Britain’s first “digital mortgage” has been officially registered, with not a distributed ledger in sight.
Archives for April 4, 2018
In this article we will have a look at some the most popular trading strategies in the cryptocurrency market and how they may be used to generate a profit.
South Korea’s first major blockchain conference saw discussion of the possibility of a central bank cryptocurrency Wednesday.
It’s not every day we get a glimpse into what it takes for a cryptocurrency to get a listing on a major exchange. But today we learn the lengths that Ripple, the No. 3 digital coin by market cap, would go to get its XRP coin listed on the leading trading platforms alongside bitcoin and
The post Ripple Would Pay to Play on Major US Exchanges: Report appeared first on CCN
Long Blockchain Corp., — formerly Long Island Iced Tea — expects to report a wider net loss for 2017, but has said it will be late in filing its annual report. The company expects to report a net loss of about $14.9 million for 2017, compared to a net loss of about $10.4 million in 2016.
Following the announcement, shares of Long Blockchain fell 8.1% today, closing at $1.93. These numbers followed a 9% drop on Tuesday. Of note is that the stock’s decline in recent months has paralleled a decline in the value Bitcoin, from almost $20,000 in December to under $7,000 today.
The filing, signed by chief executive officer Shamyl Malik, said that Long Blockchain would not be able to file the annual report on time “without unreasonable effort and expense.”
Rebranding: From Beverages to Blockchain
Over the past few months, Long Blockchain has been attempting to rebrand itself, shifting focus from beverages to blockchain technology. Apparently, investors aren’t buying. Earlier this year, the company was issued a delisting notice (its second) from Nasdaq for failing to keep its market cap above $35 million.
In December, when the company announced its name change and diversification, it experienced a near tripling of its share price overnight. These numbers didn’t last. The problem is that Long Blockchain’s filings don’t back this new direction up: according to its most recently filed balance sheet (from November) the company currently owns no blockchain assets.
Long Blockchain has also failed to follow-through with seemingly concrete plans to move into the crypto-space announced earlier this year. In January the company revealed plans to spend $4.2 million to buy 1,000 cryptocurrency mining machines. Less than a week after the announcement Long Blockchain abandoned plans to sell stock to finance the purchase, and by the end of the month, it had abandoned the mining proposal entirely.
Further, in late-February, the company announced a change in leadership. Shamyl Malik, who previously ran the firm’s blockchain efforts, took over as CEO, replacing Phillip Thomas. “Shamyl has shown great initiative and leadership since joining the team, and his appointment as CEO and our planned spin-off will allow the Company to execute on a clear, focused Blockchain strategy,” Thomas said in a statement. As noted, this “blockchain strategy” has yet to actually materialize.
Long Island Ice Tea wasn’t the first company, nor will it be the last, to try to take advantage of the media attention that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have commanded as of late. Others, like Kodak and Atari, have diversified their platforms too, with both companies recently putting forth plans to develop their own tokens. Like Long Blockchain, these fledgeling companies have been met with some skepticism from experts and industry insiders.
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock
The post Long Blockchain — Formerly Long Island Ice Tea — Fails to File 2017’s Annual Report, Large Losses Expected appeared first on NewsBTC.
BitKan, a China-based cryptocurrency data service provider, announced today that it has secured $10 million in Series B funding, led by new investor Zhongyunhui Capital, with additional support from another new investor IDG Capital and existing investor Bitmain. This follows a $2.4 million Series A funding in 2016 and a $300,000 angel round in 2015.
BitKan has been one of China’s best-known Bitcoin and cryptocurrency data sites and OTC trading providers for the past four years until September 2017, when the Chinese government issued a stringent warning about the ICO market. At that point, most China-based companies related to ICOs and trading chose to halt their businesses in China in favor of shifting their operations overseas — BitKan was one of these companies. It terminated its OTC services but kept its data, news and wallet services. Currently, BitKan is still headquartered in Shenzhen, China, but also operates globally in Hong Kong and Singapore, where they have set up offices with plans to add a Tokyo branch.
When asked about how BitKan sees China’s increasingly tightening regulation of the blockchain industry, Leon Liu, the chairman of BitKan, said:
Chinese government is actively exploring the best approach to regulate Fintech industry and blockchain industry is no exception. I believe Chinese government will finally have a sound and thoughtful law on this industry once they have enough understanding and intelligence of blockchain.
BitKan’s New Blockchain Project
“The capital injection will finance the development, promotion and operation of K Site, a blockchain project incubated by BitKan, and other products and services of BitKan itself, such as its E-wallet and data analysis,” Yu Fang, BitKan’s CEO, told Bitcoin Magazine.
“K Site will be a media dapp [decentralized application] which will be a new feature embedded in BitKan’s app.” said Fang. “K Site will host a variety of groups based on people’s interests and produce quality content including micro-blogs, full articles, videos and Q&A sessions. To maintain a high content-quality standard, users will be charged a small fee to join the groups. Free content can only attract page views, but putting up a paywall can improve content quality considerably. K Site aims to build a neutral, trustworthy crypto community where useful, reliable, in-depth news and discussions can be shared.”
Choosing Tradition Equity Investment over ICOs
Unlike many other blockchain projects, K Site will not launch an ICO but will use BitKan’s own user base as the springboard for its K Site, even though the site actually has its own token called KAN. Liu explained:
“BitKan has long been cautious of ICOs whose purpose is to help a certain project to raise funds and to build the community in the first place. For BitKan, it already has a large cryptocurrency user base which can be easily channeled to K Site. Therefore, for K Site, a traditional investment mode will meet the demands of this blockchain project.”
Expanding Overseas Business
The startup embarked on an international road as early as 2015. The new capital injection will enable the company to speed up its international expansion by extending BitKan’s already broad user base, according to Yu.
To date, BitKan has more than 1 million registered users globally, 40 percent of whom are from outside of China. Both the BitKan website and app are available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.
Over the past few months it’s becoming increasingly difficult for crypto startups to advertise their products and services on the internet. This began in January when Facebook announced it was banning ads that are “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive practices,” including initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.
Soon, other platforms followed suit, including Twitter and Google. Together, these sites control about half of the online US advertising market. Despite this, the people behind many blockchain and crypto startups say they’re fine with the ban, and that it might even be a good thing. Let’s have a look at some of the arguments from both sides.
Paolo Tasca, an Italian economist and the executive director of University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technology, believes these platforms aren’t very willing to give a voice to decentralized blockchain companies:
“If the tech giants that are in control of the majority of our data in a centralized fashion are really willing to take this direction—which is against this kind of decentralized model—it’s a really a bad method,” he says.
Tasca says that there are scams in every industry, and that it’s likely there isn’t a disproportionate number in the cryptocurrency space. He also argues that unlike other businesses, cryptocurrency startups usually release a detailed white paper — which gives a detailed account of its practices, goals, and how they plan to move forward — and are also subject to feedback and scrutiny from investors in the space.
Further, Tasca believes that ICOs are becoming more mature, and are beginning to include new safety tools, like a tracker that can detect whether an investor’s cryptocurrency wallet address is potentially associated with illegally funneled funds. In other words, the advertising ban feels like it arrived after the worst of the ICO scams have potentially already passed.
Another concern is that a blanket ban from leading tech companies can still send the wrong message about cryptocurrencies to the general public. Jerry Brito, the executive director of Coin Center, a non-profit research center that focuses on policy issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, puts it this way:
“The average person will read into your blanket ban an implication that you have a judgment about crypto technology broadly which you don’t, you’re just trying to address bad actors.”
While the advertising ban can feel unfair, some blockchain startups welcome it, arguing that it largely serves to weed out bad actors in the space, rather than punish legitimate organizations. “The only people who are going to be worried are the people who don’t have good intentions,” says Arran Stewart, the co-owner of Job.com, a recruiting platform that utilizes blockchain technology. “If you allow these bad apples to remain, you lose consumer confidence from the masses.”
Amanda Gutterman, the chief marketing officer of ConsenSys, a group of over 700 companies building applications and infrastructure on the Ethereum blockchain, also views scams as a serious problem in the blockchain industry:
“The enthusiasm for our nascent space has, along with many high-quality projects with incredible teams behind them, brought in some bad and fraudulent actors,” she says. “ConsenSys has itself been the target of phishing scams, so I understand the concerns of various social platforms and tool. It is unfortunate when these concerns lead to blanket bans.”
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock
The post Online Ad Ban: May Help Weed out Bad Actors, But Is a Blanket Ban Necessary? appeared first on NewsBTC.
Despite the rumors, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said today that the country is not planning to ban the popular encrypted messaging platform Telegram. Rouhani explained in a meeting with high-ranking state officials that, instead, Iran will be introducing homegrown messaging applications that are aimed at putting an end to Telegram’s monopoly on messaging in the country.
In reaction to the reports on the matter, Rouhani said that “Having strong, secure and cheaply priced Iranian messaging applications that can solve people’s needs and problems will surely make everyone proud.” However, he added with reference to the blocking of Telegram:
“The goal of creating and enhancing Iranian software and messaging apps should not be blocking access [to other apps], but [the goal] should be the elimination of monopolies.”
Rumors regarding a possible ban gained traction when the Chairman of parliament’s national security and foreign relations committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said on March 31st that in order to put an end to “Telegram’s destructive role,” a decision has been made “at the highest level” of the government to replace Telegram with a homegrown application.”
The news comes less than a week after Telegram completed its second initial coin offering (ICO) — the world’s largest — bringing the total amount raised to $1.7 billion. The ICO was held to help establish the Telegram Open Network (TON), a “fast, scalable, and user-friendly” cryptocurrency and blockchain platform — something which Iran is apparently quite worried about.
Recently, Iranian MP Mohammad Reza Badamchi told reporters in Tehran that banning Telegram would eliminate 200,000 jobs and disrupt the financial situation of about half a million people. The app currently has more than 40 million users in the country, and many e-commerce small businesses depend on it to sustain and expand their operations.
The ban is a sensitive subject Iran, a country that doesn’t have the greatest record with regards to human rights. Iranian authorities banned both Telegram and Instagram for a few days and police arrested several cyber activists as protests raged in the streets of more than 100 Iranian cities in late December and January. The ban was lifted once the demonstrations lost their initial momentum.
Homegrown Messaging App
Yesterday, two MPs called for an opinion poll to determine the degree of people’s trust in homegrown applications. The two MPs said:
“Banning Telegram would widen the gap between the people and state officials and would further deepen the people’s distrust of officials.”
MP Fatemeh Saeedi, a member of the Majles committee to protect electronic businesses, who put forward the idea of a poll, told Iranian Labor News Agency that filtering a foreign messaging application would not encourage people to use a homegrown application.
She said: “based on the result of such a poll, we should rethink our policies rather than limiting people’s access to virtual networks,” adding that “banning Telegram would be a big mistake. We cannot simply ignore the realities of the world”
Furhter, the chairperson of the Majles committee, Parvaneh Mafi, warned about the social consequences of banning Telegram. Mafi said that “banning Telegram would deepen the people’s distrust of the officials and endanger the country’s social capital, bringing it closer to a crisis,” Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.
Mafi added: “The people do not trust homegrown messaging services, and this is part of their distrust of the country’s decision making system.”
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock
The post Iran’s President Speaks out Against a Possible Ban on Telegram, Hints At Creating Local Replacement appeared first on NewsBTC.
An Indonesia student has been arrested after reportedly using bitcoin to purchase nine ecstasy pills from the Netherlands.
Located on the Indonesian island of Java, a team from the Central Java Narcotics Agency (BNNP) arrested a student from the University of Diponegoro in Semarang, reports The Jakarta Post. The suspect is alleged to have used the digital currency in order to make a purchase for the psychoactive drug that is used primarily as a recreational drug.
Brigadier general Tri Agus Heru Prasetyo, head of the BNNP, said:
He bought the drugs through a bitcoin transaction amounting to Rp 800,000 [US$56]. Such a transaction made it easier for him to buy the drugs from abroad.
According to Prasetyo, the use of bitcoin to purchase drugs is a ‘new criminal method.’ Notably, though, the suspect claims that he purchased ecstasy pills via the same method last year. It’s believed that the student made the purchase via the Netherlands as it’s cheaper to do so there rather than in Indonesia. One ecstasy pill is often priced around Rp 400,000, the report states.
It seems, though, that drugs and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are making an attractive combination for some. Last month, it was reported that five students from the University of Manchester had been arrested after selling over £800,000 ($1.12 million) worth of drugs on the dark web using bitcoin. The ringleader is reported to have received 15 years and three months as his prison sentence.
Despite the risks of arrest involved the lucrative rewards appear too much for some to ignore. Another reason is that there may be a misconceived notion that authorities won’t be able to track bitcoin transactions. As countless are aware that’s not the case. According to a March report from the Intercept, classified documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was working at tracking bitcoin users around the world. This is according to a top-secret passage in an internal NSA report dated from March 2013.
Tracking is reported to have gone further than simply examining bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, and may have involved gathering personal information such as bitcoin users’ password information, a MAC address, which is a unique device identification number, and a person’s internet activity. If anything this illustrates how easy it can be to track transactions done with the digital currency, which was certainly the case for the Indonesian student purchasing the ecstasy pills.
The post Authorities Arrest Indonesian Student Alleged to Have Purchased Ecstasy with Bitcoin from the Netherlands appeared first on NewsBTC.
According to a leaked presentation slide, ASRock will soon release four new mining GPUs. The news comes just a week after the American motherboard manufacturer published details of a new range of gaming graphics cards.
ASRock Comes Into the Crypto Space Swinging
Early last month, DigiTimes reported on rumours that ASRock was going to enter the cryptocurrency space. It now appears that these rumours have been confirmed.
The new graphics cards from ASRock first appeared via a leaked Tweet by user VideoCardz:
Aaaand the reason why ASRock enters ‘graphics’ card market is…
They could’ve waited at least a week with ‘Phantom Gaming Mining’ announcement. pic.twitter.com/KmRoDDmhVe
— VideoCardz.com (@VideoCardz) March 28, 2018
As you can see, the slide lists far more information than what buyers are used to when selecting which GPU to use for mining cryptocurrencies. The full engine clock speed of each is listed, along with the memory specs of the new units. In addition, each of the GPUs has the manufacturer of the memory included: SK Hynix, Samsung, and Micron.
For crypto miners, the manufacturers make a big difference to the utility of the whole unit. Samsung are generally deemed to be the highest-end pieces of hardware. This is because their VRAM is hugely overclockable. This translates to greater profits for miners which, after all, is the aim of the game.
According to an article in Forbes, those seeking to build mining rigs will often unbox new units and check the precise specs before making the decision of whether or not to keep the hardware. The piece alleges that miners who discover their new GPUs use Micron memory will actually send them back since they are less profitable than either Samsung or SK Hynix.
According to the slide, three of the new cards have 4GB of memory and the fourth is a hefty 8GB. All four use the Radeon RX 570 as a base and have a default clock speed of 1244MHz.
Judging by the above specifications, the new ASRock mining-specific GPUs are clearly a strong entry into the cryptocurrency mining sector of the graphics card industry. However, according to the Forbes piece, Radeon cards, like the ones in the new ASRock units, are considered to be superior for mining Ethereum. With the recent controversy over the Bitmain release of ASIC cards specifically designed to mine Ethereum, the demand for new entries into the market remains to be seen.
As well as a potentially shrinking demand, there might also be a reduction in supply. The DigiTimes rumour article from last month claims that AMD has no plans to increase production of their GPU units. This means those that are produced will have to be shared with an additional manufacturer – ASRock.
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock