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  Venezuela: Petro Can Be Converted Into Any Cryptocurrency If Bought This Year
Posted by: admin - 11-15-2018, 12:11 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

The Venezuelan government has announced that its national digital currency, the petro, can be exchanged into any cryptocurrency if purchased this year. However, the wallet for the petro is still not available and petro buyers receive certificates of purchase.
Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space
‘Special Period’
[Image: petro-300x211.png]Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, visited the headquarters of the Superintendency of Cryptoassets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) last week to sign up for a petro savings plan, the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information (Minci) announced.
Minci is dedicated to promoting the government and communicating its message to the public. Sunacrip is responsible for regulating all crypto-related activities in Venezuela.
During his visit, Maduro offered a new incentive for people to purchase his country’s national digital currency. El Nacional quoted him saying:

Quote:Anyone who buys petro [from now] until December 31 can convert it into any digital currency or international convertible currency, such as bitcoin or yuan.
[Image: venezuela-convert-banner-300x300.png]He was further quoted by Minci elaborating that “in this special period, from now until December 31,” the petro can be converted and “then in December you can buy what you want, through the internet.”
The petro savings plan was launched on Nov. 5. It can be redeemed after 90 days, 180 days, and 270 days, according to Tarek El Aissami, the country’s economic minister and former vice president. “Within three months I will receive what the petro is worth at the time,” Maduro said.
Buying the Petro
According to Sunacrip, a number of Venezuelans and government officials have purchased the petro since it went on sale on Oct. 29. Purchasers need to complete know-your-customer (KYC) requirements which include being fingerprinted before they are issued a petro certificate of purchase.
[Image: id-and-fingerprint.png]Two petro buyers — Omar Prieto, Governor of Zulia, being photographed while holding his ID (left). Manuel Quevedo, Minister of Petroleum, putting his fingerprint on his petro certificate (right).
Meanwhile, the petro currently does not have any of the usual hallmarks of a cryptocurrency. The official wallet for the petro is still unavailable. Links on the official petro website to download both the Windows and Linux wallets return the message “This wallet will soon be available for your operating system.” In addition, El Aissami explained that the Android app for the petro wallet, previously available in the Google Play store, has been removed by Google.
[Image: no-wallet-1024x375.png]
Furthermore, there is no code repository with the Petro code available to the public, so independent confirmation of its existence or functionality is impossible. There are also no published charts or data showing the health of the Petro network, such as network activity, confirmation times, transaction throughput, mining hashrate, or other basic cryptocurrency statistics.
Despite the petro’s whitepaper describing a block time of one block per minute on average, the government’s own block explorer shows only 743 total blocks at the time of this writing — over a month after the explorer was published and its first block displayed.

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  South Korean Crypto Exchange Pure Bit Exit Scams After Raising 13,000 ETH
Posted by: admin - 11-13-2018, 05:38 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

South Korea cryptocurrency exchange Pure Bit has recently pulled an exit scam after raising a total of 13,000 ETH through an initial coin offering (ICO). At press time, the amount raised is worth $2.7 million.
The team behind Pure Bit reportedly remained anonymous as its ICO was based in South Korea, which banned the fundraising practice months ago. This gives projects the perfect excuse to remain anonymous, but makes it riskier for investors.
The team behind the scam seemingly shut down its website before moving the 13,000 ETH from its wallets, and kicked every member off of its Kakao group chat before posting “sorry” and “thanks” to its communication channels.
On Reddit, one user pointed out that things look bad for investors, who will likely have to try and follow the funds on the blockchain to try to get something back.
They have gotten rid of every evidence. Website hosted by fake name / out of Korea host / messenger / contacts were all fake too. Now their only hope is to keep on track with that ether and hope for the best.

The team behind Pure Bit has already deleted its social media accounts as well. It promised investors a Pure Coin, which would serve as the native token of its cryptocurrency exchange, and would pay holders regular dividends.

Those who used the coins while trading were reportedly going to be rewarded as well. To get more investors on board, Pure Bit was running an affiliate campaign that rewarded users extra tokens for bringing in new investors. The minimum investment amount was of 5 ETH.

The project’s ICO was set to end on November 30, but the team seemingly decided not to wait to pull the scam. As CryptoGlobe covered, exit scams have been regular this year, so much so that a report suggested they’ve taken over $100 million from investors.

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  Canadian Bank Opens Deposit Box for Cryptocurrency Firms
Posted by: admin - 11-10-2018, 09:04 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

A Canadian bank says its digital safety deposit box is ready for prime time.
VersaBank announced Thursday that its new VersaVault project had successfully completed beta testing. The digital-only bank plans to offer the virtual lockbox to cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto investment funds to store digital assets.
VersaBank Director of Investor Relations Wade MacBain told CoinDesk that the bank has already received over 200 inquiries about VersaVault.
In a statement, VersaBank CEO David Taylor added:

Quote:"While many are considering ideas and plans for a digital safety deposit box, we have designed and built it, and are now commercializing a first of its kind service that provides our clients with the most sophisticated security and authentication technology available globally, in which our clients enjoy absolute privacy."
The product was first announced in January 2018, and the bank, Canada's smallest by assets, signed on two beta users in March.
VersaBank enlisted Gurpreet Sahota, formerly the principal architect of cybersecurity at smartphone maker Blackberry, to spearhead the project back in January.
"Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are quickly gaining popularity and holders have already experienced their valuable holdings vanish from the less secure 'digital storage' options," the bank said in a statement earlier this year.

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  Blockchain Startup Attest Building Wallet for Storing Digital Versions of Government
Posted by: admin - 11-08-2018, 05:38 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

On Monday (5 November 2018), Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (better known simply as "Deloitte") and Attest, Inc. announced via a press release a new collaboration "to assist government clients with digital identity solutions to help solve for a host of government challenges."
Chicago-based Attest is a blockchain startup founded in March 2018 by two former Illinois state government employees: Cab Morris, who is the CEO, and Jennifer O’Rourke, who is the President of the company.
Attest is currently building two products: "Attest Wallet" and "Attest Enterprise".
Attest says that Attest Wallet is "a more secure and efficient way for consumers to manage and share personal data", and builds "consumer trust and confidence by providing unparalleled privacy, security and control". As for Attest Enterprise, Attest describes this as a "powerful and secure, user-centric identity management toolkit for governments and businesses." Apparently, these tools can "be integrated into any system with two simple APIs."
According to a report in Forbes published yesterday, Attest Wallets will "let users store digital versions of a wide range of government and corporate IDs in a single place", and they are being designed to "let users control who sees what and how the information is monetized, if at all." 
Attest's CEO Told Forbes:

Quote:“I wouldn’t say it’s a replacement but a truly digital version of your social security card, your driver’s license, your health records. But one that allows you to cryptographically authenticate to a variety of different service providers in a way that you would typically with Facebook Connect or Google Sign-in.”
Morris had this to say about his company's strategic partnership with Deloitte:
"We are excited to work with Deloitte to bring blockchain-enabled technologies such as decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials to government. Identity is foundational to nearly every government service and is the basis for trust and legitimacy in the public sector.
"Combining government's robust identity verification infrastructure with a platform engineered for security, privacy and scale can also unlock tremendous value for both citizens and businesses outside of government. A government-issued digital identity has the potential to reduce costs and risk for businesses in all industries, while also providing citizens with greater security, privacy and control over personal data."
Marc Mancher, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP (and government and public services practice's automation service business leader), stated:
Quote:"Blockchain requires a digital credential and in government, requiring a digital credential gets complicated pretty quickly. Attest brings a set of solutions to help address this issue of digital credentials, making the use of solutions that require that digital identity more appealing technology for government clients."

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  Azerbaijan to Adopt Blockchain-Based Solutions for Its Justice System
Posted by: admin - 11-06-2018, 06:22 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

Azerbaijan is the next nation in a growing list of those looking to adopt blockchain solutions. The Azerbaijani government has recently shown a keen interest in promoting distributed ledger technology.
The Azerbaijani Internet Forum (AMF) reportedly announced that the nation will begin the implementation of blockchain-based technology on the Ministry of Justice’s information systems and registries.
Blockchain-Based solutions
The chairman of the Azerbaijan Internet Forum, Osman Gunduz, recently announced the news when talking to the Trend news agency.
When talking to Trend regarding the variety of electronic services that could be utilized to implement distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the Ministry of Justice, Gunduz said:

Quote:“The agency currently provides over 30 electronic services, and also there are about 15 information systems and registries. The registers of electronic notary, electronic courts; penitentiary service, the information systems of non-governmental organizations, the register of population, etc. can be mentioned. The planned project entitled as ‘Mobile notary office’, which provides for the accumulation of all notarial documents in one case, has seemed interesting.”
Key Elements of Notarization
One of the key reasons why the Azerbaijani government wants to adopt blockchain solutions is the notarization of electronic documents. Other nations and businesses have successfully applied blockchain technology to their registry activities.
The AMF believes that using a distributed ledger can offer transparency to their existing “dated” system that is vulnerable to falsities in regards to registering the Azerbaijani populace.
The government is planning more research into blockchain solutions with the aim of expanding to other areas such as natural resources. The AMF chairman offered a more in-depth outline of their intentions when speaking to Trend:
Quote:“The fact that the ministry is interested in the introduction of the blockchain technology attracted attention. It was announced that in the future, the smart contracts will be introduced in the field of public utilities (water, gas and electricity supply). That is, this refers to the switch-over of existing contracts of citizens for utility services to smart contracts, which will ensure transparency and will allow to suppress the cases of falsification in this area. The citizens themselves will be able to independently control all these processes.”
As the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBS) is currently undergoing modernization in regards to blockchain technology, now is a great time for the government to adopt a more pragmatic attitude to blockchain solutions by integrating them into their own systems, some specualtors claim.

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  Tether Produces Letter Vouching for Dollar Deposits, But Bank Hedges
Posted by: admin - 11-04-2018, 09:33 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

Stablecoin issuer Tether Limited confirmed Thursday it was banking with Bahamas-based Deltec Bank and Trust Limited and published a letter purportedly from the institution as evidence of its reserves.
The company, which issues the controversial tether (USDT) stablecoin, has long been under fire over concerns that it does not have the fiat holdings to fully back the tokens in circulation. It had been rumored for weeks to be working with Deltec but did not previously acknowledge the relationship.
"The acceptance of Tether Limited as a client of Deltec came after their due diligence review of our company," the issuer said in a blog post, adding:

Quote:"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."
To show proof of its bank balance, Tether released a letter dated November 1 that appeared to come from Deltec, confirming "the portfolio cash value of your account with our bank was US$1,831,322,828" as of October 31.
Yet there is no person's name attached to the letter, and the signature is a simple cubic curve. Further, the letter contained two notable caveats: it was provided "without liability, however arising, on the part of" the bank, its shareholders, directors, employees or officers; and the letter is "solely based on the information currently in our possession."
Deltec will continue to review Tether "on an ongoing basis," the latter company said.
The bank previously declined to confirm any relationship with Tether when reached. In an email dated October 18, a representative told CoinDesk that "Due to governing legislation and our own privacy policies, we cannot comment on whether any entity is or is not a client of the Bank."
The representative added: "However, we can state that Deltec conducts all client relationships in a manner that is fully compliant with all applicable banking regulations, and consistent with our internal policies with respect to safety and sound risk management."
Deltec and Tether could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.
Still no audit
The bank letter is the latest attempt by Tether to reassure the market about its reserves without an audit, which the company has said is not obtainable. Like the Deltec letter, those previous third-party assurances came with qualifications.
Tether previously tasked a law firm to check on its bank balance. In June, the firm – Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP – said it was "confident" that Tether had more funds in its account than there were tokens in circulation on a single day, June 1.
However, the law firm said in its report that the work it did was "not for the purpose of providing assurance."
Earlier, a preliminary report by audit firm Friedman LLP issued in September 2017 indicated that the company had at least $440 million and €1,590 in various bank accounts, fully backing the tokens then in circulation.
But the names of the banks were redacted, and Friedman never did a full audit; Tether parted ways with the firm in January.
Tether has notably been removing USDT tokens from circulation over the past month after the stablecoin lost its parity with the dollar.
Some 930 million USDT tokens, which in theory represent $930 million, have been taken out of circulation since October 14.
As of Wednesday, there were under 1.8 billion tokens remaining in circulation, and USDT was trading at $0.998579, according to CoinMarketCap.

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  Fujitsu, Nine Japanese Banks To Test Blockchain System
Posted by: admin - 11-01-2018, 05:26 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

Fujitsu will operate an experimental blockchain network for the Japanese Bankers Association's (JBA), comprising nine large Japanese banks, the company revealed yesterday (Oct 29th) in a press release.
The goal of the testing is to “evaluate the functionality of the system as an economical new interbank funds transfer settlement system for small-scale transactions using a real time gross settlement,” according to the release.
Fujitsu will deploy their (to use a familiar term) testnet over Zengin-net, the Japanese Banks’ Payment Clearing Network, which serves the JBA. In effect, the test will utilize an in-house stablecoin, paired one-to-one with the Japanese yen. The company will also build on work it began last year, when it conducted a smaller P2P “blockchain field trial” with three banks.
[Image: zengen.png]
Roughly sketching the testnet’s functioning from the press release, the deployment will center around Zengin-net: Zengin will issue a currency in the form of a digital asset when requested, it will be sent between banks, and the recipient bank will then return the digital asset to Zengin.
Centralized Blockchain?
There is therefore no indication that the system will be decentralized. This observation perhaps echoes statements made recently by the Bank of Canada during its own forays into utilizing blockchain tech for interbank settlement; in the words of Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada (BoC) Carolyn Wilkins, that “there's always going to be a part that needs to be centralized.”
Unlike the Bank of Canada, there is no indication that Fujitsu will use a publically available platform to build upon for a testnet, such as Ethereum in the BoC’s case.
The interest in enterprise-grade blockchains and distributed ledger platforms is becoming widespread amongst global institutions. In addition to the BoC, banks in Spain, Singapore and Australia are just a few recent examples that are trying to apply the technology to interbank settlement.
Fujitsu is a Global 500 company, and grossed $39 billion in revenues in 2017. It is the tenth largest IT service provider in the world.

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  Microsoft Excel Plugin to Allow Users to Make Bitcoin Payments via Lightning Network
Posted by: admin - 10-29-2018, 12:48 PM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

Pierre Rochard, an independent Bitcoin (BTC) advisor for institutional investors, took to Twitter recently and claimed to have developed a Microsoft Excel plugin that enables users to make BTC payments from the spreadsheet program.
Software Supports Lightning Network
Rochard, who has experience working as a senior accountant and software engineer, said he had created a program called Neutrino - which is reportedly a software solution built on top of the Lightning Network (LN) protocol (a second layer payment solution aimed to make bitcoin and other crypto transactions faster and cheaper). 
As explained by Rochard, Neutrino lets users make payments using the LN while not requiring them to operate a full-node. According to the software developer, “users can make and receive LN payments with a few clicks” in Excel.
Notably, there are many different implementations of the Lightning Network protocol and the project Rochard referred to is called Lightning Network Daemon (LND) - which has so far released beta version 0.5.
Early Stages Of Development
As CryptoGlobe reported in August, Shitcoin.com CEO Andreas Brekken had said that his experience with using the LN revealed that it had many glitches and was “impractical even for highly technical users.” He criticized the LN software’s very high rate of transaction failure and said its codebase was filled with numerous bugs.
However, if and when the LN technology evolves and matures, then it could potentially solve bitcoin’s scalability problem - which has resulted in very slow transaction processing times and extended time periods during which BTC payments had very high transaction fees.
While Rochard seemed optimistic about Neutrino’s ongoing development, he did make it clear to his followers that currently the LN and his software program are still in their early stages of development.
Only For "Power Users"
Rochard also noted that the LN-enabled Excel extension was “not for everyone.” He explained that the program had been developed mainly for “power users”, meaning that it was designed specifically for highly experienced Excel users.
Soon after Rochard tweeted about Neutrino, his followers began asking him for more information about his program. The New York resident and founder of Bitcoin Advisory, a consulting firm for institutional clients looking to invest in digital assets, pointed out that almost all finance professionals use Microsoft’s Excel program to do their accounting work.
This is the reason why he felt it was important to have a LN-enabled solution for Excel as its users regularly send many payments. When questioned about Neutrino's official release date, the software engineer said the program’s public release should be expected at the end of this month

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  Japan’s authorities approve cryptocurrency self-regulation
Posted by: admin - 10-26-2018, 12:27 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

Yesterday, on October 24th, the Japanese Financial Services Agency approved the self-regulation of the country’s cryptocurrency industry. Now, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) can supervise the operation of digital assets exchanges in the country.
As reported by Reuters, FSA, the Japanese financial regulator body has allowed the JVCEA to monitor and sanction all the digital currency exchanges running in the country.
Part of the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association’s regulatory operations is to lay down rules that protect the funds of the investors, while also ensuring compliance among exchanges.
A Japanese FSA official noted that the crypto industry is moving at a high speed and said that experts in the industry were better suited to make the rules instead of bureaucrats.
He added that “we will make further efforts to build an industry that is trusted by customers”.
Yuri Suzuki, a senior partner at the Atsumi and Sakai law firm, however, noted that in contrast to the present regulations in Japan, the rules by the JVCEA were severe. Suzuki added that with the new status of the crypto industry, the body could win back the trust of the general public. He also mentioned that the self-regulatory body has a lot of work to do in this regard.
In addition to granting self-regulatory rights to the industry, the Japanese FSA also published a new set of guidelines for applicants looking to establish digital assets exchange in the country. 160 digital currency exchanges have shared their interest at the moment.
The Japanese virtual currency body first applied for a self-regulatory status in the third quarter of this year.

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  Blockchain Startup Tron Announces Partnership with Internet Giant Baidu
Posted by: admin - 10-20-2018, 05:54 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

A blockchain startup aiming to decentralized the internet is shaking hands with the field’s most prominent player. But does it matter?
Tron Foundation revealed in its latest tweet that it would be working closely with Baidu, a China-based internet giant, to use their cloud solutions. Far from what seems like an official and detailed press release, today’s announcement nevertheless confirmed to Tron’s October 12 teaser in which it admitted partnering with a giant whose valuation was worth billions of dollars.
But to many who responded after Baidu’s name came to the limelight, the Tron partnership with the internet giant was no less an equivalent of, as a tweet quoted, “a sleeper’s partnership with his pillow.”
Anatomy of a Tweet
Tron has stylized its tweet to create a right balance of hype and information. Readers might get mistaken from the first look that Tron is working as an equal – a blockchain innovator – with Baidu, perhaps on a decentralized cloud computing solution the latter wants to develop and launch anytime soon.
But a more in-depth look into the jumble of a tweet could prove that Tron is easily a customer of a cloud computing service that Baidu offers – nothing more, nothing less for now. The blockchain startup aims to build its Wave Field Tron system on Baidu cloud – simple.
Moreover, the attached image showcases an uncopiable-to-Google-Translate Chinese text which could be easily misinterpreted by the international media thanks to the fancy, subtitles-like English text below. The words like “joining forces,” “work with […] to offer blockchain solutions,” and “mass adoption” end up looking like jargons in what clearly seems like a politically correct yet misleading announcement.
CCN reached out to one of its team members to help with the translation and received the following text in return:
“Baidu Cloud service is cooperating with Tron’s Wave Field technology in basic cloud business field. Therefore, the Wave Field Tron will be built on Baidu Cloud. Both the parties have not reached any partnership on a business level, but the current partnership will be only focusing on the sale and the purchase of basic cloud computing resources.”
The translation went on about how Baidu is developing a blockchain commercialization architecture with the commercial superpartners to carry out technology exploration, revenue sharing, and build a blockchain ecosystem of cooperation. Meanwhile, the dots between Tron’s blockchain and Baidu’s cloud computing project were challenging to connect.
Tron price went up over 2 percent against the dollar after the Tron’s CEO Justin Sun’s announcement went live on Twitter. It is now trendline sideways around the intraday high established near 0.0255-fiat.

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