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Belarus Platform Claims First to Offer Tokenized Shares

Belarus Platform Claims First to Offer Tokenized Shares

A website based in Belarus has launched a website which is claiming to be the first trading exchange to trade digital currency for assets such as gold and other traditional financial assets. An Estonian exchange, DX Exchange, had actually claimed the same earlier this month.

The site allowing the purchase of tokens, which represent real assets, was the brainchild of investment companies VP Capital and Larnabel Ventures. The website also facilitates the tracking of asset shares purchased both within Belarus and internationally.

Reports indicate a flurry of activity once the site was launched, with over 2,000 applications received. The advantage of being able to purchase assets such as gold and oil globally from the site without recourse to fiat currency clearly had early interest, however, Viktor Prokopenya, VP Capital’s owner, is warning applicants that the platform has strict money laundering checks enforced before users are finally approved.

150 different tokenized securities have been provided, with the intention of expanding this to more than 10, 000 over time. The company ensures new users that its standards are in line with internationally-accepted standards.

Belarus is one of a group of central European nations which is looking to promote itself as a cryptocurrency hub with the country’s Minister of Communications Sergey Popkov promoting emerging technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrency as a governmental priority moving forward.

A recent document published by Belarus High-Technologies Park highlighted the country’s push to establish a set of governing rules for operating the cryptocurrency market. The document was termed as “the second stage of cryptocurrency regulation”, which contained details of the approved regulations for activities with digital tokens. It specified requirements for different businesses looking to venture into the world of cryptocurrencies or initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country.

 

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Jimmy Song Suggests Bitcoin as Tool for “Peaceful Revolution”

Jimmy Song Suggests Bitcoin as Tool for

Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song has pointed the finger towards recent Gilets Jaunes (yellow vests) protesters in Paris as an illustration of how big government mismanagement can be overcome by using the right tools, but not by violence.

Song suggests that the missing tool, not yet being utilized by the French in anti-government protests, is cryptocurrency, believing that currencies such as Bitcoin are potentially powerful weapons in staging a “peaceful revolution”. He argued in a recent interview, “If you have government and big business get together, they usually get what they want.”

But according to Song this can be overcome by using the “currency of resistance”, adding that “the biggest thing Bitcoin brings is the decentralization of monetary power”.

Song claims that the way for such groups to gain the voice of resistance, is to take the power away from, banks, corporations, and plutocrats through decentralization: “That’s the thing that a lot of people don’t recognize: Monetary power is the big force in the world.”

The outspoken crypto developer has advice for those gilet jaunes taking to the street with bottles and rocks to protest against the current Macron government: focus on Bitcoin as the first step towards decentralized money; a step toward curbing the dominance of centralized banking.

Bitcoin in the Yellow Vest / Gilet Jaune mouvement #France #YellowVests #Bitcoin #cryptocurrency #revolutionfrancaise #revolution pic.twitter.com/FMP21cSpp6

— Crypto Kether (@R3I3ntI3ss) December 1, 2018

As for the current cryptocurrency bear market, Song maintains that productivity is far more likely than in periods when the market is bullish, suggesting that when the market is surging, developers are distracted by rising Bitcoin prices and focused purely on money instead of creating useful goods and services and working towards innovation.

 

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Anonymous Bitcoin Miners Fill Void as Bitmain Sizes Down

Anonymous Bitcoin Miners Fill Void as Bitmain Sizes Down

Blockchain research unit Diar has published new data which illustrates the degree to which anonymous Bitcoin miners are now validating more blocks than any other pool.

This research follows recent announcements that Bitmain, the world’s largest maker of cryptocurrency mining chips, is reported to be laying off up to 50% of its staff in 2019 following huge staff cuts in 2018 in its 11 mining farms operating in China. This forced the company to lay off 3,000 of its staff in December having initially grown from 1,000 employees.

With larger producers such as Antpool, BTC.com, and ViaBTC now validating fewer blocks than this time last year and Bitmain pulling back from mining, it appears that “unknown” miners are becoming a dominant factor of the space. Diar reported:

“[Unknown] miners closed December having solved a whopping 22 [percent] of the total blocks, up from 6 [percent] at the start of last year… The Bitcoin network is currently less likely to experience an attack given the fact the BTC.com controlled pools have lost dominance over the network.”

At the beginning of 2018, Bitmain’s mining pools represented 53% of Bitcoin’s hash power, but with the recent reduction of the company’s influence on the crypto mining industry, those wary of 51 percent attacks are now expressing relief that such attacks will now be far less likely in the future. This means that the world’s flagship cryptocurrency is becoming more decentralized due to Bitmain’s diminishing influence along with the return of anonymous miners.

However, Diar has warned that the growth in hash rate observed over January may be unstainable, especially if Bitcoin returns on its 2018 bearish trend. Bitmain will be watching the market and significant changes could see a return to the former giant’s mining dominance.

 

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Wall Street, Institutional Investors Prime for Next Crypto Bull Run

Wall Street, Institutional Investors Prime for Next Crypto Bull Run

Analysts are looking ahead to the potential for a sustained bull run on cryptocurrency markets in 2019, and many are expressing an expectation this will be the signal for Wall Street and institutions to up investment.

Many see large-scale investment being re-examined in 2019 after being scared off by Bitcoin’s December dip. Wall Street notably stood back prior to the end of the year with Goldman Sachs’ much-publicized plans to open a crypto trading desk called “top-of-the-market-hype thinking” by one New York executive.

Travis Scher of New York’s venture capital firm Digital Currency Group sees a change in indirection from Wall Street and large investment as imminent suggesting that Wall St has lagged behind. He has been watching the industry, choosing to remain on the fringes waiting for signs of an upturn before making a move.

Canadian entrepreneur and activist Jeff Berwick (aka Dollar Vigilante) sees 2019 as the year that cryptocurrency prices will take off once institutions finally make their move. He suggests that trillions of dollars are waiting to be invested in the cryptocurrency market.

Despite Bakkt’s delay, the recent seed funding of over USD 182 million goes on to show that a lot of institution key players are supportive of a successful launch of the platform, after particularly after the New York-based platform acquired “certain assets” and employees of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) to expand the company.

With Nasdaq also waiting in the wings and the potential for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and ETFs predicted to push blockchain adoption and kickstart a crypto bull run, 2019 already offers high expectations for both analysts and investors.

 

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BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast 15th January 2019: Ethereum’s Constantinople Delayed

BitcoinNews.com Daily News Podcast

Listen to the 14 January 2019 BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast below.

On this edition of the BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast, we continue with market analysis and discuss how the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork has been delayed.

Follow the Bitcoin News Daily Podcast on Anchor, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Pocket Casts, Overcast, Castbox, Breaker. We broadcast a new episode every day, covering the most important topics in the crypto, Bitcoin, and blockchain world!

 

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De-Dollarization: Russia’s Controversial $10 Billion Bitcoin Investment Rumor

De-Dollarization

Reports of a probable investment in Bitcoin by the Russia Federation in values of USD 10 billion, targeted at evading US sanctions, are making headlines.

Most of the reports cite Russian economist Vladislav Ginko, who claimed to work with his state government. He took to Twitter responding to crypto analyst Chris Burniske‘s assessment of blockchain’s value (monetary perspective) relative to global asset values.

5/ Take global asset values:

Gold: $7.7T
Stock Markets: $73T
Broad-Money: $90T
Debt: $215T
Real Estate: $217T
Derivatives (low-end): $544T

Placing the world over $1 quadrillion in value, where monies most broadly defined represent < 10% of that value.https://t.co/Rvq5ISNvyU

— Chris Burniske (@cburniske) January 6, 2019

Vladislav inferred in his Tweet that Russia’s role in Bitcoin adoption will be highlighted when the country would have invested “almost USD 470 billion [of its] reserves into Bitcoins”, further making a conjecture that he expects USD 10 billion to be the minimum investment by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Chris, I believe sitting here in Moscow, Russia, that the real factor of Bitcoin apotion will be when Russian government I’m working for will start investing almost $470 billion reserves into Bitcoins. I expect that it’ll be at least $10 billion in the first quarter of this year.

— Vladislav Ginko (@martik) January 6, 2019

Vladislav further said that the intended “de-dollarization is actually forced by US sanctions when Russia is going to be almost switched off from US payments for its oil & gas”, referring to the alleged proposed investment in Bitcoin.
Indeed, the US Congress had imposed sanctions on Russia after the assertion of US intelligence agencies claiming that Russia interfered with the 2016 Presidential election and the alleged poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal.

Although President Vladimir Putin has recently recognized the place of cryptocurrency in finance, he has given no hint as to when such a venture would be possible within the Russian Federation.

So far, the Russian government has made no official statement regarding the news about the Bitcoin investment. At best it’s conjecture, and if it isn’t, turning to Bitcoin to boycott US sanctions may not turn out so well for the Russian government in terms of trade relations, taking an example of how Iran and Venezuela’s plans to bypass US sanctions using cryptocurrencies are being foiled.

However, the possibility of considering a decentralized currency such as Bitcoin may not be as easily dismissed as news of Russia dumping USD 101 billion for euro and yuan in its recent de-dollarization plan was a laudable attempt to seek an alternative to the Greenback.

 

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Report Cites Record Exchange Transaction Volumes in 2018

Report Cites Record Exchange Transaction Volumes in 2018

The latest Diar report shows that 2018 was a record year for cryptocurrency transacting volumes with huge increases across most major exchanges.

The report states that in the US markets, crypto exchanges such as Kraken and Bitfinex led the way in 2018 with increases of 192% and 50% respectively. San Francisco-based giant Coinbase also showed significant trading increases with a rise of 27% over 2017 trading. Coinbase reported a hike in trading from 82.7 million deals over the year to 94.4 million.

However, Diar predicts a drop off in 2019 spot markets to below the 2017 level despite increases of available cryptocurrencies on the market. In terms of mining activity, Bitcoin miner revenues were also on the up, according to the report, earning a huge USD 5.8 billion in 2018. This, despite monthly figures slumping by 83% over the course of the same year.

Diar commented on the changing face of cryptocurrency mining, indicating that many companies have shifted to operating large numbers of small mining pools rather than larger operations, as a protection against attack. The report stated:

“Unknown miners closed December having solved a whopping 22% of the total blocks up from 6% at the start of last year. The Bitcoin network is currently less likely to experience an attack given the fact the BTC.com controlled pools have lost dominance over the network.”

Another significant factor regarding the direction of the market is that high liquidity OTC transactions are finding greater favor among investors compared to physical BTC markets, reflected in Coinbase observing a 20% increase in BTC trade volume during OTC markets hours.

 

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Bakkt Acquires “Certain Assets” from Rosenthal Collins Group

Rosenthal Collins

Intercontinental Exchange-backed digital asset platform Bakkt has announced the acquisition of assets of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), in the furtherance of its objective to build the first integrated, institutional grade exchange-traded markets, and custody solution for physical delivery of digital assets.

CEO of Bakkt Kelly Loeffler made the announcement in a blog post yesterday, stating that the project had entered into an agreement with RCG – an independent futures commission merchant – to build on the experience established by the business.

RCG is a 95-year old Chicago-based futures brokerage business which announced last December that it was selling off its customers’ business to Marex Spectron – another world-renowned commodities brokers – out of which Bakkt had opted in to obtain a part of the business assets.

According to Loeffler, the acquisition of “certain valuable assets” was necessary for the development of the Bakkt platform. She highlighted enhancement of risk management and treasury operations with systems and expertise as possible areas of benefits of the new acquisition while expressing her enthusiasm about onboarding the team from RCG.

As per the announcement, there might be a possible delay in the launch of the Bakkt platform as initially scheduled for this month. Loeffler said: “This acquisition underlines the fact [that] we’re not standing still as we await regulatory approval by the CFTC for the launch of regulated trading in our crypto markets.”

The team is sure putting in a tremendous amount of efforts to meet the expectations of the masses after being lauded as a platform to make a significant impact in cryptocurrency adoption since its introduction in August last year.

Loeffler made this clear when she said, “Our mission requires significant investment in technology to establish an innovative platform,” adding that “financial market expertise” is an essential component to developing the “most trusted fintech ecosystem for digital assets”.

Despite the delay, their tracks so far have been lined with some degree of success. The recent seed funding of over USD 182 million goes on to show that a lot of key players are supportive of a successful launch of the platform.

 

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BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast 14th January 2019: Cryptopia Exchange Hacked

BitcoinNews.com Daily News Podcast

Listen to the 14 January 2019 BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast below.

On this edition of the BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast, look at the markets as the Ethereum Constantinople fork rapidly approaches. We also discuss the breaking news that Cryptopia has been hacked.

Follow the Bitcoin News Daily Podcast on Anchor, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Pocket Casts, Overcast, Castbox, Breaker. We broadcast a new episode every day, covering the most important topics in the crypto, Bitcoin, and blockchain world!

 

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Paris Mural Bitcoin Puzzle Solved

Paris Mural Bitcoin Puzzle Solved

French crypto artist Pascal Boyart‘s Bitcoin competition came to an end yesterday when two diligent participants cracked the code, winning USD 1,000 in BTC.

Boyart set the challenge seven days ago hiding the public keys to the BTC in his mural based on Delacroix’s original “Liberty Leading the People” in honor of yellow vest protesters standing up against government cuts in streets of Paris. The art was located at 156 rue d’Aubervilliers.

Boyart is well known in the cryptosphere thanks to a graffiti mural he painted last year that included a QR code connected to his Bitcoin wallet so people could make donations to him. His initiative reportedly earned him USD 1,000 from donors. Boyart Retweeted yesterday that two winners had stepped forward and claimed the Bitcoin after discovering the 12 hidden seed phrases hidden in the mural revealing them the private key:

Deux personnes ont percé le mystère de la fresque «#Giletsjaunes» réalisée par PBOY. Ils ont trouvé la clé privée composée de 12 mots et débloqué 0,2891 #BTC, soit environ 890€ au cours actuel :https://t.co/9yBYDwBkTB

— Cryptonaute (@cryptonaute_fr) January 14, 2019

The answer

The inscriptions that are revealed with black light:

In the fluorescent inscriptions, ATOUT, JPAVFLU, Y29uZHVpcmU=, dHJpb21waGU=, mq+cC6Ax2+8R8LAnEWgQnA ==

The first two words are encoded in Caesar cipher. With respectively a shift of 20 and 19, therefore =union citizen The next two are Base64 encoded= lead triumph

And the last two are encrypted in 128bit AES with unlock key that was communicated to those who had found the fluorescent writings. This key is: 03012009 (Genesis Bitcoin Block Date in EU order).

Once deciphered, the code is + horizon yellow = “banker usury lie people fight hope union citizen lead triumph horizon yellow”.

 

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