Čvc 31

BitcoinCash (BCC) Hardfork: What it Means and How to Secure Your Assets

· July 31, 2017 · 4:00 pm

The Fork Awakens… BitcoinCash is expected to fork off from the main chain on Tuesday taking roughly 30% of the hashpower with it. Antpool, the largest bitcoin mining pool, is expected to mine the alternate chain.


BitcoinCash Hard Fork

August 1st has been a long-awaited day for months on the calendars of Bitcoin enthusiasts worldwide. But with the UASF being deemed a success by many people in the community, a new event is worrying some and it just so happens to be on the same day. BitcoinCash or BCC (some are proposing the ticker abbreviation of BCH as BCC is already taken) is a planned fork of the Bitcoin ledger by means of a User Activated Hard Fork, or UAHF.

Mining company Bitmain has stated their intentions to fork and create this separate blockchain with different consensus rules, most notably an immediate blocksize increase to 8MB. It also includes wipeout and replay protection, something the developers added to allow both blockchains to coexist peacefully and without loss of user funds.

How to Secure Your Assets?

As with all cryptocurrency hard forks, users that own Bitcoin on the legacy chain and control their private keys will automatically own coins on the new BCC chain. No further action needed. However, your claim to these new coins could be threatened if you use a third-party wallet provider such as Coinbase or blockchain.com.

Not controlling the private keys of your Bitcoins means you don’t control the private keys of your BitcoinCash either. Some examples of wallets that allow you to control the keys are Electrum, Jaxx, or Mycelium. The fork is scheduled to occur on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at 12:20:00 pm (UTC time), so make sure to move your coins as soon as possible.

Exchanges That Support BitcoinCash (BCC)

Numerous exchanges have come out stating how they plan to deal with the upcoming hard fork. According to the BitcoinCash website, the following exchanges have announced that they will support, or at least allow users to access, BitcoinCash

Wallets That Support BitcoinCash (BCC)

Along with the exchanges, many reputable wallet providers, such as Ledger and Trezor, have released statements saying they will have their wallets support BCC. A more comprehensive list can be found below.

Full Nodes

Other Wallets

One thing to note is that ElectronCash is NOT made by the Electrum developers, which was cleared up in a statement made by them here.

ViaBTC currently has a futures market for BitcoinCash, and it currently sits at around $311.59, or about 12% of Bitcoin’s current market price. Only time will tell if this coin will gain traction, or be crushed by the thousands of people ready to dump the moment the fork occurs.

What do you think of the looming fork? Will BCC be blown out of the water by the massive offload of coins? Will you be transacting with BCC? Or do you think this is going to be one of hundreds of altcoins? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoincash.org, Coinmarketcap.com

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Čvc 30

Mass Exodus from Coinbase Spawns 12 Hour Bitcoin Withdrawal Delays

· July 30, 2017 · 2:45 pm

Coinbase users are moving their funds to wallets and exchanges where they will be credited for Bitcoin Cash (BCC ) tokens, causing delays in Bitcoin withdrawals from the exchange.


Coinbase, the world’s largest (and often highest-rated) Bitcoin exchange, has made it clear that they will not honor the new Bitcoin Cash (BCC) token created by the Bitcoin blockchain split set to occur on August 1. Coinbase’s policy is to only support one version of a digital currency, as stated in a July 27 blog post:

Our policy is to support only one version of a digital currency. In order to determine which fork to support we look at factors such as size of the network, market value and customer demand. We make this decision carefully because safely supporting a new digital currency requires significant work for many teams.

Many other exchanges and wallets, however, are supporting the new blockchain and its token. Users with BTC funds in exchanges like Kraken, Bitfinex, and ViaBTC will be credited with an equal amount of BCC when the UAHF activates on August 1 at 12:20 PM UTC.

Bitcoin Exchanges supporting BCC

The Great Bitcoin Exodus

The result has been somewhat predictable: Users looking to scoop up “free BCC tokens” are now leaving Coinbase en masse and Bitcoin’s service has become degraded as a result. Coinbase’s status page now indicates that outgoing BTC transactions may be delayed by up to 12+ hours as they process their backlog.

Coinbase is also recommending that users who wish to withdrawal Bitcoins before the hard fork do so before 10 AM on July 31:

If you wish to withdraw bitcoin (BTC) before the hard fork, we recommend you initiate your withdrawal by 10am PT on Monday July 31st due to potential network congestion.

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Given the stance many have taken that the BCC coin split will essentially be “free money” for Bitcoin holders, it seems almost common sense to leave Coinbase in anticipation of the hard fork. However, many have warned that there is no such thing as free money – any profits scraped from BCC will have to come from somewhere, in this case from the BTC price itself.

Speculation is also rampant over what will happen to the price of each currency. BTC supporters predict BCC recipients will quickly dump the new coin to buy more BTC, wiping out the new coin and driving the price of BTC back up as buyers scramble to acquire “free” Bitcoins.

Others remain cautious of any price movements, especially in the immediate aftermath of the fork. Kraken has already warned users in a July 27 notice that “margin traders should be very cautious across the fork” and to “plan for the possibility of extreme volatility”:

Margin traders are advised to be very cautious across the fork, by either reducing their position sizes or closing out entirely before the fork. In addition to the special provisions described above, margin traders should plan for the possibility of extreme volatility and unfavorable forced liquidations surrounding the fork.

Do you support the new BCC token? Do you think BTC holders will reap profit from the chain split, or will the volatility only drive down prices?


Images courtesy of BitcoinCash, Coinbase, Flickr

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Dub 04

Bitstashers: Should You Upgrade from a Paper Wallet to Metal?

· April 4, 2017 · 6:00 am

Bitcoinist spoke with Jon Boroughs of Bitstashers, a provider of metal-etched Bitcoin wallets that are designed to withstand an apocalyptic event unlike a fragile paper wallet. These are also not limited to cold storage as they can also be custom made for colored coin asset addresses as well. 


Metal-Etched Bitcoin Wallets

Metal wallets are quickly becoming a thing in the crypto space with a few options available such as Cryptosteel and Bitkee, which start at $40 USD. However, Bitstashers provides custom metal etched wallets at a much lower price point, starting from $15, and includes multiple form factors such as dog tags and bottle openers.

ss-dogtags

Boroughs reveals to Bitcoinist the idea behind metal wallets, why they’re better than paper, and how privacy is preserved during the manufacturing process with BIP38 encryption.


Bitcoinist: Where did you get the idea to create metal etched wallets?

Jon Boroughs (JB): Honestly, we saw another company trying to do this with sub-standard materials and at a higher price and we thought we could do it better and cheaper. We also pride ourselves on our design abilities and thought we could offer customers a wide variety of great designs for their wallets as well as possibly letting them submit their own ideas.

Bitcoinist: Why is metal better than a paper wallet that costs zero?

JB: Metal wallets are great for long term storage. Paper wallets can deteriorate over time, but the Bitstashers wallet is made to last until the day you die. They are even fire-proof. The stainless steel wallets can withstand temperatures of up to 1,300­­ degrees Fahrenheit.

Each of our wallets are etched using quality materials and they’re so durable we’ve even filed our fingernails with the design and it comes out looking like nothing happened. The design withstands any normal wear that it may come across. You can’t expect that with paper.

Bitcoinist: What is Heliopay and what kind of supporting role does play in relation to Bitstashers?

JB: Heliopay handles Bitcoin ATMs mainly. They describe themselves as “Bitcoin ATM’s, point of sale, services and supplies, digital infrastructure, payment management solutions and more! Industry leading equipment, the UK’s widest range of bitcoin merchandise for resale (now including the UK’s largest range of physical bitcoins), consultancy, technology integration, excellent training, we help our customers at all stages of the adoption process, helping them to prepare for the new wave of digital payment services, software and infrastructures required.”

We usually work with Heliopay when we need wallet addresses as they have a superb, secure, offline air-gapped computer that generates secure wallet addresses. We also have done production work in the past for them such as designing wallets and other products.

stasg

Bitcoinist: How much does this type of wallet cost for aluminum and steel? Does it depend on type?

JB: It depends on the material. Stainless steel costs more for materials than the aluminum type. Aluminum card wallets are priced at $18 each, bottle openers are $18 each, and dog tags are $15 each. Stainless steel card wallets are $25 each, bottle openers are $25 each, and dog tags are $18 each.

We are also experimenting currently with other materials so as to broaden our product offerings. Keep an eye out for those in the future.

Bitcoinist: Do you also etch both keys – the public and private keys?

JB: Yes, we can etch both keys. The purchaser can choose to have both keys on one side or have the private key on one side and the public key on the other. Or another way it can be done is by using something like our dog tags. You can wear the public key and then hide away your private.

Bitcoinist: Where, how, and by whom are the keys generated?

JB: The keys are either generated by the purchaser of the wallet or by Heliopay.com on a secure, air-gapped address generating system.

Bitcoinist: Can you explain your stance on BIP38 encryption?

JB: We think that BIP38 encryption is the best way to feel at ease when handing your keys over to someone like us so we can put them on products. When you generate a Bitcoin wallet address you’ll get a public key and a private key. The industry standard is to never hand over you private key. That’s good advice. But with BIP38 you take that private key and encrypt it with a password you make up in your head.

The best way to input that password when you do BIP38 encryption is to enter it on an on-screen keyboard as we all know that keyloggers are an issue now-a-days. At that point you can hand your encrypted key to a place like us and we can engrave it. With a BIP38 encrypted key someone would have to be able to read minds to get the password you used.

bottleopener-400x400

Bitcoinist: How is the private key protected or shielded from prying eyes or cameras, for example?

JB: The wallet is considered more like a “savings account” rather than a spendable “hot wallet”.  It is intended to be a safe have to store your cryptocurrencies without the fear of hackers stealing your funds.

Since these addresses are etched in metal, is it a concern for users who are often advised to not reuse the same addresses when transaction from a security standpoint?

No, since our wallets are not intended to be used as a “hot wallet.”  Our wallets are intended to be similar to a saving account (minus the interest) for the cryptocurrency world.

Would you use a metal etched wallet? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitstashers, Shutterstock, openbazaar

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Říj 18

Industry Report: Is the End of Bitcoin Near?

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

Quantum computers may end Bitcoin, all episodes of Trust Disrupted are available to view, and Jaxx vows to go international. Want to catch up on your latest digital currency and tech news? Read the stories below.

Also read: Industry Report: Japanese TV Educating People on Bitcoin?

TRUST DISRUPTED

The new show, brought to you by TechCrunch, is now completely available for audiences’ viewing pleasure. The first season of the show, which delves deeply into digital currency and blockchain usage, is hosted by New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper, and comprised of six episodes, which cover everything from Bitcoin to Ethereum.

The entire season can be viewed in its entirety on TechCrunch, or the publication’s YouTube channel.

QUANTUM COMPUTERS, THE END OF BITCOIN?

Scientists are predicting Armageddon for the world of bitcoin. Fiery mists and massive explosions will soon hit digital currency in the form of quantum supercomputers, which can allegedly destroy bitcoin and bring about its abrupt end.

Quantum computers are purportedly some of the most powerful machines on Earth. Their encryption methods make those of today seem primitive. Supposedly, they’re so advanced that their methods can bring about an end to those of bitcoin in a mere heartbeat.

Plymouth University professor Martin Tomlinson explains that Bitcoin requires private keys for currency to be sent or spent. Quantum computers have the power to decipher all private keys within a matter of minutes. Should this occur, bitcoin and the privacy it supposedly offers would become obsolete.

According to Llew Claasen, executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, many cryptographers are now working on solutions to give bitcoin “quantum-proof technologies.”

JAXX

After integrating the Augur coin (REP) on its platform in early October, multi-platform wallet Jaxx has announced plans to go international. Bringing REP on board has made Jaxx arguably one of the most widely accessible wallet systems available today.

Jaxx is presently only available in English, but that will change once it becomes accessible to customers in both China and India, two countries with growing digital currency markets. The company is also planning to integrate itself with Coinbase and Shapeshift, and has other plans that CEO Anthony Di lorio spoke vaguely about:

“Our plan is to be blockchain agnostic. Our goal is to add integration of tokens that the community wants to have. The trend is definitely towards more coins and we kind of want to be the browser of the blockchain.”

Know of any stories that belong in our regular Industry Reports? Post your comments below!


 

Image courtesy of Jaxx.

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Industry Report: Is the End of Bitcoin Near?

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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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Mycelium May Roll out P2P Tumbling Soon

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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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Kvě 05

Interview With BitLox Bitcoin Wallet Creator Dana Coe

Source: bitcoin

BitLox

BitLox is a new entrant into the physical Bitcoin wallet market. BitLox Creator Dana Coe sent us a wallet to test and review, and also answered some questions about BitLox, its development, and more. One of the first things you will notice about BitLox is it uses an e-ink screen which both saves power and makes reading it easier in many different lighting situations. The screen is one of many features which make it a unique entrant into the market.

Also Read: BitLox: ‘Indestructible’ Hardware Bitcoin Wallet

Dana Coe gave us the background on the company and further information on the wallet.


 

Could you give some background on BitLox, how it was started?

About 18 months ago (Spring ’14), I had the chance to use a hardware wallet. After playing around with that for a bit, I decided we could make one on our own. I wanted to have one with all the features _I_ wanted!

What got you into Bitcoin?
I had heard something here and there about Bitcoin for a while, can’t say exactly when I heard about it first.
In the fall of ’12 I downloaded some pool mining software and loaded it onto all of my employee computers in the office. That was my first real “playing around” with it. I did not get into the nuts and bolts of programming for it until the idea for the BitLox came along. Once one starts working directly with the data, building and parsing transactions yourself…it’s a completely different world. You can’t rely on someone else’s API or such, you have to get down in the source code and truly understand how it works, and the more I understood how it works, the more fascinated I became.

What do you feel sets BitLox apart from other hardware wallets?

I think it’s our comprehensive outlook on the situations that could cause you to have your coins in danger. We don’t just think on the technical side, we do a lot of “war gaming” thinking of danger scenarios and how to defend against them. Such as:
You are sitting in a public library, you want to transfer bitcoins from a wallet that contains a large amount of coins. You do a transfer, and are suddenly tackled. Now your wallet is open and they can see all the coins! BUT, since you set up a transaction password, the “Bad Guys” can’t steal your funds. They would have to know that to send anything more out of the wallet. Meanwhile, you could use your backup mnemonic to move the funds as the Bad Guys can do nothing.
– Just one of the multiple scenarios we’ve thought out.
Hidden wallets are another. I actually know someone who was robbed at gunpoint when doing a LocalBitcoin transaction. Not, “Give me the cash”, but “transfer all coins NOW”. Hidden wallets are exactly the kind of safety that you need in the case of such situations.

Will the BitLox wallet also support any alt-coins in the future?

Yes! We are working on this, it should be rolled into the next few firmware updates. We’ve already had specific requests for DASH and Ether support. The main question with alt-coins is the availability of a reliable blockchain datasource/explorer that is compatible to our parsing engines. We run our own full Bitcoin nodes, so with sufficient use we can bring nodes for alt-coins online too.

What are some of the key features that makes BitLox unique?

First and foremost, by design the BitLox NEVER makes you enter a PIN or anything sensitive on a computer or mobile.
ALL PINs are entered directly on the device keypad. PINs may be up to 20 characters long, 0-9a-zA-Z, so you could have a PIN such as the43346LIzaRD Expanding the keyspace like this is one way to make sure your funds are ALWAYS safe.
Speaking of PINs, we have a nested level of PINs for ultimate security.
A DEVICE PIN, without which you cannot communicate via Bluetooth or USB. Nothing; the device is inert without this PIN. Security lockouts are exponential.
WALLET PINs, for each wallet on the device, of which you may have a total of 100 with 50 hidden.
TRANSACTION PIN if in expert setup, where a specific PIN is needed to approve transactions. Any failure on this PIN causes an immediate reset of the device for up to 45 minutes (plus any other delays)
NONE of these PINs are entered on the computer or phone, they are entered directly on the BitLox.
When doing a wallet recovery from mnemonics, the same logic applies. You enter the mnemonic directly on the BitLox, not on any computer or phone, so your mnemonic is never in danger of being recorded.

Are there some upcoming features or devices we can look forward to?

As soon as true full-color e-paper displays are out on the market, we are absolutely going to introduce these into our high-end models. They won’t be cheap, but they will be very very cool!

Is there anything you would like to discuss that we have not touched on yet?

In the next weeks, we will be open-sourcing our app software and API. Think you can write a better BitLox client? Give it a try!
In writing our apps, we stay away from wallet “APIs” that are provided by various data services. We prefer to use “raw” data pulled from various providers. That way we can change these providers more easily, and be more resilient.

What are some of the design elements that have went into the BitLox wallet making it just a bit bigger than a credit card?

Good grief, it’s MUCH harder than you would ever believe to get things crammed into a small space. The chips have a physical height of ~1 mm, the case can be no thinner than 0.1 mm (even Titanium, though in one spot we get away with 0.08 mm), the screen is 0.9 mm, the board is 4 layers… and and and. It’s a complex 3D jigsaw puzzle, where everything has got to line up correctly. The case is computer-controlled machined out of a solid block of alloy, the internal electronic components are sometimes actually “embedded” into the printed circuit board itself. The faceplate is stamped and then laser cut/engraved for precision. All this has to then be put together with a tolerance of 0.02 mm. It’s crazy. Even so, after all this trimming and pushing, the BitLox is incredibly durable. You can throw it in a pocket and never worry you’ll bend it or damage it in any way.

BitLox Bitcoin Wallet Hands On

BitLox Bitcoin Wallet

Dana provided a BitLox wallet for us to try out. One of the first things that you notice is how sturdy it is. Being credit card-sized, and only as thick as three credit cards, it was still very solid. The wallet keys are flat but do have edges that might catch if you’re when moving it in and out of your wallet. That being said, the wallet comes with a nice leather case, which is durable and allows you to just throw the wallet in your pocket or backpack.

Setup of the wallet was fast and simple. The BitLox uses an e-ink display that is easy to see in different lighting conditions. Once you turn it on, it walks you through the setup. First you choose your language;  it has several options, which makes it useful for most people. The next step gives you the choice of three setups: Standard, Advanced and Expert. Each one gives you different levels of control and options. For this test we went with Standard as most people will use it. First you get to choose the length of your device pin. Once you choose 4 or any of the choices it will format the device. Now you generate the wallet pin again with various choices of length up to 8. Now your 12 word seed is generated write this down. It is how you restore your wallet if there is a problem or you can import it into any HD wallet to recover if you like. Now you can pair your wallet with the app.

The BitLox app for Android that we tested with is simple as well. Simply choose wired or Bluetooth connection on the BitLox, click scan on your device. Once it sees the wallet you simply click on the wallet in the app, type in your wallet pin on the BitLox. Now you see the specifics of your wallet. Transactions, options to sign a transaction, send or receive bitcoin. Simple and fast total setup time is 5 minutes or so. Your wallet qr code is shown on the BitLox for easy receiving of bitcoin.

We used the wallet for a couple weeks. In that time I had no failures or issues. I carried it around in my pocket just in its case and made several transactions.

Another great feature is that you can do several things with the wallet. If you think it is compromised, you can simply type in 911 as a pin. This will wipe the wallet. You can either restore from your seed or let it create a brand new wallet, addresses, and a new seed. I tried this twice; once from seed with no errors, and the second to do a completly new wallet and seed, which also worked fine.

Wallet Creation Process Formatting

BitLox also puts out firmware updates with a simple installer. One was issued during our review period; we updated and restored from the seed wit no issues. Overall, it is another excellent entry into the growing hardware wallet industry.

There are some concerns for some people, though. At this time, the source code is closed, which will turn off some people from the wallet. BitLox is releasing the app source code first and in the near future should probably release the wallet software as well. Once that is done, there is not much to worry about. Some will not like the Bluetooth connectivity as it can be seen as a weak link. Requiring the correct pin, though, makes hacking through Bluetooth nearly impossible. As always, use caution. You are your own bank with Bitcoin.

We liked the wallet and its easy to use functionality and durability. Only the possibly of a key getting hooked and pulled up seems to be the physical concern. Dana and his team have been quick to answer questions and help if needed. Both the wallet firmware and the app receive regular attention. Dana has also given out wallets to key Bitcoin developers to get their input which will help with future updates and compatibility.

Thanks, Dana, for taking the time to speak with us and the wallet to test out. We will keep you up to date on any new developments with BitLox.

What are your thoughts on the BitLox Bitcoin Wallet? 


Images courtesy of BitLox.

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Interview With BitLox Bitcoin Wallet Creator Dana Coe

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Dub 25

ZebPay Passes $15 Million in First 10 Months of India Operations

Source: bitcoin

Zebpay logo

Zebpay, India’s biggest Bitcoin company, is proud to announce that after only 10 months of operation, it has achieved over 1 billion INR (approximately $15 million USD) in turnover through its Bitcoin app available on both iPhones and Android.  They currently have over 30,000 users, with 6,000 being added every month. As the fastest growing Bitcoin Company in India, Zebpay plans to add 100,000 users by the end of 2016. With the infusion of $1 million from the series A funding round in January, and Bitcoin transaction count having increased by 81% in 2015, it’s certainly a doable task.

Also Read: Ethereum Standard DAO Framework Gains Support From Major Exchanges

Zebpay has many types of users ranging from freelancers accepting payment from overseas customers to users interested in using Bitcoin for profit or as a hedge. Bitcoin has a viable purpose for everyone and Zebpay bridges the gap for all people no matter their need.

Zebpay’s Growth Officer, Chitral Patel states:

“Our users include HNIs, tech savvy individuals, freelancers and a few corporates. They buy bitcoins as an investment with the belief that the bitcoin price will rise.”

Their success lies largely in the prime marketplace India is for Bitcoin, with over 40% of the 1.2 billion person population un-banked. Thanks to Bitcoin, Zebpay can connect to otherwise unreachable customers by forgoing the need for a physical bank structure to be constructed.  People are able to then control their own finances without the need for a bank.  Zebpay’s secure phone app allows people to securely be their own banks.  More people have cell phones than bank accounts in India.

“Bitcoin wallets could be used in remote areas without the need for brick and mortar banks. India is perfect as a society to be at the forefront of developing a vibrant cryptocurrency economy.” – Chitral Patel, Growth Officer at Zebpay

Zebpay a Bridge to Amazon For Millions

Used as a versatile Bitcoin app in India, Zebpays app has many practical uses besides exchanging Bitcoin to and from fiat, one of the many India exclusive features. Users of the app in India can also enjoy recharging their mobile airtime with Bitcoin, as well as save 10% on vouchers from companies like Amazon and Flipkart.  The vouchers allow people who would not normally be able to buy products from Amazon and Flipkart due to not having bank accounts with debit or credit cards. By opening up these services people are able to participate in the growing world economy instead of being left out by mainstream financial institutions.

A user is also able to transfer Bitcoin to other people with minimal effort.  Simple and secure right from the Zebpay app.

Zebpay in March as well released the ability for users to choose their bid and ask prices, a move seen as providing users more flexibility with how they handle their Bitcoin. The new abilities are a move to compete with other Indian Bitcoin services, such as Coinsecure, an Indian Bitcoin exchange and wallet provider, which recently received $1.2 million in Series A funding.

About Zebpay

Zebpay was founded in 2012 by Mahin Gupta, with a focus on integrating Bitcoin and blockchain technology in India. Joined by Saurabh Agrawal and Sandeep Goenka in 2014, their goal is to bring financial freedom to the billions of un-banked.  Zebpay’s Story: We have been involved in bitcoins since its early days in 2011. We started India’s first bitcoin exchange in 2012. We realize that for a new user, there is a learning curve to buy, store and use bitcoins. We are working hard to make this revolutionary technology simple so that Indians can be proud owners and users of bitcoins.

Do you use Zebpay? What do you think has led to Zebpays massive success? Let us know in the comments below!


Photo Source: Zebpay

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ZebPay Passes Million in First 10 Months of India Operations

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Dub 19

Bitcoin Wallets of the Future: Secure Hardware Needed Sooner Than Later

Source: bitcoin

KeepKey

Imagine a world without paper currency. Maybe such a reality appears far from where we stand today, but the horizon is not so distant that it’s invisible.

This article was provided by the Vanbex Group. Written by: Brandon Kostinuk.

Today’s infrastructure cannot accommodate, on a global level, for the technology of tomorrow. But progressive policies supported by global economic players can rapidly change that.

Further, as stated by Lisa Cheng, Vanbex Group CEO, “To begin usurping traditional models of banking and finance we have to move society beyond our current understanding of currency and see that it exists today as digital value.”

“Paper currency is on its way out and will be replaced entirely by digital forms,” said Cheng, who has years of experience dealing in Bitcoin, blockchain technology, distributed applications, distributed autonomous corporations and varying types of crypto-currency.

We are already in a globalized economy with digital assets floating everywhere. Even traditional banks, as it’s well known, store money electronically as financial information in databases.

Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy at the Bank of England Ben Broadbent said during a speech delivered on Mar. 2, that:

“Currently, deposits are backed mainly by illiquid loans, assets that can’t be sold on open markets; if we all tried simultaneously to close our accounts, banks wouldn’t have the liquid resources to meet the demand.”

In short, the digital asset era is already underway.

Countries like Barbados, Peru and Ecuador have already leaped passed conjecture, concurrently offering a digital variation alongside their physical currency. Citizens there use digital currency for everyday items like groceries and fuel for their car, facilitated by smartphone technology.

Governments worldwide from the U.K. to China, Australia to Canada, are all looking at ways to develop, adopt and adapt to disruptive financial technology (fintech) to progressively move with the shifting sands pressed on society by the Internet-based economy.

At its most reductive core, intangible assets need a physical carrier and that’s where the discussion of hardware wallets — devices that store a part of a user’s wallet for digital currency securely in mostly-offline hardware — enters the fray.

A Digital Economy

Just a decade ago, it’s safe to say most of mankind didn’t even know a thing like cryptocurrency existed, which, before Bitcoin, it did.

There was E-gold, which launched in 1996 and, as the name suggests, was a digital currency backed by gold. Ten years later, Liberty Reserve, a Costa Rica-based centralized digital currency, was founded as an exchange.

Both enterprises led down the path toward criminal activity, specifically money laundering.

The digital currency — a cryptocurrency — created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 reshaped the conversation. It changed way money, the way a currency, was thought of and its underlying “Blockchain” technology, a decentralized virtual clearinghouse and asset registry, as described by Broadbent last month, is gearing up to change the very financial structure of the globalized economy.

Bitcoin represents, in market cap today, over $6 billion USD. It has spawned an industry, from exchanges and financial services to infrastructure, gambling, news media and more. Much more.

But the nucleus of any currency is trust.

The now-infamous Mt. Gox “hack,” an episode that came to light in April 2014, showed the world security against malicious intent was of paramount concern when it came to digital currency (and that could be said of any form of money).

Launched in 2010, the Tokyo-based exchange, the largest at the time, eventually handled around 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions at the height of operations in 2013.

The total amount said to have been stolen hovered around $450 million (around 850,000 bitcoins).

According to WizSec lead investigator Kim Nilsson, “most or all of the missing bitcoins were stolen straight out of the MtGox hot wallet over time, beginning in late 2011.”

The need for secure, offline storage was apparent then and that need is no less greater today.

“Blockchain security has advanced much quicker than you would see in traditional banking,” Darin Stanchfield told CNBC’s On the Money.

The KeepKey CEO was commenting on the Bangladeshi bank hack that occurred at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where $100 million was reportedly stolen from the government’s account.

Stanchfield explained, with a device like the hardware wallet (or a vault), credentials are presented to the Federal Reserve in order to move money. These credentials would be presented when the device is first initialized and those credentials don’t ever leave the device.

This is in contrast to any ‘hot wallet’ and is the most effective standard to safeguard against hackers in the cryptographic age of computer security. Something offline can’t be invaded by external elements.

But nations and their laws and regulations move at different speeds, especially when it comes to adoption of emerging technology.

One of the most vibrant fintech hubs in the world exists in the U.K. with London’s ecosystem of startups and companies generating £6.6 billion ($9.4 billion) in revenue and attracted £524 million (over $700 million) in investment in 2015, according to accounting firm Ernst & Young.

The study occurred because it was commissioned by the U.K. government. The British government is a leading example of progressive policy-making within the fintech sector and is the primary reason it is home to the fast-growing sector in the country.

Ernst & Young further reported, the sector employs 61,000 people (5% of the total financial services workforce). More people are working in the U.K. FinTech scene than in New York, “or in the combined FinTech workforce of Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.”

In March 2015, HM Treasury — the government arm responsible for developing and executing public finance policy and economic policy in Britain — also published a report, stating, in response to the emerging fintech sector “the government intends to apply anti-money laundering regulation to digital currency exchanges, to support innovation and prevent criminal use.”

Further, the government has been discussing the possibility and implications of issuing central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Deputy Governor Broadbent spoke to the above, unequivocally stating, “It seems

very unlikely that, to any significant extent, we’ll ever be paying for things in bitcoins, rather than pounds, dollars or euros.”

“The more important issue for central banks considering such a move [to issue digital currency] will be what it might mean for the funding of banks and the supply of credit,” Broadbent concluded in his speech.

The government in the UK, at least those in control of the nation’s monetary policy, is already thinking about implications, structural and otherwise, of appropriating digital currency.

The conversation has leaped from opposition into adoption and it very much has to do with the underlying backbone of Nakamoto’s creation, touted as the next evolutionary step to the Internet.

Bitcoin Wallets: Making Bitcoin as Ubiquitous as Smartphones

Part and parcel of the talked of and trialed evolution of the financial layer of industrialized societies is blockchain technology. This is where transactions are created, recorded and preserved in a secure, decentralized structure.

The Internet economy has sprung the need to advance financial interactions the same way it has developed new ways of considering technology and conducting business altogether.

The most practical concern, that of safely securing and using digital currency, is a phenomenon which is itself being work and re-worked in regard to the implications outlined by Broadbent and others, like Financial Stability Board chairman and Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

But amid the pursuit, by Microsoft and IBM, to bring blockchain tools and enterprise access to market, along with the corporate race to build the blockchain of all blockchains for the financial services and banking industry, among other interested parties, it’s clear: digital currency is here and hardware wallets will be as ubiquitous to everyday life as smartphones.

And as digital currency becomes commonplace, granted the technological and regulatory environment catches up, hardware wallets will be a vital instrument, used daily by individuals.

Doug Miller, head of business development at KeepKey, the Washington-based maker of one of the few premium hardware wallets on the market today, explained, security and user-friendliness were core factors in their device’s design.

“It has to be simple and it can’t be complicated,” Miller stated. “What we wanted to do was streamline the process for use in an everyday aspect.”

With KeepKey, a typical transaction doesn’t involve the computer client storing private keys and signing transactions. The computer client will pass transactions to KeepKey, request they be signed and the user signs for it on their end, following the on-screen demands legible on the a 3.12” OLED.

It is, ostensibly, a private, offline bank account for digital currency.

Setup and installation is conducted online, using Chrome extensions and can be completed within a matter of seconds.

Jordan Tuwiner, 21, who founded the site BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com, a resource for topics related to Bitcoin, has been involved in using digital currency and hardware wallets for the past two years.

“A hardware wallet is pretty much what the average person will want to secure their Bitcoin.” said Tuwiner, adding, when searching for the right wallet, “The most important thing is to consider what you’re using the device for. If you’re serious about it, do your research.”

The ecosystem of products is expanding and so are the advantages and disadvantages to each of the products on retail today.

Tuwiner added, among the devices he used, KeepKey was quite easy to setup and install and is a good choice for novices and aficionados alike.

For the Blockchain

“We look at ourselves as a hardware company for the blockchain and that’s our long-term vision,” said Miller.

His future-looking objective illustrates a key perception, that the financial world is in a transitional state, one that moves beyond traditional institutions and legacy systems to deliver peer-to-peer transactions, self-executing contracts and best of all, a reduction in costs for financial institutions through to consumers.

Companies “for the blockchain”, like KeepKey, is the global paradigm shift currently developing, and, in a reductive sense, hardware wallets are the core construct to establishing real-world connectivity to intangible financial innovation.

Further, it offers the 21st century security and a level playing field where conditions for theft and fraud exist behind an interweaving mesh of 0s, 1s and coexisting protocols.


Images courtesy of KeepKey, epp Group.

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Bitcoin Wallets of the Future: Secure Hardware Needed Sooner Than Later

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BIT.AC Launches Innovative Multi-Currency Crypto Wallet Platform

Source: bitcoin

BIT.AC Launches Innovative Multi-Currency Crypto Wallet Platform

LONDON, UK—The founders of BIT.AC have announced the launch of their crypto currency digital wallet. The platform promises to be the most sophisticated digital wallet to feature a built-in instant exchange. In addition to powerfully performing the functions of a standard digital crypto wallet, BIT.AC enables users to seamlessly and instantly convert one type of crypto currency into another.

As the brainchild of a collection of devoted Bitcoin fanatics and IT security professionals, the BIT.AC platform was created with serious Bitcoin enthusiasts in mind. The service promises a fast-opening wallet that accommodates 13 different crypto currencies (and counting) in an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Not only does BIT.AC allow the user to safely send and receive different forms of crypto currency, the service also offers top rates of exchange for users. Clients can instantly convert their crypto currency into whatever format they like, and all at the best rates available in the marketplace. The service is flexible and practical—clients can even send Bitcoin and other crypto currencies over email.

Philipp Schnabel, CEO of BIT.AC, believes his product can revolutionize the way Bitcoin is used. Says Schnabel,

BIT.AC is simple and easy to use and, as it only takes an instant to open your chosen crypto-currency wallet, it also saves a considerable amount of time. Indeed, sending, receiving and exchanging currency has never been more practical.”

The BIT.AC platform is constantly evolving, with features and currencies added regularly. In addition to a fast and convenient mobile wallet for Android smartphone users, the service also offers a unique and profitable affiliate program for clients who attract new users to the world of crypto currency. In fact, BIT.AC is currently offering affiliates up to 50% commission on transaction fees incurred by client referrals.

BIT.AC is now welcoming new accounts at .

About BIT.AC Limited

 

BIT.AC Limited is a company formed by a group of Bitcoin enthusiasts with extensive IT security experience. The digital wallet is currently compatible with 13 different crypto currencies, and offers a built-in exchange to allow for seamless and instant conversion between crypto currencies. Learn more at

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BIT.AC Launches Innovative Multi-Currency Crypto Wallet Platform

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