Čvn 13

Litecoin and Lightning Network Coming Very Soon to Bitstamp?

· June 13, 2017 · 1:20 pm

Bitstamp tweeted a mysterious video featuring a lightning bolt seemingly making a thumbs up which follows speculation that Litecoin will be soon added to the site. The video also suggests that access to the lightning network is coming too.


Litecoin Rumors

The mysterious tweet coincides with Litecoin creator Charlie Lee’s departure from Coinbase where he worked as their Director of Engineering for the past two years. Coinbase recently added Litecoin to the site and their exchange GDAX where it has seen good trade volume with today’s LTC/USD market seeing a 468,665 LTC trade volume in the last 24 hours.

This flurry of activity for Litecoin follows its implementation of SegWit. Yet to be implemented for Bitcoin, SegWit (Segmented Witness) is seen by many as the solution to Bitcoin’s current scaling problems, allowing for larger block sizes and faster transaction times.

SegWit and Litecoin

With its lightning network capabilities, Lee sees Litecoin’s long-term goal as alleviating some of the smaller transactional volume, perhaps using it for micropayments such as buying coffee with zero confirmation times or transaction fees.

Many already see Litecoin as a testing ground for future Bitcoin features, however, Lee remains committed to Bitcoin too, as he also contributes to its development and has tweeted in the past about Bitcoin being regarded as a real store of value – gold to Litecoin’s silver. He argues that if you are wiring $50,000 to your bank, you could still use Bitcoin for the increased security that comes from its larger network of decentralized miners.

When Lightning Strikes

The implementation of the lightning network on Litecoin, which was initially developed for Bitcoin, is now a reality on Litecoin. It brings instant payments with no need for block confirmation times. Security is enforced by blockchain smart contracts and payment speeds are in the milliseconds to seconds range.

Its scalability means that it is capable of handling millions – even billions – of transactions per second across the network. It is low cost, as it settles off chain it allows for exceptionally low fees, which is why it is ideally suited to instant micropayments.

The most crucial benefit of the lightning network, however, is its ability to cross blockchains. This will allow for cross blockchain atomic swaps without trust in a 3rd party. This feature means that the lightning network would also need to be available on that coin too, something that could be a reality with Bitcoin should the coin pull off its UASF to enable Segwit. We live in exciting times.

Do you believe the rumors? Should UASF be activated on Bitcoin or should Litecoin take the lead? Let us know in the comments.


Images courtesy of Twitter, AdobeStock, Reddit

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Čvn 10

AML: US Rules Would Force Declaration Of Crypto At Borders

· June 10, 2017 · 11:00 am

An update to US anti-money laundering (AML) legislation currently going through Congress would oblige travelers to declare digital currency at the border.


AML Rules Target $10k+ Crypto Holdings

S. 1241, a new bill sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley, proposes adding the terms ‘digital currency’ and ‘prepaid access devices’ to existing list of financial items subject so such AML procedures.

It would also include reference to “any digital exchanger or tumbler of digital currency.”

Ostensibly designed to prevent trafficking of funds over $10,000 in value, the resulting powers given to border authorities could be nonetheless considerably more sweeping than at present.

United States Congress

While it is unclear how those arriving in the US would be screened for digital currency holdings, the Bill makes provision for a report to be commissioned ironing out the finer points.

The text states:

Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shall submit to Congress a report—

(1) detailing a strategy to interdict and detect prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States; and

(2) that includes an assessment of infrastructure needed to carry out the strategy detailed in paragraph […]

Coin Center ‘Reaching Out’ For Debate

The Bitcoin community is already reacting with caution to the legislation as it stands, with multiple questions being raised as to how lawmakers could enforce it in practice.

“We’re reaching out to the relevant offices,” Coin Center CEO Jerry Brito said in a Twitter response.

EU Focuses On Dark Web, ID Linking

The move is reminiscent of similar plans across the pond in the European Union regarding declaration of digital currency funds, this time at the point of spend.

While border controls are not currently on the table, legislators are keen to enforce similar AML controls on anyone holding any form of virtual funds.

Formally revealed in March, users could soon face obligatory linking of their personal identity to their wallet.

AML could force linking users' ID to their digital wallets

More recently, a joint “consortium” by the European Commission, INTERPOL and others will research ways in which illicit use of the dark web can be curbed. Participants promise that:

“The consortium will analyze legal and ethical requirements and define guidelines for storing and processing data, information, and knowledge involved in criminal investigations without compromising citizen privacy,” participants promise.

What do you think about the Bill being considered by Congress? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia, Shutterstock

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Čvn 09

Crypviser Will Encrypt Messages on the Blockchain for Private Communications

· June 9, 2017 · 3:00 am

Crypviser is building a blockchain-based all-in-one network for secure social and business communications. ICO is currently ongoing.


Improving on Privacy with Blockchain Technology

In today’s Orwellian society, privacy has become a rare and valuable asset that some go to great lengths to protect while others simply throw it away in exchange for convenience. As technology evolves, however, so does access to privacy-oriented tools and their underlying technology.

Blockchain tech has gone a long way in the realm of financial privacy, now Crypviser wants to build upon it and extend its use onto end-to-end message encryption by providing a blockchain-based all-in-one network for secure social and business communications. The project is currently undergoing a crowdfunding campaign that will help fund the development of this network.

A unified and secure instant communication network, Crypviser provides real end-to-end encryption and unique blockchain based authentication, the latter of which allows users to truly identify and confirm each other’s identity through the user of private and public keys.

The end result is a secure and private messenger which will also feature its CVCPay system, allowing users to send funds to each other anonymously.

Crypviser ICO & CVCoin

In order to fund the development and marketing of Crypviser’s network, a crowdfunding campaign is currently taking place. Taking the form of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), the Crypviser’s funding stage ill last until June 30, 2017, during which time investors can buy the CVCoin, the underlying token in the Crypviser’s platform.

The CVCoin is required in order to interact with the Crypviser platform and to cover its transaction fees. Transactions are required to authorize and identify the users’ access to public encryption keys, ensuring that messages cannot be forged nor can they be decrypted.

So far, the Crypviser ICO has managed to gather over $900,000. These funds will be used to cover mobile, backend, and infrastructure costs as well as licensing fees, legal services, operational costs, and of course, marketing.

The Initial Coin Offering is currently ongoing and will last until the 30th of June. Users can invest in the Crypviser ICO using Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even USD. Most recently, support for the TIME token was also added. 15 million CVCcoins will be distributed, along with special benefits such as free subscriptions, access to special features, free access to the CVPay system, and more. 

Can Blockchain technology help the internet regain its privacy? Can Crypviser become the merged solution we need for financial privacy and message encryption?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Crypviser

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Čvn 02

Russia Will Develop ‘Only Freely Tradeable’ National Cryptocurrency

· June 2, 2017 · 2:30 pm

Russia has confirmed it is developing its own bank-backed cryptocurrency amid mixed reports about its future status.


Central Bank VP: Cryptocurrency ‘Is The Future’

Various sources report that Central Bank senior vice-president Olga Skorobogatova, who was speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017, confirmed lawmakers’ next move as part of Russia’s increasingly hands-on approach to cryptocurrency.

“Regulators of all countries agree that it’s time to develop national cryptocurrencies, this is the future,” local news agency TASS translated a forum speech.

Every country will decide on specific time frames. After our pilot projects we will understand what system we could use in our case for our national currency.

Sberbank’s ‘Russian Bitcoin’ To Get Special Treatment?

While TASS adds that Sberbank chief Herman Gref was “in favor” of developing a national cryptocurrency, elsewhere it appears his involvement was much more explicit.

An unofficial news feed on social media platform Telegram cites unmentioned sources stating Sberbank will form the “basis” of what it calls “Russian Bitcoin.” In addition, this will be “the only cryptocurrency freely buyable and sellable in Russia” upon its release.

“All the others will only be available through exchangers or exchanges,” it added in a post Friday.

No Ban, Only Bank-Style ‘Monitoring’

It is understood that Russian authorities will no longer seek to ban or compromise the use of Bitcoin or altcoins in future regulatory packages.

Reversing its former hostile stance towards so-called “surrogate currencies,” the focus regarding regulation now appears to be on limiting risks to consumers while allowing somewhat intense “monitoring” of transactions in non-ruble currencies within Russia’s borders.

Previous updates from the government have included a specific wish to have Bitcoin transactions observed to the same degree as banking transactions, despite the fact that instigating such a policy would likely prove exceedingly difficult.

“We’ll be able to be more exact about this issue in two to three years’ time, once we have best practices in place and will be in a position to share with you what form [cryptocurrency implementation in Russia] will take,” a further news portal RBC cites Skorobogatova as saying.

Explicit documentation regarding taxation of cryptocurrencies is meanwhile expected this month.

A number of Russian banks in addition to Sberbank have made positive statements about both Bitcoin and Blockchain technology in recent months, one even likening Bitcoin to “positive bacteria” similar to those found in probiotic yogurt.

What do you think about Russia’s plans to develop its own cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Sberbank

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Čvn 02

China’s Central Bank Will Soon Regulate ICO’s

· June 2, 2017 · 9:00 am

The People’s Bank of China is turning its attention Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), seeking to regulate the new form of crowdfunding.


China to Regulate ICOs

Although cryptocurrency withdrawals are back on the big three Chinese exchanges, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) isn’t quite through with the cryptoworld. Now it seems like it’s going after Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), seeking to regulate the new phenomena in the crowdfunding world.

Chinese publication Weixin reports that Yao Qian, head of Digital Currency Research Institute at PBoC, has stated that the PBoC will soon regulate ICOs.

Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs are a way to fund projects or companies crowdfunding methods. This typically includes selling project tokens for fiat currency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular cryptocurrencies. These tokens are usually required in order to use the platform or they can also represent equity through a dividend or buy-back program.

Current ICO Landscape

The news comes at a time where ICOs are extremely popular, gathering millions of dollars every week and amassing higher and higher market caps.

Most recently, the Basic Attention Token (BAT) ICO, gathered $30million in a matter of seconds, while the Aragon project gathered $20million in roughly 15 minutes. The MobileGo ICO gathered over $53 million in the course of its month-long ICO.

Poloniex

While most ICOs currently take place through the use of the Ethereum network, other projects are also getting in on the action, as is the case of the Waves Platform, Wings DAO, and Ethereum Classic.

Although some of these crowdfunding campaigns have had exorbitant returns for investors, many members of the community are also raising questions about the validity of some of these projects and if they are really worth tens of millions of dollars before having even built their project/platform or an MVP (minimum viable product).

Regulatory Clarity Could Boost Industry

Although the moratorium on cryptocurrency withdrawals has come to an end, the PBoC has stated that they are not yet done with Bitcoin exchanges.  Now, Bitcoin miners in the country are starting to shut down their operations in fear of future regulatory pressure like the one applied to exchanges.

Some Bitcoin miners in the Szechuan province, a place with cheaper electricity prices due to abundant hydropower resources, have decided to shut down in fear of regulation. One miner told YiCai Global:

The price is so high at the moment. Shutting down costs mine owners hundreds of thousands of yuan every day.

In China, the pressure from the PBoC has resulted in a weakened Bitcoin market, strict KYC policies and may now also affect mining and ICOs as well. However, regulation can also be helpful. In Japan, the new regulatory framework built around cryptocurrencies has allowed their popularity to grow in the country.

Can the new stance on Initial Coin Offerings by the PBoC change the ICO landscape? 


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, Twitter, Shutterstock

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Čvn 01

UK’s Most Popular Investment Platform to Offer Bitcoin

· June 1, 2017 · 8:30 am

UK’s most popular investment platform, Hargreaves Lansdown, will soon allow its clients to invest in Bitcoin.


Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown, the administer £70bn of investor money with 876,000 clients, has announced it will allow customers access to invest in Bitcoin.

“By adding self-service, online dealing, the team at Hargreaves Lansdown is providing UK investors with professional and quick access to bitcoin in the UK and greater Europe,”  Ryan Radloff, XBT’s head of investor relations told the Telegraph.

This follows the recent news that the American financial services corporation, Fidelity Investments, will soon allow their clients the ability to view their cryptocurrency holdings on the Coinbase website.

However, Hargreaves Lansdown, are using a fund offered by a Swedish company, XBT Provider, which is structured as an ETN or exchange-traded note. These funds are listed on the stock exchange meaning Bitcoin can be bought and sold as a share.

“The value of and any amount payable under the certificates will be strongly affected by the performance of Bitcoin and the US dollar/krona exchange rate,” XBT Provider explains. “As such an investment in the certificates is likely to be highly volatile and thus risky.”

In other words, British Bitcoin investors will be exposed to two areas of risk, not just the famous volatility of the cryptocurrency itself, but also to the US dollar/Swedish Krona exchange rate.

Clients Asked to Invest in Bitcoin

Danny Cox, head of communications at Lansdown noted that the decision to add Bitcoin as an investment option was driven in part by customer demand.

Cox:

We have seen a handful of clients asking for the ETN, so it’s not purely driven by a provider wanting to be listed.

This interest, although written off as a handful, demonstrates that the demand must surely have been significant among traditional investors for the company to include it.

Despite the potential risks, Bitcoin has (again) been outperforming every asset and fiat currency in 2017, and smart money is starting to pay attention. This is a major step for Bitcoin towards mainstream adoption and becoming a legitimate asset for traditional finance.

Is Bitcoin finally breaking into mainstream finance? Will other brokers follow suite? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock, moneytothemasses.com

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Kvě 31

India Could ‘Legalize’ Bitcoin Next As Public Calls for Regulation

· May 31, 2017 · 10:00 am

India could legalize Bitcoin in the near future as feedback from citizens and businesses appears to be in support of regulating virtual currencies.


India’s Gov’t Asks Public About Virtual Currencies

The online comments section, which is to run for 10 days, has already received nearly 4,000 submissions since it was launched on May 21st.

The areas polled are: whether Virtual Currencies (VCs) should be banned, regulated or observed? In case VCs are suggested to be regulated, then what measures should be taken to ensure consumer protection, promote development and also which institution should be monitoring and regulating them?

It goes on to also ask what would be effective self regulatory mechanisms, and the methods which should be adopted to ensure consumer protection in these scenarios.

Feedback From Citizens & Organizations

Most comments are brief, but they do represent a generally positive opinion of Bitcoin and virtual currencies in general with some encouraging everyone to profit via taxation.

For example, one person commented:

Bitcoin, Blockchain is the future of finance, administration, governance, markets, IT etc. This technology has huge potential for a growing country like India. India should follow Japan, embrace this technology without introducing road blocks. If India put regulatory burden on it, it will not limit the technology but will keep India isolated from its benefits. Like internet, tech will grow irrespective. We have choice to embrace, or be left behind..

Another person said that government regulation will help reduce corruption and black market trade as well as proving useful for the economy as a whole.

Tarkesh Tambulkar wrote: 

Bitcoin is the future of India, it is also increases the tax of Indian government. So it should be regulated

“Bitcoin regulatory should improve economical growth in India, crypto currency makes digital India to reduce poverty in future it will reduce corruption and black money if government takes action to make bitcoin is legal and regulated,” added Melika Rajarao

Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd also weighed in, commenting:

We propose that Bitcoin be accepted as legal financial instrument in India and the regulations be governed under a separate ‘Virtual Currency Act’. The adoption of virtual currency should be encouraged in India since Blockchain technologies are now considered to be the future of electronic financial transactions. A very strong impetus to legalize virtual currency is its potential to drastically reduce corruption, shrink transaction costs and eliminate third party involvement.

There are some dissenting voices too, who call for the currency to be banned outright.

“We must impose ban on all kind of cryptocurrency at the earliest. It should be made illegal Gready indians [sic] have already invested their hard earned money and they are going to lose their money very soon,” wrote Manish Rai.

Overall, the responses appear to be in favor of “legalizing” Bitcoin via regulation, with other commentators seeing it as beneficial to the technological growth of the country, as well as staying in line with international trends like in Japan.

9 of 10 New Internet Users Will Be Indian

It is important to also consider India’s unique position, and the type of citizen who would actually be commenting online. India is a developing country with much of its internet activity currently done in English, relating as much to infrastructural barriers as much as language ones. What’s more is many only connect via their mobile phones.

These issues were explored in a report conducted by the consulting firm KPMG India and Google exploring the use of the Internet in the country.

“80% of Indian language internet users face challenges in using English keyboards. About 55% of the users find the high cost and limited internet access as key barrier for using the Internet regularly,” the report states.

There is positive news though, as the country would seem to be overtaking China in terms of new internet adoption.

“In the last few years, the rapid scale of adoption of Internet across the country has set the ball rolling and today Indian language users have already overtaken the total number of English language users on the Internet in India,” the report notes.

The report forecasts that digital payments, online government services and e-tailing will see the fastest growth in adoption by Indian language users.

At the same time, Bitcoin appears to be spreading rapidly in India, which can be see by a constant rise in trading volumes and increasing merchant adoption throughout the country.

Bitcoinist has previously covered Bitcoins use as ‘digital gold’ in India here and how it is helping the population overcome the friction of the Indian Rupee.

Will India’s government go for regulating VC’s, maintain the status quo or attempt to ban Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter 

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Kvě 30

UASF Continues to Gain Support as ‘Secret’ SegWit2x Roadmap Revealed

· May 30, 2017 · 10:30 am

Though a Bitcoin scaling agreement was reached at the recent Consensus conference in New York, many companies are increasingly supporting a User-Activated Soft Fork (UASF)  as a means to activate SegWit.


UASF Still on the Table

Although reports have stated that the Bitcoin scaling debate may be coming to an end due to what has been known as the ‘Barry Silbert Agreement,’ recent developments indicate that it may still be far from over, leaving other options like the User Activated Soft Fork (UASF), a proposal that has been slowly gaining traction among Bitcoin businesses.

The given agreement dubbed “SegWit2x” is a compromise by several companies in the blockchain space that represent roughly 83% of the global hash rate to activate the SegWit proposal at an 80% threshold and to activate a 2MB hard fork within six months.

Meanwhile, prominent Bitcoin community member “WhalePanda”  tweeted out the details of the SegWit2x proposal today. The roadmap sets only a month for testing. Furthermore, it proposes to get the nodes up and running as well as signaling by July 21st, 2017.

Interestingly, this falls before the BIP 148 August 1st activation date.

Given its short timeframe, Bitcoin Core proponents say that the given approach is not enough to properly implement a hard fork. Due to its risky nature, it would require a second SegWit BIP to be introduced before the current one expires.

This means that the UASF may be the only way to realistically implement SegWit. Although the proposal is viewed by some as somewhat “intrusive” or even dangerous, 27 companies have shown support for it, a number that has more than doubled since the last time we talked about this subject.

Who Supports UASF?

Since the last time we visited this subject, 15 companies have signaled their support for the UASF proposal, including:

  • Abra;
  • Bitcoin Embassy;
  • Bitcoin India;
  • Bitfury;
  • Bitrefill;
  • Electrum;
  • Mycelium and others.

Currently seven companies are also opposing the UASF: Bitpay, Bitillions, BTCPOP, CoinATMRadar, F2Pool, MrCoin, and OXT. Meanwhile, both the Ledger and Trezor hardware wallet manufacturers are currently ready for the UASF BIP 148 update.

While most companies are in favor of the miner activated SegWit, the same level of support is not reflected with the UASF proposal. Some companies are still waiting for a less intrusive method of activating SegWit. ShapeShift, for example, has publically stated that it will wait for the Barry Silbert agreement to materialize. If it doesn’t, then ShapeShift will run a BIP 148 UASF node.

The reason why companies are still waiting for other solutions can be found in the nature of the User Activated Soft Fork, which poses some potential dangers for the Bitcoin ecosystem.

What is UASF & What Are the Risks?

A User Activated Soft Fork is a soft fork in which the users or nodes create a penalty for miners that do not signal the intended soft fork. This is done through a modified version of a Bitcoin Client, which gives a block height limit for miners to start signaling SegWit.

Once this block height is reached,  nodes that are running the UASF client will stop accepting blocks that don’t support SegWit. Since nodes are the ones that verify transactions, if a majority of nodes is running a UASF client, then blocks that don’t signal SegWit will be considered invalid by the majority of nodes, while SegWit blocks will be accepted by every node, old and new.

Though this system seems like a sure way to activate SegWit, it sill poses some dangers for miners that continue to mine non-SegWit blocks and for nodes that are not running the UASF client. If a majority of miners decide not to support SegWit, there will be a chain split and old nodes that are not running UASF will follow the chain with the most miners.

This would mean that the Bitcoin blockchain would be split into two chains, one with and the other one without SegWit. The blockchain in which SegWit would be active would be the one with the least hash power, a concerning factor for Bitcoin’s security.

Do you think SegWit can be activated without the UASF proposal? Can the SegWit + 2mb Hard fork Bitcoin Scaling Agreement get it done? Share your thoughts on the comment section.


Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock

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Kvě 29

China’s Biggest Exchanges to Add Ethereum, Other Altcoins as Demand Surges

· May 29, 2017 · 7:00 am

As altcoins continue to gain popularity throughout the world, Bitcoin exchanges in China are also getting in on the action and listing alternative cryptocurrencies.


Huobi to Support Altcoins

As the moratorium on cryptocurrency withdrawals is expected to soon end in China, exchanges in the country seem to be turning their attention to alternative cryptocurrencies. Two days ago, one of the big three exchanges in China, Huobi, announced it will launch Ethereum trading on May 31.

The announcement reads:

We are excited to announce the CNY/ETH will be listed on our exchanges. Trading will start at 12:00 May 31st (GMT +8). ETH deposit and withdrawal is available from now on.

Today, Huobi released a list of altcoins that are to be added in the future according to the rank of the coin in said list. According to Huboi’s underlying model, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple are the highest ranking coins following Bitcoin, followed by Dash, Zcash and Dogecoin.

Online news service cnLedger tweeted:

The list was ranked using a model created by Huobi which factors in the coin’s strategy, marketing, activity, risk and technology to calculate the relevance of the coin.

The list and underlying model can be seen in Huobi’s official announcement.

BTCC to Get In On the Action as Well

Huobi isn’t the only Bitcoin exchange in China that is to list alternative cryptocurrencies.

After a two-week poll, in which over 190k votes by the cryptocurrency community were counted, Ethereum Classic will be listed in the BTCC exchange. Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC tweeted:

Although the exchanges employed a completely different method in which Huobi used a model to rank cryptocurrencies and BTCC used a community poll, both exchanges are interested in opening the doors for the Chinese community to invest in  alternative cryptocurrencies.

Huobi and BTCC, however, are not the first exchanges in the country to list alternative cryptocurrencies. The China-based Yunbi exchange allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Etherem, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, QTUM, Bitshares, and others. BTC38 also offers a multitude of cryptocurrencies to be bought and sold for CNY. Lastly, CHBTC also lists Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin.

Crypto in Asia

Although less-known exchanges in the country offer altcoin trading, most Chinese users are only familiar with Bitcoin and Litecoin, given that most cryptocurrency investors use one of the big three exchanges in the country, BTCC, OKCoin and Huobi.

China plays a big part in the Bitcoin world, ranking in the top 3 countries by daily trading volume but other countries in the continent are becoming increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies and it’s not just Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Take Japan, for example, where the recent Bitcoin law has created an accentuated demand for cryptocurrencies, making the JPY the biggest Bitcoin pair in the world by trading volume and that’s not all. Other cryptocurrencies are also gaining traction in the country.

Co-Founder of IndieSquare and Community Director at the Counterparty Foundation, stated in a recent blog post:

First, one of the unique characteristics of the Japanese crypto space is that altcoins are very popular as a means of investment and some of them have very strong and dedicated communities; some even more active than the Bitcoin community itself in a way. Among them, two of the most popular altcoins in Japan are XRP(Ripple) and XEM(NEM).

In South Korea, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are also extremely popular, even more so than Bitcoin whose daily trading volume is smaller than that of ETH or ETC.

With China adhering to the altcoin craze, could Asia become the capital for alternative cryptocurrencies?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.com, Twitter 

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Kvě 26

Monaco Visa Card ICO Brings Crypto Token Spending To The Masses

· May 26, 2017 · 8:00 am

The cryptocurrency debit card market is gaining a new heavyweight as Monaco continues its 150,000 ETH ICO.


Debit Cards Take Advantage Of ICO Craze

Monaco, which is raising funds to launch its prepaid Visa card for spending Bitcoin and ERC20 tokens with fiat currency, has accrued around 26,000 ETH since the token sale began May 18.

The event marks the fully-fledged entry of crypto debit cards into the ICO realm, which has already seen startups with all manner of USPs benefit from millions of dollars in funding.

“Given the interest in the product over the past six months, it is likely demand will exceed supply,” bullish co-founder and CFO Rafael Melo said in an introductory video.

Speculation-Proofing ERC20 Tokens

Despite the mixed reactions to Ethereum startups’ ICOs in recent months, Monaco is hoping its multifaceted token plans will allay any fears among investors.

FundYourselfNow Crowdfunding Platform Announces Q1 2018 Launch, ICO Starts June 2, 2017

Sales of its MCO token are being performed on a sliding exchange rate to ETH, giving early investors an effective discount. Once the product is launched, a 1% so-called “software license fee” will send a portion of card transactions to a smart contract, generating value over time for MCO.

Incentive schemes such as lack of presale and a referral program are ostensibly designed to improve uptake and prevent ‘whale’ investors controlling significant portions of the token offering.

That said, Monaco is running a bidding program that will award a more advantageous ‘Black’ card to the ICO’s biggest investor.

Novice Users Targeted To Remove Confusion From Crypto Spending

Despite the project only being in worked on for 12 months, the huge surge in interest around Ethereum among lay consumers is generating spending demand. Cryptocurrency exchanges recently reported 600% increases in new users fueled by price rises, many of whom demonstrated a lack of knowledge about what Bitcoin or Ether really are.

Monaco is attempting to keep its product “beautifully simple,” as per promotional literature, using what it describes as “near-perfect exchange rates” to net novice users and beat out competitor offerings with higher fees.

CEO Kris Marszalek went as far as to promise that users would even save “up to 40€ out of every 500€” spent on the Visa card purely as a result of its improved FX rates.

User acquisition will meanwhile take an entirely app-based form, the startup saying it has “solved compliance issues” to enable facial scan and a “3-minute” registration process before cards can be ordered and used.

The ICO is due to conclude June 18.

[Note: This is a sponsored article] 

What do you think about Monaco’s ICO and debit card? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, mona.co

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