Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low

This day might be remembered in the history books as a major milestone for cryptocurrency diversification or as another colossal indicator of the altcoin bubble. There are now three cryptocurrencies with over a $100 billion market cap each. Bitcoin, ethereum (ETH) and ripple (XRP) are worth today a combined total of about half a trillion USD.

Also Read: bitcoin-price-reaches-another-peak-crossing-15000Untitled-design-2-1068x1068

$100 Billion Club

Ethereum long term investors and short term speculators are celebrating alike today as the smart contracts altcoin has broken through the $1,000 per coin psychological barrier. Standing at about $1,040 at the time of writing, the overall value of all ETH in circulation is now over $100 billion. It is the third cryptocurrency in this exclusive club, behind only bitcoin and ripple.

And despite all the warnings about ripple being centralized and freezable speculators keep pouring in to XRP. After rising about 160% from just a week ago and 28% in the last 24 hours alone, its market cap is now well over $140 billion. With a price of just under $4 per coin, part of this movement has to be due to penny stock mentality of new traders seeking a “cheap bitcoin” to bet on.

Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low Altogether, with bitcoin over $250 billion market cap, the three top cryptocurrencies are now worth just shy of $500 billion. Putting this mind boggling number into perspective, its just about 10% below the combined stock value of Visa (NYSE:V $265 billion), Mastercard (NYSE: MA $166 billion), American (NYSE: AXP $87 billion), and Discover (NYSE: DFS $28 billion).

Entering a Multi-Polar World?

Bitcoin has been able to maintain an impressive price level at $15,000 and a quarter trillion USD market cap in the face of this altcoin onslaught, but its market share has suffered. The BTC Dominance Index is now just above 32%, a new all time low, which means that bitcoin is for first time worth less than a third of the crypto market.

While some of ripple’s staunch supporters, as well as fans that heard about it a week ago, are cheering on for “The Rippening” maybe its time to forget about the term and any other Flippening. It is possible that we are simply seeing a paradigm shift in the market, from one leading cryptocurrency and a thousand copy cats to a top heavy, multi-polar landscape. This can probably only be validated in the next big correction, when all the short term speculators will scatter away and either bitcoin will remain alone at the top or not.

Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low

Do you think that bitcoin will continue to lose its market dominance to altcoins in 2018? Share your predictions 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.

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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.

Bitcoin’s Relationship With the ‘Mark of the Beast’ Theories

Over the past eight years bitcoin has been involved in a few conspiracy theories, and even though they are highly improbable, they are pretty humorous, to say the least.

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The New World Order and Bitcoin

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' Theories
Lots of people thought this man’s company purchased Bitcoin the other day. Baron Jacob Rothschild, of the Rothschild Family Baronetcy, allegedly the richest family on earth for three centuries.

Just recently we reported on the Rothschild Investment Corporation purchasing bitcoin shares and how some people thought it was Lord Rothschild, the alleged owner of the world’s largest fortune for three centuries.

Since the end of time, humans have always liked to tell ‘tall tales.’ Bitcoin itself is often considered a weird subject because an anonymous developer made the software and this has led to many conspiracy-like discussions involving the digital currency. Some have said the protocol was created by the CIA or some underground government agency plotting to rule the world. Today we will discuss two tales that have often been tethered to bitcoin by those who wear tin foil hats. After reading this, you may find yourself in a Faraday cage with your ‘bug-out bag’ waiting for the next EMP, so please proceed with caution.

The Mark of the Beast

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' TheoriesThis particular tale is tied to a religious belief based on the Christian’s book of Revelations where bitcoin could be considered the “Mark of the Beast.” Yes, there are a couple of random people on this earth who believe that the digital protocol may be the tool of the Antichrist that allows you to purchase food and survive under the Devil’s rule. The Illuminati has many tricks up their sleeve, and this one is fantastically clever.

The Mark of the Beast comes from a story in the Bible’s New Testament, in the book of Revelations chapter 13. In that section, particularly 13:17, it says that people on earth will have to get a mark on their bodies in order to purchase living necessities. The mark is forced upon everyone from “the great, the small, the poor and the rich.” Now because society is gravitating toward a cashless society some curious characters believe bitcoin will be the notorious mark.

“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name,” explains Revelations 13:17

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' Theories
Microchip implants with bitcoin wallets have helped fuel the ‘Mark of the Beast’ and Bitcoin theory.

So you might be still asking yourself — How the hell is bitcoin associated with this mark? Well, more recently the subject of “biohacking” and microchip implants have become a popular trend. Some people in this movement have installed chips into their hands with a bitcoin wallet inside. Because Revelations states people will “receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads,” some consider this the missing link to bitcoin and the mark.

However, there are those in religious circles that think this theory of bitcoin being the mark might be the opposite of what’s really happening. The publication Christian Money says bitcoin might be a way people can fight the beast.

“One of the key elements of the Mark of the Beast is to be able to prevent those that refuse to take the Mark from buying and selling. Bitcoins are decentralized and prevent any such control,” explains Christian Money.

The One World Currency

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' TheoriesAnother story conspiracy theorists have up their sleeves is the “One World Currency” scheme. Another speculative theory thinks that the whole globe will share one single currency, likely owned by the Rothschilds and the Bilderberg group. Now, this conjecture is again tied to the ‘cashless society’ progression, and if you want to be even more clever, this theory can be related to the Mark of the Beast. The one world currency will be trackable, and everyone on the globe will likely be forced to use these funds. That’s where bitcoin comes in, and some speculators believe that because the blockchain is traceable and the technology is part of the ‘cashless society’ paradigm shift — Bitcoin will be the one world currency. For instance, the website Occupy Corporatism believes this may be the case.

“The technocratic push toward cyber-currency or e-money, is a march toward complete control over global currencies with the development of supporting technologies and the distribution of such that facilitate an online representation of money that can be used for exchange with another fiat system,” explains Susanne Posel, of Occupy Corporatism.

The reason why conspiracy theorists believe a global currency is on its way is because many Keynesian economists have bolstered this idea over the years. Even John Maynard Keynes himself has been cited as a single world currency advocate. This school of economic thinking believes it would help the global economy and improve international trade. The introduction of the Euro, a currency that covers many countries was considered the beginning of this effort. However, in recent times certain countries like Britain, for example, have distanced itself from the Euro during the Brexit vote. As far as bitcoin is concerned becoming the world’s reserve currency, some forecast it to be the sixth largest reserve currency by 2030.

So to some of these theorists, bitcoin is just another catalyst towards the cashless one world currency secretly crafted by the elite. In essence, any electronic currency is suspect for being part of the ‘1 percent’s’ plan to enslave the ordinary plebs of society. Even the other day on July 25, 2017, the publication Beforeitsnews published a report called “The globalist one world currency will be very similar to bitcoin,” so these theories still run rampant.

It’s Highly Improbable Bitcoin Will be a One World Currency or the Mark of the Beast

Bitcoin is indeed a strange phenomenon filled with curious characters like Satoshi Nakamoto. However it doesn’t mean bitcoin was created by the CIA, will be used for a one world currency or even the mark of the beast.

What do you think about conspiracy theories tied to bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.

Two U.S. Senators Submit a Bill to Investigate Digital Currencies

Following the recent ransomware fiasco and multiple traders from a variety of U.S. states arrested for bitcoin related money laundering charges two senators have introduced a new bill to regulate these activities. The legislation submitted last week aims to classify bitcoin as a monetary instrument in the 2017 ‘Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act.’

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‘Funds Stored in a Digital Format Are Within the Definition of Monetary Instruments’

Two U.S. Senators Submit a Bill to Investigate Digital Currencies
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Diane Feinstein of California.

U.S. bureaucrats are steadily ramping up regulatory policies towards digital currencies like bitcoin. Two weeks ago a few days after the widespread ransomware epidemic Bitcoin.com reported on a proposed bill submitted by a New York Representative Kathleen Rice asking the government to research the role of virtual currencies in terrorism.

Now Senator Diane Feinstein of California and Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa want to add digital currencies to the monetary instrument definitions in regards to money laundering and terrorist financing statutes. Grassley’s team has published a summary of the bill which makes reference to prepaid cards, other cards that store value (gift cards), and digital currencies.

“Stored value cards, are increasingly becoming effective mediums for criminals to hide and move funds across the border because they are more easily concealable than cash, and they are not covered by reporting requirements,” explains Grassley and Feinstein’s section by section summary. “Section 13 would amend to include funds stored in a digital format within the definition of monetary instruments. This would effectively subject those devices to anti-money laundering reporting requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act, in cases where the value stored is above $10,000.”

Two Reports Due After the Bill Becomes Law

Furthermore, the summary details lawmakers are seeking research on the subject much like the bill submitted by Representative Kathleen Rice.

Section 13 would also mandate two reports: (1) a GAO report on the impact of the amendments on law enforcement and the prepaid access industry; and (2) a Department of Homeland Security report detailing a strategy to detect prepaid access devices and digital currency at border crossings and ports of entry.

The proposed bill aims to apply to law enforcement, protective and intelligence agencies that operate within and outside of the U.S. Additionally the law will also cover money services businesses or entities involved with prohibited activities. If Grassley and Feinstein’s proposal becomes law, the two mandated reports are required to be submitted a year and a half after the bill becomes law.

What do you think about Senator Grassley and Feinstein’s newly submitted bill? Let us know in the comments below.


Bitcoin Solves Runaway Inflation by Undermining Trusted Third Parties

Bankers, governments, and other trusted centralized organizations require society to be steeped in runaway inflation. These fiduciary cartels thrive when they manipulate the money supply and cause drastic shifts in prices within the market economy they lord over. They believe the money supply must be regulated and controlled for the economy to function optimally, lest society collapses as a result of too little currency injection. 

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Luckily, bitcoin solves the dilemma of needing a trusted third party to control the money supply. Before delving further into why this is the case, everyone must possess a proper and clear grasp of inflation and deflation as economic concepts.

Inflation and Deflation Explained

Inflation refers to the rise of the cost of goods and services in a market environment and the decrease of the purchasing power of the prescribed currency.

Investopedia defined inflation,

Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of currency is falling. Central banks attempt to limit inflation in order to keep the economy running smoothly.

Conversely, deflation is the decline in the cost of goods and service resulting from contraction of a money supply within an economic environment. Deflation generally causes an increase of the purchasing power of a currency within circulation. According to some economists, excess deflation can cause market actors to horde money. However, inflation tends to be the more troubling and nefarious problem.

For example, if a currency is Bitcoin Solves Runaway Inflation by Undermining Trusted Third Partiesheavily inflated, and you travel to the local supermarket to buy groceries, you may notice an upswing in the price of bread. This price “inflation” could be the result of the grocer arbitrarily altering the price, but more likely it occurred as a result of an inflated currency. In other words, too much printing and distribution of the currency would have devalued its purchasing power and caused bread to appear more expensive. In reality, the bread likely has had the same value as always, but the decreased value of the circulated currency provided the illusion that the bread was more expensive.

With a basic understanding of deflation and inflation clearly in mind, it would seem obvious that central money manipulators are needed to keep the economy grounded in a state of equilibrium, where money is created with integrity and circulated for the betterment of society. However, there are several reasons why having a small trusted group of elites control society’s wealth is impractical, unneeded, and dangerous…and has only instigated economic woes.

The Problem of Central Money Manipulation by Fiduciary Cartels

In some places, governments and central authorities have caused such extreme runaway inflation that a currency has lost all of its value and become worthless.

Recent examples include Venezuela and Greece. Mass currency devaluation through inflation likely also occurred in the United States, which led to the Great Depression. The Austrian economists suggested that creation of the Federal Reserve bank and its manipulation of the currency supply directly caused the depression, among other, more recent economic catastrophes.

A Mises article on Greece captured the effects of credit expansion and money manipulation, then the subsequent runaway inflation:

When currencies collapse, price inflation usually picks up. More units of the currency must be offered to acquire goods and services. What had started with credit expansion and distortions in the real economy, then, may well end up with high price inflation rates and currency reform.

Another reason to avoid allowing a handful people control currency in a centralized manner is because it provides a subtle way for those individuals to “steal” value from everyone. Whenever central authorities inflate the currency supply, as mentioned, it causes the value or purchasing power of the currency to decline. This value is basically lost or “stolen” from the people.

In other words, one group caused another group to lose their property’s value. In most places, this activity by another name is called “destruction of property” or “theft.” However, currency devaluation is such an esoteric and ingenious form of theft or destruction that it goes unnoticed and unexamined by the majority of the population.Bitcoin Solves Runaway Inflation by Undermining Trusted Third Parties

A last major reason to reject central suppliers of money is more obvious and terrifying. When a small group of people have direct access to the wealth supply of whole economies, what prevents them from electronically keying that wealth into their own personal accounts? What stops them from making themselves richer and the rest of the world poorer? What stops them from taking that wealth and using it to start wars or harm people in the name of national defense or protection?

The short answer to these questions is nothing. Nothing stops them. These individuals can fill their coffers at a whim, and control the rise and fall of whole country’s by arbitrarily inflating and deflating a currency as they see fit…and the result of allowing this kind of trust to be placed in the hands of these elite few have been absolutely devastating. It has led to mass warfare, mass exploitation of the population, and in some cases to runaway inflation, mass starvation and death.

Thank goodness the solution to these problems is here. It is called bitcoin.

Bitcoin Solves the Problem of Runaway Inflation, while Abolishing the Need for Centralized Trust

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is automated by a consensus network algorithm. This algorithm, which was predetermined by creator Satoshi Nakamoto, has a set supply of bitcoins that will be distributed over the long term. This number is currently set to 21 million units of bitcoin.

This mathematically encoded Bitcoin Solves Runaway Inflation by Undermining Trusted Third Partiesnumber of bitcoin means that no central group or fiduciary cartel can control the currency. In other words, they cannot inflate or deflate a currency to the detriment of the population. In this sense, bitcoin is naturally deflationary or disinflationary. This denotes Bitcoin has utility in the sense that it neither inflates or deflates on a whim or caprice. No human actor can make changes to the protocol without achieving consensus.

In this regard, users of bitcoin have hedged themselves against control, against the small groups of trusted elites who can manage the flow or circulation of money across a population. When a currency like bitcoin is protected from artificial manipulation, it prevents people from using the creation and control of money to exploit and defraud others. It is the solution to the problem of runaway inflation and all forms of monetary control.

Some people think that bitcoin is naturally inflationary as a result of its algorithm. It is true the protocol specifies the minting of new coins via mining, but this is not the same as arbitrary inflation that causes ungodly increases in price of goods and services. The protocol was built to create coins in such a way that both heightens the value of bitcoin and does not allow for the market to be flooded. It is enough to keep the market humming, yet not overburdened.

Bitcoin, then, is the most obvious solution to stopping the fiduciary cartels and other central entities from lording over everyone and causing massive undue harm to millions. It prevents runaway inflation. It stops theft through that inflation. It thwarts loss of monetary value caused by unscrupulous actors. It kills the evil of greed. It is the economic panacea par excellence. Time to open a bitcoin wallet and take the power back.

Do you think bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are a hedge against runaway inflation and the banking cartels? Let us know in the comments below. 

A New Bitcoin Improvement Proposal Aims to Compromise

As the price of bitcoin settles down many bitcoiners are now concentrating on the scaling compromise proposed at the Consensus event held last week. Now a few bitcoin developers have decided to work on Segwit-2MB proposals that try to adhere to each side of the debate.

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The Compatibility-Oriented Omnibus Proposal

A New Bitcoin Improvement Proposal Aims to Compromise It is still hard to envision that everyone in the bitcoin community will be pleased with a compromise. There are still some bitcoin proponents who vehemently oppose Segwit, and then there are those who fully disagree with a 2MB hardfork. On May 29 a developer named Calvin Rechner submitted a new bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that aims to cohere to the recent Barry Silbert scaling concept.

“This proposal is written under the assumption that the signatories to the Consensus 2017 Scaling Agreement are genuinely committed to the terms of the agreement, and intend to enact the updates described therein,” Rechner’s BIP details.

This document describes a virtuous combination of James Hilliard’s ‘Reduced signalling threshold activation of existing segwit deployment’, Shaolin Fry’s ‘Mandatory activation of segwit deployment’, Sergio Demian Lerner’s ‘Segwit2Mb’ proposal, Luke Jr’s ‘Post-segwit 2 MB block size hardfork’, and hard fork safety mechanisms from Johnson Lau’s ‘Spoonnet’ into a single omnibus proposal and patchset.

UASF and a 2MB Hard Fork Deployment in Six Months

Rechner explains that Shaolin Fry’s UASF is included so the existing Segwit deployment can be activated without creating a new release. Following the UASF implementation, the BIP explains that a 2MB hard fork deployment will occur six months after Segwit activation.

“The intent of this proposal is to maintain full legacy consensus compatibility for users up until the hard fork block height, after which backwards compatibility is waived as enforcement of the hard fork consensus ruleset begins,” details Rechner.

‘A Possible Win if the Community Will Accept It’

Following Rechner’s BIP submission, bitcoiners on social media and forums discussed the recent proposal. Throughout the conversations concerning the new BIP, a good portion of people seemed to like the idea. Some explained the reason they supported this proposal is because it includes UASF and the block size increase has safety nets in place to avoid divergent consensus.

“The Spoonnet-based improvements need clarification IMO, but otherwise it looks like a possible win if the community will accept it,” explains bitcoin developer Luke Jr. “Provided there is reasonable consensus from the community, a soft-hardfork (aka MMHF aka Spoonnet) can be theoretically made pretty safe. But I’m not sure it can really be ready within six months.”

Even though there still seems to be a lot of people hell bent towards not compromising at all, there are definitely signs of people looking to find the right compromise. It’s not certain this new BIP will be taken further, but it shows the growing trend to find consensus is important to most people from both sides of the debate.

What do you think about Calvin Rechner’s new proposal? Do you think the bitcoin community can find a compromise? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government Ban

Before issuing their own digital currency, Ecuador banned all others including bitcoin back in July 2014. However, today bitcoin’s use continues to grow in the country.

 

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Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government BanAs part of a reform to the country’s monetary and financial laws, Ecuador banned bitcoin and other digital currencies in July 2014. The then-President Rafael Correa, who served from 2007 to 2017, introduced the bill that made bitcoin illegal and signed it into law.

This law demands Bitcoin businesses “shut down their operations immediately.[…] Those who defy the ban will face prosecution, and all bitcoins circulated and assets in bitcoin trades face confiscation,” Panam Post reported at the time.

State-Run Digital Currency

Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government BanPart of the aforementioned law calls for the creation of an Ecuadorian state-issued digital currency backed by the assets of the Ecuador’s Central Bank (BCE).

Soon after banning bitcoin, the government rolled out its own digital currency, called Dinero Electrónico. It is pegged one-to-one to the US dollar, which is the country’s official currency.

However, Ecuador’s private banks did not have confidence in the central bank’s electronic money system. Julio José Prado, President of the Association of Private Banks (ABPE) said at the time:

We cannot at this point support any financial program that is administered by the BCE since we have no confidence that it is secure.

Alexandra Veloz is an attorney based in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and a member of the Ecuadorian Bar Association. She is currently the legal counsel for the Antigua Report. Referring to the state-run digital currency program, she said last week that “the new system has garnered plenty of criticism, and adoption from banks and customers has been limited at best.”

Use of Bitcoin Continues in Ecuador

Regarding the prohibition of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Veloz explained that:

The prohibition, however, does not ban digital currency outright.[…] Ecuadorian officials have neglected to punish defiant bitcoin use.

Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government BanShe noted that the government’s move was “more precisely, a monopoly privilege: the Ecuadorian state has the exclusive power to put its own digital money into circulation via the central bank.”

Despite the government making bitcoin illegal, its use has not halted in Ecuador, Veloz shared. There are buyers and sellers in the country who list themselves on Localbitcoins.com and bitcoin can also be purchased via Paypal like other online purchases, the attorney detailed. At press time, the cost of a bitcoin in Quito on the Localbitcoins market carries at least a $200 premium. Veloz added:

A small number of businesses have also taken the risk of establishing bitcoin as an alternative for payment. The national taxation and invoicing system do not integrate these transactions, but they remain an available option.

The Ecuadorian Bitcoin community even gathered to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day on May 22.

Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government Ban
Ecuadorian Bitcoin community (Photo\bitcoinecuador.org)

Do you think the Ecuadorian government will allow Bitcoin to thrive? Let us know in the comments section below.

Wyre Switches From High-Fee Bitcoin to Ethereum – Launches Payment Tool for Wechat and Facebook

Blockchain payments startup Wyre has announced the launch of a payment tool for Wechat and Facebook. Bitcoin.com spoke with CEO Michael Dunworth to find out more about Wyre Bot, which utilizes Wechat and Facebook Messenger for business invoicing.

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Wyre Bot Launched

WyreWyre Launches Chatbot Payment Tool for Wechat and Facebook offers cross-border payments to large scale enterprises and payment companies using open blockchain technologies. Currently operating in the US, China, and Brazil, the company began offering an API and a client dashboard to their customers in the spring of 2016. At the end of last year, Wyre raised $4.5 million in a series A round funding. The company also claims to have moved over $1 million in payments per day by the fall of last year, according to its website.

On Wednesday, May 24, Wyre announced:

We’ve built Wyre Bot — the first blockchain payments tool on Wechat and Facebook.

Wyre Launches Chatbot Payment Tool for Wechat and FacebookUsing the bot platform Recime, Wyre Bot was created for use across Wechat and Facebook to generate payment invoices as well as respond to customer support tickets via chat.

“Currently the bot’s focus is on the invoicing piece of the payment,” Dunworth told Bitcoin.com. “We’re just trying to tie the communication channel of Wechat into the westerners’ more used channels like email/Facebook,” he said, citing how this will reduce friction for businesses in China sending invoices.

Wyre Bot currently supports USD payments to China, a channel the company calls its core focus. “We’re going to be opening this up though in the near term and are already seeing some demand for new currencies,” Dunworth detailed. Additional currencies could include the Euro, British pound, Mexican peso, and Japanese yen.

Wyre Launches Chatbot Payment Tool for Wechat and FacebookFurthermore, more functionalities could be added to the bot in the future, such as the ability to execute payments directly in the bot and multi-invoicing in one request. Another expansion plan the company is considering is adding more social platforms such as Whatsapp, Slack, Line, and Viber.

How Wyre Bot Works

Wyre Launches Chatbot Payment Tool for Wechat and FacebookUsing a standard social chat window, the supplier first sends a message with the transaction details to Wyre Bot. The bot will then generate an invoice in a .pdf format which is emailed to both the supplier and the person paying the invoice.

Invoices are hashed, timestamped and stored on the Ethereum blockchain for fraud protection, according to Wednesday’s announcement. Dunworth explained to Bitcoin.com that this method is “a way for our clients to feel confident that the invoice they’re receiving was generated through our platform, instead of being from a spoofed email address that looks like it was generated by us,” adding that:

If the hash is on the chain, they can just search through it and see it there. It’s a SHA256 hash of the invoice they’re emailed.

Can’t Use Bitcoin at the Moment, but Maybe in the Future

Wyre Launches Chatbot Payment Tool for Wechat and FacebookThe CEO went on to describe why they made the switch from Bitcoin’s blockchain to Ethereum’s. The company would record these transactions on “the Bitcoin blockchain but it’s too expensive to do that,” he shared with Bitcoin.com.

The higher Bitcoin network fees restricted him from making hourly timestamps, which Dunworth said that his customers need. “So it’s either we put it on once per day,” he continued, “which means our customers can’t verify their invoice” as often, or “use a cheaper chain and do it hourly. So we opted for the latter.”

However, he hinted that in the future, Bitcoin’s blockchain may make a comeback, stating that:

RSK is super interesting and we could jump back over there if things become more cost effective.

What do you think of Wyre Bot? Let us know in the comments section below.

India’s Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be Regulated

India is in the process of establishing a regulatory framework for digital currencies including bitcoin. Last week, the Indian government started soliciting public comments on how digital currencies should be regulated.

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Indian Government Wants Public Opinions

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedThe Indian Government’s Ministry of Finance on Saturday announced that the public is now invited to submit feedback or suggestions regarding the digital currency framework on Mygov.in. This website is designed, developed and hosted by the government of India’s National Informatics Centre of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. The deadline for submissions is May 31.

This move follows the recent constitution of an inter-disciplinary committee by the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Economic Affairs “to examine the existing framework” of cryptocurrencies.

Should Bitcoin be Banned, Regulated or Observed?

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedThe Indian government wants to know “whether Virtual Currencies (VCs) should be banned, regulated or observed?” according to the first question listed on the Mygov website.

For those suggesting regulation, the government further asks:

  1. What measures should be taken to ensure consumer protection?
  2. What measures should be taken to promote the orderly development of VCs.
  3. Which appropriate institution(s) should monitor or regulate VCs?

For those suggesting that virtual currencies should not be regulated, the government then wants to know:

  1. What should be the effective self-regulatory mechanism?
  2. What measures should be adopted to ensure consumer protection in this scenario?

Most Comments are Pro Regulating Bitcoin

At press time, over 120 comments have been submitted. The majority of them are in favor of regulating bitcoin and other digital currencies, citing they are “the future.” However, one user noted:

It’s almost impossible to regulate a currency which is decentralized, you can’t shut down a currency which is working on a peer to peer, decentralized system.

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedMany comments suggest that by legalizing bitcoin and other digital currencies, India could take the lead in digital currency adoption and the development of blockchain technologies.

Citing how Japan recently recognized bitcoin as a method of payment, a comment reads, “bitcoin should be introduced in India asap like in other developed nations.” Another proponent of legalizing bitcoin pointed out that “most of the countries already made it legal. It will definitely help boost the Indian economy.”

Some Suggest Banning

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedAmong positive feedback are also ones which warn the government about the danger of bitcoin such as the recent Wannacry ransomware scare. One user wrote “bitcoin is very dangerous for the country. It is suicidal for the Indian economy,” citing its use by terrorists and criminals. Another commenter claimed, “to allow bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency will be a disaster, it will lead to the outflow of black money easily.”

A cyber dispute risk management consultant, Vijayashankar Na, also known as Naavi, also voiced his opinion. He suggested banning bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies, claiming that the government has been misled by people with vested interests in the digital currencies.

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedHowever, there were also comments that urge the government to consider regulating bitcoin rather than banning it. One noted that “the main thing is to stop the misuses of cryptocurrencies instead of banning,” adding that “banning is not a solution, it is an action against innovation and technology.” This sentiment was echoed by another user who believes that “regulating it [bitcoin] is the solution and not banning it.”

There was also a comment which devalued all other comments. The user suggested that the Indian government already has the “most dependable and knowledgeable people” who can give advice on the matter. “I feel that public opinion in such matters should not be considered,” he wrote, adding that “all pros and cons should be discussed in parliament on advice given by a team of economists with the government.”

Do you think the Indian government will ban, regulate or just observe bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Sidechain Juggernaut RSK Labs Launches Ginger Testnet After $3.5M in New Funding

he highly anticipated project by RSK Labs officially moves into open beta status today with the launch of their public testnet named Ginger. The company is inviting everyone to try out their smart contracts using Bitcoin with their ethereum-like sidechain. They have also secured new funding that will allow them to take the project to full production, planned for later this year.

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Ginger Testnet Launched

RSK Labs Launches Ginger Testnet, Receives $3.5M in New FundingRSK Labs, the company behind Rootstock, announced at Consensus 2017 on Monday the global release of their open source testnet, Ginger. Developers worldwide can now deploy an RSK node, grab some testnet coins, and try out ethereum-style smart contracts on RSK’s sidechain to the Bitcoin network.

Ginger’s source code is now available on Github. A network stats page, an RSK block explorer, and a testnet RSK coin faucet are also available to the public.

The RSK platform is a layer on top of Bitcoin, which aims to better transfer its value. Ginger “adds more functionalities to the Bitcoin network such as smart contracts, greater scalability and a new revenue stream for miners,” RSK Labs described.

RSK Labs Launches Ginger Testnet, Receives $3.5M in New FundingUsers of the network will be able to move the value of their bitcoins back and forth onto the RSK sidechain. RSK’s tokens have no value of their own, and primarily exist to speedily shuttle bitcoin around, giving it greater functionality with RSK’s varied smart contracts. Ginger allows a glimpse of this technology with some of the first smart contracts used on the system, including those that allow for merged mining, private networks, scaling benefits, and confidential transactions.

The RSK team says that over time, they will keep adding new features to Ginger. “These improvements will focus on the company’s vision of bringing the unbanked to the financial system, changing government through liquid democracies and building the Internet of Things,” they conveyed.

Second Announcement: New Funding

RSK Labs Launches Ginger Testnet, Receives $3.5M in New FundingAlong with Ginger’s release, RSK Labs also announced on Monday that it has raised $3.5 million pre-Series A funding from various investors, including Jaxx CEO Anthony Di Iorio, Bitfury and Bitmain.

This amount is on top of the $1 million raised last March by the company from Barry Silbert’s DCG, Coinsilium, and Bitmain.

RSK Labs plans to use their latest funds for R&D, strengthening network security, and deploying a “mainnet in a few months,” which would end the Ginger trial and launch RSK for real usage this year.

Scaling Benefits

RSK Labs plans to add three-tiered networks on top of Bitcoin to scale transactions to new levels. With Ginger, smart contract users can already see scaling benefits up to 20,000 transactions per second using Lumino, the company claimed.

RSK Labs Launches Ginger Testnet, Receives $3.5M in New Funding

RSK’s Gabriel Kurman (Photo\ Micheal Hudson)

Developers should be able to see the full speed improvements now, RSK Labs explained, adding that:

With Ginger, users will be able to run their smart contracts in a platform that can scale up to 2,000 tx/sec on chain and 20,000 tx/sec off chain, providing the scalability needed for global financial solutions.

Merge-Mine Bitcoin with RSK

RSK Labs Launches Ginger Testnet, Receives $3.5M in New FundingRSK Chief Scientist Sergio Demian Lerner gave a presentation on Monday at Consensus 2017. He said miners will be attracted to RSK because it is possible to mine their blockchain and Bitcoin, as well as other coins, all “at the same time and on the same hardware, and with the same power consumption.” The developer revealed that his team has “worked for over a year with mining pools” to develop “open-source plugins for merged mining that are highly efficient.”

This new form of merged mining is a cornerstone feature to RSK that incentivizes the use of their network and also of Bitcoin itself. Similarly, RSK’s smart contracts will reward people who run RSK nodes “from transaction fees,” Lerner described, and then announced that these contracts can be extended to “reward people running Bitcoin full nodes too.”

What do you think of RSK Labs’ Ginger Testnet? Let us know in the comments section below.