China’s Oldest Science and Tech Publication Accepts BTC for Subscriptions

China's Oldest Science and Tech Publication Accepts BTC for Subscriptions

On Sunday China’s oldest tech media publication, Beijing Sci-Tech Report (BSTR) also known as ‘Technology life,’ has announced the business is accepting bitcoin core (BTC) for the magazine’s 2019 subscriptions.

Also read: Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality 

The Publication Beijing Sci-Tech Report Now Accepts BTC for 2019 Subscriptions  

The Beijing Sci-Tech Report (BSTR) is one of the oldest science and technology publications in China. The media organization prints editorials stemming from its ‘Technology Life‘ team of authors, and it also publishes approved content from the well known US science journal Popular Science. This weekend the magazine has announced that it will be accepting BTC for subscriptions towards its 2019 publications. The cost to subscribe to BSTR will be 0.01 BTC (about 450 yuan or $65 USD).

China's Oldest Science and Tech Publication Accepts BTC for Subscriptions
@Cnledger reveals the news on Twitter. 

The Beijing based publication has written reports on cryptocurrencies in the past and the use cases of blockchain technology. According to the press release, the announcement to accept BTC was brought about by the magazine’s desire to promote blockchain technology in a real-world setting for “practical actions.”

“For a long time, blockchain technology has also been the object of in-depth tracking reports offered by Beijing Science and Technology Report and Technology Life,” the magazine’s press release details.

China's Oldest Science and Tech Publication Accepts BTC for Subscriptions
The Beijing Sci-Tech Report (BSTR)

Embracing the Payment Technology in Order to Cultivate New Readers

One interesting fact about BSTR accepting bitcoin, the firm says, is that if the price of BTC grows significantly by 2020, they will also offer some refunds to those who have subscribed using the digital currency. A translated BSTR statement explains the publication hopes to “cultivate new readers” by embracing the payment technology.

Beijing Sci-Tech Report is not the only publication that has tried to entice readers by accepting cryptocurrencies. Back in 2014 Time Incorporated announced accepting BTC through Coinbase for subscriptions to Fortune, Good Health, Travel and Leisure, and This Old House. In April of the same year, the Chicago Sun-Times also revealed it would accept BTC for payments. However, both publishing companies have since removed the BTC payment option. Beijing Sci-Tech Report being a technology-oriented magazine may have better luck than its periodical predecessors.

What do you think about Beijing Sci-Tech Report (BSTR) accepting BTC for 2019 subscriptions? Let us know what you think about this story in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, BSTR, and Pixabay.


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A Review of the New Stellarx Decentralized Exchange

A Review of the New Stellarx Decentralized Exchange

This week, Stellar launched its long-awaited decentralized exchange. Stellarx offers trading of a range of assets including cryptocurrencies from multiple blockchains, using stellar lumens (XLM) as the base currency. The exchange differs significantly from existing decentralized offerings, which are limited to tokens pertaining to a single blockchain – usually Ethereum. With Stellarx, however, users can trade BCH, BTC, USD, ETH and much more, but there’s a catch: non-native assets are represented as ‘tethers’.

Also read: Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality

Does Stellar’s New DEX Have the X Factor?

A Review of the New Stellarx Decentralized ExchangeOn the face of it, Stellar is an odd cryptocurrency project to be championing decentralization. Founded by Jed McCaleb as a fork of his former project, Ripple, Stellar is in many respects as centralized as the coin its codebase derives from. Are We Decentralized Yet? scores Stellar’s XLM cryptocurrency low on various decentralization metrics, noting that the top 100 accounts hold 95% of the total supply, there is just one client codebase controlling nodes, and a mere 111 public nodes are operational. By any reckoning, that makes XLM a heavily centralized cryptocurrency, and yet in Stellarx, we have a candidate for one of the most innovative and user-friendly decentralized exchanges seen yet.

To all intents and purposes, Stellarx operates as a true DEX should: users retain sole custody of their funds, trades are executed against other users, and Stellarx has no access to funds. Throw in the ability to trade non-native crypto assets such as BTC and BCH, plus the option of making fiat currency deposits, and Stellarx starts to sound more like a centralized exchange than a bare bones DEX on a par with IDEX or Forkdelta. There are some caveats that come with trading non-native Stellar assets, which we’ll get to shortly, but straight off the bat, Stellarx is more feature-rich than any of its counterparts.

A Review of the New Stellarx Decentralized Exchange

Trade Anything, Anywhere

“Any asset that is created on the Stellar network may theoretically be displayed, no matter whether it would be considered a currency, commodity, security, utility token, or other type of asset under your local applicable laws and regulations,” notes Stellarx in its Ts & Cs. “You are responsible for determining the legality of your transactions.” With each trade, the counterparty sends tokens directly to your Stellar wallet and vice-versa, ensuring that there is no custodial risk incurred. They explain:

On Stellarx, you can go US Dollars to Bitcoin to Chinese Yuan to Mobius from a single wallet. That’s not possible anywhere else.

Upon visiting Stellarx for the first time, you’ll be prompted to sign up by submitting an email address and password. That’s the only verification you need to trade on the platform, which is pretty cool, as is the built-in password strength calculator:

A Review of the New Stellarx Decentralized Exchange

You’ll then be prompted to create a private key for the Stellar wallet that will be tied to your trading account and to make a note of the recovery phrase. At this stage, Stellarx bears many similarities to the Waves decentralized exchange. The trading interface you’ll next be shown, however, accompanied by a platform walk-through, is far slicker than anything that any rival DEX has produced to date.

A Review of the New Stellarx Decentralized Exchange

The first question that users navigating their way around Stellarx may have is how the exchange of cross-chain assets is made possible. This has hitherto been a tough nut to crack, with atomic swaps seen as the likeliest solution to what is a complex problem to solve in a trustless setting. Stellar’s solution is surprisingly simple: the majority of the assets it offers are ‘tethers’ i.e tokenized representations. They explain: “They’re tied to either fiat like USD or to cryptocurrency from other chains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum. You can trade tethers like any other token, but you can also exchange them for the asset they’re tied to.”

So when you buy bitcoin cash or ethereum on Stellarx, what you’re really buying is a Stellar-issued token that represents that crypto. (The Waves DEX does something similar with ethereum, which is tradable on Waves despite operating on a different blockchain). On Stellarx, tokens are listed as either “fiat tethers”, “crypto tethers” or “native tokens”, the latter being native to the Stellar blockchain.

A Review of the New Stellarx Decentralized Exchange
The Stellarx bitcoin cash marketplace

Zero Fees and Human-Readable Addresses

In addition to boasting zero trading fees, Stellarx offers human-readable wallet addresses that comprise the email address you signed up with followed by “*stellarx.com”. Users who’ve no desire to publicly disclose their email address can use a non-identifiable public key instead. Assets listed on Stellarx can be filtered by volume, price, name, issuer, and other variables. Before you can begin trading you’ll naturally need to deposit funds into your account. In addition to XLM, Stellarx accepts USD, implemented with the aid of Anchorusd.com. While KYC is required to use Anchor’s service, it’s nevertheless novel to see a DEX offer fiat deposits.

A Review of the New Stellarx Decentralized Exchange
For users who don’t hold XLM, Changelly will provide crypto exchange

When it comes to withdrawing funds, there are two options: select another Stellar address or choose an off-chain account. If you’re holding ‘tethered’ funds such as BTC or BCH, you’ll need to visit the website of the issuer who offered the asset. In the case of BTC, for example, that means visiting Naobtc and converting your Stellar BTC for real BTC, or with BCH it necessitates swapping tokens at Apay. Stellarx will soon support off-chain withdrawals in-app, making this process less convoluted. There’s still plenty of work to be done on improving the platform, adding more assets, and onboarding enough users to build sufficient liquidity. On early evidence, though, Stellarx has a lot going for it, forming a welcome addition to the decentralized exchange ecosystem.

What are your thoughts on Stellarx? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Stellarx.


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Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality

Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality

On September 29, Bitcoin Cash enthusiast Donald Mulders wrote an interesting post on the social media network Yours.org. The post detailed that he was attempting to host a website on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain using the Bitdb 2.0 application. Following the write-up, and with a little help from the BCH developer Unwriter and a tool called Cryptograffitiweb, Mulders’ on-chain hosted website ‘Bitcoin Cash Hoarder’ can now be seen on any browser.

Also read: Markets Update: Digital Asset Consolidation and Accumulation Continues

Hosting a Simple HTML Website on Bitcoin Cash

Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality
Donald Mulders.

Over the last few months, there have been many projects tied to the BCH chain and the developer Unwriter has created quite a few of them. Earlier this week we reported on Unwriter’s autonomous database called Bitdb 2.0, a platform that takes a bitcoin transaction and files it in a structured readable document or in Donald Mulders’ case HTML code. The platform inspired Bitcoin Cash enthusiast Mulders to attempt to host a simple HTML website that’s tethered to the BCH chain. In the post, Mulders says he can do a little HTML coding and mess with other people’s structured code, but he admits he isn’t a fluent programmer just yet.

“I started playing around with an idea to see how far I could take it — The idea is to host a simple HTML website on the bitcoin cash blockchain that easily could be viewed in a browser so that even my own mother is able to view it as if it was just an ordinary website,” Mulders details.

He continues:

Imagine if someone could publish sensitive information without the need for organisations such as Wikileaks, readable as a website for anyone in the world — This way anyone could publish information anonymously without endangering themselves or any middleman.

Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality
Donald Mulders’ code on Cryptograffiti.info

Bitcoin Cash Hoarder: A Website Served From Bitcoin — Written in 5 Minutes

Mulders then created an extremely simple website in HTML with the classic Snake game in javascript and uploaded the code using the site Cryptograffiti. After that, Mulders wanted to extract the data from the BCH chain so it could be displayed in a website and used Bitdb to query the code he uploaded. However, the experiment came to a halt when he just couldn’t get the site to work on a traditional browser. All Mulders could do was make the HTML code visible and store it as an HTML file on his computer and open it that way. After seeing the post on Yours, the creator of the Bitdb application, Unwriter, decided to help Mulders finish the process.

“I actually went ahead and wrote a simple web app that successfully renders this,” explains Unwriter. On Twitter, the developer explains there’s a chance the website content may change because it loads from the first transaction from that address — Nonetheless it is still the first website hosted on the BCH chain in this manner.   

And here it is… A website served from Bitcoin — Written in 5 minutes, with 59 lines of code.

Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality

The website can be viewed on any web browser at the Bitcoin Cash Hoarder address and the HTML website’s source code can be found at the Cryptograffitiweb Github repository. BCH community members seemed to like the idea on the Reddit forum r/btc and the developer of the website Cryptograffiti also complimented the work Unwriter and Mulders accomplished. After messing around refreshing the site and using different browsers, sometimes the game loads and sometimes it doesn’t so this particular website is far from perfect. But the implications of an uncensorable webpage hosted on the BCH network are huge.

What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash Hoarder website and the idea behind it? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin Cash Hoarder, and Donald Mulders Yours.org page.


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The Daily: Blockchain.com Launches OTC Trading Desk, Shapeshift Relaunches Coincap

The Daily: Blockchain.com Launches OTC Trading Desk, Shapeshift Relaunches Coincap

Wallet provider Blockchain.com has created an OTC trading desk as part of its efforts to cater to institutional investors. Also in The Daily this Sunday, Shapeshift launches the redesigned Coincap tracker, Kraken lists Cardano and Qtum, and Compound offers its users the option to short cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Fiat vs Crypto Laundering, Bitcoin Anniversary Cash-Ins

Blockchain.com Launches OTC Trading Desk for Institutional Investors

The Daily: Blockchain.com Launches OTC Trading Desk, Shapeshift Relaunches CoincapBlockchain.com, the popular cryptocurrency wallet provider, has launched an over the counter (OTC) trading desk as part of its plans to attract institutional investors. The company already offers custodial services tailored to serve the needs of clients such as hedge funds and asset managers. The move will allow Blockchain to conduct large private crypto trades outside of public exchanges.

Former DRW fixed-income trader, Vince Machi, is running the new OTC desk, according to a source familiar with the development, quoted by The Block. The news comes after earlier reports that Jamie Selway, the former head of electronic brokerage and execution services at Investment Technology Group (ITG), has taken responsibility for Blockchain’s institutional efforts.

A number of companies in the space already provide OTC services, including DRW and DV Trading as well as established cryptocurrency exchanges such as Kraken and Itbit. Blockchain.com claims to have 28 million downloads of its wallet offered as part of its retail business.

Shapeshift Announces the New Coincap Tracker

The Daily: Blockchain.com Launches OTC Trading Desk, Shapeshift Relaunches CoincapDigital asset exchange Shapeshift has announced the relaunch of its cryptocurrency tracker, Coincap. The rebuilt platform now offers users new features and functions for tracking and interacting with global pricing data for cryptocurrencies and tokens, the company said in a blog post. Coincap, which is one of the alternatives to Coinmarketcap, offers real-time market data for these assets, including market capitalization, 24-hour coin and exchange volume, and available supply. It supports more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies and uses information from over 65 crypto trading platforms.

Some of the new features that come with the update include real-time price and market changes, exchange pair and volume listings, trading view with granular candle charts, timestamped status updates, and a new API with more endpoints such as rates, exchanges, markets, and candles. The Coincap.io website now features mobile-friendly design, dark mode and is free of ads. Redesigned mobile apps for Android and iOS users are expected to be released by the end of the year.

Commenting on the relaunch, Shapeshift’s founder and CEO Erik Voorhees noted: “Coincap’s new web and API service, built entirely from the ground up, is another way we are committed to creating the best experience for our users. This is the next step in a product delivering reliable and transparent crypto market data,” he said.

Kraken Adds New Coins – Cardano and Qtum

The Daily: Blockchain.com Launches OTC Trading Desk, Shapeshift Relaunches CoincapUS-based exchange Kraken has added two new cryptocurrencies to its listings, Cardano (ADA) and Qtum (QTUM), the trading platform announced in its blog and on social media. Trading for the two coins started this past Friday. ADA and QTUM are to be paired with USD, CAD, EUR, BTC, and ETH. According to the press release, margin trading will not be available at launch, but may be enabled in the future. The company says it plans to list more digital asset but notes it will follow its policy not to reveal the details in advance.

Compound Offers Option to Short Cryptocurrencies

The Daily: Blockchain.com Launches OTC Trading Desk, Shapeshift Relaunches CoincapCustomers of Compound, a platform for borrowing and lending digital coins, will now be able to earn money from falling crypto prices. The firm has reportedly launched a money market protocol for shorting cryptocurrencies. The option allows users to borrow and short Ethereum (ETH), 0x (ZRX), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and Augur (REP). The company’s chief executive officer, Robert Leshner, told Techcrunch that if or when Compound scales, “this will lead to some really interesting improvements in market structure, namely, fairer prices.” The startup, which is funded by Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, has established partnerships with over two dozen hedge funds, including high-frequency trading platforms and over the counter trading desks.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coincap.


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Disgruntled ICO Investors Threaten to Bring in the Crypto Lawyers

The great ICO rush of 2017 and early 2018 is over. The euphoria, the unironic cries of “When Binance?”, and the 10x returns are now a thing of the past. Epic gains and moon missions have been replaced by acrimony, recriminations and, increasingly lawsuits, both real and threatened.

Also read: BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

Crypto Lawyer Season Is in Full Swing

Disgruntled ICO Investors Threaten to Bring in the Crypto Lawyers
Crypto lawyers have been the big winners from this year’s failed ICOs

One of the big selling points with initial coin offerings (ICOs) has been their inclusiveness. Almost anyone can participate. This has made for a more egalitarian process, in contrast with traditional IPOs which welcome accredited investors only. Lowering the barriers to entry has come at a cost however. Among this new wave of investors are many who lack the sense to distinguish a solid project from a dubious one, and who believe that if things go awry, they can call on their lawyer or even the SEC to ride to the rescue.

Crypto doesn’t work that way.

While ICO teams are still subject to the law, and evidence of clear criminality can and will be prosecuted, the majority of failed projects do not constitute exit scams or blatant deception; more often, a team simply fails to deliver after blowing too much of its budget on “expenses”. In such cases, the chances of successfully filing a suit are remote. The same people who ticked the Ts & Cs without reading and skimmed over the legal disclaimers in their haste to contribute ether to the next sure thing are the same ones now re-examining them in search of clauses that will entitle them to get their money back.

Bluster, Lawsuits, and Threats of Lawsuits

Security lawsuits concerning cryptocurrencies have tripled this year. To date, around a dozen ICO-related class action lawsuits have been filed including Paragon Coin, Cloud With Me, Tezos, and Latium Network. Ripple is also facing one over claims that its eponymous cryptocurrency is an unregistered security. Some naive investors seem to believe the SEC will operate as their personal army, filing on their behalf and bearing the legal costs. As co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division Stephanie Avakian recently explained, however, ICO cases that do not involve fraud are unlikely to feel the full force of the law.

Disgruntled ICO Investors Threaten to Bring in the Crypto Lawyers
A Shopin investor threatens legal action

The Telegram groups of many failed ICOs are seething with threats of legal action from enraged investors desperately seeking their tokens or ether back. Their anguish is piqued by trolls who show up to fuel the flames and savor the salt. Shopin’s ICO raised $46 million this year. Its CEO Eran Eyal has since been charged with grand larceny and fraud over a previous project, and is out on bond after being incarcerated on Rikers Island. Shopin tokens have yet to be unlocked, meaning bag-holders don’t even have their bags.

Other ICOs that have underperformed, from Polymath to Constellation DAG, are subject to the same threats from angry investors. While a handful of investors have the determination and the means to make good on their promise, the majority are too rekt to file suit, even if they knew how. Due to the multi-jurisdictional nature of cryptocurrency projects, determining where and how a case should be prosecuted is complex. Legal threats in Telegram groups come easy. Following through on them in a court of law is almost impossible.

Do you think investors should be able to sue ICOs that fail? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.


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Proposed Crypto Mining Moratorium Rejected by County in Montana

Proposed Crypto Mining Moratorium Rejected by County in Montana

Montana’s second most populous county, Missoula County, has rejected the proposal for a moratorium on cryptocurrency operations. The proposal was first presented at a public hearing in June but was postponed for three months.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Proposed Crypto Moratorium Rejected

Proposed Crypto Mining Moratorium Rejected by County in MontanaMissoula County’s board of commissioners held a public hearing Thursday to decide whether to accept or reject the proposal for a one-year emergency moratorium on new or expanded cryptocurrency operations.

Crypto mining could be limited in the county “under temporary emergency interim zoning,” the Missoulian described. The mining moratorium proposal was first presented at a public hearing in June but the decision was postponed for three months “to give staff more time to consider various options,” the publication added.

After Thursday’s hearing, the county posted a notice on its website stating:

The commissioners voted not to adopt interim zoning, and instead directed staff to investigate the development of regulations targeting the impacts of concern such as noise, electronic waste, and energy.

Jennie Dixon from the county’s Community and Planning Services department revealed that 92 percent of about 80 written comments from 71 individuals supported the moratorium, the news outlet noted.

No Authority

Attorney Jaymie Bowditch represents Hyperblock Technologies, the parent company of Project Spokane, one of the companies operating a cryptocurrency mining operation in the Missoula town of Bonner. He explained:

In order to approve the one-year moratorium using interim zoning, they [the county] had to show an imminent threat to public health or safety. By extending the public hearing for three months, it showed that no immediate danger was posed.

Proposed Crypto Mining Moratorium Rejected by County in MontanaCommissioner Jean Curtiss was quoted by the publication confirming that “the county doesn’t have the authority that the state or cities may have to regulate one industry using the interim zoning.”

Commissioner Dave Strohmaier commented, “We are talking about the impacts themselves, not necessarily crypto mining as an industry — the noise, e-waste, possible excessive use of electricity that threatens our planet.” He was further quoted suggesting: “It may be that we need a much broader approach because of the potential this would be myopic. But I do have serious concerns about the energy use.”

Crypto Mining in Missoula County

The county has been trying to attract crypto miners to set up operations. According to its website:

Missoula County is an attractive place for locating cryptocurrency mining operations due to the region’s low electricity rates and cool weather which helps to keep equipment from overheating.

Proposed Crypto Mining Moratorium Rejected by County in MontanaThe county’s website also details that “Electric utilities that operate in Missoula County report receiving large numbers of inquiries from cryptocurrency mining firms.” Furthermore, there are “two commercial-scale cryptocurrency mining facilities” that are currently operating in the county, “as well as an unknown number of small home-based cryptocurrency mining operations.”

However, the website also points out some concerns regarding “the current and potential adverse impacts of cryptocurrency mining on the public health and safety of its residents.” These impacts include noise pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, electrical system reliability and safety, fire safety hazard, and electronic waste containing heavy metals and carcinogens.

What do you think of Missoula County rejecting the proposed crypto mining moratorium? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

Two research firms released compelling data on the state of Bitcoin Core (BTC). Chainalysis revealed 36% of BTC in circulation is lost, likely lost, or unmined. The percentage of BTC held by speculators is 22%, while investors accounted for a steady 30%. The United States government, and especially its Internal Revenue Service (IRS), reportedly account for 20% of spending ($5.7 million out a collective total of $28.8 million) for monitoring on-chain transactions through firms like Chainalysis, according to researchers at Diar.

Also read: US Regulator Moves to Sanction Plexcoin’s Lacroix and Paradis-Royer

BTC Investors and Speculators Have Held Their Positions Over the Summer

Chainalysis recently updated their year-long study of the bitcoin core (BTC) money supply, Spring to Spring, 2017 to 2018. Initial findings of that previous period “revealed long-term investors sold approximately $24 billion of bitcoin to new speculators between December 2017 and April 2018, with half of this activity occurring in December alone. This unprecedented injection of liquidity served as a fundamental driver behind the price decline during the same period,” Chainalysis maintained. Obviously, when those who once held a financial product sell, the price falls and can do so dramatically.

The latest findings, however, include data through August, and conclude “that bitcoin investors and speculators have held their positions over the summer.” Chainalysis combined their existing knowledge of on-chain activity with their previous money supply work. Interestingly, they appear to be mirroring tactics and methodology employed by the Federal Reserve, the US central bank. “The Federal Reserve,” researchers noted, “for example, tracks various measures of U.S. dollar money supply and their relationships with important economic variables, including GDP growth and inflation.”

BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

The nascent crypto-economy is often considered obscure, difficult to monitor in any effective manner. This is largely due to the heavy mathematical nature of cryptographic currencies. Chainalysis believes one key to growing the space is to bring daylight, so to speak, to the money supply and resulting trends.

“For emerging financial systems, such as the crypto-economy,” they explain, “building an understanding of the underlying economic signals is a key factor in empowering participants to make more informed decisions. People are simply less likely to stay in, and are less well served by, a market that appears random and based on hype. If we can identify and monitor clear signals —and those signals are logical— more people will feel comfortable investing. That’s where data can play an important role.”

BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

Maturation and the Taxman is Coming 

The firm has so many data sets that it can rather easily determine which wallet addresses are investors, which are speculators, and even the amount of lost coins. Speculative investors are determined through liquidity and “services for transactions.” Un-liquid coins, ones not mined or simply lost or held, offer a sharp contrast from which researchers are able to “categorize the money supply into monetary aggregates known as M0, the most liquid category, through M3, the least liquid.”

The previous study found dumping from new speculators and investors (long-term investors sold $30 billion worth of bitcoin), which, of course, crashed the price at the end of 2017. Since that calendar window, however, a few things have changed. Taking the data further, through last month, “reveals marked stability in each of the monetary aggregates … [All] the monetary aggregates have been extremely steady over the summer months. Specifically, the amount of bitcoin held for speculation (M0) has remained stable between May and August at around 22% of available bitcoin. Similarly, the amount of bitcoin held for investment remained stable during the summer at around 30%,” the study notes.

BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring
US government agency spending on blockchain analysis (Diar)

The crypto market, then, appears to be maturing, toughening as weaker hands left when the going got rough. Indeed, researchers emphasize, “the market seems to have recalibrated after the entry of so many new market participants with different beliefs and expectations than those who held bitcoin prior to 2017.” Chainalysis concludes on an up note, “As such, the first challenge of adoption — getting cryptocurrency into people’s hands— has been overcome, but we are now waiting to see what the next stage of adoption looks like.”

Lastly, researchers at Diar have determined a tripling of spending at firms such as Chainalysis who obviously monitor on-chain transactions. Analysis is particularly valuable to regulators and tax collectors seeking to enforce know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. Using a very comprehensive digital trail left from every transaction ever recorded on the BTC chain, law enforcement agencies can, with help, determine quite a lot. Out of $28.8 million spent by U.S. government agencies on investigations, $5.7 million has been invested in blockchain analysis firms to date, Diar details. Chainalysis has deals with government agencies totaling $5.3 million, with its largest contract being the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at close to $1.6 million. The IRS has the largest portion of government spending on blockchain monitoring, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) second, according to Diar.

What do you think about the state of BTC? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Diar, Chainalysis. 


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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New POS Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

New Pos Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

Indonesian cryptocurrency and payments company Pundix has introduced a point of sale terminal at a shop in Nigeria, allowing people in the West African country to make purchases using cryptocurrency, including bitcoin. The move is seen as key to scaling up cryptocurrency adoption and development in Africa’s biggest bitcoin market.

Also read: Payments Platform Wirex Launches Iban For Spanish and French Users, Doubles Account Limits

Payments Go Crypto With ‘a First for Africa’, in Nigeria, by Pundix

A Nigerian importer and distributor of agriculture products has installed a point of sale payment system that is underpinned by cryptocurrency such as bitcoin (BTC), in what the owners claim ‘is a first for Africa.’

New Pos Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

In addition to using conventional currency, shoppers at Joetech Systems Ltd can now pay for goods and services on the XPOS terminal using bitcoin and three other virtual currencies, including ethereum. Payment is completed within seconds.

The terminal has been launched in partnership with Indonesian cryptocurrency and payments company Pundix, which has shipped or is in the process of shipping up to 5,000 XPOS devices to several countries including Colombia, the UK, Korea, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Brazil.

Terminal Supports Transactions via Mobile Wallets and Bank Cards

The payment system works more or less in the same way as the traditional POS system, only that the terminals connect to the blockchain and settlements are made via virtual currency. Pundix, the XPOS maker, says the device supports transactions through mobile wallets and bank cards.

Michael Lawal, business development manager at Pundix, explains how the new payment platform works, at Joetech Systems Ltd in Nigeria. “I have 0.01 BTC and I am going to make a transaction of 200 Naira (Nigerian currency),” Lawal said, in a video demonstration, on September 28.

New Pos Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

“The cashier provides three options – to pay either with cash, XPOS card or XPOS Wallet. If you are paying with Xwallet you will need to scan a QR code. I am going to use XPOS card and pay using BTC.

“Once you choose your payment option, the cashier automatically calculates the rate of conversion using current market rates to the local currency, which is Naira. You have two seconds lock in period to safeguard the consumer and the merchant,” he said.

As the machine issues a receipt within seconds of initiating the transaction, signalling success, Lawal declared: “That was the first live transaction in Africa, it happens in Nigeria. Blockchain adoption is very possible. We will continue to collaborate and partner with people who believe in the true adoption, scalability and speed of blockchain.”

Ezenwa Ndukwe, managing director of Joetech Systems Ltd, had not responded to our request for comment at the time of going to press. Pundix co-founder and chief executive officer, Zac Cheah tweeted that the “first XPOS went live in Nigeria…”

New Pos Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

Uncertainty in Africa’s Biggest Bitcoin Market

With a population in excess of 185 million, Nigeria is not only Africa’s most populous nation but also the continent’s biggest bitcoin and cryptocurrency users. Nearly $260 million worth of bitcoin has been traded by Nigerians on just one exchange, localbitcoins.com, according to a report by the platform earlier this year. However, issues of regulatory uncertainty continue to cast a shadow over the future of cryptocurrency in the West African country.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has previously cautioned against buying and selling cryptocurrency, this week reiterated its warning. “We have not seen any country where cryptocurrency is regulated,” Godwin Emefeile, governor of the CBN, told a meeting in Lagos. “We are not at home with cryptocurrency because there is no issuing authority…”

What do you think about what’s going in the Nigerian cryptocurrency space? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Pundix


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SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1Broker

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1Broker

Three U.S. agencies have taken action against international bitcoin-funded securities dealer 1pool Ltd., aka 1Broker. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says 1Broker violated federal securities laws. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) says it violated the Commodity Exchange Act. Meanwhile, the company says it is working on letting customers withdraw their funds.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

SEC’s Action

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1BrokerThe SEC announced Thursday that it has filed charges against Marshall Islands-registered 1pool Ltd., aka 1Broker, and its Austria-based CEO, Patrick Brunner, “for allegedly violating the federal securities laws in connection with security-based swaps funded with bitcoins.” The agency explained:

Investors could open accounts by simply providing an email address and a user name – no additional information was required – and could only fund their account using bitcoins.

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1BrokerThe SEC alleges that an undercover special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “successfully purchased several security-based swaps on 1Broker’s platform from the U.S. despite not meeting the discretionary investment thresholds required by the federal securities laws.” The commission further alleges that Brunner and 1Broker failed to transact these swaps “on a registered national exchange, and failed to properly register as a security-based swaps dealer.”

The SEC’s complaint “seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest, and penalties.”

CFTC’s Action

On the same day, the CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against 1pool Ltd. and Brunner, stating:

The CFTC’s complaint charges the defendants with engaging in unlawful retail commodity transactions, failing to register as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), and supervisory violations for failing to implement procedures to prevent money laundering as required under federal laws and regulations.

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1BrokerFrom at least February 2016, the defendants “offered or engaged in unlawful retail commodity transactions in the form of ‘contracts for difference’ (CFDs) that had as underlying assets commodities,” the CFTC alleges. However, these transactions are not conducted in accordance with the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

The agency detailed:

The CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, restitution, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the CEA and CFTC regulations as charged.

FBI’s Action

Also on Thursday, the FBI seized the 1Broker.com domain. A notice on the agency’s website states three violations: money laundering, “willfully operating as an unregistered broker/dealer of securities,” and “willfully operating as an unregistered futures commission merchant.” An FBI seizure notice now appears on the 1Broker.com website.

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1Broker

1Broker’s Response

Responding to the SEC’s announcement, 1Broker tweeted:

All funds are currently secure and we will fully cooperate with the authorities. If approved by the SEC, we will enable withdrawals for US customers as soon as possible.

The company clarified that the above statement “also applies to non-US customers.” 1Broker further tweeted, “All open positions were closed at the current market prices. Market price movements will not affect your trades from now on,” noting, “Our top priority now is to get the permission from the SEC to process customer withdrawal requests on an alternative domain.”

What do you think of the SEC, CFTC, and FBI taking action against 1Broker? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, SEC, CFTC, FBI.


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New Stablecoins: From Cryptopound and Metal-Backed Swiss Coin to Mongolian ‘Candy’

New Stablecoins: From Cryptopound and Metal-Backed Swiss Coin to Mongolian ‘Candy’

Following some notable premiers in the genre recently, the next batch of stablecoins is on the way. A British startup is partnering with a bank to launch a GBP-pegged crypto, a Swiss commodities trader wants to mint a coin backed by metals, and a Mongolian telecom has been licensed to issue the country’s first digital currency with the same value as the national fiat.

Also read: European Regulator Renews Restrictions on Crypto-Based Derivatives  

Pound-Pegged Stablecoin on the Horizon in the UK

The last couple weeks saw the arrival of new stablecoins in the crypto space. The US dollar-pegged Tether (USDT) will have to compete against two alternative cryptocurrencies boasting similar features to those that made Tether popular among traders and speculators. Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and Paxos Standard (PAX), both approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services, are ERC20 tokens backed one-to-one with US fiat currency. And both, like Tether, sparked controversy almost immediately with allegations that the authorized issuers, Gemini Trust and Paxos Trust, can freeze accounts and funds if required by the law.

New Stablecoins: From Cryptopound and Metal-Backed Swiss Coin to Mongolian ‘Candy’Several new announcements related to stablecoin projects were made this week. UK-based OTC crypto-trader and exchange operator LBX, London Block Exchange, intends to launch a cryptocurrency pegged to the British pound. The platform revealed yesterday it had reached an agreement with a banking partner to issue the new digital currency called Lbxpeg which will be backed by reserves of British fiat money. The participating financial institution has not been revealed yet. Quoted by Business Insider, LBX CEO Benjamin Dives said, “We would be ready for the first cryptopound to be minted in the next 10 days.” He added that the reserves underpinning the coin will be audited by a leading accountancy firm on a regular basis.

According to details released by LBX itself, their stablecoin will be tied to the value of the pound sterling (GBP) and held in a UK bank account on a 1:1 basis. The exchange noted that Lbxpeg will allow users to transfer the digital equivalent of GBP “quickly, easily and on a global scale.” The company said this will be happening on a decentralized network – initially, the project will be utilizing the Ethereum blockchain to develop, distribute and manage the crypto. “Lbxpeg will be an ERC-621 token – building upon the ERC-20 standard – which will grant the required flexibility in the total supply to match the quantity of GBP held in the segregated bank account. Lbxpeg will also be issued on other blockchains where compliance controls can also be maintained,” the team of the London-headquartered startup explained.

Metal-Backed Crypto to Be Launched in Switzerland

New Stablecoins: From Cryptopound and Metal-Backed Swiss Coin to Mongolian ‘Candy’Asset manager and commodities trader Tiberius Group is creating a digital currency backed by precious metals like gold, platinum, and also tin, copper, nickel, aluminum, and cobalt. According to media reports, the cryptocurrency will be launched on the first day of October by Tiberius Technology Ventures which is based in Switzerland, one of Europe’s leading crypto-friendly jurisdictions. “Instead of underlying the digital currency with only one commodity, we have chosen a mix of technology metals, stability metals and electric vehicle metals,” the chief executive officer of the subsidiary, Giuseppe Rapallo, told Bloomberg. He believes this will make the crypto more stable and attractive for investors.

Rapallo further detailed that Tiberius Coin will be sold at around $0.70 USD under Swiss law and not as an unregulated token issued through an initial coin offering (ICO). He stressed that its supply will depend on the demand and will be limited by the availability of the metals included in the basket of commodities used to back the crypto. The company official added that the coin will be listed on a regulated trading platform, Estonian-based cryptocurrency exchange Latoken. Chief scientist and security officer at Tiberius Technology Ventures is Philip Zimmermann, the creator of PGP, the popular email encryption software.

Mongolian Central Bank Authorizes a Digital Coin

New Stablecoins: From Cryptopound and Metal-Backed Swiss Coin to Mongolian ‘Candy’Mobifinance, a non-bank financial subsidiary of the largest telecom company in Mongolia, Mobicom Corporation, has acquired a certificate to issue the first digital currency under the country’s new fintech regulations. The “Electronic cash” license has been granted by the Bank of Mongolia, which has developed a regulatory framework for the digital space following the adoption of the bill “On the national payment system” earlier this year. The bank’s president, Erenhiylegch Bayartsaikhan, handed the certificate to the general director of Mobicom, Tatsuyaa Hamadad, during an official ceremony.

According to a press release, the new coin is called “Candy” and is already in circulation, offering its users the opportunity to pay bills, shop online, transfer funds, and take micro loans using their mobile phones. Its webpage describes Candy as an alternative payment instrument with the same value as the national fiat, the Tugrik. The electronic money is currently available to Mobicom subscribers but the digital payment system will be offered to other operators and their customers across Mongolia from October 1.

What are your expectations about the future of stablecoins? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Candy.


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