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Ripple’s xVia To Run Payments for New Partners Over Asia and Europe

The list of connections that Ripple has made is growing constantly creating a strong foot-stand for its platform to develop evenly too. Just recently, five partnerships have been announced in Asia and Europe that will find use of Ripple’s xVia product to power payments being supported on its blockchain network – RippleNet. RationalFX (U.K.), Exchange4Free (U.K.), FairFX (U.K.), UniPAY (Georgia) and MoneyMatch (Malaysia) have decided to group up with Ripple.

While it sends a payment on behalf of a user but not actually processing and paying out, xVia is an API solution that makes RippleNet accessible for payment originators. With the particular product utilization, lower operational costs, faster entry in the new markets, faster speed and end-to-end visibility over the transaction’s path will be included.

“By tapping our global network with xVia, our customers now access new markets quicker and cost efficiently,” said Asheesh Birla, senior vice president of product at Ripple. “All of these customers run into the same problem: building bespoke connections to banks and networks all over the world. It’s expensive and time consuming. xVia enables them to grow their overall market share by reaching new customers in new markets, easier than ever before.”

Keeping in mind that it will decrease manual reconciliation costs, xVia will lower the failing rates that do happen very often with traditional wire transfers while payment originators are able to keep up one standard connection.

“xVia will allow us to reach more people, more efficiently and at a lower cost,” said James Hickman, Chief Commercial Officer at FairFX. “It will also enable us to deliver on our commitment to give customers the most transparent, efficient and truly global money transfer experience possible using RippleNet.”

“This is an exciting new partnership for RationalFX, and we look forward to passing on the benefits of xVia to our clients across the globe.” – CEO of RationalFX Chris Humphrey

Since last years 100+ partnerships annunciation that Ripple did including companies like Currencies Direct, IFX, TransferGo, Bexs Banco and many other, just this year updates and news are flooding in with many more financial institutions and firms entering the Ripple revolution.

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Bitcoin Cash Is Bitcoin? Lawsuits Won't Stop the Fight Over Bitcoin's Name

“Roger Ver deserves to go to (back to) jail for fraud.”

For those not immersed in bitcoin’s byzantine politics, it might seem strange to see Ragnar Lifthrasir, a self-described “passionate advocate for bitcoin,” wish incarceration on an early adopter and fervent evangelist the community once called “Bitcoin Jesus.”

But Lifthrasir isn’t alone in his desire to lock Ver up a second time (Ver was sentenced to 10 months in prison in 2002 for selling explosives on eBay). His j’accuse was retweeted over 500 times in just over 24 hours, and a Reddit thread on the same subject featured multiple accusations of fraud and calls for jail time.

Rather, the allegations started after it was noticed that the block explorer, a tool for visualizing data on Bitcoin.com, an educational site that Roger Ver owns, had labeled what many consider the “bitcoin cash protocol,” the version of the blockchain that forked off bitcoin this past August, “bitcoin.”

Just “bitcoin.”

And for many, like Lifthrasir, that slight deviation from how the majority defines the two competing cryptocurrencies was the last straw.

Indeed, after nearly a year of infighting between the two camps, some Reddit users went so far as to call for people to report Bitcoin.com to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at the FBI. And, at time of writing, a Telegram group called “Bitcoin.com lawsuit crowdfund” has even picked up more than 900 members.

Even those who have expressed positivity toward the bitcoin cash blockchain and its potential value as yet another experimentation in the market, were aghast.

Cobra, a pseudonymous cryptocurrency enthusiast, told CoinDesk, “I think it’s criminal behavior.”

Cobra continued:

“While it’s fine for one to have the personal opinion that bitcoin cash is similar to what was described in the bitcoin white paper, presenting bitcoin cash itself as bitcoin on a commercial website visited by thousands of newbies daily looking to learn about the actual bitcoin is just deceptive and fraudulent.”

Round two … or three?  

Stepping back, the fight that Roger Ver finds himself at the center of is rather an age-old argument about who or what defines bitcoin. Is it the code? The white paper?

Or perhaps it’s the case, as Casa engineer Jameson Lopp argued, that “There is no web site, forum, social media account, foundation, code repository, conference, enterprise alliance, or organization of any kind that defines Bitcoin.”

Certainly, there have been varying interpretations, a fact made worse by the lack of clear agreement on a common reference point.

Ver’s own belief, which he’s expressed multiple times over the years, is that the true bitcoin must fulfill “Satoshi’s vision” of a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system,” a term laid down in the original white paper, published in 2009.

And this lack of strong historical agreement appears to have become fodder for Ver, who has arguably sought to highlight this fact in recent public statements.

Indeed, bitcoin’s own software has introduced more than one interpretation over the years, though the goal has always been the same, to help those running the software judge the validity of a transaction history, if and when there are competing versions.

To this day, the computing program includes something called “best chain” logic in its consensus rules, though it differs from how it was originally implemented.

At launch, the rule stated that the correct bitcoin blockchain was the “longest chain,” the one with the largest number blocks of data contributed by miners. Very early on, though, that rule was changed to follow the chain with the most “proof of work,” the computing power expended by miners, which updates and secures the blockchain.

Developers have largely agreed the change was for the better, arguing that the “longest chain” logic was flawed. However, it’s noteworthy that “longest chain” has been an element of the argument for years, even being frequently evoked by businesses in the debate leading up to the bitcoin cash fork and thereafter in other fork debates

A provocation  

Still, while Ver’s point may be rooted in a longstanding debate, his methods for disseminating his views appear to be sparking outrage.

On Friday, for instance, Ver tweeted a list of all the ways that one might consider a piece of software “bitcoin,” including criteria he credits to bitcoin cash: low fees and fast and reliable payments.

In fact, he went so far as to argue that bitcoin cash beat out bitcoin core in every category, except for “longest chain, with most proof of work.” (Because bitcoin core’s network of miners is larger, the chain unquestionably has more computational power.)

Tensions have continued to run high since then, primarily because Ver continues to refer to bitcoin cash as bitcoin.

Speaking to CoinDesk, however, he defended his actions and dismissed the threat of litigation, saying that it “seems strange” as “bitcoin is open source and permissionless.” Ver believes, in short, that he doesn’t need anyone or anything to dictate what he believes bitcoin to be.

These arguments have inspired comparisons between bitcoin and religion in the past, a theme that has emerged again in the past week.

Indeed, Ver speaks on the subject with a passion of someone giving a sermon. At a conference in April, he said that refusing to accept bitcoin cash as the real bitcoin delays the technology’s adoption, and that “means more babies are dying in countries around the world.”

It’s a comment that lent itself to a fair bit of mockery owing to its hyperbole. Still, it’s worth noting that such barbs have also been launched by those faithful to bitcoin core developers and their software.

Twitter user Armin van Bitcoin, for instance, has accused Ver of promoting “rat poison” in his marketing of bitcoin cash as bitcoin.

A lack of consensus

Still, the software’s developers appear a bit more agnostic about all the infighting.

When queried, they remarked that there’s no real answer as to what constitutes bitcoin, owing to the decentralized nature of the software.

“Ultimately, I think personally you cannot objectively define bitcoin, and I’ve tried,” said one long-time bitcoin core advocate, who goes by the pseudonym ‘Shinobimonkey.’

And there are many reasons for this.

Elizabeth Stark, CEO of a company building next-generation bitcoin technology, Lightning Labs, offered an example. Suppose a government “attacked” the bitcoin blockchain and was then in possession of the “longest valid chain” and could change its rules.

That wouldn’t necessarily be bitcoin, she argued.

“Bitcoin is a shared collective belief where the longest valid chain is a factor,” she said.

Others remarked how other decision-making frameworks are similarly inadequate.

“If someone working for Ford Motors left, and built a new car company that became more valuable than Ford, it doesn’t magically just become Ford Motors,” Shinobimoney added. “At this point, [in my opinion] it comes down to incumbency.” 

Legal action unlikely

Still, it’s almost certain that someone will try to sue Ver at this point, but according to Jason Siebert, a cryptocurrency attorney, their prospects of success are dim.

“The only people with a claim would be those that purchased BCH instead of BTC thinking they were buying bitcoin,” he wrote recently.

Even if private individuals did bring a civil lawsuit, it could only result in orders for corrective action or a fine. Ver would not receive jail time, two attorneys specializing in cryptocurrency confirmed to CoinDesk.

In theory, the Department of Justice could file criminal fraud charges against Ver, but for that to happen, his actions would have to meet the rigorous standard of “specific intent to defraud specific people.”

As Matt Gertler, senior analyst and counsel at Digital Asset Research points out, Ver’s public insistence that bitcoin cash is the real bitcoin could make it “difficult to prove that he knowingly misrepresented the truth.”

What’s more, these points are moot, because Bitcoin.com does not sell bitcoin cash in the U.S. In jurisdictions where it does sell bitcoin cash, the page clearly distinguishes between bitcoin cash and bitcoin core; there is no option to purchase just “bitcoin.”

So no, Ver is not going back to jail, but his dogmatism has dragged the scaling debate to new depths.

As Cobra said:

“Imagine if after the American War of Independence and the U.S. was born, George Washington ran around telling people that ‘USA is England’ … and said he was implementing the true vision of the Magna Carta.”

Broken phone image via Shutterstock.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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TRON [TRX] Price Continues to Amaze as Rumors Spread Even More

Out of all the leading coins, despite the recent value recovery that was going on in general, only TRON (TRX) was able to continue the uptrend into the new week with a double digit gain of 12.21% in the last 24-hours. The rocketing move catapulted TRON back to the top-ten leading coins, on the 9th position, with $6.3 bln market capitalization leaving NEO in dust with almost $1 bln ahead.

TRX Investing

Source: coinmarketcap

The markets that are leading in trading volumes are mostly originating from Asia with a slight premium price. Upbit changing pairs of TRX/KRW at $0.0981 with 25.75% of total trading volume in the last day.

It is obviously very difficult to immediately pin-point down the reason and what is impacting such a dramatic token-price performance in comparison with other cryptocurrencies in the market as there are no updates that would argument the upward tick. Various investors and analysts point their finger to the mainnet launch as a trigger for the hype and value rally, however there could be more.

Keeping in mind that Justin Sun – Founder of TRON, is an alumnus of the large tech corporation Alibaba, there are rumors reaching out the spider web that the digital currency will utilize this connection and relationship to sign down a strategic partnership with the conglomerate.

These rumors resurfaced on Monday in an article published by a cryptocurrency news blog, which speculated that a partnership would be bullish for Tron but also included no data indicating that such a development was in the works.

But Jack Ma – Founder of Alibaba, as reported in the past, has no intention at least for the near future to get in touch with any crypto despite being very bullish about blockchain as a technology development.

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US Federal Trade Commission To Offer Free Workshop On Crypto Scams

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be holding a free workshop this summer titled “Decrypting Cryptocurrency Scams” according to a press release published today, April 30. The workshop’s main aim is to educate the public about risks in the crypto sphere.

The event will include consumer groups, law enforcement, research organizations, and the private sector to examine how scammers are taking advantage of public interest in digital currencies. The FTC’s press release notes that while interest in crypto has increased this year, so have scams. The regulatory agency cites a rise in “deceptive investment and business opportunities, bait-and-switch schemes, and deceptively marketed mining machines.”

The free June 25 workshop will be held at DePaul University in Chicago, and the event will also be available over a webcast. The crypto workshop falls under the FTC’s current work on protecting consumers using new financial technologies, according to the press release.

In March, the FTC created a Blockchain Working Group that will target fraud that occurs in the blockchain and crypto sphere. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also launched a cryptocurrency probe the same month as part of their overall inquiry into how Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) could fall under securities regulations.

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Cobinhood To List IOTA (MIOTA) On May 4

IOTA is disrupting the nooks and crannies of the world with the waves of developments, creating a lasting impression in the mind of people. Courtesy of the altcoin’s zeal to rule the crypto verse with it progressive expansion, IOTA is preparing to be named on a new exchange, COBINHOOD, after the exchange went live on its Twitter page to announce that it will be listing IOTA on its platform.

The exchange, on its Medium page, made a broad clarification on the listing.

In a statement tagged “Finally, IOTA on COBINHOOD!”, Coinhood said it will be listing IOTA (MIOTA) on its platform for deposit and trade by May 4, 2018.

“Depositing and trading IOTA with BTC, ETH, and USDT trading pairs will be live on May 4th, while withdrawing will be enabled two weeks after listing (this post will be updated with the exact date),” the statement reads.

The statement which aired the coming up of another event flagged “Upcoming Contests & Airdrops” stated that IOTA (MIOTA) will be the first coin that will feature on the exchange for the month of May.

IOTA Previous Developments

While IOTA seems to be moving around the world with series of development lately in order to fight for its position in the market, the altcoin continues to give more and more reason to pay attention to its expansion.

Recently, in a release, it was made known that the altcoin and its team were granted a major boost with the introduction of the head of Central Europe business at Fujitsu’s connection, Dr Rolf Werner, into IOTA foundation.

At present, Werner is the Chairman of Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmBH Board, and Fujitsu is rated one of the first-class information and communication technology (ICT) company in Japan, specialized in presenting technology products, solutions, and services to the world.

In another developmental note, IOTA was granted the privilege to present at the biggest industrial trade shows in the world, which will took place in Hannover Messe, Germany. The event will hosted bigwigs world tech giants, top people in the tech industry and potential investors in innovations, giving the altcoin the opportunity to sell its ideas to the audience.

Conclusively, IOTA is becoming more and more formidable in the market today and it is making a difference in the industry. IOTA’s unrelenting effort could take it anywhere.

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Japan Finance Giant SBI Holdings To Launch Crypto Exchange In Summer 2018

Japan`s financial services giant SBI Holdings plans to launch its crypto exchange this summer, local media outlet Business Insider Japan reported April 27.

According to a recent announcement by company president Yoshitaka Kitao, the exchange SBI Virtual Currencies will support coins such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Yoshitaka suggested that BCH would be regarded as the settlement currency, as the scarcity of BTC makes it expensive and “tiring as a settlement currency”. He added that XRP would be a remittance currency.

While the launch date of the exchange remains unannounced, the SBI president stated that the exchange “will be number one in the blink of an eye.”

“When we do it, it will be number one in the blink of an eye so quickly, so even if a tremendous number of customers come, we can build a system that can bear. [sic] We have to pursue safety thoroughly.”

SBI Group first revealed its plans for SBI Virtual Currencies in October, 2016. In December, 2017, SBI announced it would partner with Bitcoin trading platform Huobi, and would launch the exchange in early 2018.

In March, SBI postponed the launch of the exchange for security improvement purposes. The delay was ostensibly motivated by the Coincheck hack and the Financial Services Agency’s (FSA) subsequently heightened scrutiny of exchanges.

In March, SBI Holdings acquired 40 percent of Taiwanese cryptocurrency hardware wallet company CoolBitX. CoolBitX’s primary offering is its CoolWallet, which can communicate with other devices via Bluetooth.

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Circle Adds Zcash to Crypto Investment App

Circle is adding the privacy-focused cryptocurrency zcash to its list of offerings for its investment app, the startup announced Monday.

Users of the company’s Circle Invest platform can now purchase and invest the cryptocurrency, the company explained in a new blog post. The token joins bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, ethereum classic and litecoin as available currencies through the app.

“Our mission for Circle Invest is to democratize access to investing in crypto assets for every consumer. Making the wider breadth of assets available on Circle Invest will continue to be a part of this mission, and of course doing our best to ensure that we bring the crypto without the cryptic to everyone, anywhere,” the startup wrote.

The investment app was first unveiled last year and debuted in March, as CoinDesk reported at the time. While it was initially excluded, residents of the U.S. state of New York can now access the app, according to the company. The other states – Minnesota, Wyoming and Hawaii – remain unavailable, according to Circle Invest senior product manager Rachel Mayer.

She told CoinDesk that “Circle has an established working group dedicated to finding the best crypto assets for our customers,” but declined to say why zcash specifically was chosen.

However, tokens on the platform must be “consistent with our regulatory licensure,” she explained.

Business miniatures image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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US: ICO Market Is Example Of Unregulated Securities Market, Says SEC Commissioner

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Robert Jackson highlighted consumer protection regarding Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) in an interview on CNBC today, April 30.

When asked about cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Jackson said that he hasn’t yet seen an ICO that wasn’t a security, echoing SEC chairman Jay Clayton’s comments earlier this year. Jackson added that the crypto space “has been full of troubling developments that we’ve seen at the SEC, and especially the ICO space,” adding:

“Investors are having a hard time telling the difference between investments and fraud.”

The ICO market right now, according to Jackson, is a prime example of an unregulated securities market:

“If you want to know what our markets would look like with no securities regulation, what it would look like if the SEC didn’t do its job? The answer is the ICO market.”

However, Jackson doesn’t think this means either more bans or regulation, but rather a focus “on protecting investors who are getting hurt in this market” for right now. He suggested in the future looking into “ways to make those investments work consistent with our securities law.”

At the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) cryptocurrency hearing in February of this year, the conclusion was reached that digital ledger technologies (DLT) like blockchain need the least regulation, ICOs need the most, and virtual currencies fall somewhere in between.

More recently, during a hearing at the US House of Representatives on April 28, the director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance said that the SEC was striving for a “balanced approach” in regards to ICO regulation.

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India To Get 30% Discount On Venezuelan Crude Oil If Paid For In Petro, Says Local Source

Venezuela will give India a 30 percent discount on crude oil, but only if India uses the state-issued Petro coin, according to an article published yesterday, April 29, from local Indian news outlet Business Standard.

News about the discount comes from crypto exchange Coinsecure CEO Mohit Kalra, who told Business Standard that the offer had been put forward by a team from Venezuela’s blockchain department in India last month:

“They are going to different countries and making offers. The offer that they have given to the Indian government is: you buy Petro and we will give you a 30 per cent discount on oil purchases.”

Business Standard reports that Coinsecure will sell Petro in India after negotiations with the Venezuelan blockchain team. According to Kalra, Coinsecure will also supply white label exchange solutions for Venezuela, meaning that all crypto traders will need to trade on their exchange:

“That would be run by their brand name, but the back-end will be us. We plan to provide them with 10-15 cryptocurrency players.”

A Venezuelan official “indicated they have received response from the private sector in India,” Business Standard notes.

The Petro, which was launched on Feb. 20 in a pre-sale that ended on March 19, has brought up questions internationally over its use in the global economy, especially in regards to the economic sanctions imposed on the country.

Business Standard notes that the Petro has reportedly raised more than $3.8 bln, with more than 127 countries participating in the pre-sale.

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Bring Home the Bacoin? Oscar Mayer Debuts Crypto Campaign

It may sound like baloney, but American meat maker Oscar Mayer has entered the cryptocurrency space – sort of.

The company announced on Monday the unveiling of “Bacoin,” which it is calling “the first-ever cryptocurrency backed by the gold standard of Oscar Mayer Bacon.”

With the initiative, Oscar Mayer is offering bacoins as a kind of incentive to get users promoting the brand’s meat products on social media and email. Through the company’s official website, users “mine” bacoins that become worth more – denominated by slices of bacon – as consumer awareness is increased. Accompanying the campaign is a new commercial pitching the bacoin.

Bacoins can then be cashed out by customers for real packs of bacon, according to the company. As of press time, the value of a single bacoin is worth three slices of the company’s bacon, according to its official price tracker.

“Oscar Mayer is the gold standard of bacon because of our dedication to hand-selecting the best cuts and then naturally sugar curing and naturally hardwood smoking our bacon,” the company’s brand manager, Matt Riezman said in a statement.

With the move, the 130-year-old Oscar Mayer becomes the latest food company to jump on the cryptocurrency branding bandwagon. Back in January, KFC Canada launched a bitcoin-themed promotion that saw it selling a so-called “Bitcoin Bucket” to select customers.

Image via YouTube/Oscar Mayer

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.