Bitcoin Cash Adoption Continues to Spread in North Queensland and Japan

Bitcoin Cash Adoption Continues to Spread in North Queensland and Japan

BCH merchant acceptance has continued to grow month after month but there are a few regions in the world where bitcoin cash retail acceptance is thriving. Over the last few weeks, North Queensland and Japan have shown significant growth and continue to dominate as some of the densest territories of BCH merchant adoption worldwide. Also read: Bitcoin Futures Update: Bakkt Testing, CME Breaks Records, and a $100K Call Option Bitcoin Cash Is Spreading Throughout Japan and North Queensland Both North Queensland and Japan are areas which have continued to see bitcoin cash (BCH) merchant adoption spread widely. The two regions are among the highest concentrations of BCH merchant acceptance in the world beside Slovenia (343 BCH merchants). Right now you can search these bitcoin cash hotspots using the application Marco Coino to find a specific type of merchant who accepts BCH for goods and services. More recently these areas have seen new developments, increased BCH merchant adoption, and local supporters spreading more ideas with the purpose of bolstering the BCH network effect. Japan The island country of Japan has seen a vast amount of merchant adoption throughout the region. So far, Japan has a total of 87 bitcoin cash accepting retailers strewn across the city of Tokyo and in other towns as well. Things really started heating up for cryptocurrencies in Japan when the country’s leaders revised the Payment Services Act, which officially legalized the use of digital currencies as a means of payment in April 2017. Right now, Japan is the third densest region of bitcoin cash accepting merchants. 87 BCH-accepting merchants in Japan according to Marco Coino data.For people traveling to Japan or those that live there, they can visit the website Bitcoin.jp to see a description of the many BCH retailers in the region. There are eating establishments and bars like Two Dogs Taproom, Pink Cow Akasaka, Daikanyama O’KOK, and Downtown B’s. Japan has BCH-accepting nightclubs like the Mezzo, V2, Ele, and Villa. You can buy luxury watches from one of many Yukizaki stores or get your hair done at the hair salon F.line. There’s also chiropractic services, co-working space, clinical therapy, legal services, and more. The website lists each BCH-accepting retailer via a variety of descriptors which detail what kind of…

Bitcoin Futures Update: Bakkt Testing, CME Breaks Records, and a $100K Call Option

Bitcoin Futures Update: Bakkt Testing, CME Breaks Records, and a $100K Call Option

Over the last few months, the interest surrounding cryptocurrency derivatives products has been growing fast. For some time now, open interest in CME’s bitcoin futures has been breaking records. Bakkt’s futures platform began testing contracts on Monday and the company says there are participants from all around the world. Elsewhere, bitcoin derivatives provider Ledgerx is listing a huge $100K call option with a December 2020 expiry. Also read: Honestnode Founder Discusses the First Stablecoin Built on Bitcoin Cash Bakkt Begins Testing Its Daily and Monthly Physically-Settled Bitcoin Futures On July 22, the Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) long-awaited cryptocurrency futures trading subsidiary Bakkt began testing its futures contracts. “Today kicks off user acceptance testing ICE markets for the Bakkt Bitcoin daily and monthly futures contracts. Testing is proceeding as planned with participants from around the world,” Bakkt tweeted on Monday. The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, ICE announced the BTC futures offering about a year ago, but Bakkt’s physically-settled bitcoin futures was delayed. In order to provide the new derivatives products, Bakkt partnered with the ICE futures exchange so the service can provide clearing infrastructure for physical delivered bitcoin futures contracts to market participants. “Participants will undergo applicable AML/KYC reviews, consistent with CFTC-regulated markets and connect via ICE’s existing infrastructure,” Bakkt’s website explains. Intercontinental Exchange chairman and CEO, Jeff Sprecher (right), with his wife and Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler (left).According to Bakkt’s blog, the company is testing two different kinds of products traded at ICE Futures U.S. and cleared at ICE Clear US. Former Coinbase executive and Bakkt COO, Adam White, said the launch will usher in a new standard for accessing cryptocurrency markets. “Compared to other markets, institutional participation in crypto remains constrained due to limitations like market infrastructure and regulatory certainty — This results in lower trading volumes, liquidity, and price transparency than more established markets like ICE’s Brent Crude futures contract, which has earned global trust in setting the world’s price of crude oil,” White opined. The Bakkt executive added: Bakkt’s efforts to help institutions launch safely into this market is the right stuff for the future. Other firms like Erisx and Ledgerx are also planning to offer physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts. On June 25, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Ledgerx’s designated contract…

The New York Times Using Hyperledger Fabric to Fight Fakes News

The New York Times Using Hyperledger Fabric to Fight Fakes News

The paper of record, The New York Times (NYT), is using the Hyperledger Fabric permissioned blockchain to guarantee the provenance of digital files. According to a new website for NYT’s News Provenance Project, the newspaper will use blockchain technology to fight misinformation in the media. The project’s purported aim is to provide a platform that is widely applicable to variously-sized publications. Blockchain technology will purportedly aid the project in recording metadata about video and audio recordings that are published by news organizations. The New Provenance Project is currently in its first phase, in which it aims to create a photojournalism-focused proof-of-concept that demonstrates how such a blockchain-based system could work to scale. The site states: “Our initial work involves exploring a blockchain-based system for recording and sharing metadata about media — images and videos in particular — published by news organizations. We are also conducting user experience research to identify the types of signals that can aid users in recognizing authentic media.” NYT notes, “All hype aside, blockchain offers mechanisms for sharing information between entities in ways we think are essential for establishing and maintaining provenance of digital files.” Per the project’s website, the project will make the results of its project publically available.  The New York Times posted a job listing for a blockchain talent earlier this year. The role, entitled “Lead, Blockchain Exploration” was seeking, “a forward-looking leader who will help envision and design a blockchain-based proof of concept for news publishers.”

New York Times Confirms It’s Using Blockchain to Combat Fake News

New York Times Confirms It’s Using Blockchain to Combat Fake News

The New York Times Company has revealed new details relating to its ongoing blockchain publishing experiments first revealed by CoinDesk in March. Published Tuesday, a new website for the publisher’s News Provenance Project explains how the storied newspaper’s Research and Development team plans to use Hyperledger Fabric’s permissioned blockchain to authenticate news photographs in partnership with IBM Garage, the tech giant’s accelerator program. The project aims to combat misinformation and adulterated media, which it argues harms small and large publishers alike. “News consumers [who] are deceived and confused…eventually become fatigued and apathetic to news,” the website says. The New York Times and partner companies will run a proof-of-concept from July until late 2019 to find a way to maintain trust in digital files. The project aims to store a news item’s “contextual metadata” on a blockchain, including when and where a photo or video was shot, who took it and information regarding how it was edited and published. The idea is to create a “set of signals that can travel with published media anywhere that material is displayed,” the website says, including on social media, in group chats and in search results. The Times plans to publish updates on the project throughout the process, culminating in a full report following the pilot’s conclusion. Additional confirmation came via a tweet from Civil Media CEO Vivian Schiller, who was formerly with the New York Times, and a lengthy Medium post from Sasha Koren, the program’s project lead. CoinDesk reported in March that the Times was getting ready to experiment with blockchain technology when the company posted – then quickly removed – a want ad for a project leader. New York Times photo via Shutterstock

Suspected Crypto Ponzi Scheme Has No License in Malta, Regulator Warns

Suspected Crypto Ponzi Scheme Has No License in Malta, Regulator Warns

Malta’s finance regulator has issued a public warning about a cryptocurrency company falsely claiming it is licensed to operate in the country.  “Built on the power of the Middle East” In a statement July 23, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) warned residents they should avoid Emirate Coin Tech, which offers cryptocurrency investment options with alleged weekly payouts of up to 25%. “The MFSA wishes to alert the public, in Malta and abroad, that Emirate Coin Tech is NOT a Maltese registered Company NOR licenced or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any investment, crypto currency or other financial services which are required to be licenced or otherwise authorised under Maltese law,” the statement reads. Emirate Coin Tech claims to offer various investment tools via a method reminiscent of a ponzi scheme. The platform’s website contains dubious information written in curiously-worded English, its slogan stating it is “built on the power of the Middle East.” “Go straight away and make a deposit into the account information provided in the deposit section of your account,” part of the website’s instructions to new users states. Blockchain island Malta Malta is a well-known hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses, having purposely created a relaxed regulatory framework which fosters innovation under the Blockchain Island concept.  Many of the industry’s best-known names have set up bases in the country, including exchange Binance.  The MFSA takes an active role in the domestic market, in March this year appointing a blockchain firm to monitor cryptocurrency participants’ compliance with its rules.

Winklevoss Book ‘Bitcoin Billionaires’ Author Joins Hit Showtime TV Series

Winklevoss Book ‘Bitcoin Billionaires’ Author Joins Hit Showtime TV Series

Bestselling author of “The Accidental Billionaires” Ben Mezrich is poised to bring a crypto savvy flair to the hit U.S. TV show Billions. In a tweet published on July 22, Mezrich quipped he was “taking the Acela straight to Hollywood, baby!” and joining as a consulting producer for the show’s upcoming fifth season. The book behind ‘The Social Network’ Mezrich’s nonfiction bestseller “The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook” had prominently featured Bitcoin permabulls Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — whose early involvement in Facebook’s inception turned out to be just a precursor to their trailblazing successes in the cryptocurrency sphere.  The popular read was later adapted into the blockbuster movie “The Social Network,” penned by West Wing screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.  Mezrich’s latest — “Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption” — is devoted to the twins’ notorious and drawn-out settlement with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg over their part in the social media behemoth’s inception.  Crypto fictional precedents Financial crime drama “Billions” — which stars Damian Lewis as multibillion-dollar hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod and Paul Giamatti as U.S. attorney Chuck Rhoades — has in fact already dipped its toes several times into cryptocurrency.  In Season 3, Axelrod hands one of his traders $1 million of cryptocurrency in cold storage on a wallet from French industry manufacturer Ledger. That same season had also dealt with cryptocurrencies in the context of their misuse to facilitate illicit deeds by shadowy financial professionals in an institutional context — as well as crypto’s entanglement in complex webs of financial corruption. As Cointelegraph recently reported, the Winklevoss Twins’ wealth was said to have more than doubled to hit a combined $1.45 billion following the fresh crypto market surge this June. Facebook’s recent unveiling of its own crypto venture, Libra — should it succeed to overcome the regulatory muscle pitted against it — could be set to bring Cameron, Tyler and Mark Zuckerberg back full circle to the close turf of their early college days.

Gov’t Bans Only Make Citizens Want Crypto More: Binance CEO

Gov’t Bans Only Make Citizens Want Crypto More: Binance CEO

The CEO of top cryptocurrency exchange Binance has said President Trump’s crypto-related tweets can only be a good thing for the industry. ‘The president of the United States is talking about cryptocurrency’ Changpeng Zhao (CZ) told CNBC in an interview published on July 23 that even though Trump has been critical of the asset class in his rhetoric, he has not done anything as of yet that damages the industry. On the contrary, the publicity — coming from the highest echelons of power in the Western political world — in itself is a win for crypto: “Trump so far has not done anything positive or negative, he’s just said he’s not a fan. The fact that he tweeted about it, and the president of the United States is talking about cryptocurrency, it’s a good thing.” CZ even entertained the scenario that were Trump to go so far as to outright ban cryptocurrency ownership in the United States, the asset class would prevail, arguing that: “Cryptocurrency will survive regardless of any one country. Most countries that try to ban bitcoin cause their citizens to want cryptocurrency more.” The CEO also separately addressed this spring’s $40 million hack of Binance’s hot wallets, arguing that traditional financial institutions remain culpably more opaque in regard to such incidents: “Banks get hacked but they’re not transparent with the numbers. You see billions of dollars in fines for banks. Whereas with cryptocurrency there’s more transparency, which is actually good for the users because now they know what’s going on.” Trump tweets and regulators muscle in Ahead of CZ’s comments, the CEO of another industry-leading trading platform — Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong — had similarly characterized the president’s crypto-dedicated tweets as being “yuge” for the industry, an opinion that was shared by a host of crypto space commentators: “Achievement unlocked! I dreamt about a sitting U.S. president needing to respond to growing cryptocurrency usage years ago. ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ We just made it to step 3 y’all.”  To recall, Trump tweeted that he was “not a fan” of “Unregulated Crypto Assets” (capitals in the original), underscoring their potential use in the drug trade and other illicit activities. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill…

TD Ameritrade Officially Launches Bitcoin Futures Trading

TD Ameritrade Officially Launches Bitcoin Futures Trading

2:55AM EST This article has been removed due to noncompliance with Cointelegraph’s quality policy. TD Ameritrade’s Bitcoin futures trading has been available since 2018 to select clients, and is not a new product as was previously reported in this article. We carefully monitor the quality of the materials produced by us and this article did not pass the post-inspection. We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause.

Venezuela Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record Thanks to 10,000,000% Inflation

Venezuela Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record Thanks to 10,000,000% Inflation

Venezuelans traded more bolivars for Bitcoin (BTC) than ever before last week, but the statistics say more about fiat than cryptocurrency.  Yet another Bitcoin volumes record for Venezuela Data from Coin Dance, which tracks trading activity on P2P exchanges Localbitcoins, Paxful and Bisq, confirmed the seven days to July 20 were Venezuela’s biggest on record. During that period, users on LocalBitcoins alone generated volumes of over 57 billion bolivars, beating the previous all-time high of 49 billion, which appeared in the previous week.    Weekly LocalBitcoins Volume (Venezuelan Bolivar) Courtesy of Coin.dance As Cointelegraph reported, Venezuela’s currency continues to suffer from runaway inflation, which estimates claim has reached 10,000,000%, leading citizens to resort to alternative means of storing value.  The country’s official alternative, state-issued digital currency Petro, was declared a failure by a United States nonprofit this month.  But there’s a catch Yet as the bolivar count on Localbitcoins keeps growing, in Bitcoin terms, the number is falling. The 57 billion figure for last week equated to just 574 BTC — considerably less than in some previous weeks earlier this year.  Underscoring the weakening bolivar, Venezuela’s cryptocurrency trading is not supported by the government, which also imposed embargoes on foreign currency.  Earlier this year, the Lightning Torch transaction relay raised 0.4 BTC ($4,000) in funds among Bitcoin users for Venezuelans unable to escape the country.

OKEx Skips Warren Buffett Lunch, Donates $4.5M to Insurance Fund

OKEx Skips Warren Buffett Lunch, Donates $4.5M to Insurance Fund

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has donated $4.5 million in Bitcoin (BTC) to its perpetual swap market insurance fund as a show of support for the Warren Buffett Power Lunch. More protection for traders In a press release shared with Cointelegraph on July 23, the Malta-based crypto exchange revealed its contribution to the perpetual swap market insurance, whose amount is equivalent to what Tron’s Justin Sun paid to have lunch with Warren Buffett.  Andy Cheung, head of operations of OKEx, commented on the contribution saying that “the Power Lunch is a significant initiative to advocate the value of Bitcoin, blockchain, and digital assets to traditional finance leaders on Wall Street.” Cheung added: “We wanted to support blockchain development in our own way and, more importantly, put our customers first. That’s why we decided to place our resources where our customers can directly benefit.” The insurance fund is used to pay the amount of default value on a margin call before the clawback event is triggered. So the bigger the insurance fund, the less likely the clawback would be occur. The clawback mechanism would, therefore, act as the last line of defense if a large-scale systematic event occurs. Insurance serves as a cushion to protect trader’s profit from reaching the last defended line.   “The insurance fund minimizes the uncertainty and trading risk of which traders’ expected profit would be taken out, aka clawback risk,” OKEx explains.  The donation is expected to go through on 24 July, which will roughly double the amount of the perpetual swap market insurance fund. However, as Cointelegraph reported earlier, the Tron Foundation is postponing the Warren Buffett lunch to an unspecified date due to founder Justin Sun falling ill with kidney stones. Nevertheless, the given donation plan will not be affected, according to OKEx. Cryptocurrency donations taking off The charity sector has been increasingly adopting digital currencies, with leading industry players having donated in a number of projects worldwide. This month, decentralized insurtech firm Etherisc launched a blockchain-based insurance platform for farmers in Sri Lanka through a partnership with the insurance company Aon and the charity Oxfam. The Binance Charity Foundation announced an alliance of 47 organizations to make a token geared towards women’s health. Binance claims that a blockchain-based means of distributing…