30 December 2014

Microsoft: Bitcoin Regulation Will Influence Expansion Plans

MicrosoftGlobal tech giant and Internet pioneer Microsoft ignited a new wave of interest in both bitcoin and its brand with its surprise December announcement that it had integrated the digital currency as a payment option for digital goods.

While widely lauded by the bitcoin community as a small but forward-thinking step, optimism about the move arguably reached fever pitch when just a day later its partner BitPay suggested Microsoft was already considering ways to expand the payment option globally.

Speaking to CoinDesk, however, Microsoft offered a somewhat different take on its internal conversation regarding bitcoin. While the company did not deny that discussions about the technology were ongoing, the company sought to frame such conversation as typical for any of its products and services.

The spokesperson said:

“We are a global company, and we always think about our markets globally, be it for bitcoin or for all of our services and products.”

Notably, Microsoft went on to suggest that, while it has no new announcements to make at this time, it may be looking for further assurances of bitcoin’s legal status before making any additional movements in the space.

“Whatever we might do, we will do it in a smart way to ensure we meet our customers’ needs while respecting local laws and regulations,” the company added.

The comments come as regulation for bitcoin businesses is maturing in the US, though ongoing debate on the subject continues globally.

Flexibility at the forefront

In statements, Microsoft went on to paint its initial interest in bitcoin as part of its overall drive toward offering more flexible spending solutions to its customers, particularly ones that garner sufficient consumer demand.

"Microsoft continually investigates new technologies and that means providing our customers with personalized and frictionless buying experiences,” the company said.

Microsoft cited its recent support for digital gift cards via a dedicated website and application as yet another example of how it is seeking to more widely embrace payments innovation.

With this in mind, the company framed digital goods as “a logical first place” to add bitcoin, though it did not indicate that other products were considered during the planning process or if it is attempting to reach any specific demographics with the option.

Interest in bitcoin tech

Though short on details, Microsoft did corroborate BitPay’s statements that it sees potential for bitcoin beyond the world of payments.

“The technology behind bitcoin also represents an interesting set of new technologies to explore in the world of distributed, connected devices,” Microsoft stated, hinting at bitcoin's potential to impact the developing Internet of Things economy.

For now, however, even those who seek to spend bitcoin through their Microsoft accounts will be somewhat limited. The company imposes a $1,000 daily spending cap for those who load their accounts with bitcoin, and a $5,000 maximum per account.

Overall, despite such restrictions, the company is pleased with the results, concluding that customers have "responded positively" to the decision.

Microsoft image via Wikipedia


December 30, 2014 at 08:35PM

27 December 2014

Safello Co-Founder Moves to Tokyo to Start New Bitcoin Security Firm

WizSec Founding Team: Kim Nilsson, J. Maurice, Emil Oldenburg WizSec Founding Team: Kim Nilsson, J. Maurice, Emil Oldenburg

The co-founder of Swedish exchange Safello has left the company to join a team of bitcoin security experts in establishing a new Tokyo-based consulting firm.

The move should also see him assisting the investigation into Mt Gox's missing bitcoins.

Emil Oldenburg, who was also Safello's chief technology officer, left Sweden just last month and is now an official co-founder at WizSec, a new startup that has been performing unofficial analysis of Gox's transaction records.

Oldenburg told CoinDesk he was looking for something different after launching Safello in August 2013. A love of Japanese pop culture and a desire to return to his infosec roots drove him to make a quick decision on a chance offer.

He said:

"I saw an opportunity in Japan and decided I needed to act now, as it wouldn't be there forever."

Oldenburg met Wizsec's chief hacking officer J. Maurice at the Tokyo Bitcoin Meetup while on vacation in spring. The two got talking about security issues, and Oldenburg received an offer almost immediately.

Maurice said the engineer, who had racked up more than two years as a systems security specialist at NASDAQ in Europe, was a catch for his fledgling company.

"Our goal is to recruit the most elite hackers from all over the world, so we're honored to have Emil come join us to co-found our bitcoin security firm."

Safello in Europe

Safello operates a Europe-wide exchange serving all countries of the European Union plus Norway and Switzerland, leveraging Swedish banks' comparatively liberal attitude towards cryptocurrency businesses, and Europe's SOFORT instant payments system to serve its clients.

The company received its initial $600,000 backing from bitcoin veterans Erik Voorhees, Roger Ver and Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary. A further $250,000 investment came in July via Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Opportunity Corp.

Seeing Japan up close

Despite the long-distance relocation, Oldenburg remains a shareholder in Safello and still has a keen interest in the exchange business.

A manga and Japanophile since his teenage years, Oldenburg had helped organize Japan-themed conventions in his native land, festivals that attracted thousands of cosplaying Swedes to peruse Japanese merchandise, games, and other cultural exports.

"I'd studied the language in school and wanted to learn the language for real," Oldenburg added.

WizSec and the Gox connection

In November, San Francisco-based Kraken launched its local Japanese exchange, announcing immediately after that it had been selected by bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi to assist him and the Tokyo Metropolitan police in their investigation into what became of Mt Gox's 650,000 still unaccounted-for bitcoins.

WizSec has since signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Kraken, which prevents the company from discussing its current work, though it can be assumed it will involve Mt Gox somehow.

The founding team, which then consisted of Maurice and colleague Kim Nilsson, earlier this year took the personal challenge of analyzing the "ticker-tape" of Gox transaction information that had become publicly available through hacks, leaks and IRC chats.

This was despite the fact that the Japanese police were keeping all official Mt Gox transaction and customer data behind closed doors, unavailable for public examination.

Rising demand for bitcoin security

WizSec, which spun off from existing IT firm Wiz Technologies to focus exclusively on bitcoin business, used its reconstructed Gox data to form new theories on what may have happened to the funds.

While the Mt Gox investigation looks likely to be WizSec's primary task, the company is also busy signing up other clients for security-related jobs involving audits and pen-testing.

Maurice, who also played a part in battling Roger Ver's would-be hacker/blackmailer in May, said these incidents had all led to a big increase in demand for security consulting in the cryptocurrency field.

"As Mt Gox taught us, the most important thing in bitcoin is to not get hacked, or to build systems that don't require such trust in the first place, and that's what our firm will help new bitcoin startups with."

"We're building secure infrastructure from the beginning, so we can prevent another epic failure like Gox from ever happening again," he said.

WizSec team image by Jon Southurst


December 27, 2014 at 02:42PM

24 December 2014

Bitcoin Is (Still) Not Doomed

by John Light

Washington Post columnist Henry Farrell has just added himself to the Nakamoto Institute’s running list of skeptics making bold assertions about the certain demise of Bitcoin. In a post entitled “Bitcoin’s financial network is doomed,” Mr. Farrell demonstrates his short-sightedness in the face of Bitcoin’s subtlety and allure, perhaps as a cunning-though-not-so-original means of acquiring cheap coins for himself. Regardless of his motivations, I couldn’t resist a full rebuttal, if only to reassure the weak hands among us that no, Bitcoin is still not doomed, and yes, Mr. Farrell is in for a rude awakening if he really believes the poor arguments he makes in his Post article. Without further adieu, a rebuttal to Mr. Henry Farrell, Bitcoin Skeptic:

“There is a reason why you have to “comply with hundreds of pages of regulations” to use the Visa network that goes beyond Visa’s selfish corporate interests. That reason is government.”

No, the reason you have to comply with hundreds of pages of regulations is that those networks are run by centralized entities that reside in a particular legal jurisdiction and are therefore vulnerable to attacks by the government and other powerful adversaries. The centralization of the networks precedes their vulnerability. Without this vulnerability, government regulation is as effective and enforceable as a law against breathing. See: Bitcoin.

“Governments regulate payment networks very heavily, for a wide variety of reasons, which include making sure that people don’t use these networks to support activities that governments don’t like. They use financial intermediaries as ‘points of control’ that allow them to control who does business with whom.”

Yes, and politically marginalized journalists and businesses are great examples of how this power is abused. And Bitcoin is a great example of how this power becomes irrelevant.

Quoting Obama administration official David Cohen, “Carefully designed and customized to maximize pressure, [economic sanctions] have impeded Iran’s ability to acquire material for its nuclear program, isolated it from the international financial system, drastically slashed its oil exports, and deprived it of access to a sizeable portion of its oil revenues and foreign reserves.”

This sounds like a great argument for Iranians to convert their oil into electricity to mine bitcoins, which can then be sold locally, exported to be sold abroad, or sent anywhere in the world to buy whatever they need directly for bitcoin.

Continuing the quote from David Cohen, “Not surprisingly, the impact on Iran’s economy has been dramatic: its budget deficit and inflation have spiked, the value of its currency has sharply declined, foreign investment has all but dried up, and overall economic activity has stagnated.”

Collectively punishing an entire population of millions of innocent, peaceful people for the actions of political leaders that are forced on them doesn’t sound like something to brag about. But like Madeline Albricht before him, I’m sure Mr. Cohen would say that the Iranian people’s suffering is “worth it.

Continuing the quote, “Put simply, financial institutions everywhere need dollars to serve their customers, and thus require access to U.S. banks through correspondent accounts to settle their customers’ transactions.”

They need dollars, until they don’t. And with many fiat currencies growing weaker by the day, people may elect to do an end-run around their rulers and choose a politically-neutral option like bitcoin instead of trusting their government not to mess up the next attempt at fiat currency.

“Now, imagine the likely response of the U.S. (and the E.U., and, for that matter, China) to a payment network which is designed from the ground up to be decentralized, so that it is impossible for any specific intermediaries to really control payment flows from one actor to another.”

I imagine it looks something like the nation-state equivalent of a young child throwing a tantrum because their parent didn’t buy them a particular toy at the store. Baseless threats. Pounding fists. Bargaining. And, finally, acquiescence.

“Such a network would be impossible for states to control.”

Yes, and that is a good thing.

“While Bitcoin allows consumers to buy illegal drugs on Tor Hidden Services sites like Agora and Evolution, they don’t do so on a sufficiently large scale to really cause enormous alarm.”

‘They’re just subverting a decades-old policy of prohibition out in the open, no big deal.’ Keep downplaying bitcoin’s revolutionary effects, it just makes the rest of the arguments look even more absurd. In reality, politicians probably learned after the first “enormous alarm” that they raised about this capability that they should just shut up and let law enforcement do their job rather than draw too much attention to the fact that people can easily go online and buy “any drug imaginable” using bitcoin.

“But if Bitcoin were ever to threaten to become a truly decentralized payments network, owned by no one, and with no one e.g. capable of implementing Know Your Customer rules…”

In case you didn’t notice, Bitcoin already is a “truly decentralized payments network, owned by no one…”

“If Tim Lee and other Bitcoin fans want to make the case that Bitcoin can become a major payment network, they need to do one of two things.”

Bitcoiners don’t need to “make the case.” Bitcoin is.

“First, they could show that the U.S. and other major states would not feel threatened by a well-established payment system that they couldn’t control.”

Telling such a story would be lying. The good news: the sooner they assimilate, the less painful it will be.

“Second, they could show that a Bitcoin financial network would survive the opposition of hostile states that have enormous control over the actually-existing financial systems that Bitcoin needs to connect to, as well as regulators, police, etc.”

As former Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation Jon Matonis pointed out in Forbes almost two years ago, a ban on bitcoin would “fail miserably.” The only remaining option to curb adoption would be to attack the network itself (as opposed to the endpoints that a ban would target). Given the time and resources required for such an attack, bitcoin adoption could spread to the point that a concerted attack on the network would be too expensive before such an attack would even be feasible. As suggested earlier in this post, it’s not unimaginable that marginalized States (like Iran) would contribute resources to secure and utilize the Bitcoin network. I have already heard rumors that a government in China is converting locally produced coal into electricity to mine bitcoins because it’s not worth exporting the coal itself. Assimilation may be occurring sooner than expected.

Even if a State were to marshal the resources necessary to launch a credible attack against the Bitcoin network, developers could change the code within hours to render an attack impotent, and a game of whack-a-mole would ensue which would likely be a) politically unpopular since, presumably, a lot of people actually want to use bitcoin b) financially draining, since new specialized computers would need to be manufactured for each attack, consuming huge amounts of electricity in the process and c) pointless in the long run, since there are hundreds of alternative cryptocurrencies people could choose to use instead of bitcoin if things got really ugly – good luck trying to attack them all!

“Bitcoin is doomed as a payments network — the very point at which it looks as though it is likely to be widely deployed is the point at which governments, like that of the United States, will crack down on it.”

Even if this were true, it would not render false any of the above arguments in favor of Bitcoin’s survival. Bitcoin can – and would – survive a direct attack.

“US understands the value of its influence over the global financial system, and is demonstrably willing to upset business in order to pursue its strategic aims.”

Yes, and like a bull in a china shop, destroying all that is good in the process – except Bitcoin.

“Moreover, much of this power comes from the fact that any individual payment system, if it is to be effective, needs to be interoperable with other payment systems which, by and large, rest on transactions in US dollars.”

Bitcoin already coexists with fiat payment networks via payment processors such as BitPay, but if hyperbitcoinization were to occur, that wouldn’t even be necessary anymore. Bitcoin would not need to interoperate with other payment systems because it would be THE payment system. And it would not “rest on transactions in US dollars” any more than the auto industry rests on the supply of horse feed. Given sufficient liquidity post-hyperbitcoinization, a bitcoin wallet and an Internet connection is about all that will be needed to conduct commerce of any magnitude with anyone in the world.

“The sorry recent history of financial flows to and from another stateless financial system, Somalia, provide some evidence of how difficult life can get for financial networks that have been targeted by the US state.”

The history provides evidence of how difficult life can get for centralized financial networks! As pointed out at the very beginning of this piece, this is a vulnerability that Bitcoin explicitly by design does not share. For this reason, Bitcoin will survive where others have failed. With this in mind, cue the dramatic music and bring on the doom!

If you or anyone you know would like to learn how to use bitcoin to gain some monetary freedom for yourself, I am running a crowdfunding campaign through New Year’s Day 2015 for an online course and companion e-book entitled “BYOB: Using Bitcoin to Be Your Own Bank .” This course and book would make a great gift for the bit-curious who haven’t yet found the time or place to learn about bitcoin in an easily accessible format. Even if you can’t contribute, please share the campaign on social media – you might be surprised at who gets turned on to bitcoin when presented with an opportunity to learn!

by John Light

BTC address: 12sJXtV8aQ8orQFhmaqe5KRsKoC7tsRuoT

December 25, 2014 at 01:59AM

21 December 2014

Tatiana Speaks with Martin Davidson of Coin Station

Tati and Martin Davidson

Tatiana sat down with Martin Davidson of Coin Station at the grand opening of the Melbourne Australia Bitcoin Technology Center, MBTC for short! Martin fills us in on his path into Bitcoin and how a Coin Station Vending Machine will help individuals use Bitcoin easily! He has such great enthusiasm, though that doesn’t surprise me! Australia is a hot bed of crypto activity!

For more info on Martin Davidson


December 21, 2014 at 07:13PM

DNotes Cryptocurrency Savings Plans For Children – First of Many Unprecedented Digital Currency Savings Instruments Sponsored by DnotesVault


Bitcoin press release: DNotesVault, a secure web wallet launched just a week ago has reaffirmed its mission to build a large generation of DNotes stakeholders worldwide by offering a family of CR.I.S.Ps. (Cryptocurrency Investment Savings Plans) with 100% deposit guarantees.

Illinois, USA. DNotesVault, launched a week ago, may sound like just another web wallet beginning to pop up in the rapidly emerging world of cryptocurrency. However co founder Alan Yong explained that DNotesVault is much more than a free, secure web wallet with an unprecedented 100% cryptocurrency deposit guarantee:

“It is a strategic vehicle created by the DNotes team in pursuit of mass consumer and merchant adoption, taking full advantage of DNotes being the most stable digital currency.” Says Yong.

DNotes is a Bitcoin alternative digital currency. However, unlike Bitcoin, which has been wildly volatile, DNotes is the most stable digital currency among over 500 competitors listed on CoinMarketcap. Building a stable trustworthy currency has been DNotes’ core mission since launch almost a year ago. With an impressive track record of consistent up trend of higher highs and higher lows, DNotesVault was created to encourage and assist consumers and businesses to participate in the potential high returns of digital currency, by starting with a digital savings account.

According to Yong, being the first among a potentially large family of savings plans, CR.I.S.P. for Kids has been created to help the world’s children and grandchildren develop strong saving habits early, in order to secure their financial future. This is an unstructured and self-directed plan, using DNotes as the investment vehicle. Re-occurring savings, in any amount, may be added at any time.

CR.I.S.P. is the brain-child of Chase, a core team member of CryptoMoms; a community with a dedicated mission to encourage and assist women to participate in the cryptocurrency world currently dominated by men. CryptoMoms.com is a currency neutral site, offering rich content on everything one needs to know about cryptocurrency. It has a very helpful community ready to answer any questions promptly. CryptoMoms was created and fully funded by the DNotes team.

CryptoMoms and the DNotes team are dedicated to help anyone interested in starting a CR.I.S.P. for any child. In order to encourage and reward children for developing strong saving habits, the DNotes team will award prizes, in DNotes, for the top wallets on the list, as well as some randomly chosen participants, during the first two formative years. The team has created a CR.I.S.P. for Kids Rich List that displays, in descending order, the balances in the children’s wallets. To ensure privacy of clients each child will be identified only by a nickname / username.

A large family of CR.I.S.Ps. will be offered in an effort to expand this investment opportunity beyond the early adopters of the emerging Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry. Yong went on to say that there have been a lot of interest to offer additional savings plans for students, employees, charities and others. The beauty about DNotesVault is that additional plans can be added quickly and still be afforded the same security, easy of use, and full deposit guarantee at no cost.

The next savings plan will most likely be CR.I.S.P. for students. There may be little everyday people can do about the current student debt crisis but the CR.I.S.P. team can certainly encourage and assist the next generation to be better prepared. Being born at the time of the digital age, students are more receptive to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as the future of money. Many Universities and Colleges are already offering cryptocurrency classes. DNotes is committed to working with students around the world to give them an early start. The DNotes team encourages interested students and faculty members to contact them at: contact@DNotesCoin.com.

Yong, a well regarded pioneer and visionary in the early generations of portable computers and wireless communication, concluded that cryptocurrency is the greatest technological revolution since the internet which has put fax out of business and postal services struggling for survival. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is even more massive and hugely disruptive to the current financial systems and global payment network, among others. Although there will be serious job losses among affected industries, there will be massive job and wealth creation. For the first time, early adopter small investors might have the chance to gain financial freedom from relatively small investments made on a disciplined and regular basis. With their 100% cryptocurrency deposit guarantee, free giveaways, and secure cryptocurrency storage platform – CR.I.S.P. just made it a lot easier.

For more information please visit: http://ift.tt/1DAedKa

Media contact:

Name: Alan Yong

Organization: DNotesVault

Email: Contact@dnotescoin.com

*This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.


Get your own professional Bitcoin press release:


December 21, 2014 at 07:10PM

8 December 2014

Bitcoin Alternative FibreCoin Launches FibreLock, Anonymous ZeroTrust And Secure Operating System Fibre OS

Fibre Logo

Innovative Bitcoin alternative FibreCoin has in just eight weeks launched several exclusive safety features; their most recent project ZeroTrust offers an exclusive end to end privacy solution now available to the public. Among Fibre’s other innovations to optimize security for cryptocurrency adopters are FibreConnect, FibreDark, FibreOS and FibreLock to combat keyloggers by using a security pattern similar to that used for Android. FibreCoin is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) cryptocurrency allowing FibreCoin adopters to enjoy ongoing hands-off profits when storing FibreCoins in the wallet.

Fibre is a part of Blocknet and implements Dark Gravity Wave for difficulty re-target, a block speed of 60 seconds and 5% PoS annual interest. FibreCoin has met with large early success and is already accepted on six online exchanges including Cryptsy, Bittrex and Poloniex. FibreLock is a key cryptocurency security innovation from Fibre and is already implemented in Bitcoin wallet.

Fibre aims to make ZeroTrust the safest obfuscation technology in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. ZeroTrust is exclusively developed and coded by the FibreCoin team and does not use XC mixer, Dark Send, Zerocoin or Zerocash technology making it a brand new solution to the security breaches cryptocurrency transactions have faced in the past. Fibre’s ZeroTrust prevents common problems by sharing transaction information between multiple mixer nodes on the decentralized network. Fibre strives to make all safety features, including ZeroTrust, as user-friendly as possible allowing them to be available for novice and experienced cryptocurrency enthusiasts alike.

ZeroTrust is only the latest in a long line of exclusive features previously introduced by FibreCoin. Other projects includes FibreConnect, an anonymous and fully encrypted communication system, FibreDark, a special stealth feature allowing users to hide their IP address and location when using the Fibre network and FibreOS; Fibre’s very own Linux operating system dedicated to the coin which allows users to achieve ultimate security and cold storage solutions meaning that FibreOS can be stored off-line on a USB stick making the information impossible for hackers to steal.

Fibre will also be added to the Casheer cryptocurrency iOS and Android merchant payments App allowing Fibre to be accepted at hundreds of real-world merchants and online worldwide. With the launch of FibreCoin featuring a whole line of innovative security options covering all aspects of conducting commerce using cryptocurrencies; such as communication, transactions, pin codes, anonymity and safe storage solutions – FibreCoin marks the beginning of a new generation of Bitcoin alternatives emerging from within the cryptocurrency space.

For more information please visit: http://ift.tt/1uRy8hd

To trade Fibre please go to: http://ift.tt/1sdeAA2

To see the Fibre Core Development Roadmap please go to: http://ift.tt/1zjzIea and click here.

To see the latest news and updates from the Fibre team please go to: http://ift.tt/1sdeDvP

Fibre is now proof-of-stake but can still be mined at the multipool: http://fibre.xpool.ca/

To learn more about Fibrelock security innovation please go to: http://ift.tt/1zjzIe4

Fibre on Twitter: @fibrecoin and @zyduuu

Fibre on IRC: #Fibre

Fibre on Reddit: http://ift.tt/1zjzIuu

Media contact :

Name: Martin

Email: info@fibrecoin.com

December 08, 2014 at 09:09PM

3 December 2014

LibertyX Brings Bitcoin Buying to 2,500 US Retail Stores


Liberty Teller, the bitcoin ATM operator that manages machines in high-profile locations near US universities like Harvard and MIT, has officially rebranded as LibertyX, expanding its network with 2,500 new bitcoin buying locations in 33 US states.

The announcement marks a dramatic expansion for the Boston-based company, which has partnered with transaction processing specialist Qpay to launch cash-for-bitcoin buying services at mobile phone and convenience stores around the country. LibertyX manages four ATM machines, but sees this new partnership as a way to expand and innovate its business.

LibertyX co-founder Chris Yim explained that his company, which was accepted into the MassChallenge startup accelerator this summer, will now seek to shift away from bitcoin ATMs, more broadly embracing a variety of cash-for-bitcoin channels.

Yim told CoinDesk:

"If you look at our Harvard [bitcoin ATM] location, it's very high volume, high traffic, it makes sense because you have a lot of people coming in and out. But, the US is extremely large geographically, and we want to make sure that you can buy bitcoin as conveniently as you can go to your local bank."

Yim went on to suggest that the new partnership would allow LibertyX to offer the lowest-cost cash option for bitcoin buying, as the involvement of retail stores limits the overhead that can come with leasing space for a dedicated bitcoin ATM.

He added that the service with be fee-free for new users at launch to encourage enrollment.

Making a purchase

To buy bitcion at LibertyX's new retail partner locations, consumers must set up a user account online, linking their phone number and providing details such as their name and date of birth.

Users who want to purchase bitcoin can then enter their zip code, which will in turn bring up an interactive map of LibertyX's nearby locations.


The website features a step-by-step tutorial advising new users on how to interact at the point of sale. Purchases can be made in increments of $50, $100, $200 or $300. In return, users receive a PIN number that they then enter into the LibertyX website, at which time LibertyX sends this amount of bitcoin to the user's wallet.

Yim further downplayed the notion that retail employee confusion could occur at checkout.

"In terms of what the dealer actually does, they're providing the cash channel, accepting the cash," he said. "Bitcoin redemption, user signup – that all happens on our site."

Embracing traditional finance

More broadly, Yim explained that he sees bitcoin's ATM sector as providing a necessary onramp to bitcoin today, though he suggested he sees this importance diminishing over time.

"I think that bitcoin is a great add-on and should be integrated into all ATMs. It doesn't make sense to have a new machine when all that's required is additional lines of code," he said.

Yim went on to suggest that ATM providers that embrace bitcoin may gain a new way to increase their revenue streams, an idea that has been proposed by trade groups such as the Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA) and the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA).

Yim concluded that LibertyX aims to position itself to capitalize on this transition, concluding:

"I for one would love to work with any ATM or banking partners that are looking to deploy this."

Checkout image via Shutterstock

Bitcoin ATMsLiberty Teller

December 03, 2014 at 08:15PM

27 November 2014

Bitcoin Alternative Opal Announces Opal Drive Encrypted File Storage Powered by Cryptocurrency


Bitcoin Press Release: Privacy focused cryptocurrency Opal announces the development and future release of encrypted cloud storage platform Opal Drive. This comes on the heels of previous developments such as introducing the Opal Marketplace.

In its continued effort to build the legitimacy and usability of cryptocurrencies in the world outside of Bitcoin, Opal has spent the last several weeks developing its unique encrypted file cloud storage platform. Pairing its development with another cryptocurrency Storj, Opal is proving that seemingly impossible goals can be achieved through cooperation. Cryptocurrency Opal will continue to seek new and innovative ways of using the latest technological innovations; whether it be through their own development or those of their future partners.

As technology grows and the user base becomes more skilled and informed, the abilities of those who wish to do others harm grows as well. The consumer world has seen increasing attacks on the security of their personal data, financial transaction, banking accounts and purchasing records.

The Opal cryptocurrency team believes that the responsibility of security should not be placed on customers, but should be something that a more adaptive technology can improve on. Opal drive will be capable of preventing such data theft through secure encrypted file storage and transfer. The process of this protection is described in detail in the Opal Drive White Paper. The features of Opal Drive will be available for use by people of all walks of life from the computer novice all the way to major technology firms and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Everyone will be able to benefit from Opal Drive’s ease of use and cryptographic security.

“In future Opal Drive will, like all Opal Coin projects, be expanded on, with many more features integrated.” Says Opal Coin team.

As with any new technological breakthrough, development is on-going and continuously being improved upon. Opal Drive is building upon Opal’s previously laid groundwork of Opacity+ (a secure messaging protocol that allows for anonymous messaging and financial transactions) and Opal Marketplace (an open market that allows the sale and transfer of digital products for the cryptocurrency Opal). The Opal Marketplace is still in its early stages, but is an important step towards the steady growth of online sales.

With the announcement of Opal Drive encrypted cloud storage platform, digital currency Opal is consolidating its efforts in the cryptocurrency space to create a functional and secure platform that has endless possibilities for business growth, scientific discovery, and consumer protection.

To learn more please go to: http://opal-coin.com/

Read the Opal Drive whitepaper at: http://ift.tt/1qPlIHT

Visit the Opal Marketplace at: http://ift.tt/1pZ3seH

Trade Opal for Bitcoin on Bittrex: http://ift.tt/1xGFYID

Media Contact:

Name: John McCallum

Email: support@opal-coin.com

November 28, 2014 at 06:36AM

18 November 2014

Wineries Growing the Bitcoin Ecosystem: Where Wine Goes So Goes the World

Serving up bottles of select vine varieties, Picnic Wine Co. was the first winery dedicated to selling wine exclusively for bitcoin. Emblazoned on their bitcoinwine.com homepage, a prominently displayed mission statement reads, “Let’s stay in Bitcoin, shall we? The bigger the ecosystem grows, the fewer reasons to go back and forth between fiat . . . Close the loop.”

A product of the millennial generation, Picnic Wine Co. was founded by three school friends, Grant Hemingway, Jeff Anderson, and Zach Bryant, with a knack for entrepreneurial ventures. Hemingway and Anderson are the winemakers of the business, crafting highly acclaimed wines, while Anderson handles the business end of the vinting.

Anderson, hailing from Pomona College with a major in Economics, described in a company linked blog Bitcoin as a currency and why they decided to become the first winery in the US to start accepting it. “[Bitcoin] is controlled by no government, financial institution, etc. Bitcoin is regulated by Bitcoin users,” Anderson explains and says, “No more bailouts, no more Quantitative Easing (1, 2, or 3).” He then described why they decided to start accepting it, stating “ . . . in order for this thing [Bitcoin] to really take off it can’t be traded solely as a commodity. We need ‘utility’ to play catch-up, and that means there needs to be goods and services available for purchase. [It] just so happens, we make a good. A delicious good.”

Another winery, Mondo Cellars located in Napa, California owned by brothers Mitch and Doug Mondo, may not have been the first winery to start accepting bitcoin, but they are the first winery to produce wines by paying for all the wine production costs in bitcoin. Mondo Cellars’ first production of bitcoin wines involved paying vendors in bitcoin for all the raw materials needed, everything from the wine corks to the glass bottles.

In other words, Mondo Cellars sees the importance of growing the Bitcoin economy in a very fundamental way—buying the necessary inventory materials needed using bitcoin and selling their goods in exchange for bitcoin, through and through. Doug Mondo, co-owner of Mondo Cellars, says, “In creating the first Bitcoin wines, it became apparent to us that forging new niche Bitcoin ecosystems is viable at this time, despite volatility.”

Mondo Cellars was also the first winery to offer investors fractional ownership of their winery for bitcoin. Investors were offered a 2% equity ownership stake in the winery for every 250 bitcoins, with each 250 bitcoin stake also including ownership of a sprawling 82 acres of winery land. In total, the offering allowed investors to purchase up to 30% of equity ownership stake. At the heart of this business strategy, Mondo explains the goal is to keep at least 75% of funds in Bitcoin, which again shows Mondo Cellar’s steadfast commitment to the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Mitch and Doug Mondo are also actively working to grow a business-to-business, business-to-consumer bitcoin only ecosystem, dubbed the Abundance Marketplace. Mondo says, “This process has a twofold effect: it will create numerous local businesses with active Bitcoin wallets and it will expand the offering of the Marketplace allowing Marketplace attendees to spend their Bitcoins on products and services they use daily.”

Mondo’s approach of focusing on a Bitcoin business-to-business network first may prove to be an effective way to create a truly complete Bitcoin ecosystem—one that avoids using fiat altogether. Mondo says, “The goal is to create a working model whose systems and structure can be replicated worldwide, aimed at benefiting society as a whole.”

Note: Bitcoin figures represent the bitcoin price at the time of this writing.

[Photo: Flickr user Dennis Jarvis]

November 18, 2014 at 03:20PM

DACs VS the Corporation

In certain corners of the crypto community, ‘Decentralized Autonomous Companies’ (DACs), or ‘Distributed Autonomous Organisations’ (DAOs) are all the rage. In the same way that Bitcoin is decentralizing money, DACs seem to offer the potential to decentralize the entire world of business, commerce, finance, and the economy. They are businesses that can potentially be owned and run by their customers and their ‘employees’, with no single owner, and, like Bitcoin, no central authority to act as a board of directors. They are, to some people, a big step on the road to greater freedom and autonomy in our own working lives and an antidote to the corruption and crony capitalism of our current corporate world, and the dehumanising influence that corporate hierarchies can have on regular working people.

Ideas like these have created quite a bit of discussion and excitement. Various ‘Bitcoin 2.0′ projects now claim to have developed or to be working on ways for people to create DACs, and the Bitshares project even claims to have started launching them.

But what does a DAC actually look like? How do they actually differ materially from traditional companies – and could any business become a DAC? Even amongst enthusiasts, many people still have no clear idea what the answers to these questions are, partly because until we decide exactly how we want to define what a DAC is, there is no exact definition. Exploring exactly what it is that makes a business a DAC is, I think, an interesting exercise which can simultaneously serve as an exploration of the limits of what a company like this is capable of doing. In order to do that, let’s take each word and its definition in turn:


A regular corporation has its ownership, whether it is private or in the form of shares, registered with a central government authority. It has a head office where a central board of directors gets together in the same physical location to run the company. The organisation of the business is hierarchical, and ultimately there is one individual, the CEO, who has authority over all decision making.

It is generally assumed that a DAC, on the other hand, has its ownership verified by a block chain or other P2P public ledger. This block chain is ‘distributed’ just as Bitcoin is, because it is run by a large number of peers, none of which has a privileged position over the others. Beyond this, however, it is also generally assumed that decision making power and even the work done to produce the company’s product or service is also ‘distributed’, meaning that it is spread out across a large number of peers, each of whom has equal authority. If this is the case (it may not necessarily be so) then the fundamental structure of a business like this is egalitarian and co-operative rather than hierarchical – and this probably the biggest difference between a DAC and a regular business.


There really is no single vision of what a DAC looks like, and this comes out the most when you consider what is actually ‘autonomous’ about it. Currently there are two main competing visions, represented by the two biggest projects to have set out to create an infrastructure and protocol for the creation of digital autonomous companies or organisations: Ethereum and Bitshares.

Ethereum was the project which first introduced me to the concept of DACs and DAOs, and whilst the emphasis of its development team seems to have shifted more towards apps and ‘web 3.0′ technology, these things are still likely to be a big part of what Ethereum’s Turing Complete scripting language will enable. At its heart Ethereum is a ‘smart contract’ system, and any DAO created on this protocol is likely to be composed of an interlocking web of contracts automatically executing to perform specific functions. In this sense an Ethereum DAO would be autonomous in that it could run independently of human intervention. It could trigger payments to pay for its own hosting, run code to provide a service, and perform any other required functions completely on its own. It would not only be completely ‘autonomous,’ but potentially also completely ‘automated.’

On the other side of the coin are projects like those created with the Bitshares ‘tool-kit,’ in which a ‘Delegated Proof of Stake’ (DPoS) system is used, which means that coin holders vote for 100 ‘delegates’ who are allowed to earn revenue for running the nodes which maintain the network. The analogy of these people as the ‘board of directors’ of the business is sometimes used, as the ‘shareholders’ who own coins are encouraged to vote for people who work to make the business successful. Through this method the DAC effectively has employees, hired by the crowd.

The hiring of human employees blurs the line of what is ‘autonomous’ within such an organisation – the business is no longer a self-contained piece of software, although this may still be the core of the business, but instead pays people and presumably relies on them, at least in part, for its success. Individual ‘delegates,’ however, do remain autonomous. Each person hired by the DAC works independently, and there is no hierarchical structure.

The Advantages and Limitations of a Pure DAC

The first of the two systems described above, in which an organisation is structured entirely as a software entity independent of any human guidance or control, can perhaps be thought of as the most pure conception of a DAC.

There are some obvious advantages to having a company structured like this. It would, of course, be impervious to any kind of human corruption, greed, and frailty. When dealing with a company like this, as an investor, partner, or customer, you would know exactly what you are going to get – you would not need to trust them to behave well and you would not need to worry about human error messing things up. An organisation like this would also be able to operate effectively whilst making little or no profit, because software only needs the cost of its hosting to ‘live off’ and doesn’t get greedy for more.

But of course there are some equally obvious disadvantages, as you also consign human flexibility, creativity, understanding and compassion to the dustbin. As things stand there is a very limited number of things that can be accomplished by software working autonomously of human control. As Tom Ding, chief philosopher at Decentralized App crowd-funding specialists Koinify explains in ‘2020: A Call for DApps and DAOs,’ an organisation like this is ideally suited to performing work composed of small, simple and repetitive tasks in which “each task within the network can be easily divided, with the result of work being verifiable either programmatically or through human input; which is very hard to manipulate.”

Currently it is very difficult to see how any large or complex organisation could have all of its functions defined precisely and completely enough to be structured like this – and if it did, then having its operations ‘set in stone’ would make it inflexible and unable to adapt to a changing business environment. Over time one could imagine a situation in which an interconnected web of smart contracts develops, in which various ‘organisations’ and ‘companies’ may be built up from the same sea of source contracts and may reach reasonable levels of complexity. One could also imagine an organisation like this using contracts to hire human beings to perform tasks a machine cannot do on their own, but this is so far away from our current position it is difficult to envision with any clarity. If such a thing were to happen it seems to me that it would be something that would build up organically over time, with people focussing on building the contracts rather than the DACs, but with these contracts working together with each other in organisational structures which could only loosely be called a ‘company.’ Various contracts, each with their own set of relatively simple rules, may come together for a while into what may appear to be a ‘business,’ before dissolving their relationships to form new structures with new partners as they adapt to changing times. For the moment, however, there are very few areas of business simple enough to be conducted in this way, and very few ‘smart contracts’ operating out there in the wild.

Maximum Fuzziness and the DACification of the Corporation

The second class of DAC described above, in which a group of ‘employees’ or ‘directors’ is elected via the block chain, has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

By creating a role for actual human beings you allow human characteristics like creativity and flexibility to play their part in the success of the business. But each human being is still working individually – autonomously – in the way that they see fit. Of course a co-operative approach between ‘employees,’ in which each one is free to do as they see fit but they still work together to build the business, is still possible; but it is easy to argue that this co-operative approach will inevitably be less efficient and more fragile than a traditional business, as there will always be times when people are pulling in opposing directions, or where a lack of support across the business would cause a good initiative to fizzle.

This kind of organisation seems as if it works best where there is a core product which can be completed even before the launch of the business, but in which the success of the business is dependent on a surrounding ecosystem of services or promotional initiatives. This is what we are seeing so far with Bitshares, in which the core product – each of the DACS that’s been launched so far – is a block chain with a relatively small and well defined set of key innovations funded through a pre-sale of coins or tokens. The Bitshares X banking DAC, for example, introduces assets such as BitUSD pegged to the value of external currencies and assets. Beyond publishing price feeds for these assets, which is a relatively trivial and a purely technical task which will not change over the years, the ‘delegates,’ or employees of this business, are not expected to maintain or develop this core business. Instead they are expected to build services and businesses which accept its digital currencies and assets like BitUSD, to promote its banking features to new users, or to support the current community of users in some way.

A DAC built like this is perhaps a little less ‘pure’ than one which doesn’t need human employees, and in return perhaps is a little bit more flexible and capable of a wider range of business activities, but it is still clearly very limited compared to a regular business. One interesting question to ask, however, is how many ‘impurities’ can you introduce before a company ceases to be a DAC?

For example, there is no technical reason why a business built with something like the Bitshares tool-kit could not have different classes of delegate: each might have a different probability of finding a block (and hence a different level of earnings). Perhaps these classes could relate to a marketing department, product development department, and so on. If you push this principle even further you could imagine a wide range of different employees being directly elected by shareholders – or you could just as well imagine a human resources department being voted in to hire other employees. Likewise you can imagine the core block chain being pushed into the back-room; imagine a physical shop, for example, with a Point of Sale system which allows the cashier to accept a $10 cash payment and automatically buy $10 of the company’s token on the open market and use it to purchase a product. The block chain now goes from the core service to a piece of back-end accounting software.

The specific advantages of doing something like this are entirely dependent on the specifics of the implementation. Whether a business like a big chain store implementing things like this would still qualify as a DAC or not is largely a matter of our own personal choice. But it may be that in the future the seemingly stark line between a DAC and a traditional business is a whole lot fuzzier than what we see at the moment, and that a wide range of businesses may be amenable to some form of ‘DACification.’

November 18, 2014 at 02:26PM

17 November 2014

LAST CALL! Inside Bitcoins to Launch in Paris This Week – Get 10% OFF!

Inside Bitcoins is kicking off their inaugural Paris event on November 20-21, and we’re offering our readers 10% OFF with the discount code BMAG14!

The conference, which will take place at Espaces Cap 15, will explore the growth of crypto currencies, FinTech, business trends, investment strategies, tools and much more. Don’t miss your opportunity to explore where the industry is today and what business opportunities and threats are in the horizon, with keynotes from Nicolas Cary, CEO, Blockchain.info, and Bernard Lietaer, Research Fellow, Advisor to Jetcoin Institution, Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley, as well as two days of seminars by industry leaders. See the full roster of speakers here!

Session Topics Include:

  • Decentralized Technologies: Lifeboats for Society

  • Sound Wallet: How to Create a Cold Storage Wallet Out of Sound

  • International Review: Bitcoin Stories from Across the Globe

  • Moving Towards a Bitcoin Society

Interested in learning more? Check out the conference agenda , which will cover topics ranging from Crypto-Law and Regulatory Compliance, to Investment & Funding and The Developing World.

Interested in attending? Enter code BMAG14 for 10% OFF 2-Day Passes. Register now!

inside bitcoin paris

November 17, 2014 at 10:00AM

16 November 2014

bitcoin.info portal launches: Designed to give Professionals Accurate Bitcoin Market Info

Press-Release: 16th Nov 2014

By: Techemy ltd

For: General news distribution.

With the explosion of interest in Bitcoin over the last 24 months, keywords, trademarks and domain names around

bitcoin have become somewhat of a commodity.

Techemy Ltd, a NZ based start-up, has secured a key domain name in the bitcoin space: Http://bitcoin.info

Company co-founder and CEO, Fran Strajnar stated:

“After having spent 11 months building a stable price index (BNC Price-Index via Bravenewcoin.com), we wanted to

offer the world a clean website with a solid domain name for 1 reason: Accurate Price-Discovery (and related


Price-Discovery is the economic concept of finding the value & price in a marketplace. This is a basic requirement for

an emerging industry to build products and services around.

Strajnar expands with;

“MtGox represented the bulk of trading in Bitcoin until the end of 2013. It was easy to discover the price during

Gox’s reign. Since then, literally dozens of exchanges have open shop all around the world and surprisingly no other

index out there, captures anywhere near all of this data, making Price Discovery somewhat questionable. We believe

Price Discovery to be a ‘Public-Good’, and will not be charging for this. Our API is free to use, constantly added-to as

new exchanges open their doors, accurate & stable. A public good for the industry to use”.

What sort of services require an accurate global-bitcoin-price?

 Wallets: Consumers want to pay an accurate market price at all times.

 Futures & Financial products: Financial products require stable backbone. One example: 796.com, the

world’s largest Bitcoin-Futures exchange, uses this API calculate their Millions of USD worth of weekly


 Billing platforms: Invoicing & billing services require a current price to generate correct fiat figures for

business owners.

 Portfolio Management: Tracking your client’s or your own investments.

 Gaming Industry: Settlement calculation or Fiat value displayed to gamers.

 News & info Services: News agencies and search engines can now display comprehensive market data.

 & Any possible product or service that requires an accurate price Fiat price for Bitcoin.

The API is available here: http://ift.tt/1ETbtVx

Techemy Ltd collects a ton of data from the Bitcoin & Altcoin marketplaces. If you or your company require

something custom or more advanced, like global consolidated order books, or plan on running a service where such

data is critical and you require a Service-Level-Agreement, the company can be reach on contact@bitcoin.info

November 17, 2014 at 02:39AM

How Kraken is Seeking to Solve Bitcoin's Banking Dilemma

Jesse Powell, Kraken When Fidor Bank's Michael Maier spoke to CoinDesk in June, the Internet bank COO framed his industry as one that bitcoin would grow to challenge directly, suggesting at the time that its partnership with Kraken demonstrated its intent to accept this future and even cooperate with it.

However passive these statements may have seemed at the time, they came into sharper focus on 31st October, when Fidor announced it would team with its San Francisco-based bitcoin exchange partner to launch "the world's first cryptocurrency bank".

The unnamed project seeks to build a regulated financial institution that would help bitcoin startups that have struggled to secure and maintain accounts even for day-to-day business.

Given this backdrop, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell sees his company's most prominent collaboration with Fidor as more than an exercise in bringing another first to the ecosystem. In a new interview, Powell positioned the specialized bank for cryptocurrencies as a necessity should the ecosystem succeed at delivering on bitcoin's full technological potential.

Powell said:

"For Kraken to be a viable business long term, for most players to be viable, we need to see the pie grow. That’s what we want to do with Fidor, is create a bank with the specific mandate to bank bitcoin companies and provide reliable banking to end-users of bitcoin."

By providing stable banking partnerships to companies in the ecosystem, Powell aims to, in turn, return lost time and energy to the community. In the process, he will also expand his business beyond one that targets market makers and bitcoin companies with a VC-backed order-book exchange.

However, Powell contends that Kraken has the experience it will take to rise to the challenge and deliver on its goal.

"We’ve talked to more than 200 banks in the last year-and-a-half about banking bitcoin companies, and the successes are the ones you’ve seen so far, the 1% success rate," he said. "[The bitcoin community] can’t go on wasting time. How many man hours is the industry wasting talking to banks? It’s just insanity."

A 'bitcoinized' financial institution

Though Powell was clear on the goals the project is set out to achieve, his statements suggest that Fidor and Kraken are far from solidifying any concrete plans on the types of services they will provide. As the original release relayed, even the name of the bank – BICONDO, BYSE Bank or Cryptocurrency Bank – remains a matter of debate.

Fidor, Kraken

However, Powell indicated that the bank does intend to offer certain services to clients, like the ability to borrow against bitcoin assets and invest in lending products.

"We hope to leverage blockchain technology to offer some additional services and 'bitcoinized' traditional financial services," Powell added.

While acknowledging that the potential that lies in advanced financial services provided by crypto 2.0 protocols, Powell said that it remains "early days" for such projects. Still, he doesn't rule out that they could enable Kraken to build a more robust cryptocurrency bank offering.

"With colored coins, sidechains and Counterparty, there’s all sorts of interesting things that could merge and we could see more assets being held in this bank account that could serve as collateral," Powell mused.

He went on to suggest that the bank may seek to leverage the blockchain's applications for identity, implying that the institution could help other bitcoin companies validate customers even as he cautioned that any of the products the bank offers will need to meet the approval of European regulators.

Fighting back against big banks

Powell sought to frame the survival of Kraken as depending on the success of the bitcoin ecosystem itself, stressing that his company's main goal is to increase the size of the customer base it can serve in its current target markets, Europe and Japan.

He suggested that he sees the banking initiative as being in line with Kraken's existing goals.

"You see that Google is trying to bring faster Internet connections to people, because that will increase the number of searches, and that’s their business," he said. "We can give people a secure place to store and convert their bitcoin between fiat currencies and make bitcoin more functional."

Powell suggested he doesn't see the business incentive in the US market, which it stopped serving in February, given its hurdles and risks.

He further elaborated on his company's own struggles gaining access to banking in the US market, noting that it has lost key partnerships even though it is structured specifically to avoid this concern. Kraken is owned by parent company Payward Inc., which Powell described as a software company that officially licenses software to the Kraken exchange.

"When we go to a bank and say we need an account, we can legitimately say that we’re offering software and nothing else," Powell said.

Despite this, he said Payward has lost accounts at both Bank of America and Chase, accounts that were kept only for handling company expenses.

"Bank of America and Chase both terminated our account," he said. "The reason they gave was that they evaluated our account, they do it once in a while, and they determined that for the protection of our users they didn't want to service our account, some bullshit like that."

These frustrations, he suggested, caused operational difficulties that he hopes a cryptocurrency bank will help avoid once and for all.

Regulatory hurdles low, risks high

Powell went on to state that in the context of some of the more ambitious projects in the space, the regulatory hurdles for the new bank are low.

"In Germany, bitcoin is basically money, so this wouldn't be like having a bank account with multiple currency balances, one account with dollars and another in euros, it would be an account with euros and bitcoin. It fits within the framework that exists, and we’re not pointing out any problems there," he explained.

When asked if there had ever been a bank created to meet industry-specific needs, Powell compared the new offering to credit unions that serve specialized employees like teachers and firefighters, but stressed that the bitcoin ecosystem requires unique solutions.

Still, Powell said that the project isn't without its risks, noting that savvy banks could begin to serve the bitcoin industry, creating an ecosystem of new competitors.

Competition from banks aside, he said, should a sizeable portion of the ecosystem seek to utilize the institution, it would be easier for regulators to harm the industry as a whole.

Though optimistic about its potential, Powell suggested he sees the cryptocurrency bank as a necessary experiment, though one capable of falling short on its aims.

"It’s still not a foolproof plan," he concluded.

Images via LinkedIn; Cryptocurrency Bank

BankingFidor BankKraken

November 16, 2014 at 06:38PM

13 November 2014

Mobileshop.ph is now offering bulk mobile recharge service for Bitcoin coorporate customers

Mobileshop.ph the leading cryptocurrency prepaid mobile phone top up and dish TV recharge provider is now offering Bulk Recharge service for corporate customers seeking a quick top-up solution for high volumes of mobile phones.

Mobileshop.ph has also introduced a new Rapid Top Up service allowing customers to top up without registration and also now accepting Dogecoin.

Reasons why you should use our service

– Mobileshop.ph is the market leader for cryptocurrency Mobile and Dish TV top up.

– Mobileshop.ph is fast, secure and easy to use. No registration required.

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Media Contact: marketing@mobileshop.ph

November 13, 2014 at 11:42PM

12 November 2014

Coin Proz Is Here!

Coin Proz is a project set out to help publicize the top projects in crypto currency. With now over 1000 coins in the ecosystem and hundreds of projects, it is a real challenge to track and follow daily updates. The team has taken on the challenge of covering the top projects in crypto land and helping promote them. Coin Proz will be a unique platform in the digital currency realm.

The Coin Proz team wants to help cryptocurrency cross the mass adoption threshold. By rewarding users for participation, the site aims to use that incentive to bring in new users by making it worth their time to be involved. By focusing on the most promising projects and simultaneously bringing in a new audience, Coin Proz wants to bridge the gap between organizations looking to spread their message and users eager to earn by learning.

In addition to being an information and networking hub, Coin Proz has some unique blockchain technology powering the site:

  • Coin Proz has banking features. It’s currently possible to move many different coins amongst users off-chain.

  • There will be a market place where users can buy and sell items or services.

  • There will be lending, automatic repayments, and scheduled payments.

  • Custom chats for each project hosted.

  • Each project will have their own unique page with all news pertaining to them. This is a combination of articles, important updates, tweets and more.

To celebrate the Alpha launch of www.coinproz.com the team has decided to do a Proof of Action campaign. 10+ people will win 10000 Prozcoin. How it works: you start by signing up for an account on www.coinproz.com . Every signup will receive 50 complimentary Prozcoin along with 500 to 700 Test Proz to work with.

Coin Proz also sells PoA campaigns. Anyone can run a Proof of Action campaign for their coin or business starting from 100k Proz coin which you can trade for here http://ift.tt/1nOOYan or purchase a campaign for .5 bitcoin. Coin Proz will help you set up your unique campaign. You can run up to 10 actions and for a length of 1 week. Whether you want to get people to like your Facebook page, comment on a thread, or tweet about your company, you can get a Proof of Action campaign today to grow your organization fast and organically.

Contact us about a Proof of Action campaign. prozcoin@gmail.com

November 12, 2014 at 11:52AM

11 November 2014

Inside Bitcoins Paris is TWO WEEKS AWAY – Get 10% OFF!

We’re excited to be continuing our partnership with Inside Bitcoins Conference and Expo, the leading trade show for the fast-growing bitcoin and related cryptocurrency industry, as they launch in Paris in just two weeks! The full schedule for this leading crypto event is now live, and will feature sessions from many industry leaders. See the full roster of speakers here!

Nicolas Cary, CEO of Blockchain.info will deliver a morning keynote on November 20 titled, “International Review: Bitcoin Stories from Across the Globe.” The opening keynote on November 21 will be delivered by Bernard Lietaer, Research Fellow, Advisor to Jetcoin Institution, Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley.

Additional Session Topics Include:

  • Using Bitcoin to Achieve Real Crowdfunding

  • Bitcoin Security and Freedom

  • Moving Towards a Bitcoin Society

  • The Bitcoin Startup Ecosystem

The conference agenda , which will cover topics ranging from Crypto-Law and Regulatory Compliance, to Investment & Funding and The Developing World, will offer opportunities to learn about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency whether you’re a veteran or just getting started with Bitcoin!

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inside bitcoin paris

inside bitcoin paris

November 11, 2014 at 10:20PM

Artists and Hackers Create “Parallel” Economy at Cryptoanarchy Institute

In 2003, a group of Czech guerilla artists called Ztohoven began leaving their marks on government-claimed property in Prague. They turned a neon heart on a castle into a question mark. They published the cell phone numbers of government employees in an art exhibition. They even hacked a government news station and began to broadcast footage of an atomic explosion during the weather forecast.

After gaining notoriety for these acts and more for over a decade, the group has recently changed course. Earlier this month, Ztohoven’s artists joined forces with some of the hackers they’d worked with previously to form the Cryptoanarchy Institute. They’ve settled in a former factory building in a suburb of Prague called Holešovice. The name of their new haunt? “Paralelní Polis,” which is Czech for “parallel city.”

The crypto hub’s pseudonymous spokesperson, Petr Žílka, told Hello Czech Republic:

“We want to create a living organism, a parallel structure that would allow people to step out from the system we are living in as much as possible. That’s why we also established a café, and a library and a co-working space where you can hire a table and can do your business.”

The concept of a parallel city was written about by Czech writer Vaclav Bendan in 1978. It’s described as “an independent society—a society that is not oppressed by laws and the decisions of the representatives of the public authorities. A society that is based on its own values, values which are not forced by the central authorities.”

“Nowadays many technologies that originally came from hackers are part of life and we use it,” said Žílka. “We want to show that there are ways how to get rid of all the regulations and enjoy your virtual freedoms [with] encryption and anonymization programs.”

Paralelní Polis will only accept cryptocurrency for payment. When asked if someone with only fiat would be welcome at the Cryptoanarchy Institute, Žílka replied that that’s exactly who the hub is for: people who want to learn about technologies with which they’re unfamiliar. He said:

“The house is an example of how it could work. . . This way we want to show that you can really start living like that and minimalize the influence of state and laws.”

A current offering at the new Paralelní Polis is called “Maker’s Lab.” The class takes place every Monday evening, and anyone is invited to come learn how to 3D print.

The Institute’s homepage makes clear its mission: “The aim of the Institute Cryptoanarchy is to make available tools for unlimited dissemination of information on the Internet and encouraging a parallel decentralised economy, crypto currencies and other conditions for the development of a free society in the 21st century.”

There are some people (yours truly included) who’ve begun to suspect the most complete form of anarchy in my lifetime will in fact take place in the cloud. The digital protection of identity and property—that is, cryptoanarchy—may not be physical, but does that make it any less desirable? Should cryptoanarchy perhaps become the new focus of freedom-seekers everywhere, as it arguably offers more tools and opportunities than can be found in the meat space?

November 11, 2014 at 12:34PM

10 November 2014

Genecoin: DNA for the Blockchain

While it’s a common refrain in the Bitcoin universe that the Blockchain will have countless uses for the storage and management of scarcity in our lives, it’s still a field that’s just starting to deliver on this promise. Enter Genecoin, a newcomer in the Bitcoin space that seeks to fulfill an unlikely spot in our Blockchain future: the encoding and storage of who we are. Despite its name, Genecoin is not a crypto currency or a counterparty asset. Genecoin is the name of a nascent company run by a group of anonymous bitcoiners based in a undisclosed location in the United States’ northeast coast. The members of Genecoin are offering a simple proposition to the Bitcoin universe: to populate the Bitcoin Blockchain with the sequenced DNA of its customers.

Genecoin is still in its earliest stages of existence, and is not bashful about letting its audience know that the company is just in its beginning stages. The price list is still open ended, and the web site is quick to note that “We’re Gauging Market Interest.” However, the principles have clearly received a lot of attention in a very short time, and seem committed to the goal of servicing their first customers. For potential customers, the Genecoin process will start by connecting a client with a gene sequencing lab. This lab will send a saliva collection kit via the US mail, along with instructions to the user on how to collect their saliva using the provided hardware. Once collected, the user sends the sample back to the lab, via the postal service, where the sample is processed and sequenced. After sequencing, the results will be sent to Genecoin, where they are then to be persisted onto the Bitcoin Blockchain. Though there are many companies offering their customers gene sequencing services, it’s the Blockchain persistence that separates Genecoin from the competition.

Amongst the many technical challenges that Genecoin is openly addressing is just how to store this DNA data using Bitcoin. Given that your typical human’s unencrypted DNA takes up approximately 750 MiB of data, storage of this data in full, on the Blockchain, would be significantly cost prohibitive. However, Genecoin is quick to point out that much of this data is redundant between humans, and that this size can be drastically reduced by merely encoding the ‘differences’ amongst a single human’s DNA from those of a reference model. Such an encoding would require off-chain data be used for reference, and Genecoin is exploring various ways of referencing this data in a decentralized capacity. In addition to the considerations surrounding space efficiency, Genecoin is actively exploring mechanisms to encrypt the storage of one’s DNA on the Blockchain as well. After all, just because one wants their data to persist forever, doesn’t mean they want everyone privy to it. Options for latter decryption would include time-lock, and oracle-based decryption schemes.

So, why would anyone want to encode their DNA on the Blockchain? Like much in the crypto space, some projects are a solution in search of a problem. However, one easy reason to use the blockchain to store DNA would be as a replacement for a traditional ‘Birth Certificate.’ Notarization has long been a function provided by the Bitcoin Blockchain, so to ‘notarize’ the existence of a person’s DNA could attest to the existence of an identity, and its age. This attestation would thereafter function in the much the same way as does our current oracle-based (hospital-centric) system. Additionally, for those thinking of the far off future, another fanciful notion might be to encode one’s DNA for the purposes of cloning by a future generation. If that sounds a bit too far-fetched, well, just remember that decentralized currencies were once a far-fetched idea as well.

Regardless of where Genecoin and the DNA sequencing market goes from here, there’s a number of wonderful questions being asked and answered around the Genecoin project. Does the Blockchain have value? What’s the best way to store data so that it will survive the eons? How will the Blockchain find a use outside of the traditional confines of the financial space? These questions will be answered in enough time, but one answer that’s immediately obvious for many in the Bitcoin community, and hopefully to be obvious for others in the biology community: the Blockchain has many uses above and beyond just the storage of balances on a ledger.

November 10, 2014 at 05:00PM

9 November 2014

All Things Alt: Feathercoin Forks and a Collaborative Crowdfund for Charity

all things alt dogecoin litecoin charity

What's happening in the altcoin community this week? Though the market volume doldrums of the past few months don't seem to be clearing away too quickly, development on many projects continues to move forward and the ecosystem diversifies even further.

Read on to see some of the latest happenings from around the altcoin space.

Litecoin and dogecoin team up for charity

A joint effort to raise money ahead of the holiday season is currently underway, combining the crowdfunding capabilities of both the litecoin and dogecoin communities.

The LiteShibes 4 Christmas campaign follows previous efforts to raise money to provide holiday gifts to impoverished children in the Philippines. Organized by several moderators of the dogecoin subreddit, the group – comprised of both dogecoin and litecoin donors and supporters – has raised roughly 290,000 DOGE and 267 LTC. Combined, this amounts to nearly $1,000 that has been raised at press time.

The project represents the latest crowdfunding initiative from the digital currency community. Previous efforts to raise funds for African well projects have been successful, although the debate over using the technology as a vehicle for donations continues today.

The organizers said in a message on the dogecoin subreddit that the effort is the first joint donation drive since dogecoin instituted auxiliary proof-of-work and merge mining with litecoin began.

“This is a milestone in crypto history, to show that we can bridge the gap between communities to really make a difference and help those less fortunate,” the organizers wrote.

Feathercoin hardforks to new mining algorithm

feathercoin_256-e1370862322758 Late last month, feathercoin officially switched over to NeoScrypt, a new type of memory-intensive hashing algorithm that supporters say will protect the coin from the influence of ASIC miners.

The move, announced at the beginning of the summer, comes amid both the broadening deployment of second-generation scrypt ASICs and a shift away from coin projects based on litecoin’s approach. According to a post on the official feathercoin forum, founder Peter Bushnell outlined why the team wanted to push out the new algorithm.

Beyond the risk of network disruption by big mining players with ASICs, Bushnell noted that the project benefits in the long-run by taking proactive steps to stem future issues:

“As the majority of people buying Scrypt ASICs are not doing so to mine feathercoin and the fact that some very large ASIC suppliers will be releasing products soon it seems sensible to move algorithm now before we face the challenges that hit many SHA-256 alts when the SHA-256 ASICs hit. We are moving to a new tier of hashing where feathercoin can be the leading coin.”

As outlined in the NeoScrypt white paper, the algorithm seeks to make it economically impractical to develop mining products that can generate large hash rates. Other algorithms like X11 and Scrypt-N seek similar aims, although some reports indicate that ASICs for these algorithms are in the process of being developed and built.

Strange alt of the week


The rising tide of scamcoins and pump-and-dump schemes has led to suggestions that altcoin investors need to be more proactive in their research, scrutinizing of new coin launches and, in general, more careful about what they do.

Despite the risks, some continue to invest in coin launches and initial coin offerings that carry all the warning signs, including inflated returns and unrealistic expectations of public acceptance. Other initiatives that can be seen, like rektcoin, go in the opposite direction and make no bones about the risks involved.

With the slogan “Got rekt? Get rekt!”, rektcoin previously sought to serve as an example of why investors need to be better at what they do. After an initial hype period, the price of rektcoin has collapsed, with the developer suggesting on The Bitcoin Talk Forum that such an outcome was not only expected, but intended.

Claiming they lost money in the process, which began with a high-volume mining launch that saw as much as 35 GH/s in hashing power, the developer said that those who bought in were likely aware that they might be left holding the bag, so to speak:

“All bagholders just bought rektcoin and hoping for a pump and quick profit, just like all other shitcoins you are buying: it doesn't matter what the coin brings....you are just hoping for a whale who will pump it and you can make a quick profit. I guess no whale pumped rekt so you all got rekt! Including us!”

At press time, the price of REKT is down roughly 75% from 24-hour highs. Some investors have taken to social media, noting wryly that the project, for better or for worse, has at least lived up to its name.

Have a tip about a notable happening in the altcoin world? Email CoinDesk at stan@coindesk.com.

Disclaimer: This article should not be viewed as an endorsement. Please do your own extensive research before you consider investing in the altcoin space.

Image via CoinDesk


November 09, 2014 at 06:32PM