Srp 07

CashCow ICO Looks To Boost Indonesian Cattle Farmers’ Profits

· August 7, 2017 · 4:00 pm

Hong Kong based Bitcoin Entrepreneur James Bang announces CashCow ICO designed to increase Indonesian cattle farmers’ profits from the sale of their cows from 20% to 33%.


The South China Morning Post reported on Bitcoin entrepreneur and investor James Bangs’ desire to revolutionize the cattle financing model, specifically in Indonesia where the large population of farmers is unable to buy their cattle assets outright.

 Family Vacation To Indonesian Family Led To CashCow Idea

Family Vacation To Indonesian Family Led To CashCow Idea

James Bang first thought of the CashCow ICO during a trip to Indonesia with his family, where he observed that his Father-in-law had sold two cows for HK$27,300 (approximately $3489.82 US Dollars) to pay for the renovation of his kitchen.

Bang noted:

For another family, their motorcycle was old and they needed to upgrade. So they sold two or three cows to be able to afford a major purchase.

Cattle are then easily accounted for by representing them with tokens on a fully documented blockchain ledger, in this case, the Ethereum blockchain. However, most poorer Indonesian farmers do not directly own the full worth of their cows, which are financed for purchase by third party financiers. The farmers are liable for costs such as feed and veterinarian bills while the financier often takes the largest share of a cow’s final sale price, whether this be to another owner or directly to beef production facilities.

Airbnb for Cows

Airbnb for Cows

Discussing the impetus behind CashCow, Bang explained:

I was really inspired by Airbnb… I figured how can we apply this to the agricultural industry … There had to be a way these farmers could maximize their extra farm space.

While the South China Morning Post does not elaborate on this point, it is possible that farmers will be able to leverage their extra farming space by possibly accommodating investor cows. Bang hopes to raise US$15 million through the offering set for launch in October 2017, which will be used to fund the purchase of calves.

Higher Returns for Cattle Farmers

Bang said his goal is to give farmers higher returns when they sell their cattle, which he sets at 33 per cent, given the cost cutting afforded by the lack of third party accounting this is a reasonable increase in income for farmers currently only getting 20% of the cows’ final sale value.

Finally, Bang will also give investors 33 per cent from every cattle sale, with his start-up reinvesting the remaining third to purchase further cattle and build larger cow sheds.

Will this ICO be something you are interested in and is this the kind of ICO that you think Blockchain technology is ideal for? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Pexels

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Čvc 16

Mystery Ethereum Millionaire Has Regulators Fuming Over Cryptocurrency Anonymity

· July 16, 2017 · 1:00 pm

A man who can only be identified by his anonymous digital wallet address has renewed concerns that many regulators have over a new breed of cryptocurrency millionaires. How do they tax, and monitor illegal activities, of masked cryptocurrency users?


An Instagram post that sparked these concerns again read:

I get many private messages asking how much ether I have. […] One of the cool things about Ethereum is that all wallets around the world are transparent and open for everyone to see. And this is my wallet’s savings.

The figure that was visible in the post was $283 million, apparently made in less than a month with only $55 million of fiat currency. This is a 413 percent return that, while impressive, is also concerning to regulators for a few reasons.

An Environment for Criminality and Tax Evasion

As the mystery trader stated in his post, Ethereum, or indeed any digital currency wallet is totally transparent and visible to all, but it is also totally anonymous, something that is of huge concern for regulators.

Regulators would prefer an identity to be tied to digital wallets in order to enact taxation, but also to keep tabs on what the currencies are being spent, legal or otherwise.

The case of Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the nom de guerre Dread Pirate Roberts, the operator of the infamous Silk Road, remained an enigma to regulators and law enforcement while profiting through anonymous digital transactions made to his untraceable wallet.

Not All Cryptocurrency Activity Illegal

Not All Cryptocurrency Activity Illegal

It cannot be proven that this latest mystery millionaire has achieved his funds by any dubious means, especially considering that the month in which he quadrupled his money was one which saw Ethereum almost double its value going from about $220 to just touching $400.

Many regulators believe that a system of taxation on digital currencies will actually aid their stability, and ultimately, its growth.

According to draft legislation issued by the European Parliament in March:

That’s not to say that (this latest Ethereum millionaire) or any other entities are doing anything illegal. But opacity may be worsening jagged price movements. The value of ether, for example, rose from about $8 a unit at the start of the year to crest at $400 in June before settling. A lack of transparency could also be stifling the mainstreaming of online money.

The Tax Man Cometh

The Tax Man Cometh

Regulators would have many digital currency users believe that the anonymous nature of their coins of choice would stunt their ability to be taken seriously and adopted in a mass market. However, the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has in its very DNA anonymity at its core and that very aspect is the reason many have flooded to cryptocurrencies in recent months.

Ironically, if regulators get their way (and it is likely that they will) and are able to pull the masks off of holders of digital currencies, they could wind up damaging the very assets that they are trying to tax. A break in anonymity for Ethereum users, for instance, would drive them towards cryptocurrencies that have better privacy, such as Zcash and Monero.

Escaping Digital Currencies' Dark Past

Escaping Digital Currencies’ Dark Past

While Bitcoin and several other coins that sprung up in its wake have mostly broken the shackles of their dark past, their links to the Dark Web and other nefarious activities are resulting in their being implicated in illegal acts even today.

Recent ransomware attacks on institutions as big as the National Health Service in the United Kingdom have seen demands for payment to be made in Bitcoin to the hacker for the release of sensitive information. It is the secret nature of these accounts, untraceable and anonymous, that is allowing hackers thrive on such a huge scale.

Would taxation on your digital coins drive you away from using them? Do you think governments and regulators need to stop the illegal use of digital currencies? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikimedia Commons

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Bře 07

BitKan: Our Volume Grew ‘Twelve Times’ Since PBoC Halted Withdrawals

· March 7, 2017 · 12:00 pm

2,631 views

Bitcoinist spoke with Leon Liu, the CEO of BitKan, a Chinese P2P Bitcoin trading service, to get a better idea on the current situation following the recent regulatory clampdown on Bitcoin exchange withdrawals in the country.


Bitcoinist: What kind of trading services does BitKan provide?

Leon Liu (LL): BitKan provides P2P bitcoin trading services with broker match-making to save time for our users. During a trade, BitKan acts as an escrow service, guaranteeing funds delivery for both sides. Users can also trade small amounts in five minutes.

Bitcoinist: How has the recent restrictions imposed by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on crypto-exchanges impacted your operations?

LL: The PBoC focused on the three biggest exchanges. PBoC actions did not have any impact on us because it focuses on money laundering, currency outflows and pyramid schemes. We do not provide such services to our customers. That’s why we weren’t impacted. Right now, customers can use our platform to withdraw Bitcoin after 3 days.

Bitcoinist_PBOC

Bitcoinist: China’s overall Bitcoin trading volume has seen a significant drop due to these PBoC inspections. Have traders gone abroad or have they simply moved off-exchange and into P2P and OTC markets? Have you seen an uptick in P2P, OTC trading as a result?

LL: There are two kinds of customers: the first kind buys bitcoin and uses it. So, they need to withdraw bitcoin. Yes, some of these people went to other small markets, where withdrawals weren’t suspended.

Some went to the OTC market. It is difficult for Chinese people to access foreign markets. Therefore, these customers cannot buy Bitcoin abroad using CNY. Also it is difficult to exchange CNY to USD in China.

Our volume grew by twelve times [since withdrawals were suspended].

The second kind of customer trades bitcoin, buying and selling it to earn a profit. In fact, most people speculate with the price this way, and then they withdraw CNY. And yes, our volume grew by twelve times.

Bitcoinist: Who is your typical customer?

LL: We have two kinds of customers. Those new to bitcoin and who buy their first bitcoin on our platform; and then there are users who already have basic knowledge about bitcoin and who do not want to trade on exchanges.

coin-dance-localbitcoins-cny-volume

Bitcoinist: How does your P2P trading service compare to the increasingly popular LocalBitcoins, for example, which has seen exponential growth in China following the suspension of withdrawals?

LL: The first step for our customers is registration via email. If they want to trade on our platform they need enter their cellphone number. If users want to trade more that 5 BTC a day – they need to comply with KYC and AML guidelines.

The difference with LocalBitcoins is that BitKan offers a mobile phone app that is easy to use. Second, all traders must go through the KYC process, to ensure safe trading.

BitKan is better localized for the Chinese market compared to LocalBitcoins

Third, trading is faster than on LocalBitcoins and a trade can go through within a minute. Fourth, BitKan is better localized for the Chinese market compared to LocalBitcoins.

Bitcoinist: So customers can buy up to 5 BTC with just their email address?

LL: Yes, the maximum is 5 BTC without having to submit any personal information.

Bitcoinist: Do you agree with BTCC CEO Bobby Lee that Bitcoin is not being used to bypass Chinese capital controls – that it’s mostly hype created by the media? 

LL: We agree with Bobby Lee. This goes back to 2013 when the government said that Bitcoin is a commodity. It can not be used by companies for payment. Now, Bitcoin is used mainly for two things in China – mining and trading (speculation).

bitkan-co-founders-original

Bitcoinist: Bitcoin mining giant BitMain invested $1.6 million into your platform last year. What have you done with these funds so far and what are your future plans?

LL: We spent the investment on global promotion and development. In the future, we are going to roll out our OTC business globally.

Segwit will not be the best solution for Bitcoin scaling, it will make the Bitcoin network more complicated.

Bitcoinist: Bitmain is a supporter of the Bitcoin Unlimited scaling proposal. Where do you stand on this issue in the scaling debate?

LL: We support Bitcoin scaling first and foremost, but we do not support a fork. We hope that the parties can reach some agreement. My personal opinion is that SegWit [Segregated Witness] will not be the best solution for Bitcoin scaling, it will make the Bitcoin network more complicated.

Bitcoinist: Finally, how is your planned expansion into the US market coming along?

LL: This is still in the early stages, but we are making some progress. The USD market is now the second biggest for BitKan. The US has different regulatory policies across different states, and BitKan will comply with these laws accordingly.

[Full disclosure: Bitcoinist is not owned by and is not associated with BitKan.]

Will the Bitcoin OTC and P2P trading continue to grow in China? Let us know below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, BitKan, BItcoin Magazine, Coin.dance

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Úno 28

PayPal on Blockchain: ‘Why Don’t We Just Use a Database?’

· February 28, 2017 · 9:00 am

If something works, why change it? PayPal’s Harper Reed has dismissed “boring” Blockchain technology, choosing to stick to the traditional databases.


‘Why Don’t We Just Use a Database?’

In the midst of the “chainwashing” trend, some companies seem to be taking the high road and staying clear of Bitcoin’s underlying Blockchain technology. This is the case with PayPal which, despite its ambitions to become the dominant global online payments platform, has distanced itself from this prospect.

reed

When asked about the potential for blockchain technology at the 4YFN conference, Harper Reed, the Director of Software Development for PayPal, dismissed it stating:

Whenever people say why don’t we use the blockchain to do this, I think why don’t we just use a database?

This is, in fact what PayPal has been doing all along with its own centralized online payments app Venmo, which is now processing nearly $20 billion USD per year and is much in vogue among millennials, in particular.

Reed went on to reference Bitcoin’s “dark market” image as the medium of exchange for the deep web economy, suggesting that the technology would benefit from a rebrand:

When I think of blockchain I think of drugs, and I’m not really a drug user so I find it really boring.

PayPal & Bitcoin

However, this comes as a relatively refreshing stance towards Blockchain, despite Reed’s misconception regarding Bitcoin being a “drug currency.”

PayPal seems to be more focused on results and on the user-experience itself, rather than on hype and the technology that works in the background, which was the key point of Harper Reed’s talk at 4YFN, the startup spin-off of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Nevertheless, PayPal has had several “encounters” with blockchain technology and Bitcoin itself. In June 2016, PayPal partnered with the digital asset exchange and wallet Coinbase, allowing users to sell bitcoin and cash out to their PayPal accounts.

thiel

Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and close adviser to President Donald Trump, has also expressed his interest in the technology, having invested in several Bitcoin startups himself.

He once stated:

PayPal had these goals of creating a new currency. We failed at that, and we just created a new payment system. I think Bitcoin has succeeded on the level of a new currency.

Thiel is becoming an extremely important adviser for Donald Trump, who is increasingly being associated with Bitcoin supporters like 21 Inc. CEO Balaji S. Srinivasan and the recently appointed U.S. Budget Chief Mick Mulvaney, also known as “Bitcoin Congressman.”

Will PayPal retain its competitive edge in the future despite shunning blockchain technology? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, queerty.com, wikipedia.com

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Úno 24

CNBC: Bitcoin Price Surge is Start Of ‘Inflationary Period’

· February 24, 2017 · 9:00 am

As Bitcoin hits all-time highs, the infinite wisdom of CNBC and the mainstream press surfaces again as a bizarre news piece suggests the start of an “inflationary period.”


Bitcoin Surge ‘Might Not Mean What You Think’ – CNBC

The segment from the network’s Trading Nation, which aired Thursday, also included commentators describing Bitcoin as a currency for “buying kidneys.”

Bitcoin is surging – but that might not mean what you think,” an accompanying article reads.

optimized-shutterstock_239151169

Asked whether he had an “opinion” on Bitcoin, Dennis Davitt of Harvest Volatility Management said about among other things that he “really liked Bitcoin” but that “the big fear around Bitcoin is just one day when the governments come out and say, ‘We’re no longer going to allow this.’”

No mention was given to the cryptocurrency’s ongoing sustained price increase shaking off regulatory pressure – particularly in China – more effectively than at any time in its history.

chart

Indeed, despite Bitcoin’s volatility becoming less and less, Davitt suggested that the most recent increases were, in essence, a bubble.

“What people don’t put together is that… Bitcoin is moving into an inflationary environment,” he continued. Bitcoin is, in fact, a deflationary currency due to its limited supply and is currently deflating at a rate of around 4%.

screenshot-2017-02-24-at-16-31-22

‘All The Blockchaining’

Nonetheless, Blockchain technology came in for more positive criticism – of sorts.

In a world of armageddon, currencies will go by the way of the countries, but Bitcoin will still have value because of all the blockchaining that’s going on behind it,” Davitt forecast.

cnbc

Commentators reacted to the piece and accompanying performance chart with ridicule, one Reddit user suggesting CNBC was “either stupid or has some agenda.”

With this, CNBC is slowly stooping to the level of CNN. The infamous comments made by US president Donald Trump about the network, in which he described it as “fake news” and “very fake news,” have gone on to make the politician an increasing ally of the cryptocurrency community.

Trump’s pick for budget chief in the form of ‘Bitcoin Senator’ Mick Mulvaney received positive feedback, along with close ties with crypto investor Peter Thiel.

Cashless Society Support

Fellow Trading Nation guest, Miller Tabak equity strategist Matt Maley, meanwhile voiced support for the “cashless society” being propagated by multiple governments worldwide.

Despite this is many cases being more of a ‘war on cash,’ Bitcoin has profited from increased use in crucible jurisdictions such as India and Venezuela. Maley said however that the cashless society “makes things easier for everyone.”

“It’s hard to be that bearish especially now that [Bitcoin] has become more mainstream,” he concluded.

What do you think about CNBC’s opinions? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CNBC, btcvol.info, plot.ly/~Bash

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Úno 14

8 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Everyone Who Loves Bitcoin

· February 14, 2017 · 8:00 am

Valentine’s Day is upon us! Forgot? No worries, Bitcoinist has got you covered. We are going to show you the best gifts Bitcoin can buy for all your Valentine’s Day needs!


Valentine’s Day for the Bitcoinist

Valentine’s Day is here and if you’re as bad with this kind of things as I am, then you’re probably looking for a last-minute gift that can fill someone’s heart without emptying your pockets. There’s only one problem, though: If you really are like me, then you probably don’t have any fiat cash on you either. Or maybe you just want to use Bitcoin because, hey a special occasion deserves a special currency!

While a permanent love letter on the most secure and popular blockchain is a pretty strong statement and can be done in a few minutes, your better half may be expecting something more tangible.

1) Chocolate from OverStock

We’re going to start off with a cliche but with a twist! Instead of getting a box of chocolates, why not go big and give a three-pound solid milk chocolate heart from Lang’s Chocolates. Nothing says I love you like chocolate!

overtsock-chocolate

You can get this item from Overstock and guess what… you can buy anything from OverStock with Bitcoin!

2) Flowers from FlowerUSSR

Roses are red, violets are blue. I spent some Bitcoin, buying flowers for you. You can find a wide variety of flowers (and other gifts) on FlowersUSSR.

2016-03-20_21-43-09-398x215

While this is an international service, users in Eastern Europe can expect the delivery to be quicker. FlowerUSSR allows you to pay both with Bitcoin and Litecoin!

3) Clothing from OpenBazaar

No, we’re not going to tell you which piece you should get and which color, but we will tell you this: If you’re going for clothing, make sure you know his/her size and follow your heart. We know you’ll do well. You can search for clothing items on OpenBazaar which accepts both Bitcoin and altcoins through ShapeShift.

4) Jewelry from Reeds

So ‘hodling’ Bitcoin has paid out and you’re looking for something shiny and pretty to gift? Well, look no further, on Reeds Jewelers you can find virtually any type of jewelry and you can pay for it with Bitcoin!

5) Purse/Wallet from Purse.io

If your better half still carries paper money (a.k.a worthless fiat currency) around, then she’ll need a place to keep it and even if she/he doesn’t, he/she will most likely find a use for this next gift, a purse or wallet (no, we mean an actual physical wallet).

purseio-bitcoinist

What better place to find a purse than a website called Purse.io? Purse allows you to buy items from Amazon at a discount, so you can browse through multiple listings on Purse.io or you can find your item on Amazon and try to buy it from Purse.io at a discount.

6) Vacation with Expedia, CheapAir

If you want to go big and take your loved one somewhere nice and relaxing, why not book a flight with Expedia or CheapAir?

Beach sunset in Renaca, Chile

You can pay for it with Bitcoin and you can even book a hotel (and more) on the website directly. 

7) Romantic Dinner

A classic! But what does it have to do with Bitcoin, you may ask. Well, thanks to Coinmap, you can find restaurants and other stores (maybe a cinema?) that accept Bitcoin anywhere in the world!

couple-enjoying-a-romantic-dinner

So, find a good looking place, load up your wallet, and have fun!

8) Bitcoin

Yes, Bitcoin! I know this may sound a bit obvious, but bear with me. Bitcoin is something that you obviously love, so why not share your passion with your loved ones?

analyst, bitcoin

Send them some bits and teach them how to use them. Although gifting money is a bit out of fashion, this particular gift will be one that they may remember for the rest of their lives. If you see yourself with your significant other in the future, introducing them to the future of money might just be the ultimate gift! 

Bit Lonely?

Not everyone has someone to spend Valentine’s Day with. For everyone that is currently looking or still stuck in the “friend zone,” we have come up with a special treat!

Valentine's

Why not look for your better half with your best cash? That’s right, you now use Bitcoin to find love! Sparklet is a Bitcoin powered online dating website that may change your life for the better, so give it a go.

Will you spend Bitcoin this Valentine’s Day or keep hodling on? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, alpinemountainchalets.com, flowersussr, Purse.io

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Úno 09

Philippines ‘Legitimizes’ Its Bitcoin Industry with Friendly Regulation

· February 9, 2017 · 5:30 am

The Philippines Central Bank has released guidelines on Bitcoin regulation, which “basically legitimizes the local Bitcoin industry.”


Bank: Bitcoin Has ‘Potential to Revolutionize’

This is the summary from a co-founder of the country’s largest Bitcoin startup, Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI), which also runs exchange Bitmarket.ph.

The Bangko Sentral’s decision from January 19th, the text of which was released February 6,

[…]recognizes that Virtual Currency (VC) systems have the potential to revolutionize delivery of financial services, particularly for payments and remittance, in view of their ability to provide faster and more economical transfer of funds, both domestic and international, and may further support financial inclusion.

Thus, the bank wishes to ensure the regulatory environment “encourages financial innovation while at the same time ensure that the Philippines shall not be used for money laundering… or terrorist financing… activities and that the financial system and financial consumers are adequately protected.”

89496980a1d9375ad2a916015405071b

Commenting on the landmark move in a Medium post and on Reddit, Miguel Antonio Cuneta, one of SCI’s founding members, said that three years’ work had now come to fruition and the industry could enjoy official protection.

Before this, the Bitcoin startups here had no way to prove to banks and other financial services required to operate a viable business that they are operating above board, meaning financial institutions would refuse to work with them (just like almost everywhere else in the world) forcing startups to scramble to stay alive,” he explained.

He added that he had been liaising personally with the bank and authorities since 2014, and that the finished product would “set a historical precedent for others to follow.”

Regs Only When Fiat Involved

While the guidelines are still a “work in progress,” the Bank is set to take a hands-off approach to virtual currencies. The exception will be where pesos are involved, such as exchanges, where operators will need to comply with relevant AML requirements.

“Depending on the complexity of VC (virtual currency) operations and business models adopted, a VC exchange shall put in place adequate risk management and security control mechanisms to address, manage and mitigate technology risks associated with VCs,” bank documents read.

ft-philippinesbpo

The Philippines has a long tradition as a center of remittances. World Bank data shows that from the later 1970s to 2015, volumes grew at an astonishing rate, placing the country among the biggest markets in the world. The potential for Bitcoin to step in, then, is obvious.

SCI meanwhile has been gradually expanding to become a major Filipino market presence over the past couple of years. In 2015, it purchased rival startup, the exchange BuyBitcoin.ph, and now operates under a universal services setup, dealing in remittances and payment processing and mobile money.

What do you think about the Phillippines Central Bank’s decision? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of usfunds.com, Shutterstock

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