European Commission Launches Digital Currency and Dark Web Consortium

A recent announcement from the European Commission details the formation of a new consortium dedicated to preventing illegal activities tied to virtual currencies and the dark web. The group consists of fifteen members from seven European countries that will develop technical solutions for investigating and mitigating this types of illicit activities.

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Virtual Currencies and Darknet Markets Evolve Quickly Says Project Coordinator

European Commission Launches Digital Currency and Dark Web ConsortiumThe European Commission’s Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) has created a consortium and project called ‘Titanium’ (Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets). According to the announcement, the Titanium Project researchers will begin undertaking a three-year, €5 million project, that aims to curb this criminal activity and will be subsidized by the European Union.

“Criminal and terrorist activities related to virtual currencies and darknet markets evolve quickly and vary in technical sophistication, resilience and intended targets,” details the Titanium Project coordinator Ross King, a senior scientist at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.

Titanium Is Backed by European Law Enforcement and Interpol

The announcement says that blockchain technology used in virtual currencies like bitcoin can allow organizations and individuals to “evade traditional investigative measures.” King believes it is “necessary” to develop forensic tools and have the ability to acquire data from “virtual currency ledgers, online forums, peer-to-peer networks of underground markets, and seized devices.”

The group explains the consortium is backed by European law enforcement agencies and Interpol. Other members of the Titanium Project organization include Bundeskriminalamt (Germany), Coblue Cybersecurity (Netherlands), Universität Innsbruck (Austria) Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization), Ministry of the Interior (Austria), Ministry of the Interior (Spain) and the National Bureau of Investigation (Finland).

Organizers Say Titanium Tools Won’t Compromise Individual Privacy and Fundamental Rights

Titanium Project organizers say that Bitcoin does have many legitimate use cases. However, the consortium explains that is still used by criminals and is very popular on the dark web. Furthermore, the consortium notes the latest ransomware attack on May 12 where the attackers froze computers throughout 150 countries and demanded bitcoin payments.

King also details the consortium wants the public to know that Titanium Project tools will also respect people’s privacy and other sovereign rights.

“The consortium will analyse legal and ethical requirements and define guidelines for storing and processing data, information, and knowledge involved in criminal investigations without compromising citizen privacy,” King concludes in the European Commission announcement.

What do you think about the European Commission’s Titanium Project? 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.


Britain’s Largest Broker Offers Exchange-Traded Bitcoin Investments

Britain’s leading brokerage firm, Hargreaves Lansdown, now offers bitcoin exchange-traded products to its 876,000 customers. These investments are available for regular brokerage accounts as well as self-invested personal pension accounts.

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Largest British Broker

Britain's Largest Broker Offers Exchange-Traded Bitcoin InvestmentsHargreaves Lansdown plc is a financial service company based in Bristol, a city in South West England. The company “is the UK’s number 1 ‘investment supermarket’ for private investors,” according to its website. With 876,000 clients and more than £70 billion traded, the company currently offers “more than 2,500 funds, UK, US, Canadian and European shares, ETFs, investment trusts, bonds and gilts.”

Different types of accounts are available through its investment platform, also known as the Vantage Service. They include regular brokerage accounts, tax-efficient Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) and Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) accounts.

Bitcoin Investments Available

Britain's Largest Broker Offers Exchange-Traded Bitcoin InvestmentsOn Thursday, June 1, two bitcoin investments were added to Hargreaves Lansdown’s platform; Bitcoin Tracker One and Bitcoin Tracker Eur. Listed on Nasdaq Nordic in Stockholm, the former is denominated in Swedish krona (SEK) and the latter in the euro (EUR). Both are issued and managed by Stockholm-based XBT Provider AB, with Global Advisors (Jersey) Limited as the guarantor.

Both instruments are bitcoin Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs) which are debt securities backed by the credit of the issuer. They track the price performance of bitcoin, giving investors exposure to the digital currency. However, investors do not own the bitcoin itself. Danny Cox, Head of Communications at Hargreaves Lansdown, told the Telegraph that “We have seen a handful of clients asking for the ETN.”

XBT Provider describes its products:

The certificates will provide an exposure to the performance of the digital currency bitcoin as priced in USD on the Primary Marketplaces. Holders of certificates will have exposure to both the performance of bitcoin and the fluctuations in the relevant foreign exchange rate.

The primary marketplaces listed in the ETNs’ prospectus are Okcoin, Kraken, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Itbit, Gemini, Gdax, and Gatecoin. The foreign exchange rate risk for Bitcoin Tracker One is USD/SEK whereas it is USD/EUR for Bitcoin Tracker Eur.

While the certificates are denominated in SEK and EUR, they track the price of bitcoin in USD. “As the BTC/USD market is the most liquid bitcoin market widely available for trading, we regard it as the most suitable underlying asset in a bitcoin product,” the company explained.

Both ETNs are currently available for Hargreaves Lansdown investors with regular brokerage accounts or SIPP accounts, but not tax-advantaged ISA accounts. The brokerage firm charges £11.95 per trade to start investing in these instruments but the cost decreases with the number of trades.

Bitcoin Investment Trust No Longer Available Online

Britain's Largest Broker Offers Exchange-Traded Bitcoin InvestmentsBarry Silbert’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) also used to be available for online trading on the Hargreaves Lansdown platform for regular brokerage accounts, but not SIPP or ISA accounts.

However, the brokerage firm has posted a notice on its website which reads: “Bitcoin Investment Trust NPV cannot currently be traded online. For further information about trading this security, or to obtain a current price, please telephone our dealers.” This restriction is likely due to the trust having applied to list and trade on the NYSE Arca exchange. Its application is now pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF).

What do you think about Hargreaves Lansdown offering bitcoin ETNs to its customers? Let us know in the comments section 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.

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Launching Bitcoin Trading Platform

Japanese conglomerate GMO Internet Group previously announced that its full-service bitcoin exchange and trading platform would open its doors to the public on May 24. The company has postponed the launch to May 31.

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One Week Delay

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Launching Bitcoin Trading Platform to May 31Z.com Coin is GMO Internet Group’s full-service cryptocurrency exchange. Its launch was announced on May 9 as the platform opened for account pre-registration. Bitcoin.com reported on the announcement with details of the trading platform at the time.

However, the company has delayed the launch for a week, due to the growing number of bitcoin and blockchain transactions since its May 9 announcement, stating that (loosely translated):

We will provide customers with a stable trading environment and judge whether it is necessary to conduct additional service verification and system adjustment for the platform to be used with confidence. The start date of the service has been postponed to May 31, 2017.

The company apologized to customers who have pre-registered for accounts. “We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused to customers who have already applied and are waiting for our service to open.”

Trading on GMO’s Bitcoin Exchange

GMO-Z.com Coin Ltd was established as GMO Wallet Co. Ltd in October 2016 with the purpose of developing a cryptocurrency exchange. In November 2016, the company began testing the system in preparation for the full-scale operation.

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Launching Bitcoin Trading Platform to May 31Two types of trading will be available at launch; Virtual Currency FX trading and Virtual Currency trading. The former is GMO’s bitcoin margin trading service, which the company described as similar to traditional over-the-counter foreign exchange (FX) margin trading. The latter is a bitcoin exchange service, allowing customers to buy and sell bitcoins.

The company states that trading fees are “0 yen” for all orders. Customers can trade 24-7 on the Z.com Coin exchange, starting at 0.001 bitcoin.

GMO already owns the world’s largest FX brokerage, GMO Click Securities. Bitcoin.com recently reported on a significant group of potential new bitcoin traders. This group is called “Mrs. Watanabe” or retail investors who currently favor FX margin trading, which is a $40 trillion market. Many of them are already trading on GMO Click FX platform, so Z.com Coin bitcoin exchange will offer them a convenient way to start investing in bitcoin. Other Japanese forex brokers that have applied to operate bitcoin exchanges include Money Partners Group and Kabu.com.

How popular do you think GMO’s bitcoin trading platform will be? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Experiences an Intense Flow of New Money and Mainstream Attention

Over the past month, mainstream media has given Bitcoin the spotlight due to the digital currency’s recent jumps in value. Multiple news reports featured in prominent publications and on television are saying mainstream investors are flocking to cryptocurrencies in great number.

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‘The Laughter is Fading’

Mainstream media is giving Bitcoin a lot of attention because the digital asset’s market value has gained significant value in a short period of time. To put the jump in value into perspective, bitcoin’s price has risen by 87% in just thirty days. Now many broadcasts and publications are reporting on bitcoin nearly every day giving the technology quite a bit of exposure.

Bitcoin Experiences an Intense Flow of New Money and Mainstream Attention
John Bollinger, the inventor of the financial analysis indicator Bollinger Bands, mentions bitcoin to his 11,000 Twitter followers.

Bitcoin can be seen on television as news broadcasts such as Fox, NBC, and CNBC are reporting on the subject regularly. Additionally, the decentralized currency is being featured in editorial publications such as Market Watch, Time Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, Bloomberg, and the New York Time. For instance, on May 26 the investment news outlet Market Watch headline reads;

Wall Street laughed at a call for bitcoin at $25,000 — but after a 400% surge, the laughter is fading

Bitcoin the Mother of All ‘FOMO Trades’

Bitcoin Experiences an Intense Flow of New Money and Mainstream Attention
IG financial analyst Chris Weston.

More mainstream exposure happened last week as the American socialite and professional poker player, Dan Bilzerian, told his 22.3 million Instagram followers he was buying a lot of bitcoin.

“Just bought a sh*tload of bitcoin — it’s so crazy watching that sh*t f**king go up it’s like… betting a bunch of money on the Super Bowl,” explained Bilzerian.

The well known IG financial analyst Chris Weston also notes the new money flowing into bitcoin is huge. “I genuinely can’t wait to see young tech heads driving down Collins Street in a new Aston, because they had the stones to be able to hold their exposure through what has been an exponential move without ever having taken profit,” explains Weston.

Bitcoin is the mother of all ‘FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) trades’ — Perhaps the fact I am putting so much focus on bitcoin suggests a top has been seen and I am the taxi driver contrarian indicator. We shall see but flows into bitcoin have been huge.

Replacing the USD and a Whole Lot of Smart Money Coming In

Moreover, on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) nightly news brief the host detailed that bitcoin could possibly replace the U.S. dollar. During the newscast, ABC said there is a chance alternative monetary systems like cryptocurrencies can become the next de facto world currency in the future.

Bitcoin Experiences an Intense Flow of New Money and Mainstream Attention
Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) nightly news host says Bitcoin could replace the U.S. Dollar.

Additionally, many investors were quite surprised to hear how much the Boston-based Fidelity Bank, CEO Abigail Johnson liked bitcoin. Fidelity has added Coinbase accounts to their online banking platform, and the firm has been mining bitcoin with 21 Inc. computers as well. Nick Kirk, a former IBM Researcher, explains, “They basically let the world know they are looking at it.”

The smart money is starting to come in now.

Enormous Momentum

These days there is significant interest in cryptocurrencies stemming from Asia and not just from China anymore. India, Japan, and South Korea are starting to become dominant players within bitcoin trading markets. There definitely seems to be a whole lot of money moving towards cryptocurrencies like never before as the entire market capitalization commands a whopping $83 billion. These valuable currencies are also trading over $4.6 billion USD worth of cryptocurrencies daily, and bitcoin is capturing half this share all by itself. Last but not least another mainstream mogul also is very optimistic in regards to bitcoin adoption. The Former anti-virus tycoon John McAfee believes bitcoin’s price velocity will continue to rise.

“Bitcoin has enormous momentum,” McAfee notes.

Do you think a whole lot of mainstream investors and new money is flowing into cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Bitcoin’s Price Correction Called in Advance by Analyst

As bitcoin’s price skyrocketed on Thursday May 25, one analyst predicted an imminent correction. The price of bitcoin soon fell sharply before reaching $2,800 as she predicted. She also gave some price forecasts, warning of a downturn for the rest of the year but record highs in 2018.

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Fibonacci Retracement

Bitcoin's Price Correction Called in Advance by AnalystAn analyst at Forex Analytix, Nicola Duke, uses a method called Fibonacci retracement to analyze the price of bitcoin as well as determine its support and resistance levels.

This popular technical analysis tool is based on the idea that markets will retrace a predictable portion of a move before continuing in the original direction. It looks at the peaks and troughs or rallies and falls of historical bitcoin prices in order to forecast future movements.

“According to Fibonacci analysis, the way bull markets typically work is that you’ll have a pullback that stops when it retraces a key percentage of a previous move higher,” CNBC explains, adding that these key percentages come from Fibonacci Ratios. Examples of key ratios which technical traders like to use are .618, .786, 1.27, 1.618, and 2.618.

Bitcoin’s Price Analysis

Duke’s Fibonacci retracement analysis chart, using Bitstamp weekly prices going back to 2013, was published on Tradingview.com on Thursday.

Bitcoin's Price Correction Called in Advance by Analyst with More Predictions
BTCUSD support levels weekly chart (Photo\Nicola Duke)

She indicated on the chart that $2,283 is the short-term trend support; another support level above that is $2,800. In addition, bitcoin has two major support levels below $2,283. They are $2,145 and the more likely $1750-80. Both are shown on her chart.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday morning, Duke explained that “wave two” of bitcoin began in the fall of 2013. The price of bitcoin rallied sharply for several months before falling steadily. It bottomed out in January 2015, then began to climb again. Currently, bitcoin is in “wave three”, the publication relayed her findings:

$2,800 could be the level at which bitcoin begins its fall. The price is likely to hit $1,780, but could even fall as far as $1,470.

Duke expects this next wave, which is the fourth, to last 61.8 percent of how long wave two lasted. 61.8 percent is one of the key Fibonacci ratios.

She believes that the rally after the correction would start in January. “We will see the bottom at the start of January, that is when stock markets typically tend to have a correction as well,” she noted, then explained to CNBC that:

After that, there should be a sustained rally to $3,350 and then $4,480 in 2018.

What do you think of this Fibonacci retracement analysis? Let us know in the comments section below.

South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges Trade $1000 Over Global Average

Bitcoin is shining brightly in South Korea as the price per BTC in the region has reached upwards of $3500-3800 across the country’s top three exchanges. Many traders are finding significant arbitrage opportunities due to South Korean spreads being over $1000 higher than the global average.

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South Korean Bitcoin Trade Volume Is Surging

Bitcoin is very popular in South Korea at the moment. According to statistics, the country’s top three exchanges Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinone are exploding with bitcoin volume over the past few months. The trading platforms are processing roughly $200 million USD worth of Korean Won-KRW/BTC trades daily, and lately, most of these trades have been well above the global average. Alongside this, the South Korean Localbitcoins volumes and spreads have been off the charts as well.

South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges Trade $1000 Over Global Average
Korbit and Coinone KRW Prices May 24, 11pm EST.

Fintech Friendly Authorities

South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges Trade $1000 Over Global Average The region has also been blossoming with startups dedicated to bitcoin remittance and financial tech advancement. The South Korean government has been very friendly towards digital currencies, and the country is steadily becoming a technology hub. Just recently the government lowered the equity capital requirement for bitcoin companies working with remittances. The new statutes will begin on June 18 with a reduction of required capital to 1 billion KRW in contrast to the prior requirement of 2 billion KRW.

Additionally, researchers from the South Korean central bank recently released a report that detailed that virtual currencies like bitcoin can “coexist with fiat.”

“The recent emergence of digital currency opens up a new type of dual currency regime in which digital currency, which has no intrinsic value and a government-issued fiat currency coexist,” explained the researchers from Seoul’s Hongik University and members of the Bank of Korea’s (BOK) report.


Bithumb price May 24, 2017, 11pm EST.

Korea’s Growing Bitcoin Community and Very Large Remittance Market

Besides the central bank’s and government’s friendly attitude the bitcoin community in South Korea is thriving. For instance, the Seoul Bitcoin Meetup group has over 1,200 members and has over ten upcoming meetings scheduled. This past March the group discussed the differences between soft and hard forks. South Korea is also home to three bitcoin automated teller machines (ATM) as well.

South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges Trade $1000 Over Global Average

South Korea is fertile ground for cryptocurrency use with the country’s remittance market capturing billions every year. Korean remittances have undoubtedly bolstered bitcoin as startups like Korbit has pushed crypto-settlement forward. Financial incumbents like Shinhan Bank are also looking at bitcoin’s benefits towards the large remittance market in Korea.

When it Comes to Bitcoin Korea is One Country to Watch

With all the feverish demand for cryptocurrency solutions and financial technology, Korea has positioned itself as one of the top five leading countries in bitcoin trade volume. It’s safe to say that when it comes to bitcoin adoption, Korea will be one to watch with its population of over 50 million, a multi-billion dollar remittance industry, and a government that bolsters fintech.

What do you think about Bitcoin growth exploding in South Korea? Let us know in the comments 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.

56 Bitcoin Companies Approve Segwit-2Mb Combined Fork Plan

Barry Silbert’s firm the Digital Currency Group (DCG) revealed a scaling agreement on May 23 with a letter of intent backed by 56 Bitcoin companies, for Sergio Demian Lerner’s recent Segwit-2Mb plan. The announcement states the signed agreement represents a “critical mass of the bitcoin ecosystem” with 83.28% of hash power supporting the proposal.

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The Anticipated ‘Barry Silbert Scaling Proposal’ Has Been Revealed

For a few days bitcoin enthusiasts have been anticipating the56 Bitcoin Companies Approve Segwit-2Mb Combined Fork Plan “Barry Silbert” scaling plan  hinted at a few days ago. Following Silbert’s statements about a new scaling effort, a meeting took place in connetion to the Consensus 2017 conference. As the conference came to an end, Silbert’s venture capital firm DCG revealed the compromise proposal.

The agreement is supported by 56 digital currency companies stemming from 21 countries worldwide. The letter states the agreement has the backing of over 83 percent of the network’s hash power. This group represents 5.1 billion USD monthly on chain transaction volume and 20.5 million bitcoin wallets within the economy.

“We agree to immediately support the following parallel upgrades to the bitcoin protocol, which will be deployed simultaneously and based on the original Segwit-2Mb proposal,” explains the DCG announcement.

Activate Segregated Witness at an 80% threshold, signaling at bit 4 and activate a 2 MB hard fork within six months.

A Proposal to Lower the Segwit Threshold to 80%

Prior to DCG’s announcement 56 Bitcoin Companies Approve Segwit-2Mb Combined Fork Plandiscussions of lowering the Segwit threshold that took place during the Consensus 2017 scaling panel, Eric Lombrozo stated it was possible to lower the Segwit threshold. After the discussion on May 22, Bitcoin developer James Hilliard proposed a “Reduced signaling threshold activation” BIP.

“I would like to propose an implementation that accomplishes the first part of the Barry Silbert proposal independently from the second: ‘Activate Segregated Witness at an 80% threshold, signaling at bit 4,’” explains Hilliard. “The goal here is to minimize chain split risk and network disruption while maximizing backward compatibility and still providing for rapid activation of Segwit at the 80% threshold using bit 4.”

By activating segwit immediately and separately from any HF we can scale quickly without risking a rushed combined segwit+HF that would almost certainly cause widespread issues.

Companies/Individuals that Approved Consensus; The Future of Bitcoin

Some of the notable companies and people that agreed to this Segwit activation compromise include Decentral, Grayscale investments, Jaxx, Bitmain, Xapo, Yours, Bitpay, Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin.com and Guy Corem.

The medium article further suggested 56 Bitcoin Companies Approve Segwit-2Mb Combined Fork Planthe community is prepared to handle any growing pains as a cohesive whole that has proven technical compromises can be made in the most challenging and high-risk environments. The consensus article echoed this sentiment:

“We are also committed to the research and development of technical mechanisms to improve signaling in the bitcoin community, as well as to put in place communication tools, in order to more closely coordinate with ecosystem participants in the design, integration, and deployment of safe solutions that increase bitcoin capacity.”

Do you think this concludes the mining debate? Will Bitcoin be able to scale successfully? Let us know in the comments section below.