Coinbase Shares a Deep Dive Look Into the Recent Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Hard Fork

Coinbase Shares a Deep Dive Look Into the Recent Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Hard Fork

According to reports from the Coinbase team on May 15th, the team detected a structural depth 2 chain re-organization which took place within the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain. This particular re-organization specifically targetted Bitcoin Cash funds which were sent to a specific Segwit Bitcoin address.

While these funds were previously unspendable by the community, were since made available through recent update by the core developers behind BCH. So what was it that caused this? According to the Coinbase team, this was made possible due to an internal, hash-based power struggle between two miners on the blockchain.

So, What Allowed This to Happen?

To give some context to how this was made possible, Bitcoin Cash and its network instigates two yearly hard forks in order to implement scheduled upgrades to the underlying protocol. The most recent one of these took place on May 15th, at 12pm GMT, with the update being introduced in two stages:

  • Enabling of Schorr Signatures – This refers to a cryptographic solution for digital signatures.
  • Enable Segwit Recovery – This is one of the critical elements, as this upgrade would allow for previously unspendable assets sent to a BTC address to become spendable again, in some cases.

The Event – Hour to Hour

Between the times of 5:20 to 9:05am (PST), there was a vulnerability discovered within the main implementation of Bitcoin CashBitcoin ABC. This was then exploited in order to created ’empty’ blocks within the network, resulting in the BCH network being backlogged by large numbers of hollow transactions.

From there, a vast range of thousands of transactions, with approximately 29 of them, according to the team, being double spends within BCH.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: James F

Bitfinex Temporarily Shuts Down Deposits and Withdrawals, Says Exchange Funds are Safe

Bitfinex Temporarily Shuts Down Deposits and Withdrawals, Says Exchange Funds are Safe

The crypto exchange Bitfinex has recently announced that its deposit and withdrawals were suspended. The company used its Twitter profile in order to make the announcement.

According to the exchange’s tweet, this was happened due to some outage on one of the company’s network providers. Therefore, they had to shut down the services temporarily.

They also affirmed that all funds remained in cold storage and that the situation should be restored in around three to four hours. This was pretty much what happened. Around three hours after the announcement, the services were live again.

During the downtime, the CTO of the company, Paolo Ardoino, has posted several links to the hot wallets of the company. He made it in order to show to the community that their funds were safe and that nothing was happening.

Downtime Caused Worries Because Of Recent Controversy

One of the reasons why the downtime was so worrisome for the community was because of the recent controversy that Bitfinex and its sister company Tether faced. The New York Attorney General (NYAG) Letitia James has accused the two companies after Bitfinex lost $850 million USD and Tether used the funds of its stablecoin in order to make up for the money that was lost.

This created a major problem for the companies, which are now facing the NYAG in court. Bitfinex never actually revealed the loss to its investors and used the money of the stablecoin, which was supposed to be backed 1-to-1 with USD. It was a double mistake.

The Community Reacted

The price of Tether has somehow remained stable despite all the trouble, but it is fair to say that the confidence of the investors has been badly shaken by what happened, which is why people were so suspicious today when the downtime happened.

A user called @CryptoFraggle, for instance, has shown a Simpsons gif affirmed that “the end is near”, something that many investors and traders were probably thinking when the company affirmed that the downtime was happening.

Other people, such as @Naji_GK, only affirmed: “Let’s panic”. Others affirmed that the case was very similar to Cryptopia when the exchange was hacked.

Fortunately, most of the users preaching doom were wrong. There was no reason to be so afraid, after all, since the funds were eventually released for withdrawals. It looks like, at least today, people will not have to worry anymore.

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Author: Gabriel M

Craig Wright Takes What Bitcoin Did Podcaster Peter McCormack to Court for Libel

Craig Wright Takes What Bitcoin Did Podcaster Peter McCormack to Court for Libel

Podcaster of ‘What Bitcoin Did’, Peter McCormack has recently revealed that he is being taken to court by Bitcoin SV’s Craig Wright. On Friday, May 31, 2019, McCormack took to Twitter to express the position he is currently in and what he has to do moving forward.

First, he revealed that RPC will be acting as defense on his behalf against Craig Wright, noting that the former is

“the best and most equipped UK firm to defend in cases of libel.” Later on, he expressed his financial concerns. In particular, he shared that he will only be able to cover part of the cost, insisting that he needs help and is “accepting the advice and support of everyone.”

Following this, McCormack plans to create a “trusted group of Bitcoiners” who will help him to decide how to raise the remaining funds needed to strengthen his end of the case, the types of currencies this fundraising will accept, along with other aspects including “management of funds, audit of funds and use of any surplus funds.”

With all that’s going on, McCormack, did not hold back, as he remains firm on the fact that there’s no way Craig Wright is “Satoshi”. Here’s as per his words:

According to crypto news outlet, Craig Wright believes that McCormack’s goal has been to ruin both his and Bitcoin SV’s reputation, hence the initial reason for this lawsuit dated April 17, 2019. Given the reasons, McCormack should hold back his words, as it can work against him (i.e. the aforementioned tweet).

As per McCormack’s claims dated May 29, 2019, the initial defense cost can be anywhere between 25,000 and 50,000 pounds, adding that if this grows out of proportion, he can be sitting at anywhere between 500,000 and 750,000 pounds (which is roughly USD$884,000). He also stressed that if he loses the trial, then he will be left with a total sum of 1.5 million pounds in legal fees (approximately a little shy of USD$1.8 million).

Upon McCormack’s frequent updates on what’s going on, it seems like he has gotten the attention of Binance’s CZ, who has since offered to help with the podcaster’s costs by initiating a Binance Charity program. As seen below, CZ posted a mini survey of sorts in which 65% of voters have recorded that they will donate, with only 35% supporting Craig Wright.

How do you think things will play out moving forward? Who will succeed, McCormack or Wright? Let us know in the comments below!

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

The Month of May In The Financial World: Bitcoin’s Gain Shines As Wall Street Posts Loses

The Month of May In The Financial World: Bitcoin's Gain Shines As Wall Street Posts Loses

May was a winning month for Bitcoin, there is simply no doubts about that. During the month, the cryptocurrency rose its price in over $3,000 USD and decoupled from the traditional markets, which were not even close to matching all the success the largest cryptocurrency had this month.

At the moment, BTC can be traded at $8,450 USD and it is set to have its fourth month in a row rising in value, this time with gains of 60%, which is a considerable improvement to have right now. This is the longest winning streak that the token had ever since August 2017, so there are plenty of reasons to be excited for the future of Bitcoin right now.

It is also important to see how Bitcoin is heading up despite some Wall Street investments losing their edge in the market. The S&P 500 index, for instance, finished the month 6% down. Other assets which are sensitive to economic growth are also not having the best results right now. For instance, brent oil and copper are down 11% and 9%, respectively. Even the Chinese Yuan is down by 3%.

The bad month is happening because the U. S.-China Trade War is starting to ignite again and several investors are afraid that this might end up leading to a new economic recession, which would be bad for the global markets. Bitcoin, however, would not be affected by this and, in fact, its prices might even be positively correlated with the economy becoming worse.

This made “safe haven assets” such as gold and now Bitcoin goes up. The price of gold was up 1% and the U. S. 10-year treasury yield was down 13% (as the price is higher, the yield is lower). However, these gains obviously appear to be somewhat lackluster when you consider that Bitcoin rose 60% in a single month.

Why invest in gold when you can just use digital gold instead, which is much more valuable and goes up a lot faster? This year, the price of BTC is already 127% up.

While last year the prices of BTC mimicked the difficulties of the equity markets and went down together with it, this year it looks like BTC has decoupled and it is ready to get massive profits again. The year is just beginning, so it is obvious that there is still a lot of road for growth.

This was an important month. It helped to solidify Bitcoin’s leadership as the new digital gold and has made the bull run finally be accepted by almost anyone in the market. Will the next month be even better? We can only hope.

Bitcoin’s price is $8,572.52 BTC/USD exchange rate today. The real-time BTC market cap of $152.02 Billion currently ranks #1 with a chart dominance at 55.80%, daily trading volume of $7.24 Billion and live coin value change of BTC 3.47 in the last 24 hours.

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Author: Gabriel M

International Organization of Securities Commission Looks to the Public Crypto Regulation Suggestions

International Organization of Securities Commission Looks to the Public Crypto Regulation Suggestions
  • IOSCO requested feedback from public in new paper on the concerns of regulating cryptocurrency around the world.
  • Some considerations that IOSCO requests feedback for include the protection of access, price integrity, and the technology of the crypto market.

Determining the best way to regulate the cryptocurrency industry has been a goal of multiple jurisdictions around the world. Now, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a recent consultation paper on the matter, which was published on May 28th. The IOSCO is a standard setter for global securities regulations.

In the news release for this paper, the organization clarifies that they regulate about 95% of the securities markets around the world, while impacts 115 jurisdictions. Within the IOSCO, the organization works towards adherence to a mutual and consistent standard, determining the regulations and how they are enforced in the global securities sector.

The consultation paper is called “Issues, Risks, and Regulatory Considerations Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms.”

The paper requests feedback from the public that will help the organization understand the risks and other concerns associated with the cryptocurrency industry, as identified by IOSCO. The public will need to submit all of their comments by July 29th this year.

In the report, the company outlines certain considerations, which includes:

  • Access to CTPs
  • Protecting assets
  • Conflicts of interest
  • CTP operation
  • Market integrity
  • Price integrity
  • Technology

This innovative approach follows a G20 2018 communique that was already presented to the various entities that set the standards for regulations. The communique discussed the continuance of regulating cryptocurrencies and addressing their risks, “according to their respective mandates, and asset multilateral responses as needed.”

In some cases, the new release states that the cryptocurrency assets will end up covered by the traditional framework of the securities laws already in place. However, that circumstance will only be implemented if the local regulatory authority in that area has determined that the crypto asset is considered a security that would already be covered by the phrasing in their securities laws.

The fact that CTPs could be regulated brings up another potential issue for the authorities, according to IOSCO. For that reason, the paper states that it may be helpful to use their detailed analysis of considerations as a baseline for regulators, as they determine their revised approach.

The IOSCO established the Initial Coin Offering Consultation Network in January 2018, as a way to learn about the experiences of the ICO market. Some of the issues addressed in the annual conference that year revolved around the challenges associated with this budding asset class. As such, the challenges impacted the approaches that securities regulators worldwide took on in their governance of the industry.

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Author: Krystle M

Binance Charity Foundation Signs MoU With Ugandan NGO Safe Future for Local Education Benefits

Binance Charity Foundation Signs MoU With Ugandan NGO Safe Future for Local Education Benefits

The charity branch of the most important crypto exchange in the world, Binance Charity Foundation, has recently decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Uganda named Safe Future. The NGO is focused on improving the local education in the country.

This new partnership was originally announced yesterday on the Binance blog after the document was signed. The partnership will be a part of the Binance for Children Special Impact Education Project Uganda.

By uniting with local companies, the idea of this project is that the funds raised by the crypto exchange will be used in order to buy and install several upgrades to the schools such as sanitary pads, LED screens, solar panels, school supplies and food to be used in launch and breakfast for the students.

The money to buy the goods will be the responsibility of the exchange and the local NGO will oversee how the money will actually be spent locally for the schools that need it the most.

Safe Future’s CEO Mula Anthony has affirmed that over 100,000 students will have their lives improved by being a part of this project, which is set to be made in at least 160 schools of the country.

According to Anthony, the project is already underway at the moment. He has spoken about it on social media and affirmed that the people from the NGO have already started the installation of lightning kits on two schools based on the region of Kampala so far.

Soon, it is expected that the project will move forward and all the 160 schools will eventually receive the material, so the signing of the MoU was a huge first step in order to turn this into a reality.

About The Binance Charity Foundation

The Binance Charity Foundation is a charity organization that was created by Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, last year. The goal is to use the money from donors in order to help especially children in poor countries.

In the future, the main goal is to be able to help at least one million students in African countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

Before now, the foundation was already engaged in the Launch for Children project. This project had the goal of providing breakfast and lunch for kids at school in the Kampala region. At the time of this report, 10 schools from Kampala and Jinja are already participating in the project.

During April, the foundation also opened a channel that would be used in order to donate money to the reconstruction of the Notre Dame cathedral. As you may have seen on social media, the famous cathedral was severely burned after a fire started there and the fireman had difficulties to stop it quickly.

The program was called Rebuild Notre Dame and it received money via crypto donations with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Binance Coin.

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Author: Gabriel M

FCA Cautions Against Sketchy CFDPremium Scam to United Kingdom Investors

FCA Cautions Against Sketchy CFDPremium Scam to United Kingdom Investors

The U. K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), one of the most important financial regulators in the country, has decided to warn the local investors against a new company called CFDPremium, which is targeting U. K.-based investors with offshore investments, including crypto.

According to the Britain regulator, this is a part of the ongoing effort in order to warn the public about the scams which are so common in the market.

CFDPremium is not a company based in the United Kingdom. It offers mostly crypto services such as Bitcoin and Litecoin investments, and also offshore investments for users. The warning was sent out because the company was deemed as fake by the regulators. According to them, CFDPremium is not authorized to offer its business in the country or to local investors.

Therefore, the company would represent a high risk for investors that could be speculative and make them lose their investments if they decided to give it a chance.

This is not the first company to try to offer CFDs to customers without being properly regulated. This kind of investment, unlike crypto, cannot be offered by companies which are not properly regulated by the countries in which they are offering their products.

For instance, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has prohibited these companies from offering their products in all European countries without communicating with the authorities first and being completely compliant with all the local laws.

Another concern that the FCA currently has is that companies will use their overseas brands in order to sell products that can be fake or that are unregulated and will offer unexpected dangers for investors. Products like this can create several risks to the users and consumers, so they should be avoided.

In other occasions, the FCA has warned the local investors against any kind of “get rich quick” scheme such as these ones, because most of the time they are scams poorly disguised as real investments which will only take the money off the investors and vanish, which they can do because they work outside of the country and are, therefore, more likely to evade the law.

Another important problem is that most people see cryptos as shortcuts for getting quick money, which actually helps when some company uses them either as a way to escape sanctions or as a buzzword.

Finally, it was affirmed by the FCA that people should be aware that some companies affirm that they are regulated under the local law but they are not. In these cases, you should always check with the authorities before you invest.

Crypto Scams Are Most Profitable Than Most Altcoins

A new study made by Longhash showed that two popular crypto scams, Onecoin and Bitconnect, were actually more profitable than several altcoins. When comparing the market cap of these scams with tokens, both scams were featured in the top 10, using information from CoinMarketCap.

This is a certainly very worrisome scenario that shows just how important it is to stop these fake crypto offerings from reaching incautious investors.

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Author: Gabriel M

Bitcoin Blender Users Ordered to Withdraw Funds in Sudden Shut Down of Crypto Mixing Service

Bitcoin Blender Users Ordered to Withdraw Funds in Sudden Shut Down of Crypto Mixing Service
  • Bitcoin Blender voluntarily shut down its cryptocurrency mixing services.
  • Vitalik Buterin commented that he may launch a similar service for ether.

The bear market of the cryptocurrency industry has proven that no firm is safe from the lack of activity during hard times. Unfortunately, that is the fate that Bitcoin Blender recently reached. Bitcoin Blender, a cryptocurrency mixing service, chose to shut down operations this week, asking that users withdraw their funds.

This development was reported by BleepingComputer on May 30th, saying that the service posted a message on their website, which appeared on both the Tor network and on Clearnet. The message stated:

“We are a hidden service that mixes your bitcoins to remove the link between you and your transactions. This adds an essential layer of anonymity to your online activity to protect against ‘Blockchain Analysis.’”

This Monday, the shut down was announced on the BitcoinTalk Forums, and there were many users left with no ability to actually withdraw their funds, considering the short window.

One user mentioned that they were unable to succeed in accessing the website over the course of two to three hours, and that they had missed the warning from the company to withdraw their funds.

Presently, the Tor mirror cannot be accessed, but the Clearnet website is still available. Authorities in Europe had banned BestMixer, which is one of the three largest cryptocurrency tumblers, due to their connection with money laundering.

This type of criminal activity is always a major concern amongst mixers, depending on the team and which groups can access it. However, it also promotes the anonymity of the market that many consumers prefer.

Vitalik Buterin, the well-known co-founder of Ethereum, made an announcement soon after Bitcoin Blender shut down their service, saying that he may begin a mixing service for one-chain smart contract-based ether. The note by Buterin can be viewed at https://hackmd.io/s/rJj9hEJTN#We-need-a-first-step-toward-more-privacy.

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Author: Krystle M

Tim Draper Expresses Uneasiness for Ethereum’s Issuance Rate but Impressed by Smart Contracts

Tim Draper Expresses Uneasiness for Ethereum’s Issuance Rate but Impressed by Smart Contracts

During a recent interview with Ethereum Classic Labs, American Venture Capital Investor, Timothy Cook Draper expressed his uneasiness with Ethereum, while also praising the blockchain reports CCN.

What troubles the investor who is popularly known for his $250,000 prediction for the crypto giant, Bitcoin [BTC], is Ethereum’s issuance rate of two to four percent yearly.

In particular, he feels like everything is in Founder, Vitalik Buterin’s hand, stressing that he seems to have all the decision-making power. Here’s as per his quote:

“[Buterin] can just arbitrarily say, ‘hey, we’re just going to print 10% of this sh*t […]’ He may not but whoever follows him might. That’s the part I don’t like […] The whole point is to be decentralized.”

These comments come from the fact that Ethereum is moving from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake, ultimately leading to a reduced token issuance rate.

All this being said, Draper has always been a big supporter of smart contracts, which Ethereum is more or less known for. While he is aware of its likes on Bitcoin’s blockchain, he stressed the fact that it couldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Ethereum, who initially paved the path.

Draper is expecting blockchain technology’s impact to expand over time. Industries such as banking and finance have already witnessed the efficiency that arises from the integration of blockchain technology. However, the investor wants to see more, mentioning the likes of the real estate, health and insurance sectors’ use of blockchain.

Towards the end of the interview, Draper shared his viewpoint on Bitcoin, where he proposed the best time for making investments. He believes that any time beats not investing at all. More specifically:

“People say, ‘Oh I wish I’d gotten in before.’ I think that’s wrong-headed. They’re going to look back as say either I did, or I could have gotten in on that ground floor when it was $8K.”

Draper also noted that before Bitcoin can reach new heights, investors can expect to see its value fluctuate or even drop, as the rise in Bitcoin puts banks in danger – hence investors should predict some manipulation from the latter’s end.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Coinbase Reveals Chief Operating Officer is Departing as CEO Brian Armstrong Shares Kind Words

Coinbase Reveals Chief Operating Officer is Departing as CEO Brian Armstrong Shares Kind Words

Asif Hirji is leaving Coinbase. Known as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company, Hirji has decided to leave the company.

He worked on Andreessen Horowitz and TD Ameritrade Holdings Corp. before Coinbase and joined the San Francisco-based crypto company on December 2017, when cryptos were at their highest point so far.

When Hirji entered the company, cryptos were peaking and the roller coaster started soon after he started his role. Under his guidance, Coinbase made a bigger push into international markets and started to also be nearer institutional investors at this time. Also during his time in the position, Emilie Choi was defined as the vice president of the company.

Brian Armstrong, the CEO and founder of Coinbase, the experience of Hirji was very important for the company, as he helped to guide it through a very important chapter of the company’s story. He said that the executive entered the company at a very important time and that he was critical in order to help with growth.

“His experience and mentorship helped guide Coinbase through an important chapter in its history,” Brian Armstrong, Coinbase co-founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement. “He joined at a critical time when both the company and crypto space were going through rapid growth, bringing his extensive experience to bear when it was most necessary.”

The official announcement of the departure happened today, May 31, and it seems that the last day in which Hirji was still in the company was yesterday.

Hirji also talked about leaving the company on his social media profile. He affirmed that the “tour of duty” was over as he helped to scale the company to the value of $1 billion USD in value, launched several new assets and helped the company to achieve the valuation of $8 billion USD.

Others Are Leaving Coinbase As Well

Coinbase seems to be during a renovation time. Not only Hirji left recently, but also other important executives in the company. The former Chief Technology Officer Balaji Srinivasan, for instance, was a big leader that left the company recently. Others include Adam White, Dan Romero and Christine Sandler.

While Coinbase argues that its business is continuing to grow fast, there are already some concerns about the future of the company, especially considering that many key executives are currently leaving it.

However, do not panic if you are interested in seeing Coinbase survive. Choi was one of the first people hired by Hirji and she seems to be doing a good job, looking closely at new partnerships together with the CEO, so the legacy started by Hirji may continue to be present in the company even after him and other people left.

Emilie Choi started her Silicon Valley career at Yahoo! and then she worked on both Flickr, LinkedIn and Aliababa before going to Coinbase, where she is now.

Some changes which are happening in the company right now are that it has undergone a process of de-emphasizing the focus on institutional investors and also has axed a project that was focused on high-frequency traders as well.

The areas in which the company grew the most were Coinbase Custody and over the counter (OTC) trading, according to reports from the CEO Brian Armstrong. The OTC desk, for instance, grew 100% in a single quarter.

At the time of this report, Coinbase employs a total of 800 people.

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Author: Gabriel M