Colorado Takes Action Against Four More ICOs – 12 in Total

Colorado Takes Action Against Four More ICOs - 12 in Total

The Division of Securities of the U.S. state of Colorado has issued four new cease-and-desist orders to stop as many companies from promoting their tokens to residents of the state. So far, action has been taken against a total of 12 initial coin offerings by the state’s securities commissioner.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Four New Orders

Colorado Takes Action Against Four More ICOs - 12 in TotalColorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome on Thursday signed four orders “directing the cessation of unregistered securities in the state of Colorado,” the state’s Division of Securities announced. So far, the division has taken action against a total of 12 initial coin offerings (ICOs), the announcement details.

The orders resulted from investigations by the division’s ICO task force which is part of the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (Dora). It was set up in May “to investigate potentially fraudulent activity targeting investors excited about the prospects of financial windfall through the cryptocurrency market.”

According to Thursday’s announcement:

The four orders signed today are for ICOs solicited by companies Bitcoin Investments, Ltd. (also doing business as Db Capital), Pinkdate, Prisma, and Clear Shop Vision Ltd.

Colorado Takes Action Against Four More ICOs - 12 in TotalWhile the four companies and their tokens are not registered in the state, the division explained that their websites are accessible to Colorado residents. The commissioner has directed all respondents to immediately cease and desist all alleged violations of the state’s Securities Act.

The division has previously taken ICO-related action against Bionic Coin, Sybrelabs Ltd., Global Pay Net, Estatex, Bitconnect Ltd., Magma Foundation, Linda Healthcare Corporation and Broad Investments. In addition, the division participates in Operation Cryptosweep, a coordinated effort by regulators in North America.

Companies Violating Securities Act

Colorado Takes Action Against Four More ICOs - 12 in TotalThe first company named in the announcement, Bitcoin Investments Ltd., claims to have over $700 million in asset under management across multiple funds. The company promotes itself as a “leading blockchain investment firm and one of the largest institutional owners of cryptocurrencies.” In addition to allegedly claiming that “investors can expect over 1 percent daily returns with additional returns on internal exchanges” of its token, the company’s website states:

The average registered investment return over a two month period in 2017 was an amazing 95 percent.

Bitcoin Investments also lists a number of celebrity promoters for its ICO such as NBA basketball star Carmelo Anthony. However, “Most concerning to investigators was the alleged ‘spoofing’ of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] webpage, www.howeycoins.com,” the Colorado securities division detailed. The Howeycoins website was set up by the SEC as an example of an ICO scam. The division asserted that Bitcoin Investment’s website “incorporates the same format, exact images, and an identical employee team as the SEC site.”

Colorado Takes Action Against Four More ICOs - 12 in Total

The second cease-and-desist order recipient, Pinkdate, provides “anonymously-operated, world-wide escorting service[s]” and purportedly seeks to raise over $5 million through an ICO. The order describes:

Pinkdate allegedly promotes a payout to investors of ‘50 percent of net profits through dividends,’ provides an investor portal, and offers to provide dividends in the form of bitcoin, ether, monero, or bitcoin cash.

Colorado Takes Action Against Four More ICOs - 12 in TotalThe third company ordered to stop promoting its token to Colorado residents, Prisma, requires users to purchase its token in order to use its lending and arbitraging investment platform. Its whitepaper “does not disclose potential risks of the investment,” the division noted, adding that its website allegedly claims that investors “can profit up to 27 percent on their initial investment, and the ‘arbitrage bot’ can generate returns of up to 1.5 percent daily.”

The last of the four cease-and-desist order recipients, Clear Shop Vision Ltd., has launched three ICOs since June, according to the division. The order states that one of the tokens was represented as having “serious appreciation potential,” and investors are asked to send ether directly to the company’s wallet rather than an exchange. The company also allegedly offers to pay users in its token to promote the launch “on social media, translation services, and referrals.”

What do you think of the Colorado securities division taking action against all these ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, the SEC, and the Colorado government.


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Bitmain Files ‘John Doe’ Lawsuit in the State of Washington

Bitmain Files John Doe Lawsuit in the State of Washington

According to court documents filed in Seattle, Washington, the mining rig manufacturer Bitmain has filed a lawsuit against an unidentified suspect who hacked the company’s Binance account. Bitmain hopes to identify the defendant “John Doe” and recover the stolen BTC siphoned from the organization’s cryptocurrency holdings held on the exchange.

Also Read: Fork Watch: List of BCH Services Providing Fork Support

Bitmain Files a Lawsuit in Seattle, Washington

Bitmain Files 'John Doe' Lawsuit in the State of WashingtonIt seems Bitmain is currently suing an individual, but doesn’t know who the suspect is just yet. Right now, according to court documents, the company is in a “John Doe” lawsuit involving an unknown hacker and the cryptocurrency trading platforms Binance and Bittrex. According to the lawsuit filed by the litigation firm Perkins Coie LLP, Bitmain lost 617 BTC on April 22, 2018. This was when BTC/USD global spot market prices were approximately $8,935. At that time, the law firm believes, the hacker used the funds to inflate the prices of a lesser known cryptocurrency called decentraland (MANA) and pump and dump other smaller cryptocurrency markets. 

Bitmain Files 'John Doe' Lawsuit in the State of Washington

“Before the unauthorized trades on April 22, 2018, Bitmain’s digital wallet held approximately 890 BTC — After the unauthorized trades, Bitmain’s digital wallet had approximately 265 BTC,” the lawsuit explains.

After facilitating wash trades and pumping the coins with tiny market valuations, using both Bitmain’s account and his own Binance wallet, the hacker then sent the stolen funds to Bittrex in order to manipulate more markets. Bitmain’s lawyers state that Doe intentionally accessed a protected computer without authorization in order to defraud Bitmain’s custodial wallet on Binance. The court documents further state:

By means of such conduct, John Doe furthered the intended fraud and obtained things of value, specifically Bitcoin and other digital assets, causing a loss to Bitmain exceeding $5,500,000.

Bitmain Files 'John Doe' Lawsuit in the State of Washington

Using the Discovery Process to Uncover the Fictitious Defendant

Breaking international communications laws is the reason the court filing was processed in Washington. The law firm Perkins Coie believes the funds eventually landed in an account held on Bittrex, the Seattle-based trading platform. Doe’s unauthorized scheme to defraud was across state lines and was accomplished on the internet, which is used in interstate and foreign commerce and communications, the law firm emphasized. “[Doe’s] activities constitute a violation of the federal CFAA, 18 U.S.C.A. § 1030(a)(4),” the lawsuit further states. Perkins Coie details that Bitmain is entitled to damages under the CFAA Act and also wants to hold the suspect accountable.

It’s not unusual to sue a “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” in the United States as the suspect is known as a fictitious defendant. A Doe lawsuit or subpoena intends to uncover the identity of the fictitious defendant by using the courts to ultimately use the discovery process in order to uncover Doe’s name and location.

What do you think about Bitmain’s John Doe lawsuit in the state of Washington? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitmain, and the Washington state court documents.


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Bitcoin Cash Miners Break Records Processing Multiple 32 MB Blocks

Bitcoin Cash Miners Break Records Processing Multiple 32 MB Blocks

On Saturday, Nov. 10, the operation BMG mining pool mined multiple 32 MB blocks on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. The first block at height 556034 was the biggest block ever mined on the BCH chain and the process confirmed over 166,000 transactions. A couple of hours later, BMG pool mined 4 more 32 MB blocks confirming another 166K of pending transactions each. 

Also read: Growing Number of Crypto Companies Operating From Belarus

BMG Pool Mines the First 32 MB Block Confirming Over 166,000 BCH Transactions

Bitcoin Cash supporters have a milestone to celebrate today, as miners have put the 32 MB block size limit to the test. At approximately 7:45 a.m. EST, BMG mining processed block 556034 which was approximately 31997.624 kB (31.99 MB) in size. The block surpassed the previous largest block ever mined on the BCH chain, which was block 546423 processed by BMG pool and was 23.15 MB in size. That specific block, on Sept. 4, processed only 97,318 transactions and many observers noticed how long it took to propagate. 

Bitcoin Cash Miners Break Records Processing Multiple 32 MB Blocks
BMG pool started mining 32 MB blocks at block height 556034 and followed with three more maximum sized blocks.

After the block was mined, a good portion of BCH proponents took to social media and forums to tell the world about the first mega-block. Most of the BCH community was thrilled to see the 32 MB block size limit put to the test, while discussing the subject and sharing analytical data. For instance, one metric people enjoyed was the fact that block 556034 confirmed more transactions than half a day’s worth of BTC transactions on an average day. Thanks to the large block mined by BMG and the previously processed blocks, the BCH chain has confirmed roughly 1.3 million transactions over the last 24 hours.

The Mysterious Hashrate Spike and Five 32 MB Blocks 

The large blocks come just days before the contentious hard fork planned for Nov. 15, where two BCH development teams have not agreed on consensus changes. The first 32 MB block wasn’t a perfect achievement, however, for some community members who observed the network react. It seems some BCH nodes from 4 different implementations dropped off the network temporarily, with the largest set of dropped nodes stemming from Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) hosts. Although, BU and other BCH clients had issued new releases over the last few days and many of the BU nodes that dropped were mostly running 1.4 and earlier.

Bitcoin Cash Miners Break Records Processing Multiple 32 MB Blocks
A good number of BU nodes running 1.4 and earlier dropped when the 32 MB block was processed. Other BCH full node clients also saw some nodes fall off the network. The nodes improved for the following 32 MB blocks processed on Saturday. 

The analytical website Cashnodes.io, shows a consistent pattern of BU 1.3.0.1 and 1.4 nodes had dropped and many version 1.5 BU Cash users said their nodes ran properly.

“My BU Cash 1.5.0.1 and Electron X node showed increased CPU usage during the many transactions, but ran fine otherwise,” explained a BCH proponent on Reddit who runs a BU Cash node. Another interesting piece of data that stemmed from the mega-block fiesta was the BCH and BTC hashrate shift. According to Fork.lol statistics, the 3-hour stacked averages for the relative BCH hashrate in the percentage of totals had climbed significantly, eating into the SHA256 BTC-based hashrate.

Bitcoin Cash Miners Break Records Processing Multiple 32 MB Blocks
The mysterious BCH hashrate spike on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, after the first 32 MB block. After the five blocks were processed the variance is different on the Fork.lol data site, but still shows a significant hashrate spike during this period of time. Other statistical websites show a similar hashrate spike.  
Bitcoin Cash Miners Break Records Processing Multiple 32 MB Blocks
At the time of writing, BMG processed five 32 MB blocks in total.

Following the block mined at 7:45 a.m. EST, another 32 MB block was processed by BMG pool at approximately 9:45 a.m. EST. Block 556045 contained approximately 166,882 transactions, which were confirmed in one fell swoop. The first and then the second large block mined had caused some fervent excitement throughout the BCH community, to say the least. Not long after the second block, a third 32 MB was mined, clearing 166,799 transactions. The mining pool did not stop there and a fourth block was processed at the maximum block size available. This Bitcoin Cash block at height 556048 contained 166,337 transactions in total. Lastly, block 556049 was the fifth 32 MB block mined by BMG pool (166,664 transactions), which was followed by Coingeek miners undertaking a 15 MB block.   

Overall, many observers from the entire cryptocurrency community were fascinated by the large blocks mined by BMG pool and more information will likely stem from analysts researching the five blocks’ data over the course of the weekend. It seems very likely that the BCH community may even see more big blocks mined in the near future.

What do you think about the 32 MB block mined on Saturday by the mining pool BMG? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Jamie Redman, Coin Dance Cash, and Fork.lol.


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Deep Web Roundup: Market Vendors Monitored, Darknet Benefits Revealed

Deep Web Roundup: Monitoring Market Vendors, Darknet Benefits Revealed

The internet layer that’s accessible via the Tor browser was instrumental in the growth of Bitcoin in its early years. Since then, darknet marketplaces have proliferated, but have come to play a lesser role in the development of cryptocurrencies. In this roundup we consider two recent research papers that provide an insight into features, benefits, and hazards of the deep web.

Also read: Growing Number of Crypto Companies Operating From Belarus

Monitoring Vendor Migration to Dream Market

In the wake of Operation Bayonet, a law enforcement exercise that shut down the Hansa and Alphabay markets, many vendors flocked to Dream instead. Dream is the longest standing darknet market (DNM), and saw an influx of new vendors and buyers in the wake of 2017’s Operation Bayonet. A recent research paper has tracked the movement of sellers to Dream, and monitored subsequent changes in their behavior.

Deep Web Roundup: Market Vendors Monitored, Darknet Benefits Revealed
The origin of new Dream Market vendors

The researchers from the Delft University of Technology tracked vendors who used the same PGP key to verify their Dream accounts as they had on Alphabay and Hansa. They found that Alphabay brought in 50 percent of new vendors, while just 2 percent of Dream signups arrived from Hansa and 8 percent joined from both DNMs.

As Deep Dot Web reports, “66% of the users migrating to Dream Market did not take any noticeable evasive measures. However, 20% of users changed their PGP-keys, 8% changed their usernames, and 6% did both.” For now, Dream Market appears to be thriving: the platform, which accepts BTC and BCH, boasts 98.35 percent uptime and has been active since late 2013.

Why Use the Deep Web?

Deep Web Roundup: Market Vendors Monitored, Darknet Benefits RevealedIn a week in which Craig Wright has attracted criticism for, among other things, asserting that Bitcoin is not anarchist, anti-state, or permissionless, it’s worth considering why people use tools such as the deep web. Many bitcoiners believe darknet marketplaces to be a legitimate use for cryptocurrency, and strongly defend the right of individuals to transact on DNMs.

A new paper from an Indian researcher has outlined some of the pros and cons of using the deep web. In addition to highlighting the darker side of the deep web, the paper identifies benefits it provides that include anonymity and identity concealment, freedom of expression, bypassing blocked sites, knowledge and awareness.

It concludes: “The deep web will continue to perplex and fascinate everyone who uses the internet … the dark web is a vast portion of cyberspace, and offers invaluable resources that should not be overlooked by serious searchers. [It] provides an easy way to connect with people of parallel interests, and to facilitate further interaction.”

What other benefits do you think the deep web provides? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The Daily: BCH Outpaces LTC, Where Next for DEXs?

The Daily: BCH Outpaces LTC, Where Next for DEXs?

Saturday’s edition of The Daily builds upon some of the stories that have been developing all week. The last few days have been action-packed, with the coming Bitcoin Cash upgrade dominating the news cycle. We’ll take a look at how BCH has been faring as a payment network compared to Litecoin, and also check in on the health of decentralized exchanges in the wake of Etherdelta’s SEC smackdown.

Also read: ‘Asia’s Amazon’ Starts Using Bithumb’s Payment Service for Cryptocurrency Users

Bitcoin Cash Maintains Higher Onchain Volume Than Litecoin

Cryptocurrency analytics site Coinmetrics.io has shared a side-by-side comparison of how the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) networks have been performing since the start of the year. The chart shows that since April, BCH has outstripped LTC for onchain volume, when expressed in dollar terms. “From May 2018 onwards, Litecoin went into relative disuse while Bitcoin Cash’s usage remained robust,” tweeted Coinmetrics.

The Daily: BCH Outpaces LTC, Where Next for DEXs?
BCH is shown in blue alongside LTC in grey

By July, litecoin’s onchain volume had dropped to around $60 million per day, while bitcoin cash was recording over $170 million. The data, which has been adjusted to remove the BCH stress test that may have otherwise skewed things, show’s litecoin’s volume to have plummeted sharply from October, while BCH’s surged towards the $200 million mark, aided by renewed interest due to the forthcoming Nov. 15 fork.

Troubled Times for Decentralized Exchanges

The Daily: BCH Outpaces LTC, Where Next for DEXs?The SEC’s decision to penalize Etherdelta founder Zachary Coburn for selling unregistered securities on his decentralized exchange (DEX) has given other operators pause for thought. While DEXs, like all cryptocurrency exchanges, have been monitoring the regulatory climate closely for some time, the near-$400,000 fine imposed on Coburn has spurred other DEX teams into action. On Nov. 8, decentralized token trading protocol 0x released a statement in response to the case, writing:

0x protocol is a technical standard for peer-to-peer exchange of blockchain-based tokens … our belief is that relayers are in the best position to determine how to utilize the 0x protocol, which types of tokens they want to make available to their users, and how to follow the legal requirements applicable for those tokens and users.

The Daily: BCH Outpaces LTC, Where Next for DEXs?The statement continued: “Both centralized and decentralized exchanges can learn from the Etherdelta case. The guidance from the SEC provides confirmation that legal requirements must be followed if certain tokens meet the definition of a security … the industry is working through the best way to do that and we plan to be part of the effort to help educate regulators about the technology.”

The head of the SEC’s new cyber unit, Robert Cohn, has also commented on the Etherdelta case, saying: “The focus is not on the label you put on something or the technology you’re using. The focus is on the function, and what the platform is doing. Whether it’s decentralized or not, whether it’s on a smart contract or not, what matters is it’s an exchange.”

Predicting ETH’s Price Based on ‘Abnormal’ Movements

The question of whether large cryptocurrency exchange deposits presage a drop in price has been a matter of debate for months. A number of Telegram and Twitter bots alert traders to such activity, with a view to providing advance warning of an impending dump. Coinfi has just published new research into the matter, in a bid to resolve the question “Can abnormal movements of ETH in or out of exchanges predict ETH price movements?”

The Daily: BCH Outpaces LTC, Where Next for DEXs?
The red dots show the number of times Coinfi’s signal was triggered, predicting an ETH drop.

They explain: “When looking at intraday returns on the day of the signal trigger, [ETH] prices tended to go down. But looking at the next day returns, price tended to go back up,” before concluding “Abnormal movements of ETH into or out of exchanges does have a correlation to prices … the first 24 hours would generally correspond to a decrease in prices, while the next 24 hours would generally correspond to a recovery in ETH prices.” It seems, at least in the case of ethereum, that there may be some wisdom in watching for whales sending huge sums to cryptocurrency exchanges.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinmetrics.io, Coinfi.


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Growing Number of Crypto Companies Operating From Belarus

Growing Number of Crypto Companies Operate From Belarus

A number of cryptocurrency businesses are now based in the Belarus Hi-Tech Park after the government in Minsk legalized crypto-related activities for its residents. Registering an entity in the special economic zone was supposed to be a straightforward process, but clearer guidelines and detailed regulations are still needed to attract more investors.

Also read: Huobi Opens Office in Russia, Plans Startup Accelerator and Mining Hotels

Almost 400 HTP Residents

Less than eight months after President Lukashenko’s Decree №8 entered into force, the number of companies registered in the Belarus High Technologies Park (HTP) has increased to 388. Around half of them have become residents of the economic zone this year. The decree “On the Development of the Digital Economy” was signed by the Belarussian leader in December 2017. One of its main goals was to bring foreign high-tech businesses to the former Soviet republic.

Minsk also wanted to attract promising projects from the cryptocurrency space. The document legalized activities such as digital asset exchange, crowdfunding through initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency mining for entities that are registered in the HTP. Currently, most of the companies belong to traditional hi-tech sectors such as IT and software development. They work with customers in 67 other countries, often as outsourcing partners.

Growing Number of Crypto Companies Operating From Belarus

Crypto businesses form a small but diverse group. For example, Aetsoft is a blockchain development company which has provided services to ICOs and decentralized exchanges since 2014. It deals with clients in a number of markets, including the U.S., Germany and Denmark. Biggico is a joint startup established by Belarusian and Latvian entrepreneurs. Its international team has built an advertising platform for crypto projects.

Far East Technologies and Kbl Group are developing cryptocurrency mining facilities, and Pm Pool specializes in cloud-based mining services for customers in the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic region. Smartpool is another company operating in the same field. Aiscom offers cryptocurrency payment solutions to exchanges, wallet providers and ICO projects. Omertex develops high-tech solutions for the fintech industry.

Still a Long Way to Go

Growing Number of Crypto Companies Operating From BelarusExperts working in the sector note that there are currently no digital asset trading businesses among the residents of the Belarus High Technologies Park. A company founded by Belarusian immigrants in the U.S. recently launched what was advertised as “the first Belarusian cryptocurrency exchange.” The platform called Crexby is based in New York, not in Minsk.

There are several factors that explain the absence of such exchanges in Belarus. In an article recently published by Belmarket, Artem Handriko from the Revera law firm argued that the lack of legal practice in the field is one of them. In addition, the country’s central bank has demonstrated a lukewarm attitude towards cryptocurrencies and commercial banks are unwilling to engage in digital asset exchange transactions. More clarity regarding the applicable regulations is needed to increase the number of HTP residents.

Earlier this year, local media quoted financial experts and officials who expressed doubts that the country’s own crypto sector and ordinary Belarusians would be able to benefit from the presidential decree on the digital economy. They were concerned that its implementation, without the adoption of additional comprehensive regulations, would merely turn Belarus into a “crypto-offshore.”

What are your expectations about the future of the cryptocurrency industry in Belarus? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, HTP.


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‘Asia’s Amazon’ Starts Using Bithumb’s Payment Service for Cryptocurrency Users

'Asia’s Amazon' Starts Using Bithumb's Payment Service for Cryptocurrency Users

One of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bithumb, has begun providing a cryptocurrency payment service to a major online marketplace it refers to as “Asia’s Amazon.” Korean users can use their cryptocurrencies held at the exchange to pay for purchases on Qoo10 using this service.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Qoo10 Partners With Bithumb

'Asia’s Amazon' Starts Using Bithumb's Payment Service for Cryptocurrency UsersSouth Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb announced on Wednesday the launch of its “cryptocurrency payment service” for major online shopping marketplace Qoo10, which it referred to as “Asia’s Amazon.”

The two companies signed a contract in August and have been developing a payment service for Qoo10 that uses Bithumb cash.

A Bithumb representative explained to news.Bitcoin.com that for each customer:

Bithumb cash is the total asset [value] of [their] cryptocurrencies and KRW.

'Asia’s Amazon' Starts Using Bithumb's Payment Service for Cryptocurrency UsersBithumb started offering the “Bithumb cash payment service for Qoo10 from the 5th of this month,” the exchange wrote. This payment option is now listed on the marketplace alongside Payco, Paypal, and E-money.

The representative emphasized that currently this service is only available to Koreans, including those living overseas. Foreigners living in Korea cannot use it, the representative noted, adding that the company is working to make it available to all users.

Qoo10 operates seven localized online marketplaces in five countries, its website details. Bithumb described this marketplace as a Korean e-commerce company that is “the No. 1 shopping mall in Singapore, and has become a leader in Asian e-commerce markets such as Hong Kong, China and Indonesia.”

Crypto Conversion at Market Rates

'Asia’s Amazon' Starts Using Bithumb's Payment Service for Cryptocurrency UsersBithumb revealed in November last year that it was working on creating a “simple” payment system to allow its members to use their cryptocurrencies and KRW to pay for goods and services, Chosun described.

An official of the exchange explained at the time that all cryptocurrencies held in Bithumb accounts can be used. “The process of converting virtual currencies into Bithumb cash is done automatically based on current market prices,” the news outlet detailed.

The Bithumb representative confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com:

[Cryptocurrencies such as] BTC will be converted automatically into KRW at the market rate.

'Asia’s Amazon' Starts Using Bithumb's Payment Service for Cryptocurrency UsersUsers can specify which cryptocurrencies will be sold first to cover a purchase after the Korean won in the account is depleted.

Sedaily reported in April that shop owners can also choose whether to accept payments in Korean won or cryptocurrencies. However, if a shop owner chooses cryptocurrencies, the amounts at the time of withdrawals may be different from the amounts paid by customers due to price fluctuations of cryptocurrencies. “Most franchisees want to reduce the risk of price fluctuations, so they often choose to work with the won,” the publication quoted Bithumb explaining.

Last month, Singapore-based BK Global Consortium acquired a majority stake in Bithumb, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

What do you think of Bithumb’s partnership with Qoo10? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bithumb, and Qoo10.


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Nigerian Startups Call for Cryptocurrency Regulation to Stem Investment Outflows

Nigeria's Start-Ups Call for Cryptocurrency Regulation to Stem Investment Outflows

Nigeria’s financial technology startups have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide legal guidelines for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. A lack of regulation is driving investment out of Africa’s biggest economy to areas like Rwanda and Europe while fomenting uncertainty, according to the Electronic Payment Practitioners Association of Nigeria (E-ppan).

Also Read: Canadian Bitcoin Miner Hut 8 Reports Q3 Loss of $8.7 Million

Lack of Regulation Drives Capital Away

Nigerian Startups Call for Cryptocurrency Regulation to Stem Investment Outflows

“Investments in blockchain-based financial services such as cryptocurrency are today going to Rwanda and Malta, which have provided regulatory frameworks that guide operators of the technology,” Ade Atobatele, founder of Gboza Gboza Technology Ltd, a member of the E-ppan association, is quoted by the local Guardian newspaper as saying.

Atobatele was speaking at a conference organised by the fintech lobby group in the Nigerian commercial capital Lagos this week. Noting how technology develops at a rate much faster than financial regulators can cope with, he said some regulatory oversight is, nevertheless, needed to give direction and to tackle issues around risk and service delivery. Atobatele lamented:

We have a license with CBN, but our blockchain-based services are being operated in Rwanda, which has offered us the license.

E-ppan is a broad-based fintech industry representative body with links to the Nigerian central bank, particularly “on regulations that govern the electronic payments industry.” The group says on its website that “we influence the policy environment by applying pressure strategically to key decision makers to change the business environment positively.”

‘Cryptocurrency a Gamble’

In 2014 Nigeria eclipsed South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy, with a GDP of $400 billion. But huge inequalities, corruption and illicit financial flows still persist in Africa’s most populous nation. The cryptosphere in Nigeria is trading under caution from Godwin Emifiele, governor of the CBN, who has likened cryptocurrencies “to a gamble.” However, the Nigerian parliament has instituted an investigation into the merits and demerits of adopting bitcoin as a means of payment.

Nigerian Startups Call for Cryptocurrency Regulation to Stem Investment Outflows

In spite of all that, Nigerians continue to flood the digital currency space in search of cheaper and faster ways to send money abroad – or receive it – and to hedge against inflation and exchange-related losses of the Naira, the local unit. According to Citigroup, Nigerians account for the world’s third largest holdings of bitcoin, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, after Russia and New Zealand. Ignoring warnings from financial regulators, a flurry of startups in the country have taken to initial coin offerings or setting up virtual currency exchanges.

Regulation Coming

Speaking at the E-ppan conference, Musa Jimoh, an official with the Central Bank of Nigeria, said regulation is on the way. He detailed:

We are restructuring the licensing regime to accommodate risks that fintech present in the system and how they can work with banks to mitigate those risks. Fintechs are coming up with products and technology that is unmatched with banks, this also needs to be addressed.

Nigerian Startups Call for Cryptocurrency Regulation to Stem Investment Outflows

According to the the Guardian report, Michael Kiberu, chief executive officer of Vault Bridge, a member of E-ppan, called on regulators in the West African country to learn from countries such as Uganda, Switzerland, Kenya and Japan, where cryptocurrencies operate with some level of legal guidance, allowing capital to flow more freely into the sector.

Calls for regulation of the digital currency landscape may, however, be anathema to some crypto hardliners. Such so-called maximalists advocate the foundational principles of bitcoin, as a currency built for freedom, to resist any form of control, especially that from governments.

What do you think about the calls for cryptocurrency regulation in Nigeria? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Canadian Bitcoin Miner Hut 8 Reports Q3 Loss of $8.7 Million

Canadian Bitcoin Miner Hut 8 Reports Q3 Loss of $8.7 Million

Hut 8 Mining Corp., a Canadian bitcoin mining company, has released its third quarter earnings report, which shows a net loss of US $8.7 million on higher depreciation costs. Depreciation spiked to $13.3 million, wiping out mining profit which came to $6.7 million.

Also Read: Trade.io Acquires Primus Capital Markets to Offer BTC-Backed Forex Trading

 Revenue Soars but Profits Fall

During the third quarter of 2018, the Toronto-listed miner extracted 1,978 BTC at a cost of $3,394 per coin, almost half the average market price of bitcoin for the three months, which averaged $6,400. Hut 8 said this difference explains the profit on mining, at margins of about 51 percent. Overall, the company mined 3,581 BTC for the nine months to Sept. 30, and 4,200 BTC since operations began in December 2017.

Canadian Bitcoin Miner Hut 8 Reports Q3 Loss of $8.7 Million

According to the earnings release published Nov. 8, Hut 8 reported revenue increase of 126 percent to $13.4 million from $5.9 million the previous quarter due to increased operational capacity. The $189 million-valued company deployed an additional 16 Blockboxes in September at its mining facility in the City of Medicine Hat (CMH), bringing it to a total 56 Blockboxes at the site.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization soared 86 percent to $5.5 million from $2.96 million a quarter earlier, “largely as a result of increased revenue from the new facility at CMH.” Hut 8 expects to see improved efficiency of the ASIC chips used to mine bitcoin during the colder months in Alberta, western Canada.

Record Temperatures Hurt Margins

Record-breaking summer temperatures in the province caused electricity prices at the company’s Drumheller facility to rise, contributing to lower profit margins. The unit procures power from the Alberta grid. However, the impact of a hot summer was far less at Hut 8’s larger facility in CMH, which purchases the majority of its electricity under contract with fixed prices. Andrew Kiguel, chief executive officer of Hut 8, said:

Our Drumheller facility represents approximately 20 percent of our operations. This summer, a record-setting heat wave in the province resulted in increased electricity costs during certain periods. The result was increased electricity costs at the Drumheller site by approximately $0.01 per Kw/h on average. We are actively managing our exposure to market prices through a number of different means.

The cryptocurrency mining company was established through an exclusive arrangement with Bitfury Group, a leading blockchain technology company.

Canadian Bitcoin Miner Hut 8 Reports Q3 Loss of $8.7 Million

Through Bitfury, Hut 8 has access to a proprietary mix of hardware, software and operational expertise to construct, optimize and manage data centres in low-cost and attractive jurisdictions.

Shares of Hut 8 are up 4.21 percent at $2.25 in Toronto trading at the time of going to press. Over the past 52 weeks, Hut 8 shares have reached a high of $3.80 and a low of $1.77.

What do you think about Hut 8’s quarterly performance? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Fork Watch: List of BCH Services Providing Fork Support and Network Monitoring Tools

Fork Watch: List of BCH Services Providing Fork Support and Network Monitoring Tools

The Bitcoin Cash community have been heavily discussing and preparing for a possible network split due to two development teams competing on which featured consensus changes will be added to the next upgrade. Additionally, over the last two weeks, Bitcoin Cash infrastructure providers such as exchanges and wallet services have been revealing their contingency plans for the upcoming hard fork scheduled for Nov. 15.

Also read: A Look at Bitcoin Replay Attacks and Self-Managed UTXO Protection   

Bitcoin Cash Ecosystem Prepares for the Fork

Fork Watch: BCH Services Providing Fork Support and Network Monitoring ToolsEvery six months, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network schedules a fork to implement new features and scaling enhancements to the BCH chain. The last two upgrades back in Nov. 2017 and May 2018 were successful and there wasn’t much controversy revolving around those forks. This time around, however, the fork is contentious as there are two development teams with two entirely different proposed ruleset changes for the Nov. 15 upgrade. Because the two implementations competing do not have replay protection and cannot come to an agreement on consensus changes, BCH infrastructure providers have begun to outline business plans for the fork.

A List of BCH Infrastructure Providers That Have Publicly Announced Fork Support

In order to keep our readers informed of the impending fork, news.Bitcoin.com has compiled a comprehensive list of exchanges, payment platforms, and wallet providers who have publicly detailed their business plans for the upcoming fork.

Most of the exchanges and wallets have detailed which BCH client implementations they are using for business services. However, some of the contingency announcements are less clear on which side their organization will support, while others are completely neutral. A large majority of trading platforms and wallet providers have detailed that all BCH transactions will be suspended for a period of time. Although there are a few businesses whose operations will remain open during the fork, they advise that sending transactions during a contentious fork can be risky due to replay attacks. None of the exchanges have given an approximate time on when they will resume BCH services and most state that they will wait to resume deposits and withdrawals when the fork is settled.

Fork Watch: BCH Services Providing Fork Support and Network Monitoring Tools
The Bitcoin Cash network hashrate on Nov. 9, 2018, by mining pool according to the monitoring website Coin Dance.

Monitor the Network During the Upgrade

In addition to infrastructure providers announcing their plans for the upcoming fork, there are a few data sites available online so Bitcoin Cash supporters can watch the network. For instance, Bitmex Research has released a fork monitoring tool for the two most popular SHA256 proof-of-work networks. The BCH-based monitoring tool is connected to several nodes and Bitcoin Cash clients in order to display analytical data in regard to any consensus changes.

Fork Watch: BCH Services Providing Fork Support and Network Monitoring Tools
The fork monitoring tool created by Bitmex.

Another website people can follow is Hashwars.cash which shows visitors a graphical Star Wars-themed display of node counts and futures prices stemming from the Poloniex bitcoin cash futures markets. Moreover, fork watchers can also visit Coin Dance for block information, hashrate by pool summary, and a dedicated portal for politics and opinion as well. This section shows a community-managed support breakdown by each company for every active Bitcoin Cash proposal. It includes the Bitcoin SV and ABC roadmap and a list of weighted companies declaring which implementation they are using.

Fork Watch: BCH Services Providing Fork Support and Network Monitoring Tools
Another fork monitoring website in a Star Wars theme.

There’s plenty of information out there online concerning this specific fork, so people can be prepared for any changes and the possibility of a network split. There are also lots of intense discussions on how businesses and users will handle transactions during the fork, with people informing others about the best practices. With less than a week to go, at news.Bitcoin.com we promise to keep our readers informed of everything that’s happening with the upcoming Bitcoin Cash fork.

What do you think about the approaching Bitcoin Cash fork planned for Nov. 15? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Jamie Redman, Coin Dance, Hashwars.cash, Pixabay, and Bitmex. 


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