NSFW: After The Corporate Hype, Porn Gets Into Blockchain

NSFW: After The Corporate Hype, Porn Gets Into Blockchain

Blockchain Porn star Brenna Sparks is not the only one warming up to blockchain tech. Startups such as Spankchain as well as Vice Industries are attempting to fuse intimate desires with software undergirding cryptocurrencies such as ether. Maybe the long search for a real-world, ready-now blockchain technology use case is finally over. Then again, both user and performer could simply download wallets and exchange peer-to-peer electronic money, say bitcoin cash, without any startup companies between them.  Also read: Coinbase Flexes Muscle, Creates Political Action Committee Blockchain Tech Goes Porno Favorite ecosystem pornographer, Brenna Sparks, recently tweeted “I’m going to be shoving a dildo in my vagina on the Blockchain tomorrow. If that’s not the coolest thing ever, idk what is!” For sure, the Laotian triple x-rated social media influencer has more or less cornered the crypto market. Her adventurism extends from between the sheets and on camera into the financial world, where she is known to give digital asset education videos topless. And she’s not half bad … in terms of her decentralized money knowledge. “I’m going to trademark all of my crypto camshow games,” Ms. Sparks cheekily tweeted on the eve of stuffing herself with plastic, “I’m going to trademark-troll anyone who tries to profit off my genius. I’m going to be a Pablo Escobar of camshows, taking cuts off of other camshows. This is my town!” Ms. Sparks is also something mildly deeper. She’s helping to fire up discussion, debate about blockchain usage. Corporate hype, the drug in fashion, is attaching any project to “blockchain.” Name it, and the two have been associated: blockchain and ice tea, blockchain and medical records, blockchain and ending refugee crises around the world, blockchain and religion. It’s endless. There’s just one problem. None of these dreamy projects have gotten off the ground and proven themselves to be anything more than slick marketing to venture capitalists who appear ever-more credulous. Pornography could be a real-life, honest-to-goodness use case. Sort of. Ms. Sparks is also a savvy businesswoman, and she’s teamed up with the smile-inducing project titled, Spankchain. The idea is to perhaps end embarrassing credit card charges for late night indulgences while an in-the-flesh partner is unavailable, for example. Spankchain is essentially a micropayment processor for the masturbatory…

Germany’s No.2 Stock Exchange Is Developing an ICO Platform

Germany’s No.2 Stock Exchange Is Developing an ICO Platform

Germany’s second-largest stock exchange is developing an ICO platform, it announced on Thursday. Boerse Stuttgart expects to roll out the platform as part of  larger “end-to-end infrastructure” for “digital assets” it is currently developing, and says the ICO platform will allow token issuers to conduct token sales with “standardized and transparent processes.” It will also offer a “multilateral trading venue for cryptocurrencies as well as solutions for safe custody,” it said in a statement. The bourse’s announcement comes just months after it unveiled plans for a crypto trading app. Dubbed Bison, the app is expected to be released in September. The debut of the ICO platform, trading venue and will follow Bison’s launch, Boerse Stuttgart said, while its custody services will be available before Bison is live. The company also has its sights set on secondary markets and has designed its new services accordingly. CEO Alexander Hoptner explained, “At the trading venue tokens issued via our ICO platform can be traded on the secondary market. This is an important success factor for ICOs. At the same time, we are responding to demand from both retail and institutional investors for a regulated and reliable environment for trading and cryptocurrencies.” He added that the company plans to “closely cooperate” with financial regulators. According to Hoptner, the new suite of crypto services reflects the company’s efforts to facilitate the “digital transformation of financial markets and financial products.” “We can offer central services along the value chain for digital assets, all under one roof,” he said. “We will help to promote the acceptance of digital assets.” Boerse Stuttgart is not the only stock exchange operator to enter crypto services. Canadian stock exchange TMX announced in March that its subsidiary had inked a deal to establish a cryptocurrency brokerage that plans to initially focus on bitcoin and ether. Business miniatures 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.

UBS: Bitcoin Is Too “Unstable and Limited” to Function as Money

UBS: Bitcoin Is Too “Unstable and Limited” to Function as Money

Investment bank UBS thinks bitcoin is neither money nor a viable asset class – not yet at least. The Switzerland-based company’s assessment was featured in a research report on the world’s largest crypto by market capitalization, which was circulated to clients and released on Thursday. Published by UBS strategists, the report concludes that bitcoin “falls short of criteria that need to be satisfied to be considered money.” It explains, “Fixed supply and unusual demand dynamics make the system susceptible to high price volatility, in turn making it difficult for bitcoin to step into the role of money or to be a viable new asset class.” However, the authors don’t rule out the possibility that bitcoin could one day become these things. They argue that if bitcoin can achieve scalability and regulatory support, it could one day become “a viable payment mechanism and/or a legitimate asset class in which even the most conservative and traditional investors can participate.” Likewise, they note their plans to “keep on top of these developments,” as “many” see promise in cryptocurrency’s underlying blockchain technology. According to the report, the research was the banking giant’s answer to its investors, who are becoming increasingly interested in the cryptocurrency space. “We have received many questions on the subject, which we hope to address in this educational piece,” the authors wrote in the publication. The authors’ findings were based on comparisons of bitcoin with “macro variables and its performance against various asset classes.” They frequently draw parallels between bitcoin and online payments provider PayPal, and conclude that bitcoin “diffusion” could follow trends in online payments. This is not the first time UBS has expressed a cautious view on cryptocurrency. In 2017, it declared cryptocurrencies a “speculative bubble” in a report due to sharp rises in price at the time. Nonetheless, the bank has consistently been bullish on blockchain, and advised investors in the same report that “blockchain is likely to have a significant impact” on a variety of industries. UBS 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…

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM Unveiled

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM Unveiled

Exchanges Japan’s SBI Group is reportedly planning to create a crypto derivatives platform. In South Korea, Huobi is taking an aggressive approach and expects to achieve a 30% crypto market share. Meanwhile, a Thai crypto exchange has unveiled an ATM that supports four cryptocurrencies. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space SBI Plans Derivatives Platform SBI Crypto Investment, a subsidiary of Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings, has acquired a 12% stake in North Carolina-based Clear Markets, Nikkei reported Tuesday. While the acquisition price was not disclosed, the news outlet estimates that the stake “is likely worth about 1 billion yen ($9 million),” elaborating: Although digital currencies are more volatile than other asset classes, a derivatives market for them that can hedge against risk remains undeveloped. SBI Crypto therefore wants to build a platform that will allow institutional investors to smoothly trade these instruments. Last month, SBI Virtual Currencies, the crypto exchange unit of SBI Holdings, opened its Vtrade service to the public following a limited launch in June. The exchange currently supports XRP, BCH, and BTC, but plans to add ETH in the near future. Thai Multi-Crypto ATM Thai cryptocurrency exchange Coin Asset unveiled its crypto ATM at the Hybrid Summit on July 28 and 29, according to Prachachat Turakij newspaper. CEO Sivanus Yamdee explained that the ATM allows customers to purchase and sell BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH in amounts as low as 100 baht (~US$3). The company plans to add more coins in the future based on demand from customers. The ATM also allows withdrawals in Thai baht. The machine has a large touch screen and prints out a receipt after each transaction. Coin Asset has reportedly applied for a license with Thai Securities and Exchange Commission; the agency began accepting applications last week. Huobi Plans to Achieve 30% Korean Market Share Chinese exchange Huobi is planning to aggressively pursue the Korean market, according to Asia Economic news outlet. The exchange launched its trading platform in Korea in March. At the Huobi Carnival 2018 event on August 2 in Seoul, Kim Young-chul, head of the Strategic Planning Division of Huobi Korea, announced the company’s long-term strategy. He said: The number of members has grown rapidly to 200,000 members within two months after…

BTC Trades Sideways, Other Top 20 Coins See More Notable Losses

BTC Trades Sideways, Other Top 20 Coins See More Notable Losses

Thursday, August 2: Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are trading around yesterday’s levels, while other top 20 coins are seeing notable losses, according to data from Coinmarketcap. Market visualization from Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) is up around 0.3 percent over the past 24 hours and trading at $7,579 at press time after testing a slight rebound today. The top cryptocurrency keeps trading sideways, with an intraday low of $7,451, according to the Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index. As Cointelegraph reported in a previous market analysis, if Bitcoin breaks $7,750 resistance, the move can extend to further to $8,400. Bitcoin 24 hours price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index Ethereum (ETH) is down 1.03 percent, trading at $411 at press time. The major altcoin has climbed to an intraday high of $423 before seeing a gradual decline. Crypto markets analyst Trading Room suggested on Twitter that if Ethereum dips delow $350, it would cause a further downtrend across other altcoins. However, Bitcoin would allegedly be “detached from the mayhem.” Ethereum 24 hours price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index Total market capitalization is standing its ground around $267 billion, seeing a slight decline within the day after peaking at $275 billion. Total market capitalization 24 hours chart. Source: Coinmarketcap Bitcoin is steadily displacing altcoins from the market, reaching over 48 percent of total market cap dominance. Percentage of Total Market Cap (Dominance). Source: Coinmarketcap VeChain (VEN) has suffered the most losses over the past 24 hours among the top 20 coins following the recent launch of its own mainnet and mobile wallet. The coin has lost almost 11 percent and is trading at $1.76 at press time, down almost 23 percent over the past week. Tezos (XTZ) is seeing slightly less losses, down 6.65 percent and trading at $1.68 today. While Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is seeing losses around 2.5 percent today, the number of BCH transactions has surpassed the amount of Bitcoin transactions for the first time. Yesterday, BCH celebrated its first birthday, following a hard fork from Bitcoin’s blockchain on August 1 last year. Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Transactions Historical Chart (Dominance). Source: Bitinfocharts Earlier today, payments service Square reported over $70 million in Bitcoin revenues in the first half of 2018. The firm’s revenues from crypto…

Sony Patent Filings Hint at Work on Crypto Mining Hardware

Sony Patent Filings Hint at Work on Crypto Mining Hardware

Japanese technology giant Sony wants to patent two hardware approaches for hosting and maintaining blockchains, newly published documents show. Sony’s two filings are entitled “Electronic Node and Method for Maintaining a Distributed Ledger” and “Device and System,” revealing for the first time that the company is working on blockchain-related hardware concepts. They also set the stage for the company to potentially include these devices in a future product. In the past, as previously reported by CoinDesk, the tech company has filed patent applications centered largely around the technology’s use cases, including education data management and security. The first application includes two elements: a hardware node and a method for maintaining the blockchain, which it repeatedly describes as a “mining process.” Indeed, in one incarnation of the proposed invention, the nodes would operate a network that’s akin to bitcoin’s, which is an open-access network with a token. As the application explains: “The distributed ledger may be a blockchain, which may be based, for example, on the principles used for the bitcoin blockchain or the like. The distributed ledger uses mining and proof-of-work mechanisms and it may use some kind of reward (currency), such as bitcoin as currency and/or as reward for performing mining. Moreover, the distributed ledger may use consensus mechanisms for ensuring that all electronic nodes have consensus about the distributed ledger.” This isn’t to say that Sony is launching its own cryptocurrency. But here, it seems that Sony is leaving the door open to the possibility by establishing the claim that its proposed invention could serve that purpose. In the second application, “Device and System,” Sony hones in on the security risks in a network that only has a small number of nodes. Because “the number of devices accessing and contributing to the distributed ledger may be small, such that security issues occur,” Sony proposes essentially boosting that number through the use of virtual nodes. The device proposed in that filing would “[host] a plurality, e.g. 10, 100 or even thousands of virtual nodes, such that the number of virtual nodes may be much higher, e.g. ten times larger, than the [total] number of devices.” Ultimately, the submissions appear less focused on the type of distributed ledger and more on the hardware and operational methods themselves.…

The Bitcoin Cash Network Processed 687,000 Transactions on August 1st

The Bitcoin Cash Network Processed 687,000 Transactions on August 1st

News Over the last day, BCH proponents have been celebrating the ‘Bitcoin Cash Independence Day’ which marks the anniversary of the August 1 blockchain split that took place a year ago. During festivities, the BCH community sent a ton of transactions over the course of the day and on August 1, 2018, the Bitcoin Cash network processed 687,000 on-chain transactions. The metric outpaced Bitcoin Core’s (BTC) daily transaction record by over 200,000 transactions showing the world some of the benefits of a chain that utilizes larger blocks. Also Read: Japan Tax Agency Says Individuals Earning $1,800+ in Crypto a Year Will Declare Tax BCH Miners Process 687,000 On-Chain Transactions Bitcoin Cash fans are celebrating an extremely productive year as over the last 365 days the BCH network has had many milestones. One significant watershed moment was the number of transactions processed yesterday, on August 1, 2018, as the decentralized cryptocurrency processed over 197,000 transactions more than BTC’s record setting day (12-14-17) of 490K. The Bitcoin Cash network handled a whopping 687,000 transactions yesterday and a great majority of transactions were sent with a network fee of less than 1/5th of a US penny. Meanwhile, the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network processed 240,000 transactions (tx) yesterday and the average fee sent was $0.67 cents per tx. Not the Official Stress Test Some people assumed a large amount of transactions stemmed from the Stress Test Day developers as the stress test will begin on September 1st. However, the development team’s official Twitter account says the enormous amount of transactions sent on August 1 wasn’t from them. “Just be clear folks the past 24 hours we were NOT stress testing the BCH network,” explains @Stresstestbch. We were simply testing the scripts to be used to stress test the BCH network scheduled for September 1st 2018 12:00 UTC. Although we did prove BCH can scale on-chain unlike BTC. Bitcoin Cash proponents have shared lots of BCH vs BTC comparison charts on Reddit and Twitter the day after August 1. The Mempool That Doesn’t Cry “Spam” Of course, Bitcoin Cash fans were thrilled to hear the news about the number of transactions processed as people shared many pictures of Johoe’s Mempool statistics and the 8-bit websites TX Street and TX Highway. In…

Philippines Securities Regulator Issues Draft of ICO Rules, Requests Feedback From Public

Philippines Securities Regulator Issues Draft of ICO Rules, Requests Feedback From Public

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a set of draft rules for regulating Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) for public review, according to an official statement August 2. In the SEC’s Memorandum Circular, the agency stipulates that any company registered in the Philippines looking to run an ICO, or any ICO selling tokens to Filipinos, must submit an “initial assessment request” to the Commission to determine whether or not their token is a security. The regulator specifies that ICO issuers should submit their initial assessment request not less than 90 days prior to the “start of the pre-sale period.” The SEC states it will then review the request within 20 days –– extendable up to 40 days –– and provide a written report on whether or not a given ICO token is considered a security. The agency also suggested that ICOs may be exempted from registration with the SEC in the case they plan to distribute tokens among no more than 20 individuals or a limited number of institutional investors. In the intro to the fresh memorandum, the SEC specifies that they are “inviting banks, investment houses, the investing public and other interested parties” to submit feedback on the proposed rules no later than August 31. According to the memorandum, the proposed regulatory framework for ICOs intends to combat fraudulent ICO projects and protect investors from scams. The Philippines SEC has repeatedly suggested regulating crypto assets under the country’s securities laws since first proposing to do in late 2017. Earlier in April, the Philippines SEC also suggested considering cloud mining contracts securities, since investors in the mining capacity of remote data centers are running the process via “investment contracts,” which can be traded further. The Philippines government has taken a positive stance on the crypto space recently, having established a blockchain and fintech hub in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) in late April. Aiming to create an Asian “Silicon Valley,” the authorities have allowed ten blockchain and crypto firms to operate in the zone. In July, the CEZA granted provisional licenses to three cryptocurrency exchanges in the zone, expecting to attract $3 million in investments following the issuance.

Philippine SEC Approves Draft Rules for ICOs and Crypto

Philippine SEC Approves Draft Rules for ICOs and Crypto

News The Philippine SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) approved draft rules for initial coin offerings (ICOs), ABS CBN News reported. This official approval will pave the way for the legal sale of cryptocurrencies in the Philippines. The Securities and Exchange Commission has released, for public comment, the proposed rules to govern the registration of initial coin offerings, which will be considered when the actual rules will be implemented, SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino said. Also read: Philippine SEC to Develop Cryptocurrency Regulations All Entities Embarking on ICOs to Register With the SEC First In February, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the Philippine SEC was developing a regulatory framework to govern cryptocurrency transactions. At the time, the financial regulator emphasized the need for legislation focused on ICOs in particular. SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino told reporters on August 2, in Manila, regulations will be set for the sale of tokens or cryptocurrencies issued by companies for the purpose of raising funds, the news wire reported. The SEC stated 12 points in the proposed rules released on August 2. “Under the draft rules, the tokens issued by the startups or companies conducting the ICO may follow the nature of a security under Section 3.1 of the Securities Regulation Code, and therefore, these should be registered with the Commission and necessary disclosures need to be made for the protection of the investing public.” The SEC press release mentioned. Study of the white papers of various ICOs that have been conducted within the Philippines shows that the proponents of such ICOs claim that the tokens being issued are not securities and are therefore not under the jurisdiction of the SEC, the regulator said.  “Allowing this practice is proven dangerous to the investing public who are left with no clear recourse once the said ICOs are proven to be scams. Therefore, the SEC will put the burden of proving that the tokens issued through an ICO in the hands of the proponents by presuming that the tokens are securities unless proven otherwise,” the SEC stated in a press release. “The proposed rules are benchmarked from the rules in various jurisdictions and markets,” it concluded. “The bottom line is we are looking at whether we would allow retail investors to participate,” Emilio Aquino told reporters on…

CEO of Allegedly Compromised Wallet Bitfi Calls Teenage Hacker’s Claims ‘A Disgrace’

CEO of Allegedly Compromised Wallet Bitfi Calls Teenage Hacker’s Claims ‘A Disgrace’

Cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer Bitfi called claims their wallet had in fact been hacked a “disgrace” in comments to Cointelegraph August 2, as controversy around the company’s security prowess builds. In a statement to Cointelegraph, Bitfi CEO Daniel Khesin said that it had “absolutely no evidence” the wallet was insecure: “As of now, we have no evidence that our device can be hacked and if someone succeeds in doing so then we will immediately put out a fix to all devices to address the vulnerability that was discovered and it will be unhackable once again.” Bitfi and official partner John McAfee had offered a bounty worth $100,000 in July for anyone able to compromise their so-called “unhackable” hardware wallet. Photos of the wallet’s components drew controversy when they surfaced online last week, commentators voicing concerns Bitfi’s claims it had built the “most sophisticated instrument in the world” had little basis. On Thursday, those concerns increased after Saleem Rashid, the fifteen-year-old who unearthed a security vulnerability in fellow hardware wallet Ledger in 2017, announced on Twitter he had succeeded in hacking Bitfi’s product. The company appeared not to believe Rashid, arguing his decision not to claim the bounty meant the situation was not all it seemed. Responding, Rashid retweeted cryptocurrency researcher Alan Woodward, who had also discussed the hack with Bitfi in the same Twitter thread. “It’s not speculation based on what I’m looking at,” Woodward had written, continuing: “And we don’t want your money. Give it to charity. We are concerned that others will entrust their money to something that is not secure in the way appear to suggest.” An official Bitfi spokesperson told Hard Fork August 1 that the recent criticism of the wallet’s security on Twitter was the product of an “army of trolls” hired by hard wallet competitors Trezor and Ledger, stating: “Please understand that the Bitfi wallet is a major threat to Ledger and Trezor because it renders their technology obsolete […] So they hired an army of trolls to try to ruin our reputation (which is ok because the truth always prevails).” Trezor’s founder and CEO has since denied the accusation in a tweet. Bitfi’s CEO Khesin meanwhile continued the skeptical position towards Rashid, challenging him to accept the money…