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Platform to Allow Users to Spend Metal-Based Crypto Using a Debit Card

A new monetary system is aiming to overcome the “severe price volatility” which has made cryptocurrencies unappealing to use as tender — creating two primary digital currencies which are based on gold and silver.

Kinesis says these currencies — known as KAU and KAG — are based one-to one on allocated physical gold and silver. This means that the full, direct title to the bullion backing these coins is held by the person who owns the cryptocurrency. These coins can be loaded on to a debit card and instantly converted into fiat for payments to merchants who accept Visa and Mastercard, and the company says users will also be able to withdraw funds from cash machines.

In explaining its rationale for using gold and silver as the basis for a digital currency, Kinesis described these assets as “two of the greatest stable and definable stores of value for trade and investment.”

A proprietary blockchain network has been developed for Kinesis’s monetary system, which is forked off the Stellar blockchain — and the team behind the platform says its users stand to benefit from “very high” transaction speeds and customizable fees.

Yields for participation

Kinesis says that passive or active users in its ecosystem stand to gain a yield for their participation — and the company has split this into four distinct categories.

The first is known as the Minter Yield. When a user converts their fiat currency or physical bullion holdings into KAU and KAG coins — a transaction that can be completed on the platform’s Primary Market — they receive a five percent share of the transaction fees on the coins they create and use. Users also earn the same share when they make their first deposit into a Kinesis Wallet, and this is known as the Depositors’ Yield.

In a nod to passive participation, the Holder Yield enables owners of KAU or KAG coins to receive a 15 percent share of the transaction fees generated while they hold these currencies. Although this is calculated on a daily basis, the yield is credited to their wallet once per month. Users will also be incentivized to invite new customers to join the Kinesis platform, receiving a Recruiter Yield when someone has been successfully referred.

“An evolutionary step”

Kinesis’s founder, Tom Coughlin, is the chief executive of Allocated Bullion Exchange (ABX) — a company which says it aims to “connect and empower an international network of buyers and sellers by offering direct access to the wholesale bullion market.”

Much of the infrastructure that is going to be used for Kinesis — the technology used for minting silver and gold and storing it in physical vaults — already exists, and the company says it has been successfully used by ABX for a number of years.

Kinesis says it has four target markets in mind for its monetary system. The first is the precious metal market, where it is hoped that investors would become incentivized to use these assets if they had a yield attached to them. The company also hopes to appeal to the cryptocurrency market, and believes KAU and KAG coins could become a solid replacement for “questionably backed and non-yield-bearing coins.”

A presale for the Kinesis Velocity Token, an ERC-20 utility token, is taking place until Sept. 9, with an Initial Token Offering running from Sept. 10 to Nov. 11. The pre-ICO runs from Nov. 12 to Feb. 28, 2019, paving the way for the public Initial Coin Offering to commerce on 1 March 2019.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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‘Smart eCard’ Stores 30 Crypto Accounts, Credit And Debit Cards In One Place

Buying a bottle of water quickly and spontaneously using cryptocurrency is still a massive challenge, but the company behind a new ecosystem says its technology will make it easy for crypto holders to use their funds for everyday purchases – all without creating a headache for merchants.

FuzeX has created a smart eCard that enables shoppers to store up to 15 cryptocurrency accounts, 10 debit or credit cards and five reward accounts in one place. Buttons integrated into the eCard allow users to decide which account they want to use to make a purchase, with the current balance for each shown on an ePaper display so they can be aware and confident of having adequate funds. The eCard’s battery life lasts for 45 to 60 days, and it is easily rechargeable.

Although furnished with industry-standard technology such as near field communication (NFC) – the tool that makes contactless payments from old-fashioned debit card readers possible – FuzeX says other security features were added to help it to stand out from traditional cards. For example, its eCard can be locked whenever a Bluetooth connection to the user’s accompanying FuzeX wallet is deactivated, and the eCard can also be wiped remotely if it is lost or stolen. Through the wallet, available as an app for iOS or Android, users can also see where their card has been used on an interactive map – as well as send, receive and exchange cryptocurrencies.

“A proven concept”

FuzeX’s technology has been tried and tested, with the company saying it has already “successfully developed, brought to market, sold and shipped more than 20,000 Fuze cards.” These smart eCards only offered payments through credit, debit or reward cards – and in 2017, the company says it managed to reach the dizzying heights of crowdfunding success, soaring to the top 0.01 percent of projects on Indiegogo after raising $2.2 mln.

The company says its proven concept and distinctive features mean there are high barriers to entry for rivals who may try to replicate its product. When compared with competitors, FuzeX says it is the only provider offering a smart eCard, with other providers supporting cryptocurrencies and nothing else. Rival cards also have to be prepaid, while FuzeX users can get payments debited directly from their account.

FuzeX says it takes pride in offering a legitimate, dependable service. Another card issuer, TenX, suffered a severe service disruption when its cryptocurrency card ceased working because its issuer Wavecrest allegedly violated Visa’s policies.

Listed on cryptocurrency exchanges

The company has now concluded its initial coin offering. For now, it says FXT tokens can be used to purchase FuzeX charges and pay for “small annual memberships” necessitated by its partnerships with issuers. Although it is possible to pay for membership using other cryptocurrencies and fiat, FuzeX offers discounts when FXT is used.

FXT tokens have now been listed on four cryptocurrency exchanges. As of May 10, they are available on the Taiwan-based Cobinhood exchange, where promotions are taking place to herald the arrival of FXT. It has also been listed on HitBTC, COSS and Livecoin.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Cryptocurrency Startup To Take On ‘Outdated’ Credit Cards Through Blockchain Payment Protocol

PumaPay is building a Blockchain-based protocol to reform how everyday financial transactions are completed – with a warning that credit and debit cards are unfit for purpose in today’s “fast-paced, global economy.”

PumaPay claims its system has what it takes to propel cryptocurrencies into mainstream use and rethink how payments are processed. It is developing an open-source “PullPayment Protocol” which enables merchants to pull funds out of a customer’s account with their consent. This would replace old-fashioned methods where a shopper pushes money to a retailer, with the cash going through a long line of intermediaries in a costly process that can take days to complete.

According to PumaPay, its invention is “far more credible, efficient, cost-effective and scalable” than current solutions – and offers much-needed flexibility to make cryptocurrencies viable as a source of payment both online and offline.

Serving merchants, not exploiting them

According to PumaPay, it is merchants who lose out most through the economy’s “anachronistic” reliance on card payments which dominate online shopping sites.

The project says retailers and small businesses face multiple fees, ranging anywhere from 2 percent to 8 percent in some cases. Not only do these charges take a serious toll on a merchant’s profit margins, but PumaPay says long transaction reconciliation times have a detrimental impact on cash flow. Chargebacks are also becoming more common because of fraud and buyer’s remorse, resulting in fines and insecurity – with merchants continually uncertain over whether the money from a sale will reach their bank account.

Despite cryptocurrency and Blockchain representing an exciting development over the past decade, PumaPay argues that none of the currently available crypto-payment solutions are functional enough to compete with big players such as Visa and Mastercard.

PumaPay says it plans to “serve merchants, not exploit them” and make its platform “the de facto standard for modern payments.” It is already promoting the protocol and attracting early adopters who will begin using the system upon release – including brands such as Fashion TV, Rent24, Backpack.io, CCBill, SegPay and other online merchants and payment processors across multiple industries.

Several adult entertainment companies have also embraced the protocol – with the industry suffering from high credit card transaction costs because their sector is deemed “high risk.” PumaPay believes its protocol is well suited to pay-per-view scenarios, providing flexibility for entertainment platforms and protecting their clients’ privacy. IMLive, Vivid Entertainment and LoadedCash are among the high-traffic, high-volume brands who have joined the project as early adopters so far.

PumaPay CEO Yoav Dror told Cointelegraph: “Many online platforms are now releasing their own tokens which are by default limited by a platform’s user base. The PumaPay token transcends merchants, platforms and industries as more and more merchants express the interest in joining the ecosystem. As a result, the product offering will increase along with the PMA [token]’s spending potential and the demand for the token will grow.” The ultimate vision of the PumaPay economy is the self-feeding loop that keeps growing with new merchants and customers.

Merchants who become part of the protocol will also benefit from a hub called PumaPay Pride – an app which alerts shoppers to nearby businesses which accept the platform’s token.

“As flexible as payment cards”

According to PumaPay, the flexible nature of PullContracts means merchants can mold them in ways to best suit their business – allowing them to conduct offline transactions and receive recurring payments.

Examples of potential uses for PullContracts given in its white paper include purchasing a magazine subscription, monthly payments of electricity bills and paying for dinner at a restaurant. PumaPay also believes its system could become an ideal way to make children financially independent, with young people given their own wallets and their parents allowed to veto purchases if the item they want falls outside the parameters of what the pocket money is for. The same scenario of ‘restricted payments’ can be applied to corporate expenses with employees’ wallets provided by an employer.

PumaPay plans to initially launch an Android app for consumers, with a version for iOS and a Chrome-based application soon afterwards. It is hoped shoppers using PumaPay will see costs tumble as merchants cut prices in response to greatly reduced transaction fees.

PumaPay is holding a token generation event for seven days, beginning at midnight on April 26 2018. Depending on contribution levels, it hopes to integrate its first early adopter in the second quarter of this year – and release a simple version of its PMA token. Tests of the next-generation Blockchain, a more advanced version of its token and cryptocurrency wallets would follow towards the end of this year and into 2019.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Cryptocurrency Exchange Develops An App And A Debit Card To Pay And Cash Out Cryptocurrencies

In Nov. 2017, Fidelium, a US-based project with South Korean roots, signed a contract with a major debit card provider to allow cryptocurrency owners to make payments practically anywhere, as well as to withdraw cash at affiliated ATMs. As the project team reported to Cointelegraph, the debit card will be integrated with the Fidelium’s Multiwallet app, which provides users with access to various exchanges from around the globe.

“Almighty” debit cards

Issuing debit cards for traders is not a regular procedure for online cryptocurrency exchanges. Although Fidelium is not a cryptocurrency exchange, the project includes a cross-exchange trading platform called Fortress that works more like an aggregator. Users can access any supported cryptocurrency exchange via the platform by undergoing a one-time Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure.

In addition, Fidelium is developing the Multiwallet app to allow users to manage Fidelium tokens (FID tokens), Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other supported cryptocurrencies as well.

A user with the app installed on their phone will be able to apply for Fidelium prepaid debit cards, giving them the option of withdrawing cash at affiliated ATMs and use the debit card to make purchases at stores. A card holder will be able to select any of the supported coins for payments.

“By partnering up with a payment processor, we aim to enable quick and convenient cryptocurrency spending, anywhere in the world, without any special restrictions or waiting time” claims the project website.

Building the Fortress

In Nov. 2017, the project started developing Fortress, a cross-exchange trading platform. “The first problem we want to address is the price difference caused by lack of liquidity” says the white paper.

According to the paper, in late 2017 the price difference in various regions was particularly noticeable for Bitcoin after it broke the $10,000 mark. “At one point, Bitcoin was trading around $15,000 in the U.S. At the same time, it was around 20 mln Korean Won – roughly $18,500. That is $3,500, or 23 percent difference”.

The main problem is that a trader is not able to switch between exchanges easily. Receiving an account at different exchanges leads to complicated and rigorous verifications at each exchange, which can involve uploading a picture of an identification card, providing a proof of residence and verifying mobile phone number and email address.

Aiming to offer a way to improve such circumstances, the Fortress online trading system will provide access to different exchanges within a single platform. A user will be able to compare coin prices at different exchanges and determine which exchange offers the best price.

Upcoming features

The project team also reported to Cointelegraph about upcoming developments in the future of the platform. “We will also have a Fortress professional version, which is a premium version of the platform down the road. It will give users more detailed charting options and abundant resources, such as technical indicators to help further trading decisions”.

The team has also announced automated trading based on programmed trading algorithms as an upcoming feature, although extra details are not revealed yet. They also plan to add stocks, options, and futures trading to the platform in the futures as well.

Fidelium also aims to add Asian and European exchanges to Fortress in 2019.

On Jan. 12 Fidelium started its public pre-sale, and a month later, on Feb. 28, the startup launched its main crowdfunding campaign. The initial coin offering (ICO) finished on March 11. However, their bounty program is still running for written content and YouTube videos, and the participants of the Fidelium bounty program will receive their participation rewards in the form of FID tokens.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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New Cryptocurrency Debit Card Harnesses AI To Give Customers The Best Deal

The increasing ability to pay for products and services using cryptocurrency debit cards is a physical representation of the rise in crypto popularity. However, they are still relatively rare and at times complex; with so many cryptocurrencies available in conjunction with market volatility, it can be difficult for traders to know how best to utilize the contents of their cryptowallets when making purchases.

Amon is a financial cryptocurrency platform that looks to solve this issue using their unique payment card which utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure that users get the best value from their cryptowallets with every purchase. Their whitepaper claims that they are the only platform which enables users to use their most valuable cryptocurrencies for purchases in real time. Amon also offers their own unique Amon tokens (AMN).

Three purchase methods

Amon card holders will have three purchase methods to choose from. The simplest is to instruct the wallet to allows pay with a single currency (for example, someone who is only interested in Bitcoin). The second is to personally select which of your currencies to use after swiping the Amon card. The third brings into play the unique Amon Artificial Intelligence Aystem (AAIS) which will select the best currency to use in real-time on a per transaction basis.

Amon’s whitepaper uses the scenario of buying a coffee using the Amon card as an example. The AAIS algorithm will analyze the user’s cryptowallet and decide the current best performing cryptocurrency, taking into account factors such as historical data and user risk profile. The algorithm displays to the user the crypto with the highest value to them at that point. The user can then decide to accept the suggestion or pick another currency to purchase the coffee with.

Partnership and tokens sale

When it comes to security, traders can be assured by Amon’s partnership with established cloud platforming company Ixonn and audits by Econocom Group. Amon has also partnered with Daneel, which runs webcrawls to assist traders in investment decision, and CognitionBox, a trading algorithm company helping to develop AAIS.

Amon also claims that they are set apart from the competition by their 24/7 ‘premium’ customer service; something that they claim is sadly lacking in the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

The Amon private ICO will begin on March 1 2018 for 24 hours (1 AMN = $0.05), but in order for traders to take part they must subscribe to the whitelist by Feb. 2. Joining the whitelist will also give traders a 25 percent AMN token bonus, and a free Amon Gold Card . The first public ICO will follow on March 4, where the token bonus will be reduced to 15 percent.

Looking further ahead, Amon are looking to release the Amon wallet to the public in Q2 2018, followed by obtaining an e-money license and wallet decentralisation in Q3. Their aims for market share are to have 3 percent, 5 percent or 7 percent (negative, realistic or positive estimates respectively) control during the first year.

The team behind Amon are diverse in background and experience. Amon’s four co-founders are from Italy and Australia, and also have team members from France, Spain, Ukraine, and the US. CEO Daniele Izzo previously co-founded another platform for the legal marketplace, AvvocatoFlash, with two of Amon’s other Italian founders, Velerio Sudrio (CMO) and Cristian Izzo (CTO). AvvocatoFlash has thrived in the Italian marketplace, with over 5000 lawyers involved and more than 20,000 legal cases dealt with per year.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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New Debit Card Helps to Unlock Your Digital Currency

The common question you hear from any doubter of digital currencies and their future in our world is “what is the use case?” Often, people look at Bitcoin and see its shortcomings as a medium of transfer, and use that as their justification for being short digital currencies. Spending Bitcoin or any other digital currency is not currently all that easy. It takes time to convert back into fiat currency, and there is often a large fee.

A Singapore-based company Paycent aims to make it easier for buyers and sellers to use their digital currency. Right now they are in the process of releasing the integrated debit card which gives customers the capability to unlock their funds instantly.

Bridging the gap between fiat and digital currencies

The overall goal of the company is to make it possible for mobile and cashless payments to be accepted anywhere. Blockchain is the underlying technology that enables this advancement, and the team has worked hard to bridge the gap between fiat and digital currencies.

The new Paycent integrated debit card is the key to bringing digital currencies into our day-to-day life. It has no yearly maintenance fees if the card is active and in use. You don’t need to hold a PYN token to get it. A user will pay only one time fees for card activation and delivery with any digital currency.

Paycent

Pre-registration for the debit card has started on Jan. 15, and only 20,000 cards will be delivered in this first batch. The selling point for many of the early users of this card will be the low fee of 1.5 percent, paid in PYN tokens, which is much superior to the current transaction fees on most digital currencies.

The hybrid wallet along with the debit card is planned to be live in the first week of March and it is currently available for registration on the Paycent website. Once operational, the card will work at more than 36 mln points in over 200 countries. Users will be able to convert any digital currency to fiat in real time basis and can use it via Paycent card at online and offline stores and cash withdrawal at ATMs globally.

More money and better transparency

Paycent has set themselves apart in a few ways. One is the manner in which they are conducting their ICO. Rather than releasing all of their tokens at once, the team at Paycent decided to release them in eight phases.

The company says, there are two major benefits to this method. First, it helps the protocol by proving the concept along the way, which would then result in more money being earned. It also increases transparency and aligns incentives within the network better. Users are motivated to buy earlier by giving bonus Paycent tokens (PYN) of varying amounts to each phase.

The ICO commenced in November and has proven to be a success. Phase one of the ICO was successful, with 80 percent of tokens distributed to over 14,000 different contributors.

Paycent’s end goal is to help users worldwide enter the cashless world. The true potential of a company like this comes from the fact it can create an infrastructure that users who have never had access to banks will be able to engage with. In this regard, it is an inspiring goal with limitless market potential.

The original mission of Bitcoin was to create a new financial system that wasn’t dependent upon any single authority, and this might finally be possible with Paycent.

The Paycent team is pro-active on Telegram. For regular updates, join the chatroom https://t.me/paycent.

William Bartlett

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Bitcoin.com to Launch Bitcoin Cash Visa Debit Card

Roger Ver, the most vocal advocate of Bitcoin Cash has tweeted that Bitcoin.com will come out with a Bitcoin Cash Visa debit card very soon.

The rivalry between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is well known as the latter’s proponent, Roger Ver, has continued to claim that Bitcoin’s Aug. 1, 2017 fork – BCC, is the real Bitcoin as per the original guidelines in the 2009 whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.

His idea of a solution to Bitcoin’s supposed shortcomings is Bitcoin Cash, which has a larger block size (8MB compared to Bitcoin’s 1MB – making for a larger number of transactions to be processed within the 10-minute period it takes to process new blocks) and consequently smaller fees and faster transaction processing.

However, the Bitcoin community has not been very receptive to what a lot of them believe is an attempt to subvert the original coin, leading to a rift between supporters of Bitcoin and those of Bitcoin Cash.

Now with a possible Visa debit card solution coming out, Bitcoin Cash’s price is likely to go up as it becomes easily ‘spendable’ – something that cannot be said for Bitcoin which was recently dropped by Steam, the game distribution service, due to high fees and delays.

While there are other solutions (TenX and Monaco) for users looking to spend their digital currency via debit cards, a native solution provided by Bitcoin Cash may be what is needed to further crypto adoption and actual spending, which is considered healthy for the market.

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Dash Aims for Mass Adoption: Announces New Integration, Activates 2 MB Blocks

After remaining quiescent since early September, Dash has enjoyed a substantial run recently. Beginning November 12, the price of Dash shot up from $310 to visit lofty heights above $800. At press time, the currency trades for $750.

This has been an extraordinary year for cryptocurrency, and it’s tempting to attribute Dash’s rapid rise to the speculative frenzy that has seized the entire market. However, there are signs that something more may be driving Dash. Is it possible we are seeing the first steps toward increased adoption?

New integration

Today, Dash and Uphold made a joint press release to announce the currency’s integration into Uphold’s platform which allows users to buy, send and sell digital currencies using the web or a mobile phone. According to the joint statement, the new integration will allow 94% of the world’s population to use Dash.

The integration is live, and Uphold plans to add support for Dash’s InstantSend feature soon. InstantSend is an optional feature that’s native to the Dash protocol. Users who send Dash using InstantSend have their transactions fully confirmed in just a few seconds, rather than minutes or hours.

Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor wrote:

“Uphold adds to the Dash ecosystem the fastest and easiest method yet for everyday consumers to acquire Dash. Dash already has many of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges integrated, but exchanges are generally intimidating for average users unaccustomed to trading. Uphold makes transactions much simpler than an exchange, and it supports users from most geographies.”

Uphold’s Head of Global Business Development, Colin Luce, said:

“We were eager to add Dash primarily due to the increased adoption and of real-world use cases. The organizational structure of Dash, with masternodes and proposals and the Core Group, is a recipe for long-term success, especially at a time where the vast majority of the top one-hundred blockchains and currencies are still primarily speculative.”

Earlier integrations

Dash has announced a number of integrations and partnerships this year, and each one takes the currency a step closer to real-world adoption. Some examples include:

Alt36 – This company is integrating Dash into a retail point-of-sale system. Alt36’s target market is the legal cannabis industry, which is completely cut off from the banking system due to federal regulations. At present, the legal marijuana industry is a cash business, and the costs of handling, guarding and transporting large amounts of cash are enormous. Since Dash’s InstantSend allows transactions to fully confirm in seconds, users can check out and leave the store immediately without waiting on multiple confirmations.

Exchange integrations – This year has seen Dash added to Bitfinex, Bitthumb, Huobi, Binance, Kraken and others. The integration with Kraken was particularly noteworthy, as Dash’s budget system paid Kraken $50,000 to conduct a security review on the currency and its InstantSend feature before integrating it. Dash passed the security review and was added to the exchange in April.

BlockCypher – In February, Dash’s budget system funded an integration with BlockCypher for the development of a hot wallet API. The API was launched a short time later, allowing vendors to easily add Dash payment options. BlockCypher has also attended several conferences jointly with Dash and has partnered with the Dash network to issue grants to startups in the Blockchain industry.

ASU – This summer Dash and Arizona State University announced the development of a Blockchain Research Lab at the university. The lab was funded by Dash’s budget system to the tune of $50,000. Fortune reported that the lab “will focus on blockchain scalability, best practice, network architecture, environmentally-friendly mining, latency and throughput.” At a later date, the university may begin offering classes taught by Dash Core executives.

Debit cards – Dash is now available on several cryptocurrency debit cards, enabling users to spend their Dash at any retailer who accepts Visa. At present, there are about 40 mln such businesses.

At Dash Conference 2017, held in London this September, Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor announced that a number of integrations would be coming along in the future, including:

  • Global brokerage service with free bank transfers
  • New exchange integrations
  • Dash will have access to 20 new fiat currencies
  • An additional ATM manufacturer
  • Integration with several large retailers
  • A healthcare integration

2 MB blocks

Developers knew that Dash’s drive to mainstream adoption would never get off the ground if the currency network couldn’t scale. While Bitcoin and Ethereum have begun work on off-chain scaling solutions, Dash announced that it was pursuing on-chain scaling solutions using bigger blocks which would be processed by Dash’s incentivized masternode network.

Last month, Dash developers released version 12.2 of the Dash Core software, and when enough miners and masternodes upgraded, a 2 MB blocksize increase was locked in. Today, the bigger blocks officially became active, and Dash is now capable of processing twice the number of transactions per second. In the not-too-distant future, Dash will be increasing its blocksize again, to 5 MB.

Go big or go home

This past summer, Dash’s founder Evan Duffield announced that the developers had a plan to scale the currency using massively large blocks. Under the plan, Dash’s blocksize would gradually increase to 45 MB or more, enabling the network to handle up to 50 million users. The plan would work by requiring masternodes to run custom hardware capable of handling such large blocks. Masternode owners would be able to afford this expensive hardware because their nodes receive 45% of the block reward – roughly $65,000 per year, at today’s prices.

Budgeting for success

Dash’s budget system has been a critical part of the currency’s growth. Each month, 10% of the block rewards for the entire month are reserved for budget proposals. Masternode owners, who each control 1,000 DASH, vote on these proposals and the ones that are approved are paid directly by Dash’s Blockchain. At present prices, Dash’s budget system is able to fund $5 mln in projects every month. That money pays for Dash’s development team, community projects, attendance at conferences, business integrations and more.

Increasing adoption

Some argue that Dash can’t hope to compete against established behemoths like Bitcoin and Ethereum, whose market capitalization dwarf Dash’s. Yet others, like Max Keiser, believe there is plenty of room for multiple cryptocurrencies to survive. Keiser notes:

“Dash is emerging as the crypto payment rail while Bitcoin asserts itself as Gold 2.0. I suggest those frustrated by the Bitcoin scaling debate to embrace Dash for payments and leave Bitcoin Core alone to continue working on Gold 2.0.”

Meanwhile, Taylor comments:

“Dash is focused on becoming the first digital currency capable of mass-market adoption. We believe our incentivized infrastructure model offers a viable path to providing the capacity required to operate at massive scale.”

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Bitcoin Price Doubles in Troubled Zimbabwe

A surprise political move by Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, has played havoc on the US dollar/bond note parallel exchange rate, as well as on Bitcoin price in the country.

Bitcoin was already trading at a highly inflated rate in the troubled African country as its demand skyrocketed as a potential alternative to the dregs of a currency that Zimbabwe has left. However, that inflation has hit almost 100 percent as it trades about $13,000 per coin.

Trading on uncertainty

Unsurprisingly, with this latest political coup by the entrenched president, there is much speculation and worry about the already fragile and almost non-existent fiat currency system. Zimbabwe operates on bond notes linked to the US dollar.

Traders have been trying to move out of monetary assets as even on the dollar there is a 62 percent premium. It has meant that investors are trapped by the currency shortages, seeking an alternative to exit the country – such as Bitcoin.

Despite hitting a price of over $13,000 traders say that Bitcoin is booming as it is the strongest alternative.

Collapse of banking

Zimbabwe is beginning to act like an interesting case study for what happens when a country begins to collapse around its monetary system – it is also being witnessed in Venezuela.

Moving money out of Zimbabwe is starting to become impossible, and as people try and flee monetarily out of the crumbling state, they are finding refuge in Bitcoin.

Soon, banks in Zimbabwe have stated that Visa debit cards would no longer be usable for international payments without prior arrangements and pre-funding with hard currency.

“You will be required to make prior limit arrangements with the bank,” Stanbic said in a message to depositors last week. Econet Wireless has also stopped foreign payments on its MasterCard linked EcoCash mobile money debit card.

Bitcoin as a refuge

Because of the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, there is no impact on it from this political upheaval, in fact, it is only benefiting from it. The Bitcoin premium of almost 100 percent is not because of the political issues, rather the high demand surrounding worry of collapse.

Bitcoin again shows its potential and power when the banking system again shows its potential for mass collapse and hysteria.

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Estonia Withdraws 760k E-Residency Cards as Hacker Threat Grows

Estonia has canceled its 760,000 of its national ID cards after researchers found a cryptography flaw they contain is “much worse” than they thought.

As Ars Technica reports updating original revelations about the cards’ vulnerabilities last month, hackers could potentially steal holders’ identities at a fraction of the original time and cost.

“There were no known incidents of an Estonian digital ID card being misused, but all previous certificates containing the vulnerability were suspended on Friday,” Kaspar Korjus, head of the country’s e-Residency scheme announced Friday.

Estonia’s cards are used for various state-related activities and are among those identified as compromisable by hackers.

“Large-scale vote fraud is not conceivable due to the considerable cost and computing power necessary for generating a private key,” Estonian authorities had said in an effort to calm the situation.

“We are deeply concerned by the statement… regarding the Estonian ID cards used for e-voting,” independent researchers wrote over the weekend.

“This statement appears to be based on the claim that breaking all 750,000 ID cards would cost 60 bln euros, which in turn is based on the claim that breaking one card would cost 80,000 euros. Actual attack costs are thousands of times lower…”

The problem is embarrassing for Estonia’s progress in digital identity, in which the country has been a leader for several years.