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Enter the Lamborghini Raffle for 0.00057 BTC While Helping Charity

Enter the Lamborghini Raffle for 0.00057 BTC While Helping Charity

Dunstan Low is giving people the chance to win a Lamborghini for just EUR 2, around BTC 0.00057, by taking part in his raffle. Not only that, the winner will be able to donate 2% of the funds raised to a local charity of their choice.

Yes, the Lamborghini is a nod to every cryptocurrency investor’s infamous dream. ”It’s a lighthearted way to get started,” Low told Bitcoin News, saying it’s important for him to establish trust with cryptocurrency users before he tackles more difficult issues through his raffles, which he certainly intends to.

”There are a lot of house raffles with more difficult stories and unfortunate circumstances that I want to help in the future, but feel that we need to establish trust in the first instance,” he said.

Why offer a crypto payment option?

Participants can enter the raffle using Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ripple among other cryptocurrency options. After following the digital currency revolution for several years, the idea of taking power away from institutions and giving it back to the people very much appealed to Low.

”I’m actively involved in developing a few business models that build on the raffle concept more like a decentralized method of crowdfunding that focuses on the social role and circular economies. At this point, the raffle model shares ideas with these broader and more ethos based works whilst providing a fun and new opportunity for people,” he explained.

Given this framing, a cryptocurrency raffle is Low’s ideal scenario. While there are plans to add fiat payment support, he would prefer to avoid traditional models and existing banking infrastructure as much as he can.

The website enlists payment gateway Coingate to facilitate transactions, which Low says has proven easy compared with standard payment providers.  He noted ”I would highly recommend the option, it’s just so revolutionary and gives you a fuzzy feeling when a payment arrives and it hasn’t touched a bank.”

Participants can also check the website for details on how to enter the raffle for free by post.

Provably fair, how?

Several questions have been raised over how it can be proven to be a completely fair raffle. The draw of Low’s last raffle (detailed below) was conducted by a Google random number generator on a random journalist phone, with the button pressed by a solicitor while around 30 journalists filmed the moment.

”We are currently looking at how to translate this into a provably fair draw using the blockchain, my developer is looking at the requirements and if we can make this happen. If not, we are happy at this point to use a solicitor or Gambling commission approved vendor, but blockchain is much more exciting and independent, so research is underway.”

Crypto charity

Low’s perspective is that cryptocurrency could be a great way to reduce costs and create transparency in the charity sector, generally benefiting any good causes.

But more than that he believes cryptocurrency can provide much more robust and scalable solutions to solve broader problems in terms of social wellbeing, healthcare, housing, income, and innovation. ”I honestly believe that new economies can and will be built on the utility of cryptocurrencies with social ROI and crowdfunding as a core part of the model for democracy and economic growth,” he said.

The winner gets to choose the charity this time around, but Low has plans to bypass charities in future ventures, donating instead directly to communities that help promote redevelopment and growth.
Look out for more raffles from Low in the future, as he hopes to make them a regular occurrence. He told Bitcoin News: ”Hopefully we can start small and build up to holding regular raffles with a broad range of prizes from small items up to private islands, every Bitcoiner needs one with their Lambo! But seriously, we hope to scale up and reduce our overhead and create a new method to help as many good causes as possible and to eventually build outwards into potentially more interesting and nuanced models.”
As he puts it, raffles are a good way to attract people to donate for good causes that may not be on their radar in a way that direct charity donations can not, even if people are just participating because they want the Lambo.

How it all started

In 2017 bankruptcy fears and the refusal for a new mortgage led Low to raffle off his home at GBP 2 a ticket. Maybe not the first option for most, Low devised the plan while faced with around GBP 4000 in monthly expenses with no income, and to top it off a GBP 250 per month mortgage payment increase when he requested a better deal from the bank.

Low and his wife spent at least two years struggling to sell their house, even at one point listing the sale in Bitcoin to attract more buyers. ”I was lucky enough not to be divorced by my understanding wife” he joked.

When his wife found out about the mortgage increase she insisted they hand back keys to the house. While agreeing with her at the time, Low took the next two days to concoct a plan for the raffle in secret, identifying where previous raffles had faced troubles and how they could be avoided. Noting that raffles have often found themselves foul of gambling commission guidelines which are ambiguous enough to easily create delays, legal threats and cast doubt on the operation, Low realized that by offering free entry as an option to participants he would not be subject to the regulations.

”I decided to run with this idea, thinking how great it would be that anyone could afford to enter and therefore anyone had the chance to win the house,” he explained.

After sending a press release to a local news outlet, he was thrilled to receive a response just one hour later telling him they would come to the house to look around. An article was posted on the same day, and GBP 2,000 worth of entry fees for the raffle were collected. ”I was amazed,” he said.

The following day the Daily Mail picked up the story and things really sped up; ”whilst eating our dinner at the local supermarket my phone started to go insane. I logged into analytics and there were thousands of users on the site and money was rolling in at the rate of around GBP 300 a minute. Over the course of that day, we had over GBP 103,000 worth of entries, it was absolutely unexpected.”

Over the next three weeks or so they collected around GBP 375,000 until trouble reappeared.
”Having used PayPal as a payment provider, obviously against their terms of service, the dreaded risk came true: they noticed the raffle and got very cold feet. Six weeks of negotiations later and I managed to persuade PayPal that this was a genuine cause and we were indeed in arrears and would lose our house. They in their goodwill allowed us to run with strict guidelines and restrictions in place, however, by this point, all momentum had been killed.”
 
Taking a step back, Low created postcards reading ”win a house” and unsuccessfully tried handing them out to the disinterested people of Manchester.
 
Luck fell on them, however, in the form of a young reporter striking up a conversation with Low regarding drug use in the city. Sharing with her his postcard, the following story brought in another GBP 400,000: ”fate really helped us that day.”
Fast forward six months and they hit their target, got featured on the BBC One Show, handed the house off to raffle winner Marie Segar, and donated GBP 3 0,000 to St Johns Hospice in Lancaster and GBP 10,000 to NYAS in Birkenhead, both UK based charities.
”So we beat the bank and kickstarted a small raffle revolution, around 50 raffles around the world followed and I have been asked to raffle around 500 million pounds worth of property from portfolios of houses, private islands, castles, and luxury cars,” Low shared.

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What is the Insurance Protocol for a Decentralized Exchange?

As experts predict, the next Bitcoin bull run will be prompted by an influx of institutional investors. Blockchain companies are fighting to create the best custodial solutions that will entice these investors into this new asset class. One thing is certain, what they are looking for is insurance to cover their assets, just like what is obtainable in mainstream finance.

The cryptocurrency insurance industry is quickly growing, yet there is a substantial lack of transparency over who is insured, to what extent, and by whom. Estimates put the total amount of available cryptocurrency insurance at USD 6 billion; not a lot when considering that the top three exchanges handle over USD 1 billion in trades a day, let alone the total market cap of around USD 140 billion.

Bitcoin News spoke with Derek Jones, co-founder of new decentralized cryptocurrency exchange UnitedCoin. Like every insurance policyholder it seems, there was a lot of information that non-disclosure agreements kept him from sharing. He could not for one, share who his insurance provider is or whether they had previously paid out claims for cryptocurrency exchanges.

Jones was able to explain how exactly UnitedCoin’s insurance policy works, which is particularly valuable information in understanding how peer-to-peer transactions can be covered by insurance policies.

“We insure all the investments that are in hot wallets. The way the exchange works is that 98% of funds are actually in cold storage and the 2% of funds that are actually in hot wallets are completely insured,” Jones explained to Bitcoin News. The hot wallets are insured up to USD 100 million, but they are looking to increase this amount. With the current insurance policy model and its limitations, cold storage is the only way that they can right now guarantee security for investors.

While Jones admittedly did not know of any insurance policies that have been paid out to any cryptocurrency exchange after a hack, apparently, the majority of companies that suffered security breaches did not have cold storage practices in place, which he says is one of the larger issues that jeopardizes security.

As a victim of the Cryptsy exchange hack, Jones’ view is that nobody should invest in a cryptocurrency exchange that does not have insurance.  ”To be honest, I don’t know why you would use an exchange that is not insured unless you are very comfortable with the fact that you could lose all your money.”

UnitedCoin also has FDIC insurance in the US which covers fiat currency, and insured accounts in Europe. The cryptocurrency is stored in cold storage and whenever there are transactions taking place on the platform, the money that is being sent back and forth is in a token form. That tokenization is what represents all of the actual transactions. However, when someone wants to withdraw funds, it is taken from the cold storage.

Jones’ father’s former bank holds the record in the US for a newly formed bank reaching USD one billion in assets the fastest. The record when he started was five years, and they achieved it in 18 months.

Influenced by some of his policies that did not only insure profits but also reduced fees for users, Jones was inspired to create a new revenue model for his exchange. ”With crypto, I saw that there was something else we can do. Because transactions create a lot of revenue for you as a company, people who are supporting the network should benefit from that revenue. We take 20% of those net revenues each month and divide it amongst members.”

He noted that this is similar to the actions of American Express.

The platform’s native token UNIT launches with the IMO, an initial members launch. Potential members are required to go through a know-your-customer (KYC) process to register.

 

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Blockchain.com Says Stablecoins Largest Growing Blockchain Category Since DLT

Head of research at Blockchain.com and co-founder of Mosaic, Dr Garrick Hileman, said that stablecoins have become the fastest growing category in the blockchain ecosystem since the rise of interest in distributed ledger technology (DLT) in 2015.

This is partly based on funding levels; stablecoins have raised over USD 50 million in venture funding, making it one of the most well-funded categories in cryptoassets. ”I haven’t seen this level of activity in the blockchain ecosystem since the interest in DLT in 2015. This is the largest growing category I have seen since then,” said Hileman in his ‘The State of Stablecoins’ keynote speech at today’s Decentralized 2018 blockchain conference in Athens, Greece.

There are two types of stablecoins, as he outlined, asset-backed and algorithm-backed. Algorithm-backed stablecoins adjust the supply in line with demand. ”Imagine an algorithmic stablecoin that sees a spike in demand and goes up to USD 1.05 when it supposed to be at USD 1. New coins would be issued to bring the price down,” he explained.

But investors appear to be slightly favoring the more proven asset-backed variety which has raised USD 177 million, compared to its algorithmic counterpart that claimed USD 174 million. This can be interpreted as their perceptions of the likelihood of success, with Hileman suggesting there are still questions as to how successful the cutting-edge algorithm-backed coins will be.

Also of interest in the market is the leading cryptoasset investors that have been putting their money in stablecoins, such as Pantera and A16z. Notably, Hileman pointed out that they have in fact been investing in multiple stablecoins. While he says this could show uncertainty regarding the future state of play, it also indicates that perhaps investors expect there to be more than one winner out of stablecoins, ”not a winner take all situation”.

Crypto-asset backed stablecoins

Hileman noted that while 77% of stablecoins are of the asset-backed variety, over half of these use cryptocurrency as collateral.

”That’s pretty exciting because fiat-backed stablecoins such as Tether means that you have to bring a bank into the picture, whereas a crypto collateralized is more trust-minimized arguably… You can see the collateral in the smart contract,” he shared.

Hileman has a full report on the state of stablecoins available on Blockchain.com.

 

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Exclusive: Nye the Crypto Guy

Listen to the exclusive interview with Nye the Crypto Guy on the 16 November 2018 BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast below.

Bitcoin News caught up with “Nye the crypto guy”, discussing how his social media musings about cryptocurrency evolved from what started out as a fun hobby to an actual career.

A play on “Bill Nye the science guy”, Crypto Nye is what one might call a crypto influencer – his Twitter account @CryptoShillNye has 37,700 followers and he runs the website IAmNye.com. Nye says he is also a crypto marketing specialist: “I also run a marketing company that helps other crypto startups and companies really engage with their audience, and I teach them how to create a community and use social media… All the tools that are blatantly ignored right now. I also travel the world and speak at different conferences.”

From hobby to profession

Nye started off just for fun and says he was messing around and having a good time. Apparently, people really liked Nye’s crypto opinions, so posting on social media about crypto has become his career. Nye purchased his first Bitcoins and Litecoins during 2012-2013 before Bitcoin ever hit USD 1,000. However, it was not until the middle of 2017 that Nye got serious about crypto, at which point he spent 10-15 hours per day trading, learning, and investing. Nye says he was quite successful at trading in 2017 and early 2018, before the market crashed, and then “saw an opportunity to do something different”.

Nye now has an audience of tens of thousands of crypto- and blockchain-oriented followers, and is trying to distinguish between companies that are legit and those that are “some and mirrors”, and he reports his findings back to his followers. Nye’s favorite thing is to promote people who are doing positive things for the crypto and blockchain space, especially newcomers who aren’t acknowledged by other crypto influencers. He says, “I want the crypto space to be filled with as many good people as possible.”

Asian connection

Specifically, Nye is now focusing on Asia by going to Asian conferences and meeting companies in person. He says there is “a huge cultural and language barrier” between what the news reports is going on in Asia and what is actually happening. He talks about China’s bullish sentiment on blockchain despite its general unfavorable stance towards cryptocurrency.

He singles out VeChain as a good project, as well as TEMCO and Agora, with blockchain’s greatest potential found in the supply chain, gaming, and voting fields. On the other hand, he feels the ICO market is causing investor’s money to be spread thinly.

On Bitcoin

Nye has “a strong belief” that Bitcoin is headed up in price after months of sideways action (although it has recently experienced a sharp drop). He speculates that block halving in 2020 will help increase price.

According to Nye, the biggest use case for Bitcoin is trading and price increases are positive since it brings more money into the crypto space to build “cool shit”. Nye thinks eventually adoption will increase as technology improves, and mentions that the Lightning Network will be part of that since it can help Bitcoin scale to large transaction frequencies.

When asked about the US dollar, Nye says, “It’s definitely a potential [for crashing]… I have considered it a lot… I have no idea what is going to happen… If it does happen we are going to need as much innovation as possible to make Bitcoin transactions as easy as possible for average people.”

Nye thinks that widespread adoption will have to be in place at the time of a potential USD collapse in order for Bitcoin to succeed. But he closes by reminding that he considers himself simply as “a dude who shares his opinion online”.

 

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MEP Eva Kaili: ICOs Needed When Banks Overregulate

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Eva Kaili has revealed that a report on initial coin offerings (ICOs) was being prepared for the European Parliament that would promote their use as a crowdfunding tool.

”We really need [ICOs] when banks are overregulated and projects need liquidity… we must try not to overregulate them and stop innovation,” she said. MEP Kaili made this statement during her keynote address at the ongoing Decentralized 2018 blockchain conference in Athens, Greece.

Following up with Bitcoin News at the conference, she reported that the Parliament had recently facilitated the release of EUR 700 million for startup projects that can show they provide ”great solutions” with blockchain.

However, she did acknowledge the number of scams that certainly exist within the ICO market but believes these can be avoided by properly analyzing the white paper: ”I have seen people buy for the hype but on the white paper, it states they own nothing… Fraud is fraud. We don’t need regulation to stop that.”

MEP Kaili also told Bitcoin News that she believes European countries like France and Malta have the most progressive and effective blockchain legislation, while others beyond Europe are emerging as strong contenders for leadership in the industry.

She said that through her travels, she has seen France impose itself as a significant leader in blockchain regulation, with the country ”trying to proceed very fast”. Malta is also producing progressive legislation, she added. Outside of Europe, both Barbados and Singapore are leading the way, as well as Switzerland which she described as ”a staple one; it has always been very fast in the financial sector to adapt to the changes”.

Discussing her recent legislative work, MEP Kaili that she has just finished the Blockchain Resolution – a work in progress since 2015 when she first became aware and interested in the technology. She pushed for the resolution in the European Parliment after becoming concerned with potential resistance to blockchain from ”the systems that failed us”, referencing the financial systems that contributed to the 2008 economic crisis and her home country of Greece’s own economic turbulence.

Now, Kaili’s efforts are focused on creating non-restrictive regulation for artificial intelligence (AI). She spoke about the potential of blockchain and AI synergy, to which she declared, ”I think will be very exciting.”

On blockchain, she noted that “It can solve problems but not all the problems, I would say it is more of a philosophy”, citing that there were still issues regarding scalability, energy efficiency, and the protection of data, although believes they will be “figured out quite soon”.

The Greek MEP was the keynote speaker at Decentralized 2018 hosted by the University of Nicosia. It ends tomorrow on 16 November 2018.

 

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Exclusive: Streamr and DATAcoin Co-Founder on Blockchain and AI

Listen to the interview with the co-founder and COO of Streamr and DATAcoin on the 2 November 2018 BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast below.

Streamr and DATAcoin (DATA)

BitcoinNews.com spoke to Risto Karjalainen, the co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of Streamr and its native cryptocurrency DATAcoin (DATA), on the topic of blockchain and AI, who says, “Streamr is a data protocol for the decentralized net. Effectively what we are doing is making real-time data tradeable using a blockchain.”

On Streamr, blockchain technology is used to access data and crypto is used to pay for data streams but the data itself is not stored on the blockchain. Karjalainen believes that the Ethereum network is still “too slow and expensive for that”, and has considered using a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) and other blockchains scalable for data storage, but has chosen to perfect Streamr on the Ethereum network.

Launched in October 2017, DATAcoin is used to buy real-time data on Streamr, which is a cryptocurrency with a USD 30 million market cap and USD 6 million of daily trading volume as of 1 November 2018, placing it at #157 on CoinMarketCap out of 2,089 total cryptocurrencies.

Streamr focuses entirely on delivering real-time data in an automated fashion and this requires integration with the internet of things (IoT). Karjalainen says, “Data comes from the IoT, sensors, or smart cities, and different devices, but IoT is the typical source of the data.”

Some of the real-time data streams available include financial, transportation and weather data but really there is no limit to the data that can become available on Streamr, as long as it can be measured.

Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI)

Streamr itself does not develop AI technology but Karjalainen says, “We are partnering with AI companies who want to use our technology to acquire training and learning data for machine learning and AI. Additionally, there are companies which offer data that has been created or refined with AI, and they sell it on Streamr.”

AI depends on massive amounts of data to increase its intelligence, so companies can utilize blockchain and Streamr to acquire that data.

The Zug-based entrepreneur sees a couple of areas where the merger of blockchain and AI is particularly useful. AI needs data to operate and that is what Streamr is focusing on. Also, AI needs a large amount of computing power and storage, blockchain can be used to build decentralized networks that aggregate computing power and storage, and crypto can be used to incentivize the process. Beyond this, AI can be used to improve a cryptocurrency or blockchain platform’s code but Karjailenen does not think AI is powerful enough yet to truly write code.

One very interesting possibility is an AI program could live within a blockchain. Karalainen says, “What might be fascinating is an AI living in a blockchain, and it would earn tokens, make a living that way, and improve itself, like a lifeform.”

The present and future of AI

In the current AI field, there are several types of intelligence being pursued including machine learning, deep learning, recurrent networks and pattern recognition. Karjalainen feels that the industry is still in the early days of “building true artificial intelligence”.

When it comes to everyday reasoning or building mental models of the world, he estimates AI to be on the level of a 4-5 year-old child. However, for pattern recognition and image processing AI is as good or better than humans, according to him.

Karjalainen asserts that AI does not have any self awareness or consciousness at this time, but says, “I think there is potential, and I think it is a very interesting idea… I do not think there is anything in the mechanics that would stop a machine from being conscious. You can replicate a brain cell by cell and that is what you would get.”

When asked if the AI singularity will happen, which is when AI becomes smarter than humans and then rapidly and recursively improves itself, Karjalainen responds that it could very well take place, especially if the AI has access to energy and manufacturing equipment.

In regards to popularly fiction scenarios in which machines turn against humans, Karjalainen says, “They might have their own objectives which are very different and inconsistent with having people around.”

 

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Exclusive: CryptoCare, a New Blockchain Platform for Charity

Listen to the interview with the Co-Founders of CryptoCare on the 30 October 2018 BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast below.

BitcoinNews.com spoke exclusively to Phillip Birtcher and JP Hennessy, the co-founders of CryptoCare, which is a blockchain platform designed to raise funds for charity. Soft launching two weeks ago, CryptoCare runs on the Ethereum network and generates ERC-721 non-fungible tokens called CryptoCare Pals for each person that makes a donation.

Birtcher says, “About a year ago I delved into the Ethereum rabbit hole, and we decided we wanted to make something for good, and in the last six months we started developing CryptoCare.”

Hennessy says “CryptoCare is a platform where we try to gamify philanthropy using crypto collectibles. Basically, we are trying to create a more easy and enjoyable experience to encourage the crypto community, specifically the Ethereum community, to support different meaningful causes.”

CryptoCare has partnered with nine charitable organizations including the Electronics Frontier Foundation, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Heifer International, GiveDirectly, Fight for the Future, 350.org, Rainforest Foundation US, WildMe, and GRACEaid. These charities fall under the categories of digital rights, humanitarian, and environmental protection. So far CryptoCare has raised USD 600, with 55% of that being donated to digital rights charities.

There is a leaderboard which shows who is the #1 donor, and that spot is held by someone who donated USD 101 as of 30 October 2018. Further, users who donate receive a CryptoCare Pal that is attached to a non-fungible token, similar to CryptoKitties. Users have full ownership of the CryptoCare Pals, but at this time there is no built-in exchange for trading the digital collectibles. The developers are considering creating a market for CryptoCare Pals in the future, and making the 1st wave of collectibles limited edition so they become more valuable over time.

95% of the donations instantly arrive at the charitable organization a user chooses, while 5% is kept by the platform. Hennessy says “We have done this as a labor of love, so we have been paying out of pocket for the maintenance costs. In order to make this a sustainable platform, we have included a 5% transaction fee”.

Users can name their CryptoCare Pals, and the more money they donate, the more evolved their collectible becomes. For example, when giving to digital rights organizations, the CryptoCare Pal evolves from a calculator into the internet and when giving to environmental protection, it evolves from a seed to a tree. The point is to make charitable giving fun, rather than the typical unexciting way that people give to charity online.

In the future, CryptoCare is considering adding a recurring donations feature, so people can keep donating and evolve their collectible, and compete on the leaderboard. This could be useful for miners who direct their mining revenue at a CryptoCare donation address, and could also be used for donation subscriptions. Also, more charities will be added to the site, possibly including a turtle conservancy.

CryptoCare appears a suitable charity organization for mining pools, exchanges and crypto companies to partner with since all donations are tracked on the blockchain. In general, large companies give a small fraction of their profits to charity, and it would be quite interesting if major exchanges and mining pools were competing on the CryptoCare leaderboard.

 

Donate to CryptoCare https://cryptocare.tech/adopt/

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Exclusive Interview With The ABCC Crypto Exchange

BitcoinNews.com did an exclusive interview with the Head of Global Marketing and Communications for the ABCC crypto exchange. ABCC has USD 50-100 million of trading volume per day with 51 cryptos listed, and has been seeing month over month growth in trading volume since it launched in April 2018. ABCC offers crypto to crypto trading worldwide, and in the future aims to offer fiat to crypto trading, but for now has 3 stablecoins listed, which act as a fiat substitute.

The CEO of ABCC, Kevin Cheng, is a member of the Singapore Parliament, and other members of the ABCC team used to work for Binance, the #1 spot crypto exchange in the world. The Head of Global Marketing and Communications says “The reason why ABCC was established is the Co-Founders want to dive into the crypto ecosystem and build a really good platform that provides a great trading experience for the users. We see vast potential in the crypto market, and believe if we focus on providing good product and service, we will grow in the field.”

Originally, ABCC launched with zero trading fees but changed their strategy in July 2018 when they launched ABCC Token (AT). Now, ABCC utilizes transaction fee mining, where users are refunded their trading fees 100% with AT tokens. Another benefit of AT is 80% of the transaction fees collected from the crypto trading pairs are distributed to holders of AT tokens, which is around USD 5,000-100,000 per day. On average, 1,000 AT tokens produces a reward equivalent to USD 1.20 per day. Rewards for holding AT are disbursed with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or USDT.

Beyond these avenues of earning money by trading on ABCC, crypto projects often donate crypto to ABCC when they get listed, and ABCC airdrops most of this to users. The Head of Global Marketing and Communications for ABCC says “Basically our philosophy is we try to contribute instead of keeping it because 20% of the trading fee is already a large amount for us. We want to make sure the rest of it goes to users, and the users can benefit from trading with us.”

AT is an Ethereum ERC-20 token. There are 210 million AT tokens in circulation, 10X the supply of Bitcoin, and apparently, a relatively small amount compared to most other cryptos. The full supply of AT will be mined over 2 years, with a block halving every 120 days. The first block halving will be on 6 November 2018. There is 1 block every 4 hours, and the block reward is distributed to users of the platform proportional to their relative trading activity versus everyone else. Mining vouchers are available for purchase, and these vouchers increase mining power by 20%. Further, there is a referral program where users can boost their transaction fee mining rewards. Additionally, AT will be used for voting to list cryptos on ABCC.

ABCC is working on obtaining a bank account and a license from regulators for fiat trading. ABCC is based in Singapore but has another office in Malta, and there is potential for them to obtain a bank account in Malta and offer EUR trading in the future. The Head of Global Marketing and Communications for ABCC says “Regulatory compliance is what we think will differentiate ourselves from other exchanges in the future.”

ABCC launched ABCC Cloud in September 2018, where startup exchanges can integrate ABCC’s software and order book, making it easy for new exchanges to get the liquidity they need for optimal trading. This also increases the liquidity on ABCC itself. The Head of Global Marketing and Communications for ABCC says “We hope to reach out to a wider market and audience through our partners. We provide them with technology that saves them the hassles of building exchange technology so they can focus on other things.”

In the future ABCC will release a Pro version with trading views, stop losses, and stop limits to optimize the trading experience. Also, ABCC will be releasing a crypto wallet, and eventually will offer margin trading. Further, ABCC is considering launching options markets, where users can earn interest by holding crypto in their wallets. The Head of Global Marketing and Communications for ABCC says “We are trying to see how we can adequately introduce crypto to more people as well as teach them the concept of trading.”

Eventually, ABCC might try to launch a decentralized exchange, but needs to research that concept thoroughly before doing it, and wants to focus on optimizing their current trading software first. Also, ABCC will launch an API for scripting trades once trading is optimized.

On a final note, the Global Head of Marketing and Communications for ABCC says “Our Co-Founders are serial entrepreneurs, so even if trends are changing in the field we are very confident in our execution skills. That makes us different from others.”

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Exclusive Interview With the Founder of Bisq, a Decentralized Crypto Exchange

Listen to the exclusive interview with the Founder of Bisq, on 6 October 2018 edition of the BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast below

BitcoinNews.com did an exclusive interview with Manfred, the Founder of Bisq, which is a decentralized crypto exchange that is available worldwide. Bisq is so decentralized that it can not be stopped, regardless of government regulations, much like Bitcoin.

Decentralized exchanges are necessary for the crypto space since centralized exchanges are often hacked, lose funds in other ways, or get shutdown due to government regulations. With a fully decentralized exchange like Bisq, these problems simply do not occur since the users themselves hold the key to their cryptocurrency at all times.

Manfred says “With Bisq you can trade Bitcoin against any fiat currency, as well as against any altcoin listed on Bisq. The focus of Bisq is to exchange in a privacy protecting way and in a secure way, where you don’t have to expose your Bitcoin keys to any other trusted 3rd parties. You are always holding your Bitcoin keys in your wallet, and you are not sharing any personal information with any company or any central server”. The only data shared during a Bisq trade is between peers who are directly trading with each other, but Bisq does not see or collect any of this data.

Bisq is built in a fully decentralized way and is integrated with the Tor network, making it highly anonymous and secure. The peer to peer trading aspect of Bisq is similar to LocalBitcoins, but Bisq is fully decentralized, so there is no central company or website. This allows Bisq to be freely used throughout the world, whereas LocalBitcoins is banned in Germany and perhaps some other countries. Each user of the Bisq network acts as a node, and all of these nodes make up the decentralized Bisq network. Manfred says “Bitcoin is basically the blueprint for Bisq”; Bitcoin is similar to Bisq since both are decentralized and have no single point of failure.

Sellers post a trade on Bisq, and every Bisq node can see the trade. If someone is interested in the trade they open up communication with the seller. Both traders make a relatively small security deposit, and the seller deposits the amount of crypto to be sold. This creates an escrow system, like on LocalBitcoins. The buyer then sends the fiat with the information provided by the seller, and then the buyer confirms that the payment is complete by signing the transaction. The seller confirms the payment and signs the transaction. After both traders sign the multisig transaction the crypto is sent. A 3rd key is held by Bisq itself, since in case of a trading dispute there is a Bisq arbitrator that can sign the transaction and release the crypto to the buyer, or not sign the transaction and then the crypto goes back to the seller.

The major difference between LocalBitcoins and Bisq is that crypto is held in LocalBitcoin’s wallet during a transaction, and with Bisq the crypto is put into a multisig transaction in an address not controlled by Bisq. The Bisq arbitrator cannot stop a trade if the buyer and seller are in agreement. Only 1-2% of trades end up in Bisq arbitration, and this is mostly due to problems with fiat networks. Bisq has banned most reversible payment methods, like PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash. Apparently, Bisq allowed Square Cash for a time, but it caused a surge of arbitration disputes due to payment reversals, forcing them to ban that payment method. Bisq allows in-person cash transactions, as well as all other fiat payment methods that are relatively safe and not easy to reverse.

Bisq is planning on launching a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), which will be a decentralized governance system to raise funds for development. Manfred says “We have the need to have a funding model to find more developers, to be able to pay them”. There is a fine line to walk with creating a DAO, since centralization would put Bisq at risk of getting attacked by regulators. A Bisq token will be launched by the end of 2018, which will play a pivotal role in funding the DAO and voting. The Bisq token will be a color coin that runs on the Bitcoin blockchain. Beyond this, Bisq is planning on integrating lightning network technology to accelerate transactions. Additionally, there is the possibility of launching a decentralized foreign exchange, where users can directly trade USD for EUR, or any other fiat currency.

At this time it would be impractical and not cost effective for governments to attack Bisq, even in countries where trading crypto for fiat is illegal. Bisq is anonymous thanks to its Tor integration, and there is no personal information submitted or collected when opening an account. Further, Bisq has relatively low transaction volume with less than USD 500,000 traded per day, as opposed to Bitcoin’s global volume of USD 5-10 billion per day, making it nonsensical for any government to attack Bisq. Perhaps the only point of weakness is when exchanging personal information to send or receive fiat payments, and it is up to users to shield their personal information properly when talking to other Bisq users.

Even if the entire Bisq development team disappeared due to a government crackdown, the software is open source, and another development team could fork Bisq if this worse case scenario ever happened. Basically, it is impossible to get rid of decentralized open source software like Bisq, making it likely that Bisq will be operational long term.

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Image Courtesy: Bisq

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Exclusive Interview With Waqar Zaka: Celebrity TV Host Turned Bitcoin Philanthropist Praises ”Revolutionary” Technology

In a Bitcoin News exclusive, Pakistani reality TV host Waqar Zaka explains how he turned his journey from national celebrity into one of Bitcoin philanthropy.

Zaka’s spot as presenter and head of content on his show gave him a huge following of fans in Pakistan. He likened his platform to Fear Factor on MTV in the US, getting famous for doing self-titled ”crazy things” like putting his head in a crocodile’s mouth and kissing a cobra.

In 2014 a start-up called bitLanders approached him to promote the project in Pakistan, offering to pay him in Bitcoin. ”Before that, I had no idea what it was,” he told Bitcoin News. He quickly came to learn that cryptocurrency could have numerous significant implications on society, thinking ”this is something that could be really amazing.”

Conquering crypto in Pakistan

His mind turned to how the concept could be applied to help disadvantaged people in regions such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Syria, which are facing enormous issues when it comes to transferring money. Zaka took it upon himself to use his platform to educate the people of Pakistan and those around the world of how the technologies can be utilized in the aid of others.

It was not always an easy task, and he faced accusations of selling a Ponzi scheme or pursuing a financially self-interested cause.

But, a lot of people had confidence in him because of his national celebrity status in Pakistan, approaching him for advice on where to invest. This had problems of its own, as there were at the time a lot of crypto-related Ponzi schemes and multi-level marketing scams in the country and he needed a better way of helping people educate themselves.

Zaka started a campaign in the country to teach people about cryptocurrency and blockchain, which caught the eye of the likes of Consensus and CoinTelegraph. They labeled him a ”crypto influencer,” but not even he likes that title much.

In Pakistan, money laundering and corruption are pervasive issues, and Zaka started to use his newfound crypto fame to pressure the government into implementing blockchain banking services aimed at clamping down on this. Anybody sending money from the country would have to be reported with the hopes this would prevent money laundering.

”I believe this technology can actually change the future of Pakistan,” he said.

Blockchain refugee work

In 2015 Zaka went to Myanmar. This was the first time any Muslim was able to get into the region. He said he got in through simply using ”jolly good tourist attitude.” Once there, he took 55 families who had no house or passport or ID and moved them to settle in Nepal.

The next step was to educate them about Bitcoin and how they could receive money to ensure their financial security and self-sufficiency.

He also visited Syria and helped move families to the neighboring and far safer nation of Turkey. People were happy to support and trust his charity because blockchain donations meant people could see exactly where their donations were going.

However, Zaka says the work he is doing with the refugees is not enough, largely because the Bitcoin market fluctuations means that refugees are losing confidence in the cryptocurrency as a store of value.

It has also proven very difficult to share a lot of his crypto knowledge: ”For people who have not had much education at all, how do you teach them about wallets’ private keys? It is very hard and in very early stages. But, they need basic blockchain knowledge so they can earn through their mobile.”

Waqar Zaca pictured with Rohingya child refugees

Zaka says that his Bitcoin philanthropic efforts are nearly unique, and he hardly sees anyone else using blockchain for good:

”I’m not saying I’m the only one, but as far as I have seen in my research, it is not often used for very good causes. Whether more people will get involved or not, it depends on social media influencers. If people with platforms start showing how it can be used for good, like with refugees, only then will we see the benefit.”

He jokingly suggests that if Oprah said something about blockchain’s charitable use cases people might listen. ”Only celebrities can make a difference otherwise it will take a lot of time,” he reasons.

 

Waqar Zaka pictured with Fouzia and one of her five children. Fouzia lost her husband in the Syrian war. 

The TenUp project

In 2017, many people were asking him to invest in different coins. With an engineering background himself, he wanted to support local Pakistani engineers. ”They are all amazing and economical,” he said, ”meaning they work great as freelancers. But people weren’t hiring them as CTO’s or blockchain developers.”

So he came up with the idea of TenUp, ”like the double high five” he explains. Zaka has a huge, trusting following which may prove crucial for the token: ”A successful coin is always built around communities.”

TenUp’s technology is basic, ”no rocket science,” a simple payment transfer method, with the hopes to grow in the long run. Despite offering no technological breakthroughs, the token has huge goals in terms of philanthropy.

Its main aim is to provide free technical assistance to projects in countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The TenUp team headed by Zaka wants to create blockchain applications that can help people, especially working with refugee projects. One project in the works right now is managing blood donations, recording how long people are waiting and who should be receiving blood next.

The coin is not the central focus, ”It’s like a share,” as Zaka describes it. The focus is on becoming the token used in the international charity sector.

”Some people looking to invest in TenUp ask, what will I get? I can’t promise you anything,” the project is not a get rich quick scheme, but based on the solid foundation of philanthropic work.

For Zaka, it is imperative that TenUp can become a stable coin, with a stable rate on CoinMarketCap. Then, Zaka wants to use it as an example to show his friend, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, with the hopes of pushing him towards issuing a state-backed crypto.

”To become a success story, you need to become successful first,” he says in acknowledgment that there is still a long way to go.

Waqar Zaka pictured with his team from TenUp

TenUp also wants to give free services to all of Pakistan in order to help the local tech industry. Zakar explains that it will be legal to buy the token in Pakistan because investors will need to use authorized bank transactions for purchases rather than use Bitcoin or Ethereum. That means official affidavit can be issued for ownership to be authorized. This is the first time a cryptocurrency is being sold like this in Pakistan that Zaka is aware of.

The initial coin offering (ICO) is scheduled at the end of November, while the token will be listed in December on TradeSatoshi.

Could a crypto call center be the answer?

One of the perks of TenUp is that it will have its own four language call center with trained staff to directly respond to any issue.

”If something goes wrong with your credit card you can go yell at someone. If I lose my private key where can I go? Human trust should be there. If a human is not there, crypto will not boom,”  Zakar shared with Bitcoin News.

Those answering the phones will be trained to offer advice not limited to TenUp: ”If you have a problem with any crypto, and you are a stakeholder in TenUp you can call through the app and they will try and help. A responsible person should be there to educate you not just about TenUp, but about the entire crypto world.”

Because of this requirement of human contact, Zakar believes that centralized exchanges will ”obviously” succeed over their decentralized counterpart.

”This entire concept of decentralization will not work for humans. People want to call and see who is on the other side. Centralization like Coinbase is very, very important.”

To learn more about TenUp you can visit the website, or follow Wakar Zaka on social media to keep up with his philanthropic efforts.

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Images Courtesy: Waqar Zaka

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