Research Shows Half a Billion People Are Mining Cryptocurrencies Without Knowing It

The company behind the ad blocking program Adguard has analyzed the most popular 100,000 websites for cryptocurrency mining scripts. They found that over 500 million people have been mining cryptocurrencies and “they have no idea it is happening.” Each website running the script earns an estimated $43,000 within the three-week period studied.

shutterstock_534008494

Over Half a Billion People Affected

Adguard, which produces an ad blocking program with the same name, recently analyzed websites for cryptocurrency mining scripts following the news that some of them have been using their users’ browsers to mine cryptocurrencies. The top 100,000 websites as ranked by Alexa were inspected. Co-founder and CTO Andrey Meshkov shared his company’s findings on Thursday.

“We looked for the codes for Coinhive and JSEcoin, the most popular solutions for browser mining in use now,” Meshkov wrote. The analysis revealed that 220 of these websites have been using crypto-mining scripts. The four most targeted countries are the U.S., India, Russia, and Brazil.

Research Shows Over Half a Billion People Are Mining Cryptocurrencies Without Knowing It

Meshkov detailed:

We found 220 sites that launch mining when a user opens their main page, with an aggregated audience of 500 million people. These people live all over the world; there are sites with users from the USA, China, South American and European countries, Russia, India, Iran… and the list goes on.

Replacing Ads with Mining Revenues

Adguard estimated that each website running a crypto-mining script earned about $43,000 within the examined three-week period. While they have not made millions, Meshkov said, “this money has been made in three weeks at almost zero cost.”

Research Shows Over Half a Billion People Are Mining Cryptocurrencies Without Knowing It

Most of the sites using cryptocurrency mining scripts are “pirate TV and video sites, Torrent trackers and porn websites,” he described. Video streaming platforms are ideal for mining, he explained, citing “they boast a huge audience that keeps their site open in their browsers for a long time.” The largest torrent search engine, The Pirate Bay, was recently caught using Coinhive, which was also found to be used on CBS’ Showtime websites. Meshkov suggested:

The ethical way for a website to earn money by mining through its audience’s computers is to ask the audience for permission first, and to allow them the possibility to opt out. Actually, such a practice could make mining even more ethical than ads. After all, nobody asks us if we would like to see ads on a website.

While the Coinhive team has issued a statement asking website operators to ask user permission before using their CPUs to mine cryptocurrencies, Meshkov explained that it is difficult to enforce this recommendation. “For example, they cannot forbid stealth mining,” he said, adding that there are other ways to prevent websites running crypto-mining scripts without users consent. “A popular CDN service called Cloudflare recently started to suspend accounts and deny service to sites that mine without user permission,” he detailed, noting that “a number of ad blockers and antivirus programs also added features that block browser mining.”

Do you think that more popular websites will use browser mining to replace advertising? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations

Chpater-1-part-3-1068x1068

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations.
Chapter 1: A Revolution of Rising Expectations (part 3).
by Wendy McElroy

A lot of people automatically dismiss e-currency as a lost cause because of all the companies that failed since the 1990’s. I hope it’s obvious it was only the centrally controlled nature of those systems that doomed them. I think this is the first time we’re trying a decentralized, non-trust-based system.
Satoshi Nakamoto

Bitcoin Avoids the Lethal Problems of Earlier Private Currencies

(Caveat: I do not mean to credit Satoshi Nakamoto for all good things within cryptocurrency, as I may seem to be doing. Visionaries came before him and forged new paths. For example, Timothy C. May’s“Crypto Anarchist Manifesto” was published in 1988 and opened with the remarkable sentence, “A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.” The genius of Nakamoto was twofold. He produced an elegant, original technology that rivals the Gutenburg printing press and allows the implementation of economic crypto anarchy; and he saw clearly its broad political, revolutionary significance. As much as anything, Nakamoto is a symbol and an aegis for others who have done or are doing fine work.)

Part of the Satoshi Revolution’s brilliance lies in the fact that it is profoundly political without being ideological. Most people see little difference between the political and the ideological or, if they do make a distinction, they believe ideology is the set of beliefs that determine the specific political positions a person takes. In many cases, they are correct. But not in all cases. Sometimes politics and ideology are distinct.

Bitcoin is political in the same sense as the Gutenberg printing press (1448).
Although his press was not the first one, Johannes Gutenberg (c.1400-1468) pioneered innovations that were almost as creative as those of Nakamoto. For example, he used a durable oil-based ink rather than water-based ones that did not last well. He used a strong alloy to create close to 300 separate type bits that could be quickly assembled into uniform templates; prior printers used fragile wooden bits or carved the letters of each page into a wooden block to be inked. Then Gutenberg. He opened a world of information and ideas to the average person who no longer needed to rely on authorities for ‘truth’. The printing press decentralized knowledge from the hands of authorities to those of the common man, and knowledge is power. This made it not only a technical marvel, but also an agent of social change and revolution.

Those who ruled would have prevented the shift in power by plugging the flood of opinions and ideas, if they could have, because an illiterate, uninformed public is easier to control. A literate, informed public served the goals of populists and reformers who threaten the status quo which is the main reason state censorship existed then and now. Unfortunately for the ruling class, literacy increased and more people judged for themselves which religious and political beliefs resonated inside of them as real.

One example of social upheaval: without Gutenberg’s printing press, the Protestant Reformation is difficult to imagine. When Martin Luther launched the Reformation in 1517 by nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of a German church, the document was rapidly translated from Latin into German, copied and reprinted. Luther, the man, could reach only those within the range of his voice. Luther, the mass-produced author, spread ideas across Europe in months. Within three years, hundreds of thousands of copies of his Theses had been cranked off hundreds of printing presses. The Catholic Church responded by excommunicating Luther and prompting him to flee into hiding. But ideas do not respond to hellfire, nor do they flee.

The Gutenberg printing press was a powerful, political tool which sparked movements and revolutions. But the printing press itself was not ideological because any idea could be assembled in templates and printed en masse for people to read: Catholicism or Protestantism, individualism or socialism, Karl Marx or Ayn Rand. The machine itself was neutral. The printing press had strong ideological implications, it could be argued, because it did empower the individual and the masses. In other words, it was a populist force. But authorities also used the new technology to their own statist advantage. As magnificent as the printing press was, it was a tool to produce good or ill, depending on purpose of the user.

Bitcoin is similar. It empowers the individual which is a profoundly political act. But that empowerment makes everyone freer to choose whatever ideology they wish. Bitcoin itself has no settled ideological slant. That’s why individualist, anarchists and socialists alike can use it as a way to pursue their own goals, whatever those goals may be. Amir Taaki, a developer of the DarkMarket/OpenBazaar and Dark Wallet, is an aggressive left-anarchist. He spent time in Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan] helping to found a People’s Republic through the introduction of Bitcoin. Rojava was “under embargo, so there’s no way to move money in or out,” he explained. “So we have to actually create our own Bitcoin economies. Now we have a technological tool for people to freely organise outside [the] state system. Because it is a currency not controlled by central banks.”

Bitcoin is a mechanism that can achieve a galloping diversity of goals. This is a great strength.

Why?

The answer lies in history and requires a bit of background.

A key difference between the radical, individualist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries is that the earlier one focused intensely on the importance of private money and private banking to achieve personal freedom. The radicals placed a primal emphasis on the right of every individual to create their own currency and to function as their own bank. It was a natural right every bit as important as freedom of speech or freedom of religion.

Some 20th century advocates of private money, such as Rothbard or Hayek, take a similar approach. Rothbard wrote, “Let us first ask ourselves the question: Can money be organized under the freedom principle? Can we have a free market in money as well as in other goods and services? What would be the shape of such a market? And what are the effects of various governmental controls? If we favor the free market in other directions, if we wish to eliminate government invasion of person and property, we have no more important task than to explore the ways and means of a free market in money.” Most modern advocates, however, argue in utilitarian or public policy terms instead of civil liberties.

Their 19th century counterparts were more consistently accurate in placing monetary theory at the core of all freedoms. The pivotal individualist-anarchist Benjamin Tucker believed the right to issue private currency was so important that it could destroy the State all by itself. The money monopoly was the means by which the State sustained itself and robbed the average person not merely of money but also of economic opportunity by controlling credit. Nothing was more important than to destroy the money monopoly.

Two specific events sculpted the approach of individualist anarchists to the banking monopoly and private currency. James J. Martin commented on one of them:

Few instances in American history have created as much curiosity concerning economic and financial matters among amateurs and members of the general citizenry as the panic of 1837.… Banking abuses came under concentrated scrutiny and gave rise to many proposed radical remedies.
The other event was the Civil War in which the North used the Legal Tender Acts and the National Banking Act of 1863 to finance its side of the conflict. Through these measures, Congress guaranteed the notes of authorized bankers and legally protected them from liability for debt. The act also established a national tax of 10 percent for all money not authorized by Congress.

Fresh with a knowledge that private currency not only could work but had been working well for well over a century, the 19th-century radicals responded. They did not merely theorize; they vigorously issued private currency and experimented with new economic models. Their efforts are fascinating to review but they are also cautionary tales as to some pitfalls that private money should avoid.

A major problem for 19th century individualist anarchism in America was the movement’s determination to link private money to the labor theory of value. The theory states that the economic value of a good or service is based upon the amount of labor required to produce it rather than upon what a capitalist wants to charge or what a purchaser is willing to pay. Radical individualists back then generally rejected profit from capital because it constituted value in excess of the labor invested in a good or service. They rejected excess profit in three forms: interest on money, rent, and profit in exchange, all of which were called “usury.” If the main political goal of 19th century radical individuals was the abolition of the State, then their main economic goal was the abolition of the “money monopoly.” By the term “money monopoly,” they referred to three different but interacting forms of monopoly: banking, the charging of interest, and the privileged issuance of currency. In short, unlike Gutenberg’s printing press and Bitcoin, their private monies were grounded in ideology and a badly flawed ideology, to boot. This greatly reduced the social value of their currencies as a tool. For one thing, when the labor theory of value became less popular, the currencies seemed to be discredited.

Josiah Warren provides a real world example of the problem of attaching ideology to money. Warren, who is credited with being the first American anarchist, based his political thought on two concepts, both which were common within the 19th century radical individualist movement. The first was “Sovereignty of the Individual,” which meant every human being was a self-owner with jurisdiction over his or her peaceful actions. The second was “Cost is the Limit of Price” or the labor theory of value.

Warren tested his specific solution to the money monopoly and to the ‘inequity’ of interest through a Time Store from which he issued Labor Notes. In 1827, the business opened with $300 worth of groceries and dry goods that were offered at a 7% mark-up from Warren’s own cost in order to cover expenses such as overhead. This was before groceries were pre-packaged, pre-weighed and it was common for buyers to bargain with the shopkeeper rather than pay a posted price. One of Warren’s innovations was to post prices for goods which drove prices even lower because transactions consumed less of his time. The customer paid in traditional money for the good and, then, compensated Warren for his time through a Labor Note which obliged the customer to provide Warren with an equivalent amount of the buyer’s time. If the buyer were a plumber, for example, the Labor Note committed him to render his services to Warren for “X” units of time in plumbing work. The Labor Notes were circulated and traded. Warren’s goal was to establish an economy in which profit was based solely on the exchange of time and labor.

To some degree, he succeeded. People travelled from a hundred miles away to avail themselves of Warren’s low prices. After a few years, Warren declared the experiment to be a success and closed the store’s doors. Whether the store was a success is questionable, however. And, if it was a success, it was probably due to low prices than to the Notes that came close to being a barter system. Whichever is true, it is difficult to see how this novel currency could have functioned in dense populations where people were not acquainted with each other, or for commerce on a grander scale. And exchangers still had to trust other people.

Some might state the lesson of attaching an ideology to an instrument for political liberation as “get the damned ideology correct this time.” I believe this is the wrong lesson. The point of empowering people is to give them the tools to decide on ideas and life for themselves, not to deliver a predigested message. That’s the lesson of Gutenburg and Bitcoin.

It also a reason to stand hard behind the original vision of Bitcoin, because the power Nakamoto produced can be used well or badly depending on the intentions of the user.

And, now, Satoshi?

To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, I hear the future knocking on my door. And as I throw it open, I see Satoshi Nakamoto standing at my threshold with a grin on his face, asking to come in. Just as I begin to wave him through, however, Murray Rothbard appears and shoves him aside with the words “Not so fast there, Saschik, I have something to say to her first!” And, if for nothing more than the fact that he infused the modern freedom movement with Austrian economics, my old friend and mentor deserves to take the next step.

[To be continued next week.]

Zenapay Latest PoS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

US cash-intensive cannabis businesses (420s) are looking for ways to meet customer demand while struggling under federal prohibition. Cryptocurrencies are increasing in popularity with 420s, and now Zenapay is entering the market with its own bitcoin solution.

 

Cannabis Cash

The US states comprising its contiguous west, if outliers include Alaska and Nevada, is home to fifty-two million people. That is an enormous market. They also happen to be the bulk of states that have legalized cannabis for personal use, medicinal use, and sale.

Tension arises between all such states and the federal government because the federal government does not agree with voters’ will.

Zenapay Latest POS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

Beyond criminality, issues of banking and finance come into play. The federal government is given wide jurisdiction over banking and money, and financial institutions are wary of  running afoul of federal laws.

In practical terms this means bank accounts, access to lines of credit, and myriads of financial products are in practice forbidden to 420 companies.

Much as it was on the black market, 420s are reliant almost exclusively upon cash.

Mounds of cash on hand is not only a logistical nightmare in a modern economy, it’s also a real security issue. And with twenty more states coming online, passing slimmed-down versions of legalization/decriminalization, the cannabis market is looking for relief.

Bitcoin Solution

“Statistics from financial services firm Cowen & Co showed legal cannabis was a $6 billion industry last year, and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026,” RT online reports.

Population numbers and these projections are enticing payment service providers into the cannabis market.

The latest such example is a company out of Chicago, Epazz. It’s an over-the-counter publicly traded business software concern, betting rollouts early winter of this year in Apple’s App Store, and later for Android, will go a long way in making 420s more efficient and safer.

Zenapay Latest POS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

Zenapay is a one percent transaction fee, point-of-service (POS) solution. It boasts online and in-store bitcoin purchases capability using proprietary software, allowing for customer anonymity and for 420s to lessen cash burdens.

“We are filling a large need in the cannabis community,” the company’s press release quoted its CEO Shaun Passley. Merchants, he said, “due to the stringent limitations by the standard banking systems” simply cannot be banked.

A PoS with bitcoin functionality eliminates these issues.

Entrepreneurial bitcoiners, regardless of niche, are constantly looking for POS services to keep accounting straight as they look to drop cash dependency for bitcoin.

If it proves successful, Zenapay says it will offer payroll services, e-commerce stores, inventory tracking, and compliance features going forward.

What do you think? Are 420s a welcome addition to the bitcoin ecosystem? Are solutions preserving anonymity finally ‘getting it?’ Tell us in the comments below! critical-fast-bud-auto-cannabis-seeds-by-oss-bank-1068x1068


Pakistan Set to Become a Major Bitcoin Hub

Pakistan is currently the seventh most populous country in the world with approximately 202 million residents. Today, the country exhibits many traits ripe for accelerated bitcoin adoption. Bitcoin.com discussed bitcoin trends in Pakistan with Danyal Manzar, the co-founder of Pakistan’s first and largest bitcoin trading platform, Urdubit.

 

Huge Freelance Market, but Payment Solutions Lacking

Despite having no access to Paypal, Pakistan still ranks among the top countries for freelance outsource workers. In fact, “Pakistan is ranked 3rd on freelance websites,”paypal According to the New York Times10,000 IT graduates in Pakistan are estimated to enter the Pakistan job market every year.

Remittances are also a “very big market” in Pakistan, . “We see about 20 billion USD coming in annually,” . “Since there are not enough jobs, the major remittance is seen from the UAE and Saudi Arabia followed by western countries.”

Despite the lack of jobs, however, life in Pakistan has been modernizing in recent years. Rapid lifestyle change, technological innovations, and increasing broadband access in Pakistan have all accelerated the number of Pakistani freelancers. However, “the payments are always a problem,” adding that:

Since the job market is also limited we see many freelancers turning to bitcoin, there is no Paypal in the country and no proper payment processor which could aid payments.

High Broadband Subscription Growth

Mobile broadband use is growing very fast in the country. The World Bank describes Pakistan as “leading the way in South Asia in digital finance” with 6% of adults having mobile accounts, compared to South Asia’s average of less than 2.6%.world bank

Last June, the number of 3G/4G subscribers in the country had reached 29.53 million, up from 14.6 million in July 2015. Total broadband subscribers grew 92% to 32.41 million from 16.88 million, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The World Bank also notes that about 100 million adults in Pakistan are unbanked, without access to formal and regulated financial services. Only 13 percent of adults there have a formal account and 27.5 million adults said the distance to a financial institution is a barrier to opening a financial account.

With so many unbanked, no access to Paypal, a huge freelancing industry, a major remittance destination, and so many subscribed to a high-speed mobile account, Bitcoin could find a huge home market in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Bitcoin Market

Admittedly, the bitcoin market in Pakistan “is still very new,” but it is fast growing. Citing low banking penetration and “very limited POS terminals in the country,”Pakistan-flag-1068x712

Bitcoin provides a cross-board payments system, as well as local payment solution at a much cheaper cost.

www.easypaypakistan.com is a real-time bitcoin exchange using the blinktrade engine. According to Coinhills, www.easypaypakistan.com trading volume has been growing steadily in the last few weeks, and the exchange has the largest bitcoin trading volume in the country, twice  in a 24-hour period. “I would say our market share is 1/3 of the total market,” he explained. If he’s correct, that indicates Pakistan trades around 40 bitcoins each day, putting it somewhere around 27th place among all currencies in volume rankings.

However, he also admitted that there are still not many shops accepting bitcoin. Online, the situation is a bit better, since many websites in the country have started accepting bitcoin as a payment “due to quicker payment times and no charge backs.”

We believe it’s only a matter of time before we see Pakistan follow India and become a major user of bitcoin.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government “hasn’t taken any stance on bitcoin as of yet,” blog.Easypaypakistan.com added. This company will soon be approved by the State Bank Of Pakistan. “They believe that bitcoin is a commodity and not a currency,”

Do you think Pakistan is ripe for bitcoin adoption? Let us know in the comments section below.

Pakistan Government to Put the Searchlight on Bitcoin Traders Says Local Media

Powerful Pakistan government and media officials appear to be contradicting the domestic population’s embrace of bitcoin.   

islamabad-1068x668

Pakistan Government on the Defensive, Maybe

Karachi, Pakistan’s Dawn, a widely circulated and read periodical and website in English, is rather cosmopolitan. Covering bitcoin, however, its website curation seems to have a decidedly negative slant.

Pakistan Herald Publications Limited is Dawn‘s owner, and its CEO is Hameed Haroon, noted regional journalist and member of a highly influential family in the country.

In one dispatch from Mr. Haroon’s flagship, reprinted all over the world, the headline announced, “FBR goes after bitcoin traders.”

Pakistan Government to Put the Searchlight on Bitcoin Traders Says Local Media
Faisal Khan’s only evidence Pakistan’s government is paying any attention to bitcoin.

FBR is Pakistan’s Federal Bureau of Revenue, its principal collector of tax.

“The top intelligence department,” the piece insisted, “is investigating cases where investors trade digital currencies probably to evade taxes or launder money.”

The sentence-inserted link refers to the site’s own coverage of bitcoin reaching 1000 USD early this year. Not a single reference to FBR nor an investigation.

“A senior tax official said people evade tax and launder money using cryptocurrencies,” the article asserts without a single quote or reference. “They buy bitcoin to launder their tax-evaded money […], adding that they park their black money out of Pakistan in many cases.”

Paraphrases are allowed, of course, but this drove news.Bitcoin.com to search relevant Pakistani government pronouncements on bitcoin specifically, cryptocurrencies generally.

Nothing.

The Dawn piece goes on in this manner, listing a veritable alphabet soup of agencies and investigators and laws employed to hunt bitcoin traders without citing a documented source.

Pakistan Government's and Street's Tensions with Bitcoin
Screen Shot of SBP by Faisal Khan, showing no reference to the bank’s position on bitcoin.

What Blogs and Independent Sites Know

Faisal Khan, financial technology scout for venture capitalists and payments consultant, based in Turkey, blogged his similar bafflement.

After he too read the Dawn piece, he “wanted to explore the basis under which these raids are being conducted and wanted to comment on this further.”

He searched and searched.

Mr. Khan writes, “I’ve searched […], trying to find any circular &/or notification, gazette, SRO, press release, etc. related to Bitcoin &/or Cryptocurrency – but I could not find it.”

His knowledge of Pakistan’s legal history is impressive, and he cites all the documents he examined.Pakistan Government's and Street's Tensions with Bitcoin

“For bitcoin to be considered for money-laundering,” Mr. Khan notes, “it has to be defined into an asset class whereby [bitcoin] has been declared [money] or some form of an asset as per ‘some’ legal definition in some law in Pakistan.”

He concludes, “Right now, the Government of Pakistan in no way recognizes [bitcoin] as legal tender or legal ‘anything.’ It has no legal standing under any law in Pakistan.”

Since the series of articles in Dawn, bitcoin seems to be capturing the attention of Pakistani rupee holders anyway.

Localbitcoins exchange activity in the region as of this writing has risen exponentially, matching a global pattern.

Citing Japan’s approach, long-time Pakistani commodity trader Shahan Rehman urged acceptance “by a country compels people to jump on the bandwagon, increasing its price massively.”

As of now, official government pronouncements are not available to the public.

Are Pakistan’s laws on bitcoin just not available digitally? Is the government on purpose holding back? Tell us in the comments below.

Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia

The number of bitcoin ATMs is on the rise in Russia. Ten of them were recently installed in five districts of Novosibirsk by a local startup. Last week, a different company announced their plans to install a hundred cryptocurrency ATMs in Moscow hotels and airport terminals starting this month. Meanwhile, the regulators have said that they will not legalize cryptocurrencies anytime soon.

shutterstock_553764334-1068x1068

Novosibirsk’s Ten Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia
A BBFpro Bitcoin ATM.

In Russia’s third most populous city, Novosibirsk, ten one-way bitcoin ATMs were recently installed by a local startup BBFpro, according to RBC. The machines were placed in five districts of the city; Kalininsky, Zheleznodorozhny, Oktyabrsky, Leninsky and Kirovsky districts, detailed the company’s director, Anton Friedel.

Most of the terminals are located in stores selling bottled beverages, he told the publication. “All ten devices are located in such a way that each resident of the city has the opportunity to quickly and easily reach the point of sale of bitcoins,” he was quoted. His team originally wanted to place them in the city’s large shopping centers, but the rent is too high, he elaborated, noting that:

Large shopping centers requested a rent which is almost impossible for us as a startup. The amount for one place reached 15-20,000 rubles, while in beer shops we pay 2,000 rubles for each place.

Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia
Another BBFpro Bitcoin ATM.

He also revealed that it took his team about three months to develop software and install the terminals, adding that the project cost about two million rubles. The machines charge a commission of 6%. “We made such a small percentage because we are counting on a large flow of customers,” RBC quoted him saying. According to him, BBFpro currently has no competitors in Novosibirsk.

In the near future, Friedel said he plans to expand his network of cryptocurrency ATMs in Novosibirsk as well as to neighboring areas. He specifically named Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk, Barnaul, and Irkutsk. In addition, “we are developing a terminal that will not only sell but also buy cryptocurrency,” he explained, adding that they also plan to start selling other cryptocurrencies.

100 Crypto ATMs Coming to Moscow

Last week, Rambler News reported that approximately 100 one-way cryptocurrency ATMs will be coming to Moscow between this month and the year’s end. They will be installed by Investcoin24 throughout the city center such as in hotels, according to the company’s co-owner, Pavel Panova. In addition, he added that negotiations are currently underway with airport owners for some units to be installed in their departure and arrival areas.

Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia
Investcoin24’s Bitcoin ATM at Vintage77.

The machines can be programmed to sell four cryptocurrencies, Panova explained, adding that they can also sell Initial Coin Offering (ICO) tokens. Initially, the commission will be 4%, he told Innov publication.

Last month, Investcoin24 installed a one-way bitcoin ATM at the Moscow restaurant “Vintage77,” according to an Instagram post by the founder of Iventurer Foundation, Alexey Olin.

Another restaurant in Moscow, Valenok, which started accepting bitcoin payments in June also said that they have plans to install a bitcoin ATM if there is demand from customers, according to RIA Novosti.

Regulatory Uncertainties

The number of cryptocurrency ATMs is growing in Russia despite the government saying that they will not legalize cryptocurrencies anytime soon. The Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said last month that “bitcoin settlements in Russia will not be legalized.” His statement followed a meeting where the regulators could not agree on how to regulate cryptocurrencies and decided to postpone their plans to draft a regulatory framework for them to next year. The central bank, however, is adamant that these instruments cannot be treated as money substitutes.

Friedel told RBC that he hopes to advertise his bitcoin ATMs to attract more customers. However, since cryptocurrencies are currently unregulated, many large platforms refuse to advertise them, he explained. In addition, he is uncertain how his cryptocurrency business will be taxed. “We will provide the tax authorities with documents, but we do not know whether they will accept them,” he elaborated.

Do you think Russia will allow bitcoin ATMs to flourish across the country? Let us know in the comments section below

 

Japan’s FSA Approves Coincheck’s Bitcoin Exchange License

Just recently the Japanese exchange Coincheck announced they have become a fully licensed exchange in Japan after being approved by the country’s Finance Bureau Director.

chstragdfff-1068x1068

Japan’s Financial Services Agency Approves Coincheck’s  Cryptocurrency Trading Platform Registration

Japan's FSA Approves Coincheck's Bitcoin Exchange LicenseOn September 13 the Japanese bitcoin trading platform and payment processor, Coincheck, announced the firm had been approved to be a licensed “virtual currency exchange.” The exchange registration approval follows the provisions of Article 63-3 of the country’s fund settlement law. After bitcoin was legalized as a form of payment on April 1, 2017, all domestic exchanges in Japan must receive authorization from the treasury department and Financial Services Agency (FSA) to operate a virtual currency exchange business.

At the time Coincheck was extremely pleased to see the Japanese statutes pass and said the “newly made law and regulations on bitcoin are going be enormous.” Further, the exchange revealed at the time that all exchange providers must be approved by the FSA.

“In order to make the exchanges more secure, cryptocurrency has been handed over to the authority of the FSA,” explains the Coincheck blog this past June.

All the exchange providers and other companies that deal with virtual currency will need to be registered by the FSA before they can start operation. It will help to make cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan tighter, more secure, have scrupulous control.

Coincheck Expands as Japanese Bitcoin Enthusiasm Continues to Grow

Japan's FSA Approves Coincheck's Bitcoin Exchange LicenseJapan has often captured the number one spot in global bitcoin trade volume. Coincheck handles a lot of bitcoin trade volume as the trading platform swapped 97,502 BTC over the past 24-hours. Further back in May the firm announced the creation of interest-bearing bitcoin savings accounts, if the FSA would allow the concept. This past August Coincheck launched a new investment sandbox that tends to crypto-startups and organizations running initial coin offerings (ICO).

The Japanese trading platform’s new licensure approval follows the demise of the country’s infamous bitcoin exchange Mt Gox and reveals that officials are more comfortable with exchange operations. Moreover, the positive news comes at a time when Chinese bitcoin trading platforms have been forced to close most of its operations.

What do you think about Coincheck getting approved as a licensed bitcoin exchange in Japan? Let us know in the comments below.

After the Boss Calls Bitcoin a ‘Fraud’ — JP Morgan Buys the Dip

JP Morgan executive Jamie Dimon calling bitcoin a “fraud” and claiming he would fire any employee from his firm who traded the digital currency for being “stupid.” Now it seems JP Morgan has been caught red-handed purchasing a bunch of XBT shares, otherwise known as exchange-traded-notes, that track the price of Bitcoin.

Screenshot_8

After a Few Harsh Statements from Executive Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Ltd., and Morgan Stanley Purchase Bitcoin ETNs

According to public records of Nordnet trading logs, the two associated firms JP Morgan Securities Ltd., and Morgan Stanley bought roughly 3M euro worth of XBT note shares. Interestingly after the recent regulatory crackdown in China, and the statements from JP Morgan’s senior executive Jamie Dimon talking trash about bitcoin, his firm bought the dip on September 15. In fact, out of all the companies on the list, like Goldman Sachs and Barclays, the JP Morgan team of buyers purchased the most XBT notes.

After the Boss Calls Bitcoin a 'Fraud' — JP Morgan Buys the Dip

Image via @IamNomad on Twitter.

Bitcoin exchange-traded-notes (ETNs) are a popular investment vehicle for mainstream investors and financial management firms who want exposure to bitcoin. A few institutions offer ETNs, among them Denmark-based Saxo Bank, which sells notes called the “Bitcoin Tracker.” These bitcoin-based ETNs track bitcoin price movements against the Euro and USD. Bitcoin ETNs have done extremely well over the course of 2017 following suit with bitcoin’s meteoric price spike.

JP Morgan Applies for Blockchain Patent 175 Times

JP Morgan doesn’t just purchase bitcoin notes, but is also heavily involved with the ‘blockchain fever’ that has infected banks across the world. The financial firm has applied for a “bitcoin alternative” patent with the U.S. over 175 times in 2013. The company is also working on an ethereum-based blockchain alongside, according to people familiar with the matter, working with Zcash development as well. With the ethereum project called “Quorum,” JP Morgan has its own Github repo that explains how the permissioned blockchain does not need consensus mechanisms like Proof-of-Work (POW) or Proof-of-Stake (POS).

After the Boss Calls Bitcoin a 'Fraud' — JP Morgan Buys the Dip

The financial publication Zerohedge reports that JP Morgan applied for a “Bitcoin Alternative” patent in 2013 and was rejected 175 times.

Former JP Morgan Executives Leave the Firm for Bitcoin and Blockchain Projects

After the Boss Calls Bitcoin a 'Fraud' — JP Morgan Buys the Dip

Former JP Morgan derivatives executive, Blythe Masters, is all about the Blockchain hype.

Additionally, former JP Morgan executives are all about blockchain technologies these days and even bitcoin. The veteran commodities trader, Daniel Masters, joined JP Morgan right after graduating college and in 2014 announced he was starting a bitcoin-based hedge fund. Another former JP Morgan mogul, Blythe Masters, started her own blockchain startup Hyperledger which is now run by the Linux Foundation. Masters is still heavily involved with the blockchain project and has a seat on the governance board.

Whether Jamie Dimon wants to admit it or not his firm was trading bitcoin-based notes after his statements. Further, over the past few years, JP Morgan cannot hide the fact that they are infatuated with blockchain technology, just like the hundreds of other financial institutions hoping they won’t be replaced.

What do you think about JP Morgan Securities Ltd. purchasing bitcoin-based exchange-traded-notes? Let us know in the comments below. 

Lead Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash

This week the lead developer of Bitcoin ABC, Amaury Séchet, engaged in a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) discussion about the future of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and the protocol’s future scaling.

AlsoABC-1068x1068

An AMA With Amaury Séchet – Lead Developer of Bitcoin ABC

This summer Amaury Séchet (otherwise known as ‘deadalnix’), the lead developer of the Bitcoin ABC client, revealed the team’s intentions at The Future of Bitcoin event to hard fork the Bitcoin network on August 1. Since then Bitcoin Cash has been thriving, and Séchet recently explained his vision for the future of the BCH chain and the ABC client. Many other BCH supporters and developers were involved in the conversation with Séchet including Yours network founder Ryan X Charles, Openbazaar’s Chris Pacia, Bitcoin Classic’s lead developer Thomas Zander and others.

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash

A Configurable Block Size and Finding the Right Fee Structure for Bitcoin Cash

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash
Amaury Séchet, lead developer of the Bitcoin ABC client.

Participants asked Séchet questions concerning the current roadmap for bitcoin cash; such as future block sizes, BCH and BTC compatibility, and protocols like layer two solutions. For instance, the developer of the Electron Cash wallet, Jonald Fyookball asked the ABC developer what he thinks about “algorithm-based block size” solutions. Séchet explains the BCH block size can be configurable using the protocol in the ABC client.”

“I like these proposals,” explains Séchet. “Right now the block size is configurable in ABC, but I would like to have a way to determine this configuration automatically in the future.”

Yours network developer, Ryan X Charles, asks Séchet how the protocol can avoid ‘dust limits’ and fee management. “We [Yours developers] run into dust limits quite easily,” Charles explains regarding the software’s recent implementation of bitcoin cash.

“There is work to be done on fee management,” Séchet responds. “Finding the right fee structure will take time, if one exists at all.”

The next version of ABC will reserve a percentage of the block space for low fee transactions. This will improve over time.

BCH & BTC Compatibility and Layer Two Solutions

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin CashFollowing this discussion, an AMA participant asked Séchet if he believes BCH and BTC can coexist in the future with different use cases or if he thinks all the hashpower will converge to one chain.

“Because of the way the difficulty adjustment works on the Bitcoin chain, it makes it very unlikely that it would survive being a minority chain,” Séchet states in response to the question. As a result, it is unlikely that this chain will survive if Bitcoin Cash gets a lot of traction. As long as Bitcoin Cash is a minority chain, both chain will continue to live.”

Séchet also gives his opinion about layer one and layer two scaling solutions. The ABC developer reveals he’s not against layer two solutions but believes pushing every issue towards a layer two solution is unrealistic.

“I have nothing against layer 2 per se, but I think some important points have been ignored,” Séchet explains. “First layer 2 can only be as reliable as layer 1.”

When blocks become congested and layer 1 becomes unreliable, layer 2 does so as well. Second, layer 2 will have different characteristics than layer 1 and thinking we’ll push everything into layer 2 is not a realistic roadmap.

Learning from Past Mistakes

Séchet explains a whole lot more about how he envisions the future of bitcoin cash and the ABC client, including BCH anonymity – where he hopes the protocol’s lower fees will allow for cheaper tumbling processes. The ABC developer also gives further opinions about programmers like Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik not being “protective enough” to keep the original values of the Bitcoin project in the past.

“It [Bitcoin] ended up being hijacked. We need to learn from this mistake and not reproduce it,” Séchet states.

Maxwell Claims Bitcoin ABC Developer Séchet Plagiarized Bitcoin Core Code

However, there is no shortage of drama around the Bitcoin Cash code base. In a recent Github post, Gregory Maxwell claimed the Bcash developer plagiarized a piece of code. He said that Amaury Séchet (deadalnix) copied the migration to the per-txout UTXO database from the Bitcoin Core project, and did not credit the original authors with it. Instead, he used his name and copied everything verbatim down to the “grammatical oddities,” according to Greg Maxwell.

Do Séchet’s Actions Infringe on a Licensing Agreement?

Furthermore, Maxwell claims Séchet’s actions infringe on an open source licensing Maxwell Claims Bcash Developer Séchet Plagiarized Bitcoin Core Codeagreement and constitute a copyright infringement. He said, “Beyond being fraudulent and sleazy behavior, this action is a violation of the very minimal requirements of the MIT license.”

There is controversy over Maxwell’s position, though. Some commentators believe there is no infringement on the commit, because there is information on the source code within it. Séchet further said the code was “backported” and is “mentioned in the series of commits.”

The schnorr code is backported from https://github.com/deadalnix/schnorr/blob/master/schnorr.d
The per txout db is backported from core and it is mentioned in the series of commits.

Is He Fixing it Faster? Multiple Copyright Violations by Séchet

Maxwell continued his accusations, saying Séchet is also claiming he fixed the issue quicker than Blockstream. Maxwell also mentioned Séchet was been accused of copyright violations before. This is not a first offense. He said, “Amaury SECHET has a well known history of these copyright violating false attribution events. To give a few other examples. I also understand that he is advocating in your private issue tracker to remove all attribution to Bitcoin Core in the codebase from your repository.”

Community Response

The community has responded to Maxwell’s accusations with dramatic flare. Some users are attacking Maxwell and Blockstream for focusing on trivial issues instead of updating Bitcoin Core. One user, sandakersmann, said, “So you guys are prioritizing this instead of releasing a new version of Bitcoin Core that is not vulnerable? Fits the pattern of backward priorities from you blockstreamers.”

Other users defend Maxwell and Core, saying people like sandakersmann were shifting the goalposts of the original post. They were trying to create a diversion from the serious issue of fraud and copyright infringement. User thijstriemstra responded to sandakersmann:

This has nothing to do with the fact you’re copy/pasting code and stripping out author. This is not done in any opensource project and you’re trying to divert attention away from it. It’s this project that creates unneccessary annoyance and extra work for the maintainers of bitcoin core.

Maxwell Asks Séchet to Discontinue Violating Copyright

Maxwell finished his blog post by asking Séchet to discontinue violating their copyright. He also wants him to correct his repository and credit the actual authors. At press time, Séchet had not responded to the request, other than to say the original code was “backported.”

 

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

dip-1068x1068The price of bitcoin dropping over 8 percent immediately after the digital currency’s all time high of $4,980. On September 4, bitcoin dropped to a low of $4,140. Speculators now believe the price drop today may be due to the recent announcement from the People’s Bank of China banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

 

Bitcoin Markets Shave a Few Billion Again

There’s a bearish sentiment throughout bitcoin markets, just as we predicted would happen two days ago in our last price analysis. At press time, bitcoin’s price is trying to hold above the $4,150 territory as the currency’s value dropped another six legs down on Monday, September 4. Volume is still pretty decent with over $2.4B traded over the past 24-hours, but most of the action is stemming from this morning’s huge sell off. Bitcoin’s price dip caused the entire top eighteen cryptocurrency market capitalizations to drop, slashing prices from 5 to 34 percent, as most altcoins right now are in the red. This past week’s sell off has been the largest to date since mid-July, and we are seeing a similar 25-30 percent total correction during the bearish cycle.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

Bitcoin price 11:30 am EDT September 4, 2017. Prices are now below the sub-$4,300 range.

Technical Indicators

Right now technical indicators show the Relative Strength Index (RSI) continues to head downwards, confirming that sellers right now have the upper hand. Of course, over the past three days, the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) crossed hairs, and the long term 200 SMA is well above the short term 100 SMA. This again assures traders the storm is not yet over, and there is great resistance down the road. Looking at order books on some of the most popular exchanges, there are monstrous walls between the $4,600-5,000 positions. If support holds steady in the $4,160-4,200 area, bulls will have some work to do to eat through the next wave of resistance levels.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

Bitcoin price, September 4, 2017. 200 SMA (white trendline) is well above the 100 SMA (green).

PBOC: ‘No ICOs For You’

Market sentiment seems to be geared towards the recent announcement from China’s central bank concerning ICOs. Cryptocurrency markets were already battling through a significant correction after bitcoin reached new price highs. So speculators think the recent banning of ICOs in China adds uncertainty to these types of markets. Otherwise, bitcoin is running its course through a typical 25-30 percent correction, after rocketing close to the $5K levels. Other spectators believe banks are spreading ‘fake news’ about bitcoin right now, because cryptocurrency popularity has risen exponentially. The UK publication the Mirror reports that certain banks are spreading these phony news stories to “restore the status quo.”

Bitcoin’s dip redlines the top eighteen altcoins below bitcoin’s market cap.

The Verdict

Right now bitcoin is holding above $4,150, so it may consolidate in this territory and push higher this week with some bounce back. Most of the top ten altcoins below bitcoin’s market cap lost larger percentages than bitcoin, which is likely tethered to the ICO news. This has pushed bitcoin’s market dominance up to 48.5 percent among the hundreds of altcoin market caps in existence. After the lull, bitcoin could follow its typical trend of moving up higher than before after a deep correction. So far this has been a consistent trend this year for bitcoin’s price, but we should never place all of our bets on this trend, because it may not be the case going forward.

Bear Scenario: Bitcoin markets could drop lower if the $4,100 floor collapses, bringing the price into the $4,000-3,900 territory. Right now big players have stepped off to the sidelines to catch more satoshis from weak hands and wait to choose a better entry point. Most technical indicators like the Stochastic, RSI, SMA, and order books are showing a strong negative sentiment at press time.

Bull Scenario: Right now, we are either going to consolidate in the $4,125-4,200 range, or we are seeing a short term bull trap at the moment. Bitcoin needs to break upper-level resistance past the $4,600 territory, but right now walls are considerably high. Of course topping the $5K range again is not out of the question, but it’s going to take some significant time to get there again.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.