Bitfinex Exchange Launches Affiliate Program Offering Up to Three Referral Levels

BitFinex exchange launches a social media affiliate program that allows customers to earn commission on referrals made to the exchange. The program, ‘BitFinex Affiliate Program’ is a multi-tiered program that offers users the opportunity to earn “unlimited commissions” by referring their friends, family, etc. The official BitFinex Affiliate program welcomes users to join the program as it reads,

“Whether you are a crypto trader or a die-hard crypto fan, you can invite your social network through the BitFinex Affiliate Program and earn unlimited commission.”

Up to Yhree Levels of Connection

In a bid to increase user participation and interaction with the platform, BitFinex launched the Affiliate program, following in the steps of Binance, OKEx and a number of major crypto exchanges. However, the BitFinex Affiliate program differs from the rest as it involves three levels of connection allowing users to earn more commission on their referrals.

The first level of connection disburses 18% in commissions to the referee, 6% for the second level referral and 2% for a third level referral. In other words, if customer A recruits customer B, they earn 18% in fees commissions from trades by customer B. If customer B refers customer C, then customer A will earn 6% commission on fees paid by customer C.

Special Rewards for UNUS LEO Holders

Furthermore, a report from the BitFinex team confirmed special rewards for UNUS LEO token holders. The report read,

“When affiliates and their referrals meet certain requirements, such as verifying an account and/or accumulating holdings of at least 500 Tethers (USDT) worth of UNUS SED LEO tokens, affiliates will also be entitled to multipliers of up to 2.16x on their commission.”

While an efficient and cheap trading platform is the key goal for BitFinex exchange, CTO at the exchange, Paolo Ardoino claims the exchange will work on the project to boost overall user engagement and

“help grow the cryptocurrency community further.”

He also said,

“We strive to provide our clients with the most engaging and social trading experience.”

The exchange recently won a suit in its $900 million USD Tether case allowing the company to halt all collection of documents as asked by the New York Attorney General court.

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Author: Lujan Odera

US Second Largest Bank, Bank Of America, Secretly Tests Ripple XRP Technology

Recent reports leak that the second-biggest bank in the US, has secretly piloted Ripple’s blockchain technology and is poised to do more with it.

Late last year, during a seminar organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ripple recognized Warren Buffett-backed Bank of America as one of its customers during its presentation.

Probed about whether the Bank of America was indeed using Ripple’s products, the company’s spokesperson did not confirm nor deny if the bank was one of Ripple’s clients. She however stated that the two firms had done a pilot together. She stated that Bank of America has indeed been part of Ripple’s Global Payment Steering Group and joined in 2016. The spokesperson was adamant to reveal more details about the piloting project and Bank of America also refused to comment on the issue.

A Ripple representative told CoinDesk:

“Bank of America has been part of Ripple’s Global Payment Steering Group since 2016 and we did a pilot with them,”

Although it has been an open secret that Bank of America is a member of the steering committee which offers advice about rules as well as standards for Ripplenet, which is the network used by financial institutions that utilize Ripple products. However, the revelation that the bank has been conducting a pilot is the strongest indication that the two companies are involved in something bigger than friendly advice.

In the past, the bank has been shy of blockchain technology with its chief technology officer, Cathy Bessant, openly saying she was bearish about the technology despite the bank having the most blockchain patents. Bessant explained that the patents were only meant to ensure that the bank was ready to use the technology if need arises.

However, signs points out that the bank is poised to use Ripple technology after it advertised a job opening earlier this month for a product manager who will steer a team for ‘Ripple project’. As per the job advert, the project entails ‘a decentralized ledger technology-based solution to cross border payments marketed to GTS clients’.

The CD report states that the bank appears to have tested xCurrent which is Ripple’s payment system that will allow online global transfers among financial institutions.

Leading Spanish bank Santander, American Express, as well as PNC, are some of the customers of the xCurrent payment service.

Make sure to read “XRP Ready to ‘Swell’ 220% in the Next Three Weeks as Ripple Event Nears” as many Ripplers are excited for the upcoming SWELL event happening Nov 7-8.

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Author: Andrew Tuts

China Invests Billions After Economy Slows Down, Can Bitcoin and The Crypto Industry Benefit?

After months of trading tensions with the United States, China has perceived that it’s economy is no longer growing as much as it once was before. Now, in a swift move, the People’s Bank of China has decided to inject around $28 billion USD into the economy to boost it. The money was pumped into the economy via loans made to commercial banks.

Now, several experts are trying to determine whether this new boost of money in the country can affect the crypto market, too. On prior occasions, investors of the country chose to invest in Bitcoin, even though there is officially no BTC market in the country.

Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, an economics commentator on Forbes Asia, confirmed that China seems to be trying to decouple itself economically from the United States. While this might be good for China in the long-term, it is bad for the economy in the short-term, which means that profit will go down everywhere.

Bitcoin can certainly be a way out, as it is a decentralized currency that can, up to a point, be used as a borderless currency. While it lacks the structure and the adoption to be even more important, Bitcoin is certainly present and relevant in China. Tether is also being used in the country in large quantities.

All of these aspects point out to the possibility that wealthy Chinese investors might decide to spend their economic boost in crypto’s, which would definitely make the market more vibrant and push prices forward. Now, we have to wait and see if these theories will really happen or if the Chinese investors will lose on this chance.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

New Crypto-Jacking Malware ‘Graboid’ Infects Thousands of Computers to Mine Monero (XMR)

Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 researchers discovered a new crypto-jacking malware that infected over 2000 victim’s computers.

The malware infects unsuspecting users’ computers to mine Monero (XMR), a privacy-based cryptocurrency. The crypto-jacking worm, named Graboid, spread using containers in the Docker Engine (Community Edition) to unsecured hosts’ computers.

Docker images spread the crypto-jacking malware

In a new intelligence report by the Unit 42 team, Graboid worm, targets Docker, a Linux and Windows based, platform as a service (PaaS) solution, which allows users to create, develop and deploy applications in a virtual environment.

The platform however is vulnerable to attacks from the newly found malware that on average mined XMR for 250 seconds with the miners active 63% of the time.

https://unit42.paloaltonetworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Figure-1.-Cryptojacking-worm-activity-overview-1024x556.png

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https://unit42.paloaltonetworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Figure-1.-Cryptojacking-worm-activity-overview-1024x556.png

1Crypto-jacking malware, Graboid, activity overview. (Source: PaloAlto)

According to the report,

“The attacker compromised an unsecured Docker daemon, ran the malicious Docker container pulled from Docker Hub, downloaded a few scripts and a list of vulnerable hosts from C2 and repeatedly picked the next target to spread the worm.”

After identifying the 2,000+ cases of malicious activity on the Docker Engines (CE), Unit 42 partnered with Docker in a bid to stop the worm from spreading. Jay Chen, Unit 42’s Senior Cloud Vulnerability and Exploit Researcher, hopes tighter security protocols will be set on Docker images to reduce the instances of malware. He said,

“We’re continuing to see instances where the failure to properly configure containers can lead to the loss of sensitive information and as a result, default configurations can be significant security risks for organizations.”

Hike in crypto-jacking activities

In August, BEG reported over 850,000 computers were infected with another crypto-jacking software mining Monero on the users computers. Retadup Monero, was quickly stopped by Paris police officers after a tip off by Avast software security company.

On Oct.8, ESSET, a security firm, also discovered a new crypto-jacking software rampant in South and Latin America spreading on users’ computers. Casbaneiro, or Metamorfo, attacks users cryptocurrency wallets and banking services to reveal personal information.

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Author: Lujan Odera

UK Based Exchange Bitstamp Integrates Ledger Vault To Securely Store Crypto Assets

The largest crypto exchange by volume in Europe, Bitstamp, has recently announced that it would integrate the technology of Ledger Vault to its services. This, the company affirmed, would help it to offer advanced custody services for its clients.

Ledger Vault would provide Bitstamp with a more flexible wallet structure and it would set up a custody system for the company. With the partnership, Bistamp would be able to create end-to-end hardware-backed transfers and allow its clients to use multi-authorization governance models. This would be important because it would allow the exchange to upgrade its storage systems and options.

David Osojnik, the CTO of Bitstamp, affirmed that the main priority of the company regarding the subject is to offer the ultimate level of security so that the clients will know that their funds are safe. According to him, Ledger Vault is the perfect company to provide that.

The agreement states that Bitstamp will always have full control over the private keys of the wallets, which means that it will have 100% control over the wallets.

Ledger’s CEO Pascal Gauthier affirmed that crypto assets are more vulnerable than other types because they are fully digital. Because of this, the company develops solutions that can help companies that want to take the next step when it comes to the security of these assets.

Pascal defined himself as “thrilled” to see Bitstamp adopting the Ledger Vault technology and he believes that this will certainly enhance the agility and the security of the funds, which will translate into growing the confidence and the trust that the clients have in the company’s care for their digital assets.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Layer1 Raises $50M From Investors Like PayPal’s Co-Founder, To Build Wind Powered Bitcoin Miners

Bitcoin (BTC) mining industry is a lucrative and profitable industry that is witnessing a swelling growth in the number of companies entering the field. The U.S still lags behind in the industry as Chinese mining firms and chip makers hold 60% of the global BTC mining business – compared to U.S’s 5% capture of the mining business.

However, one startup –backed by Digital Currency Group (DCG) and raised $50 million USD in a Series A funding at a $200 million USD valuation – is looking to triple U.S market control in BTC mining.

Layer 1 raises $50 million in series A funding

Layer 1 raised $50 million in a series A funding led by DCG and top investors including Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, Shasta Ventures, and other respected crypto investors. The company will set its operations in Texas and use renewable windmill generated electricity to mine Bitcoins. Once the company begins operation in 2020, it is set to become the largest mining firm at scale in the country.

According to the co-founder of Layer 1, Alexander Liegl, the firm is set to rival the domineering Chinese companies in the BTC mining market by minimizing costs of electricity and optimizing efficiency of the mining chips. Alexander said,

“We expect our chips to be competitive for at least eight years now…you want to have your own chips in hand. We also have our own electricity substations: effectively that’s as close you can get to own your own power plant.”

A lukewarm situation in Texas

Texas ranks as one of the most crypto mining friendly states in the U.S due to its cheap energy sources. According to the Department of Energy, 15 percent of the total electricity consumed in the state comes from wind with the prices among the lowest across the globe. However, the high temperatures in the region make it almost impossible to effectively run a mine in the state.

Layer 1 is employing a highly technical cooling system on the miners to prevent burning up or malfunction. The development team of company are working on a system that employs a liquid-cooling component to lower the mining system’s temperatures.

All in all, Liegl believes the San Francisco based company will heavily benefit from the cheapest rates of electricity to offset the heat problem. He further spoke to Coindesk on a phone call saying,

“I love the place. It’s so private-market-friendly. Bitcoin mining is pretty compelling to people out there because it’s pretty analogous to how oil and gas works.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Swedish Central Bank Head: Facebook’s Libra Was A ‘Shake The Tree’ Event To Kick Start Reform

Sweden’s central bank chief has explained that Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency should serve as a catalyst for central banks around the world to rethink their role and reform to incorporate the digital age.

In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe Stefan Ingves, governor of the Riksbank, explained that the Facebook’s led Libra project was an ‘incredibly imperative catalytic event’ that is forcing central banks around the world to rethink their primary aspect of money production and control.

The governor explained that part of the job for every central bank is to issue money that is convenient for use by the citizens of the country and the time has come for central banks to factor in the digital era or age when it comes to production of money.

According to Ingves, the Riksbank has had to reconsider its money development procedures in the wave of private currencies that have mushroomed in the recent past. In light of this, the Riksbank has been looking at the potential of issuing digital money even as use of cash in Sweden has declined tremendously in the recent past. Most of retail outlets in the nation do not accept physical or fiat currencies and are discouraging their customers from paying in cash.

The swedish central bank is in the process of piloting a digital currency dubbed e-krona before the end of the year and could be rolled out after the assessment of the piloting stage. According to Ingves, creation of a new currency is almost done and marks an unprecedented event that occurs only once after various centuries.

Sweden is not the only country that exploring the digital money aspect. Since Facebook announced its plans to venture into the digital currency market with its Libra cryptocurrency in June. Key among them is China which is developing its own digital currency to counter Libra with Chinese central bank announcing the project is almost done and launching will be done soon. Additionally, Swiss central bank announced last week that it was looking at how the virtual currencies could be used in trading.

CoinDesk reports that the Libra Association met in Geneva on Monday to agree on an official charter for its 21 initial members.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Permission Interview: New E-com Marketplace Compensates Users in Crypto for Time and Data

Permission.io, a digital marketing and e-commerce platform that has received more than $46 million in funding, recently announced the launch of its new online marketplace where merchants reward consumers for their time and data.

The Permission.io platform connects users with products from over 1,000 retailers, including Target and Walmart. The company’s management says it’s planning to transform the existing digital marketing ecosystem in order to level the playing field for consumers. The Permission marketplace compensates users with its own native currency, called the ASK token, which may be used within the platform.

Charlie Silver, CEO of Permission.io, has been building companies while also helping investors access liquidity for almost 30 years. Charlie was also the host of a radio talk show on KOGO, the biggest radio station in Southern California.

Silver recently shared his views and insights with BitcoinExchangeGuide. He explained how the Permission.io platform works and how it’s different from traditional platforms that do not fairly compensate consumers for their contributions.

BitcoinExchangeGuide: On the permission.io website, you mention that instead of merchants paying third-party centralized platforms like Google and Facebook to reach consumers, merchants engage and compensate consumers directly with ASK. Please explain how this token economy works and tell us more about how your platform works.

Charlie Silver: “Ownership and data sovereignty are the guiding principles and rules of our token economy. All markets succeed or fail based upon well-understood and fairly-applied rules. Permission abides by the rule that the individual should always be compensated for their time and data, scarce resources that have been monopolized and exploited by the major platforms. Our Permission-based economy reverses that model and puts the individual back in control.

On our platform, merchants bid for customers’ time by offering them ASK to shop and click on their product ads. By ‘Asking Permission’ versus interrupting, merchants can build trust and long term relationships. As Merchants participate more and more on our platform, they will find more and more use cases for ASK. For example, email communication is essential for businesses to communicate with their customers. Instead of spamming, in our economy, businesses can obtain permission to engage their customers by offering them ASK to open emails.”

BitcoinExchangeGuide: Why should people invest their time and provide data to your platform given that they use so many other apps during their day like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. What’s unique about your platform and why should people take time out to learn about it?

Charlie Silver: “For years, the major platforms and the biggest companies in the world have been built on individuals’ time and data. That trend is reversing: people are becoming increasingly aware that they should be compensated for these assets. On Permission, our users are rightfully paid for the time and data that they currently give away to the major platforms for free.”

BitcoinExchangeGuide: On your FAQ page, you mention that ASK is a coin on the independent Permission blockchain. The Permission blockchain is a fork of Ethereum so ASK is much like Ether. Tell us about why you decided to fork the Ethereum protocol instead of simply issuing an ERC-20 compliant token.

Charlie Silver: “We created our own blockchain based on Ethereum because of the economics involved. If we used pure Ethereum, the price of gas / transactions would take away what the individuals on the platform can earn.”

BitcoinExchangeGuide: On your FAQ page, you explain why you use the ASK token instead of fiat money:

“Fiat currency is inherently opaque and subject to manipulation. ASK, powered by the Permission Blockchain, provides financial transparency and increases the efficiency of conducting business globally. Most importantly, ASK can be used in any transaction in which the asking and granting of Permission should be involved.”

Why not just use Bitcoin considering it is the most dominant and established cryptocurrency on the market?

Charlie Silver: “Using Bitcoin (BTC) or USD would not make economic sense, as it would take billions of capital in order to compensate users. Our goal is to create a new economy based on a new currency, where all the participants benefit from the growing network and utility of that currency.”

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Author: Omar Faridi

Telegram Considers Delaying its TON Cryptocurrency Following a Legal Suit by the SEC

Telegram’s cryptocurrency that was scheduled for release in October, 2019 might be delayed after the project suffered a lawsuit setback filed by the SEC.

The digital asset which goes by Telegram Open Network (TON) has been under development for over a year and the news came as shock to both the team and investors. Telegram has since addressed concerns that may have arose as a result by writing a letter to its investors.

This information from Telegram addresses the current issue with SEC, possible solutions and notes a high probability of delaying TON’s launch.

In the letter, TON developers express their surprise on the SEC’s decision given they have been in talks for the past 18 months. During this period, the team was getting feedback on its blockchain development as it prepared for the launch this October.

However, it now seems the team is on different sides with the SEC based on the recent legal suit and made it official through the letter to investors.

The Telegram Open Network (TON) team is currently looking for feasible solutions that will have all stakeholders content with the deliverables and the means as well.

This might take a longer time than expected hence the prediction of a delay in launching its digital asset.

As it stands, both the developers and investors are in the grey as to what will unfold in the coming days!

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Author: James Fox

XRP Decentralization: Only One out of Five Of Ripple’s UNL Validators Are Run by Company

  • The UNL is a list of the validators that Ripple believes are most reliable to verify transactions.
  • Ripple aims to eventually no longer be a part of the process in selecting validators.

Decentralization is one of the key components of the cryptocurrency industry that has proponents excited. The fans of Ripple and XRP are now taking a moment to celebrate, due to a recent milestone achieved on the XRP Ledger. According to a recent article from crypto news outlet DH, the list of trusted validators with Ripple has been updated, and the new details reveal that 79% of the nodes no longer are run by Ripple, which is major progress for decentralization. More specifically, only seven of the 34 UNL validators recorded on the network claim Ripple as their owner.

Validators in the Ripple network are in charge of performing the math to decide if transactions are valid. This validity determines if the network accepts or rejects the transaction, which is meant to prevent abuse and double spending on the network. The list of trusted validators, which is a unique node list (UNL), shows which validators are deemed most reliable by Ripple.

True decentralization means that there is no one company or entity that is in charge, and Ripple has come under fire multiple times from the public for their seeming lack of decentralization. Still, Ripple aims to eventually remove itself from the process by which these validators are determined.

Ripple isn’t the only one with this type of process. CoinField, a cryptocurrency exchange in Canada, has recently launched a UNL validator.

Right now, there’s a project that Ripple is keeping under wraps to help them increase the adoption of the native token. However, at least until November’s Malta Blockchain Summit, this project remains a secret to anyone outside of the Ripple team.

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Author: Krystle M