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Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

Bitcoin Startup KeepKey Ends Support For Multibit Wallet Software

The long-running bitcoin wallet Multibit is being discontinued, the firm that bought it last year has announced.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 4:00 pm

The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet

The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet

If all goes according to plan, August 1st will see the launch of a new cryptocurrency, described as an “airdrop altcoin,” a “spinoff-coin,” a “fork-coin,” a “clone-coin,” or — as the people behind the project call it — “a new version of Bitcoin:” Bitcoin Cash (“BCC”). Anyone who holds bitcoin (BTC) on this day, at 12:20 UTC precisely, will automatically receive the equivalent amount in BCC, attributed to their Bitcoin private keys.

Bitcoin Cash is the realization of the “User Activated Hard Fork” (UAHF) that was first announced as Bitmain’s contingency plan in case of a chain-split caused by the BIP148 user activated soft fork (UASF) — although the mining hardware producer has sent out mixed signals about the project since.

A first software implementation of the Bitcoin Cash protocol, called Bitcoin ABC, was recently revealed by its lead developer, Amaury “Deadal Nix” Sechét at the Future of Bitcoin conference in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Sechét worked at Facebook for the past years and decided to focus on Bitcoin full time earlier this year.

Bitcoin Magazine spoke with Sechét about his vision for Bitcoin Cash.


Anyone in favor of increasing the block size could have forked off for years now. What took you so long?

Well, I wasn't expecting the whole situation to last this long. Bitcoin Classic seemed to get a lot of traction last year, and then the Hong Kong Roundtable Consensus happened, so it seemed like things were working well enough for a while…

This year I started to do research on a scaling solution for Bitcoin myself, at first focusing on extension blocks. Bitcoin ABC was initially a base I could use to build various experiments on top of. I was later contacted by “Freetrader," a developer on the r/btcfork subreddit, who wanted to implement an adjustable block size limit on top of Bitcoin ABC.

Then the whole UAHF plan was proposed by Bitmain. Freetrader and I both thought it was a good idea, so we implemented it.

What is your relationship with Bitmain? Are they funding you in any way?

I got a sponsorship from the Bitcoin Development Grant to do my scaling research. This was mostly thanks to other research I’d done prior. I’m not funded to work on Bitcoin ABC specifically. That was not the original plan; but sometimes you can't predict where things are going to lead.

The BIP148 UASF seems to have been made obsolete by BIP91. Why is this “UAHF” still happening?

That BIP148 was made obsolete only became clear very recently. Uncertainty remained even after SegWit2x [the scaling proposal based on the New York Agreement, and backed by a number of Bitcoin companies and mining pools] was released. Depending on how fast miners would adopt it, the UASF could happen or not. So we continued to push forward with the UAHF.

By the time it was known that the UASF wouldn't happen, it was also very clear that there was strong market demand for the UAHF anyways.

What made that clear to you?

A lot of people contacted us and wanted to launch Bitcoin Cash.

“Random” people? Or also companies, miners or perhaps well-known individuals in the space?

All of the above. But I do not wish to mention anyone specifically. Some, like ViaBTC and OKCoin have gone public. If others want to do that too, they'll have to do it themselves.

More to the point, then: Bitcoin Cash will remove Segregated Witness (SegWit) and will have a default block size limit of 8 megabytes. Why eight, not two or seven or unlimited?

There is a judgment call there. Eight megabytes is large enough to make sure we have a mechanism to adjust it by the time we get anywhere close to the limit. On the other hand, you don't want to go unlimited cowboy style. As the size of blocks grow, there is a lot of work to be done to ensure they keep being processed efficiently.

What if 8 megabyte blocks fill up very fast? It seems evident that the Bitcoin network endured a lot of spam over the past year, for example, that could happen again...

It could, and increasing the block size to 8 megabytes is not a perfect solution in this sense, but it's an improvement. At least at 8 megabytes it’d be more expensive to keep the attack going.

It would be even more expensive to spam blocks full at 16 megabytes. Yet, you won’t increase the blocks to 16 megabytes when the 8 megabyte limit is hit quickly?

I think most people are going to use the default settings at first, so that’s 8 megabytes. After this fork is behind us, we'll make sure to deploy some mechanism to handle the block size so we don't need to play central planners.

What kind of mechanism will that be?

Perhaps BIP100, or one of the other many proposals that have been made.

BIP100 hands control over the block size to miners, which is also controversial. Do you think it will be hard to get everyone to agree on a solution?

I think that people will come to an agreement. The reason there is a split now, is because people have different ideas of where they want Bitcoin to go. Once blocks on Bitcoin Cash fill up, people will still want to go to the same place, so I'm confident they'll stay in the same boat.

Where do you see Bitcoin Cash in relation to SegWit2x?

When I got into this, my idea was that either SegWit2x will fail and we'd get a UASF chain and a UAHF chain. Or SegWit2x would succeed and we’d get neither the UASF or the UAHF. But as mentioned, a lot of people will value the UAHF even with SegWit2x. I don't want to speak for everybody, but concerns about SegWit2x range from the 2x part not being acted upon, some feature of Segregated Witness hurting long-term scalability or simply thinking that the conflict is just delayed and will restart later on.

I do hope we can have a friendly relation with the SegWit2x team. Whoever is better wins in the end.

So that brings me back to my previous question. Those in favor of a block size limit increase hard fork are rallying behind different proposals. And that’s not even taking into account Bitcoin Unlimited’s “Emergent Consensus” and other ideas. If you can’t agree on a single way forward now, what makes you think you can when blocks fill up?

I see all these different proposals as the symptom of a fast moving environment. When I started Bitcoin ABC with Freetrader, SegWit2x and the UAHF did not even exist yet.

Besides, I could say the same for the other side. There was the Hong Kong Roundtable, then SegWit-only, then the UASF, and now SegWit2x which is kind of a compromise between the two sides.

Bitcoin Core has a pretty clear and consistent policy: no contentious hard forks. Without such a policy, don’t you see a cryptocurrency splitting into factions for each disagreement?

That's possible. But Ethereum did a contentious hard fork once as well and did not split any further after that. There is a strong incentive to stick together: People will split only if there is a strong difference of vision.

You’re not the first to have a “difference of vision” for Bitcoin’s direction. Litecoin was created to offer a better payment experience. Dogecoin was, likewise, lauded for its micropayment potential. Why not just use an altcoin, instead of forking away from Bitcoin?

Litecoin developers seem to mostly have the same vision as Bitcoin Core developers, so I don't think that’s a good substitute. Dogecoin has infinite inflation, which doesn’t make for a sound money. I could go on for each altcoin, but that'd be a very long list.

Let me slightly re-phrase the question, then: Why not create a new altcoin from scratch, specifically designed for the purpose you have in mind?

Most altcoins try to do something more than Bitcoin, which is fine. But we aren’t. Bitcoin decided to take a road with Segregated Witness and off-chain solutions. We are trying to continue to do what Bitcoin has been doing for some time.

I also ask this because the name “Bitcoin Cash” could be confusing for people, to the point where some consider it misleading or even fraudulent…

I did not come up with that name, but I like it. People will complain no matter what. This project wants to continue Bitcoin and grow it to become a peer-to-peer electronic cash used worldwide. Adding “Cash” seemed like a good way to differentiate and also convey the vision.

According to Merriam-Webster, “cash” means either “ready money” or “money or its equivalent (such as a check) paid for goods or services at the time of purchase or delivery.” How does that not apply to Bitcoin itself?

The second definition in particular doesn't quite work with high fees. If I buy something for $5 and I pay a fee of 50 cents, that's a big deal. Too much friction.

“Low fees” or “low friction” is not part of either definition.

But I want bitcoin to be a widely used electronic cash. A cryptocurrency that is used for day-to-day inexpensive stuff, as well as expensive purchases.

Because of the risks presented by bigger blocks, Bitcoin Core developers generally prefer to offload the day-to-day inexpensive stuff to layers built on top of the blockchain. Does Bitcoin Cash have no plans to adopt SegWit, or the Lightning Network, or other second-layer technologies at all?

I’m not against Layer 2 technologies themselves, they can add value. I’m just against not growing the base layer.

Bitcoin Cash will probably not see SegWit in its current shape, not as a soft fork. But fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen. Technology to enable building blocks over time, such as weak blocks, is also important to improve 0-confirmation security and scale to bigger blocks.

Another reason some rallied behind SegWit is that it would block covert use of the patented AsicBoost mining technology. Do you have any plans to block AsicBoost?

I crunched the numbers for the potential benefit that miners can get from AsicBoost, and I think SegWit doesn’t change that much. It’s a lot of noise for nothing. I don’t really plan to spend much time to either help or hinder it. There are more interesting and important things to do.

Who’s going to be developing Bitcoin ABC, or the Layer 2 solutions you mention? Because, let’s be honest, you don’t have much support from Bitcoin’s development community so far.

We do not plan to develop Layer 2 technologies; we plan to enable them. We ourselves will focus on the protocol itself, so on malleability and weak blocks. We have enough people to make it happen.

Who, exactly?

Apart from myself and Freetrader, Bitprim has been helping. That is a company that's building infrastructure for Bitcoin. Bitcoin Unlimited developers Andrea “Sickpig” Suisani and Antony Zegers have been helping out with Bitcoin Cash as well. And like other open-source projects, we have a kernel of people that contribute on a regular basis and even more that add a patch or two or help us with a specific problem.

The Bitcoin Unlimited developers in particular don't exactly have a pristine track record, with network-wide node crashes caused by bugs. Will this be any better for Bitcoin Cash?

We have a very different way of doing development than both Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited, mostly derived from my work at Facebook as well as LLVM where I worked prior. We focus on doing many small incremental changes rather than fewer, bigger changes. This makes code review easier.

Surely Bitcoin Core has a lot more review happening though, simply because they have more developers?

Core has a lot of developers, but also a process that is slow. Slow processes generally tend to have fewer errors, but also make errors more costly because the slow processes also apply to fixing errors. There is a sweet spot between those two. I think we strike a good balance with Bitcoin ABC.

Let’s assume you are right about being being capable of maintaining a multi-billion dollar project — but wrong about it ever becoming a multi-billion dollar project. What if users don’t choose Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin? Are you committed to Bitcoin Cash even as a smaller coin?

“What if I’m wrong?” That's a question I'm asking myself all the time. In fact, this is the very reason I think it is misguided to bake economic constants, such as the 1 megabyte limit or the weight system, into the protocol. Not only do I know I may be wrong, but I'm also convinced that most people don't know any better than I do. Figuring out what the market wants is a fool's errand. You got to try to do what you think is best and adapt as the situation changes.

I think it is pretty much inevitable that BCC starts as a minority coin. But longer term, it will either overtake Bitcoin or it will create an incentive for Bitcoin to scale. In either case, that'd be a win.

Yet, I may be wrong. Maybe the value of BCC will quickly drop to zero or close to zero. But unless it does, I will continue to work on Bitcoin Cash.

Disclosure: Aaron van Wirdum, the author of this article, holds BTC and will therefore also own BCC on August 1st.

The post The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 3:43 pm

North Korea Commences Large Scale Bitcoin Mining Operation - Bitcoin News (press release)


Bitcoin News (press release)

North Korea Commences Large Scale Bitcoin Mining Operation
Bitcoin News (press release)
Information recently surfaced that someone in North Korea has started mining bitcoin. According to Recorded Future, a threat intelligence company, on May 17 North Korea initiated a rather large mining operation. Prior to this date, there was minimal ...

and more »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:42 pm

'First' Ethereum Decompiler Launches With JP Morgan Quorum Integration

What could be the first-ever ethereum smart contract decompiler was demoed at a hacker event in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:15 pm

Investor Howard Marks: Cryptocurrencies Aren't Real

A noted investor is taking aim at bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, deeming them in a recent investor note as "not real".

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 12:51 pm

Fork Watch: These Bitcoin Exchanges Will Not Support 'Bitcoin Cash' - Bitcoin News (press release)


Bitcoin News (press release)

Fork Watch: These Bitcoin Exchanges Will Not Support 'Bitcoin Cash'
Bitcoin News (press release)
“The current User Activated Hard Fork (UAHF), including Bitcoin ABC, is a proposal to alter the Bitcoin protocol by creating a new version of the Bitcoin software, which will operate on its own, separate blockchain,” explains Coinbase and GDAX. “We do ...
The Fundamental Conflict At The Heart Of BitcoinForbes
HitBTC Confirms Bitcoin Cash Futures Trading, Will Credit User AccountsCoinTelegraph
Bitcoin Cash Wallet Support Is Coming to Trezor and (Unofficially) ElectrumThe Merkle
The INQUIRER -Gizmodo -The Economist (blog)
all 36 news articles »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 11:34 am

Bitcoin Store $5 Mln Fraud 'Operator' Haddow Falls to Police in Morocco - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Store $5 Mln Fraud 'Operator' Haddow Falls to Police in Morocco
CoinTelegraph
“Clandestine” businessman Renwick Haddow is in police custody as the US moves to arrest another Bitcoin bad actor. Multiple sources including the UK's Daily Mail report that Haddow, who allegedly conned investors out of $5 mln via a fake exchange ...
Morocco arrests British Bitcoin dealer wanted in USPhys.Org

all 2 news articles »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 9:19 am

Making Bitcoin work better - The Economist


The Economist

Making Bitcoin work better
The Economist
And each is passionate about bitcoin, a digital currency. One invented hashcash, which foreshadowed components of the crypto-currency; the other is the author of the first Chinese translation of the white paper in which Satoshi Nakamoto, the elusive ...

and more »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 9:07 am

Irish Central Bank Chief: Blockchain is One of 'The Largest Policy Challenges'

New technologies like blockchain represent a major policy challenge, according to the head of Ireland's central bank.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 9:05 am

Bitcoin Investment Vehicle Fined $120k by Nasdaq Exchange

The provider of a publicly traded bitcoin ETN has been fined by Nasdaq Stockholm for infractions of internal rules and financial regulations.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 8:05 am

Bitcoin Price: Resilience Triumphs Over Extreme FUD - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Price: Resilience Triumphs Over Extreme FUD
CoinTelegraph
Industry commentators are praising Bitcoin's “resilience” as BTC-e and SEC events fail to shake prices. In a statement broadly reflective of the current mood in cryptocurrency, entrepreneur and investor Alistair Milne said even more “bad news” would ...

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 7:21 am

Washington's New Cryptocurrency Exchange Rules Are Now in Effect

New regulations that apply money transmitter laws to cryptocurrency exchanges have gone into effect in the U.S. state of Washington.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 7:00 am

Here's why some Americans are risking their life savings on a BitcoinIRA - CNBC


CNBC

Here's why some Americans are risking their life savings on a BitcoinIRA
CNBC
It's similar in nature to other IRAs, except that instead of being funded by gold, cash, and bonds, it's backed by bitcoin. And the company isn't just dealing in bitcoin anymore. As of April, it now includes rival cryptocurrency ether, and it plans to ...

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 6:34 am

The DAO Report: Understanding the Risk of SEC Enforcement

A legal expert discusses the potential impact of a new SEC report on the use of blockchain-based tokens for fundraising.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 6:30 am

Bitcoin isn't real, and markets are darn hot, warns Howard Marks - MarketWatch


MarketWatch

Bitcoin isn't real, and markets are darn hot, warns Howard Marks
MarketWatch
Regarding bitcoin BTCUSD, +7.67% and its cryptocurrency rivals, Marks says “they're not real” and “perhaps even a pyramid scheme.” Read: This is what it will take for bitcoin to become a legit currency. Here, in Marks's own words, are the red flags he ...
Billionaire Investor Warns Bitcoin is Pyramid SchemeCoinTelegraph
Bitcoin SCAM warning: Currency is 'pyramid scheme' says top investor who predicted crashExpress.co.uk
Howard Marks Trashes Bitcoin: 'An Unfounded Fad'Wall Street Journal (subscription) (blog)

all 17 news articles »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 5:47 am

The Uniform Law Commission Has Given States a Clear Path to Approach Bitcoin

Legal analyst Peter Van Valkenburgh offers a positive take on new model legislation designed for state lawmakers.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 5:30 am

The Rate of Blockchain Patent Applications Has Nearly Doubled in 2017

The number of cryptocurrency and blockchain patent applications in the US has nearly doubled in the past year, USPTO data reveals.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 4:00 am

'Criminal mastermind' of $4bn bitcoin laundering scheme arrested - The Guardian


The Guardian

'Criminal mastermind' of $4bn bitcoin laundering scheme arrested
The Guardian
The Russian “internationally sought 'mastermind' of a crime organisation” accused of laundering more than $4bn in bitcoin, including funds obtained from the hack of failed bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, has been arrested in Greece. A US jury indicted ...
The World's Most Infamous Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Launderer Nabbed At Last?Daily Beast
Bitcoin Exchange Was a Nexus of Crime, Indictment SaysNew York Times
Bitcoin fraud suspect Vinnik charged by US grand juryBBC News
American Banker -Ars Technica -WizSec -US Department of Justice
all 149 news articles »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 3:10 am

Philippine Central Bank Sees Few Applicants for Crypto Exchange License

The central bank of the Philippines has seen little interest in its cryptocurrency exchange licensing scheme, according to a report.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 3:00 am

Malta Is Gearing up to Greenlight Bitcoin Gambling

The nation of Malta is taking steps to legalize bitcoin and cryptocurrency for use in its domestic gaming industry.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:00 am

$110 Million: BTC-e Fined as US Vows Crackdown on Bitcoin Exchanges

The US government has unsealed an indictment against BTC-e and one of its alleged operators, assessing a $110m fine against the bitcoin exchange.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 7:20 pm

SEC Weighs In on ICO Tokens as Securities; Ether Still Labeled “Currency”

SEC vs ICO tokens

It was only a matter of time before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) moved in on the “Wild West” world of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which has sent the blockchain world reeling. Yesterday, it finally did with its announcement that virtual tokens like the ones sold by the DAO are securities and now subject to federal securities laws.

The SEC statements reads in part: “federal securities laws apply to those who offer and sell securities in the United States, regardless whether the issuing entity is a traditional company or a decentralized autonomous organization, regardless whether those securities are purchased using U.S. dollars or virtual currencies, and regardless whether they are distributed in certificated form or through distributed ledger technology.”

The SEC is cautioning investors not only to be aware of the risks but also to ensure that those looking to get involved do their own due diligence as well.

One important distinction that seems to have emerged in the report, however, is that while DAO tokens are securities, Ether itself is still in the clear.

The Report seems to distinguish between Ether, labeled a virtual currency, and DAO Tokens, labeled a security. Market participants may take comfort in this distinction, as it supports the view that not all blockchain tokens are securities under the U.S. Federal Securities Laws. - Devebois & Plimpton LLC

The announcement, nevertheless, is expected to have an impact on token sales. As a result of this recent development, it is important to note that any company looking to raise capital through ICOs in the U.S. will have to take this SEC decision into consideration.

On the legal side, Louis Lehot of DLA Piper told Bitcoin Magazine: “Those considering a token offering would be well served to reconsider their plans and ensure compliance in all of these areas, from tip to tail.”

Lehot said: “The SEC’s release is most notable on its survey of many of the corollary issues which can be triggered under the federal securities laws when a token is deemed a security, from registration or exemption, whether general solicitation is permissible, to crowdfunding, to after-market trading and even addressed compliance issues under the 1940 Act.”

What Is “The Howey Test”?

The Howey test is the leading definition of an investment contract, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court case SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. Under the Howey test, an investment contract is “a contract, transaction or scheme whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits solely from the efforts of the promoter or a third party.”

According to Jaron Lukasiewicz, CEO of stealth blockchain project WORKFLOW and former investment banker, “The standard test is an investment in a business where the buyer has a reasonable expectation of profits based on the efforts of others. It should come as no surprise that the SEC found that buyers of the DAO Token purchased a security.”

He explained that the key feature of the DAO token was indeed an expectation of profit if the investments made by the DAO were successful, and so DAO tokens were expressly sold as an investment.  

Lukasiewicz added: “Unlike a token such as Ether, the DAO token had no other utility.  Many people in the industry at the time were concerned about the DAO for the reasons stated by SEC.”

Marco Santori, partner at Cooley LLP and legal ambassador for the Delaware Blockchain Initiative, shared an excellent summary of the report's key points on Twitter, touching chiefly on the distinction between tokens that are and are not securities.

santori screenshot

Arnold Spencer acts as general counsel for the Coinsource network of Bitcoin ATMs. He summed up the distinction in a succinct analogy:

If you buy an interest in a golf course to make money from the business, it is a financial investment and therefore a security. If you join a golf club to play golf, it is not a financial investment and not a security.

Important — but Not Surprising

Ron Chernesky, CEO of social trading platform investFeed, said that he welcomes the SEC announcement, although he also noted that “before yesterday’s announcement, it was common knowledge that ICOs have been enveloped in a regulatory [gray] area.”

It would appear that that gray area has now shrunk somewhat.

The post SEC Weighs In on ICO Tokens as Securities; Ether Still Labeled “Currency” appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 3:33 pm

The Big News Behind the BTC-e Arrest and Mt Gox Connection

CoinDesk takes a look at new developments in the Mt Gox case, attempting to provide an easy-to-read overview of the complex events.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 3:17 pm

Investor Tim Draper Calls on SEC to 'Grandfather' ICOs Into Compliance

Investor Tim Draper penned an open letter to the SEC today asking for the agency to carve-out exemptions for certain ICOs.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 1:04 pm

London Stock Exchange Partners With IBM to Develop Securities Data Blockchain

London Stock Exchange

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) subsidiary Borsa Italiana has announced plans to digitize securities certificate data with the adoption of IBM Blockchain.

The partnership between LSE and IBM will give small private European companies the opportunity to interact with shareholders and vice versa. It will also simplify the tracking and management of information by recording all shareholder transactions.

Commenting on the deal to Bitcoin Magazine, Ed Clark, senior press officer at the LSE, said, “It has the potential to allow private SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] to replace the paper-based system that currently exists that is both opaque and inefficient. Greater transparency could lend itself to trading opportunities in the future.”

Clark stressed that the development with IBM was initiated by the Italian subsidiary, adding, “This was a business-led initiative that came from Borsa Italiana — not built by LSE tech guys and then applied to a business-case, bottom-up approach.”

The solution is undergoing an initial test phase with a small group of LSE partners and clients. So far, the move is being met with approval by blockchain and exchange specialists.

Patrick Young, executive director of DV Advisors, an advisory company for exchanges, told Bitcoin Magazine, “The LSE deploying blockchain [technology] for private company data management makes eminent sense. It’s a simple first-level deployment as opposed to a radical shift involving retirement of legacy non-DL [distributed ledger] technology.”

This blockchain solution, developed in collaboration with IBM, is built on highly secure infrastructure technology with the highest levels of encryption commercially available.

The LSE is not the first European exchange to announce the use of blockchain technology. This year there have been a number of European banks that have said they are using blockchain-based trade finance for SMEs. This includes the American International Group and Standard Chartered Bank.

Eddy Travia, CEO of Coinsilium, a firm that finances and manages the development of early-stage blockchain technology companies, said to Bitcoin Magazine: “Blockchain technologies offer the potential for greater efficiencies and streamlined processes by reducing operational costs through automated transactions and smart contracts, thus removing costs usually associated with intermediaries.”

IBM is seeing blockchain technology as an important part of its security plans. The technology is built on Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, a blockchain framework. The projects are hosted by the Linux Foundation, and the system will allow sensitive securities data to be shared with permissioned network participants while remaining secure and gated.

Travia added: “Hyperledger is clearly targeting large corporate clients with their permissioned blockchain solution, but in the future it is likely that we will see the adoption of a range of blockchain propositions such as RSK, which offers a balanced solution between true decentralized public blockchains and federated nodes.”

“Sharing secure and transparent critical network data across shareholder networks is difficult using traditional system[s],” said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain, in a statement. “Blockchain [technology] is poised to help remove some of these barriers in traditional methods for the transfer of value — much as the internet did for the exchange of information in the late 1990s.”

The post London Stock Exchange Partners With IBM to Develop Securities Data Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 7:31 pm

Federal Government Approves Regulation Request of LedgerX

LedgerX

On July 24, LedgerX announced the CFTC’s approval for a Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) license under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). The license will allow the company to provide clearing services for fully collateralized digital currency swaps for the first time. On July 6, the CFTC also granted LedgerX an order of registration as a Swap Execution Facility. The company, which was founded in 2013, already received a temporary approval as a Swap Execution Facility in 2015.

Despite the approval, the CFTC highlighted that LedgerX’s current authorization “does not constitute or imply a Commission endorsement of the use of digital currency generally, or bitcoin specifically.” The Commission added that, along with the approval, it had issued a letter on July 24 exempting LedgerX from “certain regulations” implied by the CFTC due to the firm’s fully collateralized clearing model.

By obtaining a DCO license, LedgerX will be able to provide specific services on the company’s platform to participants, including obtaining and hedging bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by using exchange-traded and centrally cleared option contracts. With the regulatory approval, the company expects to list one- to six-month options contracts for bitcoin in addition to adding contracts for other cryptocurrencies, such as ETH options.

“A U.S. federally regulated venue for derivative contracts settling in digital currencies opens the market to a much larger customer base,” Paul L. Chou, the CEO of LedgerX, said in a statement. “We are seeing strong demand from institutions that previously could not participate in the bitcoin market due to compliance restrictions against unregulated venues. In particular, there is a desire for fund managers to hold financial instruments that are not correlated with the broader equity market, and digital currencies meet that need.”

LedgerX is planning to provide required services, such as surveillance and transparency, for institutional investors. According to the company, participants eligible for LedgerX’s services include registered broker dealers, banks, futures commission merchants, qualified commodity pool entities and qualified high-net-worth investors.

“These are exciting times to have a new digital asset class emerge. I hope that the effort LedgerX put forward in the U.S. can set the stage for a global approach to this new digital asset class,” Mark Wetjen, a member of the board of directors for LedgerX’s parent company, Ledger Holdings, stated.

According to Chou, the approval for the license took more than two years partly because of a long education process. LedgerX secured $11.4 million of funding in May, led by Miami International Holdings Inc. and China’s Huiyin Blockchain Venture Investments, to acquire the clearing license from the CFTC.

“LedgerX’s registration is a historic milestone for derivatives and for digital currencies. To me, it is equivalent to the launch of currency futures back in 1972 that heralded the beginning of exchange-traded and cleared derivatives based on financial products,” Gary DeWaal of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, one of the companies assisting LedgerX during its CFTC application process, said in a statement.

The post Federal Government Approves Regulation Request of LedgerX appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 5:33 pm

Bitcoin slammed by more than 10% to below $2500; Ethereum down big too - CNBC


CNBC

Bitcoin slammed by more than 10% to below $2500; Ethereum down big too
CNBC
Bitcoin fell to its lowest in five days Tuesday amid uncertainty over whether the digital currency will still avoid a split. Bitcoin dropped more than 10 percent to $2,487.13, its lowest since last Thursday when it hit a low of $2,276.16, according to ...
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Posted on 25 July 2017 | 2:41 pm

Eleven Global Cities to Participate in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017

Eleven Global Cities Announce Participation in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017

The Blockchain Education Network (BEN), a global network of blockchain communities, has announced a global Bitcoin Airdrop powered by bitJob to begin this new school year. Fintech communities and universities in 11 regions have agreed to participate including McGill University and the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada; UC Berkeley, Wake Forest University and St. Petersburg in the United States; University of Queensland in Australia; Trivandrum and Bangalore in India; St. Petersburg in Russia; and Puerto Rico and Colombia.

The first airdrop event begins on August 11 in Colombia, where Jorge Pérez, the director of BEN Colombia, is hosting a meeting at a restaurant. The airdrop then moves to St. Petersburg in Russia on August 16, where the giveaway is being held in unison with the ICO-Hypethon, an ICO-focused hackathon where blockchain developers will build infrastructure around ICOs to pitch to investors. The airdrop will continue on to other campuses and cities until the network has distributed the entire amount of donations.

Rodion Mikhalev, the director of BEN Russia and one of the organizers of the ICO-Hypethon, explained in a statement that “the Hypethon is a mix between a hackathon [and] an accelerator. It’s a 48-hour event hosted by Crypto Friends, where Eberhard Lindfordt will screen the top 20 projects out of hundreds of applicants. Teams chosen will receive help from experienced [b]lockchain experts which will help them finalize their business and lead them into successful ICO launches.

“There will also be ICO angels ready to invest their money into projects on the spot and whom will receive additional bonus coins if done so at the event. This is the perfect event in Russia to host the airdrop and to distribute bitcoins to the hundreds of innovators who will pass by in the 48-hour window, and we are excited to participate in it! This is a very rare and exciting opportunity which will attract some of Russia’s best talent and will pave the way to a better future worldwide.”

Alberto Jauregui, the director of growth of the Blockchain Education Network, said in a statement that he believes the “Bitcoin Airdrop serves as an engine to introduce students to the disruptive blockchain industry and incentivize them to band together to form new BEN chapters or regions.”

Last year, Jauregui hosted a small airdrop outside the main library at the University of South Florida and hid paper wallets throughout the campus. This year, he plans to coordinate an airdrop alongside a BitCrawl on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida. The date is to be announced. “Who doesn’t like free Bitcoin?” Jauregui added. BitCrawl is an event started in Montreal by the McGill Students Cryptocurrency Club and then continued by the Decentralized Tech Association at the University of Toronto, in which a main street agrees to accept bitcoin for an evening and a group of blockchain enthusiasts go between different venues.

High schools are also going to be giving away bitcoin at this airdrop. Sunrose Billing, the director of BEN’s high school network, said in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine that “blockchain [technology] and cryptocurrencies are really taking off and will absolutely continue to grow at a rapid pace. That’s clear when you see teenagers day trading, analyzing macro landscapes and taking the time to educate themselves about innovation in this space in their spare time.” Billing plans to airdrop bitcoin to his friends at University of Toronto School, a high school in Toronto, and he expects that many of his friends at other high schools will join this year’s event.

The title sponsor of the event is bitJob, a decentralized marketplace based on blockchain technology that connects students with part-time work. BitJob has already partnered with many of the blockchain clubs at the participating campuses of the airdrop, including McGill University and the Richard Ivey School of Business, that have agreed to seed the marketplace with the first students looking for work on projects that can help them become fully employed in the blockchain industry.

“It is a true honor to be sponsoring the 2017 Blockchain Education Network’s Global Bitcoin Airdrop across university campuses. BitJob shares a similar mandate with BEN to empower students and give them the necessary tools to compete in today’s marketplace. This year’s event is shaping up to be the largest ever as the popularity of Bitcoin and [b]lockchain [technology] continues to rise globally,” said Dror Medalion, co-founder and CEO of bitJob, in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine.

The airdrop is being supported by blockchain media firms Blockchain TV and BTC Media, digital identity startup DIID and blockchain consulting and development firm MLG Blockchain.

“I am very excited to be a sponsor in this year’s Blockchain Education Network’s global Bitcoin Airdrop 2017. BEN is a driving force behind empowering the youth of tomorrow, which makes for a great story to tell!” said James Gonzalez, co-founder and CEO of Blockchain TV, in a statement.


The post Eleven Global Cities to Participate in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017 appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 12:16 pm

Ether Price Analysis: Market Consolidation Provides Calm Before Next Breakout

Ether Price Analysis

Over the past few days, despite major swings throughout the crypto-market, ETH-USD finally appears to be displaying nice, reliable signs of market consolidation:

Figure_1 (1).jpgFigure 1: ETH-USD, 2-hr Candles, Bitfinex, Consolidation Pattern

Two key characteristics of market consolidation are decreasing volume over the course of a trend and decrease in price volatility. It should be noted that price consolidation can take many patterns and is not restricted to the convergent pattern (lower highs accompanied by higher lows) displayed above. For the sake of this article, we will focus on the convergent pattern displayed in our current market. To see the health of the overall market, let’s put this trend in the context of the weeks leading up to this pattern:

Figure_2 (1).jpgFigure 2: ETH-USD, 6-hr Candles, Bitfinex, Macro Fibonacci Retracement Values

Within the context of the macro trend, our consolidation pattern falls very neatly on the 60 percent Fibonacci Retracement values of the macro bull trend that brought us to our all-time high values. When looking at the health of this trend, the first thing that pops out is the large amount of supportive volume (shown in yellow) that has gone into shaping the current ETH-USD volume. The current volume trend far outweighs any of the previous volume trends throughout the life of the bear market and even throughout the life of the previous bull run that led to all-time high values.

If we zoom out even further, we can see our current volume is actually at the highest volume the market has seen since its last major consolidation period within the $40 values:

Figure_3 (1).jpgFigure 3: ETH-USD, 1-Day Candles, Log Scale, Bitfinex, Last Major Consolidation Period

The previous consolidation period (shown in yellow) resulted in a substantial Bull Pennant pattern that resulted in a bull run that doubled the market value of ETH-USD. Something interesting to note is our current consolidation pattern within the context of the entire market since the last consolidation pattern. If we look at the market moves post-consolidation as a massive bull run — which, technically, it is — we see ETH-USD is consolidating very nicely on the 50 percent Fibonacci Retracement values.

Although the price projections for our current consolidation period is substantially lower than the last major consolidation period, the important aspect to take away from Figure 3 is the magnitude of the volume the market has experienced over the past couple weeks. High volume leading into a consolidation period is a good sign that the market has found its bottom and is now gathering up support and investor confidence before a breakout.

There are two ways to view our current consolidation pattern:

  1. An agnostic (meaning it’s neither bullish-leaning nor bearish-leaning), symmetrical triangle;

  2. A Bull Pennant (a bullish continuation pattern).

For the sake of time, I won’t go into details regarding how to calculate the price targets of these patterns. Both symmetrical triangles and Bull Pennants are very commonly traded patterns and have a lot of literature to support their price targets. If this pattern turns out to be a symmetrical triangle and the consolidation breaks down, we can most likely expect a move down to the $180 range before any further upward movement is seen.

However, if this is a Bull Pennant, ETH-USD can most likely expect a ~$100 move upward, leading to a price target of approximately $330. It’s important to note that a price target of $330 would result in a 100 percent retracement since the beginning of our prior bear run. If the market breaks upward and we do see a $330 price target, a test of this 100 percent retracement value will be crucial to determine the future moves within the ETH-USD markets.

Summary:

  1. ETH-USD has spent days consolidating along $230.

  2. A breakout upward would most likely yield a $330 price target.

  3. A breakout downward would most likely yield a $180 price target.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Ether Price Analysis: Market Consolidation Provides Calm Before Next Breakout appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:17 pm

Bad Karma: Community Objects to “Opportunism” of Buddhism on the Blockchain

Lotos

Last week, startup company Lotos published its new project on Reddit aiming to create a decentralized religious community, supporting Buddhism and meditation, based on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the company’s white paper, the community’s structure will be segmented into three parts: “an off-blockchain software platform” connecting the teachers and the students; “an internal economy supported by ERC20 tokens purchased by subscription fees and a central banker smart contract;” and “a website and
database backend connected to the network with Swarm.”

The ERC20 compatible Karma (KRM) token will be used for on-platform exchanges and for crowdfunding the development of the platform. In addition to that, if users are able to grow the network, they will receive KRM as a reward.

The company believes they can create a blockchain-based community by combining science and religion in a radical way. There is even a statement from Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, included in the whitepaper:

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false… then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

The Lotos community will be divided into two parts: students and teachers. Teachers will be either elected or assigned by the company’s owner. They offer religious services for the students including “facilitating student retention and progress,” creating content for the network and “recruiting” new students. The teachers will earn Karma tokens for their activities.

On the other hand, the students can freely register into the community, although, for a price. Lotos will allow students to join “temples” and classes but they have to pay KRM tokens to do so. Furthermore, there is “Karma-gated” content, which is only available if certain students pay a flat monthly subscription fee. Students can also earn KRM bonuses if they meditate, the more regular their activity is, the more bonuses they can earn, the whitepaper detailed.

When Lotos published its whitepaper in the Ethereum community on Reddit, they received hard criticism. Most of the users argue that Buddhism does not comply with materialism.

“I think ‘searching meaning beyond materialism’ and material ‘reward of spiritual practice’ don't mix together very well. Just a thought,” one user wrote.

“Dude what you are doing is not Buddhism it's Opportunism. Buddhism is about Simplicity, you are leading people into Complexity. Basically with your System people's Incentive to meditate IS TO MAKE MONEY (NOT LIBERATION),” another user wrote on Reddit.

Others in the community suspect that the whole project, which is planning to launch an ICO, is a scam or some sort of money grab.

“Here's the problem man: you are coming out with an ICO right at a time when the inherent corruption in ICOs is very much a public thing. I like the idea of a decentralized meditation app, I really do. However the fact that you are doing an ICO for ‘decentralized religion’ on something that isn't non-profit ESPECIALLY BUDDHISM screams scam, and I believe it is one. If this is really your passion to help people around the world learn to meditate and become spiritual, you wouldn't have a for-profit business model. Without a non-profit, you really don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to spirituality,” a user named “PJBRed27” said about the project.

Surprisingly, it seems the negative opinions on the project made Lotos change some of the concepts of the project:

“We are changing direction a bit now:

  1. Remove ICO mention from all marketing material / stop the crowd-fund campaign and work on building our community.

  2. Start playing the slow and steady ‘snowball going down a mountain’ game.

  3. Write blog posts at least once per week, each post highlights one of the community's biggest concerns with our project (like why we need ERC20 tokens).

  4. This also gives us time to find both blockchain and buddhist advisors.

  5. Move away from 'Buddhist’ to ‘Secular Meditation’.”

The post Bad Karma: Community Objects to “Opportunism” of Buddhism on the Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:14 pm

Mastercard and Cisco Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Mastercard

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was recently joined by 34 new members, including Mastercard, Cisco, Scotiabank and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, bringing the total membership of the consortium to over 150 organizations.

On July 18, 2017, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance published a press release claiming that — with the 34 new members and the total size of 150-plus participants — the EEA became “the world’s largest open-source blockchain initiative.” According to the consortium, which focuses on developments on the Ethereum blockchain, the newest members of EEA represent a “wide variety of business sectors, including technology, banking, government, healthcare, energy, pharmaceuticals, marketing, and insurance, as well as a number of fast-growing Ethereum startups.”

The main concept of the nonprofit is to “build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, open standards, and open source reference architectures.”

There was a bit of confusion in the Ethereum Reddit community since Mastercard was not listed among the new members in EEA’s press release. However, Andrew Keys, head of global business development at ConsenSys, cleared up the issue.

“Mastercard is indeed a new member of EEA. They asked not to be in the press release document but approved being on the EEA official website. They may be doing their own communications on this,” he wrote.

CEOs and representatives of many of the newly joined members of the EEA expressed their gratitude and commitment toward the project.

“As Fintech Valley Vizag in Andhra Pradesh aims to become a vital financial technology hub, it is working on adopting more robust systems that are cost-effective. With security issues all over the world, there is no doubt that blockchain technology is set to be the biggest disruptor not only in the financial world, but also [in] a number of online and offline sectors. We are keen on integrating blockchain technology into governance and look forward to our collaboration with Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and provide market access to the community,” J. A. Chowdary, special chief secretary and IT advisor to the chief minister at the Government of Andhra Pradesh (India), stated.

“OTP Bank keeps focusing on innovative technologies. Nowadays we think that the most valuable asset is the trust between the bank and the customers. Blockchain technology gives several advanced solutions in [the] security industry. OTP Bank has chosen Ethereum as a partner, because we consider it a state-of-the-art blockchain technology. Via joining the Ethereum community, OTP will be able [to] achieve its goals smoothly. Through the common standards and best practices evolving in Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, our IT systems will be more secure and highly developed,” László Popovics, head of IT innovations at OTP Bank — the leading bank in Hungary and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe — wrote.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was formed in late February by a group of financial institutions, blockchain startups and innovators. The consortium — with J.P. Morgan and Intel as the most prominent names among the founding members — aims to standardize blockchain tech for enterprise settings. At the time of the EEA’s launch, the participants created a reference architecture for their project, called “EntEth 1.0,” which has a stronger focus on privacy.

Excluding Mastercard from the list, the newest members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance include:

2Advise; Amalto Technologies; Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK); Aquilon Energy Services, Inc.; ASSETH; BLOCKO Inc.; Bloq; Cisco Systems; Cybersoft Digital Services Corp.; Enter Corporation Co., Ltd.; Equities.com, Inc.; Finclusion Labs, Inc. (WeTrust.io); Government of Andhra Pradesh; HashCash Consultants; HEAL Alliance; iEx.ec; Lazarski University; Loyyal Corporation; MadHive; Mattr; NetObjex Inc.; OTP Bank Plc.; QIWI Blockchain Technologies LLC.; Revelry; RISKebiz; Scotiabank; Streami Inc.; Talkcrypto.org; Technical University of Munich; Texcent Asia Pte Ltd; TIS R&D Center, Inc.; TokenCard/Monolith; Ventured and Ypse IT Solutions.

The post Mastercard and Cisco Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:06 pm

Bitcoin reaches new all-time high: $ 3,000

Posted on 12 June 2017 | 1:06 am

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Consulting firm EY Switzerland accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 26 November 2016 | 12:47 am

Bitcoin Trading Bots

There have been a wide variety of situations in which algorithmic trading programs have proven to be beneficial for investors. However, investors who only trade a cryptocurrency can also take advantage of bitcoin trading bots. Through bitcoin bot trading, traders can become more flexible and prompt, minimize errors and process information more rapidly. At this… Read More »

Posted on 8 November 2016 | 6:20 pm

Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 12:43 pm

Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 11 December 2014 | 5:06 am

Mozilla accepting Bitcoin

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 1:55 pm

PayPal and Virtual Currency

Posted on 23 September 2014 | 9:52 pm

airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

Posted on 12 June 2014 | 12:41 pm

Bitcoin Core version 0.9.1 released

Posted on 8 April 2014 | 4:27 pm

July 27, 2017 -
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