Led 05

HSBC Online Banking Outage Showcases Bitcoin Network Strength

Source: bitcoin

HSBC Online Banking Outage Showcases Bitcoin Network Strength

Earlier today, the entire online banking platform of popular institution HSBC became inaccessible, leaving millions of customers without access to their finances in an online manner. While technical issues can happen at any time, it is the second time in as many days this type of event has transpired. The Bitcoin network, powered by blockchain technology, has never gone down in its near seven years of existence.

Also read: Blockchain Commuication Could Replace Email, IM, add Trustless Security

HSBC Online Banking Has Serious Issues

For most consumers, online banking is the go-to form of accessing financial services in this day and age of digital products and online services. However, once that service becomes inaccessible to millions of users, chaos ensues. To make matters even worse, this issue has been plaguing the banking giant for two days in a row now.

Oddly enough, the HSBC mobile banking services are not affected by this outage. Not every bank customer wants to use their mobile device to check their balances and complete transactions, however. As long as the personal banking portal remains inaccessible, users will not be able to log in through their laptop or computer.

One of HSBC’s spokespeople stated that:

“There is a complex technical issue with our internet banking systems, and our IT team has been working nonstop since yesterday morning to find a solution. This has involved many tests, diagnostics and trial runs. We are getting closer to solving the problem, but are not there yet. We can, however, confirm this is not a cyber-attack or any other malicious act. ”

While it is positive to note this has nothing do with a cyber-attack, the problem needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. Furthermore, HSBC’s reputation had been taking major hits last year, when the bank had to process roughly 275,000 transactions later than expected due to a different internal failure. Among those late transactions were several wage payments between companies and employees.

Despite last year’s promises from the overarching Royal Bank of Scotland to revamp its computer system, it looks like there is still a lot of work to be done. HSBC customers can only hope their bank decides to start offering reliable online banking services in the near future.

Bitcoin Network Has No Downtime

One of HSBC’s major competitors is not suffering from these major accessibility issues. The Bitcoin network, which has been around for close to seven years now, has never had a single day of downtime. Despite some technical fixes that had to be applied throughout the years, the network has always been accessible to people from all over the world.

Bitcoin provides financial services to anyone who wants it, regardless of which bank they use or their credit history. Digital currency is a new form of payment that works on a global scale and is always available to check balances or send and receive transactions. In fact, a lot of big banks are looking to copy Bitcoin’s technology, although it is doubtful they will be able to offer a similar service.

What are your thoughts on online banking outages? How can these be prevented, other than by using blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Telegraph UK

Images courtesy of HSBC, Shutterstock

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HSBC Online Banking Outage Showcases Bitcoin Network Strength

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Led 05

People’s Bank of China Intervention in Stock Market Debacle Lacks Transparency

Source: bitcoin

People’s Bank of China Intervention in Stock Market Debacle Lacks Transparency

Yesterday’s news regarding the Chinese stock market once again showed how brittle the global economy is at this point. With stocks tumbling slightly over 7 percent, trading was suspended a few hours before the markets closed. Things did not get off to a good start earlier today, as an early 2% loss was worrying a fair few investors. But things calmed down once the People’s Bank of China intervened and poured money into money markets.

Also read: Bitstamp Enables Bitcoin Purchases Through Plastic Cards In UK And Slovenia

People’s Bank of China Intervenes in Trading

Based on the information provided by Reuters, it looks like the People’s Bank of China prevented another major loss for the CSI300 earlier today. Early traded prompted another 2% stock decline, which indicated another 7% less for the day was within the realm of possibilities. If this event had transpired, nation=wide trading in China would be suspended for the second day in a row.

Thanks to an intervention by the Chinese central bank, as well as the stock regulator, the earlier losses were somewhat stemmed at the right time. However, it took close to US$20bn poured into money markets by the People’s Bank of China to reduce the losses to just 1%.

At the same time, further restrictions on selling shares by major stockholders in listed companies were announced by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Whether or not this announcement will set off further panic selling over the next few days, remains to be seen, as the Chinese stock market seems to have calmed down for the time being

It will prove to be quite a challenge to keep the volatile stock market in China somewhat stable over the next few months. Government intervention may have saved the day for the time being, but moves like these could have an adverse effect as well. Suppressing trading volume is not a smart decision, as it could lead to even wider price swings throughout the rest of the year.

Furthermore, there are rumours circulating regarding the further depreciation of the Chinese Yuan, although there has been no official indicators whether or not this will be the case. At the same time, the government and People’s Bank of China can only keep things artificially afloat for so long, despite their best efforts.

Lack Of Transparency Could Hurt Chinese Economy

The uncertainty regarding the current economic state of China will not do any good for the country’s economy. Government interventions are announced, but very few details are made public. For example, no one knows for sure where the US$20bn came from that was pumped into money markets by the People’s Bank of China.

By embracing blockchain technology, more transparency could be created for the central bank, government officials, and investors alike. Movements of funds between sources could be traced publicly, giving investors an indication as to what is going on. Keeping this shrouded in mystery is the last thing the Chinese economy needs right now.

What are your thoughts on the action by the People’s Bank of China to keep the stock market afloat? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reuters

Images courtesy of PBOC, Shutterstock

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Led 04

Will There Ever Be A Gold Platform That Performs Like Bitcoin?

Source: bitcoin

Will There Ever Be A Gold Platform That Performs Like Bitcoin?

The company BitGold has just recently announced its mobile one-time and recurring payment feature through its platform. Users can now send reserves of the shiny precious metal in digital form via Android and IOS systems. All transactions within the system are always settled in vaulted gold. As global markets crash today, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and precious metals like gold have remained solid investments. The faster we can transact with these assets the better.  

Also read: Walter Isaacson: ‘There Will Always Be A Place For The Original Bitcoin’

“Gold has always been a great savings currency,” Darrell MacMullin, CEO of BitGold

There will always be companies who want the legacy trust involved with Gold (AU) and the speed of Bitcoin-like transactions for their clientele. Darrell MacMullin, CEO of BitGold believes this latest offering is a great achievement for the precious metal sector by introducing gold through the mobile playing field. The commodity has always been traded and sought after for thousands of years and now it can be sent through cyberspace near instantly. MacMullin explains, “Gold has always been a great savings currency,” and he continues “Now, we add utility to gold with an easy-to-use operating system utilizing the latest payments technology. The BitGold Request Gold feature provides a truly global, efficient alternative to conventional bank or money transfer services and their ‘hidden fees’ in order to request or transfer value cost effectively. As a one-time payment request, or recurring in subscriptions, installments or retainers, this new feature has been designed to take the complexity and hidden costs out of requesting or sending funds globally, saving users both time and money.”

BitGold is a subsidiary of GoldMoney Incorporated a full-reserve financial firm. The company offers an array of services within the storage of precious metals and its trade executions. With the BitGold application the company allows users from over 200 countries access and maintain AU reserves more fluidly. GoldMoney Inc. has over 550,000 clients and continues to expand its services within the bullion ecosystem.

There are a few outfits who supply gold trading and crypto-exchanges through their platforms such as Vaultoro. The company enables users to convert their cryptocurrency into gold deposits. Attempts to create a digital currency using gold could possibly help Bitcoin’s stability, and there are those who really would like to meld the two together. Users operating with the Vaultoro application can also choose a 50/50 service that allows savings in both precious metals and cryptocurrency.

BitGold is not a cryptocurrency application and does not aim to be so. The company also takes a settlement fee of 1% per transaction for all of its P2P operations. Despite this fee, it is quite easy for people to send gold through their platform at a far cheaper rate than most international exchanges within the precious metals sector. BitGold wants to capture the popularity of smartphone use and financial savings with gold. This market is barely touched and could gain quite a bit of popularity.

BitGold claims on their website that they have the best prices within the industry as they have over “ten physical brinks locations” giving users lower prices overall. As said above there have been attempted trials of moving bullion speedily online, but operations like eGold, for instance, have failed miserably. The reason that Bitcoin has done so well is possibly because it doesn’t carry the weight of reserves and the tethered aspects of precious metal markets. However, it is still a dream for many to integrate or even emulate the digital currency’s aspects with gold or silver. When the economy is looking like it is in turmoil people will be looking into superior safeguards like silver, gold and Bitcoin. But can there be an eGold-like system that can compete with the digital currency? Time will tell… 

Will there ever be a gold platform that performs like Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of the BitGold website, Vaultoro website, and Wiki-Commons 

 

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Led 04

Bitstamp Enables Bitcoin Purchases Through Plastic Cards In UK And Slovenia

Source: bitcoin

Bitstamp Enables Bitcoin Purchases Through Plastic Cards In UK And Slovenia

Bitcoin exchanges around the world have been looking at various ways to make the purchase of digital currency much easier for novice users. Instant bank transfers are not available in every individual country, but credit and debit cards are widely accepted. Bitstamp has enabled support for residents in the UK and Slovenia to buy Bitcoin with these traditional payments.

Also read: Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Samsung Pay Hits Online Shopping, Moe Levin Talks 2016

Bitstamp Embraces Card Support In Limited Fashion

It goes without saying that enabling payments through credit and debit cards could be a risky move on Bitstamp’s end. Both of these payment methods are often linked to fraud and chargebacks, which could be of particular worry for a service provider dealing with non-refundable digital currency in the form of Bitcoin.

However, Bitstamp has gone ahead with enabling plastic card support, although the feature will not be available worldwide just yet. For the time being, only users in the United Kingdom and Slovenia can experiment with these new payment options as both Visa and MasterCard are supported. Other European countries will be added over time, although no further details have been announced.

Based on the Bitstamp blog post, the process of buying Bitcoin with a credit or debit card will lead to instant purchases. It is important for users to keep in mind these transactions are limited regarding daily volume, similar to the service provided by companies like Bittylicious and Circle.

Verification and completion of this procedure will occur through Vogogo, a company that has made a name for itself in the Bitcoin industry throughout the years. By providing advanced risk management solutions to businesses all over the world, Vogogo aims to provide the perfect defense mechanism against fraud attempts through traditional payment methods.

To access this new deposit methods, Bitstamp users in the UK and Slovenia can go to the deposit page, and select “Credit Card’ as a payment option. Then they will have to enter the amount of funds they want to spend – limited to US$300 per day or US$1,500 per week – and once the card details are entered, hit the “Submit” button. Assuming all of the information checks out, the transaction should be completed automatically.

A New Trend For Bitcoin Exchanges Across The World?

Whether or not other Bitcoin exchanges around the world will follow the lead of Bitstamp, remains to be seen at this point. That being said, it is the first time a major European exchange enables plastic card payments, even if it is in a limited fashion for the time being. Considering how much trading volume Bitstamp has on a daily basis, these numbers could very well increase over time.

Outsourcing the processing and verification of plastic card payments to an external payment such as Vogogo is a smart decision on BitStamp’s behalf. Keeping up with regulatory requirements when dealing with [international] bank transfers is hard enough as it is. Plus, if the partner offers that type of functionality, it would be a shame not to use it.

What are your thoughts on the option of buying Bitcoin from an exchange with a credit or debit card? Let us know in the comments below!

Source; Bitstamp

Images courtesy of Bitstamp, Vogogo, Shutterstock

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Led 01

Apple Is Betting On The Peer-to-Peer Payment Demographic

Source: bitcoin

Apple Is Betting On The Peer-to-Peer Payment Demographic

Apple has been filing patents lately and is seemingly planning to add payments to its messaging service IMessage. Last month it was reported by Quartz that the tech giant was exploring new methods of payment processing to its messaging features. Now a new patent filed in December has shown a stronger interest in the subject, and Apple may proceed forward with its payment plan soon.

Also read: Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal

Apple must notice that Bitcoin and alternative methods of payments are quite popular. In fact, it’s said that people using non-banking methods are increasing exponentially and should double by the end of 2016. Digital currencies like Bitcoin and payment concepts coming from companies like Facebook, WeChat and others are steadily growing more popular as each day passes. All of these businesses are trying to consolidate its user base into a network of people using their payment processor. And why wouldn’t they as they encompass millions of people signed up already for their service?  

Typically it’s hard to make a profit with methods like this due to low margins. Despite this Apple and other tech magnates can attempt to conquer their demographics which are the same as users of this technology. Peer-to-Peer currencies like Bitcoin are often used by people 18-24 and 25-34-year-olds. This is the exact demographic that Apple and others already have within their user base. Quartz assumes when they reported the patent filing that the company will try and get people to spend at Apple locations whether physical or online. This is where the business gets a large chunk of its monetary supply and may be betting on peer-to-peer transactions for more revenue.

The patent filed is not only looking to integrate with messenger but also with email and calendar as well. The file gives a description to how two iPhone users can use the payment service. A pop-up in the top right corner appears with a payment option during a message and also can pay more than one recipient. The system is not related to Apple Pay and notes that it is differentiated by “phone call, text messaging conversations, an email thread, calendar events,” the memo reads.

It’s hard to say if Apple will succeed in getting its paws into the peer-to-peer payment world. Unfortunately most know that these services like the current Apple Pay are completely centralized and tied to your current banking institutions. Account freezes, rules and regulations, and limits may also apply as the company is 100% in charge of the system. This is the major difference between a true P2P protocol like cryptocurrencies that cannot be frozen or limited in contrast to Apple services. Bitcoin is a network that is decentralized and owned by no person or organization and continues to prosper because of these factors. Filing for this patent justifies how centralized Apple really is and shows it’s only looking out for one fruit in the orchard.

What do you think about Apple’s attempts to enter the  P2P payment world? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Quartz, and Shutterstock

 

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Led 01

Bitcoin Network Stats Show Block Time Is Back To Normal

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Network Stats Show Block Time Is Back To Normal

Just a few days ago, there was some concern among the Bitcoin community regarding how fast new blocks were being mined on the network. In a normal world, the time between Bitcoin blocks is roughly 10 minutes. Earlier this week, however, blocks were being found in under six minutes, thanks to a major network hashrate increase. Based on today’s Bitcoin network statistics, everything is back to normal.

Also read: John McAfee Doesn’t Think Bitcoin Is The Digital Currency Of The Future

Major Hashrate Increase Leads To Faster Blocks

The Bitcoin network heavily depends on the amount of hashpower used to generate new coins and validate transactions. Every now and then, that total hashrate will either drop or increase significantly. These types of movements will have an impact on the Bitcoin block time, which is the time required to generate a new block with confirmed transactions on the network.

A few days ago, the Bitcoin network saw a major hashrate increase, as BitFury deployed their new mining chip on the network on a large scale. Thanks to this chip’s performance and lower energy requirements, incredible computational power can be achieved. Directing such a power at the Bitcoin network caused a bit of unrest among the miners, as the block time on the network started decreasing, and came pretty close to the five-minute mark at one point.

It goes without saying that, while faster block times also means faster transaction confirmations, such a situation is a double-edged sword. Rapid validation of Bitcoin transactions can lead to security issues as these validations could come from one minor attempting a 51% attack on the network. If such an attack were to be successful, the Bitcoin blockchain would split in two, rendering a lot of transactions invalid.

However, it turned out that fear among the Bitcoin miners was a bit premature, as no miner or mining pool got anywhere near a 51% attack during this brief period of faster block generation. By the look of things, the new hashpower pointed at the Bitcoin network was spread out among mining pools in an even fashion.

One thing to keep in mind is how the Bitcoin network is affected by a difficulty coefficient, which will scale depending on the total amount of hashpower pointed at the network. If there is more hashpower, the difficulty will increase, and the block times will return to their regular 10-minute interval schedule without any issues. That difficulty adjustment has taken place, and things seem to be back to normal.

Network Statistics Confirm Block Time Is OK

Every day, a bot posts the latest Bitcoin network statistics on /r/Bitcoin, displaying the total amount of BTC in circulation, the current difficulty, and the average block time. Based on the statistics posted a few hours, the average time until a new block is found on the Bitcoin network is back to its regular interval, as it currently sits at 10 minutes and 4 seconds.

The difficulty adjustment did its work flawlessly once again, as the total amount of hashpower pointed to the network is still well above 700 petahash.  If this trend of adding more hashpower keeps up, another upward difficulty adjustment will follow in a few days. Scalability is an integral part of the Bitcoin network and goes much further than just the block size itself.

What are your thought son the current Bitcoin network statistics? Do you expect a major hashpower increase throughout 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reddit

Images credit of BitFury, Shutterstock

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Pro 31

Best Investments of 2015 The Winners Are: Bitcoin And Cash

Source: bitcoin

Best Investments of 2015 The Winners Are: Bitcoin And Cash

Investing this year hasn’t seen the best outcome for investors this year. In fact, 70% of people investing this year had lost money according to Openfolio. The app is an open interface that peers can use to compare portfolio performance. The two best investments of 2015 were cold hard cash and the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

 

Also Read: Coinbase Tests Bitcoin XT, Gets Removed From Bitcoin.org

CNN Money reports that making money through investing this year was pretty tough unless you did what’s usually looked down upon Hold a lot of cash or they took a lot of risk. That means if you held tight to your physical cash this year and invested in Bitcoin you’d be in a pretty sweet position. Bitcoin has gained over 40% of its value in the last three months of the year alone and rests at $430 a Bitcoin when it was $230 at the end of the summer. Cash as well is usually advised not to be held as a safeguard or investment has beat out most U.S. stocks, commodities, and bonds.

Bitcoin has remained stable throughout the entire year as well with a single spike and robust uptrend during the 12-month projection. If you base your position from the beginning of 2014 till today, the digital currency was a sound investment. MarketWatch writer Jack Tatar, who invested in the Bitcoin Investment Trust, says the digital currency has made his “retirement portfolio look good again”. The writer explains the currency had some rough times the year before and he had lost out in 2014 but not this year. He explains:

“That’s right, the value of my retirement investment in bitcoins since I last wrote about it has doubled.”  

The last three months of the year has given more optimism to Bitcoin as the price hurdled through many new high points. And we all heard how great the blockchain was and how every investor wanted a piece of the technology they didn’t understand. JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon said Bitcoin wasn’t a good investment but the blockchain just might be. However according to mainstream media’s Bloomberg, Forbes, CNBC, and a long trail of others Bitcoin was in fact a sound investment this year.    

The digital currency has reached some milestones this last month of December as well reaching 100 million transactions globally. The currency grows harder to attain as miners have unearthed 15 million Bitcoins from the depths of computational algorithms. But behind the price ticker and the code things haven’t been all sunshine this year. The block size debate has ruffled quite a few feathers and has people wondering what the turnout will be. Some believe that an implementation called Segregated Witness will help the issue while others do not. This particular issue has some investors worried it may not be resolved.

2015 ended with a record-high in venture capital raising $485 million into startups and infrastructure this year. Three times the total in 2013 and better than 2014’s $315 million worth of VC injections. That was the theory of the previous years downfall that lots of capital was being poured into infrastructure over the currency’s price. This year the virtual money got a boost of both record VC funding and the price had reached new highs. The best investments this year was Bitcoin and cold hard cash.

Which investments did you participate in this year? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Redmemes, Shutterstock, and Pixbay 

 

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Hacking Team Kept A Close Eye On The Bitcoin Ecosystem Evolution

Source: bitcoin

Hacking Team Kept A Close Eye On The Bitcoin Ecosystem Evolution

Hacking Team has made a lot of media headlines over the past year. Not only because this collaborative is known for its hacking exploits all over the world, but also because of their contacts with governments around the world. Ever since Hacking Team became the subject of a hacking attempt themselves, a lot of people have been wondering what day-to-day operations for this group looked like. Apparently they were keeping a very close eye on the evolution of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Also read: Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal

Hacking Team Detests Idea of Ethereum And Sidechains

WikiLeaks has unveiled over one million emails from the Hacking Team surveillance malware collective. As part of this release, Internet users from all over the world can gain valuable insights as to how the team communicated behind the scenes, and what types of topics were discussed. Among the internal emails are a few references to Bitcoin and the digital currency ecosystem.

The first of two emails that caught our attention touches upon the subject of Sidechains, Ethereum, and ZeroCash. Apparently, Hacking Team got this information from a TechCrunch article discussing cryptocurrency and the evolution of the blockchain ecosystem.

As one would come to expect, Hacking Team CEO David Vincenzetti had his own thoughts on this matter:

“MY VIEW: Just a bunch of fascinating u-topias (the original the Greek etymology is U-TOPOS, that is, IN NO PLACE) .

THE PROBLEM: The present cryptocurrencies provide an unacceptable transactional anonymity level and therefore they are the currencies of choice of criminals. You compute, you create something which is called money, such money is accepted by somebody and you get something, nearly anything in return. Peer to peer translations, no clearing houses, no overall Government supervision. It won’t work.”

It is important to keep in mind this original email conversation is dated on December 14, 2014, At that time, the discussion of sidechains was heating up, and the launch of Ethereum was something a lot of digital currency community members were anxiously waiting for. Fast forward to today and Ethereum is seeing a fair share of success. Sidechains, on the other hand, have still not come to fruition in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

A Different Attitude Towards Bitcoin 2.0

The second Hacking Team email talks about a different article written by the Financial Times, discussion the Bitcoin 2.0 ecosystem.  Strangely enough, CEO David Vincenzetti has no snarky remarks about this article, and he even seems to agree with most of the points raised. Quite a different attitude compared to the TechCrunch post.

It has to be said, however, that the Bitcoin 2.0 article talked more about the technological possibilities and less about the “hype” surrounding the projects in development. During the time of publication of this Financial Times article, discussions had already started on how to upgrade the blockchain infrastructure to handle a wider range of transactions.

Furthermore, other topics were discussed, such as digital ownership of physical assets, distributed digital marketplaces, and alternative blockchains. Previous topics, such as Ethereum and sidechains, are touched upon again in this specific article, but from a different and more professional angle. Perhaps the different writing style pleased the Hacking Team CEO more than the Techcrunch writeup.

What are your thoughts on Hacking Team keeping a close eye on the evolution of Bitcoin and the ecosystem? Do you agree with the views of David Vincenzetti? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Wikileaks

Images courtesy of Wikileaks, Hacking Team, Shutterstock

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Monetas Unifies eDinar and Blockchain Technology in Tunisia

Source: bitcoin

Monetas Unifies eDinar and Blockchain Technology in Tunisia

It doesn’t happen often a country of this world is actively looking at replacing their own currency. Or to be more precise, Tunisia is replacing its self-created eDinar digital currency with a blockchain-based version. In doing so, Tunisia becomes the world’s first country to issue national currency using advanced blockchain technology.  

Also read: Coinbase Tests Bitcoin XT, Gets Removed From Bitcoin.org

Issuing National Currency on The Blockchain

Tunisia is one those countries where financial services are not widely available to just anyone. With over three million residents cut off from the financial system altogether, something had to change sooner or later.The introduction of the eDinar digital currency, which was issued by the Tunisian government, 600,000 people had access to some form of financial services in recent months.

The time has come to take things to a new level, and the Tunisian government is working together with Monetas to combine blockchain technology and a national digital currency. As a result, the eDinar can be used to make mobile money transfers, manage identification documents, paying bills, and much more.

Similar to how Bitcoin operates, transactions costs for the eDinar will be negligible, regardless of how big the transferred amount is. In fact, Tunisia is trying something completely different, by letting merchants pay the transaction fees for most eDinar transfers. With the maximum fee capped at 1 dinar, this new ecosystem will be quite beneficial to both consumers and merchants alike.

However, there is a major difference between decentralized digital currency like Bitcoin and the eDinar in Tunisia. La Poste Tunisienne, who created the app to use the eDinar, will be in full control of the circulation and issuance of the eDinar digital currency, preventing it to be used for illegal transactions.

Moez Chakchouk, CEO of La Poste Tunisienne, stated:

“La Poste is a very important and trusted institution and is at the heart of financial inclusion efforts in Tunisia. At La Poste, we are on a transformation journey to modernize our services with innovative technologies and power the digital economy. Digital, Mobile, and Internet, are all key components in this transformation. Monetas and Digitus help us to bring these ingredients to the table.”

The Role of Monetas in the eDinar Scene

Monetas acts as a blockchain platform that not only allows convenient transactions but also offers technology used for issuing and verifying user identities. It is worth noting the Monetas platform supports both national and digital currencies. Providing both legal and financial transactions as a service will be of great interest to other countries around the world in the years to come.

According to the information provided in an interview at Techmoran, Monetas CEO Johann Gevers mentioned how the company is currently in talks with other African partners. If these plans come to fruition, Monetas technology will be providing coverage to 12 additional markets in 2016, and offer financial services to over 300 million people.

What are your thoughts on the future of the eDinar? Is this the right approach to bring digital currency to mainstream consumers? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: The Blockchain

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Monetas, La Poste Tunisienne

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Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal

Source: bitcoin

Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal

As much as most people would like to think otherwise, the Bitcoin block size debate is far from over. Various new proposals have been suggested in the past, and another interesting concept was posted on Reddit earlier today. According to this user, a small block size increase should be done first, followed by the integration of Segregated Witness. Addressing the key issue as soon as possible should be the top priority for all Bitcoin developers.

Also read: Moe Levin on TNABC Miami 2016, Patrick Byrne Speaking This Year

Two Separate Block Size Solutions Combined Into One

Based on the findings of the Reddit in question, Segregated Witness should not be the first and foremost solution to settling the Bitcoin block size debate. The reason for this is simple: Segregated Witness would split block data into two streams, which will both be stored on the user’s hard disk. As a result, Bitcoin Nodes will still be dealing with an increased block size, making this less of a favorable solution for some users.

Even though the user strongly feels Segregated Witness has its merits, Bitcoin developers have been showing a level of hypocrisy when talking about this solution. When everything’s said and done, bandwidth and disk space requirements will still increase for all parties involved, albeit in slightly smaller sizes compared to other previous proposals. By addressing this solution as a “soft fork”, Bitcoin developers hope to sway the mind of community members into making this the preferred solution.

In addition, it looks like Segregated Witness is more about fixing the transaction malleability system than having to do with the Bitcoin block size debate. While it is important to address transaction malleability sooner rather than later, a solution has to be found to solve the block size debate at the same time, without resorting to the semantic game.

There is no reason a small block size increase can’t be done – it takes a minor alteration to the existing code – and implement Segregated Witness afterward. Keeping in mind how a small block size increase has nearly identical disk footprint requirements compared to segwit, and can be implemented in a much shorter time frame, this approach seems to have a certain merit.

Segregated Witness Needs To Be Tested And Vetted

Even though Segregated Witness is a valid solution, testing and vetting the code base will take weeks, if not months, to complete. Increasing the Bitcoin block size itself is a more pressing matter, as this issue has been kicked around for far too long already. Increasing the block size soonish, and implementing segwit after the vetting process seems to be a smart approach.

Based on the Reddit feedback so far, a lot of Bitcoin community members see the benefits of this two-pronged approach. After all, decisions like these rely on reaching consensus among the bitcoin community. Whether or not the Bitcoin developers will keep this proposal in mind, remains to be seen, though.

What are your thoughts on this block size proposal? Are you in favor of doing things in two different phases? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reddit

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Peak Usability

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Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal

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