Category Archives: Adoption

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Bitfury Pushes Lightning Network Adoption with New Targeted Products

Bitfury Pushes Lightning Network Adoption with New Targeted Products

IT service management company Bitfury has launched a bundle of network business products with the aim of boosting the capacity of the Lightning Network.

As per a blog post from the Bitfury Group, the new Lightning Network compatible tools that have been made available include: an open-source Bitcoin wallet, a public node to facilitate and aid new payment channels, additional developer tools, and a hardware terminal, payment processor and e-commerce software bundle for merchants.

The Lightning Network acts as a second layer over the Bitcoin blockchain, with developers claiming it can provide the solution to the cryptocurrency’s scalability issues. The project is still in its early stages, however, and has as of yet failed to reach the levels of mass adoption it hopes for in order to succeed as a payment network that can be used practically for everyday expenditures.

These new tools from Bitfury are a way of attempting to increase levels of adoption by making the network more accessible to users, and in particular to attract the merchants its need to make its ambitions viable. The blog post describes them as a way to ”bring every step of the business cycle onto the Lightning Network”.

Several notable features from the Peach Wallet include the ability for users to create invoices and set up reoccurring payment.

The new products were developed by Lightning Peach, the engineering and research team from Bitfury.

#LightningNetwork observed:
5,606 nodes (2,781 with active channels)
21,518 channels
560.388 BTC capacity ($2,006,293.84)

new in the past 24h:
25 nodes, 511 channels
median node capacity: 0.014 BTC ($48.66)#Lightning #LN #bitcoin $BTC

— Lightning Network statistics ⚡ (@LNstats) January 23, 2019


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Blockchain Adoption ‘Harder Than Expected’, Claim Executives

A recent poll of executives shows that blockchain adoption within enterprises has been more challenging than initially thought.

Over 200 executives shared their views in the survey, each involved personally in blockchain initiatives of some form. Their background varied from banking, exchange companies, consultancy firms, and dedicated blockchain companies to name a few.

Of the participating executives in the consulting firm Greenwich Associates’ survey, 57% voted that instituting blockchain had been ”harder than expected.” The report points to hardware security and the autonomy of transactions as contributing causes for this significant percentage.

Another area deemed problematic was scalability; 42% said it was a ”major issue.” Unsurprisingly, only 7% of those from blockchain technology companies felt this way, with 33% of them saying it was ”not an issue.” Still, that leaves close to half of non-blockchain dedicated firms struggling to process high volumes of transactions on the blockchain network quickly.

Vice president in Greenwich Associates’ Market Structure and Technology group and the author of the report, Richard Johnson, believes that the disparity between the two groups could simply be put down to ”optimism” from blockchain companies over the technology. More so, they could be making the determination based on controlled tests and would face latency issues when the real-world application begins.

Most firms in the survey were yet to execute any distributed ledger technology (DLT) projects successfully, with slow transactions speeds presenting a major issue. Just 2% managed to reach over 15,000 transactions per second, although Johnson is optimistic about this small number, saying:

“We’re beginning to see firms figure out how to get the blockchain to run fast and do a lot of transactions per second, and I think that’s really encouraging.”

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Brazil to Receive 1,000 Multi-Crypto Point of Sales Terminals

Brazil is set to receive 1,000 point of sale (POS) terminals that can accept multiple cryptocurrencies as payment.

Indonesian POS terminal suppliers Pundi X Labs have finalized a deal with Brazilian company BitCapital that will see 1,000 X POS devices distributed to hundreds of retail outlets, according to a joint press release. BitCapital states one of its main goals as creating an infrastructure network that can make cryptocurrency to fiat transactions as straightforward as is achievable.

Pundi X recently established headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with this being the company’s second distribution deal; 1,000 X POS units are also planned to be distributed in Colombia over a period of six months. Recent trends of Bitcoin adoption in South America indicate there is a growing market for the cryptocurrencies, with a growing number of retailers accepting cryptocurrency payments surely welcome to those living across the continent.

Zac Cheah, CEO and co-founder of Pundi X described the region as quickly gaining a reputation as being central for cryptocurrency adoption, calling Brazil, in particular, an ”ideal point of entry”, saying the demand from merchants has validated the company’s decision to expand into South America.

Ricardo Guimaraes Filho, founder of BitCapital believes there is still a lot of room for cryptocurrency to develop in Brazil. “Brazil and Sao Paulo lead on every metric when it comes to traditional finance and tech in South America. Yet, crypto lags unaccountably behind,” he said, blaming an anti-crypto attitude from banks as the real problem hindering adoption.

A positive move for South America

Getting 1,000 POS terminals active in retail outlets across Brazil and Colombia respectively is certainly a step in assisting adoption across the continent as residents are given more ways to spend their cryptocurrency funds on a day-to-day basis.

Bitcoin News recently spoke to Bitcoin Venezuela founder Randy Brito who described one of the main struggles of Bitcoin adoption in Venezuela as the lack of proper tools stopping citizens even having cryptocurrency wallets. One of the projects his non-profit is working on includes creating cheap devices that can be kept in every house and shop, working on their own network rather than relying on Wifi, that can be used for instant Bitcoin sales or exchanges.

While POS terminals are a good option for the more affluent regions of South America, it is perhaps not the most accessible way for the regions that suffer from a harsher economic climate as many people cannot afford to have and keep smart devices with them. A combined approach may be the best way to assist wide-scale adoption on the developing continent.


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Which Countries Are Most Likely to Adopt Bitcoin First?

Bitcoin replacing a country’s government currency would be a huge achievement for cryptocurrency as well as a historical milestone. But which countries are most likely to adopt such a nascent currency?

One of the biggest drivers for adopting a cryptocurrency would be necessity. Countries where citizens experience hyperinflation, political instability, or other factors that shake confidence in a government currency typically see higher demand in alternative currencies like Bitcoin.

Countries possibly adopting Bitcoin on a major scale, for this reason, would be Iran, Venezuela and Argentina, to name a few.

Iran has made headlines with plans to withdraw EUR 300 million from German banks. Rising tension since 2015, when the US left the Nuclear Agreement, has only amplified with Trump entering the presidency.

The tension has only weakened confidence in the Iranian rial, leading to higher than market prices within Iran borders. Couple this with the US sanctions placed restricting liquidity and hyperinflation of 112%, and Bitcoin easily becomes the currency of choice for Iranian citizens.

While rial’s hyperinflation will lead to holders of the currency losing more than half of their value, this is nothing compared to Venezuela’s economic crisis.

A year ago, a cup of coffee in Venezuela was 2,200 Venezuelan bolivar (VEF), or around USD 0.20. Since then, inflation has been rampant, causing that same cup to be sold at VEF 1,400,000, for an effective annual inflation rate above 60,000%.

This has led to an extreme demand for the cryptocurrency; peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins shows Venezuela traders selling Bitcoin at rates of VEF 9 billion (USD 75,000) to VEF 19.5 Billion (USD 158,531). Despite these massive premiums and the cryptocurrency experiencing a correction of its own, Bitcoin is still a more attractive option than the fiat currency.

Such an extreme devaluation of the currency makes Venezuela a prime country to embrace Bitcoin wholeheartedly.

Argentina is in a similar situation and currently has the higher interest rate in the world (40%). Continually rising prices coupled with increasing unemployment rates makes Bitcoin a viable currency in this case, over the Argentine peso.

Cashless societies could also be primed for a crypto take over but cryptocurrency needs a lot of refinement before this could become a reality.

Contactless payment methods are already very convenient and with credit cards, even offer cashback rewards and customer protection. For cryptocurrency to penetrate markets like Canada, Sweden and the UK, digital currencies must not only offer similar characteristics but be much better than existing systems.

A good scaling solution needs to put in place as well, in order for Bitcoin (or whatever cryptocurrency a society adopts) to handle the number of transactions.

The third set of countries likely to adopt Bitcoin are the ones that are already open to cryptocurrency-related businesses, regulatory wise.

Countries that fall into this category include Japan, Estonia, Singapore, Australia, and South Korea. Sweden also goes into this category because despite its cashless society, recognizing Bitcoin as a legal form of payment.

Countries that are Bitcoin-friendly will typically have a higher percentage of citizens already exposed and actively using the cryptocurrency, making it far easier for Bitcoin to become widespread.

Being on welcoming turf also allows companies to come in and introduce new use case scenarios for the cryptocurrency, thus improving Bitcoin’s penetration rates.

Bitcoin is a fairly new currency and as more people begin to understand and classify it, more countries will become more receptive to the decentralized money. It will be interesting to see which country becomes to adopt Bitcoin as a dominant currency and if it’s from necessity, convenience or another reasons.


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