There are growing concerns in the People’s Republic about the effect Bitcoin mining has on power consumption. So much so that the government has outlined proposals this week to restrict mining operations. The move has spurred a digital exodus as mining conglomerates seek friendlier lands. China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies has widened to miners, according to… View Article
Archives for January 6, 2018
Key Highlights ETH price is moving nicely above the $1,000 level and it heading higher against the US Dollar. There are two major bullish trend lines forming with support at $990 and $770 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD (data feed via SimpleFX). The pair might continue to move higher and the next target for… View Article
Key Points Bitcoin cash price is struggling to move above the $2600 and $2700 resistance levels against the US Dollar. There is a crucial bearish trend line forming with resistance at $2600 on the 4-hours chart of BCH/USD (data feed from Kraken). The pair has to move above the $2600 and $2700 levels to gain… View Article
There has been much talk of how blockchain technology can improve mainstream financial markets. That cuts both ways. In particular, blockchain purports to fix post-trade, yet the crypto market itself fails miserably at it.
The United States Securities and Trade Commission warned investors on Thursday about their inability to help those who’ve lost money investing in digital currencies. Sec Restates Cryptocurrency Worries It’s not a secret that the SEC is very wary about Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general, and today they restated their concerns. They’ve advised investors to exercise caution… View Article
There are quite a few issues in the world of cryptocurrency debit cards. More specifically, Visa seemingly suspended nearly all debit card providers. This includes the likes of Bitwala, Wirex, TenX, and even CoinsBan. All of these companies rely on WaveCrest as a card issuer and their partnership with Visa. It is evident, things are not looking all that great for the affected companies. Whether or not this issue can be rectified in the near future, remains highly unlikely.
Using a Bitcoin debit card has been pretty fun in Europe. It allows users to spend cryptocurrency at virtually all locations. Unfortunately, this also means none of the companies suffering from this suspension can provide proper services. It may very well be the final nail in the coffin for companies who solely focus on this business model. Thousands of users are affected by this ordeal, to much dismay of cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide.
Visa Terminates WaveCrest Membership
Users can still access the funds stored on the cards, though. However, they will no longer be able to use the cards themselves. Visa has forced companies to suspend all cards as of January 5th. There is no indication WaveCrest will be able to reverse this situation in the future. They are following the guidelines of Visa, which is not something to be trifled with. This is another crackdown against cryptocurrencies, by the look of things.
Surprisingly, it seems this problem affects all WaveCrest prepaid cards in circulation. While the company is cryptocurrency-friendly, they do have other clients as well. It is evident this situation is a big problem which will need to be addressed sooner or later. Visa has allegedly discovered some compliance issues when it comes to Wavecrest. As a result, their services have to be determined immediately and indefinitely.
For now, it remains unclear what triggered this decision exactly. Visa will probably have their reasons for this decision, which is not a good thing by any means. It seems an isolated incident which affects only Wavecrest and all programs in conjunction with this company. It is a very unfortunate situation which opens the doors for new players to enter the market. For now, using virtually any Bitcoin debit card in Europe is impossible/
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Learn how a Russian crypto developer is heralding a pioneering local project.
Many exciting new blockchain projects are surfacing throughout the world, due to this market gaining momentum on a global scale.
Russian developer Crypto Patriot, for instance, is collecting funds to build “Patriot Mall,” a trade and entertainment mall in Tyumen.
This endeavor is especially unique because it is not purely digital, but it relates to developments in the physical work, spanning different industries such as real estate, commerce and more.
The Crypto Patriot team plans to construct the aforementioned mall with the help of investors, who would fund the project by acquiring PPMT tokens and touch dividends from the lease of shopping space or by selling their tokens on crypto exchanges.
Patriot Mall will become the first project of its kind in the Eastern Administrative District of Tyumen, which has never had a trading facility hosting shops of different sectors. For this reason, the team is confident that the project will draw a notable fraction of buyers, as well as leaseholders.
The physical space the mall will occupy amounts to 35,194.3 square meters. The project creators concluded partnerships with most potential leaseholders. The ground floor of the mall building will host a farmers’ market, and the organizers have signed an agreement with local agricultural companies. The company sponsoring the project has already invested $5 million, but to finish the construction works, it plans to issue internal tokens and use the ICO to collect 9,450 ETH tokens. The founders of the project aim for the mall to become functional a year after raising the necessary funds. As for the first dividends, investors will be able to receive them as early as three months following the inauguration of the shopping mall.
The most vital component of the Crypto Patriot initiative is the introduction of the Patriot Project Mall Tokens (PPMT). These tokens will be linked to the total leasable area of the mall: every PPMT will amount to 0.01 square meters. Token holders will retain the rights to their allotted part of the leasable area and will receive dividends from the lease.
The originators of the project assert that the investment model is hybrid, being a blend of stock investment and real estate financing).
The tokens will be dispensed one time only, through the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform, with a total of 1,5 mln tokens.
99.5% of such tokens will be distributed during the crowdfunding process, while 0.5% will serve bounty programs. A single Ethereum token will be exchangeable for 140 PPMT, with a system of bonuses related to the acquisition of tokens in place since the pre-sale, which started on December 15th, 2017.
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Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper envisioned the use of an electronic money that would be “purely peer-to-peer.” This means no third parties would be involved in any way–online payments would go directly from one party to another without any interference. Though this is how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were designed, for the most part, this isn’t how they’re exchanged.
This is because a large number of cryptocurrency transactions go through exchanges like Bitfinix, Bithumb, and Bittrex. Alone, these three exchanges account for over $12 billion in 24-hour trading volume. The rise in the value of many cryptocurrencies has seen a surge in trading volumes over the past couple of months, with one major drawback–exchanges are becoming increasingly more centralized and increasingly more powerful. The cryptocurrency community, of all people, should be wary of the dangers of centralization.
One project, Bitcoin Atom (BCA), is working on a network that will allow users to exchange digital assets in a truly decentralized manner.
The platform will use atomic swaps (AS) and integrated hash time-locked contracts (HTLCs) to give users freedom from any intermediaries or centralized bodies like exchanges. The BCA network allows parties to interact and transact directly–the original purpose of cryptocurrencies and decentralized blockchains.
How Do Atomic Swaps and HTLCs Work?
Atomic swaps permit two users operating on different blockchains to directly exchange cryptocurrencies through a completely trustless process. Both parties agree to the terms before the transactions–for example, fifty Litecoins for one Bitcoin–and use their private keys to sign a copy of the transaction. Once the signatures are in place, the exchange happens immediately.
Atomic swaps use hash time-locked contracts (HTLCs) that require the two entities to fulfill the trade’s requirements. HTLCs mandate that the parties independently generate cryptographic proofs of payment to confirm reception of the exchanged funds in a given amount of time. If either party can’t confirm the transaction in the stated time frame, the coins are returned to the original sender. Thus, atomic swaps and HTLCs allow users to transact directly without the need of any middlemen.
The Bitcoin Atom Network and the Benefit of Direct Peer-to-Peer Transactions
At its core, Bitcoin Atom is a SegWit enabled Bitcoin fork. Their goal is to use HTLCs to enable users to exchange cryptocurrencies via on-chain atomic swaps. The team plans to integrate cross-chain trading utilities and an atomic swap API into Bitcoin’s core software and fork it into the BCA blockchain.
The result is that BCA blockchain users can transact directly with one another without the need for a standard cryptocurrency exchange. All users have to do to initiate a transaction is open their Bitcoin Atom node and place a buy or sell order. Once an agreement with another party is made, the HTLCs will ensure that the transaction goes through quickly and securely.
By eliminating the need for third-party cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitcoin Atom will greatly lower transaction costs for both parties. Many cryptocurrency exchanges charge fees for every transaction, in addition to fees for bank deposits and withdrawals. This means more money is the pockets of exchanges and less money for individuals. The widespread use of cryptocurrency exchanges has replaced one centralized authority–banks–with another centralized authority–cryptocurrency exchanges. The end result is exactly the same.
Additionally, users don’t have to be dependent on the operational status of cryptocurrency exchanges to make exchanges. It is not uncommon for third party exchanges to have problems, especially during times of high volumes. The result is that users end up trusting these centralized parties with their money, only to have them fail in their time of need. This is the exact problem cryptocurrencies are supposed to solve.
Thankfully, with the advent of the Bitcoin Atom network, these issues can be done away with. The development team is working on integrating instant off-chain swaps, with the goal of implementing their HTLC API by January 2018. The full atomic swap network could be up and running by the end of 2018.
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It would appear some details regarding Venezuela’s own cryptocurrency have come to light. We already know it goes by the name of Petro. Moreover, this is an oil-backed currency. It is also a response to the worsening financial crisis in Venezuela today. It seems President Maduro has ordered the issuance of 100 million Petros moving forward. An interesting decision, considering the whitepaper has yet to be revealed.
Everyone knows Venezuela is not a fun place to live right now. Growing inflation and no viable solutions create a very uneasy ecosystem. Issuing a national cryptocurrency seems to be the only option left worth exploring. President Nicolas Maduro has confirmed the Petro will come to market in the next few months. So far, no one knows the exact specifics of this currency, at least on the technical side. The value of this currency is backed by the country’s vast oil reserves.
Introducing the Petro in Venezuela
It would appear the first batch of Petro coins will be issued soon. A supply of 100 million Petros will be brought into circulation. This number is not chosen randomly either Instead, it is based on national wealth. Every Petro has the same value as a barrel of Venezuelan oil. An interesting prospect, as it should ultimately inject a lot of money into this new currency. The big question is whether or not there will be any interest by foreigners to obtain this new currency.
It is also expected the think tank behind the Petro currency will convene next week. It will also be the first national meeting of this new currency’s miners. For now, we still have no idea how this currency will be mined exactly. After all, since it is backed by oil reserves, there seems no reason to mine anything. A better option is to create batches of this currency like Tether does. For now, we have to speculate as to how things will play out for Venezuela’s new currency.
When the whitepaper is unveiled, things will become a lot clearer. For now, no one in Venezuela knows what to expect from the Petro exactly. There are still a lot of questions which need to be answered, to say the least. It would also be good to know which blockchain will be used to issue this new currency. A private ledger seems to be the most obvious choice in this regard. How all of this will play out, has yet to be determined. It’s certainly an interesting development to keep an eye on.
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Artificial intelligence promises to transform our lives in just a few years. Alas, the healthcare industry currently lags far behind in terms of using AI systems. The reason is a lack of infrastructure to bring together healthcare big data owners, AI developers, and consumers into a single ecosystem.
Healthcare AI developers spend 95–99 percent of their budget to buy or license healthcare big data to train their neural networks. In most cases, startup companies specializing in that area can afford to buy only relatively small amounts of data, paying millions of dollars for them. As a result, their neural networks are usually undertrained and can detect only a few diseases.
Skychain Global will build the necessary infrastructure based on blockchain technologies. Its key idea is using smart contracts to facilitate interactions between healthcare big data owners, AI developers, and consumers. AI developers joining the Skychain ecosystem won’t need to buy big data, which will reduce their neural network training costs by a factor of 100. Each trained neural network will be locked forever in a smart contract and will be only available for use as a service. Each consumer using a neural network will pay a per-use fee, which will be automatically split between its developer, all the data providers whose data was used to train the neural network, and any other involved parties.
It’s a revolutionary approach that will reduce the healthcare AI training costs by a factor of 100. The opportunity to monetize healthcare big data will draw data owners to the Skychain ecosystem. As a result, there will be more highly accurate neural networks, which will increase the value of Skychain for the end users, that is, patients and doctors.
Skychain Global is pre-selling its tokens, SGH. The pre-sale ends on January 7, 2018. The tokens are currently sold at $0.50. During the ICO phase, they will be sold at $1. Then the SGH tokens will be converted into Skychain’s internal currency, Skychain Global Coin (SGC).
The important thing is that the project is based on existing, proven approaches and technologies in the area of artificial intelligence and big data. Skychain intends to create a data market using blockchain technologies and smart contracts, so that big data can be provided as a service for AI deep learning.
The future of artificial intelligence in healthcare
Currently we are only talking about medical diagnoses made by AI systems on par with the best doctors in their field of medicine. But accumulating vast amounts of healthcare big data in the Skychain machine learning ecosystem promises to bring unprecedented opportunities in the future. For example, artificial intelligence may be able to evaluate the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical drug or treatment regimen based on a billion case histories, discover new diseases, or develop the most effective treatment regimen for a patient. It might even be able to develop new pharmaceutical drugs and approaches to treatment! But if we want any of that to become possible, we need to accumulate massive amounts of healthcare data in the single ecosystem and make all of that big data easily available for neural network training. That’s the problem the Skychain project is going to solve!
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