Srp 13

Blockstream Welcomes New Members to Their Team, Hires On Christian Decker

Source: bitcoin

Blockstream Welcomes New Members to Their Team, Hires On Christian Decker

Prominent Bitcoin enthusiast and proposer of ‘duplex micropayment channels,’ Christian Decker, announced on Twitter today that he will be joining the Blockstream team to work on L2 protocols.

Decker Joins Blockstream to Work on Lightning Network

According to Blockstream’s official blog, Decker was hired on to bring his expertise and talent to the company’s current research on lightning networks. While pursuing this line of work he will be joined by Blockstream developer, Rusty Russell, who has made theoretical contributions to the advancement of lightning networks in the past.

Decker is an early adopter of Bitcoin, as he began engaging in the cryptocurrency while it was still in its infancy in 2009. He has also created a number of protocols including PeerConsensus and Duplex Micropayment Channel. Furthermore, Decker brings with him the unique distinction of having authored the world’s first PhD dissertation about Bitcoin at ETH  Zurich while working with the Distributed Computing Group.

Along with Decker, Blockstream also took the chance to formally welcome other new employees that they have brought on since early this year. A noteworthy hiring has been that of Kat Walsh — joined in February as legal counsel — having served on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation for seven years, including a term as its chair. Additionally, Blockstream also hired on Eric Martindale as “Developer Evangelist.” Eric has a long history with Bitcoin, having worked a similar role for Bitpay.

Ever since the acquisition of the European-based Bitcoin wallet software provider, GreenAddress, it seems Blockstream has been trying to expand its operations. The new batch of hirings, especially that of Christian Decker, only works to further this belief as the company itself looks to continue its efforts in Bitcoin development with projects like the lightning network.

What do you think of Blockstream’s hiring on Christian Decker? Let us know in the comments below!


 

Images courtesy of Blockstream, Christian Decker

 

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Čvc 13

Record Sales for Xiaomi Smartphones Could Benefit Bitcoin Users

Source: bitcoin

Xiaomi

On July 10, 2016, Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, announced that their cheap line of phones, known as Redmi, had sold over 110 million units in just 3 years. This news could have implications for bitcoin, as cheaper smartphones could directly result in higher trading volume in the country.

Also read: Bullish Trading Ahead? Bitcoin Price Sees New Technical Patterns

The Redmi and Redmi Note, less than half the price of other Xiaomi phones like the $300 USD Mi5, have been central to Xiaomi’s success in China and its handful of new markets – such as India and Indonesia – over the past few years.

What Is the Significance of Cheaper Phones Like Xiaomi?

Cheaper smartphones mean easier access to bitcoin in an emerging market that has also become a rapidly growing market for the cryptocurrency. Also, cheaper smartphones alleviate a price burden that once restricted the ability of the Chinese to obtain bitcoin.

Although China is quickly becoming a developed economy, a large percentage of its population is still very poor, with more than 82 million people living under the poverty line. Therefore, cheaper phones could dramatically increase bitcoin’s trade volume within the country, further contributing to the currency’s network effect.

Increased accessibility to bitcoin could become desirable for a large swath of people in China, as the country’s government continues its campaign to devalue its currency.  

Thus, the monetary crisis that has materialized in the country has created a distinct potential for a mutually beneficial arrangement to arise between Bitcoin and the Chinese people. As more people flock to the cryptocurrency, it will afford them a service by protecting their savings, while the increased trade volume helps to proliferate the currency among more people.

The Benefits of Accepting Bitcoin

Although this relationship has an obvious beneficial effect for bitcoin and those involved in trading the currency, it could create an indirect benefit for another party — the manufacturers of the smartphone devices.

It will especially benefit those smartphone devices that attempt to take advantage of the situation by allowing the market to propagate unhampered. Unimpeded by any attempts by the manufacturer to regulate, remove, or otherwise tamper with any bitcoin related applications.

Despite this, the benefits that smartphone manufacturers could receive from embracing Bitcoin is ultimately dependent on the uncertain role that bitcoin will have as a preferred hedge against the Yuan, and how far the Chinese government goes with its currency manipulation.

However, while the long-term benefits that Bitcoin could provide are ultimately uncertain, it seems some benefits are already being felt by smartphone producers in China. As evidence of this, competing, cheaper smartphones have recently increased in popularity at the expense of the iPhone, whose sales in the country have recently declined.

What do you think of the popularity of the Redmi line of phones? How do you think cheaper phones like this could affect Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


Source: Techinasia.com

Images courtesy of Xiaomi.

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Čvc 11

Industry Report: The Halving That Came and Went

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

The halving comes and goes, Ethereum wants to hard-fork, and the blockchain does income grants. Want to catch up on the latest cryptocurrency news? Take a look at the stories below.

Also read: Industry Report: The Bitcoin Bill That Became Law

BITCOIN HALVING

The halving has officially come and gone, and the results haven’t been as big as we all hoped for.

At mid-day on Saturday, the bitcoin price fell to the $620 range but jumped back to about $645 within a few hours. Despite all the press and predictions that led up to the event, not much seems to have happened. Following the first halving in 2012, however, the price of a single bitcoin increased tenfold within the first few weeks, so further increases towards the end of the month are not entirely out of the question.

The biggest fight is occurring among bitcoin miners, who face a huge drop in business. Miners are doing everything they can to avoid potential downtime, as the block reward — and potentially their revenue — has been cut in half.

Genesis Mining CEO Marco Streng explains:

“The most important thing is to be the most efficient miner. . .When the others drop out, that means that they leave the market and give you a bigger share of the pie.”

ETHEREUM HARDFORK

In response to a recent DAO “hack” that saw millions in Ether funds stolen, Ethereum holders have voted unanimously for what’s known as a “hard-fork,” which will prevent the purported thief from ill-using any of the funds taken.

According to one source, a hard-fork is “a change to the bitcoin protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid, and therefore requires all users to upgrade.” Software engineer Nick Johnson explains that the move is designed to garner greater user protection. He also says things may seem slow at first, but few of the changes incorporated should dramatically change user experiences:

“The actual change is fairly trivial – a balance transfer between blocks. All the code around that in order to prevent bad things happening adds a lot of complexity. Not to mention very thorough testing. For instance, making sure that any nodes that fast sync after the fork, sync to the correct chain.”

GRANTCOIN

Blockchain-based currency Grantcoin is now offering unconditional basic income grants to users.

Launched in 2015, Grantcoin was the first digital currency to be distributed and managed by non-profit executives with the intention of supplying funds to “socially responsible businesses.” The first grant distribution took place in early July, where approximately 255 individuals from 17 nations received funds in their personal Grantcoin wallets. A second “hand-out” will occur in late September.

Grantcoin has been labeled “currency with a conscience.” It’s mission statement says:

“We insist that a new currency be equitable: that it shall be issued to all people as a human right, as a universal basic income to be enjoyed by all — to compensate, at least partially, for the accidents of birth and circumstances of fortune that have blessed or condemned different people and regions of the world to wealth or poverty.”

Know of any stories that belong in our regular industry reports? Post your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Ethereum Blog, Grantcoin.

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Industry Report: Digital Currency Is Booming Across the Globe

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

Japan won’t let Mt. Gox bring it down, MGT brings Bruce Fenton on board, and a digital bank says “yes” to Bitcoin. Want to catch up on the latest digital currency news? Take a gander at the stories below.

Also read: Industry Report: Bitcoin Continues Breaking Boundaries

TOKYO – MITSUBISHI GOES IN ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Despite its gruesome history with Mt. Gox, Japan is refusing to give up on digital currency. In a statement on Tuesday, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ confirmed that it is experimenting with a new digital currency that utilizes Bitcoin technology to process transactions.

A spokesman for the bank explained:

“The details have not been decided. . .We can only say that it’s true that MUFG is conducting demonstration experiments on the ‘Coin’ within the company utilizing a block chain technology.”

The system will work much like pre-paid electronic money, and will also include an app that will allow users to withdraw funds from their bank accounts via their smartphones.

BRUCE FENTON

Bruce Fenton

MGT Capital Investments, Inc. is bringing Bruce Fenton, the executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, onto its cryptocurrency advisory board.

Fenton, who is an economic strategist and advisor, has also worked with leading private equity firms and global charities. He holds his roots in Morgan Dean Stanley, where he was a specialist in managed accounts and one of the “youngest stockbrokers ever to work for the company.”

In a statement, Fenton enthusiastically mentioned:

“As an active member of the cyber-currency industry through my Bitcoin business ventures and position as Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, I am honored to support the efforts of John McAfee in providing advanced cyber security for this burgeoning industry… I have long been an enthusiast of cyber-currency technology and believe cyber security will play a role in advancing the broad trust and use of currencies such as Bitcoin.”

WB21

WB21 is now the first digital bank to accept bitcoin deposits.

As a result, customers can now use Bitcoin to transfer and deposit funds into their checking accounts, and with zero confirmations needed, a speedy transaction process is ensured for all. Thus far, the bank has accumulated about half a million customers from around the globe.

Founder and CEO Michael Gastauer explained:

“A bank accepting bitcoin is quite unusual. However, it makes total sense for us and provides huge benefits to our clients. . .By accepting bitcoin, our customers can instantly transfer funds to their WB21 account from any country in the world. . .As soon as they send bitcoin to our address, we credit the value in the currency the customer has selected to their checking account. . .The process to convert bitcoin into cash on a bank account is the fastest I am aware of. For us, the acceptance of Bitcoin is a great way to support our global roll-out and improve customers’ fund depositing experience.”

Know of any stories that deserve to be included in our regular industry reports? Post your thoughts and comments below!


Images courtesy of www.tu.bk.mufg.jpwww.keynote2016.comwww.wb21.com.

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Industry Report: Bitcoin Continues Breaking Boundaries

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

Coinbase and and Coinfabrik join forces, Jaxx integrates with ShapeShift, and more bank heists may be on the way. Want to see what you’ve been missing? Take a look at some of this week’s Bitcoin news below.

Also read: Industry Report: Bitcoin Trading Grows, But Security Gets Weaker

BANK SECURITY

Banks are once again being warned of potential cyber-attacks. This time, the warning comes in light of the hacks that occurred within banking institutions tied to the Swift network, whom US regulators claim cannot do enough to protect its partners.

The US Federal Financial Examination Council is warning all banks that the time has come to take matters into their own hands, as more cyber-attacks are imminent, and little can be done about them.

This is particularly rough news to smaller banks, who usually don’t bear the budgets or other necessary means to block their vulnerabilities from malicious parties. The Swift platform is doing all it can to stop these vulnerabilities from being exposed, but this is likely to take some time, and banks are being warned to keep their eyes and ears open for anything that may appear suspicious.

COINFABRIK AND COINBASE BREAK BITCOIN’S LANGUAGE  BARRIERS

What prevents business relations among men? Cultural differences, maybe? What about currency exchange rates? While these two items certainly have a hand in the arena, language barriers can also get in the way.

CoinFabrik and Coinbase are now joining to potentially solve this problem, and allow all users of cryptocurrency to partake in its pleasures.

Coinfabrik is a cryptocurrency design and consulting firm. Presently, they are bringing a new Coinbase API to light that can be translated into up to 26 different languages, including Android, Javascript, and others.

The new API is slated to bring further Coinbase support to users in both short-term and feature-length versions.

JAXX

The Jaxx wallet is integrating itself with ShapeShift, allowing users to convert between Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DAO without strain.

All three currencies are supported via Jaxx’s wallet, and now users can take advantage of all of them. Everyone owning the latest version of the wallet will have this trait available. The wallet is presently available for all primary computer operating systems, along with Android, Chrome, and Firefox. Apple is also slated to present its version in due time.

Know any stories that deserve to be included in our special Industry Report series? Post your thoughts and ideas below!


 

Images courtesy of Twitter, eagless.com, cointelegraph.com

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Industry Report: PayPal Gets Into the Bitcoin Game

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

Paypal says “yes” to digital currency; content creators may find themselves getting rich; and Russia is the world’s latest cyber-attack victim. Want to catch up on your digital currency news? Take a look below and see what you’ve been missing.

Also read: Industry Report: The USPS Does Digital Currency

PAYPAL

PayPal has filed a patent for a new device that will allow for the acceptance of digital currency.

The e-payment network has long hinted at a possible relationship with bitcoin, but several weren’t sure if purchasing bitcoins through PayPal’s platform was as far as the relationship would go. Happily, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

The patent describes the application states:

“The module includes a chassis which has a modular device connector. A payment database in the chassis stores funding source information and security information.”

The patent also describes a payment card possessing a digital currency wallet, virtual memory and instructions designed to aid users in configuring their wallets with respective machines and technology, and hardware processors linked to the card.

SATOSHIPAY

Micro-transactions conglomerate SatoshiPay is releasing a new API, which can be integrated into several different websites and online platforms.

Its purpose – to give content creators a new opportunity to receive funds through nanopayments from those who visit their pages.

It’s not always easy finding revenue in the field of content creation, and SatoshiPay is aiming to change that.

CEO Meinhard Benn explained:

“We have been delighted by the response we’ve received from the developer community, and we’re excited to announce the API. Our mission is to enable developers to use SatoshiPay for any kind of digital product or service they want to implement nanopayments into. We believe this will enable us to significantly scale our reach as developers can use our system in any way they can dream. We will continue to add features frequently to support our growing ecosystems of developers and partners.”

RUSSIAN BANKS

What would digital currency news be without a hacking story? Six Russian banks (including international mega-bank Metropol), are now short nearly $30 million USD due to the efforts of what some are labeling a large hacker collective, and thus far, about 14 separate arrests have been made.

The string of attacks allegedly took place between March and April 2016 and occurred through the distribution of malware known as Lurk, a banking Trojan that has proven to be quite dangerous when in criminal hands.

This last year hasn’t been particularly kind to Russian financiers. Since mid-2015, about 18 separate incidents have occurred, resulting in approximately 3 billion rubles stolen. Authorities have made several investigations and arrested 50 individuals since that time.

Know of any stories that should be included in our weekly industry reports? Let us know by posting your comments below!


Images courtesy of almudenamilianishop.com, satoshipay.io, rferl.org.

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Telegram with Bitcoin integrated by StartChat Tech now available on apple app store

Source: bitcoin

Telegram with Bitcoin integrated by StartChat Tech now available on apple app store

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

StartChat combines the backend encryption of Telegram with the convenience of 2-click Bitcoin transactions and wallet currencies conversions display such as $USD, EURO, GBP, Ruble, Yen.

– Apple Touch ID and Pin Code as security feature.
– No wallet info needed to send bitcoin transactions to contacts.
– Its user-friendly and automated, just like sending a picture.
– For a new user unfamiliar with cryptocurrency, this app is the easiest way to receive bitcoin.
– No experience or knowledge required about wallets.
– Our startchat technology has automated the process making it userfriendly for mainstream users.

Celebrating our launch we have a $100 monthly airdrop for 1 lucky StartChat user for a year.

Why use StartChat?

– Able to send and receive money from anybody in the world in a matter of seconds.

– Coins received alert sound & message!

– Wallet currencies conversion display: USD,EURO,GBP,Ruble,Yen

– Security: Apple Touch ID & PIN Code

– Secure: Developed on the backbone of the most reliable open source encrypted messaging service Telegram.

– Secret Chat: Self destruct timer and end-to-end encryption.

– Receive & Send: bitcoin with 2 clicks, no wallet info needed.

– Secure wallet: only you have access to your wallet & private keys.

– Immediate: bitcoin transactions are fast and simple.

Twitter: @Start_Chat

Website: StartChat.org

Apple app store link below, Enjoy!

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Kvě 26

Bitcoin Rises, But What Will Happen in July at the Halving?

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin halving

Bitcoin is back up! Since our last price piece and Ether’s rise to the top with arguably the largest crowdsale in history, bitcoin has grown by about $9 in price and is getting people excited once again.

Also read: Ether to Blame for Bitcoin’s Decline?

As with all ascensions, bitcoin enthusiasts are coming out of the dark with smiles on their faces and happily telling skeptics, “We told you so.” For a while, it appeared as if Ethereum was going hog the spotlight. A crowdfunding campaign that manages to raise nearly $200 million is certainly something worth noting, but in the end, bitcoin couldn’t be kept down.

How Will Bitcoin Fare Heading Into the Halving?

But how long will it last? As one source states, bitcoin production is scheduled to be cut in half starting in July. Naturally, this is bound to affect the price, but in what way, and by how much?

Some say the sky’s the limit. According to Gil Luria, a Webbush Securities analyst who covers the Bitcoin investment vehicle GBTC:

“There’s always a lot of factors in the price of Bitcoin, but all those things being equal, [the halving] should help the price go up, if for no other reason than of the rule of economics… It’s a function of the intersection of supply and demand, and the halving literally means there will be less [new] supply every day.”

In other words, this could be just the thing bitcoin needs to stay on top for good. After all, a scarce item is likely to hold more value than one that is plentiful or common.

But others aren’t entirely convinced. In fact, one of the big problems expected from the halving is the fact that miners will possibly have to deal with potential drops in profitability.

Miners are responsible for keeping transactions going on the blockchain. Often, these miners receive incentives based on the number of transactions they oversee. With fewer transactions set to take place, you can bet some of those incentives will disappear, which could ultimately lead to a disgruntled work environment among present members of the digital mining sector. Unless the bitcoin price doubles in a short time, bitcoin miners could see quick and massive drops in revenue.

Furthermore, if miners become fed up with the lack of financial security and exit the mining arena permanently, we’re likely to see blockchain security compromised over time. The primary fear is that transaction limits will be hit, leading to lost faith and ultimately, the coin’s final days.

While thoughts are running wild, one thing can be labeled as marginally true, at least for the time being: we don’t know what’s going to happen. Whether bitcoin doubles in price or doesn’t go anywhere at all, there’s no way to predict where digital finance will go. The halving is on its way, and there’s not much we can do to stop it. What we can do, however, is accept the changes that are likely to occur starting mid-July, and do our best to adapt and keep our favorite digital coin (and ourselves) afloat.

What do you foresee happening when the halving takes place? Post your comments below!


Images courtesy of insidebitcoins.com, jefflau.net.

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Kvě 25

Deloitte Blockchain Lab in Dublin Will Create Fifty Jobs

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Dublin Blockchain Lab

Blockchain technology is captivating audiences all over the world, and Deloitte wants to bring even more attention to this industry. The company unveiled its plans to create a new European blockchain lab in Dublin, which brings fifty new jobs the region as well.

With so many companies all over the world exploring the boundaries of blockchain technology, more dedicated research labs are more than welcome. Accountancy firm Deloitte has been thinking along the same lines, and they will be rolling out a new blockchain technology lab in Dublin over the next 18 months.

Deloitte Launches Blockchain Lab

This initiative will bring fifty jobs to the table by the time this hub is fully operational, and the blockchain lab will house a mix of developers and designers. In the end, the goal is to come up with new proofs of concept, and eventually turn some of them into functioning prototypes. Deloitte also mentioned how they plan to target Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa with these projects,  which is quite exciting.

Deloitte Ireland managing partner Brendan Jennings told the media:

“We are proud that Ireland has been chosen as the location for this lab. Not only was the strength, expertise, and proven capability of the Deloitte Ireland blockchain team recognised, but the proximity to the headquarters of many global technology companies, our strong focus on innovation and R&D, and the support from governmental institutions, academia, and the local FinTech industry were all key factors in securing this investment.”

It is kind of interesting to note how the Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation O’Connor admitted how the blockchain technology industry has been a “powerhouse’ over the past few years. In fact, she welcomes the Deloitte blockchain lab, as this technology has brought many new jobs to the region already, and this new initiative will keep the trend going.

Bringing this initiative to Ireland is an endorsement of the technical expertise available in the country. Rather than choosing London or the US, Deloitte is very confident Dublin has the potential to become one of the new hubs for blockchain innovation and development. Additionally, the blockchain lab will complement the existing and developing professional services firms active in the country.

What are your thoughts on Deloitte bringing a blockchain lab to Dublin? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Irish Times

Images courtesy of Deloitte, Shutterstock

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Kvě 24

Tim Cook: “Coding Needs To Be A Part Of Education”

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Coding Education

The topic of coding has been kicked around several times, as there is no dedicated educational program in place which teaches codes how to code. Apple CEO Tim Cook feels there is a growing need for such a platform, as it is equally as important as learning a secondary language.

Also read: Blockchain-based Remittance App AirPocket Comes To Latin America

Coding At A Young Age Needs To Be Stimulated

Earlier today, Startup Fest was kicked off in Amsterdam, and Apple CEO Tim Cook was one of the prominent speakers for the day. It did not take long before he touched upon the subject of stimulating children to learn coding at a very early age, and how schools need to develop an educational course on programming.

Tim Cook explained his vision for education as follows:

“Software development should be a mandatory class. We need to invest in the educational system, and people who can teach young kids how to code. We can’t expect our children to learn coding overnight, as they will need the proper guidance and environment to do so. Children aged nine to ten are the perfect demographic for stimulating an interest in coding and programming.”

This is quite an interesting statement, considering the educational system has not scaled well with the Information Age we live in right now. The methods of passing on knowledge have not changed much over the past thirty years, and children are not being prepared for the future that awaits. Coders are in high demand already, and it is expected that demand will only continue to grow.

Tim Cook also mentioned how there are plenty of opportunities for iOS developers in the enterprise sector. Most employees of big companies use their smartphone for emails and browsing the Internet, because there is a lack of enterprise apps.. The number of iOS apps for the enterprise sector is still relatively small, and Apple sees a lot of opportunities in this segment.

It is impossible to deny the educational system will need to change sooner or later. Coding has become a part of our society, and we need to prepare future generations for the challenges that await. Not everyone will take a liking to coding, and there is nothing wrong with that. But education needs to evolve over time, and it has failed miserably in doing so over the past few decades.

What are your thoughts on sparking an interest in coding at a young age? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Tweakers (Dutch)

Images courtesy of Tim Cook, Shutterstock

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Tim Cook: “Coding Needs To Be A Part Of Education”

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