After Shutting Down Ahead of EU’s 5AMLD, BottlePay’s Set to Relaunch New Lightning Payment App

BottlePay, a social payment app that choose to shut down its operation in December of 2019 amid regulatory concerns, is ready for a relaunch with a new Lightning Payment App. The firm has restructured its products and services to comply with Europe’s 5th anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5). The new payment app also offers an exchange wallet with social features on Reddit, Twitter, and Discord and set for a beta launch in August.

Some of the features of the new payment app include scheduled payments to buy more bitcoin, which is quite similar to Square’s Cash App. However, this feature would be first rolled out in Europe. Users would also have the option to opt for a custodial or non-custodial wallet.

Pete Cheyne, a co-founder of BottlePay, said, “Lightning works in the background, without users having to manage channels.” Adding,

“There will be a small fee for exchanging between fiat and bitcoin, and vice versa. … There will also be tiers because people are interested in our app for different use cases.”

Mark Webster, CEO of BottlePay, revealed that his team of 11 employees was funded continuously by their angel investors, who were responsible for trading equity worth $2 million in 2019. He explained that the firm has no immediate plans to support any token. Webster also revealed his plans for expanding his workforce up to 35 people by 2021.

Webster went on to reveal that most of the recent hiring has been in the legal and marketing department, which helped them in restructuring their product. He said,

“I think Lightning is at the core of the strategy. As consumer demand increases, we can open more channels. You can store a fiat balance, Scan a Lightning code, and pay that from your pound or euro balance.”

The scheduled beta launch in August will be limited to the European citizens. Still, Webster said that he hopes to expand the reach of his application in the United States and hopes to launch a Telegram integration by 2021.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Do Oil and Gas Producers Have An ‘Incredible Symbiotic Relationship’ With Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin’s biggest criticism is of its mining operation because of the high amount of electricity that its consumes without utilizing that energy for anything other than solving cryptographic puzzles. The bitcoin network has an estimated annual electricity consumption of 73.374 TWh. The skeptics have often pointed out that electricity consumption is significantly high which does not result in any direct output.

This debate over high electricity consumption also led to many discussions about whether Bitcoin should opt for a more environment-friendly mining consensus instead of the present Proof of Work. However, the Bitcoin community has discarded their ideas as they believe this is one of the most secure mining algorithms that ensures healthy competition among miners while keeping the network secure.

Amid all the outcries centered around Bitcoin’s electricity consumption, podcaster Marty Bent has revealed an interesting way that he’s been using to fuel his bitcoin mining machines and it could be the future of Bitcoin mining. Bent wrote a blog post on April 15th where he revealed that he has been mining Bitcoin for the past year with the Great American Mining (GAM) company, and has been using the excess gas formed during the mining of crude oil.

GAM made headlines when it established a small mining farm on a shipping container in an oil field in December of last year. This small step was a big leap towards encouraging Oil and Gas producers to step into the Bitcoin mining game and become a significant force in the Bitcoin mining industry.

Oil and Gas Companies Can Become Biggest Bitcoin Miners

Availability of cheap fuel is one of the key factors in Bitcoin mining and this is one of the key reasons China is one of the biggest contributors to the Bitcoin mining pool with over 60% hash input in the network. The Shenzhen province has vast amounts of surplus clean hydroelectricity available at dirt cheap prices making it a mining hub. Similarly, many other parts of the world have attracted miners based on how cheap electricity is, given Bitcoin mining rigs consume a ton of electricity.

Most of the oil and gas mining fields release this byproduct gas which they consider as waste, however, GAM uses it as a fuel for Bitcoin mining operation which makes it a win-win situation for both of the parties. The Oil and Gas fields can sell this gas to bitcoin mining farms like GAM, which would then create an extra stream of income, while Bitcoin mining farms can have access to the fuel at a cheaper price without wasting electricity. Bent explained,

“You’re seeing a trend now, where even centralized locations are adopting. Instead of building like a large warehouse and doing all the infrastructure, they’re actually using the container model as the way to build on-site…. a year or so ago, that wasn’t the case at all. And now you’re seeing very, very large places, you know, stack 40, 50, 60 containers… it’s just cheaper to do it that way.”

Bent also believes that there is no need to build the super infrastructure in the form of warehouses for mining farms as stacked shipping containers could be used for the same task. He explained that if these shipping containers are designed correctly, “containers filled with Bitcoin miners would offer superior productivity and up to 5x more profitable than sending the gas through a pipeline to sell.

Are Shipping Containers Fueled by the Gas By-products Catching up with the Mining Trend?

While the idea might seem innovative and new, the industry experts seemed to have taken a notice quite early of this trend. Bent believes that this concept is gaining traction, and one of the most popular crypto names, the Winklevoss Twins have already invested in a mining company called Crusoe Energy Systems which works on the same principle of utilizing the gas by-product as a source of energy for Bitcoin mining. The trend is also quite popular in Canada and where several Canadian firms are utilizing the Oil and Gas industries by-product waste as a fuel.

Bent believes the use of the by-product from the Oil and Gas industry will not only help in reducing the use of commercial energy supply, but it would also make the Bitcoin mining industry more distributed and diverse geographically. He also believes that the use of these by-products can actually push America to the top in the Bitcoin mining game which is currently heavily dominated by China. He said,

“We are still very early in this game and on our personal journey at GAM, but we are confident that we will see this vision come to fruition over the course of the next five years. We could definitely fail (unless the government starts bailing out bitcoin miners), but we’re sure as hell going to try.”

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Author: James W

Shinhan to Team-up With Kakao’s GroundX and Hexlant to Enhance Blockchain Security System

Shinhan has gained a much-deserved reputation as one of the oldest and largest banking companies in operation within South Korea, has announced a brand new partnership with two emerging Fintech companies. The objective? to collaborate and build a brand new security solution with the use of blockchain technology.

For this plan to come into effect, the bank has signed a broad sweeping agreement with the blockchain subsidiary company behind the Global messaging app – Kakao – known as GroundX, as well as working with the blockchain developer Hexlant. This is according to a report from the local news outlet – The Korea Times, which reported on it this week.

This new deal will effectively see these three companies work together to develop and implement a private key management solution for use within Shinhan, GroundX, which will be providing the underlying blockchain platform, and lastly, Hexlant will be providing the infrastructure which will also include the creation of an ‘Anti-cracking program,’ according to the report. What makes the whole collaboration even more exciting is the prospect that testing may begin as soon as October this year.

“Blockchain technology has gained attention from the financial sector for its advantages, but financial firms have experienced difficulties in applying the technology to their system,”

this is according to an official speaking on behalf of the bank.

“Shinhan Bank will provide a convenient user-friendly interface under the deal with Ground X and Haxlant.”

GroundX has a pretty firm reputation in the field of blockchain technology already. Having previously launched its own dedicated blockchain for use across Kakao’s suite of services over the course of June. Referred to as Klaytn, the network has alluded to being more than 150 times faster and scalable compared to Ethereum (Even though it serves as a hybridized private blockchain solution with permissioned nodes which can actually be double-checked by public members of its community), along with having its own native cryptocurrency known as ‘Klay.’

Back in May, Shinhan managed to successfully launch its own blockchain platform in order to verify various items of proof required for complex procedures such as credit lending, qualification or certification documents, seeking cost as well as speed improvements overall.

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Author: James Fox

The Coordinated Crypto Crackdown Continues: NASAA Has 130 New Cases This Year

Bitcoin’s Use In Illegal Marketplaces Expected To Rise in 2019, Chainalysis Predicts $1 Billion Spent

Operation Cryptosweep is moving forward at full speed. It seems that the people at the Administrators Association (NASAA) are really taking seriously their latest operation to sweep unlawful cryptos out from the market.

According to the organization, 130 new crypto-related cases were opened and are being investigated in 2019. At the beginning of the year, the agency only had 35 cases open.

The Operation Cryptosweep was originally launched last year and the aim was to go after illegal ICOs in the U.S. and Canada.  NASAA representatives have recently confirmed that their latest investigations involve mostly securities fraud and scammers.

Michael Pieciak, the President of the NASAA, blames Facebook for the “environment” that is being created right now. According to him, the eminent launch of Libra is calling the attention of several bad types who are promoting illegal investments and scams across the country.

The president also affirms that people should be extremely careful when dealing with ICOs and cryptos, as there are many scammers out there. His advice was to always check with the authorities before any money is invested.

Crypto Companies Are Moving Away

As part of this effort to put down any kind of operation that is now fully regulated, most crypto companies are leaving the U.S. This is, obviously, both a good and bad thing. For instance, it means that the NASAA is doing a good job and weeding out the scammers. On the other hand, innovation is possibly stifled when there are so many companies leaving for overseas markets.

According to data presented by the NASAA, most companies are now choosing to move to Malta, the so-called Crypto Island. Other popular locations are Switzerland and Eastern Europe.

[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: Hank Klinger