Micropayments: Bringing Cryptocurrencies Into Everyday Life

Micropayments: Bringing Cryptocurrencies Into Everyday Life

Op-Ed The following post about micropayments was written by Dmytro Spilka. He is the CEO at Solvid and founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup that uses AI and Machine Learning to forecast web traffic, monitor vital metrics, and set visual traffic aims. Cryptocurrencies may have assumed the role of the quintessential water cooler topic over recent years, but there’s something stopping it from making that vital transition from being well talked about to well invested. Also read: Robinhood Crypto Expands to Three More States To say the likes of Bitcoin isn’t well invested may seem churlish, considering the crypto-giant hit a value of $19,783 in 2017, but this wasn’t the intention of its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.  Nakamoto’s dream was to create an alternative currency that was capable of superseding our existing monetary systems. For the dream to become a reality, cryptocurrencies would need to be accessible and usable for citizens around the world in their daily lives. For all of Bitcoin’s progress and toil, there’s still a sizable gap between its utilization for  investors and that of the wider public. However, there are a number of cryptocurrency organizations that are intent on bridging this gap, and some have highlighted micropayments as the cornerstone in bringing widespread accessibility for digital wallets. But can micropayments really make a difference in enabling cryptocurrency adopters? Is it capable of delivering significant growth to the crypto-market? And is a future where crypto-transactions become daily practice just around the corner? Cryptocurrencies are well suited for micropayments. The utilization of eWallets is ideal for customers who don’t want to suffer the rigmarole of submitting their credit card information for each small-scale transaction they perform. Shoppers that hand over credit card information to outlets while making small purchases feel increasingly uneasy with the process. Ewallets, however, simply requires users to login and choose which payment method they would like to use. Given the widespread perception that cryptocurrencies are a complex subject matter, it’s refreshing to see organisations rally to create manageable platforms for adopters of digital finance. Writing on Medium, Brad Nickel of Gobyte explains that “the ultimate goal is to make using crypto easier and better for merchants and consumers in everyday life, offering instant, secure and reliable payment solution”. Cryptocurrencies are being adapted…

TRON’s CEO Tweets of Forthcoming Partnership With ‘Industry Giant’ Valued at ‘$10s of Billions’

TRON’s CEO Tweets of Forthcoming Partnership With ‘Industry Giant’ Valued at ‘$10s of Billions’

Justin Sun, CEO of decentralized internet startup TRON, has hinted at a forthcoming partnership with an unknown firm valued at “tens of billions of dollars.” The tweet, posted Friday, Oct. 12, gives little information, stating that: “Finally, First time to partner with tens of billions USD valuation industry giant. Guess the name.” Twitter followers were quick to join the guessing game: one proposed Alibaba – Sun is a graduate of Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s Hupan university, as his Twitter profile states, to which another replied: “Alibaba is worth more than 500 billion. Not tens of billions.” Other suggestions included Baidu, Clover, and – more than one – Disney. None of these have been confirmed as of press time. This is the second time that the CEO’s tweets have made crypto headlines this month: on Oct. 8, Sun claimed the TRON token’s forthcoming update would see it beat Ethereum (ETH) on speed and EOS on cost, prompting an 8 percent surge in the asset’s value. In late September, TRON released further details of its bid to integrate with torrent client BitTorrent, which it had acquired this July for an undisclosed amount. According to the latest news, a product dubbed “Project Atlas” will seek to integrate TRX within the platform’s user base to create a hybrid content sharing ecosystem that leverages cryptocurrency. As of press time, TRON’s TRX cryptocurrency is ranked 11th largest cryptocurrency by market cap and is trading at around $0.0227 per token, up 1.65 percent on the day.

Winklevoss Twins’ Gemini Crypto Exchange Gets Regulatory Green Light for Litecoin Trading

Winklevoss Twins’ Gemini Crypto Exchange Gets Regulatory Green Light for Litecoin Trading

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, owned by the Winklevoss twins, has sealed regulatory approval to add Litecoin (LTC) custody and trading. The news comes from an official Medium blog post published Friday, Oct. 12. Gemini’s vice president of engineering, Eric Winer, informs Gemini traders that they can begin depositing Litecoin into their exchange accounts as of 9:30 am EDT Saturday, Oct. 13. Litecoin trading will reportedly go live Tuesday, October 16th at 9:30 am EDT. The coin is set to be the fourth crypto supported on the platform, alongside Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Zcash (ZEC). Consequently, LTC trading pairs will be available against all three cryptos, as well as against the U.S. dollar. Winer’s post underscores Gemini’s thoroughgoing “banking compliance and fiduciary obligations” under oversight from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). It notes that Litecoin trading support comes as the result of close cooperation with the watchdog, and that the exchange continues to expand with a “security-first” approach. Lastly, the post reveals that support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) had also been slated for today. However, due to high levels of “uncertainty” within the Bitcoin Cash community about “one or more possible hard forks” planned for mid-November, Gemini has decided to delay its support of the asset: “Some of [the] forks [currently under discussion] lack the replay protection feature that would be required for Gemini to safely support Bitcoin Cash. Because of this situation, we are delaying our launch of Bitcoin Cash deposits, withdrawals, and trading until late November, after the forks have passed and we can evaluate the health of the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.” Earlier this month, Gemini announced it had secured insurance coverage for custodied digital assets from lending services firm Aon, which will complement its already available Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) coverage for U.S. dollar deposits. The Winklevoss twins have also recently sealed the approval of the NYDFS to launch their own U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin, the Gemini dollar, the same day as U.S. Trust company Paxos announced its own NYDFS-approved stablecoin. Shortly after the news, the brothers reportedly started to hire advisors to oversee Gemini’s potential expansion to the U.K. market. As of press time, Gemini is ranked the world’s 38th largest crypto exchange by CoinMarketCap, seeing over…

Former Trump Advisor Gary Cohn Joins Blockchain Startup

Former Trump Advisor Gary Cohn Joins Blockchain Startup

Gary Cohn, a former chief economic advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, has just joined a blockchain startup. Spring Labs, a firm developing a blockchain network for sharing financial data, said in a press release Friday that Cohn, who was also previously president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, is joining its board of advisers. The firm’s CEO and chairman, Adam Jiwan, said the Cohn brings to Spring Labs “a wealth of experience in understanding the complexities of the global financial markets and an unparalleled network.” Cohn said in the release: “I have been very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years, and Spring Labs is developing a network that could have profound implications for the financial services sector, among others.” The U.S.-based startup’s Spring Protocol is a blockchain-based network that enables exchange of information without sharing underlying source data, the release states. Initially, the network is planned to allow sharing of identity, fraud and underwriting information among financial institutions. “We’re beyond excited to work with [Cohn] to execute on our vision to transform how information and data are shared globally across a host of major industries,” said Jiwan. Aside from his 25 years at Goldman Sachs, Cohn most recently served as director of the U.S. National Economic Council, the main forum used by U.S. presidents for economic policy matters. As the chief economic advisor to President Trump, he oversaw the administration’s economic policy agenda at home and abroad, and led its efforts to grow the U.S. economy through tax and regulatory reform. Gary Cohn image via Wikipedia/ White House/Evan Walker The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

CFTC Chair Giancarlo Says Institutional Investors Will Help Crypto ‘Mature’

CFTC Chair Giancarlo Says Institutional Investors Will Help Crypto ‘Mature’

An influx of institutional investors to the cryptocurrency markets may help the space “mature,” U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair J. Christopher Giancarlo said Friday. The regulator discussed his agency’s efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency space with Fox Business, noting that there has been an increase in movement into the space, which he stated would help grow and evolve the market. “We’re seeing more institutional movement into this area,” he said. “I think with more institutional movement we should see more maturation of [the crypto markets].” He went on to add: “We’ve still got a long way to go, there’s a lot of issues in some of these spot exchanges, a lack of transparency, a lot of conflict of interest, a lack of systems and systems safeguards, and that’s a concern. But you know, like all things, it takes time to mature, and with the movement of more institutional investors into the space, I think we’ll see that [maturation].” Giancarlo also discussed his agency’s efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency derivatives markets, saying the CFTC has been taking a “two-handed approach.” The first aspect is enforcement, he said, noting that “There are a lot of scammers, a lot of fraudsters in this marketplace, and when we find them we’re covering the beat for them, we’re taking them out, and our authority in this area has just been confirmed by two federal courts.” These legal victories came in the last few months, with two separate federal judges ruling that the agency has the power to enforce the Commodity Exchange Act against individuals or entities potentially committing fraud using cryptocurrencies. Last month, a judge ruled that for the purposes of the Act, the CFTC could bring a case against My Big Coin and its founders. That ruling came a few weeks after another judge ruled in the CFTC’s favor as part of a separate lawsuit against CabbageTech, a company the CFTC claimed had defrauded investors by selling crypto trading advice which never materialized. “On the other hand, when it comes to innovation, we take a ‘first do no harm’ approach, the old doctor’s adage of ‘first do no harm,'” he said, explaining that the agency wants to see innovation developed within the U.S. He explained further: “To that…

Gemini Adds Litecoin Trading With New York Watchdog Approval

Gemini Adds Litecoin Trading With New York Watchdog Approval

Investors will soon be able to trade litecoin on the Winklevoss brothers-founded cryptocurrency exchange Gemini. The exchange announced Friday that it would soon enable deposits and trading for litecoin (LTC), adding the early bitcoin spin-off to its existing offerings of bitcoin, ethereum and zcash. Vice president of engineering at the firm, Eric Winer, wrote in a blog post that the move comes as part of the exchange’s effort to support “the future of money” by providing “a safe and regulated environment for both innovation and consumer protection.” The listing has been approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), Winer continued, noting that Gemini is “held to the highest standards of banking compliance and fiduciary obligations” under the regulator’s watch. Gemini takes a “security-first” approach and has been “working closely” with the NYDFS to gain approval for litecoin trading and custody services, he said. The exchange’s clients can begin depositing litecoin into their accounts as of 13:30 UTC (09:30 EST) on Saturday, Oct. 13. Full trading will begin three days later, at the same time on Tuesday, Oct. 16, according to the post. Litecoin will be offered in trading pairs against USD, bitcoin, ether and zcash. Separately, Winer said Gemini originally intended to announce support for bitcoin cash as well as litecoin, but said “uncertainty” around one or more hard forks which may occur mid-November meant they had shelved the plan for now. “Some of those forks lack the replay protection feature that would be required for Gemini to safely support bitcoin cash,” he explained, adding: “Because of this situation, we are delaying our launch of bitcoin cash deposits, withdrawals, and trading until late November, after the forks have passed and we can evaluate the health of the bitcoin cash ecosystem.” Customers may still see “coming soon” graphics on bitcoin cash-related pages on the Gemini platform as a result. Litecoin image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Markets See Piecemeal Price Action, Some Stability After Yesterday’s Plummet

Markets See Piecemeal Price Action, Some Stability After Yesterday’s Plummet

Friday, Oct. 12: after yesterday’s carnage, crypto markets are seeing some relative price stability. The top cryptocurrencies by market cap are seeing mild movement, both red and green. Market visualization by Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) has has seen little price action on the day, and is up 0.5 percent to trade at $6,318 as of press time. Ater a strong week of sustained trading around $6,600 – briefly trading as high as almost $6,670 Oct. 8 – the top coin took a plummet yesterday, hitting as low as $6,201. On its weekly chart, its cliff-like performance yesterday has brought Bitcoin down to around 4.7 percent in the red, although it continues to practically break even on the month, at around 0.3 percent in the negative. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index Ethereum (ETH) is down around 1 percent on the day to trade at $197 at press time. Its weekly chart shows a similarly stark sudden drop yesterday, after the altcoin had circled $230 levels throughout much of the week. Yesterday’s losses brought Ethereum as low as around $194. On the week, Ethereum is now almost 13 percent in the red; monthly growth remains around 8 percent. Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index Ripple (XRP) is faring better, and is up close to a solid 7 percent to trade at $0.43. Nonetheless, the asset was not spared yesterday’s market-wide losses, and is showing a 17 percent loss on its weekly chart. Buoyed by its outstanding price performance in September, Ripple’s monthly gains remain at 60 percent. Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ripple Price Index The remaining top ten coins on CoinMarketCap are all seeing a mix of red and green. After Ripple, Litecoin (LTC) has made the strongest recovery, although it has seen a relatively mild 2 percent gain to trade $53.32. Stellar (XLM) is up around 1.6 percent and is trading at $0.216. Meanwhile, anonymity-oriented altcoin Monero (XMR) is down a further 1.8 percent on the day and is trading at $102.79; EOS (EOS) has also shed around 1.46 percent in value at $5.21. In the context of the top twenty coins, the picture is mostly red: Tezos (XTZ) is down the most, losing 3.5 percent to trade…

Win $100 of Bitcoin Cash in Bitcoin.com’s Paper Wallet Design Contest

Win $100 of Bitcoin Cash in Bitcoin.com’s Paper Wallet Design Contest

Promoted Post Over the next few weeks, Bitcoin.com is hosting a paper wallet design contest to create a beautiful cold storage visual graphic for bitcoin enthusiasts around the world. The competition is open to everyone and the winning entry will receive $100 worth of bitcoin cash. Also Read: Bitcoin.com Store Adds More Hot New Items and Amazon Gift Cards Create a Unique Bitcoin.comPaper Wallet Design to Win Bitcoin Cash Just recently, Bitcoin.com launched its newly revamped paper wallet generator, so bitcoin cash (BCH) supporters can utilize a classic cold storage solution and print out BCH for friends and family. Paper wallets are just like traditional bearer bond instruments (paper bills) and they can be exchanged anonymously offchain. The paper wallet generation process is very easy and people can print out as many as they want — they can even add funds to their wallets after creating them. The graphics team at Bitcoin.com has created a new paper wallet design that looks pretty sharp, but we thought it would also be cool to let BCH users submit their own artwork. Plus, contests are a great way to show community-driven spirit, as we know that BCH fans are particularly passionate. Participate in the design competition by downloading paper wallet templates here. Wanted: Passionate, Creative Bitcoiners The winner will receive some BCH to spend, and their winning submission will also be displayed on our website, which gets millions of unique visitors every month. People will be able to use your custom design when they load up bitcoin cash on BCH bills for their friends this holiday season. The winning entry will get $100 worth of BCH and their design will be displayed on Bitcoin.com. Paper wallets are a convenient way to store BCH and a personalized design looks even better. You can submit up to three different designs prior to the deadline on Nov. 1, 2018. Bitcoin.com will select and notify the winner on Nov. 5, 2018. Participants don’t have to be Photoshop masters to enter the competition, as we’re looking for passionate enthusiasm. So if you want to win $100 worth of BCH and show your artwork to millions of people, then send in your designs as .png files to papercontest@bitcoin.com. Visit this link for more information on…

ETC Labs Launches Startup Incubator Pilot as Applications Exceed 100

ETC Labs Launches Startup Incubator Pilot as Applications Exceed 100

The director of Ethereum Classic’s investment branch ETC Labs revealed in an interview Thursday, Oct. 11, that it will work with as many as 24 startups each year. Elizabeth Kukko confirmed that six selected projects were currently involved with ETC Labs in a pilot scheme, with the full incubator to launch in Q1 2019. “The goal of this pilot program is to put the incubator model to work and get feedback from these initial teams before going live,” she explained. The move comes as Ethereum Classic (ETC) continues to lose its position as the overall cryptocurrency market slump continues. In June, ETC’s prices jumped 25 percent after U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced it would add the token to its orderbook. At press time, ETC/USD traded around $9.55, its lowest since May 2017, but the altcoin’s market cap still remains at over $1 billion. “[We chose] Ethereum Classic because there is a lot of security on the main layer, and it doesn’t really matter what sidechains are used in conjunction to this,” Kukko said when asked about the decision to work off the network. “Also, the Ethereum Classic space is very competitive, with a lot of good ideas and startups with immense potential for growth.” To that end, Kukko did not reveal the identity of the projects under supervision, but added that “technical capabilities of the team and their ability to build on the ETC blockchain” were priority requirements for consideration of candidates. ETC Labs claims to have so far received 120 applications.

Recently Hacked Adult Entertainment Platform SpankChain Returns Stolen BOOTY, Ethereum

Recently Hacked Adult Entertainment Platform SpankChain Returns Stolen BOOTY, Ethereum

Ethereum-based adult entertainment platform SpankChain confirmed that it had recovered all the funds lost during a security breach October 6. In a series of tweets Friday, Oct. 12, officials said that after speaking by telephone with the hacker who stole 165 ETH ($32,000) from the project’s smart contract, he had agreed to return the amount in full. SpankChain had notified users about the breach a day after it occurred, promising to instigate reimbursements of lost money to affected investors. Of the total losses, only around $9,000 consisted of customer funds, it said. Linking to a transaction confirming the transfer, SpankChain added it had given the hacker $5000 in ETH as a “reward,” along with refunding the capital used to initiate the attack – another 5.5 ETH ($1070). “Congratulations, anonymous haxor!” the tweet concluded. During the attack, the malicious party had also immobilized 4000 units of SpankChain’s native BOOTY token, which they subsequently also released. The event marks a rare occurrence in the lives of altcoin projects and their security trials. Other instances of token or other funds thefts have rarely resulted in voluntary refunds.One-way hacks continue to affect the cryptocurrency ecosystem this year, with exchange platforms such as Bithumb and Zaif losing coins in recent months.