Poloniex exchange offers ‘neutral’ choice before BCH protocol upgrade

A week ahead of the protocol upgrade for Bitcoin BCH, and one cryptocurrency exchange is offering users the chance to put their money where they believe the cryptocurrency is headed.

Poloniex, the exchange acquired earlier this year by Goldman Sachs-funded Circle, announced in a blog post that it has begun selling BCH as mined with the Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision) implementation, as well as that using the Bitcoin ABC implementation. This is on Poloniex’s assumption that the November 15 upgrade will result in a hard fork that creates two tokens.

“This is the first time we are offering pre-fork trading… We believe the responsible thing to do in this case is remain neutral and allow the community to decide which chain to support, and we want to empower the community to demonstrate their support through trading activity,” the exchange said.

It also said that it was offering four trading pairs: BCHSV/USDC, BCHABC/USDC, BCHSV/BTC, and BCHABC/BTC. Customers will not be able to withdraw their BCHSV and BCHABC assets ahead of the upgrade.

Bitcoin SV has been designed specifically to support the idea of Bitcoin as first developed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, enabling the BCH network to continue to massively scale, and allowing tokenization on the BCH chain. Just recently, CoinGeek awarded £5 million to Tokenized, an on-chain token system designed exclusively for the BCH network and that proudly uses the original Satoshi Vision design of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin ABC developers, on the other hand, have proposed a canonical transaction ordering rule (CTOR), that nChain, the blockchain research and development firm responsible for Bitcoin SV, maintains is risky to implement and unproven in providing its claimed benefits.

nChain has pointed out that with the imminent chain split, it is not seeking a Bitcoin variant with Bitcoin SV, but merely providing another choice for BCH miners. It also said that with significant miner hash power supporting Bitcoin SV, the Bitcoin SV consensus rules “stand a very strong chance of becoming the dominant implementation on the BCH blockchain.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Pay for airport taxi rides in Tokyo with Bitcoin BCH

One of Japan’s 16 regulated cryptocurrency exchange has teamed up with Hinomaru Limousine, allowing the airport taxi service to start accepting payments in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), as well as in other cryptos.

On Tuesday, a partnership was announced between between Airport Car Service by Hinomaru and Bitpoint to trial cryptocurrency payments for the company’s airport taxi service on November 6-9 period. According to the exchange, the partnership is part of its effort to “strengthen the service so that virtual currency will become more popular as ‘using, sending, investing’ means.”

Pay for airport taxi rides in Tokyo with Bitcoin BCH

Established in 1981, Hinomaru operates a fleet of 362 limos and 161 taxis. Crypto payments are accepted for the service between Tokyo’s 23 wards and the city’s two major airports Haneda and Narita, according to Bitpoint’s announcement. The fares range from JPY19,020 ($168) to JPY37,020 for Narita, and JPY8,300  ($73) to JPY15,600 ($137) for Haneda. If this operation proves to be successful, the crypto payment support is expected to include regular taxi rides.

Hinomaru offers two types of vehicles: high-grade type (Tesla Model S) for four passengers and minivan type (Toyota Alphard) for four to six passengers. Passengers must have a Bitpoint account and use the Bitpoint wallet app for either Android or iOS on their smartphone, to be able to pay with cryptocurrency. Aside from Bitcoin BCH, the exchange wallet also supports payments in BTC and ETH.

The announcement comes several days after Bitpoint entered a business alliance with Carchs Holdings Co. Ltd. to also enable cryptocurrency payments at its used car dealerships.

Carchs Holdings was established in 1989 and currently operates 48 dealerships throughout Japan. Carchs has 17 locations are in Kanto, 10 are in Kansai and in the Hokuriku and Chubu areas, eight are in in the Hokkaido and Tohoku area, and three are in the Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu region.

Two Carchs dealerships in Kansai area and in the Hokkaido/Tohoku area have started accepting crypto payments last November 1 with Bitpoint’s help. The used car dealership will continue to accept cryptos until January 9, 2019.

Carchs customers, just like with Hinomaru Limousine, need to have a Bitpoint account and use the Bitpoint wallet app to pay with cryptocurrency.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Crypto-friendly politicians win in US

The midterm elections in the U.S. have come to a close. While the final votes are being counted and recounted, and a number of politicians are complaining about the results, the cryptocurrency industry is going to enjoy some extra support. A few states have elected governors and other legislators that have built their platforms on the promise of expanding cryptocurrency adoption.

In Colorado, Jared Polis (Democrat), won the right to take over the governor’s mansion. Polis is a dedicated crypto supporter who has often said that he would fight the “anti-crypto” mantra that exists and push for more legislation at the federal level.

The new governor has long been a crypto supporter. He made his position well known in 2014, when he was serving as a member of the House of Representatives, when he said that he would use his powers in Congress to fight against crypto restrictions. Polis beat his Democratic opponent, Colorado state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, by a 6% margin.

Polis has said that, as governor, he wants to use blockchain technology to improve elections and that he wants to create a “statewide safe harbor designed to exempt cryptocurrencies from state money transmissions laws.” He is also a co-founder of the Congressional Blockchain Congress, a group formed in February of last year for “the advancement of sound public policy toward blockchain-based technologies and digital currencies.”

Out west, California has also decided that a crypto enthusiast needs to be its governor. The state’s former Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, will replace Jerry Brown, who is being forced out by term limits. Given that The Golden State is already known as the hotbed of tech innovation, having Newsom at the helm is a perfect fit.

Newsom, a Democrat, said four years ago, “I should promote the technology ever so subtly by saying I’ll accept bitcoin in the campaign… I’m ready for it, but how the hell do I explain it to anybody?”

Gavin beat Republican John Cox, a man who has been John Kaplan (his name at birth), an entrepreneur, an accountant, an attorney, a politician and both a Democrat and a Republican – he switched parties after losing a bid for a delegate position with the 1976 Democratic National Convention.

Both Polis and Newsom are in for a challenge, but they have the political power to make change. 2019 will almost certainly turn out to be a pivotal year for cryptocurrencies and blockchains.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Tether’s new banking partner already in hot water

For all of 2018, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have wanted more transparency of the Tether stablecoin. As far back as January, there have been concerns over the coin’s stability, attributed to the fact that it has not been able to hold onto auditors and hasn’t been willing to release financial reports. Most recently, Tether saw its price come unglued, even though it’s reportedly pegged to the U.S. dollar, after news broke that the bank formerly holding the funds that supposedly back the coin, Noble Bank, was having financial difficulty. Now, its new banking partner is the target of regulators, painting a grim picture for the bank, as well as Tether.

According to the Brazilian media outlet O Globo, Brazil’s Deltec Bank & Trust may have run afoul of regulators. There is an allegation circulating that the bank may have been involved in a large money-laundering scheme that involves a Brazilian government official. The official reportedly funneled $25 million through a bank in Panama and then back into Brazil through Deltec. Given that the transfer supposedly took place in a single transaction, many are wondering whether Deltec was involved in facilitating the activity or, at the very least, why it didn’t question the activity.

The investigation into the bank’s activity only further worsens Tether’s stance in the market. Earlier this week, Tether spoke highly of Deltec and said that the partnership between the two entities should be seen as legitimizing Tether. It said at the time, “This included, notably, an analysis of our compliance processes, policies and procedures; a full background check of the shareholders, ultimate beneficiaries and officers of our company; and assessments of our ability to maintain the USD-peg at any moment and our treasury management policies.”

However, that analysis now seems to have been either grossly exaggerated or is non-existent. In either case, it leaves the crypto community seriously concerned about the viability of Tether and whether or not those behind the stablecoin are actually fit to continue to manage its operations. To date, Tether has not been able to produce confirmed records indicating that it definitively holds enough fiat to cover the $1.7 billion in coins currently in circulation and the general consensus is that the funds are nonexistent.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Former Blockstream CTO Gregory Maxwell sees the light

Gregory Maxwell, co-founder and former CTO of the Bitcoin Core (BTC) institution Blockstream, has had a change of heart. For reasons yet unknown, the crypto expert has come to the realization that Bitcoin SV is the real Bitcoin, and has even offered to lend a hand. He penned an email to Dr. Craig Wright of nChain and Bitcoin BCH development, in which he mentioned that he was prepared to offer his “discreet assistance.” Better late than never, it’s good to see that Maxwell has finally come around. Here is his email, formatted to make reading easier.

“I see now that Roger Ver, Rick Falkvinge, Olivier Janssens, and Jihan Wu appear to be aggressively attacking you in public and trying to distance BCH from you. To the best of my knowledge all of these parties previously believed in you. The cracks created by Peter Rizun and his staff seem to be widening at an exponential pace and are now starting to encompass people (such as the above) that previously couldn’t be convinced by any argument to align against you. It seems to me that it is simply a matter of time before a forceful public denunciation by someone previously cited as proof of your merit, such as Gavin, brings things crashing down around you.

“I believe it would be adverse for interests that concern me if your influence or prominence in BCH were in any way diminished. I am not aware of how I could be of aid in repairing this situation, but it seemed to me that it would be prudent to at least offer my discreet assistance.

“One very minor thought that comes to mind that I can offer as a show of earnest intent:

“I would not be so presumptuous as to assume an understanding of your tactics, but the assertion that OP_DSV implicates your patents appears, to me, to be backfiring in two ways:

“The connection to the cited work is too abstract for the BCH audience to understand so they are easily convinced that your claim is not being made in good faith and the invocation of patent enforcement makes it too easy to present you as a bad actor. Your use of vague patent allegations worked when Ver/etc. and their sock armies were on your side, but to my eyes they appear to be working against you now that they aren’t. If I might be so bold as to point out: Since OP_DSV is almost line by line equivalent to CHECKSIGFROMSTACKVERIFY published in the elements sidechain in May 2015, if anyone had any direct IPR on this operation it would be Blockstream. I was surprised to see that the tact that you and others opposing DSV was not to take the argument that DSV is backdoor blockstream technology and that it should be rejected in order to keep BCH free of that influence (obviously not a view I share, but it’s one that I expect could gain substantial traction). Your somewhat chaotic appearing opposition to DSV reinterpreted in the light of being motivated to protect BCH from a _third party_ encumbrance might play much better.

“But as I said, I don’t assume to understand your tactics. I also don’t believe that an improvement on that minor battlefront would do anything to address the greater issue of the attempted ouster in progress by the above named parties.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Crypto market daily report – November 7, 2018

The cryptocurrency markets continued to post slight gains on Wednesday morning, with Bitcoin Cash still on an impressive run—surpassing the $600 level on Tuesday evening and settling at around $620 at press time on Wednesday.

BTC, meanwhile, reached the $6,550 mark and was pushing towards the $6,600 level. Ripple gave back some of its gains over the past 48 hours and was down by around 2% at press time to the $0.54 level, although it was still the second highest traded currency on Binance. Ethereum plodded steadily upwards reaching the $220 level at press time on Wednesday, whilst EOS continued gaining traction and was up by a further 2% to the $5.70 mark although turnover remains something of a concern here.

Other top 10 currencies had mixed fortunes with Litecoin only rising by around 2%, whilst Stellar shot up by 8% to the $0.27 mark—the highest level it has been for some time now. NEO continued to perform sluggishly and was only at around $17 at press time on Wednesday—a 2% increase—whilst Cardano held on the $0.08 level before dropping briefly below that on Tuesday. TRON remained relatively static at the $0.024 mark, whilst Ethereum Classic hovered around the $9.70 level at press time on Wednesday.

Currencies with smaller market caps also remained relatively stable over the Tuesday-Wednesday period, with IOTA hovering around the $0.51 level or a 2% increase. ICX regained the $0.66 mark on the back of a 3% rise, whilst VET and QTUM performed better with 5 and 6% rises respectively. Binance Coin was flat at the $9.90 level or a 2% increase, whilst NULS posted a 4% increase to the $1.13 level.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Texas regulator halts crypto mining operations

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) recently issued cease-and-desist orders to two separate cryptocurrency mining companies operating in the state.

The orders were issued to Australia-based AWS Mining PTY LTD and related entities, and to Canada-based Exy Crypto and related entities.

According to the TSSB, AWS Mining had offered “crypto mining power contracts” that guaranteed a 200% profit. Returns from the operations are to be deducted 20% as service fee, and to be deposited in wallets provided by MyCoinDeal, another respondent, which charges its own transaction and deposit fees.

In its website, the company states that its mining farms are located in Russia, China, and Paraguay.

The TSSB said that the business has a multilevel marketing network of sales agents, who are offered six different types of bonuses and commissions.

“Although potential investors are led to believe they will receive a 200% return on principal invested in crypto mining power contracts, Respondent AWS Mining is now disclaiming the guarantee of profitability and instead representing that investors assume the risks associated with the investment,” the state regulator said, adding that “their conduct threatens immediate and irreparable harm to the public.”

Moreover, the respondents had not been registered by the state to operate nor to sell securities, and failed to disclose to investors the risks in investing in cryptocurrencies.

Exy Crypto, on the other hand, had published advertisements on LinkedIn, promising investors a 10% weekly return. Clients are offered different plans, from Bronze to Platinum, depending on the amounts invested, with a 25% weekly return for Platinum investors.

Of the client testimonials on the Exy Crypto website, the TSSB said, “Respondent EXY Crypto is using photographs that do not actually portray investors of Respondent EXY Crypto and falsely attributing testimonials to these persons.”

The securities regulator also criticized the company for claiming people’s investments were “100% safe and secure,” yet not describing how it would return the invested amount in case its mining operations do not yield returns as anticipated. Like AWS Mining, Exy Crypto had also not been registered by the state.

Both AWS Mining and Exy Crypto were informed that they could request a hearing to modify or set aside the orders.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Bitfury secures $80M private placement with Korelya Capital

Cryptocurrency miner company Bitfury has announced a private placement of $80 million, the latest high growth blockchain company to draw significant support from global institutional investors.

The placement was led by Korelya Capital, an investment firm with the backing of Korea’s Naver Group, alongside investors such as Argenthal Capital Partners and Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Capital. Valery Vavilov, Bitfury’s co-founder and CEO, said the funding marked a strong year for the company, one of Europe’s emerging blockchain unicorns.

“This private placement reflects our achievements, and it recognizes our ability to address adjacent market segments in high-performance computing, including in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI),” Vavilov said in a statement. “The institutionalization of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, partnered with the opportunity of these emerging technologies, is a natural expansion opportunity that Bitfury will build on—in 2019 and beyond.”

Antoine Dresch, of Korelya Capital, said Bitfury has the expertise and leadership to drive more innovation in the blockchain sector. He noted, “Bitfury has grown from a small startup to the largest western blockchain unicorn, equipped with world class leadership and expertise, consistently delivering innovative solutions across the entire blockchain ecosystem.”

The news comes on the heels of reports that the crypto miner manufacturer has been looking at different strategic options to raise funds, such as holding an initial public offering (IPO) as early as 2019, or raising debt financing as well as selling a minority stake in the company.

Since its launch in 2011, Bitfury has been quite active in cryptocurrency and blockchain activities. Bitfury, the largest non-Chinese-owned company, develops Bitcoin blockchain software and provides infrastructure for Bitcoin mining. The company also developed products like a digital ledger for cryptocurrency transactions, chips for mining machines and software for institutions, governments, and companies.

The recent private placement, according to Bitfury Executive Vice Chairman George Kikvadze, was a vote of confidence in the direction of travel for Bitfury, and an endorsement of their growth strategy. He explained, “This private placement will take our corporate governance to the next level, broaden our financial strategic options, and ideally position us for our next phase of growth as the market matures.”

The funding is the latest example of a significant investment in the blockchain space, as more institutional and fund investors turn to opportunities in cryptocurrency and blockchain tech.

Regarded as pioneers in blockchain development, Bitfury works with governments and large corporations to develop and deploy real-world use cases for the technology. The funding will support the company as it continues to grow in European markets, at a time of increasing interest from large organisations worldwide.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Crypto Bulls launches first UAE-registered crypto exchange

Dubai is set for the launch of a new cryptocurrency exchange, according to reports in local media.

The first of its kind in United Arab Emirates (UAE), the new exchange is being hailed as a landmark development in the maturing Dubai crypto market, as industry, regulators and government continue to chase cryptocurrency business and investment.

As reported in The Gulf Today, crypto firm Crypto Bulls has teamed up with Al Zarooni Group and Gulf Coin Gold to launch the Crypto Bulls exchange, an exchange which will focus on the Dubai market.

Suhail Al Zaroon, chairman of the Al Zarooni Foundation, said the move would help UAE attract investment from more cryptocurrency businesses and investors. He was quoted by the news outlet as saying, “This will be the milestone for getting global investments opportunity from all over the Globe in UAE, as all financial techs [companies] and investors are looking forward in Crypto & Blockchain Industry.”

The new crypto exchange has the backing of the government in UAE, which harbors ambitions of transforming Dubai into a haven for blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses—following the footsteps of jurisdictions such as Malta, South Korea and Singapore.

The government has previously launched its blockchain strategy, which targets 50% of government transactions on blockchain by 2021.

As a result, Dubai has recently seen a number of measures drafted in support of the sector, including new regulation for the sector, as well as the pending launch of a government backed cryptocurrency.

Shasha Gupta of Crypto Bulls said, “With this unique support from UAE government, Crypto Bulls would be able to attract a huge number of foreign investments in crypto from Asia & Middle East.” He noted that the industry has experienced significant growth in the region in recent years, with strong demand for crypto trading services from within Dubai.

The exchange will allow investors to trade against local currency Arab Emirate Dirham, although it remains unclear as to which specific currency pairs will be supported at launch.

The development is being seen as a positive step towards turning Dubai into a crypto hotspot, at a time of increasing competition from rival jurisdictions.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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BTCC to shut down mining pool

After four years running strong, BTCC is shutting down its cryptocurrency mining pool. The cryptocurrency exchange launched its operations in 2014 and has indicated that the current market is not conducive to continue operations. It added that all mining servers will be turned off on November 15 and the BTCC Pool will cease to exist “indefinitely” after November 30.

In preparation to the closure, BTCC is asking all miners using the platform to transfer their hash power to other options prior to November 15. Any outstanding profits from previous operations will be paid out “in time.”

According to an announcement on the company’s website, “Today, we regret to announce that due to business adjustments, the BTCC pool will shut down all mining servers on November 15 and will cease operations indefinitely from November 30. In order to avoid unnecessary losses, please miners to complete the power switch before November 15th, and bind the mining revenue address before November 20th, we will release the profits of all miners in time.”

This past June, BTCC entered into an agreement to sell 49% of its stake in BTCC Pool to a financial service firm out of Hong Kong, Value Convergence Holdings. That deal was purported to generate as much as $17 million to BTCC when consummated, but no information has ever been produced that the deal was signed.

BTCC Pool covered around 1.1% of Bitcoin Core’s (BTC) hash power in June, according to statistics provided by blockchain.info. However, according to the most recent information, the percentage of hash power controlled by the pool was not enough to even register on the blockchain.info scale.

BTCC was previously known as BTC China. It was one of the first, and one of the longest continuously running, crypto exchanges in China. When regulators began to crack down on crypto trading in September of last year and stopped all trading, the company took a huge hit and was sold to a Hong Kong-based blockchain investment fund this past January. The new owner relaunched the exchange in July and has plans to introduce its own digital currency.

This may not be the end of the BTCC Pool. It ended its announcement by telling website visitors, “[We] will see you again!”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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