Cielo Connects 1.4 Million POS Devices To Start Accepting Crypto Payments

Cielo is a Brazil-based company that provides services related to credit cards and other payment methods. In fact, they are the largest providers of such services in the country. So, when they confirmed that users in Brazil could pay in cryptos, it was one of the best news for adoption in the country in recent times.

POS terminals is an excellent way for smaller businesses to enter the cryptocurrency space. It is easy to use them, and it is very practical when it comes to bookkeeping. When mobile first really took off, and smartphones have become an everyday tool that we rely on, QR codes started becoming an everyday thing. With an integrated POS system, crafting a seamless customer experience is incredibly easy.

The president of the company Paulo Caffarelli said that partner banks such as Bradesco are helping his organization in this venture. Moreover, Cielo has the possibility for supporting crypto payments that do not require QR code this October.

Caffarelli said:

“Cielo is a technology company and has to use its expertise in an overview of the payment chain. We are improving the life of the retailer and the consumer. We have full support of partner banks (of Brazil and Bradesco) because they know that the competition is fierce.”

The founder of Panda Group, Arley Lozano recently took it upon himself to to spread crypto adoption through Columbia and Venezuela. They have deployed 10 hybrid cryptocurrency point-of-sale (PoS) terminals that also act as automated teller machines (ATM). To help the Venezuelan refugees, 4 of those are located near the border. Latin America is an “orange economy” filled with cultural and creative entrepreneurs.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Head Of Brevan Howard Hedge Fund Is Looking To Invest $1 Billion In Crypto Assets

Billionaire Alan Howard who is the head of Brevan Howard Hedge Fund is looking to make investments in the ever-fluctuating crypto market. Financial Times has confirmed that he is planning to put as much as a $1Billion in the crypto hedge fund.

Notably, Howard made substantial personal investments in cryptocurrencies last year and plans to put more of his own money into digital assets and the blockchain technology behind them.

Brevan Howard’s flagship macro hedge fund recorded its worst ever annual performance last year. Like some other hedge funds betting on economic trends in developed markets, a lack of volatility amid years of central-bank stimulus made it difficult to make money. Now, they seek to capitalize on the volatility of the crypto markets.

“Losing traditional assets in the real world is hard. In the digital world, it’s very easy to lose assets — put in the wrong address for a bitcoin transfer and it’s gone forever,” said Bin Ren who is the CEO of blockchain funds specialist at Elwood.

Ren was earlier the Cheif Invetment Officer at revan Howard’s Systemic Investment Group. He added that screening of the sector had resulted in Elwood identifying up to 50 crypto hedge funds as probably satisfy our due diligence.

While 2018 saw a 72% fall in the price of Bitcoin, the median crypto hedge fund returned -46% over the same period, indicating that these managers were successfully able to outperform their benchmark. However, performance differed based on the type of strategy pursued. The median quantitative fund returned 8% in 2018.

The massive percentage growth of Bitcoin, even in the face of extreme stress testing, has legitimized it in the eyes of investors everywhere. Bitcoin remains a small percentage of the hedge fund industry, but even the oldest and most established funds can see what’s coming.

This broader interest from investors and regulators is undoubtedly a positive step towards digital assets being recognized as an asset class with true viability and longevity.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Developer Finds Concerning Issue with one of Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork’s EIP

  • EIP-1884 is about repricing for opcodes
  • This EIP will break at least a few deployed contracts, says developer
  • Vitalik also answers what will break as current blockchain migrates to Eth 2.0

Recently, Ethereum core-developers finalized a list of six code changes to be activated for the next system-wide upgrade of Ethereum Network called Istanbul.

The update will be executed in two parts, with the first one featuring all six code changes with a tentative date in October while the second one will feature Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) — sometime in the first quarter next year — that require further testing from core developers.

The accepted EIPs are:

  • EIP-152: Add Blake2 compression function F precompile
  • EIP-1108: Reduce alt_bn128 precompile gas costs
  • EIP-1344: Add ChainID opcode
  • EIP-1884: Repricing for trie-size-dependent opcodes
  • EIP-2028: Calldata gas cost reduction
  • EIP-2200: Rebalance net-metered SSTORE gas cost with consideration of SLOAD gas cost change

However, Rust developer at Parity Technologies, Wei Tang is concerned about on of EIPs, EIP-1884.

“Ethereum shouldn’t be of exception if it wants to have a bright future.”

This EIP proposes repricing certain opcodes in order to obtain a “good balance between gas expenditure and resource consumption.” It basically proposes to raise the gas cost for opcodes that are more resource-intensive than they were previously.

According to Tang, this EIP will break at least a few deployed contracts. That he says may be a “standalone incident” but he is more concerned about the fact that some core developers take it as “acceptable behavior.”

Tang argues that backward compatibility is one of the priorities for making design decisions for projects on which many people depend on.

Giving the example of Windows and Linux and how they gained popularity because of backward compatibility, he says, “Ethereum shouldn’t be of exception if it wants to have a bright future.”

What will break as current blockchain migrates to Eth 2.0?

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is in favor of this EIP, although he wishes repricing were higher but says Tang’s concern “is still an important other side of the debate to highlight.”

Istanbul’s first part will be the fifth hard fork to be executed on Ethereum blockchain that is expected to help it secure against replay attacks and boost chain interoperability with zcash, a privacy coin.

As for what will break under the currently deployed contract when the existing blockchain is migrated to Eth 2.0, Buterin shares a few factors to be affected.

Testnet activation of the first part of Istanbul will be the last set before mainnet activation, which all ethereum core developers are looking forward to as it will ensure that “everything’s working correctly.”

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Author: AnTy

Wealthy High-Net Worth Indians Consider Cryptocurrency For Their Investment Portfolios

Cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular around the world as more investors gain knowledge about the digital assets and the benefits they come with.

The development of various applications for cryptocurrency has placed them as a viable option on investment markets as the digital assets angle for mainstream adoption.

Cryptocurrency as an Investment Option

A recent study by Huru India revealed that there is a growing number of wealthy Indians that are interested in placing their investments in cryptocurrencies. About 10% of the surveyed individuals said that they are considering investing in cryptocurrencies in the near future.

This number makes cryptocurrency the fourth most preferred investment class, and given that these assets are relatively new on the market, it shows that they have made strides in gaining popularity among investors.

Most investors said that they would place their funds in real estate. Property remains the most attractive investment, and it is preferred because it is safe and maintains value over time. Stock and fixed income assets make the second and third places in terms of preferred investments as wealthy individuals prefer these traditional forms of investment.

It is worth noting that half of the surveyed individuals did not have a clue about what cryptocurrencies are.

Bitcoin remains a Top Investment option among Crypto Assets

The word cryptocurrency is usually associated with Bitcoin, and it isn’t without reason. The survey showed that individuals who are knowledgeable about cryptocurrency would pick Bitcoin as the digital asset they place their investment in.

30% of the respondents say that they would go for Bitcoin while 9% said that they would prefer Ethereum. 7% of the surveyed group said that they would go for XRP, which is one of the fastest-growing crypto assets on the market.

Bitcoin’s dominance over other cryptocurrencies has been going on for years as the leading cryptocurrency remains the most valuable crypto asset. As money markets experience low volatility, many investors are moving their funds into Bitcoin as they consider the cryptocurrency as a safe haven asset. Bitcoin’s desirability has driven its price to new heights, and crypto markets as a whole have benefited from this.

Indian Regulators and Cryptocurrency

India has one of the biggest crypto communities in the world, but the country’s authorities have expressed negativity towards cryptocurrencies.

The central bank of India ordered all financial institutions in the country to not engage in business with crypto related businesses. The government is considering a bill that would make crypto trading illegal in the country.

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Author: Ali Raza

Hyperledger Announces It Is Officially Integrating Ethereum as Its First Public Blockchain

Hyperledger has officially announced that it will be integrating its very first-open public client into its list of tech offerings. The technical steering committee unanimously voted to include Pantheon, an Ethereum client developed by PegaSys after engaging in a very vigorous debate.

It is expected that the client will soon be renamed and will take on the name Hyperledger “Besu”. It is a term derived from the Japanese and which is used to refer to a foundation or base. While releasing this statement, PegaSys stated that after all has been said and done, blockchains act as a foundation for data on which various applications are created.

The statement went on to state that for this reason, blockchains should serve modern information technology architectures as a base of trust. Patheon, written in Java is an open-sourced Apache 2.0. It has officially been licensed to Ethereum. The ETH client was designed to make sure that developers could easily deal with all aspects associated with distributed ledgers including storage, networking, and consensus algorithm which many views to be very difficult.

John Wolpert who serves as the global product executive at ConsenSys when commenting on this news stated that PegaSys would now start celebrating its integration into a global consortium after having been out in the wild for close to five years.

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Author: Daniel W

TON Final Test Run To Be Released As Developers Say Network Is Compatible With Ethereum

Telegram’s blockchain and cryptocurrency projects, one of the most anticipated in the industry, is approaching its release date. Telegram is one of the biggest social media companies, and it is popular for its privacy and encryption functions. The social media giant’s crypto project is expected to be one of the most valuable in the crypto world when it goes public.

The mainnet launch for the blockchain project, named the Telegram Open Network (TON), is expected on the 31st of October. TON’s trial users expect to receive the node running code on the 1st of September as Telegram moves into the final phases of the project’s preparation.

Comparability with Ethereum

TON Labs has been tasked with developing the network and the tools that developers will need to build new systems of their own. The tech startup received considerable support from investors during Telegram’s token sales, and this has allowed the tech firm to develop more tools for developers.

Various tools have been announced, and each one of these will appeal to a different sector of the blockchain and crypto industry. TON Labs recently announced a Solidity compiler, which will allow Ethereum based applications to be built and run on TON.

Alexander Filatov, CEO of TON Labs, said that the Solidity compiler for Ethereum is one of the most challenging things they’ve had to build. The tool will allow developers in the Ethereum community to move everything they have written for Ethereum to TON. TON Labs has been testing Solidity compiler since July and TON trial users can expect to access this tool.

Final Pretest

The TON version being released to TON trial users on the 1st of September is expected to be the last in a series of tests run by TON Labs.

Filatov said that this test run might be the most important of all the ones they’ve run because they have limited time to fix any bugs that may be identified during the tests. There is little time between the release of this test run and the launch of TON’s mainnet.

According to the user agreement signed between Telegram and its investors, the social media company will have to refund all those who bought tokens if the mainnet does not launch on the 31st of October. This makes the trial run being released on the 1st of September even more important because if anything goes wrong, it puts Telegram in a predicament.

Through its token sales, Telegram raised about $1.7 billion as investors poured in to get a piece of the highly anticipated project.

Telegram’s tokens, named GRAM, are already trading on unauthorized markets where investors are already fetching high profits for the tokens before the network is launched officially. Telegram warned that these investors are in contravention of their user agreement and they risk losing their entire share of the GRAM token.

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Author: Ali Raza

Coin Metrics: Bitcoin Miners All-Time Revenue Tops $14 Billion

According to fresh data released by Coin Metrics, the all-time revenue generated by Bitcoin Miners has topped $14 billion.

Yahoo Finance had reported on 30th August that despite the network increasing its hash rate by a large percentage, miners are still in a position to make tons of money. For those not in the know, increasing the hash rate in a network reduces the profit made by miners.

BTC Miner Revenue Continue To Grow At An Exponential Rate

The report from Yahoo notes that after the inception of the BTC network, it took the miners a total of 8 years to surpass the $5 billion mark. It, however, notes that the next $5 billion was mined at a faster rate as it only took 8 months for the miners to break their all-time revenue and top $10 billion.

What these mining statistics mean is that if the current mining profitability is to remain on track, then chances are that miners will top the $20 billion revenue mark by the start of next year (2020). The current mark of $14 billion is the most impressive taken into account that the hash rate has recently been on a massive tear. It is a tear that has seen it break some past records in the last few months.

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Author: Daniel W

Bitcoin Futures Become More Popular Among Institutional Investors as CME Numbers Rise

The trading of Bitcoin futures has surged over this year as the leading cryptocurrency found its way back to the heights associated with it. Cryptocurrency trading has become more popular, and more investors are beginning to consider the asset class for the portfolios.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has reported high record trading volumes for Bitcoin futures. The exchange is experiencing an average trade volume of 7,237 contracts daily as more traders are moving into Bitcoin futures.

This trading volume represents a growth of 132% from the same period in 2018. It is impossible to ignore the amount of growth that Bitcoin futures have gone through this year, and this is only driving more investors towards the asset class.

Growth of Bitcoin Futures

Starting late December 2018, Bitcoin entered a rally that saw the leading cryptocurrency’s price rise by over 300%. Bitcoin was trading at a low of around $3,000 before it went on a bull run that saw the crypto asset trade at almost $14,000 in June.

When Bitcoin broke the $6,000 resistance in May, it was quite clear that it was well on its way to reach record high prices.

For CME, August reflected continuous growth of the popularity of Bitcoin futures among institutional investors. Tim McCourt, CME’s managing director, said that the group had its most successful month with regards to Bitcoin futures.

McCourt went on to say that there is growing investor interest in digital assets and a growing interest in the various blockchain and cryptocurrency applications that are being developed across multiple industries. He added that it will be interesting to see how the technologies continue to develop and how the markets will respond to this development.

CME’s managing director reaffirmed the fact that the Group remains focused on its provision of crypto products. CME also provides its clients with educational tools about cryptocurrency in a bid to help these customers become more acquainted with digital assets and make better decisions when they are trading these assets.

CME’s Impact on Bitcoin Prices

It has long been assumed that the settlement of CME Bitcoin futures has a direct impact on the price of Bitcoin. Many crypto analysts share this belief, and Josh Olszewisz says that the bear market which commenced in December 2017 was a direct result of the settlement of Bitcoin futures on CME.

If this theory is anything to go by, Bitcoin traders can expect a period of high volatility by the end of the coming week. CME Bitcoin futures are expected to be settled within this week, and this may affect the cryptocurrency’s price.

The expiry of CME’s Bitcoin futures has met with the launch of Bakkt’s physically settled Bitcoin futures. These two occurrences may be enough to push Bitcoin out of the consolidation phase that it has been in for the last two months or so.

Whatever the case, Bitcoin traders will be paying close attention to the markets to see how the crypto asset performs over the next few weeks.

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Author: Ali Raza