Bitcoin Cash Developers Debate an Idea Called Pre-Consensus

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Bitcoin Cash Developers Debate an Idea Called Pre-Consensus

Technology & Security

This past Thursday, the lead developer of Bitcoin ABC, Amaury Séchet, published a paper on the social media platform Yours.org about a protocol technique called ‘pre-consensus.’ According to Séchet, and other BCH developers like Bitcoin Unlimited’s Peter Rizun, pre-consensus could improve block propagation time, benefit zero-confirmation reliability and help delegate decisions tethered to consensus conditions.

Also Read: Vietnam’s Central Bank Thinks Cryptocurrency Miners Should Be Banned

Bitcoin ABC’s Amaury Séchet Publishes a Paper Called ‘On Markets and Pre-Consensus’

Bitcoin Cash Developers Debate an Idea Called Pre-Consensus
Amaury Séchet

This week, Amaury Séchet, the Bitcoin ABC client’s lead developer announced on Twitter that he had wrote a paper called, “On Markets and Pre-Consensus.” The article discusses the concept of pre-consensus which Séchet describes as a protocol that enables network participants to agree on what the next block size will look like. Various developers have discussed this idea before, including Bitcoin Unlimited’s chief scientist, Peter Rizun, who wrote about the subject for the Ledger academic publication, and Rizun also discussed pre-consensus during his talk at the Satoshi’s Vision Conference in Tokyo.      

“Even before Bitcoin Cash was a thing, I was promoting the idea of pre-consensus — This refers to a set of technologies allowing network participants to agree as much as possible on what the next block is going to look like,” explains Séchet’s paper. “If done well, this provides significantly stronger 0-conf guarantee that we currently have, while also allowing to reach greater scale by moving work out of the critical path (if a node know what the next block is going to look like, a lot of the validation work can be done ahead of time).”

As it turns out, pre-consensus has the added bonus effect that it allows to delegate the responsibility of picking various values which are currently centrally planned to the market. Actors who use different policies will be able to reconcile their differences in a time scale that is compatible with 0-conf.

Bitcoin Cash Developers Debate an Idea Called Pre-Consensus

Séchet Says Pre-Consensus ‘Too Important to Not be Tackled Now’

Séchet delves further and states that pre-consensus has been on the BCH roadmap since day one, and has made “zero progress” so far. He explains that the past year had been hectic and the latest “flavor of the day” is tokens.

“While all these projects have value, it is clear that I need to ruthlessly prioritize pre-consensus,” Séchet emphasizes.   

The actions I have to take along the way will surely irritate many, but this is too important to not be tackled now.

Nchain’s Craig Wright: ‘No Hash Goes to This Crap — They Want It, They Fork It’

Bitcoin Cash Developers Debate an Idea Called Pre-Consensus
Craig Wright.

After Séchet published his idea and fellow colleagues began to share the paper on Twitter, Nchain’s chief scientist Craig Wright spoke out against the pre-consensus idea. “No hash goes to this crap — They want it, they fork it, without us,” Wright states on Twitter. “Without the apps using our code, our IP etc. — Without the companies, we have invested in.” Of course, the outburst from Wright got the community stirring wildly into a heated discussion.

There’s also a Reddit conversation about pre-consensus and Wright’s comments on the subreddit r/BTC which has over 400 comments at the time of writing. The top comment belongs to Bitcoin Unlimited’s lead developer, Andrew Stone. “At Satoshi’s Vision Conference, Craig Wright said his miners were going to detect and somehow penalize double spends which is a form of pre-consensus,” Stone says. “We don’t even know concretely what Deadalnix (Amaury Séchet) is proposing so how can a person reject it and call it crap?”

An Avalanche of Pre-Consensus Emotions

Other developers such as the Yours.org founder, Ryan X Charles, seemed to be interested in the idea of pre-consensus when discussing the subject in one of his latest videos. Charles gives his viewers a glimpse of what he thinks about Séchet’s latest statements, and details there is also a paper called, Avalanche, which offers a unique approach to pre-consensus. The paper “Avalanche: A Novel Metastable Consensus Protocol Family for Cryptocurrencies,” was written by a group of developers who call themselves ‘Team Rocket’ after the mischievous Pokémon characters.

Other members of the community dislike the idea of pre-consensus and have shared their responses to Séchet’s recent article. One person’s post on Yours.org called “Pre-Consensus Implies Content Without Giving It,” is particularly interesting. In the writing, the author compares pre-consensus to the Segregated Witness protocol (Segwit) perverting the underlying foundations of Nakamoto Consensus.

“This will change if we make a fundamental protocol change like a pre-consensus,” explains the author @Logan.

We will be in the same position as Segwit, making the argument that Bitcoin needs to change and adapt over time. We will no longer be the protocol as described in the white paper.    

What do you think about Séchet’s pre-consensus statements? What do you think about Nchain’s Craig Wright disagreeing with the idea? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock,Twitter, Pixabay, and Wiki Commons. 


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The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto Patents

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The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto Patents

The Daily

In The Daily on Saturday, crypto exchange Coinbase has formed a political action committee to raise funds for US elections. Also, Ernst & Young has announced the acquisition of crypto technology and patents, and Indonesian crypto POS terminal maker Pundi X is looking to expand in South Korea with a new partnership.

Also read: Minsk Mulls Rules for Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

Coinbase to Raise Money for Elections

The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto PatentsCalifornia-based crypto exchange Coinbase has formed a political action committee in order to raise money that can be spent on US elections, Reuters reported quoting the company. The filing was announced on Friday, July 20. According to the report, the political action committee has not raised any funds yet.

Coinbase is an important player in the crypto sector. A couple of months ago, the exchange said it would revamp its trading technology to create and offer a new suite of services to attract more institutional investors, including hedge funds and high-frequency trading firms. Its new institutional offering, Coinbase Custody, is already open for business. The company also launched its Coinbase Pro platform.

In May, it was revealed that Coinbase’s representatives had met with US regulators to talk about the possibility to apply for a banking license. The trading platform reportedly contacted officials from the US Office of the Comptroller of Currency earlier this year to discuss the matter. Reports that Coinbase had been approved to list securities were later corrected by the company.

Coinbase’s decisions and moves often influence crypto markets, as was the case with the recent announcement that the exchange is considering adding five new cryptocurrencies – ADA, BAT, XLM, ZEC, and ZRX. The news quickly raised the prices of these coins by up to 20 percent.

Leading Exchanges List New Coins

The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto PatentsSpeaking of new listings, Chinese-run Okex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has added the cardano (ADA) cryptocurrency to its platform with trading starting on July 23. The company announced the addition on Twitter, this past Friday. It has also added a new token, hycon (HYC), whose spot trading is scheduled to begin on the 24th. According to Coinmarketcap, cardano is currently 8th among the tracked cryptos, with a market capitalization of over $4.2 billion USD.

Another leading exchange, Singapore-headquartered Huobi, announced this week it is adding digibyte (DGB) to its trading options. The coin has been offered since Friday, in pairs with bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH). Withdrawals will be available on Sunday, July 22. After the announcement, the price of DGB surged by about 17 percent. At the time of writing, digibyte ranks 32nd, according to Coinmarketcap, with a market capitalization of over $460 million.

Ernst & Young Acquires Crypto Technology

The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto PatentsWhile major players from the crypto space are looking to diversify elsewhere, established financial companies have been exploring possibilities in the fintech sector. Ernst & Young, one of the major global accounting firms, announced this month the acquisition of technology assets and related patents from Elevated Consciousness. The San Francisco-based startup specializes in developing solutions for the crypto-asset ecosystem like the Andy Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax tool (CAAT) which connects with multiple crypto exchanges and wallets, allowing for better visibility into transactions and inventory.

The acquisition is part of EY’s strategy to expand blockchain-related capabilities and services worldwide, according to a press release published by PRNewswire. “Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are transformational forces with a strong potential to fundamentally change the way business is done,” said Kate Barton, EY Global Vice Chair – Tax Services. “CAAT positions us as a leader in serving a variety of companies adopting crypto-assets in an evolving regulatory environment,” she added, quoted in the corporate announcement.

Pundi X with New Partnership in South Korea

Following news that it’s working to build a network of 5,500 POS terminals for crypto payments in Hong Kong, it’s been reported that Pundi X is now eyeing the South Korean market. The Indonesian company revealed in a statement that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the local smart card manufacturer Ubivelox. The partnership aims to support the deployment of Pundi X devices in South Korea.

The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto PatentsThe Pundi XPOS terminals offer payments in multiple cryptocurrencies and support transactions through other wallets like Alipay and Wechat Pay. These devices accept also payment cards as well as Pundi X’s own XPASS card. The latter allows users to buy, sell and trade different cryptos and make online purchases. The two companies plan to distribute the XPASS cards and develop together a mobile crypto payment system.

The latest announcement is part of Pundi X’s planned expansion in the region. The company intends to introduce up to 100,000 of its crypto POS terminals in Southeast Asia by 2021. The Indonesian firm also claims that a number of businesses from Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland have already ordered a total of 25,000 of its terminals.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pundi X.


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Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

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Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

News

Fortune magazine’s annual 40 Under 40 is out, recently published in print and online, highlighting leaders under forty years of age. This year, the cryptosphere is well represented by Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong, and Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev. Wielding billions and billions in valuations, their average age is just a tender 30 years old. Slowly and methodically, crypto is making its way into the mainstream, coming of age.

Also read: Philippines Embraces Cryptocurrency: Exchanges Issued Provisional Licenses

Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

Fortune’s 40 Under 40 Include Ecosystem Heavy Hitters

Fortune magazine’s 40 Under 40 list contains forty of the world’s most productive, interesting leaders under forty years old. “Whether they’re building companies worth billions of dollars,” the magazine explains, “carving a prominent niche in a Fortune 500 business, leading governments or winning Academy Awards, these listers are running fast and winning big.”

The 2018 iteration includes cryptocurrency heavies such as Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin (24), Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong (35), and Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev (31). On making the cut, some were asked about keys to their success. Mr. Tenev of Robinhood, the free stock trading application which recently allowed users to trade crypto, emphasized writing things down.

Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

“I write everything down: important decisions,” Mr. Tenev revealed, “my number-one goal for the day, to-dos, and miscellaneous thoughts. It helps me focus on what’s most important each day, not forget anything, and provides a nice look back at key moments and inflection points that can be good teaching moments for new employees down the road.” In only five years, Robinhood reached a reported $5.6 billion valuation.

Crypto is Coming of Age

Making Fortune’s list marks something of a crypto coming of age. The broader, mainstream financial community appears to be taking more notice of decentralized digital currency. It has taken nearly a decade, but with revelations about patent-seeking legacy corporations, futures markets, more talk of ETFs on the horizon, crypto has arrived.

Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing ItIndeed, famed crypto bank and quasi-exchange, Coinbase has at its head a 35-year-old who believes in motivational language. CEO Brian Armstrong explains, “Everyday, I write down affirmations (what I aspire to be in the world) and my goals (if I only got three things done today, what would they be). Then I start on those three things, before looking at anything else like my inbox.” Coinbase has grown so fast; rumors are that it aims to be the ecosystem’s Google in terms of stature.

Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

Vitalik Buterin, 24, a founder and the face of Ethereum, describes “his open-source blockchain platform Ethereum as a ‘world computer,’” Fortune notes. “The skinny visionary’s experiment, which began as a white paper, now has a market valuation of $48 billion, making it the second-most-valuable crypto network next to Bitcoin. Ethereum caught a lucky break this year when the SEC said it would not regulate ether, the network’s native coin, as a security. Rumor has it Google recently tried to hire Buterin to lead its own whispered crypto endeavors, but he declined.”

Has crypto arrived in the mainstream sense? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via the Pixabay.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

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Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

News

A great deal of cryptocurrency proponents are hoping for a positive outcome when the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) decides on whether or not they will approve the latest bitcoin-based ETF application file by Cboe. The US regulator had asked for public opinion concerning the ETF again, and this time around the number of responses sent to the regulator is 10X the amount that was sent this past April.

Also Read: Bitcoin Futures Volume Spike As Cboe Awaits ETF Decision 

SEC Receives 10X the Number of Responses for the Upcoming Bitcoin ETF Decision

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public OpinionVirtual currency enthusiasts really want a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) approved by US regulators. Over the past few weeks, since Cboe filed an application with the SEC, so it can list shares backed by the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust (“the Trust”), the SEC office received a large swathe of opinion letters from more than 90 individuals according to recent reports. The number of responses sent was 10X the amount of opinions written last April during a prior bitcoin ETF decision.

Reports also detail that Cboe’s bitcoin-based ETF has been so popular that the SEC has pushed another cryptocurrency related listing off until this September. The attempted Cboe ETF has been a popular discussion among cryptocurrency enthusiasts and some speculators believe digital asset prices will rise in anticipation of the SEC’s decision. Cryptocurrency markets have seemingly already reversed their bearish trend and a good amount of proponents believe this decision will cause a spike either before and after the ruling if it is positive.

SEC Decision Date Discrepancy and a Possible Crypto-Bull Run if the Ruling Is Positive  

There’s also been a discrepancy on when the official decision would be made as many people and publications assumed the verdict would be on August 10. However, according to a Reddit user, who claims to be a securities lawyer, on the forum r/cryptocurrency, an August 10 decision is impossible.

“The way this works is that the SEC issues a notice, which is then published in the Federal Register — As you will find stated clearly in the notice, the period is within 45 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register — not the date the notice is released by the SEC (edit: failure to understand this distinction is the source of the incorrect August 10th date),” explains the post.  

The date of publication in the Federal Register was July 2nd — This means they have until August 16th. Bear in mind that it can be extended, and even once the period ends, the SEC may “initiate proceedings” to assist in making a decision.

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

A Possible Crypto-Bull Run if the SEC Ruling Is Positive

If an ETF judgment is made on August 16 there is well over a month until that date, so a lot could happen to cryptocurrency spot markets between now and that time. People who hope this ETF will happen believe it might be approved because of Cboe’s previous experience with bitcoin futures markets introduced this past December. So far the derivatives markets offered by both Cboe and CME Group have done well, and growing volumes show there is interest in these mainstream cryptocurrency investment vehicles. Arthur Hayes the co-founder and CEO of Bitmex exchange explains on the CNBC broadcast Fast Money that a positive ETF ruling could prime the next massive bull run.

“We’re one positive regulatory decision away — maybe an ETF approved by the SEC — to climb through $20,000 and even to $50,000 by the end of the year,” the Bitmex CEO states.

What do you think about the SEC being swamped with letters about the bitcoin ETF decision? Do you think a positive decision will cause a cryptocurrency bull run to happen? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay


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Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory Concept

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Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory Concept

Economy & Regulation

Ukraine has taken a positive step towards legalizing cryptocurrencies. A new regulatory concept, one that recognizes coins and tokens as financial instruments, has won support from the members of the country’s Financial Stability Council. The body includes representatives of the National Bank, the Finance Ministry and other government agencies.

Also read: Minsk Mulls Rules for Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

Ukraine Adopts Regulatory Concept for Cryptocurrencies

It’s been quite a while since Ukraine made any notable progress towards regulating its crypto sector. A new decision in Kiev, however, qualifies as an important development. The country’s Financial Stability Council has supported a concept to regulate crypto transactions. The body is composed of representatives from the National Bank of Ukraine, the Ministry of Finance, the Deposit Guarantee Fund, the National Securities and Stock Market Commission, and the National Financial Services Market Commission.

Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory ConceptThe news about the decision of the council was announced on social media by Timur Khromaev, head of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission (NSSMC). “This is an important first step in building a consensus among government agencies and financial regulators which confirms the readiness to work with the Verkhovna Rada and the crypto market on forming a legislative and a regulatory framework that will ensure transparency and quality of relations between investors and crypto market participants,” Khromaev said in a Facebook post.

The newly approved concept recognizes certain categories of cryptocurrencies and tokens as financial instruments. It also determines the roles and functions of government agencies, such as the National Bank, the Finance Ministry, the State Fiscal Service, the State Financial Monitoring Service, and the NSSMC, in regards to regulating the circulation of cryptos, licensing of participants in crypto transactions, and disclosure of information.

Cryptocurrencies Still Unregulated, Not Legal in Ukraine

The status of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine is still undetermined. Three bills designed to legalize and regulate them and the related economic activities have been filed in the Rada since October but no significant progress has been made towards their adoption. These are the laws “On the Circulation of Cryptocurrency in Ukraine”, “On Stimulating the Market of Cryptocurrencies and Their Derivatives”, and a supplementary draft addressing crypto taxation. The recently voted Currency Law did not mention cryptocurrencies at all.

Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory ConceptThe NSSMC, one of the regulators that would be responsible for overseeing the crypto industry, did not support the bills introduced in the Rada. At the time, the commission objected to the use of the term “cryptocurrency” in the legal texts, stating that it is a result of what it called “financial engineering” and not a currency. The National Bank, the National Securities and Stock Market Commission and the National Financial Services Market Commission did not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal means of payment or money surrogate.

Cryptocurrencies have been steadily gaining popularity in Ukraine, especially in the last couple of years. Local media claim that the country is among the top 10 by number of crypto users. According to some recent reports, the estimated daily crypto-hryvnia turnover on the three major Ukrainian exchanges reaches $1.9 – $2 million USD. The actual volume may be much higher, given the large number of small trading platforms and individuals offering exchange services.

Do you expect Ukraine to adopt comprehensive crypto regulations? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Timur Khromaev (Facebook).


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

Vietnam’s Central Bank Thinks Cryptocurrency Miners Should Be Banned

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Vietnam's Central Bank Thinks Cryptocurrency Miners Should be Banned

Regulation

According to regional reports, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has agreed with a proposal to ban imported cryptocurrency mining machines in order to keep the digital currency economy tethered tightly to the government’s regulatory frameworks. The proposal was introduced by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) after the SBV announced that cryptocurrency use within Vietnam was not a “lawful means of payment” this past October.

Also read: Bitcoin Vietnam Faces Losing its Domain from Government

The State Bank of Vietnam Agrees Cryptocurrency Miners Should be Banned

Vietnam's Central Bank Thinks Cryptocurrency Miners Should be BannedLately, Vietnam’s government and regulatory bodies haven’t been too friendly towards the cryptocurrency industry. Last October the country’s central bank detailed in a letter to the public that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were not a “lawful means of payment.” Furthermore, if Vietnam residents decided to use “bitcoin and other similar virtual currency they may be subject to prosecution.” Then, this past June, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance initiating the idea that the country’s governing authorities should ban cryptocurrency mining device imports.

Now the local Việt Nam News reports that the central bank agrees with a proposal written by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) which calls for the banning of these mining machines. Vietnam’s MoIT and the SBV believe that letting these devices come into the country makes it harder for the government to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Many Vietnamese officials have been deliberating on how to handle the cryptocurrency industry and in April the country’s Prime Minister, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, signed an initiative to tighten regulatory guidelines.

Crypto-Fraud Sparked the Regulatory Crackdown

Vietnam's Central Bank Thinks Cryptocurrency Miners Should be BannedThe Ministry of Finance and MoIT have explained the reason for the current regulatory proposals towards mining rigs is because they want to protect Vietnamese consumers from scams in the future. All of the latest regulatory announcements towards cryptos have followed the recent Vietnamese law enforcement bust that dealt with the largest cryptocurrency fraud case that claimed more than 32,000 victims. The officials think that banning cryptocurrency mining machine imports will further help protect local consumers until virtual currency regulations are more solidified.

Việt Nam News also details that the General Department of Customs estimates that the country has imported 15,600 mining devices from 2017 to April 2018. The state administration of customs says that a great majority of machines were imported to areas such as Đà Nẵng, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hà Nội.

What do you think about Vietnam’s state administrations attempting to ban cryptocurrency miners in the country? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Central Bank photo taken by Xita, and Pixabay. 


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Samsung Stores in the Baltic States Now Accept Cryptocurrencies

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Samsung Stores in the Baltic States Now Accept Cryptocurrencies

News

On Friday, Samsung stores in the Baltic States have announced they will be accepting seven different cryptocurrencies for merchandise. Through a partnership with the payment processing firm Coppay, customers shopping at the Samsung stores in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, and Kaunas will be able to pay with BTC, ETH, DASH, NEM, STEEM, XRP, and LTC.

Also read: Philippines Embraces Cryptocurrency: Exchanges Issued Provisional Licenses

Samsung Stores in Three Baltic States Accept Cryptocurrencies

Samsung Stores in the Baltic States Now Accept CryptocurrenciesThe platform Coppay is a European fintech firm that offers payment gateways for cryptocurrency paying customers throughout 31 merchant locations. Now the company has announced that Samsung is truly embracing its slogan to “Turn on Future” by accepting seven different cryptocurrencies. The digital currencies the Samsung stores will be accepting for payments include bitcoin core (BTC), dash (DASH), NEM (XEM), steem (STEEM), ripple (XRP), litecoin (LTC), and ethereum (ETH). 

“Customers in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, and Kaunas can buy Samsung smartphones, tablets, laptops, TV-sets, and more with digital money,” explains Coppay’s announcement.

There is a growing trend toward business digitalization and allowing customers to pay for goods and services in cryptocurrency, whether at global retailers or local restaurants.       

Samsung Stores in the Baltic States Now Accept Cryptocurrencies
Samsung locations in the Baltic region now accept seven different cryptocurrencies.

Both Samsung and the Baltic Region Are Embracing the Future of Digital Assets

Cryptocurrencies, in particular, have been extremely popular in the Baltic states and digital assets have broad acceptance in states like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. There is a great variety of merchants that accept bitcoin payments for coffee, apartments, bars, restaurants, hotels, specialty shops, clothing stores, and massage parlors. Regulatory policy in the Baltic region barely exists, except for Latvia, which may impose a 20 percent capital gains tax on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Samsung Stores in the Baltic States Now Accept CryptocurrenciesSamsung also has shown interest in blockchain technology and it’s well known the firm creates semiconductors for cryptocurrency mining devices. The company’s earnings had spiked significantly in 2017 due to semiconductor demand tethered to digital asset mining operations. The payment processor Coppay operates similarly to the firm Bitpay’s platform and merchants are allowed to keep the cryptocurrency from sales, exchange it for fiat, or a combination of both. The company explains the other Samsung merchants will also be adding the crypto-payment feature through their system as well.  

What do you think about the Samsung stores in the Baltic region accepting cryptocurrencies? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.   


Images via Pixabay, Samsung store, Samsung, and Coppay logos. 


Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables near-instant, low-cost payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network. Read all about it at wiki.Bitcoin.com.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban Stays

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Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban Stays

Regulation

India’s Supreme Court heard the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today. After hearing some arguments from both sides, the court decided to set another hearing date, allowing some of the regulators involved to respond to the petitions.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Supreme Court Hearing on July 20

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThe long-awaited hearing at which the Supreme Court of India was scheduled to address all of the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank has finally taken place.

Today’s hearing follows the hearing on July 3 of the petition by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The court did not grant a stay against the ban at that time. Last week, the central bank responded to a representation by the association but did not change its stance on crypto.

The latest chapter of the courtroom saga did not see an overturn of the ban. The court also did not hear all arguments by both sides. Crypto Kanoon, a platform engaged in crypto regulatory analysis, legal awareness and news, detailed:

Limited arguments were advanced on behalf of IAMAI and RBI today.

Another Hearing Date Set

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThere are at least five writ petitions filed against the RBI ban. However, according to Crypto Kanoon, “SEBI [the Securities and Exchange Board of India] and few others have not filed their response to the petition seeking regulation…All (remaining) parties to file their reply within 4 weeks.”

Sohail Merchant, CEO of crypto exchange Pocketbits, commented on the outcome of today’s hearing:

Final hearing [is] slated for 11th of September. Now that is the Judgement Day.

According to lawyers familiar with the case, the central bank has been challenged on two grounds. They concern article 19(1) (g) and article 14 of the Indian constitution. The former “allows citizens to enjoy the right to carry on any occupation, trade, or business,” Quartz explained, adding that the latter “prohibits discrimination and mandates equal protection under the law for all.”

P2P Services Live

In response to the RBI banking ban, a number of crypto exchanges in the country have set up peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysKoinex launched its P2P platform called Loop on July 17. “Loop is a peer-to-peer fiat to crypto trading platform where registered users can trade in cryptos with other registered users in INR,” the exchange described.

“To ensure user safety, a built-in escrow system is employed which releases the cryptocurrency only after the seller double confirms the exact payment of the trade.” According to its website, the service currently offers the buying and selling of BTC, ETH, and XRP without network or transaction fees.

Last week, Wazirx launched its P2P service, also without network or transaction fees. The exchange recently claimed to have 125,000 users on its main platform after operating for four months. Meanwhile, Coindelta is also preparing to launch a P2P service called Flux.

What do you think of the Supreme Court hearing today? Do you think RBI’s ban will eventually be lifted? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

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The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

The Daily

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, Belarus, which legalized crypto activities this spring, is now turning its attention to adopting standards for companies operating crypto exchanges and issuing tokens. We’ve covered the decision of the Russian payment provider Qiwi to motivate its employees with tokens. The Daily also features crypto news from China and Canada.

Also read: Anti-Crypto Politician Backed by Payments Firm, Grayscale Raised $250m in H1

Belarus Working on Standards for Crypto Exchanges

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens
Belarus Hi-Tech Park

Having legalized crypto-related activities earlier this year, Belarus is now fine-tuning and expanding the regulatory framework. The Hi-Tech Park in Minsk (HTP) is currently developing standards for companies operating crypto exchanges and providers of services related to issuing and placement of tokens. According to media reports, state bodies and representatives of the legal and tech communities in the country are involved in the process.

The new set of rules and regulations is intended to supplement the basic framework outlined in the presidential decree “On the development of the digital economy”, which entered into force on March 28, Denis Aleinikov, senior partner at a Belarussian law firm, told Forklog. He shared details on the progress so far: “We’ve established that a token is not a security […]. Any organization is allowed to issue and sell tokens through residents of the High-Tech Park.”

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

The legal expert added that entities in the field will be obliged to prove charter capital of at least $500,000. The standards will also regulate the activities of HTP residents and detail the requirements for those that want to issue and trade digital tokens. The Hi-Tech Park is actively participating in the process after it was granted right of legislative initiative with another presidential decree in June.

Payment Provider Qiwi to Award Employees with Tokens

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensThe blockchain subsidiary of the Russian payment provider Qiwi plans to supplement the salaries of its employees with awards paid in tokens. The motivational program will be launched by Qiwi Blockchain Technologies in the second half of 2018 and will be based on the Russian Masterchain platform. Several dozens of employees will receive their awards in QBT tokens by the end of the year. The subsidiary plans to allocate up to 50 percent of its profit to the program.

The tokens will be divided into two categories. Part of them will come with voting rights, allowing their holders to participate in different company decisions. Employees won’t be able to exchange the tokens for fiat money but will have the opportunity to convert them to corporate bonuses. According to Konstantin Koltsov, Director for Corporate Affairs, the system will allow employees to be directly involved in the company’s development. Qiwi also plans to create a blockchain-based HR platform.

Companies with ‘Blockchain’ in The Name Surge in China

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensIt’s no secret that adding “crypto” or “blockchain” to the name of a company comes with some image benefits. Since cryptocurrencies are not favored by authorities in Beijing, Chinese companies from the crypto sector have been left with only one choice. As a result, China has seen a sixfold increase in the number of new firms registered with “blockchain” in their names, The South China Morning Post reported.

According to an estimate based on government data gathered by Qixin.com, there are now more than 4,000 Chinese companies that identify with blockchain. Over 3,000 firms registered since January use the Chinese translation of the term describing the distributed ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin – “qukualian”. In comparison, their number for the whole 2017 was only 555.

The analysis of the official data has produced another interesting finding – 16,600 companies that were established within the past 12 months had “blockchain” listed as part of their lines of business. SCMP comments that despite the reservations of the Beijing government on crypto exchanges, coin offerings and mining, the interest towards the technology in China remains strong.

Bitcoin Ownership and Awareness Increase in Canada

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensA survey conducted by the Bank of Canada has detected a twofold increase in the number of people owning bitcoin (BTC) over 12 months. About half of crypto owners said they regularly use bitcoin to buy goods and services or transfer money. The Bitcoin Omnibus Survey was carried out in December, when the prices of cryptocurrencies reached all-time highs, but the results were published recently.

According to another study, “Bitcoin Awareness and Usage in Canada: An Update”, the awareness of Canadians about bitcoin increased from 64 to 85 percent during the same period. The authors also found that the residents of the predominantly francophone province of Quebec were the most Bitcoin-aware citizens.

Meanwhile, the province’s state-owned power company Hydro-Québec has been allowed to charge crypto miners and blockchain promoters increased rates until regulations for the industry are introduced. Régie de l’énergie du Québec, the local energy sector regulator, has recently accepted most of the new Hydro-Québec’s demands. A rate of 15 cents (CAD) per kWh, double the tariff for residential clients, will be applied.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, HTP.


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