Queensland, Australia Invests Portion of its $6.1Mil Ignite Ideas Fund in Crypto Startup

Queensland, Australia Invests Portion of its $6.1Mil Ignite Ideas Fund in Crypto Startup

News Queensland, Australia is giving away millions with its Ignite Ideas fund. This week, it posted details regarding the AUD$8.3 million grant ($6.1 million USD). Something like 70 regional companies shared the bounty, including a cryptocurrency startup, Travelbybit, which managed to snag AUD$100,000 on its way to promoting tourism using crypto.  Also read: Bitcoiners Hope to Have a Friend in Top US Regulator Jay Clayton Part of Queensland, Australia’s $6.1Mil Goes to Travelbybit “Tourism is one of Queensland’s most important industries,” Innovation Minister Kate Jones announced. “Travelbybit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments.” The company was chosen as part of a larger government initiative, the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding.Minister Jones continues, “Ignite Ideas was about supporting entrepreneurs from across Queensland to grow their businesses and employ more staff. I understand TravelbyBit is specifically targeting places like Bundaberg – using cryptocurrency to make it easier for tourists to book holidays. That’s why we’ve invested to help them scale-up their operation and ultimately create more jobs in Queensland.” First Queensland, and Then The World Queensland, Australia is the country’s third biggest state by population. This week, it posted details regarding the AUD$8.3 million grant ($6.1 million USD). Something like 70 regional companies shared the bounty. Travelbybit has a point of sale payments application popular with local businesses, restaurants, tour companies, and resorts. It services bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin, ethereum, and NEM. The company has been awarded AUD$100,000 from Ignite Ideas in the hope it will expand even beyond its current stable of merchants. Travelbybit CEO Caleb Yeoh noted, “We have more than 150 merchants across Australia using our system and this funding, to develop a purpose-built platform that will accept digital currencies from anywhere in the world, will allow us to add jobs not only directly to our team but also across the broader tourism industry.” What do you think of Queensland’s decision to target cryptocurrency tourists? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section. 

‘No Coffee for Bitcoin,’ Starbucks Clarifies as Media Misrepresent Its New Crypto Venture

‘No Coffee for Bitcoin,’ Starbucks Clarifies as Media Misrepresent Its New Crypto Venture

Starbucks has clarified that it will not be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies as payment, despite misleading reports from mainstream media, a spokesperson told Motherboard Friday, July 3. Earlier on Friday, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operator the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced plans to create a new “global platform and ecosystem for digital assets,” dubbed “Bakkt,” alongside a group of big name enterprises including Starbucks, BCG and Microsoft. Following the major announcement, a number of mainstream media outlets, including Bloomberg and CNBC, ran misleading headlines –– such as CNBC’s “New Starbucks partnership with Microsoft allows customers to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin” –– directly implying that the partnership would mean customers could purchase items at Starbucks for crypto. A spokesperson for the multinational coffee chain clarified in comments to Motherboard that in fact “customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin,” but rather the company is part of a new venture creating a platform, Bakkt, to “convert digital assets like Bitcoin into U.S. dollars, which can be used at Starbucks,” adding: “At the current time, we are announcing the launch of trading and conversion of Bitcoin. However, we will continue to talk with customers and regulators as the space evolves.” Starbucks’ official press release Friday elaborated on the project, stating that it would, pending regulation, include physically delivered Bitcoin futures: “As an initial component of the Bakkt offering, Intercontinental Exchange’s U.S.-based futures exchange and clearing house plan to launch a 1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract along with physical warehousing in November 2018, subject to CFTC review and approval.” In May, the New York Times reported on sources suggesting the ICE was considering launching physically-delivered BTC futures contracts, a move Friday’s news confirms. In late July, former Wall Street exec turned crypto entrepreneur stated crypto markets “need a trusted, name custodian — a Japanese bank or HSBC or ICE or Goldman Sachs — to allow institutional investors to feel comfortable.”

Blockchain States Lure Citizens with Political Nostalgia and Voting Rights

Blockchain States Lure Citizens with Political Nostalgia and Voting Rights

Featured If you’ve ever thought of acquiring a digital, virtual citizenship, there are a couple of new options on the table – a ‘Satoshi Nakamoto Republic’ and a ‘Soviet Land’ on blockchain, among others. True, ‘crypto passports’ often come with coin offerings that you might not necessarily be interested in — But the blockchain republics also promise social justice, new or forgotten models of governance, voting rights for every citizen.   Also read: This ICO Project Wants to Detokenize Itself ‘Soviet Land’ to Issue its Own Crypto Ruble The idea of a crypto state, a blockchain republic, is not new but the marketing strategies for selling it are changing all the time. The authors of the latest such project have decided to attract “citizens” by invoking nostalgic memories of a state whose founding principles were quite different from the political foundations of the crypto-space. The blockchain-based “Soviet Land” has been recently proclaimed in the Russian Federation, the successor of the Soviet Union which was dissolved in 1991. Almost three decades later, many Russians regret the loss of the safety and security of the Soviet era as political freedom didn’t bring economic prosperity for all. The Soviet Land is meant to be a digital recreation of the USSR, with its own constitution, citizenship, and social security system. The project is targeting people born in the former Soviet Union and their children. The blockchain USSR has its own cryptocurrency, the Soviet Land Crypto Ruble (SLCR). The SLCR token is supposed to underpin all transactions in the Soviet Land and should be used in payments, both “international” and between legal entities and private individuals within the virtual state. There’s also an incentive for new citizens – the founders of the blockchain state promise to compensate all people who had deposits in the USSR’s savings bank with funds in the “national cryptocurrency.” The developers, however, have still to answer an important question – can the crypto rubles be exchanged for fiat and withdrawn at the holder’s request. According to Soviet Land’s creator, Andrey Milenin, the state aims to provide its citizens with the opportunity to restore social justice and participate in government. There’s one little problem though – he claims the blockchain USSR will be based on a “centralized system…

Okex Socializes Loss From Over $400 Million Bet Among BTC Futures Traders

Okex Socializes Loss From Over $400 Million Bet Among BTC Futures Traders

Exchanges Anyone getting involved with leveraged trading must assume upon themselves the risks associated with the potentially highly rewarding practice. A recent event should remind traders that, sometimes, even when the trade goes your way, you can still take a hit. Okex socialized one trader’s massive loss on BTC futures with a clawback. Also Read: The Weekly: China Hires Cryptographer, McDonald’s Unveils Maccoin, Bitmain Gets Richer Forced Liquidation Okex, the Chinese-run cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, has announced on Friday that “an enormous long position” in BTC0928 futures contract was force-liquidated on July 31, 2018. And due to the sheer size of the order, worth over $400 million, the uncovered loss (about $9 million) will need to be socialized with a clawback. According to the venue’s societal loss risk management mechanism, when the insurance fund cannot cover the total margin call losses, a full account clawback occurs. In such case, users who have a net profit across all three contracts for that week will be subject to the clawback. “We will take a portion of the profit in equal percentage from all profited traders only to cover the difference between the liquidated price and settled price.” Incident Report Detailing the incident, the exchange wrote that: “client with user ID 2051247 initiated an unusually large long position order (4168515 contracts) at 2am on July 31 (HKT) and triggered our risk management alert system. Our risk management team immediately contacted the client, requesting the client several times to partially close the positions to reduce the overall market risks. However, the client refused to cooperate, which lead to our decision of freezing the client’s account to prevent further positions increasing. Shortly after this preemptive action, unfortunately, the BTC price tumbled, causing the liquidation of the account.” The Okex team added that: “In order to prevent socialized clawbacks from occurring, we have been working really hard to optimize our risk management system, such as launching price limit rules, early forced liquidation system, forced liquidation order price adjustment and more. There have been malicious rumors accusing us of manipulating the forced liquidation system. We hereby would like to point out the fact that, most of the similar price movements in the market are caused by forced liquidation orders.” Won’t…

Hodler’s Digest, July 29-August 5: Both Kim Kardashian and the Operator of the New York Stock Exchange Get Into Bitcoin

Hodler’s Digest, July 29-August 5: Both Kim Kardashian and the Operator of the New York Stock Exchange Get Into Bitcoin

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link. Top Stories This Week New York Stock Exchange Operator Announces Digital Assets Platform, BTC Futures Intercontinental Exchange, the operator of 23 global exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has announced plans to launch an “open and regulated” global digital asset ecosystem, as well as one-day physically delivered Bitcoin contracts pending CFTC review and approval. The company, called “Bakkt,” will work with enterprises including BCG, Microsoft, and Starbucks. South Korean Authorities Investigate Alleged Sunken Treasure Crypto Scam South Korean authorities are investigating a possible cryptocurrency investment scam by the Seoul-based Shinil Group, who allegedly promised investors that they would be reimbursed with gold from a sunken Russian ship discovered last month. The Russian armored cruiser, which sank 113 years ago, is rumored to have about $131 billion worth of gold. Square Payment Services Reports $70 Million In Bitcoin Revenue For First Half Of 2018 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square, a payment service that added a Bitcoin option in November of last year, revealed in a quarterly report that they have generated over $70 million in Bitcoin revenues in the first half of 2018. According to the report, BTC revenue over Q1 2018 was $34 million, Q2 2018 was $37 million, and the the total revenue for Q2 of 2018 was $814 million. Kim Kardashian West “Moves Onto Bitcoin” At Charity Poker Night Kim Kardashian West posted an Instagram Story to her $114 million followers last week of what appeared to be her staking physical Bitcoin chips at a charity poker night out. The physical cryptos appear to closely resemble a Kialara-designed bitcoin, which crypto entrepeneur Matt Roszak tweeted that he gave Kardashian West earlier that day. Coinbase Custody Considers Addition Of 40 Altcoins To Its Custodial Service Crypto wallet and exchange Coinbase announced this week that it is considering adding 40 new assets to its custodial service, with the caveat that they may be added “for storage only” and are not currently considering them for trading. Coinbase noted that the addition…

Bitpico Cashes Out, Claiming BTC to Be “World’s Most Manipulated Commodity”

Bitpico Cashes Out, Claiming BTC to Be “World’s Most Manipulated Commodity”

News Bitpico, a controversial mischief-maker within the world of bitcoin, has allegedly rage-quit BTC altogether. The pseudonymous entity, who has previously caught attention for stress-testing the Bitcoin Cash network and trying to keep Segwit2x alive, has now reportedly washed his hands of Bitcoin core altogether. There remains the possibility, however, that it’s merely the latest publicity stunt from a notorious troll. Also read: A Character Called Bitpico Thinks He Can Stress-Test the BCH Network Bitpico Allegedly Rage Quits on Bitcoin Core Bitpico was last in the news six weeks ago, when we reported that his crew were stress-testing the Bitcoin Cash network – and not out of love for it. Bitpico has made no secret of his dislike for BCH, but now it appears he’s fallen out of love with BTC too. In a tweet that strongly reeked of a hack or publicity stunt, Bitpico wrote on August 4: “We are no longer bullish on #bitcoin $btc & dumped all @ 8300 USD. We’ve put our farm up for sale also. Why? We no longer want to participate in the worlds most manipulated commodity. Bitcoin is now just a shit show. Good luck!” The claim caught the attention of the crypto community, but was met with short shrift: Others have speculated that Bitpico was a Bitcoin Cash shill all along, and that his team’s failure to successfully topple the BCH network was an attempt to demonstrate its strength, citing his sudden dismissal of BTC as proof. Bitpico Deletes All Tweets In addition to defiantly declaring BTC to be the world’s “most manipulated commodity”, and claiming to have sold his coins at the recent top, Bitpico went on to delete all his remaining tweets. He also updated his Twitter bio, reaffirming his opinion that “Bitcoin is fully manipulated shit show. Just say no.” If Bitpico was seeking to catch attention by throwing his toys out the pram, he certainly succeeded. Few people are prepared to take his claims seriously however. Bitpico has a history of making threats and then never following through with them. As previously reported by news.Bitcoin.com: “[In November] Bitpico explained that his team was carrying out the Segwit2x fork whether people liked it or not and claimed to have 30 percent of the hashrate…Following…

Jamie Dimon Says JPMorgan Will Use Blockchain ‘for a Whole Lot of Things’

Jamie Dimon Says JPMorgan Will Use Blockchain ‘for a Whole Lot of Things’

JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon was bullish on blockchain tech, but shied away from commenting on cryptocurrency, saying fiat payment apps are “the biggest potential disruption to our business” in an interview published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review. When asked about his company’s chief competitive threat, Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase — the largest of America’s Big Four banks — singled out what he called “new forms of payment.” Specifically naming PayPal, Venmo and Alipay, Dimon said that “these companies are doing a good job of embedding basic banking services in their chats, their social, their shopping experience.” While he didn’t mention crypto as a potential disruptor, when he was asked about his view on cryptocurrency in a following question, Dimon simply replied, “I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency.” Dimon did argue that crypto is “not the same as gold or fiat currencies,” which are “supported by law, police, courts […] [are] not replicable, and there are strictures on them.” Dimon also made a point of calling blockchain technology “real,” –– which implying that crypto is not –– saying that JPMorgan is “testing it [blockchain] and will use it for a whole lot of things.” While JPMorgan’s official position on cryptocurrency and Dimon’s opinion do not always coincide, both have seen a shift over the past year. On Sept. 13, 2017, Dimon reportedly called Bitcoin a “fraud” at an investor’s meeting, along with threatening to fire any employee trading Bitcoin on the company’s accounts. Somewhat contrary to what Dimon told Harvard Business Review in his recent interview, in an SEC filing on Feb. 27, the bank marked cryptocurrency under the report’s “Competition” subsection, saying it could “put downward pressure on prices and fees for JPMorgan Chase’s products and services or may cause JPMorgan Chase to lose market share.” In February of this year, a JPMorgan internal report also called cryptocurrencies the “face of the innovative maelstrom around the blockchain technology.” When speaking with Cointelegraph in Davos in January, Dimon took a stance more similar to what he told Harvard Business review, saying he “can’t answer,” but also claiming he was “not a skeptic.” In the last few months, however, JPMorgan — and evidently Dimon — have more explicitly…

‘Treasure Ship’ ICO Dupes Investors – South Korea Asks Interpol for Help

‘Treasure Ship’ ICO Dupes Investors – South Korea Asks Interpol for Help

News South Korean police have asked Interpol for help with an investigation into the fraudulent token sale of Shinil Gold Coins that were claimed to be backed by the “treasure” on the sunken Dmitrii Donskoi. Local media reported that the sale raised an estimated $53.5 million from about 124,000 investors. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space Treasure Ship Without Treasure South Korean company Shinil Group announced on July 18 that it had discovered the shipwreck of Russian battleship Dmitrii Donskoi that was scuttled in 1905. The company also claimed at the time that about 200 tons of gold were found on board. The firm subsequently backtracked on its treasure claims after the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), started investigating it for stock and initial coin offering (ICO) fraud, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. However, before withdrawing its claims, the ICO presale had already taken place through a Singaporean company with the same name, Shinil Group, the Korea Herald described. Shinil Gold Coin tokens are supposed to be backed by the treasure on the Dmitrii Donskoi. Nikkei reported that a full-page advertisement was run in a South Korean newspaper last month, detailing: The newspaper ad said Shinil, one or the other, would soon show video of the Donskoi wreck and, in the first half of 2019, distribute dividends worth 10% of the value of the treasure that it estimated at 150 trillion won ($133 billion) to holders of the Shinil Gold Coin cryptocurrency. Citing that the tokens were sold “to some 124,000 investors” during the presale, the Korea Herald elaborated, “Shinil was estimated to have raised funds worth almost 60 billion won [~$53.5 million] as of July 26 on the claim.” The Singaporean Shinil Group claims that “the value of a coin was expected to rise to 10,000 won [~$9] compared to a presale price of 30-50 won [~$0.03-0.05], once it completed an initial coin offering on cryptocurrency exchanges,” the publication added. Meanwhile, “experts have said imperial Russia would have no reason to load vast treasure on a ship that was going into battle and have also noted that there was a safer land route to Vladivostok, the treasure’s supposed final destination,” AFP reported. Connection to Singaporean Company As the FSS launched its…

The Weekly: China Hires Cryptographer, McDonald’s Unveils Maccoin

The Weekly: China Hires Cryptographer, McDonald’s Unveils Maccoin

The Weekly In this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief we reported about China hiring a cryptographer, McDonald’s unveiling Maccoin, Bitmain getting richer and much more. The most commented-on article during the week covered Paul Krugman’s new attack on the idea of cryptocurrency on the pages of The New York Times. Also Read: $37 Million of Bitcoin Revenue Helps Square Accelerate Growth in Q2 Vitalik Wants More Crypto Cards On Monday, we reported that the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, seems to think that there is too much effort to bring cryptocurrencies to Wall Street rather than Main Street. The crypto influencer twitted: “I think there’s too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.” Bitmain Gets Richer The big news on Tuesday was that  Bitmain has added another $2 billion to its valuation, making the Chinese mining behemoth worth a whopping $14 billion ahead of its IPO. Bitmain reportedly pulled in a profit of $1.1 billion in Q1 of 2018 alone. To place that in context, the total value of all BTC mined in the same period was around $1.3 billion. It seems there really is more money in selling shovels than in chasing digital gold. There’s no official date for Bitmain’s IPO yet, other than that it’s coming “very soon”. McDonald’s Unveils Maccoin An interesting story we covered on Wednesday is that to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac, McDonald’s has announced the Maccoin, a “limited edition global currency” backed by the Big Mac. Starting at lunch time on August 2, customers can receive a Maccoin with the purchase of a Big Mac at 14,000 participating restaurants across the US. For the rest of the year customers can redeem their Maccoin for a free Big Mac at participating McDonald’s restaurants in the US and in more than 50 participating countries. The company said that more than 6.2 million Maccoins will be distributed globally in over 50 countries while supplies last. Poloniex Under Investigation On Thursday, it was reported that the Delaware-based cryptocurrency exchange, Poloniex, has…

Mt. Gox Creditors Agree to $1.3Bil Repayment in BCH, BTC, No Altcoins, by Summer 2019

Mt. Gox Creditors Agree to $1.3Bil Repayment in BCH, BTC, No Altcoins, by Summer 2019

News Mt. Gox, the defunct and disgraced bitcoin exchange (at one time the biggest in the world) is preparing a final chapter in a long, sorted ordeal. Creditors have coalesced around a repayment scheme to make victims whole. It includes what might amount to $1.3 billion in returned bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) as early as summer of 2019. Also read: Bitcoiners Hope to Have a Friend in Top US Regulator Jay Clayton Mt. Gox Creditors Outline Plans for Repayments by Summer of Next Year The civil rehabilitation plan, a legal maneuver short of formal bankruptcy within the Japanese system, has been updated this August, relating to Mt. Gox and making victims whole. In an announcement published recently, creditors revised policy to better reflect feedback from the previous iteration. Mark Karpeles of Mt. Gox back in 2014 The revision includes how formal repayment to victims will be in bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) through existing accounts on various exchanges or pre-approved, newly opened accounts. “We think it desirable that the BTC and BCH be sent to exchanges in which many creditors have accounts or can open accounts easily,” creditors clarified. Another sticky issue seemingly resolved, at least for now, is that of fiat paper, cash. Gox still holds residual cash from previous sales, and creditors wish that repaid to who they term “monetary creditors” first. 168,000 in BCH and 160,000 in BTC Alternative coins to either BCH or BTC are no longer being considered in the creditors’ repayment scheme. Differing selections of alts, their notorious volatility, all conspired against their usage in this matter. Creditors describe the notion as “unrealistic.” True too would be such a dump on broader altcoin markets. “There is a possibility that the sale of the altcoins by the trustee would cause a sudden fall in the price of altcoins and security problems may arise if the trustee moves the altcoins. Therefore, the trustee should proceed with the sale of altcoins with careful consideration of these matters,” Gox creditors insisted. The August statement details how 168,000 in bitcoin cash and 160,000 in bitcoin core, combined with Gox “derivatives” will be paid by the trustee, summer of next year, assuming the rehabilitation is formally approved (which seems likely). The…