New Milestone for Bitcoin: Over One Million Daily Active Addresses

New Milestone for Bitcoin: Over One Million Daily Active Addresses

                                  

The number of active addresses on the Bitcoin blockchain

has recently surpassed one million, a figure the flagship cryptocurrency hasn’t seen since late November of 2017, when it was on its way to an all-time high close to $20,000. The number of daily active addresses essentially defines the number of unique “from” or “to” addresses being used in a single day, and doesn’t mean there are one million users transacting BTC per day.How many people use the Bitcoin blockchain per day isn’t clear. While various companies in the cryptocurrency space have revealed they have millions of users, how many of these merely buy and hold coins is unclear. While the number of unique daily active addresses seems to not show much at first, it indicates that most transactions in the cryptocurrency space aren’t just being made by large cryptocurrency exchanges, and that adoption is slowly growing.

Cryptocurrency researchers Kevin Rooke noticed the number of daily active bitcoin addresses surpassed the one million milestone, and noted that the last time it occurred BTC was trading at $9,350, with the median transaction fee being of $3.23, while the median transaction fee is now less than half of that. Curiously, shortly after reaching the one million milestone, bitcoin’s price started rising, from $8,450 to a $9,300 high. At press time, CryptoCompare data shows the cryptocurrency’s price corrected, and is at little over $9,000. As covered one of the factors behind the flagship cryptocurrency’s price rise could be Facebook’s entry into the crypto space. Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, noted yesterday he sees BTC surpass the $10,000 mark by June 21 because of it.

Article Produced By
Francisco Memoria

Francisco is a cryptocurrency writer who's in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. His work has been published in numerous reputable industry publications. Francisco holds various cryptocurrencies

https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2019/06/new-milestone-for-bitcoin-over-one-million-daily-active-addresses/

3 Reasons why BitMesh’s Removal of XRP Won’t Matter Much

3 Reasons why BitMesh’s Removal of XRP Won’t Matter Much

                              

There are dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms around the world.

Some companies have a better reputation and reach than others, which is only normal in this nascent industry. BitMesh, while not the most popular exchange, will delist various trading pairs. One of them is XRP, which raises a fair few questions.

The Surprising Removal of XRP from BitMesh

In an email sent out to its customers, the BitMesh team explains how several altcoins, tokens, and assets will be removed from the platform over the next few days. While most of these offerings will not cause anyone to lose sleep whatsoever, the removal of XRP is a rather noteworthy development in its own right. It is one of the top markets in this industry, thus one has to wonder what has driven this decision exactly. There are many different reasons which may contribute to such a turn of events. At this time, it is evident XRP is one of the least liquid markets on the Bitmesh trading platform. It is only traded against Bitcoin, which will not exactly get too many people excited right away. This trading pair is also available on virtually all major trading platforms, where volume is not an issue whatsoever.

No Real Impact on Trading Volume

With the low trading volume offered by Bitmesh, it seems this delisting will not cause any major concerns in that regard either. Ripple’s native asset can be traded across roughly 400 trading pairs, which doesn’t even include BitMesh. There are also quite a few other exchanges which don’t node any real trading volume for this asset right now, yet they show no indication of removing this pair anytime soon. It is rather remarkable to see how much trading volume XRP can generate these days. A fair few trading pairs focus on the USDT market or fiat currency pairs, which are a lot more popular than trading the asset against Bitcoin these days. Albeit Bitmesh also provides USDT and USDC trading, it never allowed Ripple’s asset to be a part of that select club, for some unknown reason.

Price Impact Should be Minimal

While it is never good to learn a particular market will be removed from an exchange without much of an explanation, this decision will not disrupt XRP’s overall price trend. The exchange in question is too small to have any notable effect in that regard, although there might be a few panicky Tweets and other social media messages moving forward. For most users, it is best to ignore any panic-spreading attempts or FUD regarding Ripple’s asset. After all, this is a very minor exchange taking a course of action which has seemingly everything to do with liquidity rather than anything else. It is still advised BitMesh users withdraw the to-be-removed assets in the next two weeks, as no further withdrawals will be honored afterward.

Article Produced By
JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is a FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world's leading freelance Bitcoin writers.

 

https://nulltx.com/3-reasons-why-bitmeshs-removal-of-xrp-wont-matter-much/

Coinbase Spotify and eBay Reportedly Among List of Corporate Giants Backing Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency

Coinbase, Spotify and eBay Reportedly Among List of Corporate Giants Backing Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency

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 Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency, aka “GlobalCoin” and “Libra”,

will reportedly be governed by a new consortium of corporations and non-profit organizations. The social media giant established the Libra Association to include over a dozen companies that will act as founding members of Project Libra to launch Facebook’s new stablecoin. GlobalCoin, pegged to multiple currencies, is expected to debut early next year. The Block has published a list of the consortium’s founding members who will reportedly invest $10 million each.

Founding Members of Facebook’s Libra Association

Anchorage, Andreessen Horowitz, BisonTrails, Booking Holdings, Calibra (Facebook subsidiary), Coinbase, Creative Destruction Lab, eBay, Farfetch, Iliad, Kiva, Lyft, Mastercard, MercadoLibre, Mercy Corps, PayPal, PayU, Ribbit Capital, Stripe, Thrive Capital, Uber, Union Square Ventures, Visa, Vodafone, Women’s World Banking, Xapo

Unlike other cryptocurrencies that are trying to spur adoption and build recognition, Facebook’s coin will capitalize on its household name and the ability to eventually leverage its user base of 2.5 billion monthly active users. According to reports about Project Libra’s GlobalCoin, which has been under wraps for months, it’s designed to spawn a global network of crypto transactions including cross-border and domestic payments among friends and family with PayPal-like ease and Facebook-friendly features. The network, if successful, could power a global platform for e-commerce transactions among merchants worldwide. It could also position Facebook to offer more financial services and compete with banks.

Article Produced By
Daily Hodl Staff

https://dailyhodl.com/2019/06/15/coinbase-spotify-and-ebay-reportedly-among-list-of-corporate-giants-backing-facebooks-new-cryptocurrency/

Cardano Updates Its Roadmap What’s In For Investors?

Cardano Updates Its Roadmap – What’s In For Investors?

                             

Cardano (ADA), the proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain network built on peer-reviewed academic research,

is being developed into a decentralized application (dapp) development platform with a multi-asset ledger and verifiable smart contracts. Cardano’s blockchain aims to be highly scalable, interoperable, and sustainable for real-world applications on an enterprise level to build the economy of the future. While that all sounds amazing, the project still has a lot of work to accomplish, and IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong), the parent company of Cardano, has released an updated roadmap outlaying progress towards its 2020 vision:

Cardano’s 5 Eras

Cardano’s roadmap can be broken down to 5 eras, namely Byron (Foundation), Shelley (Decentralization), Goguen (Smart Contracts), Basho (Scaling), and Voltaire (Governance). Each of the eras is centered around a primary goal with various releases and developments throughout the era to achieve this goal. The eras are completed sequentially, with research and development of future eras overlapped with one another (some of the work is being done in parallel). The first era (Byron) was officially completed this year, and now the primary focus is on completing the Shelley era. Currently, Cardano is in the Gougen era but is still very much focused on Shelley, which is supposed to be completed by the end of the year. Shelley’s mainnet is now live, and as its development continues, research and development for Goguen, Basho, and Voltaire will begin in parallel. Cardano’s roadmap is only updated until the end of 2020. By this time, Cardano’s development is expected to be vastly completed, and the focus will be on the blockchain’s governance (the Voltaire era).

Final Thoughts

As seen in the image above, the era we are currently in (Goguen) is right in the middle. It is intended to be one of the most formative eras of Cardano’s roadmap, as it’s tipped to be the one that brings mass adoption. However, IOHK is still working on finalizing Shelley, and then Goguen is set to be completed in the first half of 2020. By then, it’s expected that Cardano will have achieved a sufficient level of adoption with real-world use cases. A competing cryptocurrency project that has already achieved real-world adoption is Ethereum (ETH), which is being adopted by enterprise businesses such as Deloitte, Microsoft, Amazon, Ernst & Young, and others. Therefore, Cardano has some serious competition, and it will be interesting to see how these two projects compete once their roadmaps and blockchain technology are completed.

Article Produced By
Jeremy Wall

https://www.investinblockchain.com/cardano-updates-its-roadmap-whats-in-for-investors/

 

Facebook’s Crypto Division Brings on Uber Visa amp PayPal as Backers as Globalcoin Nears

Facebook’s Crypto Division Brings on Uber, Visa & PayPal as Backers as Globalcoin Nears

                              

Facebook Bags Investments With Uber, Visa, PayPal For Venture

Traditional fintech firms, save for Bitcoin pundit Jack Dorsey’s Square, have been slow to adopt cryptocurrency. While PayPal has dabbled in the arena, purportedly launching a digital token for internal testing last year, firms like Visa, Mastercard, and their ilk have been hesitant to take the plunge. In fact, an executive — the chief executive — from Mastercard called crypto “junk” last year, citing the lack of transparency and their non-conformity to traditional finance. This is quickly changing though, with news that the aforementioned firms are investing in Facebook’s digital asset play. Reported Tuesday first by The Wall Street Journal, three major fintech companies are looking to invest a likely competitor to their own services. This competitor, as aforementioned, is Facebook’s foray into the cryptocurrency industry. The Journal, citing sources familiar as normal, claims that Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, the recently-‘IPOed’ Uber, Stripe, and other big names in finance/tech will be contributing around $10 million to an entity that governs the coin.

This capital will be used to purchase assets meant to back the cryptocurrency, which is most likely going to be a stablecoin tied to a basket of fiat currencies. This $10 million lines up with recent reports that revealed Facebook will be charging that eight-figure sum to those looking to run nodes for the cryptocurrency. This recent report, which comes after rumors indicated Facebook has been in discussion with giants like Visa, was dropped just ahead of the supposed June 18th release date of the whitepaper of “Globalcoin”, the name of the cryptocurrency. As Blockonomi has covered extensively, Globalcoin will likely be a private cryptocurrency that allows for low-cost, rapid, and borderless value transfer between Facebook’s billions of clients.

Globalcoin to Boost Crypto, Aid Bitcoin Adoption

Anyhow, regardless of Globalcoin’s exact nature, some have ventured that its launch will be the largest catalyst for Bitcoin adoption — and thus price — in this industry’s history. Blockchain Capital’s Spencer Bogart broke down his thoughts on the matter in an extensive Twitter thread. Put short and sweet, the stablecoin is “among the most bullish external tailwinds for Bitcoin in 2019/2020”. Bogart adds that the only bigger catalyst for BTC growth will be quantitative easing (an inflationary fiscal policy), which he calls a “reinvigorated push among central banks for easy-money globally”. Explaining the importance of Facebook’s Globalcoin, Bogart explains that the corporate cryptocurrency “eases the biggest friction in acquiring digital assets”, in that it makes getting fiat into this ecosystem extremely easily. Once fiat is allocated towards Globalcoin, the investor assumes that value can flow easily between the Facebook ecosystem and something like, let’s say, Bitcoin or Ethereum.

He writes:

“Facebook making a concerted push for digital asset adoption and creating a circular economy is great because it solves that friction point. Once people are holding/earning a digital asset, it’s relatively trivial to go from, for example, USDC to BTC.”

Also important is that Globalcoin will catalyze growth in cryptocurrency infrastructure, pushing companies to build everything from custody and wallet services to compliance measures and exchanges. In fact, the investor postulated that once Globalcoin hits the mainstream, “large financial institutions” will be incentivized to join in on the bandwagon.

Not Flawless

Many still see issues with Globalcoin, however. Most notably, issues with privacy and governmental oversight. Just the other day, Mark Zuckerberg was thrown into yet another scandal involving the privacy of his creation’s users. Emails published by the Journal on Wednesday revealed that Zuckerberg has been involved in “potentially problematic privacy practices”. More specifically, the Silicon Valley all-star mentioned issues with privacy in emails, evidently accentuating that he has been following these situations closely. The thing is, for the longest, Facebook has been slow to act in terms of stemming privacy issues. And some fear that this seemingly negligence may continue with Globalcoin.

Article Produced By
Nick Chong

Nick has been enamored with cryptocurrencies since finding out about them in 2013. He now reports on crypto- and blockchain-related news for a number of leading outlets.

https://blockonomi.com/facebook-crypto-uber-visa-paypal/

Shadow Banking Explained: How Crypto Companies Play With Money in the Dark

Shadow Banking Explained: How Crypto Companies Play With Money in the Dark

                             

In the narrative fabric of 2019, a common thread has been the vulnerability and counterparty

risks of centralized exchanges and their detrimental effects on clients caught in the crossfire of hacks, mismanagement and fly-by-night fraud. Barely into the new year, the topic was red hot. News of QuadrigaCX’s insolvency following the suspicious death of its founder (who allegedly passed with the sole knowledge of the exchange’s private keys) lit up discussions in the early part of the year. In the ensuing months, hackers poached Binance, Cryptopia, Bithumb and a handful of minor exchanges for roughly $200 million in cryptocurrency.

But these mishaps feel like sideshows compared to the main attraction: Bitfinex. At the end of April, an ex parte order filed with the New York State Supreme Court by the office of New York’s Attorney General (NYAG) revealed that Bitfinex lost $850 million to its third-party payment processor, Crypto Capital. Bitfinex then took out $625 million from Tether’s reserves and opened up a $900 million line of credit with the stablecoin to cover the missing funds.

The news set off a volley of court letters between Bitfinex and the NYAG. Bitfinex called the attorney general’s actions a “gross overreach.” The NYAG accused Bitfinex of gross negligence (like not disclosing the Tether deal to clients and conducting business with Crypto Capital with nothing but a verbal agreement). And Bitfinex even launched a token to recoup funds. Plenty of unresolved questions still loom over both QuadrigaCX and Bitfinex’s recent failings. But one common link exists between both casualties.

Crypto Capital

Along with a motley of dubious fiduciary partners, QuadrigaCX also used Crypto Capital to process payments. In fact, Crypto Capital gets around: Kraken and ShapeShift made use of its services in the past as well. Typically, banks have more or less pushed exchanges toward payment processors like Crypto Capital; they refuse to open accounts for these exchanges for fear of being implicated in shady business practices. (Of course, this doesn’t stop these same banks from suffering regulatory bludgeoning and massive fines for money laundering in “legitimate” sectors.)

Given Crypto Capital’s deep roots in the crypto exchanging business, some critics have called it the industry’s “central point of failure.” This is overstated on a macro scale, but for the micro examples like QuadrigaCX and Bitfinex, there’s a grain of truth. The dangers became more apparent when Americans Reginald Fowler and Ravid Yosef, the heads of a company called Global Trading Solutions, were charged with running “a shadow bank that processed hundreds of millions of dollars of unregulated transactions on behalf of numerous cryptocurrency exchanges.” Global Trading Solutions is the parent company of Crypto Capital.

That phrase, “shadow banking,” has stuck to the tongue and ears of the community. It gave a form and definition to the intricate web of shell companies, makeshift fiduciaries and seedy practices that have come to define the lengths to which some exchanges have to go — whether by choice or necessity — to provide fiat services to their customers. But what exactly is shadow banking and how is it possible? And how expansive is the web of third-party payment processes that prop up some of the space’s most popular exchanges?

Pulling the Strings

“There was some mis-information floating around with Crypto Capital — where the funds might be and how the Panama banking sector works,” Pamela Garner, director of financial investigations and education at CipherTrace, told Bitcoin Magazine. Before joining the blockchain analytics firm, Garner spent a decade working for the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer. Her speciality was identifying money-laundering tactics used by the drug cartels, specifically in Mexico and Panama. Panama also happens to be the seat of incorporation for Crypto Capital. For years, Panama was a prime spot for druglords to offload dirty money — Garner referenced this portrayal with Pablo Escobar in Narcos, for example.

But the Panamanian government, facing pressure from U.S. officials, tightened up its banking regulations in 2016 to quash such practices following the Panama Papers leak. It’s still absurdly easy, however, for foreign persons to set up a business in the country. According to Garner, the country’s privacy laws make it even easier to obscure ownership and even business history.

Law firms in Panama will sell entrepreneurs “off-the-shelf companies”: companies that exist in name only and have no active business attached to them. These law firms create these companies with the explicit purpose of selling them to customers at a later date, once they’ve reached a vintage that a buyer finds appealing. The law firm profits and the business owner gets the benefit of a company with history to its name. In reality, the business is just days old, but on paper, it could be as much as 5, 10 or 15 years old.

“Now my company isn’t brand new when I go to open a bank account in Switzerland tomorrow, instead of them seeing that this company was created last week,” Garner explained. For the next step, all you need is a Panamanian citizen to sign on as a board member, a director or in some other leadership role to get started. Garner did this when she set up her own business in Panama and asked her nanny to sign on as secretary. In her case, she knew this nanny. But other entrepreneurs are free to ask any random person off the street for their ID and signature to get their company started. “You can go out and pay somebody $100 to sign a document, take their identification and then they’re on a board of directors,” she said.

Shadow Banking With Shadow Identities

These presta nombres, which literally translates to “loaned names,” can then act as decoys for the company’s leadership. This could explain why Panamanian citizens are all over Crypto Capital’s list of nominal subscribers, Garner said. If you go to the company’s website, information on team members is nowhere to be found, and if you were to search Panamanian records, you’d also come up short of finding any team members other than these presta nombres.

For example, one of Crypto Capital’s nominal subscribers, Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, is also listed as its president. Media has pegged him as a Canadian citizen, but Garner suggested that, because of his position as president under Panamanian business laws, it’s entirely likely that he also has Panamanian citizenship. These nominal subscribers are the only names that go on record. Because of Panama’s lax business laws, the actual equity holders of a company are rarely — if ever — put into the books.

“What Panama does really well is that it hides beneficial ownership. Beneficial owners are almost never written down in Panama, so nobody knows who actually owns the company,” Garner said. Instead, Panama issues bearer shares to represent company ownership; whoever owns the paper, owns that share of the company. To make pinning down company stakeholders even more slippery, law firms that help these companies incorporate grease the process by pre-drafting letters of resignation. These signed-and-ready documents allow for fast-and-loose restructuring, as they only need to be dated to seal the deal. The benefit of something like this? “We still don’t know who owns and runs Crypto Capital. That’s the benefit,” Garner said.

Internet sleuths and certain journalists have pegged Fowler and Yosef, the two Americans implicated in the legal takedown of Crypto Capital’s parent company, Global Trading Solutions, as the ostensible owners of the payment processor. This is “unlikely,” according to Garner, due to Panama’s banking laws. “Panama came to an agreement with the U.S. in 2016 requiring U.S. persons to provide info and report to the IRS when they open a bank account, so it’s unlikely that the owners are U.S. persons,” she explained. Moreover, when a company signs on with a Panamanian bank, that bank is required by law to conduct know-your-customer (KYC) due diligence on anyone with over 25 percent equity in that company.

Funneling Money

Indeed, CipherTrace in its research for its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) report found no evidence of Crypto Capital establishing bank accounts in Panama. So how did Crypto Capital move funds if they didn’t have Panamanian bank accounts? This is where Global Trading Solutions comes in. “They set up in Panama but they’ve also registered in other countries as well,” Garner said. In fact, global trading solutions has set up shop in multiple countries: There’s Global Trading Solutions LLC (U.S.), Global Trading Solutions AG (Switzerland) and Global Trading Solutions GmbH (Germany), among others. This makes getting a bank account in those regions feasible, and, in turn, gives Crypto Capital/Global Trading Solutions a roulette of banks to cycle through to move funds.

Why not just bank with Crypto Capital? Well, the name itself wouldn’t exactly inspire confidence with a potential banking partner. Banks don’t want to work with cryptocurrency companies because the potential for money laundering (particularly with any exchanges that don’t implement KYC rules) is outside of their risk tolerance. As Garner put it: “Global Trading Solutions is a better name than Crypto Capital if you’re trying to hide stuff.”

Once Global Trading Solutions opened up accounts in these countries, it likely didn’t tell the banks the nature of its business, lest its accounts get shuttered. And if it didn’t tell the bank, it probably didn’t register as a money services business in these jurisdictions, either. The company would play this game until it got caught. “They use those accounts as much as they can until they get caught by the bank,” Garner said. “And it’s not the government closing those accounts; it’s the banks. Once they see where the money is coming from, that’s going to exceed the risk appetite of that bank.”

Red Flags

Crypto Capital/Global Trading Solutions’ banking partners, on several occasions, seem to have felt like they bit off more than they could chew. Between Global Trading Solutions AG/LLC/GmbH and a few other front corporations, the Crypto Capital shell company empire has had bank accounts shut down with HSBC and U.S. Bank in the U.S., Deutsche Bank in Germany, Caixa Geral de Depósitos in Portugal, Bank Zachodni and Bank Spó?dzielczy W Skierniewicach in Poland and Bank ING in the Netherlands.

Most likely these closures arose from suspicious activity. When asked what suspicious activity could entail, rather than just dealing in cryptocurrency, Garner declined to comment. If a bank flags suspicious activity, the account holder would have fair warning before the account is closed. But to keep it open, they have to give a reason for the bank to trust the nature of their business. “In most cases,” Garner said, “the bank would reach out to the company and ask for additional details (like, ‘What are these transactions for? What are you guys doing?’) and they probably never received any additional details.”

Picking Up the Pieces

Garner made it clear in her talk that, while she might belabor her explanation, the differences between establishing business relationships and establishing banking relationships in Panama are significant. The latter is riddled with limitations due to the Panamanian government’s legal agreements with the U.S. This is why it is unlikely that Crypto Capital did any banking in the country. “Everyone likes to say that the money is sitting in Panama. We haven’t seen any Panamanian banks mentioned in any of the documentation, so it doesn't appear that Crypto Capital was utilizing Panamanian banks, or if they were, they were closed pretty quickly,” Garner said. After following the trail of closed accounts and Crypto Capital’s scrambling to move funds internationally, Garner thinks that “the Crypto Capital money is in various bank accounts around the world.”

So the $850 million in Bitfinex’s missing funds is likely fragmented and scattered in other bank deposits or in the form of cashier checks that one of Crypto Capital’s multitudinous shell companies has yet to deposit. They might be in limbo after a bank account closure, as sometimes it takes months for the funds to be returned. Another possibility is that a significant chunk of these funds was seized by Polish and Portuguese officials following the account closures of Crypto Capital’s shell companies in those jurisdictions. Bitfinex argued as much in one of its legal responses to the NYAG’s ex parte order. Garner said that it’s unlikely that Bitfinex knew much at all about Crypto Capital’s business. (It didn’t even get their business relationship in writing.) These “intimate relationships” which are extremely loose in structure require “implicit trust,” Garner opined.

Crypto Banking Woes "Not Overstated"

Therein lies the rub for the “dangers of a third-party payment processor system and the industry’s over reliance on it,” said Garner. “Because of that relationship and trust, it tends to be the case that KYC/AML procedures aren’t followed.” If KYC/AML policies were followed, these exchanges and/or their payment processor partners might find it easier to secure banking relationships. Still, Garner said that it’s inordinately difficult for these crypto companies to convince banks to open their accounts to them. Because of this, they have to turn to entities like Crypto Capital to provide fiat on/off ramps for their clients.

Whether by nature of lax regulation or the company’s own decision, she believes that crypto banking woes are “not overstated.” This is especially true in places like Canada, where QuadrigaCX operated, where there’s no litmus for an exchange’s trustworthiness. The solution, then, is more regulation, even if some of the space’s more principled disciples are clambering for less. Garner’s of the mindset that a fusion of New York’s BitLicense, which she finds heavy-handed, and FinCEN’s guidance, which she says is too light, would offer a good balance.

“Regulation goes both ways,” she said. “It can keep the QuadrigaCXs out there from playing fast and loose. And it can also set expectations for what is a good, well-oiled exchange for banks to support. Banks want regulation to know how to evaluate a cryptocurrency exchange. They need a checklist.” So regulations can’t resurrect the cash that Crypto Capital may have lost, laundered or simply been unable to find a home for. But, at the very least, they could save customers and exchanges like Bitfinex from stumbling into similar pitfalls down the road.

Article Produced By
Colin Harper

Colin is an associate editor and staff writer for Bitcoin Magazine. He's proud to call Nashville his home, where he lives with his family and doesn't eat hot chicken as much as you might think.

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/shadow-banking-explained-how-crypto-companies-play-with-money-in-the-dark

Decentralization Is the Essential Foundation of Blockchain’ Exclusive Interview With Cudo Ventures’ Matt Hawkins

‘Decentralization Is the Essential Foundation of Blockchain’, Exclusive Interview With Cudo Ventures’ Matt Hawkins

                            

Matt Hawkins is a serial entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Cudo Ventures,

a company whose GPU mining software is running on machines in over 130 countries around the world. We sat down with Matt to have a chat about crypto mining, the future of Proof of Work, and his views on the dominance of ASIC mining rigs.We all know that Proof of Work coin mining can be easily dominated by ASICs and larger mining companies. How can you compete with them?

Matt Hawkins: While ASICs are highly efficient in certain circumstances, their Achilles Heel is that they can only mine coins on a single algorithm. When the dominant coins change their Proof Of Work algorithm, or drop their block reward as Ethereum did joining the hard fork, the hardware instantly becomes unprofitable and the ASIC unit redundant. In response to this wastefulness, communities have long fought ASIC dominance–Constantinople disappointed Ethereum GPU miners by not proceeding with Progressive Proof of Work, which would have readdressed the ASIC-GPU balance, and other crypto assets such as Monero have declared war on ASICs and are resisting ASICs by changing their algorithm every 6 months.

Many other algorithms are substantially harder to build ASICs for, such as X16R, which changes between 16 algorithms, mining in a different order each time. For this reason, FPGAs have become more attractive for those who can afford the capital expenditure and obtain the Bitstreams required to reprogram them. Cudo Miner is currently focused on mining with GPUs, which have the advantage of being highly flexible and adaptable to changes in workload. Our software helps GPU and CPU miners to adapt to changes on a daily basis–from switching algorithm in the event of a fork, to mining the most profitable coin based upon market dynamics.  In the current climate, most people will buy a GPU for gaming and choose to mine. But for the same reason, building a GPU mining rig offers a greatly reduced risk because the graphics cards have a substantially higher aftermarket value than ASICs.

What’s At Stake For Proof of Work?

PdH: Is Proof of Work going out of favor? And if so, will that impact Cudo?

MH: There’s a lot of enthusiasm for Proof of Stake, as proposed by Vitalik Buterin for the Ethereum Istanbul hard fork. NEM’s Proof of Importance is also interesting because it’s designed to be energy efficient and doesn’t require specialist hardware–and its ‘Delegated Harvesting’ rewards contributors for consistent support of the network rather than raw compute power.  But that doesn’t mean that Proof of Work is dead. The new Mimblewimble coins Grin and Beam are more lightweight than bitcoin, but they still chose to employ Satoshi Nakamoto’s Proof of Work to create distributed trustless consensus and solve the double-spend problem.

Cudo Miner’s focus is on Proof of Work because mining provides users with monetization of their hardware, but if they are offered alternatives that are more profitable and satisfy their broader aspirations, they will try something new. All decentralized networks rely upon computing resources, and provided there are incentives for participation, there are ways software such as Cudo Miner can help make it easier for enthusiasts who want to support those networks to get started, and for bigger commercial operations to easily manage how their resources are utilized. The crypto technology market is evolving and how you earn revenue is evolving. Cudo is already developing solutions which are not typical Proof of Work. This will make substantially better use of hardware. 

                              

The User Friendly Interface of Cudo

PdH: Your interface is very user friendly, and your closest rival lacks the ability for users to adjust the percentage power of their CPUs/GPUs dedicated to mining. Is that a technically difficult feature to add? Because it seems intuitive and obvious, but you’re the first to my knowledge to do it.

MH: We come from a service provider background managing environments supporting hundreds of thousands of servers and millions of users. We see this as how the industry should be, so we designed everything from the ground up this way.  It’s about making life as easy as possible for the user. What you see at the moment is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the features we have coming out in the next few months. It’s always a lot harder to retrofit these types of solutions in.

PdH: What are your thoughts, generally, on mining centralization? Is this a threat to the integrity of the network? Is it just capitalism at play? Do you think it’s healthy?

MH: Decentralization is the essential foundation of blockchain, and block rewards are what made it reach critical mass. However, as the market value of bitcoin soared it attracted huge capital investments in ASIC mining which caused centralization of hashing power. This had a knock-on effect making it impossible for widespread GPU miners to compete for a slice of the rewards, so they moved on to mining other currencies. This, as was widely reported, threatened bitcoin with a 51% attack scenario, where the entire validation of a decentralized network is lost.

But as more players come into the space and there is more choice, then greater decentralization follows. Decentralization is key to blockchain. You need people developing platforms and solutions that make life easier for mass adoption of mining and cryptocurrency. As the cryptocurrency ecosystem grows over time, the stability of the networks and their mining foundations is what will bring further adoption. I think designing and nurturing a distributed network is one of the biggest challenges for any crypto asset network, and we will see a lot more innovation because blockchain networks are still very much a technology frontier.

Mimblewimble–Hype or Real Promise?

PdH: What are your thoughts on Mimblewimble coins? Are you excited by the scalability possibilities they offer? Or is it all meaningless hype?

MH: For me, Mimblewimble is an exciting protocol! The confidential transactions enable an improved level of privacy compared to many of the current privacy coins. One of the issues with many of the blockchains is the growth of the size of the blockchain, and specifically the size of the locally stored file. Mimblewimble has a level of pruning built in which will help alleviate this. This can enable faster transactions with less impact on blockchain size.

Of course, at present it has a few drawbacks. For example, it currently does not support scripting, and if this is implemented it would be a substantial benefit. The Beam project has put forward suggestions around this. For the rest of the crypto community, the immediate difficulty is in transferring funds. With GRIN, for example, the receiving wallet must be online at the same time to receive funds. This can be inconvenient, but it also has a security benefit because it reduces the risk of someone managing to get your private key. It’s still early days, but I think the protocol and the current coins have great potential.

PdH: Cudo–I’ve used it myself–is not profitable unless you get free electricity and don’t mind burning through your laptop’s lifespan. Is Cudo addressing this conundrum somehow, or just waiting for the next bull market like everyone else?

MH: The profitability of mining varies hugely depending on what hardware you’re using, how much you’re paying for your energy, and of course what the market is doing. For popular crypto assets, you will need more than a laptop to mine–a gaming rig with a powerful modern graphics card such as a NVIDIA GTX 1070Ti is really the baseline for profitability and new cards such as the NVIDIA GTX 2070 or Radeon 7 are particularly strong for mining.

Right now, the markets aren’t favorable. Ravencoin is currently one of the most profitable coins to mine, but it changes daily, and new coins can present a strong initial reward. There are lots of people equipped with the right hardware and energy tariff, for whom it’s about eking the best out their rigs during the bear run. Anyone who is mining will tune their GPUs and overclock for maximum performance per Watt, within safe heat constraints! The miner’s priority is keeping everything ticking over and having the confidence that they are earning day and night, and not losing money from their mining software crashing or because they joined a dodgy mining pool.

Commercial mining farms tend to cash out in fiat as they go, or at least enough to cover their fees, but GPU rig miners are typically more engaged in the community and choose to mine and hold their preferred currency during the downturn, waiting with the rest of the crypto community for the market to pick up. People need to make their own good choices, and Cudo makes it easier to mine new coins and automatically switch to the most profitable coin. While the market is down, everyone is waiting for it to rally, but Cudo will always give the most transparent and accurate projected earnings for miners, with constant developments coming out and improving profitability every week.

Article Produced By
Paul de Havilland
 Paul de Havilland is a fan of disruptive technologies, an active VC investor in promising startups (with exits exceeding $10M), and has experience covering both traditional and emerging asset classes. His passion is violin and opera – he is a long-time student of a protege of Placido Domingo.

https://bitsonline.com/decentralization-essential-foundation-blockchain-interview-cudo-matt-hawkins/

How To Sell Bitcoin for PayPal Convert your Bitcoins to USD via PayPal Instantly

How To Sell Bitcoin for PayPal – Convert your Bitcoins to USD via PayPal (Instantly)

                            

Do you want to sell your Bitcoins and receive funds via PayPal?

If your answer is yes, then here I’m sharing some of the best and working methods to sell your Bitcoins for Paypal money. You can Convert your Bitcoin to USD and receive the funds via PayPal. Here are some of the supported and tested platforms that you can use today:

  1. Coinbase
  2. ChangeX
  3. Localbitcoins

How to Sell Bitcoins for PayPal:

Coinbase:

Coinbase is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange that let you withdraw funds via PayPal. You can either withdraw cash to PayPal or sell crypto to your PayPal account. This feature is available in the selected region, and if your region is supported for PayPal payouts, you will see an option to connect your PayPal account to Coinbase account.

To get started,

  • Head over to Coinbase.com
  • Create an account and complete all identity verification steps
  • Go to Settings > Linked Account and click on the link an account
  • Select Paypal (If you see it) and connect with your PayPal account

Here are the limits imposed on PayPal withdrawal by CoinBase: At this moment, the supported regions are mostly from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, and a few other countries. If Coinbase doesn’t work for you, no need to lose your heart. Other websites let you sell Bitcoin for PayPal money. Let’s have a look at the second best option. Create an account on CoinBase

ChangeX:

ChangeX is a popular digital currency exchange website. Here you can deposit Bitcoin and withdraw funds directly to your PayPal address. In a single transaction, you can convert Bitcoin worth $800. I know the limit is not high, but it works flawlessly.

To use the Bitcoin to PayPal feature, here is what you need to do.

  • Head over to ChangeX website
  • Click on register and create an account
  • Select BTC under “Exchange from” and PayPal under “Exchange to” section.
  • Enter the PayPal email address

Make the Bitcoin deposit, and within some time, you will receive funds to your mentioned PayPal address. Changex is one of the best ways to cash out your Bitcoins to PayPal.

Localbitcoins:

Localbitcoins is known as eBay of Bitcoin. This platform connects the buyer with the seller, and you have the option to sell your Bitcoins for PayPal money. The key is to find a reliable seller.

  • Head over to Localbitcoins
  • Click on Quick sell
  • Now, select your currency, country, and Paypal as a payment option (See screenshot below)

The left column consists of the name of the seller, the number of successful transactions and reputation. Another factor you want to consider is the price and limits. Some of the sellers offer high selling limit, and some of them have a low limit. Click on the price to read more info about the offer. Read the terms of the trade and make sure you can comply with them. For example, here are one Sell bitcoins using Paypal with US Dollar (USD) offer looks like: Click on “Send trade request,” and then after that, you can start the transaction. If you don’t have an account on Localbitcoins, then create one.

Conclusion: Bitcoin to PayPal Exchanges

For now, these are the best option for you to cash out Bitcoins to PayPal. As the Bitcoin adoption is increasing day by day, I’m expecting more similar high-quality services will come out in the near future. As soon as I find something worth sharing, you will get notified as well.

Article Produced By
Harsh Agrawal

Howdy, Welcome to popular Cryptocurrency blog 'CoinSutra'. I'm Harsh Agrawal, a tech enthusiast & Digital nomad from New Delhi, India.I started CoinSutra to help users around the globe to learn about popular Cryptocurrencies.Here at CoinSutra I write about Bitcoin Wallet, Cryptocurrency wallets, Online Privacy & Security, VPN experiences & making money from Crypto.

 

Bitcoin Price Topped 9000 Could Activate a New Resistance at 10K

Bitcoin Price Topped $9000, Could Activate a New Resistance at $10K

                                

It’s been another wild week for bitcoin price watchers,

with their favorite cryptoasset briefly topping $9,000 USD. The mini bull run lost some steam as BTC crashed back below $8,000 and others fell by similar percentages. What could happen next? Read our technical analysis report for a better idea.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

After the last rocket climb to $8,000 flipped up all indicators, the Disbelief Mass Psychological Analysis phase gave way to Hope. Due to a bullish consensus recovery, targets at $8,000 were surpassed amid strong support from Fundamentals, News, and traditional media to reach the $9,000 level. The most probable scenario can be analyzed with prices entering a sideways lateral movement between $8,000 and $10,000, possibly with $7,000 as a strong support level if prices exit that range. Upper resistances (if an upward movement starts) are at $10,000 and $12,000, depending on external factors.

When quotes reactivated the $8,000 target, Formation analysis showed a new Diamond in the chart, bringing back a Wait and See attitude among operators. The current lateral market seems to recognize $9,000 as an upper resistance and $8,000 as a primary support — building another Diamond formation in the process. If values break out to the up side, the next resistance can be confirmed at $10,000. Mathematical indicators reflect high volatility, and bullish consensus increases from positive traditional media coverage on bitcoin’s recent performance.

After a long term lateral market, an uptrend that started on April is driving the action through the current $9,000 scenario. New formations and figures reflect stability inside the rising channel recently conquered. If values consolidate around the $8,000 level by sustaining a lateral market, bitcoin’s next step would be to rise to $10,000. If a Wait and See attitude prevails among operators, a new Diamond formation could delay any upward movement until some external factor backs the Bullish Consensus and Hope psychological phase. This could give way to Optimism with neutral positions re-entering. However if the $8,000 support is broken, the next support remains at $6,000.

Article Produced By
Ramiro Burgos

Ramiro is a technical analyst specializing in stocks, futures, options and Bitcoin. He provides weekly analysis on the bitcoin price for Bitsonline. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ramiro has worked in the financial industry since 1987, with his technical analyses appearing in local and global news publications.

https://bitsonline.com/bitcoin-price-topped-9000/

 

9 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges In The World To Buy Any Altcoins

9 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges In The World To Buy Any Altcoins

Here is a consolidated list of best cryptocurrency exchanges with my comments:

  1. Binance:Offers mobile app and probably the fastest growing exchange. If you need to pick only one, this is the best and #1 in 2019.
  2. Bitmex: Very popular with high volume
  3. KuCoin: One of the strongest exchange that also offers a mobile app (Android and iOS). They have been constantly updating their mobile app to make it one of the best in the industry.
  4. CEX: My favorite
  5. CoinMama: Old but gold and let you buy BTC and ETH instantly.
  6. Bittrex: Another high-quality exchange with a lot of coins
  7. Changelly: Instantly convert any cryptocurrency to any of your choices. Great for instant conversion

                              Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Slowly and steadily, Bitcoin and altcoins are getting attention from more investors

all around the world. And why not? These cryptocurrencies are time and again proving themselves to be a safe haven against government’s inflationary policies. That’s why some people are even securing cryptocurrencies as their retirement funds, while some are doing pure speculation with short-term trading (i.e. buy low, sell high). And let’s not forget about those who are just starting off by looking around to find the answer to questions like:

  • Where do I buy such currencies?
  • What are the best cryptocurrency exchanges?

But before we talk about the best exchanges out there, I need to tell you that it’s not too late to get invested in cryptocurrencies. At the time of this writing, the Bitcoin and altcoin market is at an all-time high, with a market cap of $166 billion. I believe we will cross the $250 billion mark later this year. So now that you know you should invest, here’s where you need to go to do that.

Note: This list is starting from easy to use exchanges and moving towards some of the advanced exchanges.

9 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Trading Cryptocurrency

1. Binance

Binance is a rapidly growing exchange that concluded its ICO a few months back. Though it is based out of China, it doesn’t serve its native country but is open to almost all countries around the world. Since its ICO to till date, it has grown tremendously and is now placed in top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It now has more than 140 altcoins listed on it which are only increasing as the days are passing. Binance being a centralized exchange has taken a unique take to expand its business and also provides a decent discount for day traders if they use BNB coins. BNB is Binance Coin which is the native currency of this platform. Binance’s fee structure is also unique. To start with they have 0.1% standard trading fee which is already quite less than other peers. You can even reduce your fee further if you pay your trading fee in BNB according to the below-shown structure.

To get started with Binance you need to register using your email ID and the process is quite simple & fast. Moreover, you get 1 QTUM coin as a kind gesture for registration which is limited to 10,000 QTUM coins on first come first basis. Binance is one of the few exchanges that offers mobile app for iOS and Android. Being using it for a while, I find it too easy to trade cryptocurrency while on the move. You can watch this video to learn how to use their mobile app. They also have aggressive plans like multi-lingual support, mobile apps for both iOS and Android users, Binance Angel Program,  and the Community Coin Per Month etc for more adoption of their platform.

BitMex is high volume crypto exchange created by a talented team of economists, high-frequency traders and web developers for the crypto community. Here you will never find any issues regarding the liquidity of your cryptocurrencies. The primary currency traded on this exchange is Bitcoin and its future contracts. Apart from Bitcoin contracts, one can also play around with future contracts for altcoins such as Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Cardano, Litecoin, Ripple. The registration process on BitMex is quite simple where you just need to register through your email ID and their fee structure is also quite straightforward as shown below: Trade On BitMex

3. KuCoin

KuCoin is another easy and hassle-free cryptocurrency exchange. KuCoin offers many popular and unique coin such as DragonChain, $KCS, and many others. Just like Binance, they offer a fully functional mobile app for Android and iOS. To get started with KuCoin, you can deposit any crypto of your choice ex: BTC and start trading. Personally, I have been using KuCoin since last quarter of 2017 and they are getting popular day by day. Get started with KuCoin

4. Changelly

Changelly is one of the easiest ways to get ahold of various cryptocurrencies. Changelly has a proven track record of consistently good products being put out into the crypto-space. One of the best things about Changelly is that you don’t need to go through any lengthy verification or registration process. You just log in with your email ID (or any email ID) and start exchanging! Currently, it supports more than 35 cryptocurrencies along with fiat pairs such as USD/EUR. It is one of the best and easiest to use exchanges out there. If you want to know more, check out Harsh’s review on Changelly.

When you use Changelly to exchange cryptocurrency, Changelly bots connect in real time to some of the best and busiest cryptocurrency exchanges in the market to get you the best price. Usually, when using Changelly, a crypto-to-crypto exchange takes 5 to 30 minutes. They charge a commission fee of 0.5% on each trade, which I think is minimal in exchange for the volatility and risk that they bear on behalf of their users. In addition to the commission, a miner’s fee is also paid by the user and is deducted directly from their crypto balance. But all you need in order to buy from Changelly is a VISA/MasterCard (credit/debit card) or any Changelly-supported cryptocurrency and a wallet where you want to receive your new coins. The procedure is very simple. Head toward CoinSutra’s Cryptocurrency Exchange – Changelly, and follow the steps given in this guide.

Note: Though this guide shows how to buy Ripple in exchange for BTC, the process is exactly the same to buy any other Changelly-supported cryptocurrency. And if you want to buy cryptos using a VISA/MasterCard, then here is their official step-by-step guide on doing that. (Even though this guide is for buying BTC using a VISA/MasterCard, the process is the same as buying any other Changelly-supported cryptocurrency.)

5. Huobi Pro

Huobi Pro is an international cryptocurrency exchange that originated in China but now has moved across the world to serve a maximum number of investors. It is based out of Singapore and has been operating in this space successfully for the last five years.

As we speak, it occupies the #3 spot on CoinMarketCap’s list of exchanges by volume and has 244 cryptocurrency pairs. Hence, needless to say, of this, you will never face liquidity problems on this exchange. They also have mobile apps for both Android and iOS for users who want to trade cryptos on the go. Their registration process is also pretty simple and straightforward, so go ahead and do the needful. Oh, and just so you know, the exchange fee is also pretty low. Have fun. Do read, Huobi Exchange Review & Benefits of HT token: Can It Pull Off Another Binance?

  • Join Huobi Pro

6. Bittrex

Bittrex is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange that provides you the option to trade more than 190 cryptocurrencies at a time. They are well-regulated and compliant with all of the current US rules, so crypto users need not worry about the safety of their funds. Bittrex handles one of the largest BTC trading volumes out of all the exchanges in the world.

Here, the users (buyers/sellers) decide the rates in which they want to trade, and Bittrex charges them a small service fee for providing this platform (0.25%). To get started with Bittrex, you need to register and log in through your email ID, but to withdraw funds, you need to do a KYC by submitting your ID documents and phone number, as well as enabling two-factor authentication for higher limits. But one good thing about Bittrex is the account verification happens quite fast.

Bittrex supports two types of accounts:

  • Basic Account – withdrawal funds worth up to 3 BTC/day.
  • Advanced Account – withdrawal funds worth up to 100 BTC/day.

Bittrex is a “crypto-only” exchange, meaning it doesn’t allow you to deposit fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP, etc. They provide access to advanced trading tools like candlestick charts and crosshairs, but the user interface is quite clean and intuitive, so newbies should have no problems. You can visit Bittrex and open a Bittrex account by following this official step by step guide here.

7. Poloniex

Founded by Tristan D’Agosta, Poloniex has been operational since January 2014 and is undoubtedly one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It is based out of the United States and offers +100 cryptocurrencies to its users to trade. When you talk about trade volumes, nothing beats Poloniex. In 2017, Poloniex had the highest volume for ETH because it supports an independent Ethereum market as well as a BTC market.

It is a crypto-only exchange, but you can start trading easily by depositing USDT (Tether dollars). Poloniex also has zoomable candlestick charts for 5-minutes, 15-minutes, 30-minutes, 2-hours, 4-hours, and 1-day, along with a stop-limit feature for advanced cryptocurrency traders. Poloniex charges a fee of 0.15% to 0.25% on all trades depending upon whether you are a maker or a taker. So if you are looking to trade a variety of altcoins, then you should give Poloniex a shot. To get started with Poloniex, follow this official guide. Remember: As soon as you sign up for Poloniex using your email, do make sure to enable two-factor authentication! Check out Poloniex

8. Bitfinex

Bitfinex is another one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges out there. Based out of Hong Kong and operational since 2014, it gives its users the option to trade the following 13 cryptocurrencies in exchange for USD or BTC:

  • Bitcoin
  • Bcash
  • Dash
  • Ethereum
  • Zcash
  • Monero
  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum Classic
  • OmiseGO
  • EOS
  • IOTA
  • Santiment
  • Ripple

Update: They have added a lot more cryptos recently. Unlike Bittrex and Poloniex, you can trade using USD (with a wire fee of at least $20). Also, users will need to pay a trade fee which varies from 0.1% to 0.8%

Also, whenever you withdrawal or deposit anything, you are charged a certain fee:

On Bitfinex, if you are a pro-trader, you will find advanced trading tools such as limit orders, stop orders, trailing stop, fill or kill, TWAP, and others, along with different market charts. To get started on Bitfinex, you need to register, verify your ID, and authenticate yourself. It typically takes 15-20 business days after submitting valid ID proof before you’re accepted into the platform. And whenever you get bored with the web version or want to trade on-the-go, you can use Bitfinex’s Android and iOS mobile apps.

The Best Crypto Exchanges

Using the above cryptocurrency exchanges will allow you to buy almost all of the cryptos you could ever want to buy. However, there are a few more cryptocurrency exchanges that you should have an account with, as there are a few coins that are only available there. It’s a good idea to have an account on most of these, which will save time when you discover a winning coin.

Some of those exchanges are:

  • Gate.io
  • YoBit

I will update this post as I find other trustable and feature-rich cryptocurrency exchanges. For now, you can consider joining our Telegram channel to stay updated with all the latest info. I hope these insights help you in choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange for you to use.

But one word of caution:

  • Don’t use these exchanges as a wallet to HODL your cryptos.

If you are storing cryptocurrencies on these exchanges for a few hours or even a few days for the sake of trading, then it’s probably OK. Otherwise, this is a bad practice. Large-scale hacks like Mt. Gox can happen at any time. I would strongly recommend you to use the Ledger Nano S or a wallet like Exodus, where you can store a lot of different cryptos and control your private keys.

Article Produced By
Harsh Agrawal

Howdy, Welcome to popular Cryptocurrency blog 'CoinSutra'. I'm Harsh Agrawal, a tech enthusiast & Digital nomad from New Delhi, India.I started CoinSutra to help users around the globe to learn about popular Cryptocurrencies.Here at CoinSutra I write about Bitcoin Wallet, Cryptocurrency wallets, Online Privacy & Security, VPN experiences & making money from Crypto.

https://coinsutra.com/best-cryptocurrency-exchanges/