freight and duties for countries closer at hand, and nearshoring becomes an even sweeter deal. The firm calculated the cost to produce a basic pair of jeans and import it into either the US or Germany, using the sum to do the work in China and ship from there as a baseline. To make the same pair of jeans in Mexico and import them into the US would cost 12% less. For a company looking to import its jeans into Germany, Turkey was 3% less expensive than China. That wasn’t the cheapest option: To produce in Bangladesh cost 20% less than China. But Turkey and Mexico pulled much further ahead when factoring in the much shorter delivery times from those countries—just a few days, versus a full month if a brand manufactures in China or Bangladesh. The shorter lead times yield a number of benefits, creating an added economic bonus. As McKinsey explained: As a company gets items into stores faster, it will be able to test and scale more styles. Not only will it be able to boost sales volumes and sell-through rates, but the company can also reduce inventory levels and mitigate the brand dilution resulting from markdowns and clearances. Nearshoring economics, therefore, become even more attractive when considering the higher full-price sell-through rates, which the faster fashion model enables. Our analysis suggests that a 5-percentage-point increase in sell-through would make up for the higher labor costs. Costs are equalizing, even in shifts from low-cost countries, such as Bangladesh, to nearshore markets. The picture looked still rosier when McKinsey added automation into the mix. Fashion lags way behind other industries in implementing automated manufacturing, but companies are starting to embrace new technologies in their efforts to speed up. McKinsey assumed a hypothetical scenario where all major technologies currently in development were implemented, and worked with a university in Aachen, Germany, and the Digital Capability Center Aachen to calculate the cost savings in time and labor for producing a pair of jeans. Based on their calculations, to produce the jeans in China with automation and import them into the US, the final cost ends up being around $11.40. But to produce them in Mexico with automation and import them into the US, the cost would be about $10, plus the assorted benefits of the shorter lead time, too. Not so fast All this sounds great, but putting it into practice isn’t always so simple. Karl-Hendrik Magnus, a McKinsey partner and apparel industry expert, presented the report at an Oct. 11 summit held by Sourcing Journal, a trade publication focused on fashion’s supply chain. On a panel with him was Colin Browne, Under Armour’s chief supply chain officer. “I’m not a believer in that whole ‘rainbows and unicorns’ kind of effect of this,” Browne said. “It’s not all going to change overnight.” Reebok’s Erika Swan, McKinsey’s Karl-Hendrik Magnus, and Eddie Hertzman of Sourcing Journal at the Sourcing Journal Summit. Still, the experts agreed that these changes are coming, and to some degree have already begun. They’re just likely to take a long time. For starters, China has built up a manufacturing infrastructure and capacity that other countries just can’t match. Some brands are already moving a share of production to nearby countries, but a large-scale shift might not be possible until those countries are able to build up factories to handle the workload. Probably the biggest holdup, though, isn’t among the suppliers doing the work of stitching together finished products. It’s the “tier 2” suppliers making the actual textiles. The vast majority of that work currently happens in Asia, particularly in China, especially in the case of any specialized fabrics, like those athletic brands use. Companies may want to assemble finished garments in Mexico or Turkey

4 hours ago

World Bank’s optimism about declining global poverty is missing a crucial point

The World Bank’s latest annual report on poverty and shared prosperity has an unsurprisingly positive message that only 10% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty in 2015, which is the most recent year that available data allows for global poverty estimates to be made. As World Bank President Jim Yong Kim points out in the foreword to the report, this is “the lowest poverty rate in recorded history”. This is a story that we have become accustomed to hearing from the Bank, and other significant participants in the debate about poverty and development in the global South (Asia, Africa, and Latin America). But does the story actually hold true? For example, the World Bank measures extreme poverty in terms of the number of people who live on less than$1.90 a day. But is this in fact a meaningful measurement of poverty? World Bank poverty estimates have come in for a lot of criticism. For example, Jason Hickel, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics, has pointed out that there’s often a large gap between national poverty lines and the international poverty line stipulated by the bank. The economic growth that has lifted countries from low-income status to middle-income status is profoundly unequally distributed. For example, more than 55% of South Africa’s population lives below the country’s upper poverty line, of 1,138 South African rand ($80) a month. But, according to the World Bank, only 18.85% of the South African population lives in poverty. This suggests that the international poverty lined touted by the World Bank systematically underestimates the extent of global poverty. This point is partially acknowledged in this year’s report. Accordingly, the World Bank proposes new and higher poverty lines—$3.20 and $5.50 a day, respectively. According to the report, almost half the world’s population lives below the $5.50 a day poverty line. However, we need to go further than this—indeed, the World Bank’s widely touted story of historically low poverty levels must be rejected. If we are to have a serious debate about world poverty on End Poverty Day, we have to start by acknowledging that the global problem of poverty is far more extensive than World Bank rhetoric would have us believe. Two big factors need to be confronted. The first is that the majority of the world’s poor live in countries that have experienced strong economic growth. The second is that the growth strategies these countries have practised create and reproduce poverty. Unequal distribution The World Bank attributes the supposed historical decline in poverty in large part to the rising wealth of several Asian countries. But, this is a problematic argument. In his recent book Global Poverty, development economist Andy Sumner shows how a new geography of poverty has emerged in the global South. Whether we use monetary estimates—Sumner uses a poverty line of $2.50 a day—or estimates of multidimensional poverty; that is, poverty measured according to health indicators, education levels, and economic standards of living—as many as 70% of the world’s poor currently live in what the World Bank refers to as middle-income countries. As Sumner points out, poverty in middle-income countries cannot be attributed to an absolute lack of resources. These are countries that have experienced strong economic growth since the 1990s. What it boils down to in middle-income countries like India,Nigeria, and Brazil is the issue of distribution. The economic growth that has lifted countries from low-income status to middle-income status is profoundly unequally distributed. As a result, large parts of the populations in these countries are excluded from the benefits that accrue from this growth. This in turn has implications for how we think about growth strategies and poverty reduction in the global South. Global growth and development Much of the economic growth that has lifted countries from low-income status to middle-income status has resulted from the emergence of global production networks and global value chains since the late 1970s. Poorer countries have been integrated into these networks in large part due to their large reservoirs of cheap labour. It is this process of industrialisation that has turned low-income countries into middle-income countries. But if global production networks come with so many developmental benefits, why is it that world poverty is concentrated in countries that have experienced economic growth precisely because they are integrated in these networks? To understand this paradox, it is important to remember that global production networks are comprised of different value tiers, and that different countries and different groups capture different amounts of the value that is created in these networks. This obviously leads to a reproduction of inequality - countries in the global South tend to be integrated in lower value tiers. This is evident in the fact that the distribution of national incomes and wealth

4 hours ago

Over 20 of our Core Contributors have left Slack and rely pu...

Over 20 of our Core Contributors have left Slack and rely purely on Status Desktop for their daily communication, w… https://t.co/oMGRTZRUSS

5 hours ago

Russia Central Bank Head: Cryptocurrency Craze Is ‘Fortunately Fading Away’

The head of Russia’s central bank has announced the “cryptocurrency craze” is “starting to fade away” - and that this is a “fortunate” event. Nabiullina: Businesses Taking ‘Sober Approach’ To Blockchain Speaking during the country’s fourth FINOPOLIS innovative financial technology forum in Sochi October 17, Bank of Russia’s Elvira Nabiullina signaled a change in the stance of “businesses” towards technologies such as Blockchain and ICOs. “We’re holding this forum for the fourth time, and in that period a cryptocurrency craze managed to break out which is now - fortunately, in our opinion - beginning to fade away,” she said quoted by local news outlet RIA Novosti. During this period, technologies such as Blockchain sparked wild enthusiasm, and in our view [businesses] is now starting to adopt a more sober approach to them. Russia continues to find itself in limbo regarding the legal status of cryptocurrency. A package of laws has only partly made its way through parliament, suffering lengthy delays despite demands from president Vladimir Putin to enshrine it in law by July this year. Authorities including the Bank of Russia have meanwhile traditionally shared enthusiasm about Blockchain, with largest majority state-owned bank Sberbank itself embarking on a raft of use implementations this year. “Businesses are trying to cultivate such technologies by finding practical use cases for them,” Nabiullina agreed. Digital Finance Meets Mass Consumerism Looking to the future, the Bank nonetheless implied digital finance as a phenomenon was here to stay. Nabiullina continued: Digital technologies are becoming the norm of modern world. Digital finance is no longer the domain of the advanced consumer; it’s the domain of the mass consumer. Previous run-ins with examples of so-called “digital finance” in Russia have proven the establishment is however yet to get to grips with such innovations. As Bitcoinist reported, cryptocurrency has received one-off treatment from courts as property despite the lack of official legislation. Questions over taxation of cryptocurrency income also remain open to interpretation. What do you think about Elvira Nabiullina’s comments on cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock The post Russia Central Bank Head: Cryptocurrency Craze Is ‘Fortunately Fading Away’ appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

8 hours ago

VeChain Price Stability Could Hint at Accumulation Before the Rise

A lot of cryptocurrencies are currently stuck in sideways trading momentum. After the past few days filled with both ups and downs, a bit of peace and quiet can be pretty significant. For VeChain, its value seems to remain relatively stable, albeit most people had expected a bigger push after yesterday’s announcement. VeChain Price Isn’t Budging Every single a major announcement occurs in the cryptocurrency world, a massive price increase is an obvious result. In the case of VeChain, yesterday’s announcement has people excited, yet no real uptrend has materialized as a result. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as this industry needs a lot less hype and more rational behavior first and foremost. Over the past 24 hours, the VeChain price has remained rather flat. There is a small 0.5% increase in both USD and BTC value, but it is not sufficient to trigger any real chances. No differences have been noted in the overall VET trading volume either, which seems to confirm this status quo might be maintained just a bit longer. Some price stability is never a bad thing, though, especially not in this volatile year. When a cryptocurrency becomes surprisingly stable, there will be some fun to be had. Faisal Sohail claims VeChain is in a good position to become the next stablecoin given its current lack of momentum. An interesting concept, but with the four recently introduced stablecoins coming to market, the last thing this industry needs is more of the same. Some positive excitement would be more than welcome at this time. We have another contender for a stable coin - #VeChain $VET pic.twitter.com/NYE6QU0BRF — Faisal Sohail (@oddgems) October 18, 2018 One specific Twitter account is getting a lot of attention over the past few days. Mike Rogers is intent on sharing any evidence - circumstantial or otherwise - to show how VeChain is heavily shilled and brigaded across social media and Reddit. An interesting idea, although it is always difficult to prove such claims. Team Cream is on Reddit, Team Cream is on Twitter. Team Cream is on Telegram. They will attack and brigade anyone who dares to criticize #Vechain with many, many shill accounts. #cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/D0YxAYkJ2g — Mike Rogers (@mikerogers121) October 18, 2018 In more positive news, there is a new VeChain Tech Deep Dive Series episode available for consumption right now. This new episode focuses on embedded system introduction and will potentially get more people excited about working with VeChain and its native technology accordingly. This series has been well-received by the community so far, and it seems the effort is attracting some extra attention. The “VeChain Tech Deep Dive Series - Session 1, Episode 2: Embedded System Introduction” is now released.https://t.co/g2xmh5Ieak — VeChain Foundation (@vechainofficial) October 17, 2018 Based on the current circumstances, it seems evident VeChain will either remain at this status quo or note a brief decline in the coming hours. There isn’t enough trading volume to make anything happen, either for better or worse. Even so, the market remains incredibly interesting to see an eye on, as the recent major announcement can still trigger some market movement. The post VeChain Price Stability Could Hint at Accumulation Before the Rise appeared first on NullTX.

8 hours ago

0x (ZRX) Falls 15% After Initial Coinbase Surge, Not All Investors are Convinced

When Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin were listed on Coinbase, many investors saw this process as a sign for the widespread use and adoption of the aforementioned crypto assets. But, in stark contrast to Coinbase’s current listees, the recent addition of 0x (ZRX) onto the San Francisco-based platform have left many asking more questions about 0x than ever before. Coinbase.com, Coinbase Pro Add ZRX Per previous reports from NewsBTC, 0x (ZRX), the native asset of the decentralized exchange protocol project that shares its name, was unexpectedly added to Coinbase’s professional trading platform on October 11. At the time, however, it wasn’t made clear when the world-renowned crypto platform intended to launch ZRX support on Coinbase Consumer (Coinbase.com), which is where a majority of the startup’s 25 million clients trade and transact. Eventually, after days of deliberation, the exchange revealed that it had officially launched ZRX on its consumer-focused webpage, along with on the Coinbase IOS and Android mobile apps that were likely gathering dust due to the bearish market conditions. Like any other crypto asset listed on the multinational platform, users are now able to buy, sell, send, receive, or store ZRX, which is now the first Ethereum-based token to go live on Coinbase. Interestingly enough, for now, users who reside in the United Kingdom or the state of New York will be unable to trade this specific crypto asset. This restriction can presumably be chalked up to the unknown regulatory climate surrounding ZRX, which has yet to be directly addressed by regulatory bodies. Still, in a testament to the colloquially-dubbed “Coinbase Effect,” the popular altcoin saw a monumental surge to the upside, rising from $0.65 to a high of $1.04 on the back of the Coinbase news alone. However, since hitting multi-month highs at $1.04, the asset has since seen a pullback to $0.88 and is down 10% in the past 24 hours. Chart Courtesy of TradingView 0x Skeptics Lash Out: Insider Trading, Useless Token? Despite the positive news, as is the common theme with Coinbase listees, many began to bring up theories that insider trading and conflicts of interest had catalyzed the addition of 0x. For those who haven’t been kept in the loop, the exchange has long been accused of facilitating conflicts of interest. Take the two following cases as an example. Following the listing of Litecoin on the exchange, former Coinbase engineering head Charlie Lee left his stint at the startup, which lead many of the firm’s critics to a single conclusion. In a recent case, Bitcoin Cash saw a suspicious uptick in buying volume in the days preceding its appearance on Coinbase, again indicating that something could be amok. While these conspiracy theories have since been debunked by the startup, which is slated to be valued at $8 billion, critics of the platforms still have their doubts. Kevin Pham, a former institutional banker turned Bitcoinier and Coinbase’s foremost hater, took to his vast social media platform to yell from the rooftops that insider trading was a likely explanation for ZRX’s addition to Coinbase. Backing his inflammatory claim, Pham pointed out that 0x advisor Linda Xie, who used to work at Coinbase, had directly advised Coinbase’s digital asset listing guidelines in the past. The potential for insider dealing here stinks. Former Coinbase Employee and current 0x advisor @ljxie, advised Coinbase on their digital asset listing guidelines. https://t.co/6GsMZdlL7j — Kevin ''Thuggish'' Pham (@_Kevin_Pham) October 16, 2018 Although no conclusions can be drawn, as this could have been an unfortunate coincidence, many have pointed to the handful of connections that can be drawn between 0x’s executives, advisors, or investors and Coinbase’s top brass. Even if the rumors regarding insider trading are false, as pointed out by many on Twitter, there is still much to criticize the 0x project for. Preston Byrne, a self-proclaimed “blockchain technologists,” explained that there was only an average of 101 addresses that actively transacted 0x, even after Coinbase’s initial announcement. Byrne seemed to be alluding to the fact that Coinbase has only listed well-adopted crypto assets in the past, which makes the ZRX listing straight out of left field. With these numbers, totally mystified as to how 0x got added to Coinbase. 101 daily active addresses... and that's *after* the Coinbase announcement. pic.twitter.com/VmItTlzGla — Preston Byrne (@prestonjbyrne) October 12, 2018 Jackson Palmer, the founder of the ever-popular Dogecoin memecurrency, rebutted this sentiment by claiming that Coinbase’s acquisition of 0x-based Paradex was behind the listing. But, there were still 0x skeptics to poke holes in Palmer’s rebuttal. Udi Wertheimer, a well-followed Bitcoin developer, explained that Paradex doesn’t even actively use the ZRX token, indicating that the asset could have no legitimate use case. I believe $ZRX is the first ERC-20 token (an

10 hours ago

Heartbreaking photos that show how India is slowly killing its elephants

When award-winning conservationist Prerna Singh Bindra is asked what comes to mind when she thinks about elephants in India, she says it’s no longer wild herds wandering the vast Terai region or ambling across the rolling Nilgiri Hills. Instead she thinks of trapped, chased and dying herds. She thinks of the Numaligarh makhna, an elephant so perplexed by the wall erected along his traditional route in Assam that he tried to bring it down and died of a brain hemorrhage. Or the Athgarh herd, islanded in a mosaic of villages and fields in Odisha, and subjected to the taunts of mobs of drunken men each evening. She thinks of the Dharamjaigarh mother and unborn calf, who hit the ground with the impact of an earthquake, after she was electrocuted by high-voltage wires strung across a field in Chhattisgarh. When Bindra thinks about elephant watching, it’s no longer of mornings spent on safari, marvelling at the mammoth beasts engaged in play and social interactions. What comes to mind are the distraught men and women in anonymous Indian villages. She thinks of Sumitra bai and Bhuvan Dhanwar, trampled beyond recognition in Chhattisgarh. She thinks of elephant tracker Panchanan Nayak stoically following Odisha’s Athgarh herd and warning villagers of their path, all the while risking his life. She thinks of a crowd of locals in West Bengal placing flowers on the body of an elephant hit by a speeding train. Graceful even in death, this young elephant fell into a deep, open well one night in Palakkad, Kerala. The photographer suspects the elephant emerged from the nearby forest to feast on fruiting jackfruit trees in the village. Open wells are a serious but little-recognised threat to wild animals, including Gujarat’s famed Asiatic lions, a few of which fall to their deaths every year. India has the world’s largest population of wild Asian elephants. It also has a colossal human-elephant conflict problem, one that claims dozens of lives every year. Unlike tiger reserves, elephant reserves have no legal sanctity, and by some accounts a mere 22% of elephant habitat is safeguarded within India’s Protected Areas of sanctuaries, national parks and conservation reserves. Elephants and humans are being forced to live in uneasy proximity, as cities and townships expand, railways and roads cut across wildernesses, and forests shrink and fragment. It’s a pressing problem with a high death toll that finds little sympathy in urban corridors of power. Beyond declaring the elephant as India’s National Heritage Animal, fixing meagre compensation amounts for crops, property and human life, and establishing the ineffectual Project Elephant (an embarrassing sibling to the relatively successful Project Tiger), elephant conservation and conflict mitigation has been broadly left to field staff, individual activists and non-governmental organisations. An almost fully developed foetus of an elephant calf, cut from the womb, makes a heartbreaking image. Its mother was accidentally electrocuted in an army cantonment area in north Bengal. A mob of men chase a young bull elephant on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, Odisha. A herd of 22 wild elephants trapped in this human-dominated landscape have become the subject of much amusement for young men in the area who taunt and chase the gentle giants for sport. A campaign titled Giant Refugees highlighted the herd’s suffering and created a global outcry in 2017. However, it evoked only superficial promises of action from the Odisha government and the herd’s status remains the same. In May, frustrated by the absence of a scientific and humane approach to deal with human-elephant conflict, Bindra filed a public interest litigation against the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and Karnataka. In it, she cited their failure to protect elephants, and their participation in activities that are in direct contravention of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. From the installation of metal spikes to hinder elephant movement in Karnataka, to the state-sanctioned hullah parties in West Bengal who chase away elephants by propelling burning sacks and sticks in their direction, state action in human-elephant conflict mitigation has been largely unscientific and reactionary. Through the petition, Bindra sought to “stop this state sponsored torture of wild animals across the nation in the name of mitigating human-wildlife conflict...” Her larger purpose was to seek protection for elephant habitats and corridors, which are crucial to the long-term survival of this endangered species. While Bindra fights for elephants in the Supreme Court, here’s a glimpse at the state of wild Asian elephants that live close to humans in the subcontinent. On the outskirts of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, villagers share the landscape with elephants from the Thadagam Reserve Forest. Though there have been fatalities on both sides, tolerance is still high and this individual elephant

13 hours ago

ATC Coin Investigation Lacks Investors Claiming Losses

Fraud is an ever-present threat in the cryptocurrency industry. In most cases, investors will never recover their money. In the case of ATC Coin, the conclusion is disappointing. This is primarily because one of the duped investors came forward when given the chance. The ATC Coin Dupe in India The cryptocurrency world attracts a lot of interest. Not all projects are created equal. Some of them are even downright scams, yet they still attract dozens of investors. In India, ATC Coin was one of the more successful ventures years ago. The project appeared legitimate, yet was ultimately investigated by law enforcement. Around a year ago, one person was arrested for duping investors pertaining to this scheme. Unlike most investigations pertaining to crypto fraud, investors were given a chance to get their money back. All they had to do so was come forward and confirm they were duped when buying ATC Coin. Interestingly enough, no one has come forward to do so. A very unusual turn of events, as the investigation has been going on for over a year now. A lack of investors coming forward makes it difficult to prove any wrongdoing. This development highlights a rather big problem pertaining to cryptocurrency. India has, like many other countries no official regulation pertaining to incidents like these. As such, there is no official repercussion unless investors effectively come forward. In the case of ATC Coin, no one appears interested in doing so at this stage. Several investors have been identified. To date, none of them intends to file an official complaint. Indian Regulators Need to Make a Decision When perceived scams can run rampant, an interesting situation is created. When investors suffer a loss, they will want their money back. It is unclear why no one files a complaint against ATC Coin. Backers were asked to wait 18 months prior to trading this currency on exchanges. It appears no one has ever seen their purchased ATC Coin at this time. Even the proactive approach by the Economic Offences Wing isn’t helping. It is because of their initiative the investigation came to be. It is all investors can ask for, given the lack of cryptocurrency regulation. This incident shows officials will need to render a final verdict sooner rather than later. The creator of ATC Coin, as well as his brother, remain in custody for the time being. Both face charges of cheating, criminal breach of trust, and criminal conspiracy. Their bank accounts have been frozen and their homes have been searched in the process. EOS Also has evidence showing money raised through the investment program reside in personal bank accounts. The evidence is piling up, yet until someone comes forward, the investigation will remain at a status quo. Why do you think no investors are coming forward for the investigation? What should be done about the situation? Let us know in the comments below. Images courtesy of ShutterStock The post ATC Coin Investigation Lacks Investors Claiming Losses appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

15 hours ago

Coinbase Gets Backlash for Listing ‘Highly Experimental’ ZRX

Controversy is returning to Coinbase this week after the exchange rolled out support for “highly experimental” altcoin 0x (ZRX) across its product line October 16. Why ZRX? Having initially added ZRX trading to its Coinbase Pro platform last week, Coinbase lost little time in doing the same for its regular Coinbase.com and mobile apps. The previously low profile of 0x, together with the ownership ties between its partner Paradex and Coinbase, have already led to suspicions over the transparency of the exchange’s listing process. Coinbase executives have only given the go-ahead for six tokens, signalling they would alter their stance to embrace a larger number of cryptoassets earlier this year. Of these, ZRX 00 is a conspicuously marginal asset, rarely residing within the top twenty altcoins by market cap and being worth roughly half of coins such as Ethereum Classic. The move by Coinbase has resulted in a 23% gain for 0x ZRX 00 over the past 24 hours, likely to the disappointment of XRP supporters. Best multi-year running joke in crypto: $XRP not on Coinbase — Rocco ₿ꜩ (@Obstropolos) October 17, 2018 ‘Highly Experimental On Top Of Highly Experimental’ ZRX’s status as an ERC20 token further sets it apart from other Coinbase assets, with even the project’s own co-founder Will Warren describing it as “highly experimental.” “This is probably a good time to remind everyone that 0x is a highly experimental technology that is built on top of another piece of highly experimental technology,” he wrote on Twitter the day of the full Coinbase launch. Considering the additions, other sources touched on the presumed legal status of ZRX, noting Coinbase was likely “confident” it was not a security in line for scrutiny from US regulators. “Coinbase’s decision to list ZRX implies confidence that the token is not a security,” industry lawyer Jake Chervinsky summarized Wednesday. “The consequences of selling an unregistered security can be severe. I doubt Coinbase would take that risk without good reason to think ZRX is safe from securities regulators & civil litigation.” As Bitcoinist reported, it is not just Coinbase which is facing scrutiny over its listing process. Binance, which hosts hundreds of tokens, recently stopped profiting from listing fees after controversy of its own. What do you think about Coinbase’s 0x listing? Let us know in the comments below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock The post Coinbase Gets Backlash for Listing ‘Highly Experimental’ ZRX appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

a day ago

Millions of Dollars Distributed for Ethereum Development in its Wave IV of Grants Program

The Ethereum team has always been a staunch proponent of innovation and development. The Wave IV of the Ethereum Foundation Grants Program saw the distribution of millions of dollars to promising projects contributing to the Ethereum development, as revealed in an official Ethereum blog. In all, 20 projects have been granted funds under different sub-categories - Scalability, Usability, Security, #BUIDL, Client Diversity and Hackternships. A Quick Glance at Some of the Grantees Counterfactual is developing generalized state channels on Ethereum, a move which is aimed at making the Ethereum blockchain more efficient by shifting many processes off-chain, while not compromising on the blockchain’s characteristic trustworthiness. Finality Labs is contributing to the development of Forward-Time Locked Contracts (FTLC) for Ethereum. Kyokan is working on developing production ready mainnet Plasma Cash & Debit plugins. Trueblocks is working on an open source block explorer. VulcanizeDB is developing a “community sourced” block explorer. Gitcoin is a project which helps developers utilize bounties to collaborate and monetize their skills while contributing to open source projects. Flinstones is focused on the further development of Flint language. Dark Crystal breaks down private keys into shards, which can then be sent to various trusted parties, and recovered easily. Sigma Prime, Prysmatic Labs and Status have bagged grants for Client Diversity for Eth 2.0. As a part of Ethereum’s Hackternships, Elizabeth Binks has been awarded a grant for her work on ring signature implementation with nine or more keys. Lindsey Gray has received funds for contributing to the development of C++ BLS-381 implementation. With this latest round of grants, the total amount of funds distributed by the Ethereum Foundation since the first wave of grants in March 2018 stands at $11 million. The Ethereum Foundation has published a wishlist on its website regarding the Ethereum ecosystem developments and invited applications for Wave V of the grants program. Constantinople Implementation Delayed by “Consensus Issue” While the grants distribution was a hit among Ethereum developers and supporters, the much-awaited Ethereum hard fork, Constantinople, did not see success. According to reports, the software upgrade failed to deliver results because of a “consensus issue.” Constantinople was meant to implement five improvements and add to the network’s efficiency. The hard fork, which was activated on the Ropsten testnet on October 13 at block 4,230,000, caused a “consensus issue on ropsten.” Ethereum developer Afri Schoedon tweeted that there would be “no constantinople in 2018.” He has also revealed that the “last all-core-dev call” has been scheduled on Friday, October 19, and the community should “stay tuned” until then. Despite the price plunge of Ethereum from over $1,400 in January to below $170 in September, Ethereum has retained its popularity among developers. In October, ETHGlobal had conducted ETH San Francisco, a hackathon which drew the participation of 1,000 developers from all across the globe. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post Millions of Dollars Distributed for Ethereum Development in its Wave IV of Grants Program appeared first on NewsBTC.

a day ago

Mobile Games Industry Veteran Introduces All-New Blockchain Entry, CryptantCrab, with Pre-Sale Announcement

17 October 2018, Malaysia: CryptantCrab is announcing its Pre-Sale release date with a Bounty campaign that is now open to all. The game, which is built on the Ethereum blockchain, takes its inspiration from an Asian past time of raising fighting fish as it provides a similar experience to raising these virtual crustaceans that comes alive on the blockchain. Created by iCandy Interactive Ltd (ASX: ICI), the public-listed game company announced that the Bounty campaign which kicks off today on 4 October 2018 will reward lucky participants the following: ONE (1) CryptantCrab (worth 0.5 ETH*) is up for grabs per early adopter. Following the Bounty campaign, the CryptantCrab Pre-Sale will open on 25 October 2018, and early adopters will be rewarded with: Pioneer status for Pre-Sale CryptantCrabs - this status will be visible in-game Higher chances of obtaining Legendary CryptantCrabs Unique Legendary CryptantCrab variants that are only exclusive for this event Pre-Sale begins globally on 25 October 2018 (12 am, +0 UTC) The full-fledge game is set to be released towards the end of 2018. A First for Blockchain Games iCandy began development of CryptantCrab as a spin-off from its award-winning mobile game, Crab War. Utilizing the Ethereum blockchain platform for the first time and reworked as a web-based game, CryptantCrab is an important milestone for iCandy as this will be one of the first blockchain games designed and developed in Southeast Asia. Unique Gameplay - Mutation and Pet Battle A key differentiator that makes CryptantCrab stand out is its in-depth gameplay. Each virtual crab is tagged with a digital token and comes with random individualized traits. As users spend time learning and discovering the capabilities of their virtual crabs, they can also mutate their crabs’ parts. This is done with the in-game resource, Cryptant. With Cryptant in hand, players can mutate their crabs as much as they like to create truly unique crabs. Gamers can choose to expand their collections or choose to trade them off in the in-game marketplace. All aspects of the virtual crabs - experience, the rarity of parts, and marketability - will have an impact towards their overall market value within the CryptantCrab economy. The other aspect of the gameplay - one-versus-one fights - will have a direct effect as multiple battles will raise the overall experience and stats of the virtual crabs. Cryptant is earned via these battles or can be purchased outright from the in-game shop. Innovating the Games Community iCandy has an existing mobile game portfolio that has more than 350 million gamers globally. Hence, it seeks to bring the new blockchain gaming experience to its growing community through various cross-promotional activities that it will be running through its game network. “We are excited at the prospects that blockchain technology is able to put users front and centre with their decisions to manage and improve their in-game resources in a transparent and secure manner. Having the ability to pit these digital crabs against one another in battles will create a dynamic global gaming environment that is completely new for most gamers. We look forward to building the world of CryptantCrab with our players and, in turn, create a vibrant community of fans and interested gamers who want to experience blockchain gaming,” said Desmond Lee, COO of iCandy. For more information, head on over to https://www.cryptantcrab.io. This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of NullTX. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research. The post Mobile Games Industry Veteran Introduces All-New Blockchain Entry, CryptantCrab, with Pre-Sale Announcement appeared first on NullTX.

a day ago

Cypherpunk Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide to Crypto Privacy

The following op-ed on crypto privacy was written by Reuben Yap. He is the Chief Operations Officer of Zcoin. A corporate lawyer for ten years, specializing in institutional frameworks, Reuben founded one of SE Asia’s top VPN companies, bolehvpn.net. He graduated with a LLB from the University of Nottingham. One of blockchain’s most notable and valued features is its transparency. In the original Bitcoin whitepaper, Satoshi Nakamoto described bitcoin as an ‘electronic coin’ with a ‘chain of digital signatures’, the history of ownership documented permanently and publicly. This idea of globally accessible financial records is a bold move away from the traditional banking system. This is precisely why privacy is an essential topic within the crypto ecosystem. Also read: Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System Privacy and The Cypherpunks In the Cypherpunk Manifesto of 1993, Eric Hughes writes that “we cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy ... we must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any.” Built upon the philosophies of generations before them, the self-named cypherpunks were a group of activists advocating for cryptography and technologies that enhanced our privacy, which they believed was ‘necessary for an open society in the electronic age.” The movement was sustained by a regular mailing list that discussed ideas and policies relating to privacy, government monitoring, control of information and anonymity. In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto reignited this cypherpunk movement, giving a nod to the technology which emerged from the 90s cypherpunk era, such as Hashcash and b-money. The Bitcoin whitepaper itself notes that online privacy can be maintained by breaking the flow of information through anonymous public keys (cryptography). Satoshi’s Bitcoin was intended to be a “censorship-resistant” currency. The development of Bitcoin has indeed helped organizations like Wikileaks when governments cut them off from fiat-based donations. Notably, Wikileaks cypherpunk founder Julian Assange is still living in asylum in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, awaiting charges by the U.S. government for publishing classified government documents. While Bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymity was Satoshi’s solution for the individual’s right to financial privacy, the transparency of its blockchain is now proving to be a potentially dangerous flaw. As the flow of bitcoin to and from wallet addresses can be viewed by anyone, those with malicious motivations and the technical skill can uncover — and threaten — your real-world identity. Bitcoin’s Privacy Flaw Studies show that bitcoin transactions can be linked to individuals. Personal information can be interpreted and collected from blockchain data, exposing identities with potentially grave consequences. Researchers from Qatar University and the Hamad Bin Khalifa University found that “bitcoin addresses can be exploited to deanonymize users” and that an “address should always be assumed compromised.” Additional studies conducted by ETH Zurich University and NEC Laboratories in Germany show that 40 percent of bitcoin users could be revealed in a simulated experiment where the digital currency was used to support daily transactions of university users. More extreme consequences of this privacy flaw are emerging. Kidnappings and robberies targeting crypto users are becoming more commonplace in countries like Russia and Ukraine. The creator of the Prism cryptocurrency was beaten and robbed of his laptop which had 300 BTC stored on it. He was then forced to drink a pill with vodka that hospitalized him, so he wouldn’t be able to seek help from police straight away. There is a vital need for the blockchain ecosystem to develop multiple anonymity solutions for cryptocurrency so that we can protect individual privacy and security. Without Tor or Dandelion protocols, for example, a person’s IP address can be linked to their wallet addresses. Privacy coins and their protocols work to address these flaws. Breaking the Privacy Coin Stigma Unfortunately, privacy coins have often been associated with illicit and illegal activity. Bitcoin itself was propelled into the media due to its associated use on the infamous Silk Road website and darknet, and claims that cryptocurrencies enable money laundering are rampant, albeit heavily exaggerated. Some governments have even decided to ban privacy coins. In June, the Japanese Financial Security Agency (FSA) outlawed any cryptocurrencies that provide anonymity to users in an attempt to eliminate bad actors operating within the space. The ramifications could be far-reaching, as this decision may only end up pushing these kinds of cryptocurrencies into underground, unregulated territory, beyond the reach of the law or financial intermediaries. While governments cannot effectively control or monitor any kind of peer-to-peer digital currency, they can still build suitable laws and regulations aroun

a day ago

Journalism Blockchain Startup Civil Cancels ICO, Refunds Investors

Crypto and blockchains startups, even those that hold great promise, have sadly received the full brunt of 2018’s dismal market conditions, resulting in a widespread loss of clients and investment interest. For example, freshly-printed studies have revealed that Coinbase, widely regarded as this industry’s golden child, saw 80% of its U.S.-based customer base dissipate, resulting in a similar decrease in volumes. But most recently, on Tuesday, Civil, a promising blockchain-centric journalism startup, revealed that it had suffered a great setback. Blockchain Startup Suffers Setback Amid Bear Market While the conditions of 2018’s crypto winter are something that investors have grown accustomed to, Civil, an upstart blockchain startup, recently revealed that it had to formally cancel its initial coin offering (ICO) due to a lack of interest. For those who missed the memo, Civil’s raison d’être, if you will, is to revolutionize how digital journalism is managed from the ground-up. When it was founded in 2017, the company’s top brass envisioned a “new economy for journalism,” with many of the firm’s co-founders visualizing a series of platforms that brought change to this age-old industry. However, ambitions don’t come without a cost. And in the case of Civil, that cost was one of a monetary variety. So while the firm initially saw a $5 million seed investment comes its way from ConsenSys, the Google of the blockchain world, Civil still craved capital. More specifically, the startup remained hell-bent on its plans to raise a minimum $8 million via an ICO of its CVL Ethereum-based tokens. But now, after the company’s one-month-long, long-awaited Civil Token ICO has finally elapsed, it is apparent that the startup overstated demand for its ICO, missing its soft cap by $6.5 million dollars. As reported by TechCrunch, although the firm’s head was in the clouds, in the end, only 1,012 investors purchased $1,435,491 worth of CVL tokens. Seeing that it missed its soft cap by millions, Civil has sadly announced that it will be providing compensation to all participants of its ICO, with refund transactions being slated to be sent by October 29th. In a testament to the resilience of crypto innovators, who will stop at nothing to achieve the improbable, Civil has since revealed that it isn’t ready to shutter its blinds and close its doors. In fact, in a status update, Matthew Iles, the founder and CEO of the startup, alluded to the fact that his firm had learned from its mistakes, immediately divulging plans for a “much simpler token sale.” Attempting to turn the unfortunate situation on its head, Iles adding that “Civil isn’t going anywhere [and is] here to say” due to a $3.5 million investment from ConsenSys, who seems to be a big believer in the startup. Eventually, following its second token sale, along with the use of its now-stocked up war chest, Civil intends to release a blockchain-publishing WordPress plugin, a “community governance application,” and a developer tool for utilizing data gathered by the firm’s operations. The Brooklyn-based firm also inked a strategic deal with the world-renowned Associated Press, as reported by NewsBTC on a previous occasion, who will use Civil’s products to better its business in multiple capacities. Along with the Associated Press, Forbes also recently joined hands with Civil, which will see the major media outlet run the startup’s blockchain applications through the works. So while a failed funding round may have spelled the end of any other crypto project, Civil’s drive for innovation likely only rose exponentially after its ICO went kaput. Featured Image from Shutterstock The post Journalism Blockchain Startup Civil Cancels ICO, Refunds Investors appeared first on NewsBTC.

a day ago

My wife faces MJ Akbar and his 97 lawyers. She will not be silenced or intimidated

My wife. Priya [Ramani]. is amongst the 14 women journalists who have named union minister MJ Akbar for a range of inappropriate workplace behaviour. I have known of her close shave with predation ever since I have known her, about 20 years. Even though Akbar did not, in her words—which he now gratefully quotes—“do” anything, there were others who apparently suffered worse and whose experiences are now public. No one ever spoke up against powerful men because the misuse of power and authority was considered normal. There were no redressal mechanisms within media companies, no one took such complaints seriously, and the only ones who stood to lose from going up against powerful men were the women. When women younger than her started to share traumas and experiences far worse than hers, and references grew in the media world to “the elephant in the room,” a man more powerful than others like him, my wife decided she could no longer stay quiet. She has always had a strong sense of right and wrong, black and white, and she has never lacked courage. It is one reason I married her. Yet, it took a special kind of courage to name a powerful minister and former editor. Yet, it took a special kind of courage to name a powerful minister and former editor. We live a quiet, unobtrusive life far from India’s centre of power, and while she did not regard her action as taking on a minister, she was somewhat aware that anyone who set the ball rolling might become a target. That is what happened. Our quiet life has been torn asunder. Her phone rings incessantly. So does mine. Most are reporters seeking comment or television appearances—which she has always refused—some are other women who were the subject of Akbar’s attention. Those who cannot reach her try to call me. I used to answer unknown numbers; from today I will not. Akbar has filed a case of criminal defamation against my wife. She has, whether she likes it or not, become a lightning rod. His intention is clear: To intimidate her, and through her to intimidate the others who have spoken up and silence others who have not. Criminal defamation, a strong protection afforded by the law, can sometimes be used as a tool of intimidation. A criminal defamation notice as a response to multiple allegations of sexual harassment can also be seen as a strong signal from Delhi’s political establishment that women should be made aware of their limits, and what better way to do this than target one woman. This is not Akbar vs Ramani, this is the Union of India vs Ramani. He has access to a battery of powerful lawyers: There are 97 listed in the legal notice. She has, thus far, one. Male impunity As the defiant, menacing reaction indicates, the culture of sexual harassment and male impunity is so ingrained, omniscient and normalised in our professional lives that India’s elected government feels it can either ignore or mock the accounts of a diverse lot of women and stand by a lie. And note that there have been no expressions of support from opposition parties because they are all complicit in maintaining the status quo. More than 70% of sexual harassment cases in India, by one estimate, are never reported. India’s patriarchy understands what is at stake and will not give in without a bitter fight. If an Akbar is conceded, there are countless others whose careers will be in jeopardy. Sexual misconduct in India has, thus far, been regarded as a part of life—to be endured, and in so doing, confirming the supremacy of the male because, of course, men must be men and a woman must know her place. So instilled is the sense of male superiority that millions of women are willing accomplices. From childhood, girls in India are discriminated against and told—by their mothers—that they are inferior to men. Education only appears to mildly temper this belief. India’s culture is so toxic that 52% of Indian women, polled in government-run national family health surveys—the latest released in January 2018—said it is acceptable for a man to beat his wife (that’s higher than men, 42% of whom believed wife-beating was acceptable). Education only appears to mildly temper this belief. As more and more women flood workplaces, society is undergoing a massive reconstruction, but the problem is Indians in general, and the Indian male in particular, remain unreconstructed. That is why, over the years, sexually harassed women have wrestled with the feeling that what was happening was not right. But, they believed, they would be laughed at if they complained; that no one would believe them; that they may lose their jobs; that nothing would happen anyway; and that their best bet was to tough it out and put up with it because that’s just how it was. The #MeToo movement has demonstrated that sexual harassment or intimidation is not normal, and no woman should have to put up with it. There must be consequences, and what we are now seeing—in some cases—are the first results of this new realisation. To head off

2 days ago

Poloniex Exchange Expects to Restore BTC Wallet Deposits and Withdrawals by 9 p.m. ET

Poloniex Exchange, which is owned by Jeremy Allaire’s Circle, suffered a setback with its BTC wallets. The exchange apologized on Twitter for a delayed response to the situation involving “the status of our BTC wallets.” The exchange is “working to reenable BTC deposits and withdrawals” and according to the latest update expects them to be fully restored by 9 p.m. ET. Twitter followers didn’t hold back, questioning how they could trust Circle's stablecoin USD//Coin if Poloniex couldn’t run a stable exchange. (GT)

2 days ago

New US Trade Tariffs Will Hit China’s Mining Hardware Makers

New US trade tariffs aimed at China will have a significant impact on the profits of crypto mining equipment manufacturers. Chinese cryptocurrency mining hardware maker Bitmain stands to be the hardest hit by these new tariffs as its Antminer S9 gets reclassified by the office of the United States Trade Representative as “electrical machinery apparatus” which will now incur a 2.6 percent trade tariff. The reclassification of mining gear from their original status as “data processing machines” also brings crypto mining hardware into another goods category which will add a further tariff of 25 percent, bringing the new tariff total from zero to 27.6 percent overnight. The new tariffs couldn’t be worse timed for China with mining gear giant Bitmain, along with two of the world largest manufactures of crypto mining equipment, Canaan and Ebang International, all filing to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Bitmain filed in September and is waiting to hear the outcome which could result in raising $3 billion. An executive at consultancy firm Quinlan & Associates explained: “The marked decline in the price of bitcoin since the start of the year is likely to weigh on investors’ interest in these companies... [Yet] the fall in the price of bitcoin from its peaks has not been matched by an equivalent fall in the numbers of people mining it.” Ben Gagnon co-founder of LuTech, a bitcoin mining hardware developer suggested that there had been increased activity in the mining sector over the past 18 months, but feels that the impact of the new tariffs will start to kick in: “All manufacturers of mining rigs based in China will likely be affected by the tariff code change and, in turn, be captured by the US trade tariff.” Bitmain’s IPO prospectus claimed that overseas sales made up for 51 percent and 51.8 percent of its revenue in 2016 and 2017 respectively, but neglected to stipulate exactly where the majority of these sales were concentrated. Canaan’s and Ebang International’s overseas sales represented 8.5 percent and 3.8 percent of their total revenue in 2017 respectively. Bitmain has had little to say on the possible effect of President Trump’s trade tariffs, but Mark Li, the senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, thinks that the company’s concerns that its technology is falling behind its competitors are likely to be their major focus. A statement, prepared for Bitmain’s IPO, simply warned that changes in tax rates “due to economic and political conditions” may impact on the company’s financial status. 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 New US Trade Tariffs Will Hit China’s Mining Hardware Makers appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

2 days ago

DMG Blockchain Will Build a Blockchain-Based Platform for the Cannabis Industry

In a press release published earlier today, DMG Blockhain announced that it will build a blockchain based supply management platform for the Cannabis industry. Using DMG’s platform, producers, distributors, retailers, shippers, regulators, and others in the Cannabis supply chain will be able to ensure product traceability, safety, and transparency when it comes to the Cannabis business. The platform is set to deploy in Canada first, and later expand globally. What is DMG Blockchain? DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. is a Vancouver based company focused on mining services and applying blockchain technology to supply chains. There are two parts to DMG, one is maintaining a mining farm, and the other is helping business integrate with blockchain technology. Speaking to Dan Reitzik, CEO of DMG Blockchain, he said: “we host mining on behalf of third parties.” Working with past BitFury team member, DMG is able to provide MaaS (Mining as a Service) to customers looking to mine cryptocurrency without the hassle of setting up or maintaining the rigs themselves. The other part of DMG Blockchain focuses on creating solutions for business with the use of Blockchain. One challenge with introducing blockchain to established businesses is that they already have a legacy system in place. According to Reitzik, DMG will “create a platform and tech that doesn’t require a change to their legacy system.” Integrating With the Legal Cannabis Industry One of the reasons the Cannabis industry is such a great opportunity for blockchain integration, is the fact that the whole sector is brand new. Canada will only now legalize recreational Marijuana nationwide on October 17th. Cannabis businesses do not have archaic systems that need to be integrated with, the industry is ripe for innovation and introducing blockchain platforms for transparency, traceability, and automation is a match made in heaven. “The emerging cannabis industry demands product management solutions and blockchain is the most logical choice. We want to be the first to offer an enterprise grade solution in partnership with leading technology providers and cannabis producers, processors and distributors.” - Dan Reitzik CEO DMG Blockchain Canada has three main criteria for the legalization of Marijuana: No black market, keep the product out of the hands of children, and ensure product safety. Keeping the product out of the reach of children is the retailer’s responsibility. However, using DMG’s blockchain platform, retailers and regulators will also be able to ensure the product is both safe, and trace exactly from which licensed producer it came from. Building such a platform requires an enormous amount of work. That is why DMG’s technology partner already has experience deploying blockchain based supply chain management systems for Fortune 100 companies. It will be interesting to see how the development of such a platform will pan out. Legal Cannabis businesses and Blockchain seem like two industries that were meant for each other. Both face similar challenges with regulators, and both are disruptive to the status quo. The post DMG Blockchain Will Build a Blockchain-Based Platform for the Cannabis Industry appeared first on NullTX.

2 days ago

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Bitfinex has restored the ability of customers to make fiat currency deposits. Details of its new deposit system remain shrouded in secrecy, however, with the exchange going to extraordinary lengths to conceal the identity of the bank(s) in question. Its “distributed” system, designed to circumvent censorship, has brought the critics out in full force. Also read: The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin Convoluted Fiat Deposit Process After being forced to suspend fiat currency deposits last week, when HSBC terminated its proxy banking relationship, Bitfinex assured customers that an alternative would soon be in place. And the exchange, the world’s second largest by trading volume, has been as good as its word, confirming its new banking relationship earlier today (Oct. 16). However, the opaque nature of the statement, and the odd language it was couched in, have raised more questions than they have answered. “Today we are introducing a new, improved and increasingly resilient fiat depositing system for sending fiat currencies to Bitfinex,” began the blog post. “This new process will once again allow KYC-verified users from around the world to initiate deposits across USD, GBP, JPY and EUR.” The exchange then proceeded to describe a complex process by which customers must deposit a minimum of $10,000 of fiat currency from now on. This involves creating a deposit request to signal interest, waiting up to 48 hours for Bitfinex to approve it, sending money to the bank account, and then waiting six to 10 days for the funds to clear. Coinbase, by way of comparison, takes an average of three to five days to clear bank transfers. Customers Sworn to Secrecy Bitfinex’s statement ends on a defiant note, with the exchange asserting: “We believe this system to be significantly more durable in the face of sustained attacks by our competition and their supporters. Ongoing campaigns against us will only result in our company becoming stronger and better.” While Bitfinex undoubtedly has its share of haters who would like to see the platform toppled, most traders simply seek clarity. The inability of the exchange’s operators to publish a full audit of Tether, exacerbated by its own nebulous banking arrangements, has not helped matters. Still mindful of what happened to Mt. Gox, the crypto community would like reassurance that funds are safe. There may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public. The Block has revealed that Tether has obtained a new Caribbean bank, after recently severing ties with Nobles. It’s now believed to have shacked up with the Bahamas-based Deltec Bank. However, it is unclear whether the same bank will also handle Bitfinex’s customer deposits. Anyone attempting to initiate the new fiat deposit process on the exchange is greeted by a disclaimer that warns in almost apocalyptic terms: “Divulging this info could damage not just yourself and Bitfinex but the entire digital token ecosystem ... you are cautioned that there may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.” The status of Bitfinex/Tether is becoming a new battleground in the cryptocurrency community, with lines drawn and both tribes seemingly incapable of backing down. On the one hand, there are those who are certain of impropriety of some kind and are waiting to be vindicated when the house of cards topples. On the other hand, there are the defenders of Bitfinex, who are weary of fighting what they deem to be endless FUD. Today’s statement has done nothing to resolve the impasse. What are your thoughts on Bitfinex’s latest banking arrangements? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section. The post Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System appeared first on Bitcoin News.

2 days ago

Fidelity Just Removed ‘Huge Obstacle’ to Investing in Cryptocurrencies

Here is why the cryptocurrency space was largely “impressed” by Fidelity Investments announcing it will offer its 27 million customers a way to store and trade digital currencies. Fidelity Unveils ‘Fidelity Digital Assets’ Currently, Fidelity manages $7.2 trillion dollars, making it the fourth largest asset manager in the world. It is the leader in the United States when it comes to 401(k) retirement savings plans, and is one of the largest 403(b) retirement plan providers for not-for-profit institutions. Abigail Johnson, Fidelity Investments CEO Fidelity has indeed kept a close eye on the Bitcoin space over the past years. Bitcoinist reported that the firm was one of the first to add Bitcoin price 00 to its website over a year ago. It then started looking to hire crypto-fund managers. In September, CEO Abigail Johnson revealed that crypto products were underway. Johnson didn’t disappoint. Fidelity Investments has just unveiled an entire company called Fidelity Digital Assets to focus strictly on cryptocurrency investment. One of the first crypto custody clients has been revealed to be none other than Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital fund. Paying Homage to Bitcoin Pioneers What’s more, the cryptocurrency space was also impressed by Fidelity’s knowledge of Bitcoin’s beginnings, paying tribute to Bitcoin’s pioneers in its announcement Monday, in which it referred to cryptocurrencies as “the evolution of digital cash.” “Impressed to see Fidelity, a financial institution of worldwide renown, appropriately pay homage to the foundational work by David Chaum, Adam Back, Wei Dai, Nick Szabo, and Hal Finney,” said Bitcoin economist, Tuur Demeester. “Shows maturity and serious commitment to the Bitcoin project.” Nic Carter “How’s that for infrastructure?” commentator Nic Carter rhetorically asked, pointing out that the Bitcoin network is by far the most mature crypto-asset today - so much that even incumbent banks are now entering the fray. “...Fidelity is doing it right: a nod to the cypherpunks and predecessors to Bitcoin,” he noted. “Abby is my favorite CEO in banking,” added Abra CEO Bill Barhydt on Twitter, praising the executive for not being afraid to be one of the first people to try Bitcoin hands-on as early as 2015. She was mining bitcoin before other ceo’s knew what bitcoin was. ‘Removes a Huge Obstacle’ With 27 million customers, Fidelity is by no means small fish. In fact, Shapeshift CEO, Erik Voorhees, points out that there won’t be a whole bitcoin for each brokerage customer as there is less than 21 million bitcoin in existence. “It would be impossible for every Fidelity brokerage customer to own even one Bitcoin,” he wrote. “This is why Bitcoins are worth thousands of dollars, while a dollar is only worth one dollar (and only until next year when it’s worth 97 cents). Save wisely.” Hunter Horsley, CEO of Bitwise Asset Management, meanwhile shared his thoughts with Bitcoinist, calling this an important moment in history for this “new asset class.” He explained: For many institutional investors, a trusted custodian like Fidelity entering the space removes a huge obstacle to investing in cryptoassets. I think we’ll look back on 2018, and particularly this moment, as the time that crypto became cemented as a new asset class. Bruce Elliott, President of ICOx Innovations, noted that these new custodial products from ICE’s Bakkt and now Fidelity will add legitimacy to crypto markets and introduce “seasoned investors” to cryptocurrency. He explained: Nasdaq and Fidelity are two of the most well respected brands in markets and financial services. This is a signal that financial markets and regulators are gaining clarity and comfort on the outlook for trading cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, others like Ben Waters, Head of Digital at IOST, remains cautiously optimistic while warning about retrofitting centralized points of failure into decentralized networks. “Institutions like Fidelity and Nasdaq entering the space can be a good thing for crypto, as long as the exploitative financial systems (e.g. fractional reserve banking, commingling, etc.) are not piggybacked into the crypto space,” he said. “Historically, the legacy financial system has been used to exploit the general public — making the rich get richer and creating centralized points of failure.” Akbar Thobhani Akbar Thobhani, CEO of SFOX, a crypto prime dealer that just raised $22M to build an institutional crypto asset management platform, added: Nasdaq and Fidelity’s recent announcements prove that cryptocurrency will not be going anywhere anytime soon...Fidelity Digital Asset Services’ focus on cryptocurrency custody and trading services for enterprise clients showcases the commitment and interest they’re seeing from their clients, but we’ll really hit a turning point when Fidelity offers cryptocurrency to their retail and 401K customers. Meanwhile, Andy Bromberg, president of CoinList sees this as just the latest vote of confidence in digit

2 days ago

Social media has killed the thrill of fashion, says the legendary recluse Martin Margiela

In the fashion world, the Belgian designer Martin Margiela is like a mythical creature. He’s like Big Foot, but if Big Foot were confirmed to be real and also happened to be a revered genius in his industry (whatever that might be). Before Margiela abruptly stepped back from his label in 2008, after decades spent creating radically inventive clothes, he was exalted as one of the creative visionaries of his time. “Everyone is influenced by Comme des Garçons and by Martin Margiela,” Marc Jacobs once said. “Anybody who’s aware of what life is in a contemporary world is influenced by those designers.” Add to this visionary status that Margiela was rarely seen or heard from, and his mythos only grew to fill fashion’s capacious imagination. On Oct. 11, the Belgian Fashion Awards awarded Margiela with its Jury Prize in honor of “his entire career and his obvious impact on the history of fashion, today’s collections, and more than likely the ones to come.” While he didn’t turn up to claim his award—Big Foot doesn’t make publicity appearances—he did break his long silence with a short letter in acceptance of the award. Published by Dazed, the letter touched on more than Margiela’s gratitude for the prize. It also delved into some of the reasons he says he left fashion, calling out the mounting pressure created by the industry’s new speed and including his thoughts on the negative effects of social media: A beautiful tribute to a period of hard work and dedication starting at early age and lasting for more than 30 years, until 2008—the very year I felt that I could not cope any more with the worldwide increasing pressure and the overgrowing demands of trade. I also regretted the overdose of information carried by social media, destroying the ‘thrill of wait’ and cancelling every effect of surprise, so fundamental for me. Not everyone may agree with this view. Kids who grew up with social media and anxiously await clothing and sneaker drops they first learn about on Instagram arguably still feel that thrill. But there’s no doubt that social media has changed the way fashion operates. Margiela added a positive note, too, pointing out that he’s happy “to notice again a growing interest for creativity in fashion, by some upcoming designers.” Many of these upcoming designers have more than likely taken influence from Margiela’s work. It’s evident, for instance, in the clothes designed by current industry leaders such as Demna Gvasalia and Virgil Abloh. You might even be wearing it yourself, if you happen to have the Hermès Double Tour band on your Apple Watch. Today Margiela’s label lives on without him, now under the creative direction of John Galliano. One of his standout showings last year was inspired by, of all things, social media, and the layered personas we construct online.

2 days ago

How to invest in your creativity

An investor recently asked me what my competitive advantage was. My challenge was figuring out how to explain—at the risk of sounding embarrassingly arrogant—that my competitive advantage was... me. Not my patents. Not my secrets. Just, me. What I meant by that was that, today, the only constant is change. Technology is evolving so quickly that any competitive advantage based on it is short-lived. The more valuable and sustainable competitive advantage, then, is one’s ability to innovate relentlessly and adapt in the face of such change. This is why it’s so important to invest in yourself. I’ve made countless good and bad investments in myself over the years. Below, I’ll share some of the best ones, and explain why you should follow suit. Look for a struggle Studies across diverse fields have demonstrated that working with limited resources can force us to be more creative. For an anecdotal example of how limits breed creativity, think about startups that have been bootstrapped without funding, or the popular trend of tiny homes. Being open to challenges can create creative results. You might even artificially create new challenges or constraints in order to bolster your creative abilities and become a better problem-solver. That way, when you have to meet a tight budget or deadline, you’ll have the skills to get the job done gracefully. And when you eventually get a big budget or more resources, you can create far more value. Learn a new language Evidence suggests that bilingualism can improve the brain’s “executive function,” which we use for planning, problem solving, staying focused, and many other activities that are critical to professional success. As a native Spanish speaker, learning English was a necessary investment for my career in business. But the greater benefit of learning this second language was how it shaped my new way of thinking. Learning a new language made my brain more malleable, and I began to spot patterns and problems that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Anyone learning a new language usually also spends time with and learn from people of different backgrounds, which is perhaps the greatest benefit of all. When you travel, you may connect with other cultures in a more profound way. Branch out your expertise Life coach types frequently preach the idea that you should master a single skill and become the best at it, rather than try to be good at multiple things. And to an extent, I agree. However, there’s a benefit to mastering more than one thing. Justine Musk, an author and the ex wife of Elon Musk, explained this benefit well while responding to a question on Quora. She advises: “Choose one thing and become a master of it. Choose a second thing and become a master of that. When you become a master of two worlds (say, engineering and business), you can bring them together in a way that will a) introduce hot ideas to each other...and b) create a competitive advantage...” This has held true for me my career as an entrepreneur. Becoming a “master” of both digital marketing and web development is what ultimately enabled me to create my business. When you have acquired deep knowledge in two distinct areas of expertise, you’re able to connect dots that you didn’t even know were there and find new ways to solve problems that others may not have considered. Learn computer programming These days, every industry is a “tech” industry. But apart from the obvious fact that technically skilled developers and engineers are able to find or create opportunity for themselves in any organization, learning computer programming has a similar benefit to learning a language. When you learn to code, you boost your problem-solving skills, because you learn how to think differently. Learning to code is a process that trains you to think in a certain way. It teaches you to ask the right questions, accurately evaluate your opportunities and risks, think creatively, and more. As a technical person, I’ve found that my understanding of coding— and technology in general —has even informed my approach to sales and marketing. This ties back to the previous idea that there is a lot to gain from investing in yourself to dominate not just one, but two, different areas of expertise. Perhaps it’s worth considering computer programming as that second expertise! Take public speaking classes While hard skills like computer programming are paramount in the modern world, you might be surprised to find that the majority of employers actually rate soft skills to be more important. And among the soft skills that are most rewarding in today’s competitive workforce? Communication. Whether your charge is inspiring your employees as a leader, sharing status updates as a project manager, or detailing the technical requirements for a new software build, the ability to communicate clearly is universally vital. This is why public speaking classes are such a rewarding way to invest in yourself. No matter how good you think you may be at co

2 days ago

Telegram Plans to Launch Test Version of Its Blockchain Platform TON this Autumn

Numerous reports touching TON have been emerging since 2017. However, quite a number of investors have criticized the messaging giant for not maintaining some good transparency with regards to the proceeds of its blockchain project. The company has also been criticized for creating a lot of euphoria without actually putting out the technical details of the awaited project. Earlier this year, Christian Catalini, a professor and founder of MIT’s Cryptoeconomics Lab said: “We actually document in our research paper that there has been a major transition from more technical white papers to the kind of white papers that look a lot more like sales pitches. There’s been less focus on technical details over time and, for some of these, much more on selling the vision. In the case of the Telegram one, there is a lot that is being promised and not a lot of clarity on how that would be delivered.” Fortunately, some details starting to surface now. Project Developments Telegram Open Network Blockchain Platform (TON) is 70% ready, reports RBK citing Vedomosti. Launch of the platform’s test version is scheduled commence by the end of this Autumn. It’s noted that Virtual Machine - the first TON’s component responsible for smart contract work, has undergone testing phase and is 95% ready. Development of the smart contracts’ toolset is half done. The second system’s component defines protocols, written for TON Network development. This Network will allow for transfer of transaction requests and new blocks. The software for new blocks confirmation is 10% ready. The third component defines the status of block generating and validation mechanisms, however, at it’s reported, this component of the new network is not ready at all. Bright Expectations Telegram believes its new network will be a “third-generation” blockchain. Moreover, TON is expected to become an entire ecosystem the size of which should exceed that of Ethereum hosting superior features much above that offered by the competitor. The system will use its own native cryptocurrency Gram tokens, enabling people to create their own decentralized apps on the TON platform. As it was previously reported by Coinspeaker, Pavel Durov planned to conduct public ICO, but then he dropped the idea, as the project managed to raise as much as $1,7 billion during its extremely successful private pre-sale round. The post Telegram Plans to Launch Test Version of Its Blockchain Platform TON this Autumn appeared first on CoinSpeaker.

2 days ago

The future of birth control in India could be the needle

For decades, female sterilisation has been the most popular form of contraception in India—and it remains so today. A variety of forces work to keep tubectomies common. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, international organizations like the UN and powerful foreign governments—especially the United States—have used money and political clout to encourage the Indian government to incentivise sterilisation. The Indian government, in turn, has spent decades devoting more resources to pushing sterilisation than it has to cultivate other methods. As female sterilisation has become the go-to method across India, many communities and families have come to view it as the only socially acceptable contraceptive, thus ensuring its continued popularity. But female sterilisation doesn’t allow women to space their pregnancies—often women are encouraged to have as many children as possible before undergoing the procedure, which can put stress on their bodies as well as on families that must raise large numbers of young children. Other female contraceptive methods face their own challenges in India. Health care workers aren’t always trained when it comes to promoting contraceptive pills, which require consistent correct usage, and access to a regular supply is a challenge in some rural areas. Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, do not always stay in place—another problem in places where health care centres are difficult to reach. And some members of the Indian women’s movement oppose injectable, long-acting contraceptives because they are difficult to reverse and could even be administered without the patient’s knowledge. The only medical contraceptive method available to men (in India or anywhere else) are condoms and male sterilisation, both of which Indians generally reject. Four decades after millions of men received vasectomies — sometimes against their will — during the period of Indian history referred to as the Emergency, today only 0.3% of Indian men choose to undergo the procedure. Men might refuse these methods because they believe that condoms reduce pleasure, or that sterilisation could compromise their sense of manhood. But other family members might discourage condom use as well, sometimes because they consider them “dirty,” and multiple experts I spoke with said that women were often unwilling to allow their husbands to get a voluntary surgical procedure, and would prefer to get sterilised themselves. Across the world, contraceptive technologies have been stuck in a sort of stasis for decades, and even as existing methods have improved over the years, their fundamental flaws have not gone away. In India, researchers are trying to develop new technologies that would work for more Indians, but they are grappling with a domestic and international climate that is resistant to devoting resources to new ideas. Indian attitudes towards family planning are changing—but can contraceptive methods evolve to meet them? A 1976 article in Science News lamented that “in spite of a wide range of contraceptives on the market the ideal method of birth control remains to be found.” The array of options listed is one that remains largely unchanged today: Tubal ligation and vasectomies are 100% effective, but largely irreversible. Oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices are almost 100% effective but are being linked with an increasing number of health hazards. Condoms, diaphragms, foams, rhythm and coitus interruptus have few health drawbacks but are not always effective. They also are either aesthetically unsatisfactory, a bother to apply or require the utmost in physical restraint at certain times of the month or during intercourse. In the past four decades, researchers have developed more long-acting hormonal methods, but these share a large number of the potential “health hazards” associated with oral hormonal contraceptives. Each basic form of contraception currently in use — IUDs, hormonal contraceptives, barrier methods, spermicides, sterilisation, and fertility tracking — has been available to consumers for at least half a century. All have been dogged by the same problems throughout their existence: hormonal contraceptives can cause blood clots and negatively affect libido and mood; IUDs are associated with breakthrough bleeding and pelvic inflammatory disease; sterilisation is not always possible to reverse, and the reversal procedure is unavailable in many areas. Barrier methods, spermicides, and fertility tracking require continued effort and are less effective than more invasive methods. In part because of issues like these, many women don’t use any contraception at all — even in richer countries where all of these methods are available to most of the population. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 43 million American women are at risk of an unintended pregnancy. In countries like India, where many women lack regular health care access and education, that number becomes much higher; the contracepti

3 days ago

Ethereum Foundation Grants Startups Nearly $3 Million

The Ethereum Foundation has granted about $3 million in funding to several startups in the blockchain space, as part of its fourth wave of support to upcoming development teams in the community. The Ethereum Foundation Grants Team picked 20 different groups and individuals and gave them access to a $2.86 million grants pot. Prysmatic Labs and Status snagged the most substantial grants, each receiving $500,000 that will go towards building Ethereum 2.0 clients. Kyokan, Spankchain and Connext jointly received $420,000 to help develop an SDK that would support a non-custodial suite of payment channels. (KE)

3 days ago

Bakkt COO: Crypto Market Is Shifting, Institutions Will Enter

Bakkt Gives Status Update, Confirms Adam White News As reported by Ethereum World News last week, those familiar with the matter divulged that Adam White, Coinbase Institutional’s head, had unexpectedly left the San Francisco-based startup to join Bakkt, an up and coming crypto platform that has been endorsed by the Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE’s parent company), Microsoft, Starbucks, and a number of leading venture funds. However, at the time, this news was nothing more than a rumor aimlessly floating around the cryptosphere. On Monday, however, Kelly Loeffler, former Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) communications head turned Bakkt CEO, issued a Medium post to confirm that her firm had brought upon Adam White, Coinbase’s fifth official employee. We're thrilled to announce that we will welcome @WhiteAdamL as Chief Operating Officer of Bakkt in November https://t.co/Z3LbxRul8W — Bakkt (@Bakkt) October 15, 2018 Loeffler, who is married to ICE’s founder and CEO, explained that in November, White will be formally joining the American startup as its chief operating officer (COO). Loeffler went on to explain that the former Coinbase executive will be integral in delivering Bakkt’s goal of “creating a transformational digital asset ecosystem,” adding that his experience makes him a perfect fit for the job. She wrote: He’s also an excellent fit with our culture of collaboration, problem solving, integrity and leadership. As a visionary and a strong operator, Adam is a much anticipated addition to our busy team. Along with announcing the firm’s hiring of White, Loeffler went onto reveal how Bakkt is doing from the back-end. Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Bakkt intends to launch its first product, physically-backed Bitcoin futures, by November. And, as alluded to in the aforementioned update, this product seems to be right on schedule. Loeffler noted that “our exchange and clearinghouse boards have all reviewed and approved the respective rules,” adding that it will file an application with the American Commodities Futures Trading Commision (CFTC) “very soon.” Subject to the CFTC’s approval, Bakkt will begin testing its futures contract in November with early investors, then trading and warehousing product in December if the soft launch is a success. Closing off the status update, Loeffler took some time to point out that once a clear regulatory approach is determined for crypto assets, the “better positioned we are to support healthy markets and innovation within a dynamic global marketplace.” Former Coinbase Institutional Head On The Current Crypto Space As Bakkt’s CEO released her update post, Fortune simultaneously released an exclusive interview with Adam White, which was the first time the former Coinbase diehard publicly discussed the matter. Tapping into his expertise in the institutional subsector of the cryptocurrency market, White explained that he has “had a front row seat for the last couple of years watching the money managers’ and other big investors’ evolving views of cryptocurrencies.” Seeing that he oversaw Coinbase’s institution-focused branch for eighteen months, the Harvard graduate explained that he saw a clear shift in the underlying folds of the crypto industry, bringing attention to a growing interest in this asset class from institutions. Although institutions are clearing starting to express crypto-related ambitions, White noted that the current crypto platforms aren’t developed enough to support a capital allocation from large funds. And as such, the industry veteran thought it would be advantageous for himself, along with the industry as a whole, to join Bakkt. He also divulged that 2018’s bear market hasn’t irked him at all, as to him, fundamentals (which are booming) are far more important than the day-to-day, short-term movements of crypto assets. Bringing credence to his claim, he brought up the example of the Blockstream-backed Liquid Network, which is a protocol that changes how the Bitcoin ecosystem operates from the ground-up. White also added that the number of daily transactions in the cryptosphere is up year-over-year, further backing his claim that while prices may be depressed, the crypto industry is still booming in a thousand other ways. Photo by Etienne Martin on Unsplash The post Bakkt COO: Crypto Market Is Shifting, Institutions Will Enter appeared first on Ethereum World News.

3 days ago

Bizarro World: Federated Sidechain Technology Promoted Over Nakamoto Consensus

On Oct. 10, Blockstream revealed that the company’s new product, Liquid, generated its first block on Sept. 27 and noted that a lot of the crypto-economy’s “biggest players” participated. Since Blockstream announced the launch of its federated sidechain, the technology has been praised by some and dismissed by others. Also read: BCH Devcon Streamlines Bitcoin Innovation in San Francisco The Liquid Launch Makes a Wave After recently introducing Blockstream Satellite, a network that broadcasts the Bitcoin Core (BTC) blockchain from space, the firm’s long-awaited Liquid technology has been launched. The project has been under development for years and has been introduced to the public as “the world’s first production Bitcoin sidechain.” Since the initial announcement, many individuals within the cryptocurrency community have been debating the legitimacy of the technology on forums and social media. L-BTC can only be unlocked on the Liquid #sidechain when #BTC is locked up on the #Bitcoin #blockchain. The 2-way peg between $BTC and $LBTC is enforced cryptographically by #LiquidNetwork federation members. pic.twitter.com/c57qisz48c — Blockstream (@Blockstream) October 13, 2018 Liquid is a sidechain, which means it’s a separate blockchain that’s interoperable with the BTC network. The Liquid protocol is essentially a centralized system, but considered acceptable by some because it uses a method of consensus called ‘federated distribution.’ According to the whitepaper, the chain is supposed to facilitate large amounts of BTC transfers offchain in the form of L-BTC, Liquid’s native 2-way peg token. On Twitter, the tech researcher Lucas Nuzzi said people should not underestimate Blockstream’s Liquid sidechain launch and called it a “big deal.” However, in the same statement, Nuzzi explained that federated consensus “doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s a start.” RSK’s Sergio Lerner discusses Liquid on Twitter. RSK uses merged mining in their sidechain technology. Trusting a Federation Over Nakamoto Consensus Even though some truly believe Liquid is a “big deal,” there are many that think the project is no good and introduces security problems with the pegging itself being called into question. Former Bitcoin Foundation member and tech investor Olivier Janssens believes that crippling the BTC chain was Blockstream’s original intent and Liquid is the for-profit sidechain solution. “How long will it take before Blockstream’s “Liquid Bitcoin” L-BTC user wallet is created?” Janssens asks on Twitter. “Near-instant confirmations, low and no fees — Nothing like the crippled Bitcoin mainchain that suffers high fees, big delays, etc — All of the above created and brought to you by Blockstream.” Liquid has been compared to systems like Ripple, Stellar, and EOS. Additionally, several people have compared Liquid to Stellar, Ripple, or the EOS network. In these types of systems, chain management can be considered ‘permissioned’ by things called payment ‘gateways’ and ‘block producers.’ Blockstream spokesperson Samson Mow responded to this claim by explaining that there is “no comparison between Liquid and Ripple or EOS.” Yet from what we know, Liquid claims to use a ‘trusted’ federation that utilizes multi-signature technology that is still subject to flaws. This means the product is susceptible to the federation being compromised because Liquid can never be a trustless model. Funds could be stolen in the Liquid system or, worse, inflation could be created with fractional reserve concepts appearing. The Liquid federation can be compromised. People who believe in Liquid assume they can trust a federation of 23 exchanges running the hardware and software. However, exchanges are extremely prone to hacks and being compromised from the inside. Bitfinex for example, one of Liquid’s partner exchanges, was hacked back in 2016 and they are considered a trusted exchange for some. At the time of the hack, the exchange had also been using multi-signature technology. Another Liquid partner exchange, Zaif, was recently breached this year and lost funds as well. Twitter users vote on whether or not they would hold L-BTC. Repeating Past Mistakes Another question raised is whether or not Liquid users will be subject to know-your-customer (KYC) laws or other privacy concerns. This is also due to the fact that the federation will consist of 23 exchanges from around the world with various regulations applied to them. Instead of dealing with a decentralized cryptocurrency like bitcoin, firms will be dealing with L-BTC which could be considered a security in some jurisdictions. For instance, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s William Hinman recently said in his opinion decentralized projects are not considered securities, but centralized coins could be classified in that fashion. The implications of L-BTC being considered a security, KYC laws being applicable to exchange participants, and a new type of blockchain surveillance tool m

3 days ago

Ethereum Foundation Directs $500,000 Grant to Status Nimbus, an ETH2.0 Sharding Client

Status.im, which is a browser and messenger tool for decentralized apps, has been awarded a $500,000 grant by the Ethereum Foundation. The funds, which were granted as part of the foundation’s scalability subsidy program, will go toward research and development for Nimbus, which is a sharding research project on Ethereum 2.0 that’s designed to work on mobile devices. The Status Nimbus team stated in the announcement: "Ultimately our goal is in line with that of the foundation -- the mass adoption of Ethereum." (GT)

3 days ago

Status Nimbus, the Eth2.0 client written in Nim has been gra...

Status Nimbus, the Eth2.0 client written in Nim has been granted $500k in the 4th wave of the scalability research... https://t.co/nZELUmfg78...

3 days ago