Úno 17

Achievement Unlocked: Bitcoin Surpasses 1,000 ATMs Worldwide

· February 17, 2017 · 9:00 am

The number of Bitcoin ATM’s has surpassed 1,000th, a milestone in the history of Bitcoin that marks the continued growth of its infrastructure across the globe.


Bitcoin Hits 1,000 BTM’s

Today, CoinATMRadar celebrates the submission of the 1,000th Bitcoin ATM on their website. A significant moment for the website that tracks the presence of these machines worldwide, but even more so for the Bitcoin community in general.

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The current number of Bitcoin ATM’s currently stands at 1,002, according to CoinATMRadar.

Now, Bitcoin can be bough (and sold with two-way machines) at these physical locations without a bank account in 55 countries. CoinATMRadar provides users with information on where to find these ATMs, explains how they can be used for remittances, how to set up their own ATM business along with a profit potential calculator.

chart

Bitcoin ‘automated teller machines,’ sometimes called BTMs, play a vital role in Bitcoin’s global infrastructure. They provide a brick-and-mortar local to acquire Bitcoin extending the cryptocurrency’s reach.

They also provide convenience for users by saving time without the need to wait for bank transfers to clear. Also with the increasingly sophisticated methods being used in skimming operations, the Bitcoin counterparts provide a higher degree of security since no magnetic-strip cards are involved.

This milestone marks yet another success for the adoption of Bitcoin, which is beginning to gain traction in places where it previously had none. Demand for Bitcoin ATMs is growing in places like Texas, which has recently received eleven new BTMs.

4 Years of Continued Growth

The first BTM was placed in the Waves coffee shop in downtown Vancouver, Canada by Robocoin on October 29, 2013. Since then, Bitcoin ATMs have increased in popularity, demand and features.

Today, these provide the invaluable service of readily available currency conversion between fiat and crypto, including altcoins like Ether, Dash and others.

While all Bitcoin ATMs allow users to interact with cryptocurrencies without a bank account, the majority of these are still one-way. According to CoinATMRadar, only about 36% of all bitcoin machines are two-way.

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Additionally, the vast majority of Bitcoin ATM’s are located in either North America or Europe.

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Alternatives to BTMs

Although the service provided by Bitcoin ATM operators is highly valuable, certain apps are starting to provide highly functional and simple methods of exchanging fiat and cryptocurrencies without relying on banking institutions or BTMs.

Among these are Spare and Abra, which allow users to buy or sell Bitcoin through registered merchant locations. These merchants get to empty their bulky cash registers while also driving people to their store without the need to host or buy a physical machine. 

As the world moves into a cashless society through the introduction of demonetization policies, it is possible that both these apps and Bitcoin ATMs will become obsolete. However, BTM operators seem to understand this and welcome the change.

Michael Dupree EasyBit

In a previous interview with Bitcoinist, Michael Dupree, founder and CEO of EasyBit said:

Nothing last forever and we are well aware that the market is dynamic and continuously evolving, so if the society turns to a cashless structure we, as all ATM companies, will have to adapt to that change providing new types of services. What we are sure about is that it is a thrilling opportunity to live in this moment of big social, political and economic changes and we want to be here for the long term.

Will this growth in Bitcoin ATM’s continue far into the future? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CoinATMRadar, EY.com

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Úno 12

Three Easy Ways to Improve Your Bitcoin Privacy & Security

· February 12, 2017 · 6:00 am

As the world of Bitcoin becomes bigger, more lucrative and more mainstream, there are going to be more eyes on the industry. Here are three easy ways to boost your privacy and security.


Spotlight On Your Security

Whether its surveillance from government agencies or hackers looking for bitcoins and information, here are three ways to improve your Bitcoin privacy that you may know, but aren’t exploiting.

Bitcoinist_Security Ransomware Cisco

Using Bitcoin is not anonymous, as most current users already know. The public Bitcoin blockchain will not reveal your identity directly, but your Bitcoin transfers can be tracked with block explorers. Some of the best ways to improve your privacy – at least until the protocol itself is upgraded with more privacy-enhancing applications – is by upgrading how you interact with the internet itself.

1) Tor Browser

Tor takes the proxy concept to your browser, directly. It’s a free option; you just have to download the browser. Tor is originally a government concept, so if you are trying to avoid government surveillance, it may not be right for you, but it is the first layer of protection and can give you peace of mind against the low-level online hacker.

Bitcoinist_Transparency Tor

This is a far better option than using the same IP every day, in your hometown, for your online banking and your Bitcoin usage. If you are just using your local network’s IP, you need to step up your game and step into the 21st century.

2) Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

This is something I have used for years that most people online, or who use Bitcoin, do not use. A VPN is a great way to use the internet more freely, and Bitcoin as well. The main benefit is these networks provide you with an encrypted service, just like Bitcoin does. Think of it as the most advanced proxy service you can buy.

circumventing the ban is easy with virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxies

A VPN gives you a choice of servers and IP addresses to choose from. The number of choices will depend upon your choice of VPN network, but the best provide hundreds of thousands of IPs that you can switch between on demand, or at any interval you choose. I set mine to switch every hour, automatically. Try to shop for a no-log VPN provider, so the VPNs themselves cannot track you. You may want to look into providers like Firetrust and Pritunl

And a VPN can give you better internet access. Maybe the servers in your area are not the fastest, or you live in an area where you have restricted access. With a VPN, you can test all the servers on their network, see which ones are the fastest, or in a less surveilled area, and you are getting more security and faster downloads. A win-win. It’s a great investment in your online peace of mind for $60 a year or so, and many of these services even accept Bitcoin for payment, too.

3) Take Your Bitcoins Offline

If you have all your Bitcoins in a common online wallet like Coinbase, it’s hard to say you are really taking Bitcoin privacy and security seriously. No offense to Coinbase or Blockchain, but no one should keep all their bitcoins in one basket.

It is hard to find an online wallet provider that hasn’t been hacked, or isn’t under attack every day for the next decade. Maybe they have outstanding security, but the criminals are coming up with new ways to steal every day, so why take the chance?

KeepKey

Only store Bitcoin in online wallets that you are comfortable losing to theft. A wise Bitcoin user with any real cache of bitcoins would keep 80-90% offline in a paper wallet or hardware wallet, such as Case wallet, Ledger, Trezor or KeepKey.

You only access these bitcoins when you choose to, and can take your wallet on the road with you, or keep it in a safe, offline. Take your Bitcoin wealth on the plane and not get harassed by customs. A $60-$99 investment that should give you peace of mind no matter where you roam.

What do you think is the best way to maintain your privacy and Bitcoin security? Let us know in the comments below!


Image provided by Abine, Shutterstock

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Led 12

Here Are Some More Creative Ways of Using Bitcoin in 2017

· January 12, 2017 · 5:00 am

We’re seeing a lot of new ways of using your Bitcoin, some more creative than others. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at how all of those Bitcoins you have accumulated can be used to get anything from the latest gadgets to more discounts and special offers.


Bitcoin recently reached a new all-time high by crossing over the $1,000 mark. Those who were skeptical about the future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now far more confident about the future. But for many, Bitcoin is already the go-to currency used to make everyday purchases of all kinds.

Bitcoin for Businesses

One of the most interesting developments is how businesses started using Bitcoin as part of their operations. When sending micro-remittance to various recipients, Bitcoin works better than conventional remittance options from banks and financial institutions.

shutterstock_529057198

Bitcoin is far cheaper than existing alternatives. Businesses no longer have to worry about exchange rate differences and bank fees when sending money to vendors and contractors overseas. The fact that Bitcoin can be cashed in just as quickly in almost every country in the world means it is a viable payment solution many more businesses will use in 2017.

There are also Bitcoin apps and services that specialize in sending and receiving money. Luno, for example, is an app that allows individuals and businesses to manage their Bitcoin accounts, including making cash withdrawals to local bank accounts in most Asian and African countries. Other services are just as easily accessible.

Pay Your Bills

Another interesting way of using Bitcoin is for paying bills. Yes, your monthly bills can now be paid using Bitcoin, either through an intermediary service or directly to the recipient. You may find that some loans, including NJ home equity loans, can also be repaid using Bitcoin.

The use of Bitcoin to pay bills means you also don’t have to pay bank charges and other fees. There are services that will help manage and automate your bill payment using Bitcoin as a payment method. Once you have entered all of your regular bills and how much need to be paid, the service will deduct the right number of Bitcoins from your wallet automatically.

shutterstock_537448696

It will still be a few years before Bitcoin is more commonly used this way, but those who are making the switch this year are pioneers nonetheless. It will be interesting to see more of these expenses added to the list of things you can pay for using Bitcoin.

Hold On to It

The new administration was one of the reasons why Bitcoin reached its $1,000 milestone again after a couple of years. Many believe that holding on to some Bitcoins is actually a good investment to make, especially with a lot of economic uncertainty on the horizon.

BitGo

Keep in mind that Bitcoin is not yet considered to be a reliable investment instrument since its value can be quite volatile, which means you can’t really rely on the cryptocurrency as a way of maintaining your wealth.

Nevertheless, holding on to some Bitcoins and keeping a positive balance in your wallet is a great idea to try, especially this year. Many expect the value of Bitcoin to rise further over the coming months. Market changes have the potential to push the rise even further than many can anticipate, which means those with Bitcoins in their wallets will be the ones enjoying the biggest advantage.

Shop at Amazon for Less

There is one particular service that every Bitcoin user must definitely try, and that is Purse.io. The site is basically an exchange site that allows Amazon and Bitcoin users to meet. What the site does is let users sell their Amazon credits in exchange for Bitcoins.

purseio-bitcoinist

There is no definite exchange value that everyone uses. The exchange rate fluctuates based on market balance and other factors. You can save up to around 20% on your Amazon purchases when you use credits sold on this site.

Services such as Purse.io are also expanding their operations further. Soon, you won’t only be able to exchange Bitcoin with Amazon credits, but also with other credits for online shopping. There are even online stores and marketplaces that accept Bitcoin directly.

There is no doubt that 2017 will be an interesting year for Bitcoin. The market will continue to bloom and more ways to use the Bitcoins you have in your wallet means more ways to benefit from the cryptocurrency.

Do you have your own ways of using Bitcoin? Be sure to leave your stories in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Purse.io

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Říj 28

American Students More Burdened by Debt Than Ever Before

Source: bitcoin

American Students More Burdened by Debt Than Ever Before

College education is expensive, whether you’re going for your bachelor’s degree or your master’s degree. And these days, American students are more burdened by student loan debt than ever before. While there are more affordable options, such as online schools that offer a wide array of programs, from an online MBA to an online homeland security program, taking out loans to pay for higher education has put young adults in debt before they even have a chance to start working.  

A Look at Some Numbers

To really understand just how burdened American students are with debt, you need to look at some statistics. First off, as of 2016, the typical college graduate has an average of $37,172 in debt from student loans. This is an increase of 6% from 2015.

The total student loan debt in the country is roughly $1.26 trillion, with 43.3 million people dealing with student loan debt. On top of that, 11.6% of students are dealing with loan delinquency. And the median student loan payment each month for those who are between the ages of 20 and 30 is $203.

Debt associated with private student loans, in particular, is also increasing. While $5.5 billion was borrowed from 2011-2012, $6.2 billion was the amount borrowed in 2012-2013.

A Look at Loan Programs and Their Debt

There are different types of loan programs and different types of loans that American students can receive if they wish to attend college for a degree. And to get an idea of what the debt really is, you need to look at the breakdown of the number of borrowers and how much total debt there is.

For example, Perkins Loans have been taken out by 2.7 million borrowers, for a total of $8 billion, while FFEL Loans are used by 16.8 million borrowers, and it amounts to $342.6 billion. But 30.5 million borrowers have Direct Loans that amount to a total debt of $911.6 billion.

A Look at Graduate Student Loan Debt 

Undergraduate students aren’t the only ones who are burdened by student loan debt, as those seeking graduate degrees are also forced to take out student loans in order to afford the programs that will give them the skills that they need to advance their careers and ask for a higher salary.

In 2016, roughly 40% of the total $1 trillion in student loan debt was actually used to pay for professional degrees and graduate degrees. A law degree, for example, would create $140,616 in debt, while an MBA would result in $42,000 in debt. Medical and health sciences degrees result in a whopping $161,772 in debt, while a Master of Education degree results in $50,879 in debt.

While many Americans deal with debt, student loan debt, in particular, is a growing problem that’s causing a lot of concerns. As the cost of higher education continues to climb across the country, more students are seeking more affordable ways of getting the education they need, and they’re often turning to public universities and online degree programs as a result.

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Srp 22

A ‘Brave’ New Benchmark: Putting the Browser’s Hype to the Test

Source: bitcoin

benchmark

We previously tested a very early build of Brave to see what kind of performance the new browser was packing. The thing is, that build wasn’t feature-complete or optimized for release. Now that it’s out in the wild (users are still waiting on the promised Bitcoin-centric features mind you) with all of its bells and whistles we thought we’d revisit our initial tests, and cast a wider net to give you a good metric for Brave’s real-world performance as it stands. 

Also read: Mycelum Gets P2P Tumbling

Is it as fast as it was before release? Is the responsiveness a nice bonus to their browsing experience, or is it just placebo compounded by novelty? We’ve rounded up six modern browsers, including a peek at the still-in-infancy Mozilla Servo, and tested them rigorously in an attempt to answer these questions.

Brave Benchmark Data

Each Browser is the latest version available, stock standard with no customization whatsoever, with the exception of Firefox, which is heavily extended and in use as my daily driver. I included it in testing to give a baseline for performance after long-term use and customization.

These are the normalized scores for each benchmark we ran. It’s hard to see a clear performance champ, but Brave initially looks healthy. Note that Vivaldi, Chromium and Brave are all based on Chrome, so we can reasonably expect them to perform similarly, though Brave is anecdotally supposed to be more performant. Speedometer seems heavily skewed towards Chrome optimization as well:

Here we see memory consumption with a large amount of tabs open. Brave consumes the second highest amount of memory out of all the browsers tested. Something to consider, as it may not run as well on systems with less than 8GB of RAM:

Interesting side note: I attempted to benchmark a release optimized build of Servo to see how far the project had progressed, and I very quickly got my answer — not very. The only thing I could get to run was Mozilla’s Dromaeo JS suite, which puts Servo’s performance at a little below a customized Firefox:

Here are the Peacekeeper Platform-Neutral Benchmark scores, relative to Brave’s performance. The picture starts to get a little clearer here:

And the aggregate normalized scores from every benchmark used in our tests:

Benchmark Conclusions and Recommendations

Brave is disappointingly slow, performing the worst out of the box, and only beating my extended and abused installation of Firefox. It even underperforms the aggregate average that includes Firefox as a negative outlier.

It also comes in second to last on system resources, and given the lack of promised bitcoin integration and the abysmal privacy situation hidden under a veneer of ad-blocking, I see little to no reason to use this new browser. It might be an upgrade if you’re moving from Internet Explorer or Safari, (or a really dirty install of Firefox) but the UX feels like a portal into the mid-2000’s, and any performance increase you’ll feel is an almost guaranteed placebo.

If you want a pretty, clean, user experience, try out Vivaldi. It performs similarly, and there’s a lot of thought put into the UX. Need privacy or just hate web advertising? Install a few add-ons in Chromium or Firefox.

Want to get paid BTC to view ads? Try getting in early on an MLM scheme, because there’s no word on when that’ll be coming to mainline Brave. Given time, and assuming the devs make good on all proposed features, this browser may become attractive, if not blazing fast. Until then, stick with what you’ve got, or try one of the other perfectly serviceable browsers represented in the benchmarks.

Questions about the browsers covered here? Leave them in the comments!


 

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Srp 20

Mycelium May Roll out P2P Tumbling Soon

Source: bitcoin

P2P Tumbling

There’s been no official statements as of yet – but it looks like the Mycelium Wallet will be getting built-in peer-to-peer bitcoin mixing/tumbling later this year.  The first testnet transaction from devs went out four days ago, and discussion on internal channels confirms that they’re working on integrating P2P tumbling into their popular Android wallet.

Read also: Comedy Tor Forks Emerge In Response to Appelbaum Scandal

P2P Tumbling In Mycelium Pipeline

As for details, so far we know they’re using the CoinShuffle protocol (whitepaper available here) and that it will be integrated into their growing number of peer-to-peer features, including local sales and messaging. It also shows a firm commitment to privacy and anonymity from a company previously criticised for their approach to open-source and free software.

Tumbling, for those new to Bitcoin, is a process used to obfuscate ownership of Bitcoin by pooling your coins with a group of other holders, and run them through a series of transactions designed to make determining their origin difficult. The biggest flaw with this system up to date was the reliance on a trusted third party to mix the coin, and return it to the participants in the proper amounts. By adding P2P tumbling to their already formidable decentralised network, Mycelium hopes to remove that flaw, and since they’re using a spec-faithful implementation of CoinShuffle, it means that the update with this change may prompt other mobile wallets to follow suit.

There’s been a lot of talk about the changes coming to Mycelium with the next major release – but this feature – one not advertised in their roadmap or goals, will likely have the biggest impact on mobile Bitcoin users – the ones that benefit most from this type of secure tumbling. More to come as we investigate the issue further.

Thoughts on P2P shuffling? Leave them in the comments!


 

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Čvc 09

Blockchain Innovation Announces the Release of the Simple, Fast, and Secure BitTeller ATM

Source: bitcoin

Blockchain Innovation Announces the Release of the Simple, Fast, and Secure BitTeller ATM

Disclaimer: This is a press release. Bitcoinist is not responsible for this firm’s products and/or services. 

The World’s Most Affordable Bitcoin ATM

Austin, Texas (July 7) – Blockchain Innovation, announced today the official release of their highly anticipated Bitcoin ATM, the BitTeller. With the growing popularity of cryptocurrency; developing and producing the BitTeller was a no brainier for blockchain Innovation. The BitTeller is a small but powerful Crypto­ATM system
designed to provide a safe and simple way to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The BitTeller is portable and easy to move to different locations, but also provides multiple methods for securing it permanently.

At a time when consumers and business owners are reluctant to remove the banking institution from the process, the BitTeller ATM is being released to the cryptocurrency industry.

How does the BitTeller work?​ The ATM owner loads the BitTeller’s wallet to a desired amount. They can then put the BitTeller in their place of business, home, or meeting hall. It is then ready for friends, customers, or anyone to purchase coins with cash. At the end of the day, the owners can remove the bills and reload the system as needed. A notification system is also available to alert the owner via email for issues such as:
low balance, system errors, and daily status reports BitTeller updates its’ data every two minutes from multiple exchanges to make sure pricing remains accurate. BitTeller also allows ATM owners to customize their pricing by adjusting how much they earn with each purchase.

“After months of development, prototypes, and testing, we are proud to introduce the BitTeller ATM to the cryptocurrency industry” said Blockchain Innovation CEO, Jonah Dorman. “We strived to design an ATM that is affordable to even the smallest businesses or individual. I believe we have achieved that, and delivered a system that both users and owners will find simple to use, and most importantly, safe.”

About Blockchain Innovation: ​Blockchain Innovation is a leader in large mining operations, coin development, hardware sales and more for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other alt­coins. In business since 2015, Blockchain Innovation comprises of individuals with many years of experience in all kinds of development roles across multiple industries. To visit and learn more please visit  or contact Jonah Dorman at: jonah@bci.io

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Čvn 20

3 Killer Apps Awaiting Bitcoin This Year

Source: bitcoin

3 Killer Apps Awaiting Bitcoin This Year

For most, bitcoin is used in two ways; it is either held in cold storage as an investment, or used as an alternative payment medium to fiat. Both have their own advantages over their traditional alternatives, but the real driving forces behind bitcoin’s development are rarely discussed – the conversation hangs largely around bitcoin’s price, and whilst that is an exciting topic, it does not inspire those who are truly interested in the power of cryptocurrency.

Internet of Things and the Machine-Payable Web

 

You’ve probably heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the disruption that will come once this new technology is realized – machines will be able to communicate with one another, allowing for huge efficiency gains and the removal of human error (think driverless cars). While Ethereum is making the IoT a reality through its distributed computational blockchain, bitcoin is moving the technology closer to what has been dubbed by Balaji Srinivasan of 21 as the Machine-Payable Web.

The Machine-Payable Web takes the IoT a step further, and will allow devices to transact value with one another automatically and trustlessly. The value exchanged in any one device-to-device transaction would typically be incredibly small; perhaps for the payment of a single API call, but thousands of these tiny payments per second could result in large amounts of value flowing between machines. In the past, similar payments have been made of course, but they require credit card details, user account registration and other levels of friction that are destined for redundancy thanks to the Machine-Payable Web. This new technology, which is already in beta at 21.co, will demonstrate a move towards a frictionless digital economy that is run on top of bitcoin.

Decentralized Bitcoin Gambling

 

The gambling market is one of bitcoin’s largest use cases. Players from anywhere in the world can bet at any bitcoin-accepting casino with ease, and in many cases the gambling sites that operate also provide ‘provably fair’ random number generators and extremely low house edge or rake.
But decentralization of bitcoin gambling promises to shift the industry into a new paradigm – one that could not be realized without the use of this cryptocurrency. Through decentralization, a gambling site would operate on the blockchain itself i.e. its code would be distributed across thousands of bitcoin nodes, meaning that the site had no single point of failure. Compare this to the current situation whereby a casino would operate on a single server (or possibly a handful of servers) which are all vulnerable to attacks and maintenance issues.

This level of decentralization would also mean that bitcoin casinos would have very little maintenance costs as their operation would be powered by the blockchain itself. Without the cost of servers and staff, the casino house edge could be reduced to virtually zero, while allowing the operation to scale to enormous heights without any structural or growth issues.

Personal Identity on the Bitcoin Blockhain

 

Our personal identities are held by a central government; one which has access to every available detail about our personal lives and one which we are forced to trust without reason. A horrific situation that could feasibly arise from this is one in which a Nazi-like leader rises to power and commands a genocide based on data they own about us as individuals – just one worrying result of a centralized ID system. Bitcoin can change all of that.

Taking the Syrian refugee crisis as one example, many of those fleeing war torn cities have had their documents lost or confiscated, causing major difficulty in crossing borders. But what if those documents were stored on the blockchain, and anyone anywhere in the world could access the information that you chose to provide by unlocking it with your own private key? And this goes way beyond just personal identities and travelling across borders; this applies to voting systems, ownership rights, criminal records, reputation and any other aspect of our lives that would benefit from such a technology.

Many people ask why a company would use bitcoin’s blockchain and not a private one? Well the answer is that bitcoin offers the largest public blockchain in the world, the network is kept secure and active by the thousands of nodes and miners that operate within it; and business owners can create scalable products on top of bitcoin’s blockchain with this security in mind. Private blockchains simply do not have the number of participants in a network to keep it secure – and they are also extremely expensive to maintain; bitcoin’s is n

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Čvn 12

CoinFabrik Ports Coinbase API to 26 Languages

Source: bitcoin

CoinBase API

The Coinbase API may be coming to the language and platform of your choice, and not through the usual channels, either. A new specification for the coinbase API has been made for Swagger, a framework for generating client libraries from JSON and YAML API packages. CoinFabrik, a cryptocurrency development and consulting firm, has started an open-source project using Swagger to implement the Coinbase API on many previously unsupported platforms. The auto-generated client libraries include support for Tizen, QT 5, C++, Objective C, Javascript, Android, and over 20 other languages, frameworks, and platforms.

Read Also: Can Tor Survive it’s Recent problems?

Coinbase API Client Libraries in 26 New Languages

The auto-generated client libraries come with full documentation, examples included, and can be made by simply dragging a .json file into Swagger’s web-based editor interface. For interested developers, there’s a Github with further info, and CoinFabrik claims the specification supports 26 languages out of the box. The Swagger spec isn’t yet full featured, though and currently only supports the more basic, core functions of the Coinbase API. Expect Fuller support as the project continues to be developed, though.

This development follows several controversies surrounding the use of the API, including the unofficial app that hit the iTunes App Store in late 2014, and the company’s coming rebranding to GDAX after integrating ethereum into their exchange. The new Swagger port will expand the available API interfaces from the officially supported 6 to 26, enabling far easier 3rd party Coinbase app development.

What does this new client library port mean for the end user? Most likely, more basic coinbase support in more wallets and applications in the short term and more unofficial, feature extended versions of the default offerings from Coinbase as the Swagger spec matures. While the mobile side of things is already pretty saturated, It will be interesting to see what independent developers do regarding desktop wallet plugins and standalone applications.

 

Thoughts on The New Swagger Spec for Coinbase? Leave them in the Comments Below!


 

Images courtesy of: Coinbase, Swagger, CoinFabrik

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Čvn 03

CTFC Levels 75,000 Dollar Fine at Bitfinex

Source: bitcoin

CTFC

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Fined Bitfinex $75,000 today for “offering illegal off-exchange financed retail commodity transactions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” citing the Commodity Exchange Act and Dodd-Frank for the action. This development may be the first of many to come if similar services, that host proxy wallets for the user, are found to be in violation of the same regulations.

Read Also: Allwinner Backdoor puts SoC users at Risk

CTFC Fines Bitfinex

As it stands, it is illegal to sell Bitcoin or make any other ‘financed commodity transaction’ without guaranteeing delivery within 28 days. By hosting coins on their service in their system’s wallets, and making trades and transactions within it off-chain, as well as failure to register as a Futures Commission Merchant before conducting this kind of business,  they violated these regulations:

“As explained in the Order, under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act), financed commodity transactions – including those in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin – must be conducted on an exchange, unless the entity offering the transactions – such as Bitfinex – can establish that actual delivery of the bitcoins results within 28 days. As one federal court of appeals recognized, “actual delivery” requires a transfer of “possession and control” of the commodity and giving “real and immediate possession to the buyer or the buyer’s agent.” CFTC v. Hunter Wise Commodities LLC, 749 F.3d 967, 978-79 (11th Cir. 2014).
The Order finds that by offering to enter into, executing, and confirming the execution of off-exchange financed retail commodity transactions, Bitfinex violated Section 4(a) of the CEA, which requires such transactions to be conducted on a designated contract market or derivatives transaction execution facility. The Order further states that because the transactions did not result in actual delivery of bitcoins, Bitfinex could not rely on the exception to the CFTC’s jurisdiction over such transactions, found in Section 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(aa) of the CEA.”

Time will tell if this CFTC investigation extends to other Bitcoin Trading services utilizing heavy off-chain trading practices and similar accounts and wallet methodology in the future, or if the fines will be isolated to Bitfinex. Either way, expect changes in business on similar Bitcoin exchanges to increase compliance with these laws.

Thoughts on CTFC regulation in bitcoin? Leave them in the comments below!


Images Courtesy of CTFC, Bitfinex

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CTFC Levels 75,000 Dollar Fine at Bitfinex

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