Kvě 16

Blockchain-Based Identity Management Will Soon Be a Reality

· May 16, 2017 · 6:00 am

Airbitz has partnered with Sphre to secure their Blockchain-Based Identity Management Platform, AIR.


Airbitz Partners with Blockchain-Based Identity Firm

Sphre, a blockchain-based identity management firm, announced their partnership with Airbitz, one of the most popular mobile Bitcoin wallets and a data security platform with over 140,000 users. Airbitz has been working on its Edge Security Platform since the company’s inception, focusing on providing a secure and easy-to-use solution for decentralized blockchain projects and dApps as a means enhance cryptocurrency mass adoption.

Announced today, the partnership will see Sphre leverage Airbitz’ Edge Security, a blockchain-agnostic and zero-knowledge single sign-on solution, to secure their smart contract-based platform, AIR.

Daren Seymour, Director at Sphre commented on the new partnership:

The easy and intuitive user experience, coupled with rich functionality, great development environment and team made Airbitz an easy choice when considering the right partner for Sphre. We look forward to delivering an easy-to-use product to the market, and our partnership with Airbitz is a key component on this journey.

AIR is digital identity and individual microeconomic engagement system based on blockchain infrastructure, allowing individuals, enterprises, and organizations to manage their digital identity through a single, decentralized application, thus retaining full control and ownership of said identity, which would not be possible in a centralized setting.

The AIR whitepaper reads:

In an interconnected, open digital world it does not make sense that digital identity is still fragmented in outdated, closed systems.

The AIR Platform is build upon the Hyperledger blockchain and is comprised of two major components: The Chaincode or ‘smart contract’, which forms the basis of the given identity, and the Application Programming Interface (API), which will allow third-party organizations and enterprises to integrate support for AIR into their existing and new systems, while the mobile application secures and maintains each individual’s private key.

The AIR Platform & XID tokens

Currently in development, the AIR Platform will soon host a crowdfunding campaign to fund the development, marketing, and management of the AIR project. During the crowdfunding campaign or ICO, participants will receive XID tokens, which are used within the Air platform to facilitate identity-based transactions and handle profit-sharing disbursement based on the customizable monetization agreements that users can engage in.

Blockchain Banking App Humaniq Reschedules ICO, Offers Solidarity to Chinese Investors

The XID token is to be issued on the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omnilayer platform that allows the distribution of digital identity monetization benefits to be handled through a decentralized mechanism, which is far more transparent and reliable than traditional alternatives.

Due to the use of Omnilayer, AIR will not only allow any given user or organization to “authenticate/authorize themselves against their registration”, but also to attest/verify the identity of an account with whom they have successfully transacted, based on information found on the Bitcoin, the safest and oldest blockchain in the world.

Can blockchain technology become the new security standard for individual and enterprise digital identity? Let us know in the comment section.


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Dub 27

Ethereum Classic Takes Stance Against ‘Manipulative Crowdsale Tactics’

· April 27, 2017 · 8:30 am

The Ethereum Classic team addressed the current ICO hype, warning against “manipulative crowdsale tactics,” while promising not to vouch for coin offerings “in the same capacity” as the Ethereum Foundation. 


Ethereum Classic on ‘Irrational Appcoin Exuberance’

The Ethereum Classic development team has shared its opinion on what Nick Tomaino’s called, the “Irrational Appcoin Exuberance.” This exuberance is currently seen in Ethereum and may soon come to Ethereum Classic as more capital flows into the network.

Citing concerns regarding the way Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are structured in Ethereum and even within the Ethereum Classic network, the post seeks to caution investors against potentially risky investments in poorly planned or outright scam ICOs that can result in monumental losses for naive investors.

The post also showcases some examples where the Ethereum Classic community and dev team has performed its due diligence and warned against ill-conceived crowdfunding campaign on the ETC network, noting the different attitudes that the two competing blockchains, ETC and ETH, employ towards the Initial Coin Offering frenzy. The post reads:

As one might expect, ETCDEV will not vouch for coin offerings in the same capacity as the Ethereum Foundation members who signed on as curators for the launch of The DAO crowdsale.

Appcoins Coming to ETC

The Ethereum Classic team sees yesterday’s launch of the Grayscale Ethereum Classic (ETC) Investment Trust, whose shares are the first securities solely invested in and deriving value from the price of ETC , as a possible incentive for developers to run their ICOs on Ethereum Classic’s “immutable chain.”

“If stakeholders profit in a short span of time as a consequence of the launch of the Ethereum Investment Trust, some developers may choose to run their ICOs on the immutable chain, inviting the backing of the ETC nouveau riche,” the post explains.

Ethereum Classic

Developers will be able to kickstart their Initial Coin Offerings through the Emerald Wallet, an official desktop wallet, that is currently being developed by the ETCDEV team.

It will feature an integrated set of tools that can be used to launch ICOs and build custom applications on top of Ethereum Classic blockchain, allowing the Ethereum Classic team to distance itself from said crowdfunding campaigns.

ICO organizers may opt to use Emerald Wallet tools to deliver tokens to backers, though crowdfunding will not be the stated purpose of the software. Taking advantage of these tools for the creation of ETC decentralized apps, startups can issue offerings without ETCDEV having to involve themselves in ICOs.

‘Curb Your ICO Enthusiasm’

Despite this, the Ethereum Classic team does not share the general enthusiasm that is felt towards ICOs and appcoins, citing Barry Silbert, founder of the Digital Currency Group.

Bitcoinist_Digital Currency Group Barry Silbert

During a presentation at the Blockchain Startups Singapore meetup in November 2016, Silbert noted that the lack of legal structure found in those could “attract negative attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Instead, the team considers “store of value through monetary strategy, internet of things functionality, and smart contracts applications” as the investment merits of ETC.

In the Ethereum space, some developers are voicing concerns regarding recent crowdsales. There exists at present no established framework for investors to assess Ethereum startups’ ICOs, along the lines of a PhD student’s being required to defend their thesis.

The nature of ICOs has made it the perfect pitfall for naive investors who may be enthusiastic about blockchain technology but cannot see through “manipulative crowd sale tactics” often employed by these projects, which often rely on Ethereum and Ethereum Classic blockchains.

The dev team references two ICO hoaxes that took place in the Ethereum Classic blockchain, Unicorn and BorgDAO, the latter of which collecting funds from investors.

Our contention here is that 1) irrational app-coin exuberance and 2) potential SEC intervention should be kept in mind by ETC investors when considering participation in a risky initial coin offering. We do not support disingenuous and manipulative crowdsale tactics, nor do we believe that we have seen the last of hoaxes like the BorgDAO.

Investors should be very cautious when investing in Initial Coin Offerings. Be it on the Ethereum, Ethereum Classic blockchain or any other ‘blockchain.’ ICOs can result in huge losses and some are outright scams.

Bitcoinist advises everyone to perform due diligence and to vet projects and teams carefully before committing your money.

Will we start to see more ICO’s on the Ethereum Classic blockchain? Let us know in the comments below!


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Dub 11

2.5 Years, 3.7 Million BTC: Gambling is the Dark Horse of Cryptocurrency

· April 11, 2017 · 8:00 am

Cryptocurrency gambling is traditionally thought of as a marginal industry; in fact, it has earned 3.7 million BTC in less than three years.


16,000 BTC Profits and Counting

The astronomical figure is the result of data collected since December 2014 by umbrella resource The Bitcoin Strip.

While by no means all of the 66 casinos covered were in operation at the time, the statistics provide further concrete evidence of a sector which is both rapidly expanding and maturing.

Online Gambling Bitcoin

In March, one site Cloudbet recorded the industry’s biggest single win to date – 160 BTC in a session worth at the time approximately $255,000 USD.

“…This is the biggest single round win we’ve ever seen in over four years of operation,” owner Marco Rossi commented at the time. “For us, this signifies a new era in the relentless growth of bitcoin gambling.”

The numbers do not stop there. Last month alone, casinos took in 130,000 BTC in plays, profiting just over 300 BTC. Total profits for the sites listed on Bitcoin Strip for all time currently stand at just over 16,000 BTC, or $19.3 million.

Early Bird Investors’ Cryptoworms

Looking at profits alone, the numbers may only scratch the surface of the vast sums accumulated by fiat casinos both on and offline every day. Nonetheless, revenue from cryptocurrency’s top operators makes the industry and increasingly interesting proposition for both large and small-scale investors.

CoinAgenda

According to Bitcoin Strip, the number one earner for the past 30 days was Bustabit, which hauled in over $67 million in bets. Primedice, a longtime industry name, came second at $49 million.

In total, the top ten earners generated just shy of $150 million in one month.

It is worth noting that not all cryptocurrency gambling sites are designed to appeal to technically-minded players. Concepts which originally sold the industry to its select target market, such as “provably fair” games and other cryptography-centric features, are no longer a necessity.

Bitcoin Strip now includes three categories in its listings: provably fair, fair and not provably fair, helping identify the priorities held by each resource.

Meanwhile, gambling, just like in Vegas, is a world that never sleeps. March saw an average 360 bets per second, Bitcoin Strip statistics report, with just under 3 bitcoins wagered every minute.

Microbetting meanwhile – a key feature of the crypto industry proving popular – is as evident a ever, with an average bet size in March of 0.00013547BTC ($0.16).

What do you think is the future of Bitcoin gambling? Are you surprised by the statistics? Let us know in the comments below!


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Dub 08

Bitcoin Bites Back: Wells Fargo in Court After Halting Exchange Transfers

· April 8, 2017 · 7:30 am

The parent company of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, iFinex, is suing Wells Fargo over disruption to wire transfers.


Bitfinex: Court Move To ‘Prevent Precedence’

Court documents filed by the company, along with fellow conversion service Tether.to in San Francisco, relate to the global bank allegedly blocking outgoing wire transfers to the banks servicing them.

“Wells Fargo has suspended U.S. dollar wire transfer operations needed to remit to plaintiffs’ customers U.S. dollars that the customers deposited with plaintiffs to purchase digital currency,” the complaint reads.

Bitcoinist compliance

It adds that the bank’s actions were “causing imminent and irreparable harm to plaintiffs.”

In additional comments on Reddit, Bitfinex spokesman commented that the lawsuit was to “prevent precedence” and that if nothing was done, the phenomenon could repeat itself with other cryptocurrency businesses.

He said:

“We’re not going to rollover for action like this. It’s precisely why we have increased our legal department.

“The decision to initiate legal action is because we cannot allow precedence in this industry where clearing houses can disrupt businesses that are by all metrics complying with the rules in place.

“If we allow them to simply flip a switch and disrupt business, then there becomes a precedence in the Bitcoin industry beyond just Bitfinex, so we believe it is the appropriate time to take action to prevent precedence.”

Fickle Banks Meet Their Match At Last

The decision to disrupt liquidity flow for the two services could well represent the most severe instance of a bank declining service to cryptocurrency businesses.

Previous instances include Venezuelan exchange Surbitcoin’s temporary shutdown due to a banking refusal, while flagship New Zealand exchange bitNZ disappeared for good after operating for six years due to its bank’s sudden decision to cut ties.

Not just exchanges, but entities from across cryptocurrency have felt the effects of banks’ changing whims. UK news resource Coinjournal had its bank account frozen by Barclays in September last year, allegedly over connections with Bitcoin.

Regulations Bite Poloniex in Washington State

Meanwhile further up the West Coast, Washington State is to lose services from another Bitcoin exchange, this time Poloniex.

In a circular to customers, “careful consideration of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions’ interpretation of its financial services regulations” had resulted in the suspension of service for residents “until further notice.”

Ethereum Classic

Customers affected have two weeks from April 6 to remove funds from their accounts. Before the deadline, they are also prohibited from “opening new margin positions, adding to existing ones, and lending funds.”

Bitfinex itself exited Washington State for the same reasons back at the beginning of March. Unlike Poloniex, however, the exchange hinted there would be no return, and its users had markedly less time to react.

What do you think about the Wells Fargo case? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, poloniex.com

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Bře 20

IRS: Only 800 People Reported Bitcoin Earnings Per Year

· March 20, 2017 · 6:00 am

Taxing times continue at Coinbase as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reveals only 800 people report Bitcoin gains on returns annually.


IRS: 800 People Per Year Reporting and Falling

The exchange and wallet provider is currently facing enforced submission of its transaction records after the IRS went to court earlier this month.

In data released as part of the lawsuit, the authority reveals that in 2015 only 802 people reported Bitcoin gains on tax form 8949, and that the number had been decreasing year on year.

“The IRS searched the MTRDB for Form 8949 data for tax years 2013 through 2015,” the affidavit from IRS agent David Utzke quoted by Fortune reads.

Bitcoin_taxes_article_1_Bitcoinist

Coinbase responded to the new pressure to reveal its customers’ history last week by saying it “remains concerned with the indiscriminate and over broad scope of the government’s summons” and its legal team was reviewing the situation.

A blog post continues:

We will continue to work with the IRS to assess the government’s willingness to fundamentally reconsider the focus and scope of the summons. If it does not, we anticipate filing opposition papers in court in coming months.

Coinbase: ‘Don’t Store Funds On Coinbase’

While the company, which has served over 6.2 million customers, fights regulators on one front, no less burdensome is the current climate within the Bitcoin industry itself.

Escalating mining fees caused Coinbase to halt payment of fees for customer transactions from March 21, while most recently, it even began advising customers not to hold funds on its exchange books.

The warning to store bitcoins outside its exchange was due to potential implications of a hard fork, namely restricting access to customer funds which plagued the Ethereum hard fork in summer 2016.

farmer

“Customers who wish to access both blockchains at the time of the hard fork should withdraw their BTC from Coinbase since we cannot guarantee what will happen during the hard fork or when this access may be available,” an accompanying post from Director at Coinbase David Farmer read Sunday.

Customers should take note that they will not be able to withdraw bitcoin from or deposit bitcoin to Coinbase for a period of up to 24 hours or more following the fork. In the event of a hard fork of the Bitcoin protocol, Coinbase may suspend the ability to buy or sell on our platform during this time.

Coinbase was not one of the exchanges which signed a joint letter Friday stating a hard fork would mean Bitcoin Core would retain the BTC ticker, while Bitcoin Unlimited would become BTU.

What do you think about Coinbase’s handling of the IRS and hard fork possibilities? Let us know in the comments below!


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Bře 10

CheapAir Records 74% Increase In Bitcoin Sales as Price Grows

· March 10, 2017 · 3:30 am

Pioneering Bitcoin merchant CheapAir has seen equivalent 74% increases in Bitcoin purchases in the past six months.


CheapAir: ‘Accepting Bitcoin Has Been Great for Us’

As Bitcoin remains around all-time highs, the company said recent growth had had a dramatic effect on sales of air tickets bought with the cryptocurrency.

Accepting bitcoin has been great for us,” CEO Jeff Klee said in a press release Thursday.

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CheapAir began accepting Bitcoin for its flight and hotel bookings in 2013 at the request of a customer. Since then, the company has processed cryptocurrency payments worth around $15 million USD.

“Since we began accepting bitcoin we’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible Bitcoin enthusiasts,” Klee continued championing the ethos of the community behind the company’s uniquely successful sideline.

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These are passionate, well intentioned people who have devoted considerable time and energy to trying to improve a financial system that increasingly doesn’t work in the average citizen’s best interest.

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Businesses have continually flirted with Bitcoin acceptance over the past few years, some deciding it was ultimately not worth the effort.

Most recently, online marketplace Fiverr announced it was pulling the plug on Bitcoin payments due to a lack of interest.

For those who opted to stay the course, however, recent price increases are paying dividends all round.

“I think it’s great that many of these individuals are enjoying a nice windfall right now and, of course, we want to help them spend some of that windfall on travel!” Klee added.

Despite trepidation over Bitcoin’s volatility linked to the SEC decision to approve or disapprove the Winklevoss ETF, statistics remain buoyant.

Even Google Trends data suggests users worldwide are increasingly interested in Bitcoin as a concept – be it its price relative to fiat currencies such as the US dollar or otherwise.

Shifts within the merchant community are also developing. Gift card giant eGifter last month ditched the need for a Coinbase wallet in order to make purchases, opting for a standard BitPay acceptance method and giving customers considerable extra flexibility.

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In fact, paying with Bitcoin via eGifter in tandem with CheapAir can just about cover every major expense when traveling from plane tickets to lodging, as well as food and transportation (e.g. Uber).

A fly in the ointment nonetheless remains network capacity. Smaller Bitcoin payments attract higher fees than ever in 2017 as Blocks fill up and the mempool expands. BitPay announced this week it had raised its minimum invoice amount from 4 cents to $1 – a hike of 2400% – to avoid “uneconomical transactions.”

What do you think about current merchant trends? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, LinkedIn, eGifter

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Úno 17

Achievement Unlocked: Bitcoin Surpasses 1,000 ATMs Worldwide

· February 17, 2017 · 9:00 am

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


Bitcoin Hits 1,000 BTM’s

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

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

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

chart

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

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

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

4 Years of Continued Growth

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

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

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

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

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Alternatives to BTMs

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

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

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

Michael Dupree EasyBit

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

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

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CoinATMRadar, EY.com

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Led 24

2.3 Billion People Can Now Use Bitcoin on Amazon

· January 24, 2017 · 7:00 am

Almost 2.3 Billion people can now shop on Amazon without a computer or a bank account following Purse.io’s Android app launch. 


Shopping with Bitcoin on Amazon Now Available to 2.3 Billion

Following the launch of its iOS app, Purse.io has now released the Android version for its platform, enabling billions to shop on Amazon with Bitcoin on the most popular smartphone operating system with over 1.4 billion users globally.

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With both operating systems supported, the number of people globally that can now use this service is now around 2.3 billion and expected to reach 2.8 billion by 2020, according to Statista. 

Purse announced:

We’re excited to formally announce the arrival of our official Purse Android app! We released our iOS app back in November […]. So, of course had to spread the love to the largest and most widely used mobile operating system in the world, Android.

Although the online retail giant does not accept Bitcoin directly, Purse.io matches buyers with gift card holders creating an extremely powerful use-case: online shopping. Furthermore, it enables those who don’t have a bank account or credit card to use the Amazon e-commerce platform, even if they don’t have a computer. The service also lets merchants register their Purse account and sell directly on the platform.

Needless to say, all items from Amazon that are purchased on Purse.io are cheaper than the ones listed on Amazon itself. Not only because of Bitcoin’s smaller transaction fees but also because it provides a gift card/bitcoin exchange market as well as significant discounts

How does Purse.io work?

Sellers can create a free or paid account on Purse.io and list their items for sale. Once a purchase takes place, Purse.io will act as an escrow until the transaction is complete. The Purse system allows merchants and buyers (depending on the payment system) to save a lot on transaction and conversion fees.

However, the most ingenious feature in Purse.io is its Amazon alternative. Purse.io matches shoppers buyers with gift card holders. Since gift cards are usually unredeemable, this creates an alternative for those that don’t want to use their gift cards.

purse instant

Then, the shopper can select a product he wants from Amazon, create a wishlist for it on Purse.io and name his discount or accept the one available. Gift card holders will then take the order and use the gift card to purchase the item. The gift card holder receives Bitcoin for the card he could not redeem previously and the buyer receives the item, creating a win-win environment.

This means that if you have extra gift cards you don’t want, you can also take advantage of the Purse.io system to exchange them for Bitcoin at a discount.

Bitcoin & Amazon

Despite third-party services like Purse.io, Amazon still does not accept Bitcoin as a payment method. There are a few evident motives as to why Amazon has yet to integrate Bitcoin into its e-commerce platform, including volatility and the lack of refund options for Bitcoin. 

However, online retailers like Overstock.com and Newegg.com have demonstrated that Bitcoin can be used as a viable payment system, while OpenBazaar has even built a decentralized e-commerce platform that accepts only Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment.

Some speculate that Amazon already has deals in place with major credit card companies, an advantage it would lose over smaller online retailers if they start dealing with Bitcoin. Another theory is that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos does not like Bitcoin due to his political views on the unregulated and anonymous nature of Bitcoin.

In 2014, Amazon stated that it would not accept Bitcoin due to the lack of interest from customers, which it still could in the future if Bitcoin’s user-base grows. But if the e-commerce giant, which comprises about 15% of total U.S. consumer online sales, according to the company’s statements and the Department of Commerce, begins to accept it, then we can safely say that Bitcoin has finally become mainstream.

Will Purse.io push adoption forward? Will Amazon ever add Bitcoin to its list of accepted payment systems? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of ShutterStock, amazon.com, Purse.io, Statista

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Led 21

Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Investment Fund Files $500m Share Offering

· January 21, 2017 · 7:00 am

Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Investment Trust has filed form S-1 with the US Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) for up to $500 million USD worth of shares.


Private Placement Shares End

The documentation, submitted Friday, will take the Trust a step closer to listing on the New York Stock Exchange should the SEC approve it.

Bitcoinist_Digital Currency Group Barry Silbert

Grayscale Investments, LLC announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 relating to the proposed registration of the Bitcoin Investment Trust’s shares (the “registered Shares”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” an accompanying press release confirmed.

The investment objective of the Bitcoin Investment Trust is for the registered Shares to reflect the performance of the value of a bitcoin, before liabilities and expenses of the Trust, as represented by the TradeBlock XBX Index.

The move also means that the Trust’s holding company, Grayscale Investments, has ceased offering shares in the Trust through its private placement.

“As of the close of business on January 19, 2017, Grayscale Investments, LLC has ceased its ongoing private placement and will no longer issue shares of the Bitcoin Investment Trust through its previous 506(c) private placement,” an additional announcement stated Friday.

Shares of the Bitcoin Investment Trust will continue to be quoted in the secondary market on OTCQX®, the top marketplace operated by OTC Markets, under the symbol: GBTC.

Grayscale has also announced a new Ethereum Classic Trust, with more details to be announced in the near future.

Analysts: SEC ‘Worried About FUD’

The SEC is also currently considering the Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin ETF, which has faced a long process to ratification and has still not received the regulatory blessing.

Bitcoinist_Bitcoin Devleopment Funding

Earlier this month, analysts suggested the SEC was unlikely to grant the Fund approval due to various factors causing unease – including, somewhat unusually, “fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”

Nonetheless, the instrument has already proven its viability, for example in a surge last January as uncertainty gripped global stock markets.

A decision from the SEC is expected by March, and if successful, the same analysts note, the Bitcoin ETF could see $300 million flow into the Bitcoin ecosystem from new Wall Street investors.

The Winklevoss twins have been vocal in their support for Bitcoin as an asset, stating is “better than gold” and calling Bitcoin “the greatest social network of all.”

The BTI meanwhile, launched back in 2013, began trading on the OTCQX in May 2015. 

What do you think about the chances for the Bitcoin Investment Trust compared to the Bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments below!


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Led 09

Circle in Hot Water Again as Users Flag 50+ Fake App Reviews

· January 9, 2017 · 4:00 am

Circle Financial’s images problems continue after its iOS app received over 50 five-star reviews in three days after a sling of one-star feedback.


Circle Reviews: ‘So Quick, So Easy, So Fun’

The UK-based wallet provider, which made the news in December after CEO Jeremy Allaire announced a move away from Bitcoin, is already suspected of being party to fake reviews.

“Circle makes sending money so quick, so easy, so fun,” an example suspect review posted to Reddit begins.

Another describes the app as “Easy peasy lemon squeezey.”

The overtly commercial language is cited by users as another factor, in addition to the sheer number of top ratings, that suggests the latest reviews are not genuine.

Reviews

“I usually… cash out myself in under 30 seconds (and that includes rumaging (sic) through their wonderful gif library to send a personal touch to a friend),” another review text reads.

Circle Feels Bitcoin’s Wrath

After announcing its move away from Bitcoin to focus on international fiat transfers, Circle received harsh criticism from cryptocurrency users, who accused the company of doing a U-turn on its USP.

Older, less complimentary reviews of the Circle Pay app meanwhile regularly feature the lack of Bitcoin support as a major downside.

Pass on this app now, no more Bitcoin option, useless. Bring it back,” one review reads, while another states that “Circle is now just one more also-ran wannabe digital payments middleman.”

Its removal of Bitcoin support meanwhile is also plaguing Allaire himself, with even his tweets attracting negative publicity.

No Regrets

Nonetheless, it appears the company’s Bitcoin-free future is set in stone.

“Using bitcoin for speculative trading or people buying and selling bitcoin because they think it’s fun -that’s not an interesting business for us,” Allaire told Reuters in the beginning of December.

He added that,

It’s a distraction to have to support these customers given that our growth has been on our social payments business.

Such a distraction may well have grown larger had Circle not been so hasty in its policy, for just one month later Bitcoin had surged to over $1,000 and transactions spiked over the New Year period – while the fiat world slept.

The alleged rogue reviews will meanwhile likely be inspected by Apple if they arouse too much suspicion, users note, with u/Stu describing the stunt as “very short sighted.”

What do you think about the Circle Pay iOS reviews? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Circle, Twitter

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