Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20-GPU Mining Motherboard

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20-GPU Mining Motherboard

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20 GPU Mining Motherboard

The Daily

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we feature news from all over the world. These stories include a new multi-GPU mining motherboard from Taiwan’s Asu; a Singaporean businessman acquiring a Japanese exchange; some ripple-loving alleged Russian hackers shaking down Canadian banks; and a Colombian soccer star launching his own coin.

Also Read: Austrian Financial Market Authority Stops ‘Active Managed Mining’ Operation

H370 Mining Master

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20 GPU Mining MotherboardAsus (TWSE: 2357), the Taiwanese computer hardware manufacturer, has announced a new motherboard that increases density with support for up to 20 graphics cards, designed specifically for crypto miners. The H370 Mining Master greatly replaces its predecessor’s x1 slots with banks of vertical PCIe-over-USB ports that let riser cables plug directly into the motherboard.

The company explains that: “Mining is a numbers game; it’s only worthwhile if the value of the cryptocurrency you generate exceeds the cost of producing it. Increasing the number of graphics cards per node is a great way to stack the deck in your favor.” The motherboard includes several more mining-enhancing features including a suite of diagnostic features designed to make a rig easier to manage. Chief among them is GPU State Detection, which scans the system at boot and indicates whether each riser port is empty, connected to a functional graphics card, or whether it’s experiencing problems. It will be unveiled at Computex 2018 in Taipei, June 5-9.

Real Estate Entrepreneur Buys Bittrade

Singaporean property entrepreneur Eric Cheng has announced the acquisition of two Japanese companies for S$67 million, giving him a 100% controlling stake in FX Trade Financial and its affiliate Bittrade. Bittrade is one of only sixteen Japanese FSA-regulated cryptocurrency trading platforms. Speaking on the acquisition, Cheng commented: “The cryptocurrency industry is growing exponentially. Against this backdrop, the key to capturing the rising demand is having a well-regulated and licensed outfit. With this Japanese FSA-licensed platform, I will work closely with the regulators to scale this platform globally.”

Ripple Loving Bank Hackers

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20-GPU Mining MotherboardHackers and ransomware cyber criminals usually prefer privacy coins such as monero, or just BTC to avoid having to explain too much about the crypto markets to their victims. But a new group, possibly from Russia, has been more successful with Ripple’s XRP. According to a report from Canada, an address with about $5 million in XRP is controlled by hackers who recently attacked two banks.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Simplii Financial revealed personal information about 90,000 clients of the two banks was being held hostage for $1 million, to be paid in XRP. The hackers, using a Russian email service, explained that the banks’ lack of education security has enabled the situation. “They were giving too much permission to half-authenticated accounts which enabled us to grab all this information,” they said, adding that the system “was not checking if a password was valid until the security questions were input correctly.”

$30 Million Gumi Cryptos

Gumi Cryptos is a new $30 million investment fund meant to help crypto ventures crack the Japanese market. It is led by Hironao Kunimitsu, founder and CEO of Tokyo-based mobile gamer publisher Gumi, and Miko Matsumura, founder of U.S.-based exchange Evercoin.

“We’ll be bringing startups from outside of Japan to the Japanese market,” Matsumura told Gamesbeat. “We like early stage. We invest in equity or tokens. We like financial services. We like game technologies, and we believe there is a strong connection between gaming and crypto.” He added that “Having advised top global cryptocurrency startups alongside some of the best investors in the world, I’ve come to realize that all of them struggle to break into Japan, the largest cryptocurrency market in the world. I’m excited to join Gumi and their well-respected network in Japan.”

James Rodriguez Coin

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20 GPU Mining MotherboardColombian soccer star James Rodriguez, currently attacking midfielder for Bayern Munich Football Club, has announced he decided to create a new coin for fans to capitalize on his brand. The JR10 token, developed in collaboration with Selfsell, is planned to be used for exchange of match tickets, souvenirs, and exclusive merchandise as well as the opportunities to participate in Rodriguez’s fan club activities.

Previous crypto collaborations by soccer stars include Leo Messi promoting an ultra secure mobile phone for paranoid cryptocurrency users.

What do you think about today’s news updates? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Asus.


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Crypto’s War On Miners? It Might Already Be Over

Crypto’s War On Miners? It Might Already Be Over

Brick ’em? Maybe not anymore.

What was once a phrase that echoed across message boards, one that defined an aggressive shift in sentiment against the companies that today make hardware required to run cryptocurrency software, is falling out a fashion as the so-called ‘War on Miners‘ enters a less decisive period.

Indeed, in the wake of new research and analysis, leading developers now appear to believe that standing in the way of a shifting mining landscape might be hopeless. At least, that was the testimony of many blockchain software developers at Consensus 2018, who indicated that hardware manufacturer Bitmain’s recent distribution of high-performance ASIC miners is proof of their inevitability for all cryptocurrencies.

Still, controversy surrounding the idea optimized mining hardware will soon be available for previously ASIC-resistant cryptocurrencies (including ethereum, monero and zcash) has continued to escalate.

Because the chips force more general-purpose mining hardware, such as graphic cards or GPUs, out of the market, each cryptocurrency has witnessed efforts to enact software changes so the hardware can no longer operate. Monero, the 13th largest cryptocurrency, for example, has committed to changing its underlying algorithm.

Driving the defense is the ideological belief that lacking sufficient competitors, ASIC manufacturer Bitmain commands too substantial a portion of the network share, a market reality that threatens to undermine the open, decentralized participation that cryptocurrencies strive for.

“You have centralization of manufacturers and you also have centralization of consumers. You have this sort of constant clustering,” Riccardo “fluffypony” Spagni, a lead developer at monero, told CoinDesk.

For now, monero is willing to go it alone, with regular anti-ASIC updates that aim to keep ASIC hardware off the network until such time that ASICs become ubiquitous, like USB drives, so that they can be run by a wider pool of participants.

“Ultimately ASIC resistance is futile but between now and then, before we capitulate to ASICs, let’s resist it for as long as possible until ASICs are commoditized,” Spagni told CoinDesk.

However, given the financial incentives at play – optimized hardware can quickly dominate a network, and swallow the rewards in exchange for the increased hashpower – others warned that ASIC manufacturers will always be a step ahead.

Lead developer of siacoin, David Vorick, told CoinDesk:

“I think any GPU-mined coin is going to become an ASIC-mined coin at some point. Bitmain has been pretty methodical about demonstrating this.”

The firehose of money

Put differently, this means that crypto developers believe that innovations in the development of mining chips will continue to increase at a comparable pace as decisions designed to mitigate them.

What’s different now, though, is that there is new anecdotal and statistical evidence to back this up. According to Vorick’s estimations, which have now been widely circulated, ASIC manufacturers move faster than anti-ASIC code.

On top of that, Vorick argues that software developers have underestimated the flexibility of hardware.

“At this point there’s no single ASIC resistance algorithm that our chip devs have looked at and said they couldn’t do,” Vorick said.

Written by a software developer who tried to start a mining business, these words carried weight.

Speaking to CoinDesk, founder of zcash and CEO of the Zcash Company Zooko Wilcox echoed these points, noting how the work has impacted his own thoughts on the subject. Ultimately, he now believes that ASICs will continue, simply because the economics of beating the competition in crypto mining are so favorable to those who do it.

“Literally for zcash, I wouldn’t be surprised if you can launch a project, take according to Vorick’s estimates, three or four months to get it deployed and in 48 hours you would make more money than you spent,” Wilcox told CoinDesk.

Although a significant portion of the zcash community have spoken out against the hardware, Wilcox has said he has no intention to disrupt the current development cycle in order to implement anti-ASIC code.

While Wilcox has several reasons for taking this stance – primarily so as not to interfere with an upcoming upgrade – he added that ASIC resistance is liable to manipulation, simply due to the high incentives at play.

“It’s kind of like you’re holding a firehose of money and you’re saying I’m just going to wiggle this around in random directions, spray money at random recipients, and it’s enough money that this is going to focus all the attention on you, and people are going to try and influence and ask you to justify which direction you’re pointing the firehose of money,” Wilcox said.

He added:

“I definitely don’t want to be in that position.”

Two industries at odds

And even if software developers keep up the fight, Vorick warned of something he calls the “secret ASIC.”

The idea is that savvy manufacturers might even build mining chip innovations in secret, and rather than release them to the market, keep them to themselves to game the rewards.

“I think it’s safe to assume that every proof-of-work coin with a block reward of more than $20 million in the past year has at least one group of secret ASICs currently mining on it, or will have secret ASICs mining on it within a few months,” Vorick wrote in a blog post.

Bitmain itself was quick to dismiss Vorick’s writings as “conspiracy theory,” but Vorick’s position is reinforced by his own foray into ASIC manufacturing. Last year, siacoin began building its own ASIC – one that contained a secret switch to force away any competitors – but was beaten to market by Bitmain.

According to Vorick, these kinds of tricks are typical.

“It’s because its a zero sum game. For mining in particular, if your proponent is better then you just naturally lose money,” he told CoinDesk.

Wilcox echoed this, stating that the secrecy trickles down, such that mining pools refuse to share data, and the remaining community can no longer analyze the network.

“It’s an interesting juxtaposition in cryptocurrency world,” Wilcox told CoinDesk, “the development process and the developers social environment is maximally open, but the mining environment is very secretive.”

Going forward, Vorick said that software developers will try to control the mining landscape through strategically partnering with hardware suppliers in the early stages of development.

Projects could share their code with ASIC manufacturers from the beginning, in exchange for some promises in return, such that ASICs would be fairly distributed, and a cryptocurrency’s community gets first pick.

He told CoinDesk:

“So that takes Bitmain’s big advantage, which is that they’re always first to market with everything, and takes that away from them.”

Future facing

But there are signs that Bitmain is moving in a cooperative direction as well.

For example, Wilcox shared notes from a video call with CEO of the company, Jihan Wu, to discuss communication difficulties facing the respective groups. According to Wilcox, Wu said individuals had been exploiting the communication gap to foster mistrust surrounding the company.

“We have never been doing a stealth mining strategy,” Wu reportedly stated.

Following the meeting, Bitmain published a blog post published on Friday, stating it would be exploring an exercise in “radical transparency” when it came to the shipment of zcash ASICs.

In order for the zcash community to prepare for the increased hashrate, the company said, it would live-tweet when the hardware is being shipped, as well as the time of the purchases.

Speaking to CoinDesk, PR representative for Bitmain Nishant Sharma said the company is making an effort to interact with software communities. “You may have noticed that our communications have steadily become more proactive and responsive over the last few months. We expect this to continue,” Sharma said.

Further research from software developers into the hardware landscape might help the situation as well.

For example, while the zcash company has no intention to move away from the ASICs, the Zcash Foundation is embarking on anti-ASIC research, as well trying to better determine the breakdown of the mining network.

Going forward, Wilcox said it’s possible the cryptocurrency will support both GPU and ASIC mining on separate networks.

Wilcox told CoinDesk:

“There’s no reason why a blockchain fork into two mutually incompatible technologies has to become a social schism into mutually antagonistic communities. Instead, you can have one community and the people in it use both technologies.”

Army men via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Philippines’ Crypto Wallet Reaches 5 Million Users, Adds More Coins

Philippines’ Crypto Wallet Reaches 5 Million Users, Adds More Coins

Philippines' Crypto Wallet Reaches 5 Million Users, Adds More Coins

News

Averaging more than a million onboardings per year, Philippines’ Coins.ph announced it reached a whopping five million users this week for its mobile payments application (app) and hot crypto wallet. Not content with merely adding numbers for their own sake, the company also revealed it would add two new popular coins: bitcoin cash (BCH) and ether (ETH).

Also read: Bitgrail Exchange Ordered Down Indefinitely as Italian Court Upholds Halt

Philippines’ Coins.ph Hits 5mil User Milestone

Founder Ron Hose enthusiastically explained, “We are excited and proud to provide 5 million customers with access to financial services. Our focus on creating financial inclusion to all Filipinos has propelled our growth to date.”

Many of the southeast Asian archipelago’s inhabitants struggle with inadequate economic opportunities and poor financial services. Nearly half of the Philippines is living on close to $2 a day, and its central bank, Bagko Sentral ng Pilipinas, estimated early last year that 86% of Philippines’ citizens are unbanked – bereft of basic banking services used by folks in the West every day.

Philippines' Crypto Wallet Reaches 5 Million Users, Adds More Coins

Those factors just might be features rather than bugs when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption. Indeed, for relatively smooth economies in the West, money is already digitized for all intents and purposes. Crypto adoption, as a result, in the West has been a bit of struggle: the immediate argument gets lost in money that ‘works,’ and works well.

For Filipinos to become one’s own bank, in effect, relying less on financial legacy permission and trust, a peer-to-peer currency out of view of its notoriously corrupt government seems to be proving very attractive if Coins.ph numbers are any indication.

Coins.ph Adds Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

“Millions of our customers have already used Coins.ph’s web and mobile apps to access a wide array of financial services,” CEO Ron Hose continued, “including buying load, paying bills, topping up their beep™ card, and purchasing digital currencies, all without needing a bank account.”

Five million users has come in only four years for the company. It was founded by Runar Petursson and Mr. Hose, both Silicon Valley veterans. Their services are a way for Filipinos to become banked, a potential market of over 300,000 people. In the past two years, it has raised a total of $10mil in venture capital funding, indicating investors believe the company to be “on” to something.

Philippines' Crypto Wallet Reaches 5 Million Users, Adds More Coins

Users of the company’s platform can take advantage of ever-important remittance services, card top-ups, wallet transfers, paying bills, and even online shopping. Just the mere notion of a friction-filled economy (as is the case within the Philippines), flattening and becoming more streamline would seem to forecast wonderful economic advancements for the nation, at least theoretically.  

“Responding to consumer demand for additional blockchain-based services,” the company notes it has already rolled out ether (ETH) acceptance in addition to its existing bitcoin core (BTC) offering, “with an eye for future smart contract based financial services, and will also begin supporting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) next month, in an effort to support lower cost blockchain based payments.”

Do you think more emerging economies will embrace crypto? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay, Coins.ph.


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PR: Mesmr – Revolutionary Decentralized Media Platform Announced

PR: Mesmr – Revolutionary Decentralized Media Platform Announced

Mesmr - Revolutionary Decentralized Media Platform Announced

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Los Angeles, CA (May 30, 2018) — mesmr™, the blockchain-based new media ecosystem, is announcing the creation of mesmr.tv, a media platform designed for content creators and their audiences.

“mesmr was formed due to a lack of trust in today’s new media platforms. Our goal is to give everyone the power to unleash their creativity, own the rights to their personal data and to leverage the transparency of blockchain, giving brands a visible ROI on their marketing spend. We’re building a consumer-centric blockchain in the hopes that we can bring everyone into the world’s new operating system that is blockchain technology,” Dil-Dominé Leonares, mesmr founder and CEO stated.

The announcement comes in the midst of calls by content creators to revisit how the modern media platform manages revenue and access to content. With a unique token-based system, mesmr rewards all three parties—creators, audiences, and brands—for their participation on the platform.

“One of our goals is to drive mass adoption of blockchain technology by making everything very user friendly,” added Val Kantchev, mesmr’s Chief Technology Officer. “A lot follows from that user focus, including also the decision to build our own blockchain network.”

mesmr.tv rewards all participants for their engagement in the ecosystem. Based on their belief in on-demand income, mesmr.tv will be giving viewers tokens for their time spent watching ads, should the consumer choose to opt-in for this feature. In addition, they want to give them the option to either keep their data private or release it to advertisers for a fee. Their goal is to spur the adoption of blockchain by creating a platform that provides all the benefits of a token, without sacrificing user experience like other content sharing platforms in the blockchain industry.

The company is aiming to create a “content democracy”, where videos succeed or fail based on merit, not how well they fit into advertiser-friendly guidelines. The community decides what rises to the top. Creators receive 80% of the advertising revenue generated from their content, and community members can gain extra tokens for sharing content that performs well.

Over the next few weeks, mesmr will be rolling out their TGE (Token Generation Event) with a pre-sale set for June 15th. Allowing purchase of the mesmr token (MSMR) with Ethereum (ETH), they are expecting to generate over 350 million tokens with a value of $200 million USD.

To learn more about mesmr, you can visit their website mesmr.tv or view their whitepaper available here.

About mesmr:
Founded in 2017, mesmr is committed to creating a secure media ecosystem powered entirely by blockchain. The soon-to-be-released, mesmr blockchain will be powered by the Proof of Influence consensus protocol solving the unfairness of PoS (Proof of Stake) and the sustainability issues of PoW (Proof of Work). mesmr.tv is the first proof of concept that runs on the mesmr blockchain and utilizes the influence score.

Contact Email Address
[email protected]
Supporting Link
www.mesmr.tv

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. 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 content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Headphones Maker Monster Is Quietly Planning A $300 Million ICO

Headphones Maker Monster Is Quietly Planning A $300 Million ICO

Monster Products, Inc. has been losing money for years, but a $300 million initial coin offering (ICO) may be what it takes to turn the company around.

Founded in 1978, Monster, which makes electronic accessories such as headphones and Bluetooth speakers, has primarily relied on retailers to distribute its goods up to now. Business issues aside, though, Monster doesn’t appear to be cutting back on its ambitions for making a change.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Monster is planning to run one of the biggest ICOs of all time by selling “monster money tokens” to build the “Monster Money Network,” a new e-commerce site for selling its products (and potentially those of other companies) online.

If it succeeds in raising its target amount, Monster will use the funds to make the Monster Money Network a platform for purchasing its products using ethereum tokens.

The ICO fits into a larger trend in the token space of existing companies that have struggled with their revenue model pivoting to blockchain in an attempt to attain profitability. In the past, pre-existing tech companies with venture backing have launched ICOs (Listia and YouNow), but this is the first longstanding consumer product to do so.

As part of the plan, Monster will create 500 million tokens and sell as many as 300 million in its offering. The offering will run for one year, unless it sells out sooner or it decides to cancel the sale early. The company is also issuing 75 million shares of common stock so that, if the network fails to launch, it can exchange every four tokens for one share of stock (in lieu of returning the money).

Notably, the token does not come with equity or voting rights. Instead, it’s designed as a payment method for the e-commerce website (under construction), one with faster settlement and lower fees than existing payments rails. (Still, the filing acknowledges that this might not be enough to prevent it from running afoul of securities law.)

Nonetheless, Monster is also filing to take advantage of the “emerging growth company” designation under the Jobs Act, which provides for certain lighter disclosure requirements and broader investor solicitation rights.

Money for something

As for the network launch, Monster’s filing offers a surprising amount of detail as far as such disclosures go.

For example, the filing states that the Monster Money Network will be used for “for payment processing, market analysis, accounting, audit and payroll services, inventory management and shipping operation” relating to Monster products sold online. From there, it hopes it can recruit other e-commerce platforms onto the network.

There will be a three-stage process for the product. In the first, it will simply be a payments system, using an ERC-20 token. In the next stage, it will lower or eliminate transaction costs by enabling micro-transactions off-chain.

In the final stage, it will transition to its own blockchain (Kik skipped straight to that last step recently).

As the filing explains:

“In the future, Monster intends to leverage its global connections and brand visibility along with blockchain technology to bring more and more other e-commerce platforms onto Monster Money Network and expand the user base of MMNY Tokens. We hope to set up the blockchain standard for e-commerce platforms.”

The company has evolved a lot since its earliest days. According to its website, it began as Monster Cable because its founder, Noel Lee, had discovered that different kinds of cables produced different levels of audio fidelity. Capitalizing on this discovery, he launched a company that later expanded into other related products.

“We primarily design, engineer, market and sell headphones, cables, docks, speakers, power products and mobile accessories,” according to its filing, which argues that it has several advantages over its competitors in the industry, including brand recognition, a network of ambassadors and culture of innovation.

More than half the funds are designated for technical development of the network, but roughly one-third is earmarked for marketing (both the protocol and monster products) and developing relationships with partners who will sell Monster products.

Dire straits

In other words, it doesn’t sound like the new tokens will ever be the only way to acquire Monster’s headphones and cables, and it seems clear that the ICO is in no small part a strategy to give a multimillion-dollar boost to the product line’s visibility.

So far, there hasn’t been an example of a non-blockchain company moving into decentralized software from a position of strength, and Monster appears (at first glance) to be no different. Monster has been losing money for at least the last several years.

As its filing states:

“The amount of future losses and when, if ever, we will achieve profitability are uncertain.”

At the end of last year, it had a net loss of $26.7 million, but it has already lost another $19.6 million in the first quarter of 2018, so the pace of losses appears to be accelerating.

The ICO is not the first measure the company has taken to turn it around. It has let go of staff, dropped products, cut its marketing budget and even closed a factory in Mexico. Nevertheless, the filing admits, “Our independent auditors have indicated … that there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.”

Rather than give up, it has decided to raise $300 million to take on some of the most successful companies in history.

As its filing states:

“We consider Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba as examples of our main competitors with respect to the new Monster Money Network and our existing e-commerce platform.”

Headphones image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features

Exchanges

A few months ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on the platform Localbitcoincash.org growing popular and adding a few new features. Now the website has revamped its user interface and the website’s developer has added services like a direct crypto-to-crypto exchange and a shopping section where users can post items to sell for Bitcoin Cash.

Also read: The Exahash Era: SHA-256 Mining is a Significant Achievement in Computer Engineering 

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps the Site Again With Newly Added Features

Localbitcoincash.org offers an escrow service so buyers and sellers can trade Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in a peer-to-peer fashion. The platform was launched in October 2017 in its beta stage and has seen a lot of changes since then. Localbitcoincash (LBC) pretty much offers the same services as its BTC counterpart Localbitcoins but also has a variety of other options for users. Since our last review, the website looks and feels completely different as the colors are now green and black in contrast to its older orange look. The front page shows a step-by-step walkthrough detailing how to use LBC alongside a list of buyers and sellers below this field.

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features
The Localbitcoincash.org exchange.

LBC’s Fiat and Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange

The sidebar to the left has a bunch of different options which include the fiat exchange where users can swap BCH for fiat currencies. Looking at the list of buyers and sellers on Localbitcoincash shows the platform seems to be getting a fair share of users. People from various locations all around the world are selling increments of BCH for their local currency. At the time of publication, prices range from the current spot market price found on online exchanges and some traders are selling for a few hundred more per BCH.

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features
The Localbitcoincash.org fiat exchange.

The peer-to-peer LBC platform also has a crypto-to-crypto exchange that operates just like Shapeshift or Changelly but without fees.

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features
The peer-to-peer platform also has a crypto-to-crypto exchange that operates similarly to Shapeshift, and Changelly.

Peer-to-Peer Escrow Shopping

Similarly to the operations of the aforementioned platforms, LBC gives registered users a deposit and receiving address so they can swap BCH for cryptocurrencies like BTC, Dash, Ethereum, Smartcash, Steem, and more. Under this feature on the sidebar is the send BCH by email service which allows users to easily send BCH to someone in this mannner. Furthermore, on May 30, the LBC developer announced the addition of a peer-to-peer shopping section where users can sell items for BCH.

Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features
LBC’s newly added shopping section that allows people to sell goods via escrow.

“After many weeks of hard work, we are really excited to announce the launch of our peer to peer online shopping platform,” explains the LBC representative. “This means that anyone can trade with anyone freely, instantly and safely via escrow. Anyone can be a seller today and sell physical or digital products — There are no commissions at all by the platform and we don’t have any restrictions built in so users are welcome to message the sellers directly to deal outside of this platform.”

All these additions fit with our objective of allowing anyone to earn a living online, especially people from failed states and corrupt countries. In many of these places, citizens had to suffer from the consequences of the failed government for many decades — Our hope is that with Bitcoin Cash, this will change and help lift someone up from poverty into economic freedom and equality.

The fiat exchange shows traders selling BCH are located all around the world but some have a cap on how much they are willing to sell. A great majority of the peer-to-peer trading arrangements on Localbitcoincash are ‘Meetup’ swaps where individuals meet in person to trade fiat for BCH. In order to get a scope of what type of trade an individual is offering simply hit the ‘view’ tab to read the trader’s arrangements. The developer of LBC is adding to the website regularly and with each visit the trading portal seems to be more user-friendly over time.

What do you think about the exchange Localbitcoincash? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Localbitcoincash.org.


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Ripple Wants People to Stop Calling Its Coin ‘Ripple’

Ripple Wants People to Stop Calling Its Coin ‘Ripple’

Ripple Wants People to Stop Calling Its Coin ‘Ripple’

Altcoins

What’s the difference between Ripple the company and ripple (XRP) the cryptocurrency? Many people would assert “Not a lot” given that the former owns most of the latter and its founders were responsible for creating ripple in the first place. Ripple the company has other ideas though, and is on a mission to separate the two ripples – big and small – once and for all.

Also read: May Breaks 2018’s Down-Trend in Monthly Total Raised by ICOs

The Disambiguation of Ripple and XRP

Ripple Wants People to Stop Calling Its Coin ‘Ripple’For several months, Ripple has been on a mission to dispel the notion that it is responsible for the XRP currency it issues. Just as Prince once changed himself into a symbol, the project would like to turn its currency into a symbol and keep it that way. This is despite the fact that ‘XRP’ is simply a currency ticker derived from an abbreviation of the word ‘ripple’, just as XMR is an abbreviation of monero. To mark the distinction, a new logo has been proposed that is clean, minimalist and, tellingly, looks nothing like that of Ripple.

There’s even a community-run Twitter account for the new XRP symbol and Github which explains: “In order for XRP to be perceived as a ‘currency,’ it needs its own symbol. Just like the dollar sign ‘$,’ XRP needs a universal sign that denotes units of XRP. The current logo being used works great when referencing the company, and it should not be changed, but a character should be created to represent actual units of the digital asset.” The final logo has yet to be decided, but whatever version the community plumps for, it will look very different from the current shared logo of the company and coin.

Ripple Wants People to Stop Calling Its Coin ‘Ripple’
One of the proposed new logos for XRP

Why the Rebrand?

It has been theorized that the company is seeking to distance itself from its eponymous currency in  order to “desecuritize” it. The likelihood of XRP being a security, given the fact that Ripple has a majority holding, is strong. In the event of XRP being classified as such by the SEC it would have a major impact on XRP’s price and its availability on US exchanges. Given the foregoing, it makes sense for the company to emphasize the distinction between the company and XRP. It is likely to encounter significant difficulties, however, in convincing people that this is the case.

When Are We Decentralized Yet creator Jackson Palmer was petitioned to start referring to Ripple’s cryptocurrency as XRP, he issued a strong response:

Ripple Wants People to Stop Calling Its Coin ‘Ripple’

Semantics or Separate Things?

The case for why the company and XRP are separate entities, according to the company, revolves around the fact that the XRP ledger is open source, and thus any company can use it for their own purposes. While this is true, third party development has been few and far between, and the vast majority of XRP’s code commits have been performed by staffers. If the company can successfully separate itself from its currency, it is possible that the XRP ledger could become more attractive to companies wishing to utilize it for their own purposes. It seems unlikely, however, that the XRP ledger, for all its efficiencies, will become the Hyperledger of enterprise.

Ripple Wants People to Stop Calling Its Coin ‘Ripple’
Other community proposed logos for XRP

As cryptocurrency critic Preston Byrne has pointed out, the notion that “There’s not a direct connection between Ripple the company and XRP”, as stated by the company’s Director of Regulatory Regulations Ryan Zagone, simply doesn’t fly. The connections between the two are written all over the website, and every other third party news source. The Wikipedia page for Ripple (payment protocol) points out that “The network can operate without the Ripple company”, but evidence suggests that it would struggle to function if the company bowed out. For one thing, operating an XRP node requires obtaining permission from one of Ripple.com’s servers.

With 55 billion XRP locked in the company vaults, the simplest way for Ripple to rid itself of association with the cryptocurrency would be to burn the bulk of its supply of XRP. That wouldn’t look too good on its balance sheet though, and thus the campaign to rebrand ripple as XRP intensifies.

Do you think Ripple and XRP should be regarded as separate entities? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Ripple, and XRP Symbol Twitter.


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New Zcash Software Sets Stage for ‘Sapling’ Upgrade

New Zcash Software Sets Stage for ‘Sapling’ Upgrade

The development team of the zcash cryptocurrency has released new software that contains support elements of the network’s planned Sapling upgrade, set to take place later this year.

Sapling isn’t the first hard fork for zcash on the horizon – that’s Overwinter, which is slated for late June of this year – but the 1.1.1 update puts the initial consensus rules in place as prepares a Sapling-based testnet, according to release notes published Wednesday.

The Zcash team first revealed details about Sapling back in February of last year, which is aimed at speeding up transactions on the network, as previously reported.

What’s missing is an activation “block height” – essentially, the exact transaction block at which point the Sapling hard fork takes effect – and according to developers, this will be included in a future update.

“As a reminder, because the Sapling activation height is not yet specified for mainnet, version 1.1.1 will behave similarly as other pre-Sapling releases even after a future activation of Sapling on the network. Upgrading from 1.1.1 will be required in order to follow the Sapling network upgrade on mainnet,” the blog post explained.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, next month’s Overwinter upgrade is positioned, in part, as a way to set to stage for future hard forks – a process that has stoked controversy for other blockchain protocols, namely bitcoin – to take place on zcash.

“The purpose of this is to get practice doing network upgrades,” Zooko Wilcox, co-founder and CEO of Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, which develops the network, said in March.

Image via Shutterstock

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Regulations Round-Up: SEC hits Titanium, Israeli Crypto Law Delayed, BTC Trading Legal for Chinese Citizens

Regulations Round-Up: SEC hits Titanium, Israeli Crypto Law Delayed, BTC Trading Legal for Chinese Citizens

Regulations Round-Up: SEC hits Titanium, Israeli Crypto Law Delayed, BTC Trading Legal for Chinese Citizens

Regulation

In recent regulatory news, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against the Titanium Blockchain initial coin offering (ICO) for allegedly making false claims; the enactment of Israel’s cryptocurrency regulations have been delayed; and a Chinese professor has discussed the current legal status of bitcoin trading in China, asserting that it is currently not illegal for Chinese citizen to trade bitcoin.

Also Read: May Breaks 2018’s Down-Trend in Monthly Total Raised by ICOs

SEC Ceases Titanium Blockchain ICO for Elaborate False Claims

Regulations Round-Up: SEC hits Titanium, Israeli Crypto Law Delayed, BTC Trading Legal for Chinese CitizensWith North American regulators’ ‘Operation Cryptosweep‘ in high gear, news of regulatory action being taken against suspect initial coin offerings and investment schemes appears to break across the cryptocurrency world daily. The latest target of action from the United States SEC is Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services – which has become subject of a court order halting its ICO due to allegedly making fraudulent claims of business relationships with well-known businesses and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

An SEC press release states that the commission has “obtained a court order halting an ongoing fraud involving an initial coin offering (ICO) that raised as much as $21 million from investors in and outside the U.S.,” adding that the court also approved an emergency asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc., the firm behind the alleged scheme.

The SEC complaint accuses the company’s president, Michael Alan Stollery, a/k/a Michael Stollaire, of having “lied about business relationships with the Federal Reserve and dozens of well-known firms, including PayPal, Verizon, Boeing, and The Walt Disney Company.”

Robert Cohen, the Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, stated: “This ICO was based on a social media marketing blitz that allegedly deceived investors with purely fictional claims of business prospects. Having filed multiple cases involving allegedly fraudulent ICOs, we again encourage investors to be especially cautious when considering these as investments.”

Israeli Cryptocurrency Regulations Delayed

Regulations Round-Up: SEC hits Titanium, Israeli Crypto Law Delayed, BTC Trading Legal for Chinese CitizensThe enactment of Israel’s cryptocurrency regulations, originally scheduled for this Friday, has been delayed until October.

Following last week’s publishing of a draft law pertaining to money laundering that included specific provisions pertaining to virtual currencies, Israel’s finance minister, Moshe, Kahlon, abruptly requested that the law not be passed until the bill is ratified.

“The existing ordinance for the prohibition of money laundering will lapse with the passing of the new law. The process of installing the new law, which includes public hearings, will take time. Consequently, there will be a period in which there will be no active legal provision concerning this matter, which will lead to a lack of clarity regarding the identification and reporting obligations imposed by the order on [the] prohibition of money laundering,” Mr. Kahlon said.

Manny Rosenfield, the head of the Israeli Bitcoin Association, has described the delay of the law’s passing as a significant setback for the country’s cryptocurrency industry. “The postponement of the law that deals with digital currencies will leave start-ups in the same situation, and will cause a situation in which these companies will have to think twice about whether or not to stay in Israel […] This is a blow that will hamper the efforts of Israel to become a leader in a rapidly developing field of technology,” Mr. Rosenfield said.

“It’s Not Illegal for the Public to Trade BTC” – Chinese Academic

Regulations Round-Up: SEC hits Titanium, Israeli Crypto Law Delayed, BTC Trading Legal for Chinese CitizensWhilst speaking at The 2018 China International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang, Liu Xiaolei, a professor at the Guanghua School of Management of Peking University, argued that bitcoin trading is not currently an illegal activity for Chinese citizens to undertake, despite the China’s prohibition on cryptocurrency exchanges.

According to a rough translation, Liu Xiaolei stated of the legality of China’s citizenry trading bitcoin: “In terms of supervision, the state [has] not [made] such a gesture [so as] to say it is not allowed.” Liu Xiaolei added that “everyone, especially the common people who do not understand this new technology […] should be reminded […] not to follow suit, because it is still a very risky investment.”

Liu Xiaolei also argued that maintaining a ban on P2P cryptocurrencies is not practically viable.

Which jurisdiction do you think has adopted the most appropriate cryptocurrency regulations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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$30 Million Crypto Startup Fund Launched By Mobile Game Maker

$30 Million Crypto Startup Fund Launched By Mobile Game Maker

A maker of mobile games based in Japan has launched a $30 million investment fund focused on cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Gumi is a maker and publisher of games, including titles such as Brave Frontier and Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (on which it served as a collaborator along with Square-Enix and another firm, Alim).

The new fund, according to a report from VentureBeat, is being led by Gumi founder and CEO Hironao Kunimitsu as well as Miko Matsumura, the founder of the Evercoin cryptocurrency exchange. Law firm White & Case LLP advised on the fund’s formation, according to a separate announcement.

“We decided to create a fund that enables us to engage more directly with early-stage blockchain and cryptocurrency startups, in order to be more effective partners and have a real impact in the market,” Kunimitsu told the publication in a statement.

And while the fund’s debut is new, it’s already made some investments in the space. These include stakes in Basis, the company behind one of several “stablecoins,” and – perhaps less surprisingly – Robot Cache, which is looking to build a blockchain-powered competitor to Steam, the gaming distribution platform.

Matsumura told GamesBeat that the fund would invest in both equity and tokens directly.

“We like early stage. We invest in equity or tokens. We like financial services. We like game technologies, and we believe there is a strong connection between gaming and crypto,” he was quoted as saying.

Whether that stronger confluence of gaming and blockchain comes to fruition remains to be seen, but other giants in the gaming ecosystem, including developer Ubisoft and gaming engine Unity, are eyeing the tech for potential applications.

Image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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