How Fiat Money Fails: Deconstructing the Government’s Paper-Thin Promise

Fiat money has a surprisingly short lifespan. The almighty U.S. dollar currently serving as world reserve currency is not exempted, in spite of all proclamation that it cannot fail. Throughout history, fiat money has failed over and over again, where sound assets like gold have survived. Ruling out acts of god and unforeseen circumstance, the number one reason fiat fails is due to unsound economic policy. This is where gold and bitcoin stand to truly prevail.
Also Read: Credit Suisse Is Latest Bank to Charge Clients for Cash Deposits
Good as Gold
There’s a reason no one hears people saying “good as fiat” to describe something trustworthy or valuable. Gold has been used as currency for thousands of years, since at least 700 B.C., when it was favored by Lydian traders. The oldest fiat money still being used today has only been around for a little over 300 years, beginning in 1694 with the founding of the Bank of England. Prior to its use as currency, gold was used in barter and trade all over the world, in the absence of political mandate. By contrast, “fiat” means “by decree” or “let it be done” and depends on the force-backed laws of a state or monarch to demand its use, or else.

Slowly At First, Then All At Once pic.twitter.com/8tOeiaOMkl
— PlanB (@100trillionUSD) October 20, 2019
Exponential Failure
A recent tweet by user @100trillionUSD makes an interesting observation. When fiat failure strikes, it tends to happen first as a gradual build, and then spiral out of control suddenly, skyrocketing to oblivion. The German gold mark was a gold-backed currency for the empire from 1873-1914. After the gold standard was abandoned in 1914, the paper mark would soon become worthless, hyper-inflating itself to toilet paper tier within 10 years.
This is an extreme case, to be sure, but even where the most reliable fiat money is concerned, it always devalues into relative worthlessness at some point. As mentioned, the current title holder for longest lasting fiat currency is the British pound sterling, at 325 years old. Compared to its initial value in silver, when it was created to help finance war in 1694, it has lost almost 100% of its value.
Reichsbank Berlin, October 1923
The devaluation story of the U.S. dollar is no less dismal. As noted by one prominent inflation calculator:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today’s prices in 2019 are 2,493.53% higher than average prices throughout 1913 … The 1913 inflation rate was 2.06%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 1.71%. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent in buying power to $1.02 next year.
So the real question with fiat is not how stable is it, but “How long until it’s suitable for kindling?” A much cited but highly disputed 27-year fiat lifespan study found that 20% of the 775 fiat currencies examined failed due to hyperinflation, and that 21% were destroyed in war. 24% percent were reformed through centralized monetary policy. This means that the majority of failure or discontinuance of fiat is by way of government intervention, warfare and economic policy.
Emphasizing the inability to wage large scale warfare in the absence of this paper fiat, dollardaze.org states that “Initially, money is a tangible commodity. That commodity is then concentrated by those who issue paper receipts merely representative of the underlying commodity. The reason for doing this is to lend out more in paper receipts than what can be legitimately backed.” In other words, the powerful amass hard assets via scammy, obfuscated pilfer, while the poor suffer hardship, forced to use the garbage currency being offered instead.
Section of the Hanke-Krus Hyperinflation Table
 
Modern Fiat Faceplants
For a highly detailed list of modern cases of hyperinflation, the Hanke-Krus Hyperinflation Table is an eye-opening resource illustrating the unreliable nature of government money. Though now slightly dated and not including recent examples like Venezuela, the data is presented in starkly direct fashion. In August 1945, prices in Hungary doubled in only 15 hours. Brazil experienced a daily inflation rate of 2.02% from December 1989 to March 1990. Even Austria is not immune historically, the crown hyper-inflating for almost a year from October 1920 to September 1922. The Hanke-Krus study is a sobering reminder of what happens when sound economic principle is ignored. As Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises put it:
The most important thing to remember is that inflation is not an act of God, that inflation is not a catastrophe of the elements or a disease that comes like the plague. Inflation is a policy.
And further: “The gold standard did not collapse. Governments abolished it in order to pave the way for inflation. The whole grim apparatus of oppression and coercion — policemen, customs guards, penal courts, prisons, in some countries even executioners — had to be put into action in order to destroy the gold standard.”
Whether or not one agrees with the proclamation of the renowned economist is immaterial in the face of the economic reality. Fiat money is, was and always will become worth less over time by its very nature. Bitcoin and crypto stand to remedy this if leveraged properly and by a large and determined enough market. Judging by the current regulatory climate and history itself, however, fiat won’t fall without a fight.
Which fiat collapse do you find most remarkable? Why? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Malaysia Regulator Approves International Crypto Exchange Luno

The strict financial regulator in Malaysia is trying to help the local fintech industry scale up and attract new investors. As part of that trend the Malaysia Securities Commission is recognizing the right of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Luno to serve local customers.
Also Read: Credit Suisse Is Latest Bank to Charge Clients for Cash Deposits
Malaysia Approves Digital Asset Exchanges
Luno, the London-headquartered company formerly known as Bitx, has announced on Tuesday that it has been given approval by the Malaysia Securities Commission to operate as a recognized market operator in the Southeast Asian country. Luno is one of only three initial companies that the Malaysian regulator allowed to register when it began the process in June. Luno has now been found by the regulator to have satisfied all the required conditions for approval.
“We’ve been working closely with regulators and banks from day one and we’re now excited to be able to provide customers the ability to buy, sell and trade crypto on our platform,” Luno general manager of Southeast Asia, David Low said. “This is a significant achievement and shows the importance of digital assets today and the long-term value of cryptocurrency.”

The Malaysia Securities Commission was hosting its annual fintech conference on Tuesday, focused on the regulator’s move to broaden the opportunities for a new generation of investors to raise capital or achieve their financial goals. The regulator was happy to note that the Malaysian fintech ecosystem is now home to alternative financing platforms as well as a diverse range of ventures such as digital asset exchanges.
“We are pleased to note that these platforms continue to serve a number of MSME [micro, small and medium enterprises] sectors including high tech, education, retail, F&B and consumer product; and have attracted many new investors especially young investors aged 35 and below,” stated Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, Chairman of the Securities Commission.
Strict Approval Process
When new regulations came into force in June there were nineteen other companies operating in Malaysia during the application process, besides the three that were finally allowed to register, which were all then ordered to cease operations. Before that twenty-one other exchanges were ordered by the regulator to cease operations on March 1. The rate of approved to non-approved exchanges makes the process highly selective and limits the trading venues open to Malaysians.
Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of Luno, commented on Wednesday: “The announcement yesterday of more exchanges being granted Recognized Market Operator (Digital Asset Exchange) status in Malaysia is important as it is a regulator looking to work with and develop digital assets for the benefit of businesses and communities. As regulatory oversight increases around the world this will help stabilise and develop the sector.”

Luno claims to have around 3 million users worldwide, spread across 40 countries. The company also has local offices in South Africa, Indonesia, Nigeria, Singapore and Malaysia, with a workforce of over 300 employees around the world. It recently added bitcoin cash trading to the platform following feedback from its client base, making BCH only the third cryptocurrency available for trading on the exchange.
What do you think about Luno receiving regulatory approval in Malaysia? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Bank Crisis Spreads in India – Deaths, Strike, Supreme Court Denial

The Indian banking sector is facing multiple challenges. Customers of several cooperative banks are still struggling to withdraw their money, and deaths have been reported in connection with withdrawal restrictions. Meanwhile, some 300,000 state-run bank employees are on strike against what the bank unions call “cold-blooded murder of six banks.”
Also read: Indian Finance Minister Answers Crypto Questions at IMF Meeting
PMC Bank Crisis Worsens
Customers of Mumbai-based Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, which has 137 branches in six states, are still struggling to withdraw their money. It has been almost a month since the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), first placed regulatory restrictions on the bank, but depositors say their troubles have only worsened, PTI reported Monday.
According to CNN-News18, RBI officials met a delegation of PMC Bank customers, 100 of whom protested outside of central bank’s headquarters Sunday. “We gave them an ultimatum till October 30. None of us will celebrate Diwali,” a depositor told the news channel. However, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das is currently abroad and is not available to address the issue. Moneycontrol elaborated:
The delegation also demanded Rs 25 lakh [~$35,245] as compensation for the kin of those who have died due to the PMC crisis.
The situation has become so tense that several depositors reportedly died. Murlidhar Dharra, an 83-year-old PMC Bank customer, died on Friday. His family claims they could not raise money for his heart surgery due to the withdrawal restriction. Two PMC Bank customers died of a heart attack, and one allegedly committed suicide.
Depositors outside a PMC Bank branch.
Even though the RBI has raised the withdrawal limit to 40,000 rupees and Lok Sabha member Kirit Somaiya tweeted Wednesday that “needy” PMC Bank customers can apply to withdraw an additional 50,000 rupees, depositors say it is still not enough to live on for six months and demand all of their money back. They are struggling to pay essentials such as school fees for their children, medical expenses, employees’ salaries, taxes, and electricity bills, as their checks have bounced. Meanwhile, the fraud probe into PMC Bank has deepened.
Supreme Court Denies Hearing
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Indian supreme court last week challenging the RBI circulars restricting withdrawals at cooperative banks. The petition sought directions to protect the interests of around 15 lakh (1.5 million) PMC Bank customers whose money is blocked due to the alleged scam.
However, the court refused to entertain the petition. “We are not inclined to entertain this petition under Article 32 (writ jurisdiction). Petitioner can approach the high court concerned for appropriate relief,” NDTV reported the supreme court judges as saying.

Other Banks With Similar Restrictions
Besides PMC Bank, there are several other cooperative banks that have been placed under similar regulatory restrictions by the central bank. Customers of Pune-based Shivajirao Bhosale Sahakari Bank have been stuck with a 1,000 rupee withdrawal limit since May.
The Times of India reported last week that the customers of this bank “held a demonstration outside the bank on Monday, [and] complained of step-motherly treatment because Shivajirao Bhosale Bank has just 1.3 lakh depositors compared to PMC Bank’s 8 lakh customer base,” adding:
Unlike the Mumbai-based bank which got an administrator immediately, the Pune-headquartered cooperative saw its operations being taken five months after RBI placed restrictions.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also talked to the RBI governor on behalf of PMC Bank customers. Some Shivajirao Bhosale Sahakari Bank customers are even having difficulty withdrawing the allowed 1,000 rupees. Vivek Bhatia, a 59-year-old tailor from Pune, told the news outlet that he has been unable to withdraw any amount from his Rs 18.5 lakh life savings because the bank is non-operational, the publication conveyed.

Other banks that have been placed under similar restrictions with the 1,000 rupee withdrawal limit include Shri Anand Co-operative Bank, Kolikata Mahila Cooperative Bank, Shivajirao Bhosale Sahakari Bank, and Millath Co-operative Bank.
Bank Consolidation Strike
On top of all the problems caused by RBI restrictions, a large number of bank employees in multiple cities went on strike on Tuesday against the government’s plans to consolidate the sector through mergers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has vowed to cut the total number of state-owned banks from 27 to 12, Reuters detailed, noting that 10 of the banks will be merged into four.
State-owned banks account for almost two-thirds of the countries’ banking assets and much of the banking sector’s nearly $150 billion of stressed loans. According to the news outlet, nearly 300,000 employees of Indian state-run banks stayed home from work across the country and took part in protest marches. Services such as cash deposits, withdrawals, cheque clearances, and ATM operations were all affected. PTI reported the number of bank workers on strike as high as 4 lakh (400,000).
Bank employees on strike on Tuesday. Image courtesy of The Economic Times.
“Government may call it a merger but, in reality, it is cold-blooded murder of six banks,” according to a release by the bank unions. All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), the oldest and largest national trade union center of bank employees in the country, was quoted by The Economic Times as saying:
In this process (a merger of 10 of the banks) the government is likely to close around 5,000 bank branches to enable small finance banks from the private sector to occupy the space and thus is privatizing banking business.
Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee met with Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee urged Prime Minister Modi to reduce the government’s stake in state-run banks to below 50% during a meeting with him on Tuesday. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor shared the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with his wife, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.
“The current banking crisis is frightening and we should worry about it a lot because we see a repeated pattern,” he told the media on Tuesday. “We should be vigilant about this. I think we need important and aggressive changes.”
What do you think of the Indian banking sector’s situation? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Bloomberg, Business Today and The Economic Times.

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Bitmain Aims to Build a 300MW Texas Mining Farm

The Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies and DMG Blockchain Solutions announced the launch of a 25MW mining facility in Rockdale, Texas. The new mine aims to bolster Bitmain’s international expansion which will soon expand to 50MW of processing power and then extend the operation’s capacity to more than 300MW.
Also read: The Silk Road Investigation: A ‘Pattern of Bad Behavior and Double Agents’
Bitmain Begins Developing Texas Mining Farm
On October 21, the Chinese application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturer Bitmain revealed the introduction of a new mining facility located in Texas. According to the company, the launch will commence with 50MW but soon aims to be the “largest bitcoin mining facility in the world.” Clinton Brown, Rockdale’s lead project manager for Bitmain told the press that the firm is thrilled to launch the new data center and that the move is a milestone toward “Bitmain’s global expansion plans.” “The stable and efficient energy resources in Texas are fundamental to the inevitable scale of growth for the cryptocurrency mining industry,” Brown insisted during the announcement.

#Bitmain completes construction of 50MW mining facility in #Rockdale #Texas. (https://t.co/Sztme8Fokf) The project is set to create jobs in the area and plans to work with the local district to provide education and training on blockchain technology and data center operations. pic.twitter.com/z5W7b7eNei
— Antminer_main (@Antminer_main) October 21, 2019

Executives from the firm DMG were at the opening ceremony alongside representatives from Bitmain, Rockdale Mayor John King, and Milam County’s Judge Steve Young. The site will be located in the former Alcoa plant and it will be the third cryptocurrency mine project created by Bitmain in the U.S. Bitmain started the project in 2018 and worked out the logistics with Rockdale officials in order to benefit from the old plant. “This mining facility marks a major milestone in the development of the mining farm industry. We are proud to partner with Bitmain, the leading innovator in this sector,” said Sheldon Bennett, COO of DMG.

The news follows the recent launch of next-generation bitcoin mining rigs manufactured by Bitmain which produce 64 terahash per second (TH/s) to 73TH/s. Bitmain also recently revealed its launching a World Digital Mining Map (WDMM) that aims to connect mining hardware owners with mining farm owners. Bitmain’s cofounder Jihan Wu recently sat down with Bitcoin.com’s CEO Stefan Rust and discussed how the firm was doing this year. After releasing multiple mining rigs in 2019 and an artificial intelligence (AI) chip, Wu insisted “It’s a good year for Bitmain.” Moreover, there were multiple reports months ago that explained progress has become sluggish at the Rockdale site where Bitmain started constructing. The old smelter park transformed into a mining facility paused for a period with roughly 14 employees and a few hundred mining rigs.
Bitmain to Help Re-Invigorate Rockdale
Things have changed and the mining project is now in full swing giving Rockdale a second industrial rebirth. In the early fifties, the Texas region was known as “The Town Where It Rains Money.” The smelter energy provided a lot of jobs but a few decades later, much of the region’s industrial facilities were abandoned. At the opening ceremonies on Monday, Mayor John King said he believes the company will help with local jobs. “Bitmain will be the future for developing new industry projects in Rockdale, Texas. We are excited to continue to build partnerships together,” King declared at the event. Bitmain further revealed that the company has developed a “new design patent.”
Rockdale mining facility.
Bitmain will be obtaining power from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) which handles the electric grid operations in the region. Both DMG and Bitmain will work together making sure the facility is efficient as they plan to work with the local workforce commission, the Rockdale MDD. Bitmain detailed that the Rockdale MDD will help bolster the project. Additionally, the mining firms will use “preferred vendors” in the town while continuing the data center’s construction.
“Bitmain has plans to work with the local school district to provide education and training on blockchain technology and mining data center operations,” the company’s announcement concluded. “In doing so, it hopes to contribute to the future growth of the surrounding communities.”
What do you think about Bitmain’s mining facility launch in Texas? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Bitmain, and Pixabay.

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How to Start a Crypto Podcast

The idea of starting your own podcast is undeniably appealing. Not only do you get to sound off about a topic that’s close to your heart, but if you opt for the host-and-guest format, you get to engage in stimulating debates with interesting people. But before you rush off to order a USB mic and start booking your crypto heroes, there’s a few things you should know about podcasting.
Also read: How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely
The Pros and Cons of Podcasting
The podcast’s appeal partially stems from the fact that it can be done without the aid of third parties: if you’re reasonably tech savvy, you can write, record, edit and upload every episode by yourself. This elimination of intermediaries aligns well with bitcoiners, which goes some way towards explaining the proliferation of crypto podcasts.
Some of these factors compelled Matt Aaron to create Bitcoin.com’s very own podcast, which made its debut in February 2018. Since then it’s gone from strength to strength – and for Matt, it remains a labor of love.
“The pros definitely outweigh the cons,” he says. “Hosting a crypto podcast is an excuse to spend an hour picking the brains of someone you admire or can learn from, a person who might otherwise have no interest in speaking with you. On air, and a lot of times off-air, you can glean insights that help inform your thinking about cryptocurrency.” He adds:
Podcasts have become an increasingly popular medium, and many people prefer to learn about blockchain by listening to diverse perspectives rather than toiling through dense books.
“Of course, the cons can’t be ignored,” continues Aaron. “The sheer number of podcasts in this space can be daunting for anyone looking to launch their own. The need for an original angle is becoming stronger too, because there’s only so many times you can interview the founder of “X” coin or that legendary crypto personality and mine new material.”
Recent episodes of Matt Aaron’s Humans of Bitcoin podcast
Find Your Niche
Matt’s right: you need to find a niche. Are you doing a series on the history of bitcoin, focusing on flaws in the current financial system that crypto solves? Perhaps you’re interviewing movers and shakers, from programmers and dapp developers to UX designers and entrepreneurs. The important thing is that you have a good idea what your podcast is all about, and who you’re pitching it to.
While it might be tempting to make no topic or subtopic off-limits, be aware that there is a ton of competition out there. As such, you’ll need to think long and hard about how you differentiate yourself from other crypto-themed podcasts. It might be with a particular brand of humor, in-depth conversations with high-profile guests (how’s your contact book?) or aggressive marketing strategies, but overcoming the saturation is no picnic.
You should also perform due diligence on any potential guest. As Matt Aaron explains, “Many people in crypto end up being exposed as frauds or embroiled in some sort of legal snafu. If that happens and they’ve been a guest on your show, your name will appear next to theirs in a Google search. It’s bad publicity your podcast could do without. So, vet your guests properly and make sure they’re unlikely to be the next crypto meme.”

Write an Episode Outline
Once you’ve decided on your niche, it makes sense to come up with an outline for your first ‘season’ or batch of episodes. Focus on providing your audience with valuable and entertaining content and bringing a fresh perspective to the topic. Ask yourself: what is a crypto-curious listener getting out of subscribing? If you struggle to answer that question, you’re in trouble.
Having a clear episode outline will also prevent a form of mission creep, whereby you wind up losing sight of what it is you’re trying to achieve and resort to simply ranting about the latest happenings in the blockchain space. Having a clear, coherent structure is the best way of engaging listeners.

Essential Tools of the Trade
So what about the practicalities of actually creating and launching a blockchain podcast? How much work is required, and do you need to recruit a producer?
First things first, invest in a good-quality USB microphone – this will save you from having to use your computer’s built-in mic. Thankfully, the explosion of podcasts in recent years has led to the creation of dedicated apps that do a lot of the work for you, from cutting out audio gaps to recording each contributor’s audio on separate tracks, thereby making it easier to edit during the final mix.
One great tool – particularly if your podcast is a question-and-answer format with a remote guest – is Squadcast. You hit record, conduct your interview and end up with a high-quality, lossless audio recording. Video recording also comes as standard with each package so you can upload your podcast to Youtube, and up to three guests can feature on the same episode.

As for editing your recording, there are few better software suites than Hindenberg, which was originally built for radio journalists. Nifty features include automatic audio leveling, sound effects, royalty-free music tracks and noise-reduction capabilities. There’s also a clipboard feature, which is great for organizing audio material. It’s like having a sound engineer sitting by your side the whole time. Hindenburg is offering a 30-day free trial, so it’s worth experimenting to see if it suits your needs.
There is no shortage of options when it comes to online podcasts editors either: Alitu, Audacity, Spreaker and Garageband to name just a few. If you have the time and inclination, there’s no harm in giving each one a go. Sometimes it really does come down to personal preference.
Although Matt Aaron acknowledges the multitude of helpful apps available, he says budding podcast producers should not lose sight of the work required. “Getting the sound quality and editing just right is trickier than it might appear, it requires some trial and error. You want to be on the ball from the first episode, as no-one wants to be known for poor production standards. If there are any faults in the audio, it’s another excuse for the listener to switch off and find one of the many alternatives out there.”
Marketing and Monetizing Your Podcast
Once you’ve completed the fun stuff, it’s time to think about how you’re going to get your podcast out there. The cryptosphere is a hive of activity, and people get their information from various places: blogs and forum threads, Youtube interviews, tweets, Telegram, books. There’s no denying the popularity of podcasts though, so the question is, how are you going to publicize yours?
There are a few traditional marketing strategies of course, like churning out SEO blog content or throwing your money into pay-per-click advertising. Needless to say, you should also get some social media channels up and running to get the word out. Interact with others in this space, leverage guests’ audiences by compelling them to share the podcast with pull-quote images and video/soundbite snippets, run giveaways, and run paid promotions. It’s not a bad idea to also submit your podcast to podcatchers, aggregators, influencers, journalists and bloggers covering your beat.
It takes a lot of work, but busily promoting your podcast is the best way to find an audience. At this stage, you can monetize the endeavor by bringing partner brands on board, identifying possible sponsors using advertising networks like Midroll or Advertisecast. Alternatively, invite listeners to contribute on a pay-what-you-can model using a service like Patreon.
Getting a crypto podcast off the ground and then achieving success with it are two different things. But avoiding common mistakes is a good basis to start from. Despite the saturation, there’s never been a better time to launch a podcast centered on crypto themes, so if you have the passion and commitment coupled with realistic expectations, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start casting.

What are your favorite crypto podcasts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The Silk Road Investigation: A ‘Pattern of Bad Behavior and Double Agents’

Kathryn Haun, a general partner at U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has revealed in recent interviews how she helped take down the Silk Road when she was working for the Attorney General’s office. According to her accounts, the U.S. government agency also asked her to help “start shutting down technology before it’s built.” Haun’s story also highlights how the U.S. government’s evidence against the Silk Road transpired because of double agents.
Also read: FBI Agent Admits to Stealing Silk Road Bitcoins Seized by U.S. Marshals
Kathryn Haun Was Asked to Disrupt Bitcoin in 2012
During the last few years, governments worldwide have been cracking down on digital assets like on and off-ramps that are tied to fiat. Regulations are far stricter than they were in the early days, when governments first heard about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Andreessen Horowitz general partner Kathryn Haun has a lot of experience working with government agencies when it comes to the cryptocurrency economy. She witnessed the takedown of the Silk Road darknet marketplace and before she started she was even asked to help dismantle the Bitcoin network. During an interview with CNBC, Haun revealed how a colleague mentioned the up and coming technology to her in 2012.
“‘We have this perfect assignment for you – there’s this thing called Bitcoin and we need to investigate it,’” Haun told the news outlet on October 6. “That was the first time I’d ever heard of bitcoin,” she added.
Former Silk Road investigator Kathryn Haun.
Attempts to shut down Bitcoin by agencies such as the U.S. Department of Justice were fruitless ventures, Haun detailed. “It would have been akin to saying ‘let’s go prosecute cash,’” the former prosecutor said. “What we heard with Libra were the same criticisms [about Bitcoin],” Haun remarked. While discussing the similarities between her early days with Bitcoin in contrast to Libra, she continued:
They got more attention because of the high-profile nature of the project and the fact that Facebook was involved. I think it would be a really dangerous thing, and frankly a dangerous precedent to start shutting down technology before it’s built.
Uncovering the Silk Road and Parallel Investigations
During another recently published interview with Haun, the Andreesen Horowitz partner spoke with Hayman Capital founder Kyle Bass about her role during the prosecution of the Silk Road marketplace. “The Silk Road was making millions of dollars a month and they were generating a lot of revenue,” Haun stressed. She doesn’t remember exactly how the Silk Road case got opened in New York, but she recalls Senator Chuck Schumer read a Wired article that prompted him to wonder why the marketplace was allowed to exist. “So the Southern District of New York, which is another Attorney General’s office – I was in the U.S. Attorney General’s office in San Francisco – SDNY opened the case and was trying to figure out who was behind the Silk Road. At this same time, a D.C. office was also trying to figure out who was running the Silk Road — And there were parallel investigations going.”
Haun discusses the Silk Road investigation with Hayman Capital founder Kyle Bass.
Haun explained that the government had task forces comprised of many alphabet soup agencies: “We’re talking the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, DEA, ATF, and the U.S. Marshals,” she underlined. “One task force, the one out of Washington D.C., they had an undercover agent. That undercover agent was able to befriend the person running the Silk Road. All the government knew at the time was that the person running the Silk Road went by the nickname ‘DPR’ for ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ from the movie ‘The Princess Bride.’ So they didn’t know who DPR was, but the undercover agent actually set up an attempt to buy the Silk Road.”
The Foundation of Evidence from the Silk Road Case Stemmed from Double Agents
According to the former prosecutor, the undercover agent struck many online conversations with DPR and proceeded for the next two years to engage and message with the moniker. “A lot of things went wrong on both sides — From the Silk Road side, 2013 was a really bad year for the Silk Road because what you had was a person who had an online persona called ‘Death from Above,’” Haun said. “Death from Above starting extorting DPR and saying ‘if you don’t pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin I’m going to reveal your identity to law enforcement.’ Meanwhile, there was another online persona who went by the moniker ‘French Maid.’ French Maid was selling DPR information about the government’s investigation. French Maid told DPR the Feds are closing in and the end is near and you are about to be had.” Haun added:
The government didn’t know any of this then and it all came out after the fact. In the midst of this, something else really bad happened in 2013 — About 21,000 bitcoins, which is today in excess of roughly $150 million dollars, went missing overnight from the Silk Road. From Silk Road vendor accounts and from what you might consider the petty cash account — Although there’s nothing petty about 21,000 bitcoins.
Haun’s story begs the question: How much evidence would the government have without the use of double agents and rogue officers manipulating the investigation?
During the remainder of the interview, Haun discussed Curtis Green’s role with the Silk Road and said Green showed the Feds “how the Silk Road worked, how to log into it, how to reset vendor PINs and passwords, and of course [Green] had that access because he was the key administrator.” Haun also said Green even gave his laptop to the Feds to keep as evidence. The discussion with Kyle Bass shows how government agents claim to have dismantled the Silk Road from the words of a former Federal prosecutor. However, Haun wasn’t involved with the DPR takedown first hand, but she was very much involved with investigating rogue agents. At first, when she heard about the first rogue agent she took it with “a grain of salt” and actually said it was a shame the tipster was smearing a Federal agent’s good name. But the tipster was insistent and she decided to look into it.
“We saw that this agent who we got the tip for was liquidating hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions a month, in cryptocurrency. So I thought it’s probably another undercover operation and there’s probably a legitimate explanation,” Haun explained.
From left to right — Carl Mark Force, Shaun Bridges, and Curtis Green all played a ‘double agent’ role in the Silk Road investigation. Curtis Green was a Silk Road moderator who was told by the U.S. government to fake his own death.
Haun concluded that the rogue agent was caught telling exchanges to destroy transaction histories. Because undercover agents who are running undercover operations shouldn’t be asking for evidence to be destroyed, it raised a red flag Haun said. Her team found a “pattern of really bad behavior to put it mildly” and in the end, it turned out the rogue agent was both online personas: French Maid and Death from Above. Essentially, the interview with Haun shows that Curtis Green, Shaun Bridges, and Carl Mark Force were acting as double agents during the entire investigation. The discussion with Haun further highlights how the Silk Road case was quite messy and many constitutional laws were broken by rogue agents in order to disrupt the site. Still, the U.S. government, with no thought toward constitutional law and a complete disregard for true justice, based all their Silk Road evidence on the shameful ethics of Curtis Green and two rogue cops — Carl Mark Force and Shaun Bridges.
It goes to show that the many unanswered questions surrounding the case, like how government agents found the Silk Road’s IP address, which wasn’t due to a faulty ‘captcha’ screen as claimed, were likely due to perfidious agents gone rogue.
What do you think about the recent interviews with Kathryn Haun? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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How Cryptocurrency Developers Can Earn Bitcoin Cash With REST APIs

A recent video by Chris Troutner, Senior Javascript Developer at Bitcoin.com, points out a problem with anti-profit seeking approaches to crypto development, and how devs can incentivize growth and attract business using REST APIs to earn BHC. Without incentives, Troutner notes, many promising services and applications run the risk of succumbing to an economic tragedy of the commons, when user demand surpasses developer ability to accommodate these needs.
Also Read: Running Bitcoin Cash: An Introduction to Operating a Full Node
Profit Protects Quality
There’s nothing wrong with free, but at the end of the day, everybody has to eat. In the cryptosphere this fact of reality shouldn’t be looked at as an obstacle, but rather an opportunity for growth. This is the view of Chris Troutner, who in his latest video expounds on the possibilities of economies of scale within the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.
A REST API is a ubiquitous type of API (application program interface) used all over the internet today and on popular sites like Amazon and Twitter. As Troutner says in his presentation, the acronyms aren’t all that important. An API is simply a “way for a computer on the internet to talk to another computer on the internet.”

Some examples of free APIs in the BCH space are Electrumx servers, Cashshuffle, SLPDB, Bitdb and Rest.bitcoin.com. While free APIs are a wonderful thing, there are also risks when demand outruns scalability. Speaking of Rest.bitcoin.com, the developer notes:
It’s not that people aren’t using the service, it’s that too many people are using the service and we don’t have a pro tier. We don’t have a way to move people from the free service to a paid service so that the end users can pay for the services they’re using.
The reasons for incentivizing REST APIs are myriad, and it’s not just about making a buck. According to Troutner, “What this tragedy of the commons is specifically with REST APIs is that they’re open to abuse and they’re open to disproportionate use.” He notes that serious developers trying to create a great user experience and make crypto accessible to all have to compete with malicious entities and less experienced developers, all utilizing the same free infrastructure. For a business looking to build on a solid foundation, this presents significant risk. Troutner’s proposed solution is to wrap a full BCH node around a REST API, and charge a small fee to serve multiple people. The developer elaborates:
Now all of the sudden, you have 30 people paying one dollar, instead of 30 people paying 30 dollars to run their own [full node] infrastructure. So that’s a huge economy of scale … Businesses need to focus on their core business value, and running infrastructure like full nodes is not a part of that.
Payment button on Troutner’s demo application, allowing a user to access greater permissions on an API via BCH.
Payment for APIs via BCH
One proposed way users could access REST APIs via bitcoin cash is through leveraging JSON web tokens (JWT). JWTs are access-granting credentials. The long and short of Troutner’s demo in the video, and proposed solution to the ‘tragedy of the commons,’ is as follows:

An API (such as for a crypto wallet) has a limit imposed on running requests.
In order to access the next tier of usage allowance, the user must provide a JWT credential.
To obtain the JWT, users can pay the REST API in BCH.

Things like subscription duration, refund options, rollover credits and other parameters can be put in place on the JWTs as well, increasing options for developers. The entire process can be automated, according to Troutner.

Permissionless Profit
For some reason, many in the crypto space seem to view profit as an evil boogeyman. A strange thing considering the whole mission is to make sure the world is spending and using crypto as money. Troutner provides the code used for his demo via his organization, the Permissionless Software Foundation, on Github, and a couple other sources detailed in-depth in the video. Hardly the move of a heartless, greedy profiteer.
The confusion in the crypto space surrounding profit seems to often take the form of conflation. The confusion of “not free” with “not fair.” The truth is, there can be world of incentivized development happening via open source software and code, and all degrees of usability and tiered access. This kind of robust environment can only happen in one context, though: a free and permissionless (non-authoritarian) open market. As Troutner puts it:
The fix to the typical tragedy of the commons scenario is to create a marketplace.
What do you think about Chris Troutner’s proposed incentives for devs? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Credit Suisse Is Latest Bank to Charge Clients for Cash Deposits

In a normal world savers are expected to receive compensation for giving their money to the bank. Instead, due to negative interest rates, we are now seeing more financial institutions actually charging their clients for fiat cash deposits, with Credit Suisse the latest big bank to join in on this practice.
Also Read: Banking Giant HSBC Set to Fire 10,000 More Employees
Credit Suisse to Punish Big Savers
Zürich-headquartered multinational investment bank Credit Suisse has recently announced that it will soon begin offering negative interest rates on Swiss franc accounts above a certain threshold, effectively charging big savers for holding their fiat cash at the bank. Clients with balances of over 2 million CHF ($2.02 million) will be charged at a rate of -0.75%, and those with balances of more than 10 million CHF will have to pay a higher rate of -0.85%. These changes will be implemented November 15 for business clients and January 1, 2020 for individuals.

The rationale for making such a move, which normally companies will try to avoid as much as possible as to attract big clients, is that the bank itself is disincentivized from holding CHF deposits. This is because the Swiss central bank has already charged financial companies negative interest for deposits for several years now, which already forced UBS, Julius Baer and others to decide to pass on the costs to their clients.
“As other banks have been doing for some time, Credit Suisse is introducing negative interest rates for clients with very high Swiss franc cash holdings,” the bank explained on Friday. “The reason for this is the persistent negative interest rate environment.”
Negative Interest Rates Continue to Spread
Commercial banks in various developed markets around the world have been suffering from the effects of persistently negative interest rates on their business. It is one of the leading causes identified by economists as being behind the current contraction in the global banking sector. Despite this, the practice seems to be spreading as central banks are left with few options to combat economic issues, as rates are already historically low in places such as Germany, Japan and Denmark. Negative rates might make it to the U.S. eventually as well, as the San Francisco Fed recently featured the practice as an important policy tool for fighting economic downturns.

While negative interest rates on fiat cash is hurting banks’ traditional business of holding and lending money, it presents an opportunity for cryptocurrency ventures to take their place. In fact, 2019 has seen a takeoff in services that offer earning interest on crypto assets. For example, thanks to a partnership between Bitcoin.com and Cred, you can now earn up to 10% on your BCH and BTC holdings.
What do you think about big banks like Credit Suisse charging clients for fiat cash deposits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Smartphone Developers Embrace Crypto as Opera Integrates BTC and TRX

The love-in between smartphone developers and cryptocurrency users is smoldering. What started out as a flirtation by HTC and Samsung has blossomed into a full-blown affair, incorporating hardware and software support from a string of companies. Today, Opera ramped up its cryptocurrency support, integrating Bitcoin Core and Tron into its mobile browser wallet.
Also read: Running Bitcoin Cash: An Introduction to Operating a Full Node
Opera Sings Crypto’s Praises
Cryptocurrency users awoke this morning to the news of another smartphone integration. Opera’s Android wallet now supports BTC and TRX, in addition to ETH, with the promise of iOS to come. As the developer explained, “All of Opera’s features, like the free unlimited VPN, the built-in ad blocker and Crypto Wallet, follow the same line of thinking – you should be able to access them as fast as possible … You can now choose to add a Bitcoin card to your wallet, making it possible to send and receive money from the web.”

With 350 million users, the browser’s support for Bitcoin and Tron is significant. In the case of the former, it provides censorship-resist money directly within the web browser, enabling BTC to be spent on third party websites that accept the cryptocurrency. Tron integration, meanwhile, will prove a boon for decentralized applications, supplying smartphone users with access to a panoply of apps that exist beyond the purview of the Apple or Google Play stores. Opera has been supporting crypto for some time, having incorporated Ethereum into Android browsers last year, and Apple iOS this spring. It was the first major browser to integrate a crypto wallet, enabling crypto payments to be securely made on sites directly within the mobile browser.
Samsung caught crypto headlines this year when it integrated ETH and later BTC into the Galaxy S10.
The Convergence of Crypto and Mobile
Mainstream crypto awareness and ultimately adoption appear a realistic prospect at this rate. Whereas in the past major tech companies merely flirted with blockchain, recent developments suggest a full-blown love affair in the making, with the end result likely to be a wider appreciation of cryptocurrency among smartphone users.
Facebook’s much-vaunted crypto payments system Libra could help in this respect. Although it’s a centralized protocol, it opens the possibility of a few billion monthly users exploring the topic more broadly, which can only be a good thing. Libra launches in 2020, so expect the hype train to keep rolling until then.
Zuckerberg’s big beast is not alone. Last month, popular Japanese messaging app Line launched Bitmax, an app-connected cryptocurrency exchange boasting five assets: BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and XRP. Staying in Asia, Taiwanese electronics firm HTC has unveiled its new Exodus 1s handset equipped with a built-in hardware wallet to hold crypto. Unlike its predecessor Exodus 1, the 1s runs a full Bitcoin node – the first smartphone to do so. This means that users can contribute more fully to the security of the ecosystem and verify their own transactions.
HTC’s new Exodus 1s
The Budget Blockchain Phone
The Exodus 1s is a device tailored for crypto devotees rather than neophytes, and barriers to entry are lowered from a cost perspective also: it’s just $250, a major reduction on the Exodus’ $700 outlay. Paradoxically, some geographical barriers remain: the device is only available in Europe, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with more locations to be announced in future.
The convergence of bitcoin and smartphone wallets certainly makes it easier for individuals to spend their chosen cryptocurrency and interact with decentralized applications (dapps) on the go. Just last month, HTC announced that its original Exodus 1 handset would start supporting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) through its partnership with Bitcoin.com, in a collaboration that has seen the Bitcoin.com Wallet preloaded on the handset.
Opera’s Android web browser now supports BTC.
Of course, HTC is not the only mobile platform which is touting crypto-centric handsets. Samsung has been blazing the trail for a while, and its Galaxy S10 now supports 18 dapps and over 30 cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH and HT. Millions will soon be able to use bitcoin with apps via the Blockchain Wallet Samsung has started including on its flagship handsets this year.
Can we expect more mobile giants to enter the crowded cryptosphere? Absolutely. In fact, they’re already mobilizing: Apple released a cryptographic software called CryptoKit for iOS 13 in June, and LG have hinted at their own crypto wallet by trademarking “ThinQ Wallet.”
These tech companies aren’t operating in silos, either: several have come together to create a government-backed blockchain network that will allow citizens to ditch hard copies of important documents in favor of a blockchain-powered mobile solution. As well as LG and Samsung, the consortium includes financial IT company Koscom and South Korea’s Shinhan Bank.
The days of spending cryptocurrency solely on desktop, or locking it away in hardware wallets, destined never to be spent, are over. There’s no obligation to spend crypto of course – it’s yours to use or store as you see fit. At least now, thanks to the efforts of smartphone developers, you have the option to deploy your digital assets on the web and on the go.
Do you think smartphone integration of cryptocurrency will lead to broader adoption? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Cashaa Launches Banking Solution for Indian Crypto Owners

Banking services platform Cashaa is offering a solution for Indian crypto owners facing banking restrictions imposed by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The service allows users to deposit up to 1 crore rupees (~$141,012) per month to purchase cryptocurrencies.
Also read: Indian Finance Minister Answers Crypto Questions at IMF Meeting
Cashaa’s Banking Solution
U.K.-based online banking platform Cashaa announced Monday that it will start enabling users to buy cryptocurrencies with INR on Oct. 23. The company explained that “While access to crypto in India through banking no longer exists, Cashaa was able to find a solution,” elaborating:
On the occasion of Diwali, an Indian festival for wealth and prosperity, Cashaa will be enabling INR deposits and purchases of crypto in India for Indian residents, up to 1 crore INR per month.
Cashaa cofounder Janina Lowisz confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday that “people can buy BTC, ETH and our own token CAS with INR so far,” noting that BCH will be added by Christmas.

To access Cashaa’s banking services, users need to have the platform’s native token. “We will enable this [buy crypto with INR] service for Indian residents who have at least 2,500 CAS in their Cashaa wallet,” CEO Kumar Gaurav said earlier this month. The coin, currently trading at $0.008, can be used to pay for services and fees on the platform.
Founded in June 2016, Cashaa currently offers personal and business accounts. A large number of its users are in India, the company revealed. Its services allow users to purchase cryptocurrencies using credit or debit cards, deposit funds via bank transfer in over 200 countries, and withdraw funds in users’ local currency. In addition, the company claims that its “crypto-friendly bank accounts have received a huge demand including more than 700 business signups, many of which are in the process of onboarding.”
Banking Restrictions and Regulatory Uncertainty
Cashaa explained that it has been working to provide a solution to users in India ever since the RBI banned financial institutions from providing services to businesses dealing in cryptocurrencies. The ban went into effect in July last year and banks subsequently closed accounts of crypto exchanges, forcing some of them to shut down. Several writ petitions have been filed with the country’s supreme court to challenge the ban. The court is scheduled to resume hearing the case on Nov. 19.
A number of crypto exchanges responded to the RBI ban by launching exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) trading. Bitcoin.com also has a P2P marketplace for bitcoin cash available to users in India.

Meanwhile, a bigger issue is looming in India — the legal framework for cryptocurrency. A draft bill that seeks to ban all cryptocurrencies except state-issued ones is being considered by the Indian government, which has told the supreme court that this bill may be introduced in the next session of parliament. However, many people in the Indian crypto community believe that the bill is flawed and are heavily campaigning to convince the government to reevaluate the recommendations in the bill.
What do you think of Cashaa’s banking solution for crypto users in India? Let us know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 courtesy of Shutterstock and Cashaa.

Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

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Bitcoin.com Launches HashRace Promotion to Maximize Miners’ Profits

JAPAN, TOKYO, October 21, 2019 — Bitcoin.com, the world’s leading resource for cryptocurrency-related products and news, has launched the HashRace, a Bitcoin.com Pool promotion aimed at maximizing profits for its extensive network of Bitcoin mining clients.
The 180 day promotion, which began on October 21st, 2019, will reward miners with an unlimited hashrate bonus for directing their own hashrate to the Bitcoin.com mining pool. Every miner contributing at least 500 TH/s will receive a ‘hashrate bonus’ in the form of free hashrate, dependent upon the individual miner’s contribution over the course of the promotion.
The campaign, broken into two 90-day phases, aims to provide participants with the opportunity to maximize mining profitability before the upcoming Bitcoin halving, forecasted for the Spring of 2020.
During the initial 90 day accumulation period, promotion participants are encouraged to increase their hashrate bonus by directing as much hashrate as possible to the Bitcoin.com mining pool. Following the close of the accumulation period, participants’ hashrate bonuses will be locked in according to their hashrate contribution during the preceding Accumulation Period.
From the onset of the accumulation period, HashRace participants will receive hashrate bonuses based on the amount of hashrate contributed to the Bitcoin.com Pool. After the bonus lock-in, participants will continue to receive their hashrate bonus by maintaining a daily contribution greater than 50% of their average hashrate directed to Bitcoin.com during the accumulation period.
Hashrate bonuses will be received in 30-day intervals over the course of the promotion and participants will typically receive a 7.5 TH/s bonus for every 500 TH/s that they directed to the Bitcoin.com mining pool during the accumulation period.
In conjunction with The HashRace mining promotion, Bitcoin.com has also unveiled The HashRace Top 10 Leaderboard, which will display a real-time ranking of the top hashrate contributors over the course of the promotion.
A larger HashRace Leaderboard Bonus of 10 TH/s per 500 TH/s contributed incentivizes larger mining clients to compete for a place on this top 10 leaderboard.
Bitcoin.com is dedicated to providing industry-leading support and services to both new and existing miners. For more information on the HashRace promotion, visit mining.bitcoin.com/hashrace.
Contact Email Address
press@bitcoin.com
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mining.bitcoin.com/hashrace

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

4 Cryptocurrency Projects That Successfully Changed Blockchains

Choosing the right blockchain is a tough call for any development team. It’s a decision that entails correctly anticipating project requirements – scalability; speed; community; security – before a line of code has even been written. It’s no wonder that a project occasionally finds its first choice of blockchain isn’t ‘the one,’ forcing it to play the field.
Also read: Bitmain’s Jihan Wu Talks Mining and Industry Growth With Bitcoin.com’s CEO
Unchained: When Cryptos Drop Their Blockchain
Like marriage, blockchain is meant to be a life-long commitment. You pick your network and then you stick with it through thick and thin, because the alternative – to elope with a faster, more scalable model – is frowned upon. It’s also a hassle having to move all your stuff, like your token, community and development stack. And yet sometimes, when irreconcilable differences get too much, the benefits of chain-hopping outweigh those of staying put and sticking it out.
When games developer Biscuit named its medieval-fantasy EOS Knights, it seemed a certainty that the product would remain firmly wedded to the EOS blockchain. Following a name change from EOS Knights to Knight Story, however, the project has now signaled its intention to trade up. Knight Story has switched allegiance from EOS to Tron and will release an upgraded version of the blockchain game in December that will include a revamped economy powered by TRX and TRC-based tokens (including NFTs).
Game of Trons: you win or you die.
Now that the company has pledged its fealty to Justin Sun, the CEO of TRON and Bittorrent was quick to heap praise upon the project. “There has never been a decentralized game of this scale before,” gushed Sun. “Biscuit’s successful rollout of blockchain gaming for mainstream audiences marks a turning point for the space.”
As for the deeper reasons for the change, Biscuit cites Tron network’s performance, developer-friendly tools, and robust ecosystem of applications. The company also believes Tron will grant it greater opportunities for ‘synergistic partnerships.’ Despite the fact that ‘synergistic partnerships’ sounds like corporate fluff, it may in fact be the key to understanding why a game that boasted 6,000 daily players on EOS would consider pastures new. The move means that in future Biscuit will be able to leverage Tron’s partnerships with Bittorrent and Opera in its ongoing quest to reach a wider audience and attract more players.
EOS Knights is the second most popular EOS dapp. It’s now moved to Tron.
The Distributed Key to Change
Another project which realized its first choice simply wouldn’t work out is Remme, a public key infrastructure (PKI) solution striving to make passwords obsolete. Originally the team settled on Hyperledger Sawtooth to deliver its goals, choosing the blockchain because of Hyperledger’s parallel transaction execution, private network support with permissioning features, pub-sub events system, modularity, and pluggable consensus algorithms. The team were also enthused by the fact that Hyperledger offered multi-language support during the development phase.

But as Remme explained in July, the potential benefits of Hyperledger were eventually outweighed by a number of obstacles they encountered during the development phase that made migration the only sensible option. In the end Remme was forced to concede that “If we were to continue building on Sawtooth it would require us to direct our energies towards improving the Sawtooth ecosystem itself so it can operate a network our use cases require rather than on our core development.”
For that reason, the team decided to move to a more tried and tested system, selecting the EOSIO codebase of EOS. It’s a choice that appears to be already paying dividends: with greater support and battle-hardened infrastructure, EOSIO is fast-tracking Remme’s progress. After months of delays under Hyperledger, the EOSIO switch has rapidly led to successful testnet deployment and the Remme mainnet is now scheduled for launch this December.

Changenow Changes Its Chain
Crypto-changing site Changenow is in the business of swapping crypto, but in April the company announced it would be making a swap of another nature by transferring NOW Token from Ethereum to Binance Chain. Instead of choosing one chain over the other, however, Changenow decided that half of its tokens should remain on the Ethereum chain with the other half burned and reminted on Binance Chain.
According to a press release, this was done to give the platform’s users freedom of choice, with the Changenow site offering NOW Swaps for anyone who wants to make the change. A better explanation may be that the partial migration allowed Changenow to cash in on the huge amount of hype surrounding Binance Chain, and in the process become only the second coin to be listed on Binance DEX.

Dev-initely Leaving
It’s not just crypto projects that switch blockchains – sometimes devs jump ship too. Pokkst is one developer who did just that, porting all of his work from Bitcoin Core to Bitcoin Cash, including his non-custodial wallet Crescent Cash.
Explaining the switch, the developer said: “With the complexity of the Lightning Network, Bitcoin (BTC) is a lost cause. Bitcoin Cash still works flawlessly though, just like how BTC used to.”
Change isn’t always possible.
Thanks to an abundance of choice in the cryptosphere, it’s never too late to change hearts, minds and chains.
What other projects have successfully changed blockchains? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Running Bitcoin Cash: An Introduction to Operating a Full Node

Setting up a Bitcoin Cash node is a fairly easy task for someone who wants to contribute to the decentralized ecosystem. There are various ways you can run a node whether it’s on a cloud, on a local machine or by leveraging a small single-board computer. The following is a simple introduction for anyone who wants to set up a full node implementation.
Also Read: The Fed Plans to Inject $60 Billion per Month Into the Economy
The Required Elements Needed to Run Bitcoin Cash
During the last two years, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) environment has grown robust and there are quite a few different full node clients. A full node can be any computer that connects to the BCH network by downloading the entire history of the blockchain. Full nodes watch the network to ensure all the consensus rules are being followed and they also offer noncustodial and privacy advantages. At the time of writing, according to Coin Dance there are 1,681 public nodes that can be seen running the BCH network. There are also full nodes running BCH that choose to remain out of sight from the public view. Coin Dance counts six different full node clients in Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited, BCHD, Flowee, XT, Bitcoin Verde, Bitprim, and three other unknown variations.

To get started you need to download the software and sync the full node by also downloading the existing chain data. For our example, we used the latest Bitcoin ABC version 0.20.4, which can be found here. Users can download any type of BCH full node implementation they want to run and basically follow the same steps. Before you start, there are three methods that can be used to install and run your own BCH node. The first one would be running a node using a cloud service like Google Cloud or Amazon. You need to create a virtual machine (VM) and configure everything through that specific operating system.

After downloading the software, you will need to apply the correct port settings and also make sure you have enough storage space and bandwidth. If you choose the cloud route, keep in mind that you are using a centralized server which makes you dependent on their services. Another option is using your desktop or laptop if it has enough speed and enough storage to host the entire BCH blockchain. Today the Bitcoin Cash blockchain is around 134 Gigabytes (GB) in size so you will need at least that amount plus some extra capacity for further syncing.
A reliable connection for at least eight hours or more per day is required to run a well-synced node. Port TCP/8333 is the port generally used to connect with Bitcoin Cash.
Hosting a full node using a local machine is just as easy to set up, but it’s good to make sure your computer won’t be bogged down. A computer with around 2GB of RAM with an internet connection of around 50 kilobytes per second (Kbps) or more will be sufficient. Because the BCH chain is so large in size, it may take a few days to get the entire network synced up on your device. Following the first sync, subsequent syncs will take far less time depending on how often you sync or keep the node online. The last method you can choose when building your first full node is with a single-board computer like a Raspberry Pi. Of course, the Raspberry Pi will also need a 50 Kbps internet connection and enough storage space attached to hold the current chain size and then some (300-500GB is sufficient). There are a few companies that produce plug-n-play full nodes in a box that do the same thing as a homemade Raspberry Pi kit. Usually, these pre-built kits are more pricey than building your own node, but once you get one in the mail you can sync up in no time without any hassle.
Besides the 134 GB needed to run a full BCH node, you should have free disk space for the future.
In order to download and operate a Bitcoin Cash client you will need:

Time: it will take several days to download the entire blockchain.
A computer: any computer that runs Windows, OSX, or Linux.
Storage space: around 200 GB of initial space for the first sync and another 200 GB of free space for following syncs.
Reliable internet: an internet connection that offers a dependable broadband service with speeds of at least 50 kilobytes per second.
Unlimited connection services: a full node will need to be able to operate without exceeding upload limits.
A constant connection: at the very least a node should run for roughly eight hours a day or non-stop.

At the time of publication, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain is 134 GB in size.
Again, you can choose to download another full node client instead of Bitcoin ABC and follow the same process. Bitcoin ABC is written in C++ and is the most popular client with 934 nodes at the time of writing. Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) is a fork of the Bitcoin Core reference client written in C++ as well. Similarly to the ABC version, BU features an adjustable blocksize cap and other concepts like emergent consensus and Xthin blocks. Bitcoin Verde is a complete full node, block explorer and library built from the ground up. BCHD is an alternative full node bitcoin cash client written in Go (golang). Flowee the Hub is another alternative implementation of the BCH network that includes features like libsecp256k1, adjustable blocksize cap, and Xthin blocks. Bitprim’s creators consider its software client to be a high-performance Satoshi implementation focused on user flexibility. All of them need the basic requirements which include a reliable internet connection, storage space, and time.
There are various ways you can run a BCH full node implementation including a cloud server, local machine, or a single-board computer.
The Benefits of Maintaining a Bitcoin Cash Full Node
Running a full node is not hard, and with a cloud account, a local machine or a simple Raspberry Pi 3 starter kit with some storage space anyone can get one going. Building a low-end single-board computer system with an HDMI cable, screen, keyboard, and mouse can cost around $150-250 depending on the quality of equipment used. You have to consider the operational costs involved with running a BCH node too, which will always require a reliable internet connection. Beyond the cost, you will be helping contribute to the BCH network by allowing others to use your node to broadcast transactions. In the same manner, you can be sure your transactions will be broadcast as full node implementations have their own wallet. To that end, operating a full node allows you to run Bitcoin Cash in a noncustodial fashion while keeping your funds secure and permissionlessly broadcasting financial transactions.
It may take some time to set up and a little maintenance here and there, but there are a lot of benefits when it comes to hosting your own BCH node.
Do you run a Bitcoin Cash node? Let us know how you set yours up and what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Bitcoincash.org, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, and Fair Use.

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Bad for Business: How KYC/AML Makes Everyone a ‘Terrorist’

Two reports from risk solutions group Lexisnexis assert that anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) policies can negatively affect a business’s bottom line and customer service significantly. A recent trip to the local post office for a money order certainly had a negative effect on my own experience, thanks to the same regulations, which make paying customers feel like they are suspected terrorists just for doing business.
Also Read: Bittrex Pulls Out of 31 Markets Citing Regulatory Uncertainty
Everyone’s a Suspect
A recent visit to my local post office here in Japan, to get a simple USD money order for a passport, opened my eyes to just how far the KYC/AML freight train has already progressed. The small huddle of post office staffers were looking at each other nervously during the process, and when the transaction finally appeared to be finished, I approached the counter to take my documents and change. The woman pointed at the money in the tray, embarrassed. “This money,” she said in English, “how did you get it?” I stared at her blankly, half surprised and half annoyed at the question.
“Do you have a job?” she doubled down, politely. She informed me that on top of the $50 processing fee to create the money order, I would now have to wait for two weeks while it was approved. The awkward questions were the result of new anti-terrorism regulations that had been implemented in the recent past, and it became clear what had likely happened. She didn’t know how to run through the new protocol. The experience was off-putting and unprofessional. Not in small part owing to the implied assumption that I was a potential terrorist. All I could think at the time was “This is why we need crypto.”
The intrusive questions of regulators can be unexpected and over the top.

Uncovering the True Cost

The insanity of the anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) inquisition is just beginning. And like any inquisition worth its salt, nobody truly expects it. KYC and AML measures may be viewed as necessary evils in the crypto space by many, but they nonetheless stand to choke out crypto and businesses’ primary utilities and efficiency, while few seem too openly notice or care.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) continues constricting slowly but surely like a red tape boa, making policy “suggestions,” and devising plans to make sure they are enforced, while transactions ranging from crypto trading to getting a simple USD money order have become almost farcical for the level of privacy invasion they can entail. There is a quickening happening in recent years, and the squeeze is now being felt directly. None of this is, of course, good for business.
The 2016 Lexisnexis report for Asia, “The True Cost of Anti-Money Laundering Compliance,” states:

A majority of respondents (55%) indicated that AML compliance has a negative impact on their firms’ business productivity. An additional 15% felt that AML compliance actually threatens their firms’ ability to do business.

The 2019 Lexisnexis AML compliance study for the U.S. and Canada
Citing the groups most responsible for the pressure, the study explains that “Among compliance organizations, the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is seen as having the most influence on compliance operations, followed by the regional Asia/ Pacific Group on Money Laundering and APEC Counter-Terrorism Working Group.”

The new 2019 version of the study for the U.S. and Canada presents a similar picture, and further details who gets hit hardest by centralized, force-backed regulatory bodies like FATF: small business. “[The] cost of AML compliance as a percent of total assets is higher among smaller firms (up to .85%) compared to mid/ large firms (up to .08%). This is driven by the fact that there are certain overhead investment requirements regardless of scale,” the report elaborates.

Customer Service Doesn’t Like It Either
Not only is the average annual compliance spending for U.S. and Canadian firms high, according to the 2019 study, considering “The projected cost of AML compliance across all U.S. and Canadian financial services firms is $31.5B,” but these practices can be bad for worker morale and customer onboarding. The 2016 report notes:

The opportunity costs are seen as highest in China and Thailand, where 36% and 26% of respondents respectively estimated that AML compliance leads to the loss of 5 – 6% of account opportunities.
Many potential clients, turned off as I was at the post office by prying questions and unprofessional presumptions, simply leave during the application or onboarding process. The employees that have to process myriad account alerts, intrusive interviews and convoluted application processes also suffer. It seems few people enjoy accusing complete strangers of being evil criminals. The Asian report notes that “Seventy-six per cent of respondents were concerned or very concerned about job satisfaction issues in their AML compliance departments. Survey results also indicated that low morale has a negative impact on compliance operations productivity.”

Where Does It End?

Real ID is currently being implemented in the U.S., making it impossible for citizens of the country to take a domestic flight or enter a federal facility without it. In lockstep with FATF guidelines, tax agencies worldwide are cracking down on users of cryptocurrencies, demanding payment in the absence of clear and simple guidelines, and via money that’s not rightfully theirs. Workers at the post office are forced to rudely ask complete strangers if they even have a job. Some are questioning how far all this can go. After all, life is inherently risk-laden. Perhaps the best bet for all the regulators of the world is to put everyone in padded rooms (except themselves, of course) with straitjackets, finally achieving the violence-wrought “peace” they’ve been ostensibly seeking for so terribly long. After all, it’s better safe than sorry, right?
Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com 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 information in this Op-ed article.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.

Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

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How to Safely Store Your Wallet Recovery Phrase

As a cryptocurrency holder, security is paramount – and you can’t be too careful when it comes to your wallet recovery phrase. Unless you want your meticulously accrued crypto to disappear into the ether (or your ether to disappear into the cryptosphere), safely stashing your wallet mnemonic is vital. You must do everything in your power to construct a fortress around your recovery phrase, which you’ll need should you misplace your smartphone or lose your wallet.
Also read: Bitcoin and Mnemonics: The Art of the Secret Phrase
Hide Yo Seed, Hide Yo Phrase
Just as you’d source the biggest deadbolt and fiercest Rottweiler to guard a physical bounty, protecting your crypto from nefarious third parties requires vigor and cunning. The following guide outlines a variety of ways you might go about storing your wallet recovery phrase – as well as the pros and cons to each approach. Be it a 24-word mnemonic, conventional password, numeric PIN, or a combination thereof, it needs to be stored in such a manner that you and you only can access it. There’s no perfect solution to this problem, but these five options come pretty close.

Steel Punch Card
Protect your recovery phrase from physical deterioration caused by fire damage, flooding and other acts of god by engraving it onto a steel plate. Services such as Blockplate are perfect for this purpose, supplying materials that are stainless, rust-free, acid-resistant, non-toxic and fireproof. In essence, you are turning your recovery phrase into the Terminator – an object that can, unlike a piece of paper, withstand a ridiculous amount of damage and stay the course.
As for the cons, they should be obvious: you still have to stash the plate in a safe place, and if it falls into the wrong hands, well, there’s not much you can do. Consequently, you might consider storing your prized plate offsite – close enough to your home to access it conveniently, but sufficiently well hidden.
Bank Vault or Safety Deposit Box
There’s still some merit in the idea of storing valuables offline in a bank or safety deposit box. Sure, banks occasionally get broken into, and CCTV footage of masked raiders ransacking reinforced concrete rooms – even those deep underground, as in the Hatton Garden heist – is enough to give anyone pause. But 99.9% of the time, valuables locked in a bank stay there until such time as the account-holder calls by to make a withdrawal. It’s far better to store your recovery phrase in a physical vault than on a note-taking app, in the cloud or, heaven forbid, in a document on your desktop. Hackers gonna hack.

Split the Secret
Sharing schemes distribute parts of a secret among a set of trusted participants, none of whom know what the others hold. Shamir’s Secret Sharing is one such algorithm with a hierarchical component inbuilt. Which is to say that you can regulate the trustworthiness of participants in the scheme, for instance by making blood relatives more trusted than associates. Apparently, the Winklevoss twins used a similar principle to store shards of private keys in safety deposit boxes spread throughout the country.
The drawback to splitting your wallet seed into parts and doling it out is that multiple participants could conceivably collude to meet the threshold requirement of shares and uncover the phrase. However, if you don’t like sharing, you can still use this approach but retain all the parts yourself in separate locations – ideally with a backup of each for redundancy.

Memorize It
Memorizing a wallet recovery phrase is surprisingly easy once you create a memory palace to hold it. This is essentially a well-known physical location (e.g. your kindergarten, first home, workplace) that you visualize and then traverse in your head, laying down words from your wallet phrase as you go from room to room. Once committed to memory and rehearsed a few times, odds are you’ll recall those 12 or 24 words for life. This technique is particularly good when crossing borders, where you wish to transport cryptocurrency without possessing a physical clue to its existence. Relying solely on your brain is a dangerous game, though, which means that even with a memory palace in place, you’ll want a physical copy of your wallet phrase, dotted down and stashed in a safe place.
Obfuscate It
Even if an adversary discovers your wallet recovery phrase, it will be worthless to them if you’ve taken steps to obfuscate it. Techniques can range from the basic (rearranging the words) to the more elaborate, such as switching the first letter in certain words, or writing down their equivalent in a foreign language you’re familiar with. Use your imagination, in other words, and whatever technique you deploy, keep a record of how to unscramble the message in a separate place. Just don’t title it “Secret to unscrambling my wallet seed.”

Plan for the Inevitable
Another thing to bear in mind is that when you check out of this world, your recovery phrase will vanish with you, unless you pass it on to your inheritor. So, remember to include instructions on accessing your secret phrase in your will. Someone else might as well spend those satoshis you’ve assiduously accrued during your lifetime.
It’s also prudent to make more than one copy of your recovery phrase and store it in a different location. After all, none of the above methods are entirely foolproof: as well as being robbed, banks can burn down or go bust. Just remember to safeguard your get-out-of-jail copy with the same rigor as you employed for the original.
What other wallet recovery phrase techniques do you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Neither the company nor the author is 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 courtesy of Shutterstock.

Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Bitmain’s Jihan Wu Talks Mining and Industry Growth With Bitcoin.com’s CEO

At the World Digital Mining Summit in Frankfurt, Germany, Bitcoin.com’s CEO Stefan Rust sat down with Jihan Wu, cofounder of Bitmain Technologies and Matrixport. The two discussed how cryptocurrencies being used for payments is spreading and how Bitmain is doing after the bear market last year.
Also read: SEC Wants Second Look at Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Proposal
A Virtual Economy at Work Approaching Critical Mass
The World Digital Mining Summit (WDMS) is a two-day mining conference that hosts an assembly of industry leaders, mining rig manufacturers, cryptocurrency pool operators, and other individuals passionate about crypto. During the event, Bitcoin.com’s CEO, Stefan Rust, had the privilege of sitting down with Bitmain cofounder Jihan Wu and discussed a wide variety of subjects. At first, Wu explained how he got into Bitcoin and that while working for an investment firm, he happened to read something about Bitcoin and found it “really interesting at that time.” After looking into it for two days straight he decided that bitcoin was a good idea. Wu was actually the first person to translate Satoshi’s Bitcoin white paper into Chinese for residents living in the region.

“I was the first one to translate the [white paper]. At that time in the Chinese media said Bitcoin was either a scam or it does not work,” Wu explained to Rust. “I happened to understand economics and some high-level principles of computer science so I knew [Bitcoin] works in both economic ways and in computer science ways. So I translated the white paper and tried to get more positive feedback from Chinese social media.”

While recalling his old QT wallet, Wu emphasized that it’s been an amazing journey. “I still remember back then no one knew about bitcoin and right now there are 20 million or 40 million users around the world and almost everyone now more or less have heard about bitcoin — I believe there are actual users getting involved in the cryptocurrency economy and those [individuals] are really starting to use cryptocurrencies for payments. A way to store their cash account — I believe this kind of user base will increase more and more.” Wu continued:
This is a virtual economy at work and it’s quite difficult in the beginning but I think we are almost near critical mass.

The Bitmain cofounder remarked that he believes the 40 million crypto users globally had initially stemmed from investor types, but nowadays he sees more ordinary people joining the economy and “especially young people.” “[Individuals] are really pushing cryptocurrency into the local payment network and people start to use it,” Wu said. Rust also brought up spending bitcoin cash (BCH) in Slovenia where there are hundreds of merchants that accept digital assets for products and services. “Lots of people still today believe [Bitcoin] is undoable or it’s out of their imagination how cryptocurrency can be really adopted by real life use cases,” Wu replied. “I think it’s a miracle, I think it’s amazing and lots of miracles are happening nowadays.”

Bitmain Continues to Produce Next Generation Mining Rigs and Chips
After discussing cryptocurrency adoption, Wu also explained how Bitmain was doing this year. “After the bottom of the bearish trend last year we’ve seen a very fast recovery in the money industry and we can see the hashrate growing very fast. Bitmain’s sales volume increased a lot and we released a new generation of mining rigs and mining chips.” Wu detailed that the company also released new artificial intelligence (AI) chips. He further explained that Bitmain’s mining pools mined different cryptocurrencies and remain top-ranking mining pools. Wu stressed:
It’s a good year for Bitmain.

Additionally, Rust and Wu talked about regulations in China and how roughly 60% of the world’s hashpower is located in the country. The two executives discussed the possibility of China banning bitcoin mining and how the Chinese government is dealing with oversight. The Bitmain cofounder and Bitcoin.com CEO conversed about a slew of other subjects like the ecological impact of bitcoin mining, the reward halving, and a lot more insights from someone who’s seen the cryptocurrency mining industry grow immensely, first hand. If you want to check out our exclusive interview with Bitmain’s Jihan Wu, check out the video below.

What do you think about Jihan Wu’s perspective of the mining industry and cryptocurrency ecosystem? Let us know what you think about the interview in the comments section below.

Image credits: Bitcoin.com.

Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Court Postpones TON Hearing Till February, Impatient Investors May Get 77% Back

The New York court reviewing Telegram’s contested coin offering in the U.S. has postponed a scheduled hearing on the case till February. The defendants, Telegram Group and its subsidiary TON Issuer, have been banned from distributing and selling the tokens. Investors who don’t want to wait for the launch of the blockchain project can receive 77% of their money back if they form a majority.
Also read: Bittrex Pulls Out of 31 Markets Citing Regulatory Uncertainty
‘Positive Step’ Gives Telegram Time to Prepare Defense
In a move that Telegram described as a positive step, the District Court of the Southern District of New York has postponed а hearing on the lawsuit against its token sale filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 11. The regulator believes the coin called ‘gram’ (GRM) is in fact a security, not currency and insists the messenger has attempted to conduct an unregistered offering in the United States.

Telegram already rejected the commission’s interpretation of its ICO and filed its own petition with the court, proposing to postpone the launch of the Telegram Open Network (TON) and the public sale of its native crypto until next spring to allow for the resolution of all legal issues surrounding the project. A restrictive order obtained by the SEC was supposed to be reviewed during a hearing planned for October 24. Now the court has rescheduled it for Feb. 18-19, 2020.
In a new correspondence with investors, the messaging platform seeks to reassure gram buyers noting that it views the postponement of the hearing as a positive development that will ultimately lead to resolving the matter through the United States court system. The company believes the new date will allow its team of advisers to better prepare and present Telegram’s position to the court.
Late Move by the SEC May Lead to Fewer Gram Tokens
The new deadline for the TON launch proposed by Telegram is April 30, 2020. The blockchain network was initially scheduled to go live by the end of October. Investors who have purchased rights to the gram tokens were offered to vote on the proposal to postpone the launch. If a majority of participants in either of the two fundraising rounds held so far rejects it, the company will compensate these investors with 77% of their money and issue a smaller number of GRM coins.

Telegram, the company founded by Russian-born entrepreneur Pavel Durov, sold the rights to 2.9 billion coins to 171 investors worldwide for $1.7 billion in two private sales in early 2018. That total amount includes a billion tokens bought by 39 U.S. residents for $424.5 million. The platform, which enjoys great popularity in the crypto community for its encrypted messaging service, accused the U.S. SEC of acting in the last moment and claimed it had been trying to get feedback from the regulator in the past 18 months.
When issued, gram tokens will be used to pay for various services provided by applications built on the new blockchain. The nodes of the Telegram Open Network, or “validators,” will be paid a commission in grams called “gas” for the processing of transactions and smart contracts. They will deposit their stakes in GRM coins which will determine the voting power needed to approve or reject proposed changes to the protocol. Grams will also be available for external use and will be traded on digital asset exchanges like any other cryptocurrency.
Do you think Telegram will manage to convince the U.S. court that gram is a currency, not security? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

FATF Starts Checking How Well Countries Implement Crypto Standards

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has agreed on how it will assess whether countries have taken the necessary steps to implement the crypto-related requirements. “Given the global nature of the virtual asset industry, it is essential that countries implement these requirements swiftly,” the FATF emphasized.
Also read: Where US Regulators Stand on Cryptocurrency
FATF Unveils How Countries Will Be Assessed
The FATF held a plenary on Oct. 16-18, the first meeting under the Chinese presidency, chaired by Xiangmin Liu of the People’s Republic of China. Over 800 delegates representing 205 jurisdictions and international organizations attended the three-day event. The FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded to develop policies for combating money laundering. It currently comprises 37 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organizations. Stablecoins and other emerging assets are top of the agenda.
FATF President Xiangmin Liu opened the FATF Plenary meeting on Oct. 16.
The FATF released its standards on crypto assets and related service providers in June, which the G20 leaders, finance ministers, and central bank governors have already declared their commitments to following. Some countries have already started complying.
The next step is for the FATF to assess how countries implement the recommended standards. The organization declared in June that it “will monitor implementation of the new requirements by countries and service providers and conduct a 12-month review in June 2020.” Since June, the FATF has been working on how it will assess the progress of each country, announcing at the plenary:
The FATF has now agreed on how to assess whether countries have taken the necessary steps to implement the new requirements.

The FATF continued, “Given the global nature of the virtual asset industry, it is essential that countries implement these requirements swiftly, in particular understanding the risks and ensuring the effective supervision of the sector,” adding:
From now on, assessments will specifically look at how well countries have implemented these measures.
“Countries that have already undergone their mutual evaluation must report back during their follow-up process on the actions they have taken in this area,” the FATF specified. The organization also “will closely monitor the developments and will continue to actively engage with the private sector to clarify the FATF’s requirements as they work to comply with them,” the announcement reads.
Stablecoins Are Subject to FATF Standards
Stablecoins were also discussed at the plenary. The FATF believes that these types of assets and “their proposed global networks and platforms, could potentially cause a shift in the virtual asset ecosystem and have implications for money laundering and terrorist financing risks,” asserting:
In general terms, both ‘stablecoins’ and their service providers would be subject to the FATF standards either as virtual assets and virtual asset service providers or as traditional financial assets and their service providers.
Further, the FATF is actively monitoring emerging assets including stablecoins and will continue to examine their characteristics and risks.
Regulators worldwide have been discussing stablecoins since Facebook announced its Libra project in June. Some countries have also ramped up their efforts on central bank digital currencies in response to Libra. Last week, the Financial Stability Board informed the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors that stablecoins, with the potential to be globally adopted, could pose financial stability risk. The G7 also recently released a report outlining various risks of stablecoins.
What do you think of the FATF checking how well countries implement its suggested crypto standards? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the FATF.

Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Bitcoin.com Acquires Blockchain Software Startup O3 Labs

JAPAN, TOKYO, October 21, 2019 — Bitcoin.com has announced the acquisition of blockchain startup O3 Labs, the Tokyo-based software company that specializes in developing gateways to the digital economy. The deal will see O3 absorbed into Bitcoin.com, forming a single team dedicated to creating tools for realizing the full potential of the Bitcoin Cash network. The two companies intend to work together to build the next generation of mobile financial services, which will bear the Bitcoin.com name.
The strategic acquisition of O3’s blockchain and app development talent will allow Bitcoin.com to create intuitive and easy-to-understand user experiences that tie together Bitcoin.com, partners, and community financial service offerings across web, mobile, smart devices, and beyond.
Stefan Rust, CEO of Bitcoin.com said: “With the O3 team joining Bitcoin.com, we look forward to accelerating services in our mobile applications serving anyone in the world with an internet connection, regardless of nationality, socioeconomic status, or access to traditional finance.
“This will give users the ability to manage, grow, and spend while doing business with whomever they want, whenever they want, without the need for traditional banks or financial intermediaries. Our mission is to make money work for everyone, building tools and products that help people access Bitcoin Cash, a global financial system that’s fast, affordable, and available to everyone.
“Bitcoin Cash provides open, borderless, permissionless, censorship-resistant, private transactions. These core principles are at the heart of every service and product we offer at Bitcoin.com. We have known its importance for a long time and now the entire crypto industry is beginning to see this as well. We welcome the O3 Labs team with open arms to join us on this incredible adventure.”
Bitcoin.com has been rapidly expanding its suite of services, most recently launching an anonymous peer-to-peer BCH trading platform and a cryptocurrency exchange to complement its existing Bitcoin Cash focused products. The company’s portfolio of services has expanded further under Stefan Rust, who assumed the role of CEO in August 2019, with Roger Ver assuming the new role of Executive Chairman. In September, the Bitcoin.com Wallet, which has accrued over 4.7 million wallets created, was integrated into the HTC Exodus 1 blockchain smartphone.
Bitcoin.com operates a major Tokyo office and maintains close ties with Japan’s crypto community. The O3 Labs team, founded by Apisit Toompakadee and Andrei Terentiev, is best known for developing user-friendly gateways for accessing leading blockchain networks.
Tools developed by O3 Labs include desktop and mobile wallets which enable users to purchase cryptocurrencies directly and an application platform for privately connecting to decentralized apps.
 
About Bitcoin.com
At Bitcoin.com, we’re primed to change the world with Bitcoin Cash (BCH). From our fast, free wallet app which lets you manage both BCH and BTC with ease, to our global mining solutions, coverage of crypto industry news, and various other crypto-focused products, we’re committed to making BCH available to people of all ages, genders, nationalities, and financial backgrounds. For more information, visit www.bitcoin.com.

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Indian Finance Minister Answers Crypto Questions at IMF Meeting

At an IMF and World Bank meeting, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman talked about cryptocurrency and stablecoins when asked about Facebook’s Libra digital currency project. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das also addressed the subject at the conference.
Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case to November, New Date Confirmed
Finance Minister Talks Crypto
At the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C., Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman talked about cryptocurrency and stablecoins, PTI reported. The annual meetings and related events took place from Monday, Oct. 14, through Sunday, Oct. 20. The news outlet added that Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), also spoke about cryptocurrencies during one of the interventions.
Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a group photo with other governors at the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings 2019.
A group of reporters asked Sitharaman on Sunday about Facebook’s Libra crypto project. She responded, “On our side, the Reserve Bank governor spoke about it during our turn to intervene,” adding:
I got the sense that many countries were cautioning on rushing into this.
Since Facebook unveiled its plan for the Libra project in June, many regulators worldwide have been scrutinizing the project. France and Germany are even reportedly discussing banning Libra in their countries, at least until all the concerns have been addressed. As for India, former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs Subhash Chandra Garg previously said that the Indian government will not allow Libra in the country since it would be a private cryptocurrency.
Nirmala Sitharaman addressing the Plenary Session of the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings on Oct. 19.
“Some of them (countries) of course even suggested that they shouldn’t be using, all of us shouldn’t be using the name stable currency because that’s the expression they used,” Sitharaman was further quoted by PTI as saying. “Many cautioned to the extent saying even the name should not be stable currency, it should relate to virtual currency or something of the kind.” The finance minister added that “countries will have to show extreme caution much before anything is said or moved on this.”
Nonetheless, some positive aspects of cryptocurrency were discussed, as Sitharaman revealed:
In fact, this morning some of the presentations were also highlighting the strengths of such virtual currency.
“But equally everyone without fail spoke about the challenges together with talking about it as a necessary step forward,” she continued. “So everyone was stepping cautiously on it.”
The Indian government is currently deliberating on the country’s crypto policies. A report and draft bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” were submitted to the Ministry of Finance in February and made public in July. Both were produced by an interministerial committee (IMC) headed by Garg who has since been reassigned to the Power Ministry.
Nirmala Sitharaman
While the Indian government has not announced any decisions regarding the bill or the regulation of cryptocurrency, it has told the country’s supreme court that the crypto bill may be introduced in the next session of parliament. In July, the finance minister talked about the IMC report, calling it “a very futuristic and well-thought-out report,” but admitted that she had “not spent time on it after the presentation.”
Meanwhile, the Indian crypto community has been actively campaigning for the government to reevaluate the IMC recommendations, emphasizing that the report is flawed. At least one lawmaker is willing to listen and help the community. Further, the RBI has prohibited financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses. The ban, which went into effect in July last year, has been challenged in the supreme court, which is expected to resume hearing the case on Nov. 19.
IMF’s Approach to Crypto
At the same conference, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva also briefly talked about cryptocurrency and stablecoins such as Libra, PTI also reported. She revealed that the IMF has been engaged quite extensively with other organizations on this subject, such as the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the European Central Bank, including assessing the benefits and risks involved. Georgieva elaborated:
We take a very balanced approach. We look at the ease of use, cost savings, and most importantly, financial inclusion as very important benefits. But we are also very mindful that they can be a risk for privacy, consumer privacy.

After noting the risks that digital currency can be “abused for illegal purposes,” the IMF managing director said that there are also “issues on sovereignty that need to be well understood and addressed. And in that sense, we will continue to work.” Georgieva further commented:
We are not specifically focusing on Libra. We are looking into, one, the inevitability of expanding digital money on the wave of the digital revolution, but then the necessity to do so, mindful of monetary stability.
Last week, the FSB chairman wrote a letter to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors informing them that, unlike crypto assets, stablecoins with the potential to be adopted globally do pose financial stability risks. A recently released G7 report outlines some of these risks. In addition, the G20 issued a statement last week that stablecoins “with potential systemic footprints give rise to a set of serious public policy and regulatory risks,” adding that they “need to be evaluated and appropriately addressed before these projects can commence operation.”
What do you think of the Indian finance minister’s view on cryptocurrency and stablecoins? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Nirmala Sitharaman.

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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto