Category Archives: bitcoin

Auto Added by WPeMatico

New York Report Points to Improvement Areas for Crypto Exchanges

The New York Attorney General’s office published a report this week that investigates the practices of cryptocurrency exchanges in the state.

It was undertaken on the basis of protecting and informing residents, with evidence conclusively pointing to areas that exchanges need to improve in order to ”ensure the fairness, integrity, and security of their exchanges”.

The ten exchanges that chose to participate in the Attorney General’s report include Bitfinex, bitFlyer USA, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Coinbase, Gemini, itBit, Poloniex, HBUS and Tidex. Of these platforms, just Bitfinex, Tidex and HBUS are not regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

The report claims that some exchanges have failed to implement standard investor and consumer protections; this including adequate security measures as well as market surveillance protocols.

One aspect of this pointed to is an apparent lack of measures to impede ”abusive trading activity”. While the report acknowledges some exchanges have steps to implement safeguards and ”police the fairness of their platforms”, this cannot be said for all of those that participated in the study. The lack of market surveillance capabilities such as those found in traditional trading venues is said to restrict their capabilities of identifying and putting a stop to suspicious trading patterns.

Despite these criticisms, the Attorney General’s office is not looking to shut down or restrict any of their operations. Rather, the report has been conducted to help educate New York-based customers, and encourage the cryptocurrency marketplace to review its own flaws in order to preserve the integrity of transactions.

Should exchanges choose to ignore the advice and not adjust policies of their own accord, in the future the Attorney General’s office may well take legal action against the exchanges.

”As the sector matures, the OAG expects responsible trading platforms – in coordination with consumer advocates, regulators, and law enforcement – to expand the transparency, security, fairness, and accountability of their businesses,” it reads.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post New York Report Points to Improvement Areas for Crypto Exchanges appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast, 20th September 2018

Listen to the 20 September 2018 BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast below.

On this edition of the BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast, we discuss the new Proof of Life technique which sent a completely off-grid crypto transaction with a solar panel and shortwave radio. Hear about how New York University is offering the first crypto and blockchain degree in the United States. Learn about Bitcoin Core 0.16.3 which was just released and fixes a critical bug that could have crashed almost all of the Bitcoin full nodes. We also discuss how Mt. Gox payouts have no potential to crash the market despite FUD spreading around the internet, and how international bank wires are on average 65,000% more expensive than a Bitcoin transaction.

Follow the Bitcoin News Daily Podcast on AnchoriTunesSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherRadio PublicPocket CastsOvercastCastbox, and Breaker. We broadcast a new episode every day, covering the most important topics in the crypto, Bitcoin, and blockchain world!

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Zachary, Bitcoin News

The post BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast, 20th September 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Crypto Pioneer David Chaum Builds Super Fast Blockchain Platform

Crypto guru and pioneer David Chaum is launching his own platform which he is promising will be able to process thousands of transactions a second.

The new platform named Elixxir will not only outpace Bitcoin, said Chaum at the Consensus conference in Singapore last week, but will allow digital cash to be traded at a similar speed to physical cash as well as cut down on the energy required.

Chaum is an American computer scientist and cryptographer famous for developing ecash, an electronic cash application that aims to preserve a user’s anonymity. He has also invented many cryptographic protocols and founded DigiCash, an electronic money corporation.

One of the reasons for cryptocurrency’s popularity is its speed of delivery to the user, with the Bitcoin network able to process around seven transactions a second. Chaum had been working on speeding up the processing time of electronic funds since the launch of DigiCash and then Bitcoin ten years later.

“These breakthroughs I’ve made change the whole game,” Chaum said in an interview. “We can actually meet the requirements to go to consumer scale…Truth be told, when I invented [DigiCash] there was no chance of using it… People didn’t even know about the internet.”

On the current Bitcoin network, transactions are processed in blocks. When connected, they create the blockchain which the stores the transaction on a ledger replicated on every computer. Miners compete to be the first to verify and process the transaction in a valid block, thus adding to the blockchain and collecting newly-created Bitcoin generated as a reward for finding new blocks.

Chaum’s Elixxir system limits these types of transactions, making the system less decentralized. These blocks won’t carry the transactions and won’t be linked to wallets, requiring less processing power due to less stored information. The key, he claims, is that producers will be given equal status, unlike the current system, thus eliminating the energy-intensive status quo.

Chaum has said that he will open up Elixxir as an open-sourced project to encourage improvement from developers in the future.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Crypto Pioneer David Chaum Builds Super Fast Blockchain Platform appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Hong Kong Firm Launches Stablecoin, Defying China Ban

A Hong Kong-based blockchain investment firm is planning to launch a new stablecoin backed by the Japanese yen. The company, Grandshores Technology Group, will launch the funding round in late 2018 or early 2019.

Despite the optimism of the group’s founding partner Yongii Yao, there is concern among possible investors due to China’s continued scathing stance on cryptocurrency in general and its current ban on ICOs on the Chinese mainland. Hong Kong officially remains a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China.

Currently, Hong Kong is going ahead with a push to promote blockchain in the territory. A “talent list” was recently issued by The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in which it states that it wants “quality people from around the world in a more effective and focused manner to support Hong Kong’s development as a high value-added and diversified economy”. Among the 11 professions on the new list, those with DLT skills were cited.

This isn’t really surprising given a new focus on innovation and technology China’s Administrative Region, given a recent push that has seen the promotion of blockchain in the public arena through generous grants through its local universities of USD 20 million for blockchain and fintech research.

Yao’s optimism leads him to feel that the stablecoins will have mileage on release. He argues:

“We believe cryptocurrency traders and exchanges will be potential takers of these stablecoins… We are entering the next stage of blockchain evolution, a stage which is akin to when computer operating system was transiting from MS-DOS to MS-Windows.”

This is the second recent statement concerning the release of a stablecoin this month after New York state in the US approved two new US dollar-linked stablecoins. Two companies, Gemini Trust Company and the Paxos Trust Company, are the first stablecoin providers to receive the go-ahead to list on exchanges in New York state. The Gemini Dollar, launched by the Winklevoss twins, will allow users a one-to-one exchange on the US dollar on the Ethereum blockchain.

There appears to be a degree of mixed feeling in the industry concerning stablecoins, illustrated by recent remarks by Berkeley professor of economics Barry Eichengreen who suggests that stablecoins, seen by some as highly attractive for investment due to their being pegged to the US dollar, aren’t so stable as the name suggests.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Hong Kong Firm Launches Stablecoin, Defying China Ban appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europol: It’s Cash that Funds Terrorism

A 72-page long report recently published by Europol has clarified that it is conventional banking which is the primary source of terrorist funding such as the recent attacks on European cities.

The report explains that such outrages are financed through cash as it is a tried and tested form of funding. Finding an alternative source, such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which publicly log transactions, is of little interest to terrorist cells operating in Europe, according to the findings.

Europol based in The Hague, the Netherlands, supports the 28 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organized forms of crime. They also work with many non-EU partner states and international organizations.

Also, in line with the findings of the report, in the US last week, a senior member of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies Centre on Sanctions and Illicit Finance spoke out against anti-crypto rhetoric, particularly those aimed at the financing of militant jihad.

A senior member of the center, Yaya Fanusie maintained that despite continual references by governments around the world that cryptocurrency finances terrorist activity, terrorist networks have been mainly unsuccessful in using cryptocurrency to fund their activities. The Europol report agreed, stating:

“…despite the clear potential, none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded via cryptocurrencies. The use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has only involved low-level transactions – their main funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance services.”

It is undeniable that just like cash, cryptocurrencies are on the radar of criminals but the use of Bitcoin in criminal activity has dropped to 35% of the market share from a peak of 80% when the flagship digital currency was its infancy. It is now known that criminals are more likely to use Zcash and Monero across the globe than Bitcoin. The report clarifies that:

“While the criminal abuse of cryptocurrencies remains largely within the realm of cybercrime, some Member States reported that they are increasingly encountering their use by non-cyber [organized crime groups].”

The report concludes that law enforcement information sharing and tighter security measures are the best weapons cybersecurity has against cyber-attacks.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Europol: It’s Cash that Funds Terrorism appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

New York University Launches First Crypto Major Program in US

New York University has become the first college in the United States to offer a cryptocurrency and blockchain major. This is a milestone for Bitcoin, crypto, and blockchain, especially considering this technology was non-existent only ten years ago. The crypto and blockchain major will be offered by the Stern School of Business.

Adjunct Professor Andrew Hinkes says, “We hope to establish a groundwork so that the students can understand what’s really happening under the hood, so that they can understand both the legal and the business implications, and prepare them to go out and tackle this new market.”

Apparently, New York University had already been offering crypto and blockchain classes, and the room became so filled that they had to move to a bigger room. According to David Yermack, the New York University Finance Department Chair, even alumni are coming back to school to take crypto and blockchain courses. Yermack says, “There are a few people who graduated some years ago but have come back to sit in on this just because of the novelty and the edginess of the topic.”

Being the first to offer crypto and blockchain courses, and now the first to offer a major, its students can get a real degree in crypto and blockchain for the first time from an accredited institution. However, many other universities like Stanford and Cornell offer crypto and blockchain courses. In fact, over 40% of the world’s top 50 universities offer courses in crypto and blockchain.

Perhaps this is not surprising, since the rapid expansion of the crypto and blockchain field has made it one of the most lucrative business sectors, and one of the best when it comes to jobs. Blockchain jobs are considered the best job in the United States according to the Upworks Skills Index, and in Asia crypto and blockchain jobs are up 50% since 2017.

In an economy where most fields are stagnating, crypto and blockchain are booming, so it is inevitable that crypto and blockchain becomes a common major at universities. New York University was ahead of the game when they offered the first crypto and blockchain courses, and once again they are setting the trend with the first crypto and blockchain major.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post New York University Launches First Crypto Major Program in US appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

International Bank Wire Fees 65,000% Costlier Than Bitcoin

International bank wire fees are 65,000% costlier than a Bitcoin transaction, according to MyBankTracker, which averaged the fees of 18 banks in the United States. Domestic wire transfers within the United States are 42,000% costlier than a Bitcoin transaction.

As of this writing on 19 September 2018, Bitcoin’s transaction fee averages to USD 0.10, which is what is used to calculate these percentage figures. Bitcoin transaction fees can be as high as USD 1 for the most rapid confirmation time when there is heavy load but even at 1 satoshi per byte, which translates to USD 0.01, Bitcoin transactions will always be confirmed eventually.

At today’s price and assuming the smallest possible size of input, it only takes USD 0.01 of fees to send as much Bitcoin as you want anywhere in the world, even if it’s USD 10 billion. Further, Bitcoin transactions show up in a receiver’s wallet instantly, although unconfirmed, and most online wallets like Blockchain.com allow instant spending without confirmations.

Compare this to a bank wire, which costs USD 49 on average for sending internationally, and USD 16 for receiving an international transaction, yielding a total average international wire fee of USD 65. For international wires, it can take up to 24 hours for the receiver to get the money, typically several days.

Domestically, it costs USD 29 to send a bank wire and USD 13 to receive a bank wire, yielding a total of USD 29 on average for domestic bank wires. Domestic bank wires are usually much quicker than international bank wires, sometimes only tanking a few minutes, but they still are not instant.

Additionally, bank wires are processed by centralized banks, who have the power to freeze and reverse bank wires. There are entire countries blacklisted from receiving bank wires from the United States, like Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela. Bitcoin is decentralized, so it can be sent anywhere in the world and can never be frozen. Bitcoin is immutable, meaning a payment can never be reversed.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post International Bank Wire Fees 65,000% Costlier Than Bitcoin appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Bitcoin Core 0.16.3 Includes Double Spend Critical Bug Fix

The newest version of the primary Bitcoin wallet software, Bitcoin Core 0.16.3, has been released as of 18 September 2018. This new version eliminates a critical double spend bug that had the potential to crash all Bitcoin Core versions that have the bug. Bitcoin Core is the wallet software used to run 94% of Bitcoin’s full nodes, so upgrading to the new version is important for the health of Bitcoin’s network.

Apparently, since Bitcoin Core 0.14.0, a bug was accidentally introduced where someone could spend the same input twice in a single transaction. Were this broadcast to the network, every Bitcoin Core client receiving the transaction would crash. This bug could not be exploited by anyone, however, only by a miner who finds a block. If a miner double spends in a block they would surrender their 12.5 Bitcoin mining reward, a significant sum of money worth nearly USD 80,000. However, a bad actor willing to lose that much to harm the network could crash 90% of Bitcoin’s full nodes.

The only full nodes that wouldn’t crash were those running the latest version or versions earlier than 0.14.0, or a type of full node software that is not Bitcoin Core. As of this writing on 19 September, only about 1,250 Bitcoin nodes have upgraded to Bitcoin Core 0.16.3, which helps the situation, although it remains a critical problem. There are fewer than 10,000 Bitcoin full nodes and if this bug were to be exploited, especially now that people know about it, it could cause that number to plummet to about 2,000 full nodes.

Although it is worrisome that this critical bug existed in the Bitcoin Core wallet software for so long, it has never been exploited and is now fixed. There is some controversy about this situation, with some people saying it shows the weakness of Bitcoin Core, although it actually demonstrates how the Bitcoin Core team can respond to bugs and fix them in a timely fashion.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Bitcoin Core 0.16.3 Includes Double Spend Critical Bug Fix appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast, 19th September 2018

Listen to the 19 September 2018 Bitcoin News Daily Podcast below.

On this edition of the Bitcoin News Daily Podcast, we speculate on how a full scale nuclear war would impact Bitcoin, and how it would likely end up making Bitcoin the strongest currency in the world. Learn about how a severe geomagnetic storm would impact Bitcoin.

Follow the Bitcoin News Daily Podcast on AnchoriTunesSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherRadio PublicPocket CastsOvercastCastbox, and Breaker. We broadcast a new episode every day, covering the most important topics in the crypto, Bitcoin, and blockchain world!

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Zachary, Bitcoin News

The post BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast, 19th September 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Brazilian Banks Investigated for Unfair Crypto Restrictions

Brazil’s government agency dedicated to inspecting economic power abuses has reportedly opened cases against six major banks in the country thought to have been undermining the performance of cryptocurrency brokers.

The banks in question include Banco do Brasil, Bradesco, Itaú Unibanco, Santander Brasil, Banco Inter and Sicredi.

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) claims that the financial institutions have been abusing their market power by limiting, and even prohibiting access to banking services for crypto-derivatives brokers. This has been said to disrupt the operations of brokers and at times bring financial losses.

Several banks are already facing legal challenges from brokerage firms for closing banking accounts without providing an explanation or reason why, and have been accused of undermining economic order.

The Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (ABCB) requested CADE to launch this investigation, and have asked that at least temporarily banks must be obliged to both keep and open accounts for cryptocurrency brokers. At this time, CADE has not fulfilled that latter part of the request.

The banks claim that the accounts were closed due to a lack of compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) legislation that requires brokers to maintain basic customer data. According to a Reuters report, sources from the bank said privately that there is no guarantee their crypto clients will follow the AML policies and they would rather risk contestation over the closures than face sanctions during an AML lawsuit.

Speaking to Reuters, an antitrust expert said: ”It does not seem reasonable for banks to apply restrictive measures a priori on a straight-line basis to all cryptocurrency companies, without examining the level of compliance and anti-fraud measures adopted by individual brokerage firms individually conferring unlawful treatment per se on the brokerage business of crypto-coins.”

The case prosecutors, Bradesco and Banco Inter, would not comment on the matter.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Brazilian Banks Investigated for Unfair Crypto Restrictions appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.