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LTO Network and IBM Watson to Ease Administrative Burden for Dutch Criminal Justice System

LTO Network and IBM Watson are collaborating to transform public services and are currently helping the Dutch District Attorney’s office to streamline their administrative processes. The LTO Network is a hybrid blockchain platform that offers efficient information exchange through decentralized workflows. Its Live Contracts enable stakeholders to collaborate because they actively instruct humans and computers about the steps to take in a workflow. Relieving the administrative burden of ZSM processes ZSM (“zo snel mogelijk”) processes are administrative processes used by the Dutch District Attorney’s office. LTO Network will be working to optimize these processes on the blockchain, ensuring GDPR compliance and data privacy. ZSM processes, meaning “as soon as possible” in English, are those in which the accused either has to take a simple action or pay a fine. No other steps, such as a court hearing, are necessary. These ZSM processes require extensive administration and running on the LTO Network blockchain with predefined logic automates them. All parties are able to participate using their own systems, and information is exchanged automatically between systems. Errors and lead times on files can be prevented. IBM Watson will help to further streamline ZSM processes in the course of Q2 this year. When stakeholders input questions in the decentralized workflow, a cognitive computing system will be able to understand them and provide the right answer. It does this by using machine learning and advanced language recognition. The computing system will go through millions of documents looking for patterns. It will then rank results and adjust them until it finds the best answer to the question. The hope is that the collaboration between LTO Network and IBM Watson will enable criminal cases to be ‘solved’ as much as four times more quickly. Reducing supervision costs related to waste transportation In 2018, The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) of the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure commissioned LTO Network to reduce the supervision costs related to European waste transportation. It believed that a combination of applications for data intake and verification together with blockchain technology would pave the way for more efficient cross-border transfer of waste. Using the LTO Network blockchain gets rid of heavy bureaucracy and releases human resources to be used on tasks that can’t be automated. Government bodies and companies get real-time verification of each step in a process. LTO Network began its journey in 2014, and it just got primarily listed on the BitMax.io exchange on Jan 17th, launching with a number of clients and working projects. Portugal is holding the first government contest that will use blockchain technology to choose the winners of a GovTech contest for startups. In 2018 Chile’s National Energy Commission started using blockchain in energy. Every week, governments are announcing the adoption of blockchain-based technologies for different projects as an efficient, transparent way to streamline data. The blockchain revolution started some time ago, and many governments are busy evaluating and piloting how, where and why to deploy blockchain technology. 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. Image(s): Shutterstock.com The post LTO Network and IBM Watson to Ease Administrative Burden for Dutch Criminal Justice System appeared first on NullTX.

2 hours ago

The Origins of Economic Decision Biases and How They May Relate to The 2017 Bitcoin Bubble

Research in behavioral economics over the past few decades has shown that people’s decisions often deviate from those of “homo-economicus,” the selfish rational agent who is the hero of most economic theory textbooks. These deviations (also known as “decision biases”) often lead to suboptimal outcomes in the individual and the societal levels and have become the target of various policy interventions. For instance, in 2017, Bitcoin reached $10,000. While the figure $10,000, by itself, doesn’t deliver much beyond the fundamental price information, this number had significant psychological implications. Because humans generally think in round numbers, hitting the $10,000 threshold has become an important event that made it to the front page of the evening news. Behavioral economists have characterized many other systematic decision biases that unlikely reflect arbitrary mistakes. But what is causing them? The 2017 Road to 10K. Source: Visualcapitalist Contemporary humans face decision problems that are quite different from those that our ancestors had encountered. Deciding whether to go hunting or foraging for grains is different from choosing between 30 types of barbecue sauce on the supermarket shelf; forecasting tomorrow’s rainfall based on today’s weather is not the same as predicting tomorrow’s Bitcoin prices based on today’s market. As our brains have evolved in environments that do not resemble modern markets, we might rely on assumptions that are no longer optimal when making economic decisions. In contrast to financial decision-making, humans seem to make reliable judgments and decisions in the perceptual domain. Although sensory illusions are pervasive in carefully controlled experiments under unnatural settings, people are remarkably good at making sense of perceptual information as they navigate the chaotic world outside the laboratory. Past documentation of a visual illusion in the field, a photo of a blue dress that seemed white to the majority of the population, was regarded with so much astonishment, that it became a worldwide internet sensation overnight. As our brains have evolved in an environment governed by the same regularities that operate today (i.e., mechanical, optical, and acoustic physical laws), we still benefit from relying on the same computations that our ancestors’ brains had used when making decisions that translate sensory information into perceptual judgments and motor actions. Bitcoin 2017 as an example for faddish human behavior The year 2017 was a good one for Bitcoin. While the world was Bitcoin crazed, one Nobel Prize winner economist felt that Bitcoin offers a psychological experiment more than it provides investment opportunities. “I’m interested in Bitcoin as a sort of bubble. It doesn’t mean that it will disappear, that it’ll burst forever. It may be with us for a while,” Noble Prize winner Robert Shiller, professor of economics at Yale University and co-founder of the Case-Shiller Index, told CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “To me, it’s interesting as another example of faddish human behavior. It’s glamorous,” he added. The Bitcoin rush took Shiller back in history when the tulip mania was in swing. It was the 17th century, and the prices of tulip bulbs peaked to new heights, but later crashed in 1637. This was the first recorded event that demonstrated a bubble due to buyers’ frenzy that threw the prices higher than the real value of the product. Many decision processes in the financial domain have parallels in the perceptual domain. Our sensitivity to light intensity and auditory loudness follows logarithmic laws that resemble the manner in which we encode monetary rewards. We perceive the luminance and size of objects about their surroundings, in a way that resembles framing effects in economic decision-making. Even the compromise and the attraction effects, well-documented phenomena in consumer decision-making, were recently documented in the perceptual domain. These findings suggest that decision biases might arise because our brains apply computational techniques that successfully solve perceptual problems, also when making economic decisions. A recent study, co-authored by Cary Frydman (USC) and yours truly, investigated the common mechanism across the economic and perceptual domains in the context of a specific decision bias, the extrapolative formation beliefs, also known as the belief in the “hot hand”. People often rely on past observations when forecasting the future, even when they contain no credible information. This tendency is thought to underlie market-level phenomena such as over-reaction to news and creation of a price bubble, like in the case of Bitcoin. Intriguingly, extrapolative belief formation is also often found in laboratory experiments of perceptual decision-making: people respond faster and more accurately to sensory stimuli that continue an apparent pattern, even when explicitly told that the sequence is completely random. In the study, Ca

5 hours ago

January Edition: State of Asia Cryptocurrency and Blockchain in Japan, Korea, and Thailand

Last week, we shared our thoughts on the most recent important happenings in China. This past weekend, we highlighted the most important developments in the rest of the Asian countries, specifically, Japan, Korea and Thailand. The Quick Take Since December, general Crypto market slowdown has affected the primary businesses making up the Korea and Japan crypto ecosystems- the exchanges. Korea seems to have been hit the most, while Japan’s cautious stance towards exchanges in the last year has helped with damage control. Mining businesses have been hit across the board in Asia, and we are seeing a consolidation in the Japanese mining business as they move their operations to China in attempt to stay afloat. Separately, in Southeast Asia, we see Thailand regulators continuing to be aggressive about building a crypto-trading infrastructure, and we are potentially going to see the first kind of stock exchange/crypto exchange hybrid. Thailand will be an ongoing interesting area to focus on in 2019 for ICOs, along with Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia market. Check it out and let us know if it’s helpful for you. Thank you for reading. KOREA 2019 Predictions Given cryptocurrency ecosystems in Asia are somewhat silo-ed by country, we had a few experts from the industry sharing their predictions for 2019 and here is what they’ve said about Korea: In gaming, Cryptokitties co-founder Benny Giang specified that “Korean market will have consolidation amongst technology and crypto businesses next year. There will be a huge effort amongst some of the top gaming companies to break into this space. What this means as a whole, is that Korea will be leading the way for consumer adoption in the earlier part next year. Lots of questions will be raised such as decentralized systems being slow vs semi-centralized systems with mass adoption.” Jehan Chu, founder of Kenetic Capital, also noted that “Korean gaming will demonstrate some of the first large-scale user adoption of crypto”. In my podcast conversation with investor Alex Shin from Hashed on his Outlook for Korea and it’s Regulator Role in the Crypto Markets in 2019 and Views on Current Bear Market, his 2019 take on Korea in relation to the US is that “there’s just a lot of US founders understanding this is a global phenomenon and they want access to Asia, so I think that thesis still remains the same. We try to pick up on a lot of new ideas that are coming out in the US and see if there are teams in Asia that want to play a very localized version of that. It’s a very distribution play. It’s sort of the way I see Asia, I see Korea, I see Japan.” Alex also touched on the nature of the crypto market in Korea- “As the general sentiment for utility token approaches zero or negative zero depending on how you want to look at it, what we have left in Korea is a consumer market that understands crypto assets. So we’re generally bullish that people there will adopt new technology much faster than anywhere else South Korea is so homogeneous. Get 50 people who really matter to care about what you’re doing and a week later, the whole country will know.” To listen to the whole podcast, check it out at the iTunes. What’s been happening in the last month in Korea: In the last month, in Korea, we are seeing the bear market affecting the exchanges, where increasing scrutiny has brought about company layoffs and legal prosecutions. BTC Korea, the operator of Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, laid off 30 employees, or ~10% of staff, mainly due to the drop in cryptocurrency and traffic volume. The resigning 30 people will receive a typical severance plan. One official of the company said about the layoffs- “[it’s] not because we are undergoing difficulties, although it’s true that the market isn’t doing so well,” an official at the company said. “But yes, we thought it best to have a fresh start since our transaction volume is decreasing.” Additionally, the largest Korean exchange Upbit was brought to trial on charges of earning about US$133.7 million through fake virtual currency transactions worth ~$250billion. Apparently, the prosecutors launched an investigation into Upbit in May this year as it detected illegal acts at the exchange in the process of investigating other smaller virtual currency exchanges. They raided Upbit office and secured evidence of fraud from a notebook used by the head of the quant team, including documents containing a market manipulation scheme and a bot program used for manipulating Bitcoin prices. Nevertheless, Upbit denied the charges filed by the prosecution. “There were no fake transactions and false orders,” Upbit said, adding, “The exchange has never made transactions of virtual currencies that were not held and neither the company nor its employees made any profits in the process.” Lastly, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission is looking to a launch fintech sandbox in April. The “Regulatory Sandbox,” is a testing environment u

5 hours ago

Blockchain in Banking Summit in Zurich: Leading Bankers and Experts to Discuss Topical Trends and Future Evolutions of Blockchain in Banking Sector

CoinSpeaker Blockchain in Banking Summit in Zurich: Leading Bankers and Experts to Discuss Topical Trends and Future Evolutions of Blockchain in Banking Sector In the New Emerging Economy, where business and technology are Wired To Each Other Through The Digital Economy, Blockchain Creates A Whole New Paradigm In The Ecosystem. With The Use Of Blockchain Technology, Transactions Will Be Much Faster, Secure And Far Less Expensive Compared To The Centralized Database Systems. Why Blockchain in Banking? Blockchain technology has created waves around the world by bringing transparency and massively reducing costs in many industries. In order to stay competitive, more and more banks are adopting Blockchain technology which will allow them to further improve the transaction velocity, reduce fraud risks and boost their business growth by offering holistic payment solutions. Regulators and central authorities are also aiming to harness Blockchain to future-proof payment systems and encourage banks to modernise their legacy payments infrastructures for an efficient, secure and more transparent banking service. The current business landscape sees banks caught between an uncertain world economy and growing costs of regulatory compliance. They face pressure to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. There is also a threat of disintermediation by financial technology (fintech) firms, which are looking to provide some of the same services as banks but at lower costs. Compared with conventional database technologies and centralised systems, blockchain execution can be relatively cheap and require considerably less IT investment to maintain. What are the Key Drivers of Blockchain Technology? Customer’s need for overlay services - To meet the customer’s growing demand for immediacy of retail payments Customers expect to pay for and receive their purchases as fast as possible. Suppliers, on the other hand, wish to have the certainty to be paid as soon as they release their goods and services Need for banks to remain competitive - Blockchain technology will help banks to not just stay competitive by improving the transaction velocity, reducing fraud risks in the transaction processing but also boost its business growth by offering holistic payment solutions spanning the value chain in order to differentiate from Non-Bank Players. Regulators need for encouraging competition and digitalization - Regulators and central authorities top agenda is to promote fair competition, Anti-Money Laundering, customer protection, and improving clearing & settlement mechanisms and digitalization of the economy. About BB Summit BB Summit is Europe’s only dedicated Blockchain conference for the Banking sector. It features upto 20 leading speakers and subject matter experts with latest case studies, key trends, regulations and implementation guidelines. It’s expected to gather about 120+ delegates from leading Banks, Standard bodies, Associations, Regulators, selected FinTechs from Europe who are driving this technology wave. Speakers at the Previous Year’s Show Montse Guardia Guell | Director of Digital Services - Digital Transformation |Banco Sabadell Francisco Maroto Castro | Head of Blockchain Strategy in the Customer Solutions Area| BBVA Nicole Sandler| VP Fintech and Regtech - EMEA Legal Lead | Barclays Stephen Moran | Head of Research & Development | Bank of Ireland Michael Spitz | Co Head of Blockchain Lab | Commerzbank Anna Mialet Rigau | Innovation & Business Transformation | CaixaBank Alberto Gómez Toribio | Blockchain & Tokenomics Specialist | Bankia David Alonso Pérez | Project Manager | Cecabank Fernando Lardies | Network Banking Head | Banco Santander Roberto Garcia |Head of Blockchain & emerging technologies |Banco Santander Group Marco Bosma |SVP Fintech & Innovation |Rabobank Sorin Cristescu Blockchain| Competence Centre Leader | European Commission Roberto Fernández Hergueta |Board Member| Alastria Blockchain Mañu Noain Ignacio | Head of International Business Development | We.trade Sergey Lukashkin |Digital transformation project management director | VTB Bank Marco Carmona | Senior Solution Architect | Protegrity Mat Travizano | CEO | Wibson Grzegorz Leńkowski |Director of Instant Payments Business Line | KIR Bernat Aguadé Estivill |Associate professor and consultant | Blockchain Institute & Technologies Stephane Savanah | Information Technology Consultant |Independent Consultancy Previous Sponsors The first annual show was supported by Wibson and Protegrity as keynote sponsors. What Did the Speakers Talk About? In 2018, the conference gathered leading banking professionals and top experts from within Europe working in Blockchain sphere. Speakers addressed the most important segments of the Blockchain, DLT, how it will revitalize Trade Finance, Trade reconciliation, Find synergies and build networks among banks and explore consortium possibilities and discussed many topical trends of the industry including

5 hours ago

Dash Celebrates A Lean Fifth Birthday

It’s been five years since payments platform Dash made its debut, which makes the project about 35 in crypto years. The Dash team has revealed that it’s not easy to keep the fire burning year after year, and we would venture that it’s especially difficult in a bear market. Not only must a project “deliver on promises” but they must also keep the community interested, the which can be particularly challenging when your name is not Justin Sun. Dash has not gone unscathed by the bear market, and the price is wavering around $70, after trading above $800 this time last year. As we’ve seen with multiple projects, the crypto winter has the ability to divide a community, and Dash is no exception. Bear Market Brings Out The Wolves One masternode owner, under the alias SavingPrivateDash, launched a failed proposal to demote Dash chief Ryan Taylor to an advisory role for allegedly “breaking promises and missing deadlines.” Taylor has been at the helm of Dash Core Group since 2017 when founder Evan Duffield stepped down and transitioned to an advisor. One of the “missed deadlines” that critics took issue with was the launch of Evolution, which is designed to catapult Dash into the mainstream. The original roadmap for the multi-phase rollout of Evolution set an “ambitious goal” that has since met with several delays. After the proposal failed, the insurgent masternode threatened to resubmit the same harsh rebuke in January 2019, this time gunning not only for Taylor but also Chief Marketing Officer Fernando Gutierrez and Head of Business Development Bradley Zastrow. However, that “proposal has not been resubmitted,” Gutierrez told Crypto Briefing. That might have something to do with the “monster release” of v0.13, which makes all transactions instant by default. Gutierrez told us: The development is advancing at a very good pace. ChainLocks will be part of the upcoming v0.14.0 and then Evolution will come right after that. The next event we will see is v0.14.0 in testnet. Lots On The Line ChainLocks is one of those updates whose importance can only be compared to Ethereum’s Constantinople. According to Dash CTO Bob Carroll, ChainLocks is a protection mechanism against 51% attacks, to which Dash and other proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies are vulnerable. ChainLocks will be integrated into the v0.14.0 update, for which no exact date has been set. That’s one way to avoid missing deadlines. One Reddit member surmised: “Not gonna lie, 0.14 is a key upgrade restoring so much lost faith in DCG I hope that it will arrive in a timely fashion...of course, safety first.” By and large, the Dash community has been forgiving of delays, with one community member pointing out that software deadlines are “impossible to meet” anyway. Dash certainly isn’t alone in this, and we can think of at least one other project that has struggled on this front of late. Budget Constraints Continue To Haunt Dash Despite moving further down the roadmap, Dash isn’t out of the woods yet. In the latest financial update, management revealed that some salaries were on hold amid budget constraints. And while the next financial update remains weeks away, the bear market has continued to take its toll. As Gutierrez noted, Many people in Dash Core Group have foregone salaries and many others have voluntarily reduced their salaries, the situation has not changed. Dash Core Group submitted a funding proposal for the Feb. 1 budget cycle that includes compensation of $257,000 across “developers, administrative, business development, marketing and support staff.” The budget includes “drawing down on a buffer in order to pay for the current shortfall in funding.” Dash Core Group had 47 people on staff at year-end 2018, which is down by five since November seemingly as a result of resignations and the “non-renewal of certain contracts.” But there’s still plenty to celebrate for the cryptocurrency, as it rounds out half a decade of fast payments. In case you’re wondering, the traditional gift associated with five years is wood, which represents “strength and durability.” If they make it to 50, Dash will officially reach gold status. The author is invested in digital assets, but none mentioned in this article. Join the conversation on Telegram and Twitter! The post Dash Celebrates A Lean Fifth Birthday appeared first on Crypto Briefing.

8 hours ago

Litecoin [LTC] clear the FUD surrounding Github commits, Pushing for the Next Stage of its Evolution

Currently down over 90 percent from its ATH, Litecoin is focusing on the mainstream adoption, brand build-up, and Lightning Network with a progressive year ahead. Litecoin working on Developments & Making it More Well-known Earlier this month, Litecoin had shared that they are looking for a good year ahead with a lot of developments in the pipeline. In the latest blog by the community manager of Litecoin Foundation, Ilir Gashi reiterated, “Things to look out for are the Litecoin Core v0.17 which reduces network transaction fees by 10x; as well as private transactions onto the Litecoin blockchain; as well as the growing adoption of the Lightning Network and Atomic Swaps.” The blog to the main part has been to counter the FUD surrounding Github commits activity indicating Litecoin’s developments is becoming more inactive, which he says is untrue. Going deep into the matter, he shared that Litecoin is in fact regularly committing on Github, however, these activities in no way means development as it does not capture the entire code construction from start to finish. Also, being an open source platform means different developers and projects get to collaboratively work together, hence Litecoin doesn’t need to constantly strive to make new innovations to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. As has been emphasized on numerous occasions, “Litecoin aims to provide a cryptocurrency that compliments Bitcoin’s store of value proposition as well as differentiating itself as an efficient and effective financial payment solution to anyone everywhere around the world.” The 8th largest cryptocurrency has been pushing for mainstream adoption with different partnerships and is currently working on Lightning Network where it is constantly growing, now reaching 122 nodes, with 490 channels and around 56.14 LTC ($1,772.23) network capacity. Recently, Litecoin Foundation announced sponsorship of the UFC event that earned it some good stats on Twitter which according to Litecoin creator Charles Lee has been about building the brand, “So it kind of wanted like build that brand and make it more well-known and it’s really kind of helped a lot. I mean we’ve reached a lot of people, [they’ve] have reached out to us, talked about like coin just because if they heard about the UFC sponsorship yeah. I think it’s pretty cool, plus that the fight was pretty amazing.” Also, not to forget UFC announcer, Bruce Buffer’s “take control of your money and pay with Litecoin!” On the price front, while being down over 91 percent from its all-time high, Litecoin is currently trading at $31.16 with 24-hours loss of 1.07 percent. The post Litecoin [LTC] clear the FUD surrounding Github commits, Pushing for the Next Stage of its Evolution appeared first on Coingape.

9 hours ago

Peer-to-Peer Trading Platform Bitquick Implements Bitcoin Cash Support

Over-the-counter marketplace Bitquick has announced the company is now supporting multiple cryptocurrencies and has officially added bitcoin cash (BCH) to the platform. Now cryptocurrency users can purchase BCH in as little three hours as traders buy and sell coins in a peer-to-peer fashion. Also Read: Regulations Have Ruined the Physical Bitcoin Industry Bitquick Exchange Adds BCH Support Bitcoin cash fans were pleased to hear the marketplace Bitquick.co has integrated BCH support into the over-the-counter (OTC) marketplace. Bitquick was established in August of 2013 and is now owned and operated by the cryptocurrency ATM network Athena Bitcoin. Bitquick also made headlines in 2014 by being the first cryptocurrency marketplace to provide proof of reserves after the Mt. Gox scandal. The application is comparable to the peer-to-peer platform Localbitcoins as it allows buying and selling of bitcoin core (BTC) and now BCH by following a few straightforward steps. Bitquick has been used by traders to convert both digital assets to fiat or fiat to crypto in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Russia, and Australia. The company also operated an OTC cryptocurrency operation called Altquick.co but closed the business three years ago. “We’re glad to announce that we are now supporting multiple cryptos again; please welcome bitcoin cash to the platform,” Bitquick explained in its blog post this week. In order to buy BCH using the platform, simply select which cryptocurrency you want to purchase via the quick buy form. Alternatively, browse the filters on the buy page to find available BCH offers on Bitquick. The company references the price from the Bitcoin Average data site and charges an additional 3 percent fee for BCH buys, which is included in the BTC/BCH exchange. Bitquick has detailed the buying process is no different to the traditional method, except users need to provide a receiving BCH address. After reserving a BCH purchase, the buyer then proceeds to make the payment and needs to provide proof of payment from the financial institution or a receipt photo. As soon as the payment confirmation is verified, users receive the BCH within three hours or less, although Bitquick payments made with Moneygram or Western Union can take up to 24 hours. Multi-Signature Escrow and Less Regulation Bitquick is considered ‘relatively decentralized’ as it offers a multi-signature escrow system like Localbitcoins which means in the U.S. it isn’t subject to draconian regulatory requirements. But the organization says it strictly follows KYC requirements and tiered transaction limits to prevent bad actors from trying to game the Bitquick system. The business is allowed to operate in 49 states in the U.S., but does not operate in New York. Bitquick doesn’t keep clients’ private keys on the platform’s servers and they are generated through the escrow settlement. Bitquick purports to be less of a target for hackers as they do not store the client’s private keys. The only time that Bitquick has funds is when they are completing an escrow transaction. The company also claims to be one of the first OTC platforms to introduce P2SH (Pay To Script Hash) multi-signature addresses which allow customers to trade up to $250,000. After adding BCH to the Bitquick platform and support for multiple cryptocurrencies, the company is looking for feedback for the next coin it will support. The firm has constructed a survey for traders to fill out if they are interested in selling cryptos other than BTC and BCH on Bitquick. The platform joins another Localbitcoins alternative for BCH investors called Localbitcoincash.org. Localbitcoincash launched in October 2017 and also offers an online cryptocurrency swap system that’s similar to the Shapeshift application. What do you think about Bitquick adding bitcoin cash (BCH) to the OTC platform? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images via Shutterstock, and Bitquick. At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more. The post Peer-to-Peer Trading Platform Bitquick Implements Bitcoin Cash Support appeared first on Bitcoin News.

9 hours ago

Suspects Behind Bitcoin Heist Sentenced To Prison After Running Off To Sweden

A group of seven Bitcoin criminals was sentenced to prison in Iceland. They managed to steal 350 miners worth $1 Million back in 2017. It included more than 800 graphics cards, 120 motherboards, and 120 CPUs. The men were later arrested and asked to pay for damages because the equipment was never found. They managed to escape the low-security prison and go to Sweden. They were once again arrested by Sweden's police and sent back to Iceland. The group's leader Stefansson received the heaviest punishment of four-and-a-half-years. Interestingly, it is not illegal to escape from prison in Iceland and none of them received extra time for doing so. (VS)

11 hours ago

Why Africa needs cryptocurrencies

Home to 54 countries, the most on any continent, Africa’s growth in finance and banking has not been tremendous. Out of the unbanked population in the world, 350 million of them live in Africa, representing 17 percent of the global figure. The situation looks grimmer when you come to the continent: the unbanked represent between 66 and 80 percent of the population of Africa. There are many causes for this appalling situation, including numerous political, economic, and social problems. The lack of capital for infrastructure, generally low literacy rates, political instability, and government policies are, among other factors, at the crux of the financial woes inhibiting the continent’s growth. So what is the way forward? For many international organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank, possible solutions have centered on a strong push towards financial inclusion, which generates policies to bring as many Africans as possible onto the global financial landscape. Such means include making banks accessible to the average Joe, encouraging banks to flex their muscles for small and medium businesses, and boosting the creation of new fintech firms. But after many years of these policies, it is clear that a lot of people are still not part of the financial system. Something is missing. It turns out Africa doesn’t need the current approach to financial inclusion Disruptive inventions take time and financial resources to materialize, and the creation of a paradigm shift doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why these sweeping innovations are sometimes left to nations with both the financial and human capital to undertake the research, create innovative products, and implement solutions that span across the entire world. The bad news is, Africa lacks the political will (and in most cases, also the resources) to take high-risk bets on innovative solutions. The good news is, however, that we don’t actually have to go through the long, innovative, and research-intensive route just to improve our current banking system which itself is not helping much. Africa is growing in population, development, and influence on the global market. In 2010, the McKinsey Global Institute described African economies as “lions on the move”. And though growth seems to have reduced, adopting cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly turn things for the better. Let’s find out why the continent needs Satoshi’s invention: Bypass the banking revolution Africa can use cryptocurrencies to bypass the entire banking revolution and solve the continent’s financial inclusion woes. Developed countries have moved from bank tellers to ATMs, from ATMs to online banking on desktops, and then from the desktop to mobile payments such as Venmo, Apple Pay, and a lot more. Going from one of these standards to the other requires a remarkable amount of capital, time, effort and brainpower, as well as strong adoption from the ordinary people. Thanks to cryptocurrencies, Africa can bypass these standards. Just like many parts of the world, it costs a lot of money to make transfers via banks in Africa. Also, getting a bank account is hectic and requires a lot of paperwork, which is sometimes out of reach for many of the ordinary people on the continent. Small businesses also find it difficult to get credit because of the formal documentation that is required by banks. Just like how M-Pesa was able to revolutionize money transfer in Africa and around the world through the mobile phone, cryptocurrencies could allow Africans undertake day to day transactions without banks, make transfers without huge fees, and get access to finance without going through a ‘formal’ financial institution with all the cumbersome paperwork. Peer to Peer cryptocurrency transfers is already gaining grounds in Africa. Among others, Bitmari from Zimbabwe, BitPesa from Kenya, Naira Exchange from Nigeria, and PayPlux from Ghana are building the backbone for a p2p financial future on the continent - a journey where cryptocurrencies will be at the center of payment and banks will gradually be phased out. Tackle Fiat and Central Bank Woes What have cryptocurrencies got to offer to the African continent that fiat hasn’t been able to? You don’t need the knowledge of an economist to understand that most of the products you purchased a few days or months ago have suddenly increased in price. Your response will probably be “That’s only natural. There is nothing to be done about that. That’s how things are supposed to work. The cost of manufacturing has probably increased“. The truth is, it isn’t the cost of the product that has increased, but rather the value of your money that has reduced. This trend has been seen around the continent. Hyperinflationary spirals from Zimbabwe and South Sudan make fiat currency useless in many cases. Double-digit inflation rates are affecting economies of Ghana, Sudan, Central African Republic, Angola, Egypt and many other countries on the continent. But governments

12 hours ago

Flying too close to the sun

If Justin Sun isn’t bluffing—and who knows—TRON’s BitTorrent gambit could pay dividends.

13 hours ago

Denmark Investigating Bitcoin Exchanges to Find Tax Defaulters is Troubling

Denmark’s tax agency has received the council’s permission to scrutinize three local crypto exchanges. Skat in its Monday press release confirmed that it would obtain information on traders who were investing in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin between 2016 and 2018. The announcement came as a part of an ongoing investigation against crypto-based tax defaulters. Seeking Information of Bitcoin Traders In December 2018, Skat had confirmed that it would enquire 2,700 individuals who traded bitcoins on an unidentified Finnish exchange. Now, after a month, the agency believes that exchanges within Denmark have facilitated untaxed crypto trading. It is reportedly seeking traders’ information, which includes names, addresses, CPR numbers and possibly, CVR information. Karin Bergen, the director of Skat, said that scrutinizing a Finnish bitcoin exchange is a small frame of a much larger picture. He stated that Danish bitcoin exchanges would reveal more about how traders used cryptocurrencies to evade tax liabilities. “With the permission of the Danish Tax Council, we will for the first time gain access to the trades made via the Danish stock exchanges,” he said. “This gives us completely new opportunities in relation to control in the area. Without going too far, I think you can say that this is a big market that we need to look into.” Bergen refused to share more details. After researching information of all the traders on the three Danish crypto exchanges, Skat will prepare a list to potential tax defaulters. The agency will then contact them of a screening: to identify whether or not their trades came under the purview of capital gain taxes. “Changes will be made on the basis of a specific and individual treatment that clarifies whether the trade must be included in the taxable income,” wrote Skat in its press release. Taxing a Non-Currency Skat identifies bitcoin tax as what a person owes to the agency on his/her capital gains. It says that “the profit on the resale [of cryptocurrencies] must be included as personal income. ... [and] losses could be deducted as an equalization deduction.” However, the legal readings change according to the reader. According to Danish lawyer Payam Samarghandi, Skat is contradicting with its statements that it made in 2o14. In it, the Danish tax agency had said that Bitcoin is not a currency. Louise Schack Elholm V, a member of the Danish parliament, however, disagreed with Samargandhi’s views, stating that if traders were purchasing cryptocurrencies to speculate on its value - and if they made any profits while doing so - then they were liable to pay a capital gain tax on their earnings. Skat has not revealed anything about how it would handle the situation. Their earlier release only says that they would contact traders and ask for more information if something does not match. The post Denmark Investigating Bitcoin Exchanges to Find Tax Defaulters is Troubling appeared first on NewsBTC.

14 hours ago

Altcoins Daily Preview: Jan 10 Losses Weighing Heavily on Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Cardano (ADA)

Latest Cardano News Wyoming may be dry, cold and with cheap power but that’s where Cardano will call home. Their shifting from Japan and establishing bases here comes at a time when the state better known for their allowing businesses to pay 16 types of taxes with crypto—via BitPay and their openness—the state has more LLCs than any other state, is putting forth a bill-Digital assets-existing law, that will better place cryptocurrencies in a path towards advancement and eventual legalization of cryptos. Read: Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang says blockchain “natural technology for banks and trading” But we must understand that existing policies lack clarity. That’s why the proposal sponsored by a Bit-Partisan Republican Senator Tara Nethercott seeks to properly classify digital assets as well as allow banks to offer custodial solutions. As reported by Forbes, the senator had this to say: “Wyoming is an innovative and forward-looking State that is open for business. We are excited for what the future holds and want to continue taking the lead with shaping the future of business. The time is now to provide the pathway for blockchain and cryptocurrencies and Wyoming has the nimbleness and responsiveness to the needs of these industries to respond accordingly to the growing and adapting landscapes of cryptocurrency” Also Read: Why the BitTorrent (BTT) Token Sale Will Be Like No Other Note this though, banks won’t have control of your assets and because they operate as Qualified Custodians meeting the demands of the SEC, your assets won’t be classified as deposits but as under assets under administration. Then again, these approved custodians can operate from all the 50 US States. 1/ TWEETSTORM about #Wyoming’s BIG REVEAL. This is long & info-packed, so buckle in. My native state is about to do bigger things for #blockchain, & the sector is about to pay Wyoming back big-time. Win-win! @Tyler_Lindholm @SenatorDriskill @TraceMayer @ForbesCrypto pic.twitter.com/gP4oWtTmJj — Caitlin Long (@CaitlinLong_) January 18, 2019 ADA/USD Price Analysis At tenth, ADA is quite stable in the last week but down 6.7 percent in the last day. Regardless, the trend is clear over the near-term. Although ADA is under immense pressure against the USD. Nonetheless, bulls may drive prices above 6 cents in the medium-term. It’s easy to see why. The trend is positive sloping and despite yesterday’s strong sell pressure, prices didn’t sink below the minor support trend line or the double bar bull pattern of Jan 14. This is bullish and as long as prices are above Dec 28 lows of 3.6 cents as laid out in our last trade plan, ADA prices may expand towards 6 cents. However, before loading up, we recommend patience until after there are strong gains above 5 cents. After that, traders can buy at spot prices with stops at 4 cents with first target at 6 cents. On the flip side, any drop below 4 cents could see ADA losses increase towards 3 cents. XLM/USD Price Analysis To reiterate our previous layouts, XLM is trading in a bear breakout pattern against the USD. Immediate resistance—previous support is at 15 cents. Therefore, if this pattern is to be reversed as XLM bulls initiate a momentum build up reversing losses of Nov 2018, prices must rally above 15 cents. Before then, aggressive traders must wait for a close above Jan 14’s highs of 11 cents. That will be the foundation for a potential rally. If not and yesterday’s losses trigger a slide in line with Jan 10 losses, prices might drop below Dec 2018 lows 8 cents as XLM melt towards 2.5 cents. All charts courtesy of Trading View—Streams from BitFinex and Bittrex This is not investment advice. Do your research. The post Altcoins Daily Preview: Jan 10 Losses Weighing Heavily on Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Cardano (ADA) appeared first on Ethereum World News.

14 hours ago

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Wild Cards, $3,500 Last Frontier

Latest Bitcoin News That environmentalists are always on Bitcoin case is appalling. Why not ambush traditional banking set ups whose carbon footprints are on par oil sector players? The more they critic the network-even going to lengths of comparing facilitators as miners as environmental enemies, the more we have reasons to believe that their green energy campaign is not only sponsored but to some extent too over-simplistic. Energy use is not a problem, it is a feature. Not only is it what makes Bitcoin work, it can possibly help with green energy adoption. Bitcoin mining can make otherwise unprofitable energy production methods, profitable! — bitcoinpasada (@bitcoinpasada) January 14, 2019 Read: If Bitcoin (BTC) Breaks 3700 USD, It Could Boost the Crypto Markets, CryptoSync Analyst Says True, chipsets powering and security the network are power hungry but at the same time, miners are nomads and mostly after profits. The cost of power is never cheap and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In their bid to remain profitable-even as prices plummet, some—and this is the trend—set up rigs powered by renewable energy. Today, 77% of the energy use on the #bitcoin network is coming from renewable energy sources. Whereas before, it was nearly all coming from non-renewable energy sources. — Boomerang Capital Inc (@BoomerCapital) January 16, 2019 Meanwhile, cryptocurrency use is on the rise and a metric that better measures this increase other than price is the number of active Bitcoin ATMs. Yes, we may have Apple Pay, Google and Samsung, but we cannot discount the impact of Bitcoin. Also Read: Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs Boom Amid Crypto Rout According to coinatmradar.com, there are 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs around the world with most in operation in Europe and the US. Others are found in Japan. More than 2,000 are found in the US and one advantage Bitcoin has over traditional banking set up is that users can buy any BTCs at any time. Then again, there are some which dispense cash meaning the unbanked can receive cash from anywhere in the world without going through the hassle of opening a checking account. Bitcoin (BTC/USD) Price Analysis Generally, the market is optimistic and after 80 percent plus losses in 2018, chances are prices will bounce back to $6,000 levels before bear pressure resume. It is for this reason why despite BTC prices closing against the USD by close of last week, we still hold a bullish outlook. At spot rates, BTC is down four percent in the day as sellers aim to reverse Jan 14 and 19 gains. Trend and Candlestick Arrangement: short term bullish, Breakout In the short-term, buyers have a chance. It’s easy to see why. Our position is rooted on the double bar bull reversal pattern of Dec 16-17. The pattern was confirmed and with clear resistance at $4,500, the correction completes a bull flag with possible support between $3,500 and $3,700 or the 38.2 percent and the 78.6 percent Fibonacci retracement levels. Already yesterday’s losses did pierce through the first support at $3,700. BTC may break if there are further drawdowns below $3,500. Volumes: Low, Bearish A stand out in our analysis is Jan 10 double bar bear reversal pattern and dark cloud cover pattern. Behind Jan 10 losses were high volumes—35k—right off $4,500 main resistance which is also our buy trigger. Current averages stand at 14k—less than Dec 17 of 35k. It’s straight forward, if bulls are to reinvent themselves, then volumes must surge above 35k hinting of underlying demand. Before then, it is likely that prices will snap back to consolidation. All charts courtesy of Trading View—BitFinex This is not investment advice. Do your research. The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Wild Cards, $3,500 Last Frontier appeared first on Ethereum World News.

15 hours ago

A darknet vendor is allegedly selling images and data associated with crypto exchange identity verification processes

A user going by the name of “ExploitDOT” is allegedly selling 100,000 personal documents that were used to comply with the know-your-customer (KYC) regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges, as first reported by CCN. He posted the sale on July 17, 2018 on a sub-community (DNMAds) of Dread, which is a hidden Reddit-like community that operates on darknets such as Tor and “provides a platform for open community discussion without as much censorship and limitations.” ExploitDOT claims that he was a vendor on Tor Carding Forum (TCF), which was one of the earliest and largest darknet forums focused on the trade of stolen credit card details, identity theft, and currency counterfeiting. TCF closed in 2014 following a hack. ExploitDOT was also allegedly a vendor on AlphaBay, a darknet marketplace with over 400,000 users that police shut down after a law enforcement action in July 2017. The documents were supposedly ‘dumped’ in the first half of 2018 when an unnamed third party KYC solution provider which was providing services to crypto exchanges and ICOs suffered a breach. At the time of writing, it’s not immediately clear which KYC provider got hacked or even whether the hack actually took place. ExploitDOT claims that the documents include sensitive information and high quality photos with EXIF including geographic information “for every country” about users that KYC’d on Binance, Bitfinex, Poloniex and Bittrex. We have reached out to the affected exchanges and will update the article if we hear back. The data dump, which is being sold in bulk, includes selfies, scans of identity documents and proof of address of each person. Following the report by CCN, ExploitDOT posted again on Dread and asked whether he should “try to start a crowdfunding to delete all the hacked documents” because “if you ever sent a KYC, chances are there [are] also your documents in my dump.” He wrote that he wants to crowdfund an amount that “helps [him to] work on [his] legit business with [his] ideas that could change the world.” According to ExploitDOT, asking the affected exchanges to pay for the removal would not make sense because “the exchanges are completely denying the documents were took from them, whereas there is clearly docs with ‘Binance’, ‘Poloniex’ and such written on the paper.” The post A darknet vendor is allegedly selling images and data associated with crypto exchange identity verification processes appeared first on The Block.

15 hours ago

Netflix Stock Leads the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound

CoinSpeaker Netflix Stock Leads the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound The stock market rally powered higher last week, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite all reclaiming their 50-day lines. Among the large-cap stocks worth watching was also the Netflix which sold off Friday on mixed results and weak guidance, and now stands well below a current buy point but seems poised to carve a new, lower entry. The subscription video-on-demand service added 8.8 million paying subscribers in the December quarter, bringing its worldwide total to 139.3 million. Netflix had forecast 7.6 million new paying subscribers. The Los Gatos, Californian based company earned 30 cents a share on revenue of $4.19 billion during the period. Analysts expected Netflix earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $4.21 billion. In the year-earlier quarter, Netflix earned 41 cents a share on sales of $3.29 billion. For the current quarter, Netflix expects to add 8.9 million paying subscribers. It forecast earnings per share of 56 cents on sales of $4.49 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Netflix earnings of 83 cents a share and $4.61 billion in revenue. Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said: “As a result of our success with original content, we’re becoming less focused on second-run programming. In the U.S., we earn about 10% of television screen time and less than that of mobile screen time. We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors. We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO. Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members.” Netflix is leading the FAANG pack again since the start of the year, up 31%, and that’s good news for other risk-on assets. The tech trade worked well—until it didn’t. In the second half of 2018, the FAANG stocks— Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com (AMZN), Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL)—lost their edge after a series of high-profile problems, along with a growing aversion to risk. As worries about global growth and trade dominated investors’ minds, tech lost out to sectors, like health care, that are perceived as safer. Netflix is Raising Prices Two days before the earnings report, Netflix announced a price hike for U.S. customers. The cost of its popular mid-tier plan will increase from $10.99 per month to $12.99 per month. The price of the premium plan - which supports 4K streaming and up to four simultaneous streams - will also increase by $2, reaching $15.99 per month. Finally, the basic standard-definition plan will cost $8.99 per month, up from $7.99 per month previously. This is the fourth time the company has raised its subscription prices since it launched its streaming service, with the most recent in October 2017. Shares jumped 3 percent that day. Wall Street analysts also don’t think this price hike will be a deterrent, saying customers are likely willing to pay more. And, in the past, most fans have not been put off by higher costs. Last quarter, Netflix reported domestic subscriber growth of nearly 11 percent year over year, for a final total of 58 million U.S. subscribers. On the other hand, if the price hike causes domestic subscriber growth to slow dramatically, or even stop, Netflix will have to think hard before attempting any further price increases. It would then have to rely on international growth to push free cash flow into positive territory. In that scenario, Netflix would probably struggle to live up to its roughly $150 billion market cap. Winning a new U.S. customer now costs Netflix more than four times what it cost a few years ago in terms of marketing spend. One factor is that the company is simply running out of households that don’t have a subscription or don’t use the account of a friend or family member. Another factor could be increased churn. Netflix doesn’t disclose how many users drop the service, so there’s no way to tell. Not all of the increase in Netflix’s marketing spending was due to escalating customer acquisition costs. Netflix reclassified certain personnel costs in the fourth quarter, moving that spending from general and administrative to cost of revenues and marketing. That change didn’t affect the bottom line, since it’s just shifting numbers around. But it was one factor behind the increase in marketing spend. Under the new classification system, general and administrative expenses were reduced by $199 million in the fourth quarter compared to the old classification system. About $83 million of that was shifted to marketing, with $30 million added to U.S. marketing spending and $53 million going to international marketing spending. Netflix stock is currently 19% below its June 21 record high of 423.20. It’s 12% off its Oct. 2 peak, which could be interpreted as the start of a new cup base. Netflix Stock Leads the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Sto

15 hours ago

Netflix (NFLX) Stocks Lead the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound

CoinSpeaker Netflix (NFLX) Stocks Lead the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound The stock market rally powered higher last week, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite all reclaiming their 50-day lines. Among the large-cap stocks worth watching was also the Netflix which sold off Friday on mixed results and weak guidance, and now stands well below a current buy point but seems poised to carve a new, lower entry. The subscription video-on-demand service added 8.8 million paying subscribers in the December quarter, bringing its worldwide total to 139.3 million. Netflix had forecast 7.6 million new paying subscribers. The Los Gatos, Californian based company earned 30 cents a share on revenue of $4.19 billion during the period. Analysts expected Netflix earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $4.21 billion. In the year-earlier quarter, Netflix earned 41 cents a share on sales of $3.29 billion. For the current quarter, Netflix expects to add 8.9 million paying subscribers. It forecast earnings per share of 56 cents on sales of $4.49 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Netflix earnings of 83 cents a share and $4.61 billion in revenue. Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said: “As a result of our success with original content, we’re becoming less focused on second-run programming. In the U.S., we earn about 10% of television screen time and less than that of mobile screen time. We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors. We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO. Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members.” Netflix is leading the FAANG pack again since the start of the year, up 31%, and that’s good news for other risk-on assets. The tech trade worked well—until it didn’t. In the second half of 2018, the FAANG stocks— Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com (AMZN), Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL)—lost their edge after a series of high-profile problems, along with a growing aversion to risk. As worries about global growth and trade dominated investors’ minds, tech lost out to sectors, like health care, that are perceived as safer. Netflix is Raising Prices Two days before the earnings report, Netflix announced a price hike for U.S. customers. The cost of its popular mid-tier plan will increase from $10.99 per month to $12.99 per month. The price of the premium plan - which supports 4K streaming and up to four simultaneous streams - will also increase by $2, reaching $15.99 per month. Finally, the basic standard-definition plan will cost $8.99 per month, up from $7.99 per month previously. This is the fourth time the company has raised its subscription prices since it launched its streaming service, with the most recent in October 2017. Shares jumped 3 percent that day. Wall Street analysts also don’t think this price hike will be a deterrent, saying customers are likely willing to pay more. And, in the past, most fans have not been put off by higher costs. Last quarter, Netflix reported domestic subscriber growth of nearly 11 percent year over year, for a final total of 58 million U.S. subscribers. On the other hand, if the price hike causes domestic subscriber growth to slow dramatically, or even stop, Netflix will have to think hard before attempting any further price increases. It would then have to rely on international growth to push free cash flow into positive territory. In that scenario, Netflix would probably struggle to live up to its roughly $150 billion market cap. Winning a new U.S. customer now costs Netflix more than four times what it cost a few years ago in terms of marketing spend. One factor is that the company is simply running out of households that don’t have a subscription or don’t use the account of a friend or family member. Another factor could be increased churn. Netflix doesn’t disclose how many users drop the service, so there’s no way to tell. Not all of the increase in Netflix’s marketing spending was due to escalating customer acquisition costs. Netflix reclassified certain personnel costs in the fourth quarter, moving that spending from general and administrative to cost of revenues and marketing. That change didn’t affect the bottom line, since it’s just shifting numbers around. But it was one factor behind the increase in marketing spend. Under the new classification system, general and administrative expenses were reduced by $199 million in the fourth quarter compared to the old classification system. About $83 million of that was shifted to marketing, with $30 million added to U.S. marketing spending and $53 million going to international marketing spending. Netflix stock is currently 19% below its June 21 record high of 423.20. It’s 12% off its Oct. 2 peak, which could be interpreted as the start of a new cup base. Netflix (NFLX) Stocks Lead the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break th

16 hours ago

Netflix Stocks Lead the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound

CoinSpeaker Netflix Stocks Lead the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound The stock market rally powered higher last week, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite all reclaiming their 50-day lines. Among the large-cap stocks worth watching was also the Netflix which sold off Friday on mixed results and weak guidance, and now stands well below a current buy point but seems poised to carve a new, lower entry. The subscription video-on-demand service added 8.8 million paying subscribers in the December quarter, bringing its worldwide total to 139.3 million. Netflix had forecast 7.6 million new paying subscribers. The Los Gatos, Californian based company earned 30 cents a share on revenue of $4.19 billion during the period. Analysts expected Netflix earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $4.21 billion. In the year-earlier quarter, Netflix earned 41 cents a share on sales of $3.29 billion. For the current quarter, Netflix expects to add 8.9 million paying subscribers. It forecast earnings per share of 56 cents on sales of $4.49 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Netflix earnings of 83 cents a share and $4.61 billion in revenue. Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said: “As a result of our success with original content, we’re becoming less focused on second-run programming. In the U.S., we earn about 10% of television screen time and less than that of mobile screen time. We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors. We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO. Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members.” Netflix is leading the FAANG pack again since the start of the year, up 31%, and that’s good news for other risk-on assets. The tech trade worked well—until it didn’t. In the second half of 2018, the FAANG stocks— Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com (AMZN), Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL)—lost their edge after a series of high-profile problems, along with a growing aversion to risk. As worries about global growth and trade dominated investors’ minds, tech lost out to sectors, like health care, that are perceived as safer. Netflix is Raising Prices Two days before the earnings report, Netflix announced a price hike for U.S. customers. The cost of its popular mid-tier plan will increase from $10.99 per month to $12.99 per month. The price of the premium plan - which supports 4K streaming and up to four simultaneous streams - will also increase by $2, reaching $15.99 per month. Finally, the basic standard-definition plan will cost $8.99 per month, up from $7.99 per month previously. This is the fourth time the company has raised its subscription prices since it launched its streaming service, with the most recent in October 2017. Shares jumped 3 percent that day. Wall Street analysts also don’t think this price hike will be a deterrent, saying customers are likely willing to pay more. And, in the past, most fans have not been put off by higher costs. Last quarter, Netflix reported domestic subscriber growth of nearly 11 percent year over year, for a final total of 58 million U.S. subscribers. On the other hand, if the price hike causes domestic subscriber growth to slow dramatically, or even stop, Netflix will have to think hard before attempting any further price increases. It would then have to rely on international growth to push free cash flow into positive territory. In that scenario, Netflix would probably struggle to live up to its roughly $150 billion market cap. Winning a new U.S. customer now costs Netflix more than four times what it cost a few years ago in terms of marketing spend. One factor is that the company is simply running out of households that don’t have a subscription or don’t use the account of a friend or family member. Another factor could be increased churn. Netflix doesn’t disclose how many users drop the service, so there’s no way to tell. Not all of the increase in Netflix’s marketing spending was due to escalating customer acquisition costs. Netflix reclassified certain personnel costs in the fourth quarter, moving that spending from general and administrative to cost of revenues and marketing. That change didn’t affect the bottom line, since it’s just shifting numbers around. But it was one factor behind the increase in marketing spend. Under the new classification system, general and administrative expenses were reduced by $199 million in the fourth quarter compared to the old classification system. About $83 million of that was shifted to marketing, with $30 million added to U.S. marketing spending and $53 million going to international marketing spending. Netflix stock is currently 19% below its June 21 record high of 423.20. It’s 12% off its Oct. 2 peak, which could be interpreted as the start of a new cup base. Netflix Stocks Lead the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Sto

16 hours ago

Millions of Chinese tourists are driving mobile payment adoption

Tourism is the tide that lifts all boats by modernizing and globalizing everything from hotels to ATMs. Now it’s changing the way we pay. According to a CNBC report, an influx of millions of Chinese tourists is forcing retailers to begin using mobile payment solutions like Alipay and WeChat Pay, a move that could encourage many more countries to abandon older payment methods like cash and cards. This normalization of outside payment providers could bode well for companies working to offer crypto-based or other alternative payment systems. In a study released by Nielsen, mobile payment adoption is growing in places where Chinese tourists tend to visit. Even the US is ahead of the game with 61% of Chinese tourists saying they paid with mobile apps while on vacation. China has leapfrogged over credit cards thanks to the popularity of chat apps in the country. These apps, which have associated payment systems, make it easy to send cash in country and now over borders. Nielsen isn’t the only organization seeing this change. According to mobile payments provider Citcon over 90% of Chinese tourists would prefer mobile payments overseas and now their preferences are changing the way small businesses take payments. According to the report, seventy-five percent of grocery stories in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand now accept Chinese mobile payments. Seventy-one percent of duty free shops in these countries also support these solutions, a sign that others may soon follow suit. The post Millions of Chinese tourists are driving mobile payment adoption appeared first on The Block.

17 hours ago

Overstock’s Long-Awaited Security Token Trading Platform tZERO Goes Live This Week

CoinSpeaker Overstock’s Long-Awaited Security Token Trading Platform tZERO Goes Live This Week The CEO of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, informed the crypto and investing communities that the highly anticipated tZERO security trading platform will go live by the end of this week. Providing this information Byrne stated that the trading platform was ready for launch but they needed a few more days to process user signups. On Friday last week, he said: “But by the end of the next week we will be turning the trading system live. It’s a big moment for us — four years in the making.” The announcement means tZERO will meet the timetable given last month by Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures, Overstock’s venture fund and tZERO’s direct parent company. Do remember, that Johnson in December said the company would go live in January. It was then said that, to ensure compliance with federal securities law and regulations, and in accordance with the terms of the tokens themselves, the tokens will be locked up in the custodial wallet until January 10, 2019 (90 days after issuance). After the 90-day period expires, tZERO intends on offering holders the opportunity to trade tokens, pursuant to private resale transactions, with other accredited investors on a platform that tZERO is in the process of developing with a broker-dealer partner. In addition, tZERO intends that new investors who are accredited will also be able to open an account to buy tokens following the 90-day period. However, now tZERO has informed their investors that they already have access to their tokens and they can create a brokerage account or just save the tokens in a personal wallet. Dinosaur Financial Group is offering brokerage services to tZERO investors and users. Steven Hopkins, the former COO and general counsel at Medici will be leading tZERO as a president. At the moment, there is no information regarding who is going to be in the other two executive positions. As soon as the platform is launched, users will be able to trade tZERO tokens and many other tokens created by other companies. What that actually means is that tZERO can now launch its own STO after acquiring the necessary financial brokerage licensing. In addition to its native tZERO token, the company plans to create further openings for potential 60 clients and run its business on the same model that its clients would use. According to tZero CEO Saum Noursalehi’s letter, investors will now have the option of choosing where to hold their security tokens, either by creating a brokerage account with Dinosaur Financial Group, a tZero partner and broker dealer, or holding them in a person wallet with a two-step verification system. He confirmed that as of October 12, 2018 they completed the issuance of the tZero security tokens. Making Headlines All Year Long Overstock notably made headlines earlier this year by becoming the first company to pay a portion of its business taxes in Ohio using Bitcoin, taking advantage of a move the state made back in November. In December, tZERO was hired by Hong Kong-based GSR Capital to create a token for trading cobalt, with GSR also buying $30 million in tZERO security tokens from Overstock. However, the partnership was delayed after GSR asked for additional time to on-board a third partner and close the deal. The deal has yet to be completed, Byrne said. Just for reminder, the ICO of tZero opened in December 2017 and raised $100 million in the first day of funding. Patrick Byrne, tZero executive chairman and CEO of Overstock then confirmed that tZero is planning to use the money raised to help launch multiple tokenized securities exchanges around the world in parallel with its SEC-licensed U.S. operation. Byrne first revealed his plans for a security token trading system in 2014, but technological and compliance efforts took some time. Overstock’s initial Alternative Trading System (ATS), a sort of precursor to tZERO, has been open for two years. But it has listed only tokens representing preferred shares in Overstock, and saw little activity (all of 10 trades over a 15-month period) due to technical hurdles, a public filing by Overstock said last spring. Overstock’s Long-Awaited Security Token Trading Platform tZERO Goes Live This Week

18 hours ago

Crypto Market Wrap: $5 Billion Dumped to Bottom of Trading Range

Market Wrap Crypto markets dump to bottom of trading range, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin suffering, TenX still climbing. Following almost a week of inactivity crypto markets have started to dump again. A break through support zones for several of the major crypto assets has resulted in total market capitalization plunging back below $120 billion again for the fourth time since the end of November. Bitcoin has failed to hold above $3,700 and dumped almost 4% to an intraday low of $3,585. It is currently clinging on to support at $3,600 but is looking bearish at the moment and further losses could be imminent. As usual the rest of the market has followed suit with Ethereum getting hit harder than the two above it. ETH has plummeted back to $117 with a daily dump of 5.5%. The gap to second placed XRP has widened back up to almost $1 billion again as the Ripple token only lost half the amount. An entirely red top ten compounds those Monday morning blues with Litecoin losing most of its 5% gained yesterday. Bitcoin Cash has also dumped over 5% and EOS is not far behind it during the day’s Asian trading session. Tether has flipped Stellar again to take sixth spot. An equally painful top twenty sees Maker slide the most at nearly 9% as it is about to be flipped by Zcash. Cardano, Dash and Neo are all ditching over 5% on the day has markets retreat once again. TenX is still enjoying the fomo today with a PAY pump of 30% over the past 24 hours. The Singapore issued credit cards still driving momentum for today’s top one hundred performer which is the only altcoin making double figures. Getting dumped by doubles at the moment is Holo, Revain and Augur dropping around 12% each. Just below $5 billion has been dumped out of crypto since the same time yesterday. The 4% slide has taken market capitalization back to $119 billion, its lowest level since last Monday. The monthly view still shows a range bound market but we are now right at the bottom of that trading range as dark clouds still loom in crypto land. Market Wrap is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 cryptocurrencies during the current trading session and analyses the best-performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals. The post Crypto Market Wrap: $5 Billion Dumped to Bottom of Trading Range appeared first on NewsBTC.

20 hours ago

Daily Berminal Brief: Total Crypto Market Cap Falls by $4 Billion

The overall crypto market cap dropped by more than $4 billion on Sunday, erasing the gains made on Saturday and approaching the lows of the past week. The price of Bitcoin fell by 3.5% and currently trades at $3,600, while the price of XRP decreased by 3.06% and is currently trading at $0.3211. Out of the top 100 coins, TenX (PAY) has performed the best over the past 24-hours, currently up 26.33% and trading at $0.4643. (JF)

a day ago

Indonesian Unicorn Go-Jek Acquires Majority Stake in Filipino Crypto Wallet

Indonesian unicorn Go-Jek has announced a partnership between the company’s payments platform, Go-Pay, and Filipino cryptocurrency wallet Coins.ph. Local media has reported that the deal will see Coins.ph continue to run as usual, despite Go-Jek now owning a majority stake in the company. Also Read: Executives of Korean Exchange Sentenced to Jail for Faking Volumes Go-Jek Announces Partnership With Coins.ph Go-Pay, the payments platform of Indonesia’s largest on-demand service platform, Go-Jek, has announced that it has entered into a partnership with Filipino wallet provider Coins.ph. While specific details regarding the deal have not been officially disclosed, Manila Standard reported that the deal will include a “substantial acquisition” of shares by Go-Jek, giving the country a majority stake in Coins.ph. Citing two undisclosed industry sources, Techcrunch has reported that the deal saw Go-Jek pay $72 million for the shares. Launched in Jakarta in 2011, Go-Jek now comprises Indonesia’s largest on-demand multi-service platform, with Krasia estimating the company’s most recent funding round to have boosted Go-Jek’s valuation to between $8 billion and $10 billion. More than half of all transactions processed by Go-Jek are conducted through Go-Pay. Coins.ph has grown to support a customer base of over 5 million in less than five years of operating, with the company claiming to have processed 6 million cryptocurrency transactions during the month of December 2018. Many Filipinos Lack Access to Basic Financial Services The two companies have their eyes set on the Filipino market, where 77 percent of adult citizens do not have bank accounts. While few citizens have access to financial services, nearly 70 percent of Filipino citizens use mobile phones - a confluence of demographics that many analysts believe makes the Filipino market ripe for widespread cryptocurrency adoption. Ron Hose, the founder and chief executive officer of Coins.ph, stated: “In just a few years, our team has been able to build a scalable service extending financial services to millions of Filipinos ... Together we have a tremendous opportunity and by leveraging Go-Jek’s resources and expertize, we can give Filipinos even more convenience, choice, and access to the services they want.” Aldi Haryopratomo, the chief executive officer of Go-Pay, stated: “We are excited to work with Coins.ph, a company that shares our ethos of empowering communities by bringing more people into the digital economy. Consumer transaction behavior in Indonesia and Philippine share many similarities, and together with Coins.ph, we hope to have similar success in accelerating cashless payments in the Philippines.” What is your response to Go-Jek’s acquisition of a majority stake in Coins.ph? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more. The post Indonesian Unicorn Go-Jek Acquires Majority Stake in Filipino Crypto Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

a day ago

A Rolex, McLaren and Luxury Condos- the World of a Crypto Con-man

A high-profile cryptocurrency theft case and a series of lawsuits associated with it have brought SIM swap hacks to the limelight once again. Nicolas Truglia, the primary suspect of a $24 million-dollar cryptocurrency theft case where BitAngels founder Michael Terpin’s crypto holdings were robbed, was known to live in $6,000 per month rented apartment. He was also known to brag about planning to buy a McLaren car, a Manhattan condominium, and a private jet. Details Into the Life of Truglia Michael Terpin has filed two lawsuits related to the theft. The first suit sought $224 million in damages and included the name of cellular operator AT&T, which Terpin claims was negligent during the SIM swap attack that made him lose millions. The second case, seeking $81 million in damages was filed last month against Truglia and 25 other unnamed people. Private jet broker Chris David will be supporting Terpin’s case against Truglia. The infamous crypto con artist reportedly lived in an apartment paying $6,000 per month in rent. He also wore a Rolex watch worth $100,000. According to David, the conman frequently talked about buying a Manhattan condo, a private jet and a $250,000 McLaren sports car. Chris David noted: “I quoted [Truglia] a price of $38,000 for the private jet he wanted to hire. He said that he could pay that amount out of his cryptos, and he showed me his accounts on his computer and mobile phone, totaling tens of millions of dollars.” How Much Did Truglia Really Own? David says that Truglia showed him his crypto holdings. He mentions him having over $7 million of cash in his JP Morgan Chase mobile application. The conman also showed David that he holds over $12 million worth of cryptocurrencies in his Gemini account. David said: “One had over $40 million cash value of various cryptos, and the other one had over $20 million . Ultimately, Nick did not lease the jet that I offered.” David suggests that Truglia told him that the cryptocurrencies he earned were a result of crypto mining profits. He later confessed that he had stolen cryptocurrencies from other people, going as far ahead as calling himself “Robin Hood.” The documents submitted to court include screenshots of the man showing off his success on social media platforms. A Rolex, McLaren and Luxury Condos- the World of a Crypto Con-man was originally found on Cryptocurrency News | Blockchain News | Bitcoin News | blokt.com.

a day ago

What is Poloniex? Beginner’s Guide To The Veteran Crypto Exchange

Poloniex is a well-known veteran cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States. The exchange was acquired by Circle in a $400 million deal. One of the unique things about Poloniex is that it doesn’t feature any fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading. Users aren’t able to trade their cryptocurrencies against fiat currencies. The ability to hedge does exist though, thanks to the stable coins (such as the Circle based USDC). From a positive point of view, Poloniex has the largest abundance of cryptocurrency trading pairs, which is something crucial for crypto traders. The overall experience of using Poloniex is somewhat simple. The exchange has an easy to understand user-interface which makes trading seamless and easy. Below, we take a complete look at how to open an account and how to begin trading on Poloniex. Why open an account on Poloniex? Variety: If you’re looking for a simple crypto-to-crypto exchange with an abundance of trading pairs and available assets, Poloniex is amongst the best exchanges. Security: Poloniex is also recognized as a cryptocurrency exchange with a solid reputation. Despite being hacked back in 2014, the platform seems to have integrated the necessary security protocols. For the record, following the 2014 hack, Poloniex returned all the stolen funds to its users. This speaks volumes about the integrity of their management team. Liquidity: Poloniex provides proper liquidity of more than $10 million traded daily (as of writing). Put simply, Poloniex is a trusted exchange with a user-friendly interface which makes for a trading experience you will undoubtedly enjoy. How do you register and open a Poloniex trading account? Opening an account with Poloniex is relatively straightforward. However, there is an ID verification process (KYC) that you have to go through if you want to access all the platform’s features fully. Starting from the official Poloniex website (due to Phishing threats, always double check the URL), proceed to “Create an Account.” Upon clicking it, you’ll see the following screen: You have to input all the above details and once done; you’ll receive a confirmation email with an activation link. Upon completing this, you’ll have to add some KYC information. Poloniex asks for a valid ID document such as a passport. As soon as everything is verified, your profile will be complete, and you’ll be ready to trade. Note that you don’t have to provide your ID details to access the platform. However, you’ll be restricted in the actions you can take without having your ID verified. How do you Trade on Poloniex? Once you have your account set up, you’ll be able to start trading. To do so, naturally, you need to add some funds. To deposit, click on the “Balances” button in the top right corner on your navigation menu. Note that Poloniex doesn’t allow you to deposit fiat currency as it is a strict cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency exchange. By doing this, you’ll see a page with a list of all the available digital assets. It looks like this: Choose the coin that you want to deposit and click the Deposit button. Note that this is also how you can withdraw your holdings. As soon as you click on the deposit option, a new deposit wallet address will be generated. Now that you have funds in your account, it’s time to start trading. From the top menu select “Exchange”. Below is what should possibly appear on your screen We say possibly because it matters what type of cryptocurrency you want to trade. On the right side, in the table, you can see that there are different markets that you can choose from. We’ve chosen BTC in our guide. The next thing that you’ll notice is the big “Ethereum Exchange” sign on your top left. That’s because we’ve chosen to trade BTC against ETH. The main screen shows the chart; below there are three boxes - “Buy ETH,” “Stop-Limit,” and “Sell ETH..” Enter the amount of the desired currency (in our case ETH) that you want to buy or sell, and the exchange will calculate its amount in BTC, make sure to set the price. The default is the best offer from the order book (which is shown on the right side). It will then create a Buy or Sell order, and as soon as your target prices are matched, the trade will be executed. The middle box, the “Stop-Limit,” is an order to place a regular buy or sell order as soon as the highest bid or lowest ask price (depending on whether you are buying or selling) reaches a specified price. This enables the ability to place stop loss commands. Poloniex Margin Trading Margin trading is an option for more advanced traders. However, margins can be used to protect or hedge your portfolio. To begin margin trading, you first have to transfer your funds which will be used as collateral from your Poloniex Exchange account to your Poloniex Margin account. The process happens instantly. When you are using the margin trading feature, all of the money you use to trade is borrowed from other users who’ve offered their funds on a peer-to-peer basis

a day ago

Consultant allegedly gets shorted after doing job too well

Want some bare-knuckled bitcoin litigation, agents (but not the James Bond kind), and news on why too much of a good thing sometimes isn’t all that great? Read on, MacDuff! Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes and provided by Nelson Rosario and Stephen Palley These posts are not legal advice. These are our opinions only and aren’t authorized by any past, present or future client or employer. Also we might change our minds. We contain multitudes. We’ve got another services agreement gone awry. This case involves a startup cryptocurrency company, some deep pockets, and the potential perils of biting off more than you can chew. The plaintiffs in this case, Emerging Markets Intrinsic (EMI) and SRT Capital SPC (SRT), got involved with Kadena LLC in 2017, because their attorney introduced them to his son, Will Martino, who is CEO of Kadena, LLC. According to the complaint Kadena was having a “friends and family” fundraising round selling convertible notes, and they were welcomed to join the round. Both plaintiffs invested $50,000 each for $100,000 total. Later in 2017, Kadena allegedly informed the EMI and SRT of immense institutional investor interest in Kadena Coin, the cryptocurrency that Kadena LLC hoped to build. Based on this representation SRT bought the right to receive $1 million worth of Kadena Coin. At the end of the fundraising round it was revealed that Kadena only raised $2.25 million meaning that SRT had inadvertently become the largest future holder of Kadena Coin. In order to grow their company, Kadena entered into a consulting agreement with EMI, because EMI had many contacts in the business world. As part of the services agreement, EMI would be rewarded with future Kadena Coin in three different ways: setting up a meeting with a qualified prospect, a qualified prospect agreeing to develop a proof of concept, and a qualified prospect issuing a press release about their partnership with Kadena. These were Triggering Events that led to rewards of additional coins. EMI took to their job with vigor. In May of 2018, EMI organized a series of meetings that were attended by Martino with potential business prospects. The cost of the trip was 250,000 euros, and EMI covered the costs for Kadena. Apparently, EMI was able to arrange “executive-level meetings with 13 out of 14 Qualified Prospects.” According to the terms of the service agreement this meant EMI was entitled to 2.6 million Kadena Coin. This is when the relationship began to sour. Allegedly, upon the success of the meetings Kadena communicated that they never expected EMI to secure so many meetings, or that they would generate so much interest. Apparently, Kadena had not accounted for this in their financial modeling, and they needed to “play with the numbers,” to figure out how to pay EMI what they were allegedly owed. When you enter into an agreement you have a duty of good faith and fair dealing to the other parties to that agreement. For example, you can’t try and act in a way to deny the benefits of the contract that the other party is owed. This is what Kadena allegedly proceeded to do after they realized that they owed EMI 2.6 million Kadena Coins. The complaint alleges that Kadena attempted to thwart efforts by EMI to get Qualified Prospects to sign on to agreements to develop the technology, and attempted to delay press releases past a December 31, 2018, deadline in the Service Agreement. Amendments were made to the Service Agreement. There are emails here. They don’t look great. In part though this will come down to determining what is reasonable. For example, was it reasonable and in good faith for the CEO of Kadena to change their mind about extending the press release deadline multiple times over the course of a few months? Maybe, maybe not. What’s odd is that EMI apparently was Kadena’s best advocate much to the chagrin of Kadena. Crypto is weird. The Block is delighted to bring you expert cryptocurrency legal analysis courtesy of Stephen Palley (@stephendpalley) and Nelson M. Rosario (@nelsonmrosario). They summarize three cryptocurrency-related cases on a weekly basis and have given The Block permission to republish their commentary and analysis in full. Part II of this week’s analysis, Crypto Caselaw Minute, is above. The post Consultant allegedly gets shorted after doing job too well appeared first on The Block.

a day ago

AraCon is kicking off in 9 days. You can pay for your AraCon...

AraCon is kicking off in 9 days. You can pay for your AraCon ticket with crypto (or even fiat) until tomorrow at 11… https://t.co/UW71J9NP5p

2 days ago

Jack Mallers Demonstrates Buying a Stranger a Beer Through the Lightning Network

Yesterday, Jack Mallers, the founder of the open source Lightning Network (LN) wallet dubbed ‘Zap,’ demonstrated how to use the Zap POS system. The exhibition involved a Zap POS application, Bitcoin Core, Lightning Network Daemon (LND), BTCPay Server, and some custom hardware. The wallet allowed the attendees to pay for their drinks using Bitcoin on-chain and over the Lightning Network. He also created a website (http://www.buyabeerwithlightning.com/) that allowed people from across the globe to buy him and the other attendees drinks. (KE)

2 days ago

You can pay with fiat or with crypto, but today is your last...

You can pay with fiat or with crypto, but today is your last chance to register for #AraCon2019!… https://t.co/X2u6Fx82EY

2 days ago

Electroneum Price Surge Continues as Community Seeks Epic Games’ Approval

This is by far one of the more interesting weekends for cryptocurrency trading in recent memory. A lot of things are happening right now. Whereas some of the top markets are turning bearish again, the Electroneum price trend simply continues. Further gains have been noted in recent hours, which is rather impressive in its own regard. Electroneum Price Moves Even Higher It was somewhat to be expected this weekend would offer a bit of everything for all cryptocurrencies. There is some bearish and bullish momentum alike, although most eyes will be on the markets performing above expectations. After a successful day of trading yesterday, it seems Electroneum continues to inch ahead across all departments. A very intriguing trend, albeit it is not entirely unexpected either. Over the past 24 hours, the Electroneum price increased by a further 6% in USD value. This brings the price per ETN back to $0.007248, which is a pretty big deal for holders and investors. There is also a 4.5% increase in ETN/BTC, resulting in a price point of 194 Satoshi. If this trend keeps up, reaching 200 Satoshi should not be too much of a problem. Sustaining this ongoing growth, however, will always be somewhat tricky under these circumstances. It would appear the Electroneum community is trying to gain some more traction in the real world. Openly asking Epic Games if they would accept ETN as a payment method might not necessarily be the best option to get some recognition right now. At the same time, one has to acknowledge the currency is a payment tool first and foremost. With mobile gaming taking off, a mobile-focused cryptocurrency could be a good fit for Epic Games in this regard. Will you consider accepting #ETN digital currency? Easy intergration with their Instant Payment System (patent pending) First digital currency to be KYC/AML compliant.I’d love to pay in #ETN #Electroneum — Cosmicrypto (@Cosmicrypto_) January 20, 2019 In other Electroneum news, it would appear the ecosystem continues to grow at an accelerated pace. As of right now, Electroneum can make a big impact in 147 countries around the world due to required KYC for prepaid SIM cards. As ETN is KYC-compliant, it would make some sense to target this specific market in the coming weeks and months. Whether or not that will effectively be the plan of action, remains to be determined. Did You Know?: 147 Countries *mandate* KYC for Prepaid SIM cards. @electroneum is the only KYC Compliant #cryptocurrency therefore, anyone without KYC implementation would not have access to 147 Countries. #Electroneum has immediate access to all in Blue and Yellow. HUGE pic.twitter.com/0xRcaZvoMN — Quorra Market (@QuorraMarket) January 19, 2019 When looking at the ETN chart form a technical perspective, this most recent push is quite spectacular to behold. Green candles are being stacked upon more green candles. Only time will tell how sustainable this run is, but for now, ETN is doing a lot of things right. People are genuinely getting excited about this currency and its associated technology, by the look of things. of course it gets #better and #ETN $ETN is rising more and more! Don't miss the train! @electroneum #instantpayments #crypto #cryptocurrency #ETNArmy pic.twitter.com/jYyyZZN2BF — Michal Electroneum (@MFlowRock) January 19, 2019 All of these signs seem to confirm the ETN price uptrend may continue throughout the remainder of the weekend. That doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no drop in the near future, as such steady growth is simply unsustainable without a brief pause or correction. Even so, the overall sentiment regarding this altcoin is extremely bullish right now. That is all holders and investors can ask for at this time. Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency. The post Electroneum Price Surge Continues as Community Seeks Epic Games’ Approval appeared first on NullTX.

2 days ago

Crypto Market Wrap: Litecoin Leading The Way as Markets Make Minor Moves

Market Wrap Crypto markets moving marginally this Sunday, Litecoin is leading, Binance Coin and NEO following up. Crypto markets have shifted gear a little this morning but major movements are still wanting. Following a week of complete inactivity markets are nudging closer to $125 billion in total capitalization but progress is still painfully slow in the land of the bears. As usual Bitcoin dominated market movements when it spiked to $3,750 yesterday. On the day BTC has made 1.7% and is holding these gains for the time being, trading at $3,730. Since last Sunday though things have been pretty flat with marginal movements in either direction. Ethereum has performed a little better with gains of over 2% taking it closer to $125 again. Constantinople, when it finally occurs, may push ETH prices higher but at the moment the bulls are missing in action. XRP has made smaller gains reducing the gap between the two back to $500 million in market cap. At the time of writing the top ten is all green with Litecoin making the most at almost 5%. LTC is currently trading at $33 and poised to catch Tether if it can break $2 billion market cap. Coingate’s adoption of Litecoin’s lightning network for payment processing seems to be the only thing driving momentum at the moment. There has been little movement for any of the other altcoins in the top ten over the past 24 hours. A similar picture can be seen in the top twenty with only Binance Coin and NEO exceeding 4% gains on the day. Cardano, Dash and Maker have made over 2% but the rest are generally inactive today. Holo is getting today’s fomo treatment with a 50% pump that is likely to go the opposite way tomorrow. Apollo Currency has also surged into the top one hundred with a similar pump and Revain and Augur are also doing will with almost 30% gains on the day. There are no altcoins dumping at the time of writing, only TenX is pulling back a little following yesterday’s surge. Around $2 billion has been added to crypto markets over the past 24 hours which has resulted in a 1.6% climb to $124 billion. No change in trade volume which is still at $16 billion leaves markets marginally higher than they were at the same time last weekend. Bitcoin and its ‘Bart-like’ spikes are still dominating proceedings in the crypto sphere. Market Wrap is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 cryptocurrencies during the current trading session and analyses the best-performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals. The post Crypto Market Wrap: Litecoin Leading The Way as Markets Make Minor Moves appeared first on NewsBTC.

2 days ago

Plaintiff in the SIM-Swapping Case Against AT&T Sues Nicholas Truglia for $81M

Michael Terpin, the plaintiff in a SIM swapping case against wireless carrier AT&T has filed a lawsuit against Nicholas Truglia. Terpin's lawyers filed the second lawsuit on December 28th in the Superior Court of California. According to Terpin, the defendant stole his cryptocurrency via a social engineering attack and should pay $81m for damages. Terpin had also filed a $224m suit against AT&T for aiding unauthorized transfer of his cell phone number to the handset of the thief. Terpin reportedly believes Truglia is the thief who stole his cryptocurrency worth $24m. Currently, Truglia is in custody on a $1.4m bond pending another appearance in the court on 10th April on other charges of SIM swapping against high profile figures like 0Chain CEO Saswata Basu and SMBX cofounder Gabrielle Katsnelson. (KE)

2 days ago

Bitwage Uses Payroll Company to Offer Crypto Salaries

Crypto payments firm Bitwage has announced a partnership with a payroll company based in Texas. The partnership with Simply Efficient HR, a professional employer organization, is geared towards enabling companies to pay staff in cryptocurrency. While Bitwage currently serves an estimated staff base of 20,000 through partnerships with 45 companies, the new link-up with Simply Efficient […]

2 days ago

8 Crypto Debit Cards You Can Use Around the World Right Now

Cryptocurrencies are gradually becoming a viable payment option across a range of markets and jurisdictions. If there is a tool that significantly expands the usability of digital coins in a world still dominated by traditional payment systems, it’s the crypto debit card. A growing number of reliable platforms offer the fintech product to bitcoin enthusiasts. Also read: Crypto Cards Are Legal in Russia, According to the Finance Ministry Established Crypto Card Providers in the U.S. Bitpay, which processed over $1 billion in payments during a bearish 2018, offers users in all U.S. states a convenient way to spend their cryptocurrencies online and in store. Its prepaid Visa card is tied to a cryptocurrency wallet that supports instant conversion from bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) to U.S. dollars and local fiat currencies outside the country. Bitpay’s crypto card is available to U.S. residents only. To apply, it is necessary to provide a home address, a valid government-issued ID and social security number. There’s a fee of $9.95 that covers the cost of issuing and a dormancy fee of $5 a month following a 90-day period of inactivity. A currency conversion fee of 3 percent is applied each time the card is used outside the U.S. Withdrawing cash at an ATM costs $2 in the United States and $3 abroad. Shift, another card available in the U.S., allows users to connect to their Coinbase accounts. The Visa card has no maintenance fee but a 3 percent commission is charged on international transactions. ATM withdrawals cost $2.50 in the United States and $3.50 in other jurisdictions. The card itself is $20. Shift supports BTC only and offers fee-free conversion from bitcoin core to U.S. dollars. Major Crypto Debit Cards Available in Europe Wirex is the first choice for many Europeans. The U.K.-based startup offers both virtual and physical Visa debit cards, and the plastic version comes with chip and PIN. They are currently available to residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), where Iban support was introduced for all EUR accounts. However, the company plans to offer its services in North American and Asian markets as well. Users can load the card with bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), litecoin (LTC), and waves, the latter having been added recently. Card holders can spend three leading fiat currencies - euros, U.S. dollars and British pounds. Wirex users pay a $1.50 card management fee each month. ATM withdrawals within Europe cost $2.50, and $3.50 elsewhere. In-store purchases are rewarded with 0.5 percent crypto cashback in BTC. Revolut, another British company, offers up to 1 percent cashback in cryptocurrency for payments made with its Revolut Metal card. For less than $16 a month, the digital bank’s premium service provides clients with access to five major coins - BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, and LTC - and the ability to pay in over 150 fiat currencies. The contactless card, which can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, comes with fee-free ATM withdrawals up to €600 per month (~$680). Cryptopay issues another card in both virtual and physical form. The latter has a chip and costs $15. The contactless card is currently issued only in Russia, where it has a 1 percent loading fee and a monthly service fee of 65 Russian rubles, less than a dollar. Cryptopay is planning to bring its cards to Singapore. The payment provider supports BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP. A fee of $2.50 is applied to withdrawals from teller machines and each exchange transaction is charged a 3 percent commission. Some Newcomers in the Market A number of payment providers and fintech startups have launched new cryptocurrency debits cards in the past few months. These platforms are trying to attract the attention of crypto users around the world and prove themselves as alternatives to the well-established products on the market. Fuzex is cryptocurrency payment card project that last summer chose bitcoin cash (BCH) as its base cryptocurrency. It also supports ETH and the platform’s own token, FXT. Fuzex cards are currently issued to residents of Europe and the APAC region. The physical card is NFC payment enabled. It comes with an EMV chip and a barcode display. Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-headquartered company formerly known as Monaco, announced in October it’s starting to ship its MCO Visa cards to customers in Singapore. The prepaid cards are linked to a mobile wallet that allows holders to buy, sell, store, send, and track digital coins such as BTC, ETH, Binance’s BNB token, the platform’s own MCO tokens as well as major fiat currencies. Aximetria offers a debit card linked to a cryptocurrency wallet which became available to Russian citizens since last year. In November, the Switzerland-based startup told news.Bitcoin.com its platform supports BTC and ETH which can be used for online and offline payments via instant conversion to fiat. The company is partnering with the cryptocurrency exchange Cex.io. The card can be or

2 days ago

Former Soccer Player Dexter Blackstock is Now the Director of the MediConnect Blockchain Platform

Dexter Blackstock, a former soccer player from England, left the sport in 2017 to focus on being the director of the blockchain powered MediConnect pilot, which claims to be a safety net for patients, prescribers, pharmacies and drug manufacturers. The MediConnect project, which runs on blockchain technology developed by the London-based firm Stratis, launched its crowdfunding campaign on Wednesday, January 16th. The MediConnect platform will enable patients to store their medical records on an immutable, decentralized blockchain and can use the MEDI token to directly pay for prescriptions. (JF)

2 days ago

Core Ethereum devs push Constantinople upgrade out 6 weeks; ProgPoW decision put on hold

Core Ethereum Devs regrouped on Friday for their bi-weekly dev call to discuss how to proceed and set a block time for reintroducing the Constantinople upgrade. Consensus formed around pushing the upgrade out around six weeks, in order to give reasonable amount of time to test clients. As originally expected, the upgrade will remove EIP 1283 by reissuing Constantinople in two separate parts. The first upgrade will include the original 5 EIPs, and a subsequent simultaneous second upgrade will remove the EIP 1283. The introduction, and swift elimination, of EIP-1283, has sparked a more general discussion regarding how to proceed with upgrades to EVM semantics that are not compatible with pre-existing smart contracts. This is especially relevant in the context of Ethereum 2.0’s plan to introduce storage rent, where every account would have to pay some small amount of ETH per block for every byte of storage it takes up. Ethereum’s ‘difficulty bomb’, which increases mining difficulty exponentially (and slows down block times) has already activated, making the precise day of the Constantinople upgrade range bound somewhere during the last few days of February. The core devs decided to aim activation to take place around February 27th, with developer Lane Rettig backing into the desired block number, stating “[using] sensitivity analysis it looks like block 7,280,000 will get us pretty close to that final number [Feb 27th].” The core devs agreed to set block 7.28 million as their “tentative number” and to reevaluate in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the discussion on next steps for ProgPow implementation ended up being delayed for the time being, with Hudson Jameson chairing the discussion stating, “[we] agree that dev calls are a bad forum when discussing ProgPow decisions. We will need to continue this discussion in the future, don’t know if it will fit into the next core dev call, but we’ll try.” The post Core Ethereum devs push Constantinople upgrade out 6 weeks; ProgPoW decision put on hold appeared first on The Block.

2 days ago

Litecoin entra no octógono do UFC, a Lightning Network continua crescendo e mais novidades

Por: Livecoins LTC entra no octógono do UFC No final do mês passado, a Litecoin ganhou as manchetes quando se tornou o parceiro oficial de criptomoedas do UFC 232. Esse foi um marco importante para o Litecoin e para as cripto moedas como um todo. Veja abaixo como isso aconteceu, os resultados obtidos e alguns outros destaques divertidos. LITECOIN ENTRA NO OCTAGON E NO ESTÁGIO GLOBAL DO UFC 232: JONES VS. GUSTAFFSON 2 Bruce Buffer também anuncia: “Take control of your money and pay with Litecoin!!!” (Assuma o controle do seu dinheiro e pague com Litecoin !!!) na frente de uma multidão de mais de 15.000 A comunidade Litecoin também se uniu recentemente para receber Ben Askren, que fará sua tão esperada estréia no UFC em breve, no #LitecoinFam (link para o vídeo) Charlie Lee, também agradecer aos time de voluntários da Litecoin que recentemente são responsáveis por grandes realizações da moeda. Uma delas o patrocínio de Ben Askren. Com o esforço da nossa equipe o valor de necessário para patrocínio foi arrecadado sensacionalmente em menos de 10 horas. Além do patrocínio, campanhas de marketing criativas foram criadas pelos voluntários em colaboração com o Produtor @CommonEnemy. Pay With Litecoin America’s Debt Litecoin “Easy Payments” Atualizações Tecnológicas A Lightning Network continua a crescer! Desde 7 de janeiro, a contagem de nós do Litecoin na Rede Lightning cresceu mais de 100 nós. Isso tem sido estimulado, em grande parte, por adeptos não-técnicos do Litecoin, que querem se envolver e ajudar a criar o futuro dos pagamentos instantâneos, seguindo os guias do LTC LN. Anteriormente, isso era limitado apenas aos sistemas operacionais Mac e Ubuntu, mas agora há um guia para o Windows graças à ajuda de Michael Rodriguez. O Lightning Joule, um aplicativo chrome amigável ao usuário para gerenciar seu nó de rede de raios, também foi bifurcado para o Litecoin. Novamente devido aos esforços de Michael Rodriguez, ele foi fundido na base de código do Lightning Joule e o aplicativo chrome deve ser atualizado nas próximas semanas para uso dos usuários do Litecoin Lightning Network. Este projeto também foi submetido a um programa de recompensas organizado pela The Lite School. Se você é um desenvolvedor, envie seu projeto de paixão Litecoin hoje usando essa link para ter uma chance de ganhar 1 LTC! Lite.IM Lança Compra de Criptomoedas no Facebook Messenger, Telegrama e SMS Nossos amigos da Zulu Republic lançaram outra grande inovação. O Lite.IM agora permite comprar criptomoedas diretamente no Facebook Messenger, Telegram ou por SMS com um cartão de crédito ou débito! Este é um enorme passo em frente para a plataforma, que apenas duas semanas atrás lançou o suporte para o Bitcoin. Mas também é um enorme passo à frente para a adoção de criptografia em geral: os 2,5 bilhões de usuários do Facebook e Telegram, e todos aqueles com recursos básicos de SMS nos EUA e Canadá, agora têm acesso à forma mais conveniente possível de comprar, enviar e enviar. receba Bitcoin, Litecoin e Ether. Leia mais aqui. Derrotando o FUD: Litecoin Github compromete a atividade Este artigo dá uma olhada interessante nos desenvolvimentos do Litecoin e expulsa alguns FUD recentes (medo, incerteza e dúvida) em relação à atividade de commit do Litecoin no Github. Fique Atento no que esta por vir! Muitos de vocês leitores sabem que eu faço parte da equipe de voluntários da Litecoin e como brasileira eu bolei um evento especial para vocês. Aqui vai uma dica do que esta por vir. Para atualizações visite e se inscreva no Blog da Mamãecrypto O artigo Litecoin entra no octógono do UFC, a Lightning Network continua crescendo e mais novidades apareceu primeiro em Livecoins.

2 days ago

BitcoinNews.com Bitcoin Market Analysis 17th January 2019

Yesterday’s daytime candle closed at the price of USD 3,673. During the day, buyers tried to break through the price zone of USD 3,700-3,735 but sellers continued to protect it reliably and buyers managed to create a big flawed breakthrough at the price of USD 3,760. Consolidation under the price zone USD 3,700-3,735 continues. This is also confirmed by the volumes which are currently small. Buyers are trying to change the situation for three days but with such volumes, they are doomed to failure. The price continues to move in a triangle and an attempt of buyers to test USD 3,700-3735 is becoming harder and harder every time. If we pay attention to the horizontal volumes we will see that in this price zone a big volume was formed: Therefore, at the moment we believe that sellers control the situation and there is a high probability of continuation of the fall and a test of USD 3,500-3,520 at the lower trend line of the falling channel: Margin buyer positions are also moving in the falling channel and are now near the upper trend line: There is an interesting situation with marginal positions of sellers. We have noted on the chart three main falls of Bitcoin price since May 2018. In all three cases, before the fall the marginal positions of sellers have always been below and sellers did not expect a continuation of the fall: Now the situation is trying to repeat itself and the longer the price will be under the zone of USD 3,700-3,735, the stronger the continuation of the fall may be and if buyers cannot hold USD 3,500-3,520, then the last hope of buyers is USD 3,350: In this price zone, a good volume is concentrated from which the price should at least bounce. According to the wave analysis, buyers corrected the fall on 10 January by 38.2%. This is a fairly weak correction in order to break the trend and there is a great probability of the fall continuation with the first stop at USD 3,540. All the facts indicate that in the USD 3,500-3,540 range, there is a critical point for buyers in which it will be clear whether the increase will continue from 17 December, or sellers will try to update the minimum. Our main scenario is the continuation of growth with the first target of USD 4,700 and the ultimate goal of USD 5,400. Meanwhile, we still have to wait to see where the price from this consolidation will resolve and whether the volumes of trade will increase. 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: Bitcoin News The post BitcoinNews.com Bitcoin Market Analysis 17th January 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

2 days ago

Chile to Start Taxing Cryptocurrency Earnings in Second Quarter of 2019

Chile is to start taxing cryptocurrencies in April, when taxpayers pay their yearly income taxes, but it’s unclear at what rate. According to local media reports, the country’s revenue authority has included crypto assets in the Annual Income Tax Returns form, which will be declared as “other own income and/or third-party income from companies that declare their effective income.” Also read: Report From Within Shut Down Zimbabwe: A Government That’s Crippled Its Own Economy Investors to Pay Tax on Crypto Earnings Chile exempted cryptocurrencies from Value Added Tax laws in 2018, labeling them “intangible assets” but investors will now be required to pay tax on earnings generated from crypto-related investments, Diario Bitcoin reported, quoting the country’s tax collector, Internal Revenue Service. It is not clear at what rate the crypto tax will be levied, but individual income tax thresholds in the country averaged 39.38 percent during the 15 years to 2018, according to research website Tradingeconomics. Today, the rate stands at 35 percent. Fernando Barraza, director of the revenue authority, said citizens who buy, sell or trade virtual currencies will have to register their enterprises by completing what are known as “tax-exempt invoices.” These invoices allow the Internal Revenue Service to monitor their operations. The article stated that the Chilean government had become interested in tracking cryptocurrency activities following a sharp rise in their use as “valid currencies to trade products and services.” Legitimizing Cryptocurrencies The move by the revenue collector to tax crypto assets is widely regarded by observers as a major step towards legitimizing the trade and use of virtual currencies in the south American country. Until now, the legal status of cryptocurrency in Chile has remained a matter of conjecture. The country does not recognize virtual currencies such as bitcoin as legal tender, but they are not banned either. However, Chilean crypto exchanges have in the last year had running battles with commercial banks, who closed their accounts without explanation. A landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Chile in December means banks can now close such accounts legally. In a case pitting state-owned Bancoestado against digital asset trading platform Orionx, the court ruled the bank was justified in closing the exchange’s accounts. Judges said the bank acted in compliance with laws on money laundering and terrorist financing, a threat allegedly posed by censorship-resistant decentralized cryptocurrencies. The Supreme Court claimed that digital assets lack “physical manifestation” and “have no intrinsic value.” It also took issue with the fact that they are not controlled or issued by governments or companies. Tax lawyer Patrício Bravo, representing the non-profit Bitcoin Chile, commented that the new crypto tax was an attempt by the Internal Revenue Service “to expand the tax structure as much as possible to cover all types of crypto assets.” Bravo, who was speaking to local news outlet Crypto Notidies, also noted that the tax may have been “due to the current lack in Chilean legislation of figures specifically designed for this type of instruments, which makes it difficult to generate more specific items.” What do you think about Chile’s cryptocurrency tax? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com The post Chile to Start Taxing Cryptocurrency Earnings in Second Quarter of 2019 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

2 days ago

Crypto Market Wrap: TenX Surging on Reissued PAY Credit Cards

Market Wrap Crypto markets are still flat this Saturday, Tron pulling back after recent gains, TenX surging. As we enter the weekend crypto markets remain inactive. If anything there has been a slight pullback for most crypto assets but total market cap is still hovering just above $120 billion. Over the past 24 hours Bitcoin has dropped to $3,640 before recovering slightly. It is currently showing zero movement on the day and is still trading at $3,670 where it was the same time yesterday. Since last Saturday Bitcoin dumped to $3,550 before recovering to exactly the same level again. Ethereum has not been so fortunate and is still dropping back ever so slowly. It is still above $120 but only just as ETH loses another percent on the day. The gap between it and XRP in second has widened to $700 million as the Ripple token remains flat. The top ten is all red during the Asian trading session today but losses are fractions of a percent. Tron is declining the most with almost 4% dropped on the day despite the huge success of its niTROn summit in San Francisco which concluded yesterday. The rest are all falling less than a percent on the day. There are only two cryptos in the green in the top twenty at the time of writing. Iota is making a little progress today as is Maker but only by a percent or two. The rest are in the red by a fraction showing very little movement from yesterday’s levels. TenX tops the fomo chart for the top one hundred at the moment with a surge of almost 50%. The reissue of PAY powered credit cards in Singapore appears to be driving momentum. South Koreans are jumping on this token as Bithumb gets almost half the daily volume in KRW at the moment. 1 year = 10 years in crypto, right? #10YearChallenge #CryptoTimeDilation #TenX #CardsNow pic.twitter.com/GiMlsGArhm — TenX (@tenxwallet) January 18, 2019 Loopring and Electroneum are both up over 20% at the time of writing. The only altcoin dumping doubles in the top one hundred is WAX with a 12% slide. Total market capitalization has done nothing in over the past 24 hours and is still at $122 billion as both the bears and bulls seem to be sleeping on Saturday. The entire week has been flat aside from a dump on Monday and subsequent recovery. Since mid-November’s $100 billion slide crypto markets have not moved a lot in either direction. Market Wrap is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 cryptocurrencies during the current trading session and analyses the best-performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals. The post Crypto Market Wrap: TenX Surging on Reissued PAY Credit Cards appeared first on NewsBTC.

2 days ago

TenX Goes Bullish After Hosp’s Departure. Cards Are Now Available

TenX had a tough New Year’s start. The fall in the prices of its PAY token, a series of scandals and failures in the promises they made to investors strongly deteriorated the reputation of the project. The impossibility of delivering a credit card compatible with cryptocurrencies triggered a strong wave of negative comments on social media and news sites. After the loss of WaveCrest’s issuing license, the situation deteriorated and the first negative comments were sparked by certain users who described the project as a scam. Julian Hosp. Former TenX President The situation worsened after Breaker published an article revealing that Julian Hosp, Cofounder and perhaps the most visible member of the project was involved with Lyoness; a Ponzi scheme that was closed in several European countries after being considered illegal. These scandals coupled with a naturally bearish behavior generated a sharp drop in PAY, which went from values close to 0.5 USD to around 0.16 within a week. After these events, and in a surprising way, Julian Hosp addressed his followers via Twitter last week announcing his resignation. A YouTube video explained that the reasons for his departure were purely personal, with no further explanation. TenX Says Bye to Julian Hosp and Good Things Start to Happen Although many reacted with sadness, giving Julian words of encouragement and wishing him luck, the truth is that his departure seems to have been a relief for investors, who regained confidence in the project almost immediately. On January 8, Julian’s resignation was made public, and PAY’s bearish streak finished. After the news spread, the token abandoned its behavior and switched to a period of stability for the next four days. However, this was not enough, and after the stability, PAY began a bullish streak that has not ceased in the last five days, leading the token to move from 0.17 to 0.31 according to data provided by Coinpricewatch. After Hosp’s departure, the TenX team posted a tweet assuring that the long-awaited cards are now available. This -if true- could be one of the most important announcements in the history of the project. It is important to notice that a credit/debit card not only depends on TenX. It needs a bank or fintech with an issuing license, so it is easy to understand some of the reasons behind most of the delays: We saved you the trouble of actually going through the uncertainty and doubt.Singapore, soon is now.#WhenCard #CardsNow #SoonIsNow #TenX pic.twitter.com/IDRw36huXx — TenX (@tenxwallet) January 17, 2019 The post TenX Goes Bullish After Hosp’s Departure. Cards Are Now Available appeared first on Ethereum World News.

2 days ago

Mercury FX Makes Its Largest Payment Across RippleNet

CoinSpeaker Mercury FX Makes Its Largest Payment Across RippleNet Mercury fx, an xRapid user and one of Ripple’s foremost partners recently stated that the technology has been used successfully which enabled the company to move massive amounts of capital. The company tweeted: 1/2 UK-based Mustard Foods saved £79.17 and 31 hours on the transaction. — Mercury-fx Ltd (@mercury_fx_ltd) January 17, 2019 Mercury FX’s partnership was first announced during Ripple’s Swell conference back in October 2018. Brad Garlinghouse, the Chief Executive Officer of Ripple had banked on the company’s implementation of the Internet of Value and had then said: “The internet of value is something that a lot of people don’t understand and that is Ripple’s biggest bet. One of our main goals has always been to become builders rather than the ‘disruptors’ that is talked about a lot in Silicon Valley. Being coined a disruptor is somewhat of a catnip to investors but in Ripple’s opinion we don’t always need disruption in the industry.” This exact transfer helped a UK based company called Mustard Foods saves £79.17 and 31 hours on the transaction. Hence proving that Ripple helps companies reduce losses and gain in profits, with a saving of time which can lead to improved businesses and relationships. Mustard Foods could be one of the best examples of the impact of using RippleNet could have as it opened doors to cheaper expenses, quicker orders and faster payments. Ripple company has also announced that 13 new financial institutions have joined RippleNet thus propelling the number of total global customers to over 200. RippleNet currently operates in 40 countries across 6 continents. Out of the 13 aforementioned financial institutions, 5 are confirmed as using XRP to source instant liquidity for their cross border payments. The are JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank. London-based Euro Exim Bank announced just this week that they will become the first financial institution to fully integrate the XRP-powered xRapid in the first quarter of this year. Garlinghouse then said: “By the end of this year [2018], major banks will use xRapid as a liquidity tool. By the end of next year [2019], I would certainly hope that we will see...in the order of magnitude...of dozens. But we also need to continue to grow that ecosystem...grow the liquidity. “ The success behind the team from Ripple could be standing by their marketing strategy and future plans of making the financial industry a better place to be. Just for reminder, last week was also announced that Ripple will be coming to Australia as FlashFX Announces New XRP-Based Exchange. Together with FlashFX, XRP will launch a new Ripple-based exchange in a move that increases the rate of mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country. However, some argue that this stands counterintuitive to what the Bitcoin blockchain is aiming to achieve - both disruption and displacement of the current banking system, similar to how digital downloads and online streaming disrupted the record business. This strategy may work in certain markets where payment services are so poor that they are better off being displaced (for example; foreign exchange and international remittance services for countries where the currency is weak). However, in developed markets like Europe and the US, using some aspects of blockchain technology (i.e. private, permissioned ledgers) to improve traditional financial institutions makes more sense for immediate adoption and profitability. Santander praising RippleNet Recently, Spanish bank Santander praised Ripple and reported that Ripple-powered payments application One Pay FX is offering customers the ability to send cross-border transactions at much faster speeds compared to the competitors in the field. During the Santander International Banking Conference in Madrid, executive chairman Ana Botín said: “You can do FX transfers, real-time, between the UK and continental Europe. And you can do Poland, Brazil, and Chile - through Santander - for the same cost as TransferWise. And that is the reason why we need to really think about what is real reciprocity. The devil is in the details and the timing.” Catalyst Corporate Sings Strategic Partnership with Ripple In a recap of the year 2018 report, the CEO and President of Catalyst Corporate, Kathy Garner talked about ‘strategic partnership with Ripple, signed in last year’, which will likely be in operation this year. As the mission statement of Catalyst, she said: “Our goal is to send the international transaction to Mexico via Ripple blockchain solutions. With this co-operative arrangement known as Currentz, secure cross-border transactions can be completed within 10 seconds.” What is definitely more likely, is that the year 2019 with Ripple’s technology will help Catalyst reduce the cost of global remittance. As such increase the efficiency and maximize the overall profit. Mercury FX Makes Its Largest Payment Acr

2 days ago

Litecoin [LTC] steps up its game as Coingate launches LTC’s Lightning Network

Coingate, a prominent cryptocurrency payments platform, has now adopted the Litecoin’s Lightning Network to process cryptocurrency payments on its platform. The much-anticipated development was heralded by Surfshark, a VPN provider, which became the first company to accept LTC payments on the Lightning Network on January 17. Developed to provide users with a much cheaper, faster and seamless system of cryptocurrency payments, Coingate is optimistic that more and more companies will soon follow suit and use the Lightning Network. Litecoin’s Lightning Network also promises a solution for an industry that has often struggled with the question of scalability and the capability of handling high-volume transactions. In 2018, it was tested by more than 4,000 merchants for cryptocurrency transactions and was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. According to Veronika Mishura, Marketing Manager of Coingate, the LN will also incentivize the wider use of Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies due to a reduction in price. Mishura said: “VPNs are, to be honest, one of the most frequently used services by crypto-enthusiasts (what we see by our data). However, due to quite low price, it is usually a no-win to pay for it with Bitcoin or Litecoin; and that’s exactly what Lightning should solve. That’s what we are trying to showcase - paying even for low-priced products should be possible, convenient, and cheap using cryptocurrency.” Further, it would seem that Surfshark is merely the beginning. As was announced in December, Coingate plans to introduce 1,000 merchants, all of whom will be accepting Litecoin payments over the Lightning Network. Coingate already boasts has over 4,000 merchants across the world that accept Bitcoin. Even Litecoin will soon have more than 1000 merchants accepting LN payments! Thanks @CoinGatecom! https://t.co/0JXvC9Xp3H — Charlie Lee [LTC] (@SatoshiLite) December 13, 2018 Coingate’s introduction of the LN and the impending adoption by merchants across the world is kept to a more wide-scale adoption of cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange between users online. The post Litecoin [LTC] steps up its game as Coingate launches LTC’s Lightning Network appeared first on AMBCrypto.

2 days ago

Authorities Arrest Two People in South Africa After Kidnapping a Boy and Demanding Ransom in Bitcoin

According to a CCN report, South African authorities have arrested two people in Mpumalanga, South Africa in connection to the kidnapping of a 13-year-old boy in Witbank. Reportedly, the kidnappers demanded that the boy’s parents pay the equivalent of $120,000 in BTC. Per a South African Times report, the South African Police Service (SAPS) created a unit to deal with the kidnapping, which happened in 2018. This news comes as ransom demands in Bitcoin are increasing across several parts of the globe. (KE)

2 days ago

We're rolling out an upgraded version of nCash Pay with a pr...

We're rolling out an upgraded version of nCash Pay with a provision for digital wallet integration and scan-to-pay… https://t.co/YcCvi46XkN

2 days ago

LTO Network Partners with IBM to Help Ease Administrative Costs for Dutch Criminal Justice System

The LTO Network, a hybrid blockchain platform that allows for efficient information exchange through decentralized workflows, recently announced a new partnership with IBM Watson in an effort to transform public services and streamline the administrative processes for large organizations. The pair is currently assisting the Dutch District Attorney's office with its ZSM (“zo snel mogelijk”) processes, with are processes in which the accused either has to take a simple action or pay a fine. These processes have a high administrative cost, which the LTO Network help to significantly reduce. (JF)

3 days ago

Russian Finance Ministry Says Crypto Cards Are Legal in the Country

According to Alexei Moiseev, Russia’s deputy finance minister, using crypto debit cards to pay for goods and services does not go against Russian law. Moiseev believes the payments are legal as merchants receive the funds in Russian rubles. He aired his sentiments during the Gaidar economic forum, which brings together politicians, academics, and people in business to discuss the country's challenges. However, Moiseev said Russians should not have foreign accounts without informing the tax service and reporting the annual movement of the money in those accounts. (VK)

3 days ago

XRP powered xRapid partner Mercury fx elucidates on capital moved between US and Mexico

Mercury fx, an xRapid user and one of Ripple’s foremost partners recently stated that the technology has been used successfully which enabled the company to move massive amounts of capital. The organization stated: “We’ve made our largest payments across RippleNet using #XRP - 86,633.00 pesos (£3,521.67) from the U.K. to Mexico in seconds.” Mercury fx was not the only company enjoying the benefits of xRapid, with UK based Mustard Foods stating that they saved 79.17 pounds and 31 hours on the transaction. James Durant, the Commercial Director of Mustard Foods said: “As a food production company supplying 500+ restaurants in the UK & Europe, we pay suppliers around the world to get quality ingredients for our customers. Faster, cheaper payments allow us to fulfill orders quickly and grow our business.” Mercury fx’s partnership was first announced during Ripple’s Swell conference back in October 2018. Brad Garlinghouse, the Chief Executive Officer of Ripple had banked on the company’s implementation of the Internet of Value and had said: “The internet of value is something that a lot of people don’t understand and that is Ripple’s biggest bet. One of our main goals has always been to become builders rather than the ‘disruptors’ that is talked about a lot in Silicon Valley. Being coined a disruptor is somewhat of a catnip to investors but in Ripple’s opinion we don’t always need disruption in the industry.” xRapid’s application spectrum has been accepted by a lot of different companies with the main aim of Mercury fx being making cross border transactions simpler and faster. Alastair Constance, the founder of Mercury fx had been active during the pilot test of xRapdid. In his words: “Mercury is delighted with the incredible speed and cost-efficiency of the xRapid pilot phase and is excited about a production rollout in the near future. To date, the Ripple collaboration has been a great success.” Ripple started 2019 on a positive note by announcing partnerships with over 200 companies. This update came in the wake of 13 new financial institutions partnering with Ripple. During the announcement, Ripple’s official blog said: “JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank will leverage the digital asset XRP to source liquidity on-demand when sending payments on behalf of their customers. The post XRP powered xRapid partner Mercury fx elucidates on capital moved between US and Mexico appeared first on AMBCrypto.

3 days ago

Monero Digital Asset Report: XMR Token Review and Investment Grade

Monero Digital Asset Report: Introduction Monero is a decentralized open-source cryptocurrency that focuses primarily on privacy and fungibility. The project aims to become electronic cash for a connected world. A key feature for Monero is enforced privacy by default, which makes it one of the best privacy coins available on the current market. Monero has strong community support and is popular among users who don’t want to share their transactions data with the entire world. However, privacy in the architecture of Monero blockchain comes with several drawbacks. Large transaction sizes and non prunable blockchain make the project less scalable, which is holding the currency back from widespread adoption. In addition to that, we see new competition arriving in the market with the improvements of Bitcoin privacy features, through the lightning network, and the development of Mimblewimble coins, which will be as private as Monero but much more scalable. With that said, Monero needs to focus on improving scalability; otherwise, it will lose market share to either new coins with better solutions or to old ones (like to a Bitcoin) which have a higher network effect. This report is the Initiation Report - our first deep dive into the performance and risk/reward factors. The analysis, verdict and accompanying grade reflect our opinion on the long-term value prospects of a given token based on the current state of project development and indicators of future commercial viability - they are not designed to be indicative of short-term trading opportunities. You can see a full explanation of how our reports are constructed and what they mean at the bottom of this page.’s Part One: The Business Case Monero Market Opportunities Monero wants to become a digital substitute for paper money. Paper money is hard to track and transactions with it can be entirely private. Based on this fact, Monero is targeting the entire market of global cash, which accounts for about $36.8 trillion of physical money (banknotes, coins, and money deposits in savings or checking accounts); this number can increase up to $90.4 trillion if we look at «broad money», which includes any money held in easily accessible accounts. During the recent economic crisis, the Shadow Economy expanded. The underground economy or the black market is the second largest economy in the world. As predicted by OECD, by 2020 shadow economy will employ two-thirds of the world workers. Black markets use mostly cash and try to never keep official records. Cryptocurrencies facilitate a transformation of the black markets; this will further support wider adoption of the private cryptocurrencies. However, privacy is not just for criminals. Privacy is one of the crucial aspects of any project that is aiming to become a mean of payments, a currency of the world. If your transactions are not private they may reveal sensitive business relationship; leak salaries, profit margins, and revenues; they may even enable targeted crime against wealthy people. Non private blockchains are not suitable for some common real-world business transactions, and private coins like Monero present a strong value proposition when it comes to market adoption and strong use cases. However, Monero is not the only project that recognizes the importance of privacy. Below is a table representing some of its key competitors. Competition in the Blockchain Space In general, Bitcoin is not considered a privacy coin. However, if you use coin-mixing protocols that are available on the market, it will be increasingly difficult to trace your bitcoins. Also with the development of lightning network channels Bitcoin fungibility is improving. The assortment of privacy features would make Bitcoin a serious threat to Monero if it was ever able to solve its scalability issues. Zcash, on the other hand, gives users two types of addresses: regular and shielded, which may sometimes result in information leaks about shielded transactions. In general, if privacy is not required most of the users will not use it, which will make shielded transaction suspect on their own. Dash also provides privacy features as an option. However, with the structure of Dash ecosystem, users should trust masternodes which are not always secure. It is unknown how many people control masternodes, and they appear centralized. Virtual private servers that they run from could potentially be compromised. The chart below shows the number of transactions of Monero and its competitors. On average all cryptocurrencies experienced a decline in the transaction number since Jan 2018. However, currently, what differentiates Monero from its closest competitor Zcash, is the higher number of transactions per day. This was not the case at the beginning of the year. The Number of Transactions Comparison The biggest threat to Monero might be connected with its scalability issues. As mentioned above, Bitcoin with its extensive network effect

3 days ago

@Zanzarismo Hello, thanks for the exchange recommendation. W...

@Zanzarismo Hello, thanks for the exchange recommendation. We pay close attention to the requests about which excha… https://t.co/6QOv6x7uxc

3 days ago

Crypto Cards Are Legal in Russia, According to the Finance Ministry

Using cryptocurrency debit cards to pay for goods and services does not contradict Russian law, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev was quoted as saying by local media. He believes these transactions are legal as the seller receives the money in Russian rubles. Also read: No Reason to ‘Bury’ Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says Buying Coffee With Crypto Card Is Not Against the Law Alexei Moiseev The Russian Ministry of Finance receives a lot of queries about digital coins and their uses, Moiseev admitted during the Gaidar economic forum, an annual event that brings together politicians, academics and businessmen to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the country. He gave an example with a person who was prosecuted for paying his bill in a café with a payment card connected to a cryptocurrency account. The ministry gave his opinion that the transaction was completely legal, as the cryptocurrency was initially converted to dollars and then to rubles. The café eventually got the money in Russian fiat currency which is in full compliance with the Russian law, the official explained during the conference. “You can pay with these cards legally. What shouldn’t be done is to maintain a foreign account without notifying the tax service and reporting regularly the movement of funds. You’ll be responsible for that under the Code of Administrative Offenses,” explained Ivan Tikhonov, founder of the crypto news outlet Bitsmedia. A number of crypto debit cards are currently available in North America and Europa. They are usually integrated with cryptocurrency wallets and payment platforms that allow instant conversion to fiat money and both online and in-store purchases as with any other bank card. Cryptocurrency Not a Pyramid Anymore During the forum, Alexei Moiseev also said that the crypto industry has changed in a positive direction. Cryptocurrencies don’t have the signs of financial pyramids anymore, he noted. The deputy finance minister added that the anonymity of digital assets and blockchain transactions is an illusion. He was quoted by News.ru as saying. The financial pyramid element was something I used to talk about before, for which I was repeatedly ostracized. But I think that now there are no signs of it, in my view. Cryptocurrencies, or digital financial assets as they are described by Russian institutions, remain unregulated in the country. The Russian parliament is expected to adopt at least three laws pertaining to the crypto sector this spring. The term “cryptocurrency” is not in the draft texts of the regulatory framework but a ban is not mentioned either. Russian lawmakers recently broadened the definition of “digital financial assets” to cover cryptocurrencies and tokens. The update came after pressure from industry organizations and was supported by the Finance Ministry. “Money surrogates” are illegal in Russia, where the ruble is the only legal tender. That applies not only to decentralized digital coins but also to other fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar. However, dollar bank cards are accepted for payments as the amount is always converted to rubles during the transaction. Crypto Viewed as Potential Global Currency The Russian government is likely interested in cryptocurrencies as an alternative to the greenback. The recent claims by an economist from the state-controlled Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Ranepa) that Moscow will soon invest heavily in bitcoin have been refuted by officials. Nevertheless, Ranepa’s Rector Vladimir Mau shared his opinion that digital currencies have a future and “huge development perspectives.” Quoted by Tass, Mau said cryptos could become one of the elements of a new global currency system. “10 years ago, at the beginning of the current structural crisis, we talked a lot about post-crisis currency configurations: the yuan, SDR, strengthening the role of regional reserve currencies. Later, cryptocurrencies appeared and they must be part of this discussion,” emphasized the head of the presidential academy which is hosting the Gaidar forum. The academic added that the dollar is losing trust because of the internal political situation in the U.S. What do you think about the future of cryptocurrency payments? Are you using a crypto debit card? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section. The post Crypto Cards Are Legal in Russia, According to the Finance Ministry appeared first on Bitcoin News.

3 days ago


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