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Bitcoin Only ‘Masquerades’ as a Currency: BIS Research Chief

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Chilean cryptocurrency exchange Crypto MKT has recently announced that the country’s citizens can now buy products and services with cryptocurrency from over 5,000 merchants through a new integration with a crypto payment processor.

According to the announcement, a partnership between Crypto MKT and online payments platform Flow.cl allowed the merchants to add cryptocurrency payment options through a platform called CryptoCompra.com.

CryptoCompra’s platform is available in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Europe, and lets customers pay businesses using bitcoin, stellar, or ethereum, while letting merchants receive their payments in pesos, the country’s fiat currency.

From Crypto MKT’s end, there’s a guarantee fund that ensures payments made in crypto aren’t affected by significant price fluctuations. The announcement reads (roughly translated):

“There is a guarantee fund that allows payments not to be affected by large increases or decreases in the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Stellar. This gives tranquility and security to the client, since it will not have surprises in its payments.”

It further states that accepting cryptocurrencies allows businesses to accept payments from all over the world, and gives them a chance to be recognized as a “vanguard company” that can enjoy fast, secure payments.

The development is notable, as Chile is a country in which the top cryptocurrency exchanges, Orionx, Buda, and Crypto MKT, endured what was considered a blanket ban on the crypto industry, as local banks shut down their accounts, prompting them to seek clear regulations.

The ordeal saw the exchanges take the banks, Itau Corpbanca, Bank of Nova Scotia, and state-owned Banco Estado, to an appeals court that agreed to hear them. Chile’s anti-monopoly court ordered two major banks, Banco Estado and Itau Corpbanca, to re-open the accounts of Buda, an exchange that was reportedly seeing a daily trading volume of over $1 million before its accounts were closed

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Bitcoin Educator Andreas Antonopoulos Gives a Digital Deep Dive on Blockchain Transactions

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One of the ways by which the crypto industry can make significant process is through the education of those who make use of crypto and those who simply observe the industry.

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The number of people who do this is growing and one of the most prominent is Andreas Antonopoulos, who is a bitcoin enthusiast and an author.

He recently uploaded a video in which he touched the process of manual construction of transactions that have multiple inputs in response to a question posed by a user about whether the process will be done by a blockchain or not. Antonopoulos explained that the process is done by a wallet and not a blockchain.“You can conduct the process with a variety of wallets that allow you to construct transactions. With multiple inputs. Electrum wallets and other web-based wallets are good examples of platforms that give you the liberty to control transactions. Just to clarify, the process is done by the wallets and not by the blockchain,” Antonopoulos said.

He also pointed out that the construction wallet is based on an algorithm and if more than one payment is needed due to small amounts the wallet will construct the transactions with payments. This process, he explained, is called coin selection and helps in the movement of various transactions.

Also, he touched on the concept of change on the blockchain and pointed out that bitcoin transaction outputs have two states in which the exist which are spent or unspent and that there is no concept of a half-spent transaction.

While this was very helpful for users, some controversy was caused when Antonopoulospointed out that the scalability problem that bitcoin struggles with will always exist and that solving one issue will inevitably bring up more.

“..and you can’t, in the beginning, solves the problem for the end there is no end and also if you prematurely optimize if you try to solve scale problems for a scale that doesn’t yet exist you shift the problem somewhere else in the case of cryptocurrencies,” he said.

The Need for an Education

While Antonopoulos might have caused some controversy, it cannot be denied that his efforts to educate the public on blockchain and crypto are highly needed, especially seeing as many of the problems faced by users can put down to a lack of education about how blockchain works.

An example of this can be seen in security as a research piece that was published recently pointed out that over 700 crypto wallets were broken into by the researchers merely guessing the passphrases which were usually weak and repetitive phrases.

In such a case, education about how wallets, blockchain, and crypto work could go a long way to prevent such issues, ensuring Industries safer for all.

Source:bitcoinexchangeguide

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Russian Opposition Leader Raises $3 Million in Bitcoin Donations

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Bitcoin has become a significant funding source for one of Russia’s leading political dissidents.

Alexei Navalny, a politician believed by many to be President Vladimir Putin’s main opponent, has attracted more than 591 BTC in donations over the last three years, worth about $3 million at current prices, public blockchain data shows.

The donations became a flashpoint this week when a pro-Putin television network questioned their timing.

Navalny’s investigative center, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), regularly publishes exposés of government officials, including prime minister Dimitri Medvedev and attorney general Yuri Chaika.

On Monday, an anonymous Telegram channel, “FBK Staffer’s Confession,”  noted that the Navalny organization’s wallet received several large donations a few days before FBK published one such investigation, insinuating it was a paid hit piece. The claim was covered in Russian media, including the pro-Putin Tsargrad TV.

When contacted by Russian news publication Znak, FBK’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov denied any connection between the transactions and its investigations, saying the anonymous blogger “dragged the non-existent facts together in by the head and shoulders.”

Volkov added:

“You can say that each time Encke’s Comet approaches the Earth it coincides with a big war: 1914 (First World War), 1941 (World War II) and 2014 (War on Eastern Ukraine). But its rotation period is three years, and it approached the Earth many times when there were no big wars.”

Funding dissent

The Navalny wallet (3QzYvaRFY6bakFBW4YBRrzmwzTnfZcaA6E, listed on the donations page of his website) received its first bitcoin in December 2016 and since then has seen more than 2,000 transactions, including withdrawals, according to blockchain data.

Most transactions were worth from a fraction of a bitcoin to several bitcoins. From time to time, larger transactions occurred, bringing in up to 20 BTC at once.

Yet Navalny’s political movement, which also accepts donations via bank transfers and PayPal, is not the only dissenting voice in Russia to take cryptocurrency.

Investigative outlets including Zona.Media and The Insider, as well as internet freedom movement Roskomsvoboda, accept donations in bitcoin or ether. However, their wallets have accumulated only small amounts of crypto, no more than 2 BTC each.

 

source:coindesk

 

 

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Bitfury, Swiss Investment Firm Launch Regulated Bitcoin Mining Fund

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Blockchain technology firm Bitfury and Switzerland-based investment firm Final Frontier have jointly launched a regulated bitcoin mining fund.

The fund is targeted at institutional and professional investors to give them “convenient access” to bitcoin mining, Bitfury announced in a blog post Wednesday.

Traditionally, there have been “technological, logistical, financial and execution risk challenges” with access to bitcoin mining, the firm said, adding that the fund aims to address those challenges with an offering that has now been authorized by a European financial watchdog. Which particular regulator was not specified, however.

The fund will invest in turnkey assets consisting of mining sites with some of the “lowest electricity and operating costs globally,” scouted and operated by Bitfury, which specializes in manufacturing cryptocurrency mining infrastructure and also mines itself.

Claiming that the fund has been launched at an “advantageous” time for investors, Final Frontier co-founder, Imraan Moola, said:

“With the bitcoin price down significantly from its all-time high, yet institutional interest growing every day, now may be an opportune time to consider investing in bitcoin mining.”

Bitfury’s executive vice-chairman George Kikvadze said that the fund will help investors “strengthen” their portfolios and bring bitcoin closer to mainstream adoption.

Earlier this year, Bitfury partnered with South Korean R&D firm Commons Foundation to jointly launch a network of bitcoin mining operations in Paraguay.

Bitfury is also reportedly considering an initial public offering (IPO) in Amsterdam, London or Hong Kong, possibly to be held this year. The firm raised $80 million in November, in a round led by venture capital firm Korelya Capital, with Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Macquarie Capital and Dentsu Inc. also participating.

 

source:coindesk

 

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