BTCMANAGER https://btcmanager.com Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News Wed, 24 Jan 2018 02:00:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://btcmanager.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/cropped-btcmanagerlogo-800x800-32x32.png BTCMANAGER https://btcmanager.com 32 32 Why SegWit2X Failed to Gain Traction and Become a Reality https://btcmanager.com/segwit2x-failed-gain-traction-become-reality/ https://btcmanager.com/segwit2x-failed-gain-traction-become-reality/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 02:00:23 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20890   Bitcoin was scheduled to undergo a hard fork sometime in early November 2017, with the event resulting in two separate cryptocurrencies, one being the original bitcoin and the other commonly referred to as SegWit2X. Eventually, the fork was called off due to shrinking support and the critics. The Venn Diagram of Hard Forks and Block Size On August 1,...

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Bitcoin was scheduled to undergo a hard fork sometime in early November 2017, with the event resulting in two separate cryptocurrencies, one being the original bitcoin and the other commonly referred to as SegWit2X. Eventually, the fork was called off due to shrinking support and the critics.

The Venn Diagram of Hard Forks and Block Size

On August 1, 2017, bitcoin was subject to the first major hard fork since its introduction in 2009. The forked cryptocurrency came to be known as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and attempted to improve the original bitcoin by increasing the block size limit. The introduction of BCH quite arguably gave rise to the long saga that is the “block size debate,” and forever split the bitcoin community into two isolated fragments.

Part of the same community that called for an increased block size during the Bitcoin Cash fork also supported November’s SegWit2X fork. However, the other side of the fence launched a full-on smear campaign against the proposed cryptocurrency and its creators, finally resulting in its eventual cancellation.

Bitcoin purists believe that the only way a change should be proposed in a cryptocurrency is through a User Activated Soft Fork (UASF), the same method employed during the implementation of the Blockchain Improvement Proposal 148 (BIP-148) and later, Segregated Witness in August 2017.

Miners or individuals running full nodes on the network are responsible for strengthening the security of the Bitcoin blockchain. Nodes are assigned the responsibility of blocking out any mined block that fails to comply with the ruleset of the network. Therefore, if a change needs to occur in the way Bitcoin works, nodes are in a more advantageous position to implement such an update.

Miner support for SegWit2X, otherwise known as the New York Agreement segwit activation, was overwhelming in the weeks running up to the fork. Several bitcoin mining pools, including some of the largest in the world, signaled support for the proposed cryptocurrency and pledged to direct their hashing power towards the fork once successful. Despite all of that, the fork failed to come to fruition, largely due to improper planning and weak execution.

To begin with, bitcoin miners that signaled support for the hard fork did little other than pledging future support to the proposed cryptocurrency. They did not lock up their mining reward or put any stake on the table in favor of SegWit2X. The only support they did express was in the form of a bit 4 signal, that is, the flipping of the version field’s binary bit.

In the grand scheme of things, where the cryptocurrency market is overrun by an immature community obsessed by Lamborghini memes and price speculation, it is easy to see just how easily the SegWit2X fork was pushed out into obscurity.

Regardless of whether the proposed cryptocurrency was beneficial or not, it is a telling tale of how much control a hivemind can have when it comes to bitcoin.

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A Breakdown of the Cryptocurrency ‘Pump and Dump’ https://btcmanager.com/breakdown-cryptocurrency-pump-dump/ https://btcmanager.com/breakdown-cryptocurrency-pump-dump/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 00:30:08 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20882 The Pump & Dump (P&D) money making mechanism has been very popular in the cryptocurrency space. The schemes are frequently found on chat applications such as Telegram or Discord. There are tons of crypto signal groups on Telegram which are commonly known as Pump & Dump groups. However, many have changed their name to “Pump & Hodl,” or “Pump &...

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The Pump & Dump (P&D) money making mechanism has been very popular in the cryptocurrency space. The schemes are frequently found on chat applications such as Telegram or Discord. There are tons of crypto signal groups on Telegram which are commonly known as Pump & Dump groups. However, many have changed their name to “Pump & Hodl,” or “Pump & Chill” to obscure their shady activity.

In these Pump & Dump (P&D) group, all group members buy a specific coin at a time to “PUMP” its value. The increased value is known as the ‘pump,’ while the mass selling is known as the dump. However, one must note that there is nothing like a free service. Although, crypto investments can sometimes be considered a gamble; a quick way to get rich.

Moreover, most of these Pump and Dump groups are unreliable. Some crypto investors have a way to exploit the pump and benefit from it, but it would be considered a risky way to make money.

The whole P&D scheme has mainly two phases; the pump and the dump. There are other stages in the life cycle of P&D scheme. There are plenty of new groups formed daily, however, most of them are just operated by established groups with an intent to use it to profit off of the misinformed and inexperienced investors.

How do these groups work?

The whole mechanism of Pump & Dump works in layers, where the innermost member receives the highest profit. The layers include Organizers, Paid Inner Circle, Inner Circle, Paid Outer Rim, Outer Rim and Final Participants.

The organizers and sometimes few members of the inner circle decide the coin that is to be pumped. The information is then given to the Paid Outer participants of the group and the Outermost members.

The core layer includes; Organizers, Paid Inner Circle, and Inner Circle as detailed by Bitfalls. The core receives the information about the coin a few seconds before others. This Paid Inner Circle and Inner Circle are both paid services that the Pump & Dump group offers. The Outer Rim and other group participants are also paid services that get the Pump information after 30 seconds, or when most of the move has already occured.  

Although these days it is very difficult to be a part of the core and if it is available it is expensive. Unless one becomes an organizer, which would be time-consuming, it is tough to be the part of the core in an established group. Therefore, most new participants that join these signal groups become are the outer layer of the P&D scheme. These participants do not profit heavily as the core and at times also lose money.

The P&D groups prey on low volume coins, because this characteristic allows them to effectively control the market. For instance, looking at the ask orders for a coin, let’s say it’s 50 BTC; then someone could spend 50 BTC buy the entire book and then set the price at that particular moment until new sellers come into play. P&D groups use low volume coins in such a way, where they can cooperate to manipulate the market over a short time period and are likely to be associated with ‘Whales‘ who can fund such campaigns (that is not to say all Whales are involved in malicious P&D’s and all are bad actors).

The Inner Circle

It is given that the organizers and the inner paid circle would benefit more. Organizers tend to buy coins in advance, at times before days to avoid traces.

However, the percentage of success can vary due to several reasons; a glitch while purchasing, wrong timing, technical issues. The whole scheme does not take very long to reach the outermost part of the member. Therefore it must that everything works well. The Pump & Dump scheme is completed in minutes, in rare cases, it could take longer.

The reason why these strategies cannot operate well for a long run as other factors start playing in. At times, many Pump & Dump arrangements overlap and create chaos in the market. None of these P&D groups are always profitable and reliable; it can go wrong any time as it is a very risky investment.

Broadcasting Phase

The frequency of pumps in the group varies, some pump coins several times a week where others do it few times a day. There are others who also do it fortnightly and monthly. The first thing organizers do is alert the members of an upcoming pump.

The countdown is set so that users are aware of the Pump. Then, the exchange is selected where the P&D is to occur. Most pumps happen on the smaller exchanges as it is easier to move the market due to the lower volume. At this time only the organizers are aware of the coin at this stage, which probably purchase a few days in advance.

Participants prepare themselves to purchase the coin as the countdown begins. Most load accounts with the amount they wish to bet during the pump. The reason to prepare in advance is that the whole game would end in minutes.

Also, participants have to check for stable internet connection and fast processing computer. If technical glitches arise, even the inner paid members will have to line up with the outermost circles to purchase coins.  

The entire crypto space is flooded with bots that are capable of buying coins just with a single click. Additionally, fully automated scripts are also available where it collects the name of the coin from the group and purchases it on the exchange.

Pump Stage

Once the coin is decided, organizers buy their load. It gives them a head start to receive the highest benefit from the spike. However, organizers need to be careful that they do not pre-pump the coin. If the coin is the pre-pumped, i.e., purchase of coins by organizers before the actual pump, they will lose their group fans, and none would take part.

Organizers need to be very careful to not pre-pump, i.e., if the coin volume on the exchange is low, the pump will spike the price. Once the group administrators have purchased, the information of the coin is passed to paid members and then to the outer participants of the scheme. If the pump is noticed by other traders on the exchange which are not part of the group, they too will purchase it.

Dump Stage

Organizers who bought coins in advance now sell or dump their coins on the outer circle which is still buying due to the pump. The quick sale brings the coin back to its initial value or lower resulting in heavy losses for those who purchased the token at the later stage of the pump. However, at times it is noticed that pumps lift the price of the coin permanently or at least for a few days.

Another type of P&D scheme is the celebrity pump; most notable is the John Mcafee pump. The benefit is that celebrities have many followers, which leads them to influence the newcomers to the crypto market easily.

So how does this happen? Organizers select a coin, the celebrity is paid his or her fees to pump the given coin. For instance, McAfee pumped several coins using his influence while the alleged organizers dumped with the spike.

The Pump & Dump coins is a very risky scheme especially when you are not part of the inner circle. Although, overall this type of practice can harm the crypto space image on a longer run. If an influential person is asked by an anonymous person to dump on third-party coins, it could create an unstable market space.

The lack of regulation in the cryptocurrency market gives rise to such practices. Hence, it is best to research coins that will last over the long term and their purpose before investing in them.

By trading and investing in higher volume cryptocurrencies, researching promising lower cap coins above a certain volume threshold, for instance 10,000, 5,000, etc., BTC per day, and by learning technical analysis, you have a better chance of avoiding being caught up in the shenanigans of P&D groups.

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Sigh of Relief As Second Biggest South Korean Bank Backs Cryptocurrency Exchanges https://btcmanager.com/sigh-relief-second-biggest-south-korean-bank-backs-cryptocurrency-exchanges/ https://btcmanager.com/sigh-relief-second-biggest-south-korean-bank-backs-cryptocurrency-exchanges/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 23:30:48 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20884 Two highly popular crypto exchanges in South Korea, Korbit, and Bithumb have recently announced that the Kookmin Bank has disabled transactions with the two platforms beginning at the end of January. Wave of Financial Uncertainty For one of the largest financial institution in the country to outline its lack of support for crypto investors, comes as a sharp blow to...

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Two highly popular crypto exchanges in South Korea, Korbit, and Bithumb have recently announced that the Kookmin Bank has disabled transactions with the two platforms beginning at the end of January.

Wave of Financial Uncertainty

For one of the largest financial institution in the country to outline its lack of support for crypto investors, comes as a sharp blow to the community. Specifically, this will fall in line with the country’s attempt to better verify users of exchanges, especially those using virtual bank accounts.

With trading platforms in South Korea, all investors are given a virtual bank account that can be used to either deposit or withdraw Korean won and there is no need to move funds directly through a traditional bank account.

Since the start of 2018, there has been a lot of troubling news coming out of the island country that has concerned many investors around the globe. While some were surprised at Kookmin’s decision, others worried that other institutions would soon follow suit.

However, the second largest bank in the country has also announced that they will not be conducting a similar ban. Shinhan Bank, in a similar, however inverse decision, explained that they would indeed by accepting withdrawals and deposits via Korbit. While the relief was palpable, the tension generated in the market from the uncertain maneuvers of the country was nonetheless real.

Moving further, there have even been talks that the government has a plan in the works to let certain financial institutions list bitcoin futures, similar to what authorities in the United States did in the tail end of 2017.

The government believes that this move would lead to more stability in the markets, allowing the exchange market for bitcoin to somewhat mature, lower excessive speculation, as well as helping to lower the premiums.

There is also set to be a number of wide-ranging regulations being released for investors by the South Korean government that will be practical for all parties involved in the world of crypto. They will be following the examples that have been laid out by the likes of Japan and the United States.

After the news broke that no ban was going to be implemented in the short-term at least, markets recovered somewhat, and the exchanges in South Korea have been optimistic regarding trading volumes and the modest rising of prices across the board.

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Blockchain Launches New Buy And Sell Features For US Consumers https://btcmanager.com/blockchain-launches-new-buy-sell-features-us-consumers/ https://btcmanager.com/blockchain-launches-new-buy-sell-features-us-consumers/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 22:36:14 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20878 Blockchain, the UK-based software platform for digital assets, announced last week that its buying and selling features are now available for US residents. The move, an important part of the company’s worldwide expansion plan, will enable Blockchain Wallet users from 22 states to sell bitcoin using the wallet interface. Initially, users will only be able to sell from their bitcoin...

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Blockchain, the UK-based software platform for digital assets, announced last week that its buying and selling features are now available for US residents. The move, an important part of the company’s worldwide expansion plan, will enable Blockchain Wallet users from 22 states to sell bitcoin using the wallet interface.

Initially, users will only be able to sell from their bitcoin holdings until the “buy” option is also introduced a few days later. The company plans on extending the advantage of the buy and sell features to other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum’s ether and bitcoin cash in the near future.

The move holds significance considering that Blockchain happens to be one of the oldest and most popular brands in the cryptocurrency market. The company has more than registered 22 million accounts.  

As per Blockchain chief executive Peter Smith’s estimate, nearly 30 to 40 percent of the company’s user-base is from the United States. On January 18, Blockchain announced that it entered an agreement with SFOX under which the latter will be tasked with “laying the groundwork for our Blockchain users in the U.S. to seamlessly buy and sell digital assets.”

“We are on a mission to build an open, accessible, and fair financial future, one piece of software at a time. This announcement brings us one step closer to realizing that mission by making the exchange of digital assets fast, easy, and inexpensive for millions of users across the US,” says Blockchain’s announcement.   

Given Blockchain’s popularity and user-base in the US, the new move is destined to position the company as a serious challenger to the likes of Coinbase.

In a conversation with the CNBC regarding the partnership with SFOX, the company’s CEO Peter Smith expressed his optimism about the future of cryptoassets.

Explaining the decision to go with the “sell” option first, Smith said that it was made with the objective of carefully controlling the initial launch.

“If we are prioritizing short-term gains, we would prioritize buy, that is what most people have done. But it’s really time to make sure we nail that experience,” he added.

For further information on how to trade crypto assets using Blockchain’s built-in interface, users can visit the official US support page. The process is relatively simple and requires only a basic identity verification along with a bank account. Once the user links a bank account with their Blockchain wallet, SFOX will send two small deposits to the linked account to verify the authenticity of the information.

Upon successful completion of the verification process, the user will be able to sell their bitcoin holdings using the wallet.

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New Survey: More than half of Russian Population Aware of Bitcoin https://btcmanager.com/new-survey-half-russian-population-aware-bitcoin/ https://btcmanager.com/new-survey-half-russian-population-aware-bitcoin/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 21:30:58 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20875 A recent survey by Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) indicates 56 percent of Russians are cognizant about cryptocurrencies particularly bitcoin, however, the majority of them do not wish to own the cryptocurrency. The study reads “Over half of Russians (56 percent) are aware of bitcoins (however, only 13 percent know in detail), and another 14 percent have heard only...

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A recent survey by Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) indicates 56 percent of Russians are cognizant about cryptocurrencies particularly bitcoin, however, the majority of them do not wish to own the cryptocurrency.

The study reads “Over half of Russians (56 percent) are aware of bitcoins (however, only 13 percent know in detail), and another 14 percent have heard only the term.”

Bitcoin popular among Russia’s Youth

The new survey suggests the youth of Russia are more driven toward the crypto space, with awareness over 75 percent. Moreover, 71 percent of all men have some knowledge of Bitcoin.

The study also points out that the country’s urban area has shown more interest over cryptocurrencies, where over three-quarters of residents in Moscow, the capital, and Saint Petersburg, the country’s second largest city, have awareness about the decentralized digital currency. However, it is a shocker that only nine percent would want to buy it in the future.

“In general, it can be said that bitcoins have not yet gained popularity among our fellow citizens: two-thirds of Russians who heard about them (67 percent) consider investing money in bitcoins as an unprofitable investment, only nine percent suggest that they could acquire them in the future” emphasizes the survey.

Despite bitcoin being fairly popular in the country, 40 percent of the survey participants consider the cryptocurrency as a payment method and not an asset. With regard to security of funds on the blockchain, 36 percent are confident that stealing cryptocurrencies is difficult. In contrast, 33 percent of the participants believe it is easy to steal the digital cash.

Bitcoin & Blockchain: 2017’s most popular words on Social Media

The online trend supports the above survey where 56 percent Russian are aware of bitcoin. As per Medialogia, over 185,000 publications are now actively publishing about bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency space. Additionally, the trend also reflects on social media.

According to Medialogia, Bitcoin is the most popular word on social media with blockchain taking the second spot. Other cryptocurrency-related topics that make it to the top ten most popular words on social media in 2017 are cryptocurrency, ethereum, and mining.

However shockingly from all the survey participants, 16 percent of them assume bitcoin is banned in Russia while 34 percent believe it can be purchased by anyone.

The poll exhibits the difference of opinion among Russians which mainly have occurred due to the developing crypto space in the country. However, one can not refute the growing awareness of bitcoin’s existence.

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A quick look at How Nigeria Overcame Bitcoin Scams https://btcmanager.com/quick-look-nigeria-overcame-bitcoin-scams/ https://btcmanager.com/quick-look-nigeria-overcame-bitcoin-scams/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 19:30:57 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20867 To those familiar with the market, it would almost be appropriate to say that Nigeria’s love with cryptocurrencies started with a scam. Millions of Nigerians lost their money between late 2015 to end of 2016 due to a 30-year-old Ponzi scheme known as Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox (MMM) that began in Russia. The scam promised 30 percent returns in 30 days,...

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To those familiar with the market, it would almost be appropriate to say that Nigeria’s love with cryptocurrencies started with a scam. Millions of Nigerians lost their money between late 2015 to end of 2016 due to a 30-year-old Ponzi scheme known as Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox (MMM) that began in Russia. The scam promised 30 percent returns in 30 days, which eventually brought it to the notice of the government.

MMM’s operators cut banks out of its deal when the government forced a crackdown on the accounts linked to the scheme and started requiring victims to use bitcoin. Before suspending its payouts in late 2016, MMM had already duped an estimated three million people in Nigeria of $50 million.

This, however, led to Nigerians understanding the working of bitcoin. The rising price of the cryptocurrency has also led many of them to believe that it is the future. Lucky Uwakwe, co-founder of Blockchain Solutions Ltd. said, “Trade has risen to around $4.7 million worth of bitcoin every week up from about $300,000 a week since last year.” According to a researcher from CryptoCompare, the volumes traded in Nigeria are comparable to those in Indian Rupees and Chinese Yuan but far lower than the $1 billion traded daily in the US.

“It took two years to get 10,000 customers, and now we added 90,000 customers in the last year itself,” said David Ajala, who runs NairaEx a digital currency exchange in Nigeria. “The growth has been crazy,” he added.

The scams have continued though, where scammers promote their get rich quick schemes and disappear once they’ve taken their share. The scams follow a similar pattern where tricksters, disguised as a royal Nigerian, persuade the masses to wire money in exchange for bitcoin. A few cases have also been noticed where scammers used details of a real dealer to create a trading profile that passes background checks.

Aminu, a digital security expert and Bitcoin enthusiast, says, “Everyone I know of has been scammed in some or the other way.” This motivated Aminu to form an informal trader group on the popular messaging app Telegram. The group, today, is used as an informal exchange for trading among its members. A new member of the group needs to have his documents and bank details verified by Aminu. He also started acting as a broker holding a buyer’s money in escrow until the seller liquidized his position.

Aminu’s group has now grown to include more than 800 members. He said that there are several such groups which have a wide array of security procedures and some of which also arrange face-to-face meetups for trading bitcoin. Importantly, Aminu recently removed more than 100 people whom he felt were not trustworthy. As a result, a growing number of informal networks of professional bitcoin traders in Nigeria are verifying transactions. These informal groups all contribute to the Nigerian trading volume. The size of Nigeria’s market could thus be much bigger because of this informal trading as they are not included in public figures.

Bitcoin’s meteoric appreciation has convinced people like Smart Oluwadola, who left a job selling health supplements, to become a bitcoin peddler. His investment of a couple of hundred dollars of bitcoin is now worth several thousand.

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Samourai’s New Feature: Send Bitcoin Via SMS Text Message https://btcmanager.com/samourais-new-feature-send-bitcoin-via-sms-text-message/ https://btcmanager.com/samourais-new-feature-send-bitcoin-via-sms-text-message/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:30:24 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20862 The privacy-focused wallet, Samourai, have introduced a new feature that enables you to send bitcoin payments using standard SMS messages. The update is exciting, as it opens up a whole host of new possibilities for adoption and improves the robustness of the Bitcoin network. Sending Bitcoin Via SMS Known as PonyDirect, the proprietary app can send bitcoin without an internet...

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The privacy-focused wallet, Samourai, have introduced a new feature that enables you to send bitcoin payments using standard SMS messages. The update is exciting, as it opens up a whole host of new possibilities for adoption and improves the robustness of the Bitcoin network.

Sending Bitcoin Via SMS

Known as PonyDirect, the proprietary app can send bitcoin without an internet connection, and instead using SMS messages. Moreover, the app sidesteps censorship of the internet, making the SMS option invaluable to those in countries where such restrictions are placed.

Improving the robustness of the Bitcoin network has been eyed for some time now, where the Finnish project Kryptoradio developed a method to accept zero-confirmation transactions entirely offline by utilizing radio waves in 2014. Moreover, the idea of using SMS as a transmission mechanism was touched upon by Pavol Rusnak, CTO of Satoshilabs, in August 2017

Samourai Developer T Dev T told Bitcoin.com: “PonyDirect was developed in-house as a proof-of-concept app with the intention of open sourcing it to be an open invitation for developer participation in the Mule Tools project as a whole.”

The proof-of-concept app is open source, with the code available on GitHub. While you can transmit bitcoin transactions via SMS, you can also relay transactions for your mobile contacts by using your number.

So how does it work? Since an SMS message is limited to 160 characters, several texts are sent with the initial message containing information on the number of messages to be received, the hash ID that must be matched at the end, a batch ID, a sequencing number, and a part of the actual transaction hex.

Another SMS contains a sequencing number, batch ID, and more of the actual transaction hex. Once the series of SMS messages are received from the same incoming number, the whole transaction is reassembled and pushed out to the Bitcoin network. So by dividing the bitcoin transaction as many times as necessary, the relevant information can be sent over SMS and broadcast to the network from there.

Helping those Most in Need

The PonyDirect app is bound to be a great aid to those in developing countries, where mobile penetration has leapfrogged ahead of the developed world. For instance, we can look to the case of MPesa in Kenya as an example, which is a mobile network that provides a financial infrastructure, allowing people to send money using SMS. The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that for 2018, we will see an average of 113 mobile subscriptions per 100 people in the world’s 60 biggest markets, with growth mainly driven by India and Sub-Saharan Africa.

T Dev T stated on Twitter that the motivation behind the app is down to the desire to help those in developing countries, and especially those countries where internet is routinely censored:

The development from the Samourai team follows on from the launch of the Blockstream Satellite, which is another drive to make bitcoin payments uncensorable. By broadcasting real-time blockchain data around the world, those without access to the internet can participate in the decentralized network.

A Wallet that Stays True to Bitcoin

Along with PonyDirect, the features of Samourai wallet make it stand out from the crowd. Privacy-enhancing features in the wallet include sending payments with hops to make transactions less linkable, ability to connect to your own node, support for Tor, and BIP47 reusable payment codes. The reusable payment codes are a neat addition since you can use a QR code again and again without revealing your actual addresses and the funds stored in them.

Another development to keep an eye on is Samourai’s partnership with goTenna, a mesh network that allows texts and GPS messages to be sent even if there is no service:

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Weiss Ratings to Announce Investment grades for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple https://btcmanager.com/weiss-ratings-announce-investment-grades-bitcoin-ethereum-ripple/ https://btcmanager.com/weiss-ratings-announce-investment-grades-bitcoin-ethereum-ripple/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 17:30:57 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20842 Weiss Ratings, an independent American rating agency, has announced that it will issue investment letter grades for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The firm will, on Wednesday, become the first significant investment rating agency to issue grades for virtual currencies. Combatting Manipulation with Clarity Through a post on its website, Weiss Ratings has announced that it will issue investment letter grades...

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Weiss Ratings, an independent American rating agency, has announced that it will issue investment letter grades for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The firm will, on Wednesday, become the first significant investment rating agency to issue grades for virtual currencies.

Combatting Manipulation with Clarity

Through a post on its website, Weiss Ratings has announced that it will issue investment letter grades for bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, NEO, Tron, Monero, Cardano, NEM, Litecoin, EOS, IOTA, and Dash. Most of these cryptocurrencies fall under or hover near, the top ten overall by market capitalization.

The firm’s impartial and unbiased investment grades are expected to provide some clarity to investors in the highly volatile and risky cryptocurrency market which currently suffers from a great deal of market manipulation.

In the finance and investment sector, investment rating companies provide their clients with ratings for probable investments to help them make a more beneficial choice of investment. These are alphabetical ratings with the A, double A or triple A ratings given to the best investment possibilities. Stock brokerages and trading houses advise their clients on stock market investments, while larger financial investment companies provide ratings for companies.

Weiss Ratings

Founded in 1971, Weiss Ratings provides independent investment ratings to over 55,000 institutions. The ratings are determined only after analyzing thousands of data points on each coin’s technology, usage, and trading patterns. What differentiates Weiss from the other major investment rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Group, is that it does not accept compensation of any kind from whichever company it rates.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been quite vocal about the potential risks of investing in cryptocurrencies in the past. Further, warning about risks of investing in ICOs, the SEC has said that companies and individuals have increasingly been using them to raise capital for their businesses and projects resulting in the substantial growth of the cryptocurrency market. Such offerings involve the opportunity for individual investors to exchange fiat currency or cryptocurrencies in return for a digital asset labeled as a coin or token.

In a public statement, Jay Clayton, the SEC Chairman, said:

“A number of concerns have been raised regarding the cryptocurrency and ICO markets, as there is substantially less investor protection than in our traditional securities markets, with correspondingly greater opportunities for fraud and manipulation.”

Thus, it is widely believed that the investment ratings of Weiss will provide clarity.

The same body had, in December, also cracked down on an ICO that raised $15 million with the promise of 13-fold returns. Many regulatory agencies have admitted that it is not easy to track dubious initial coin offerings as they can be operated from anywhere across the world.

Ethereum cp-founder, Vitalin Buterik, has also been very active in this sector, warning about the pitfalls and potential risks of investing in dubious ICOs. However, it is important to note that Ethereum was a product of the most popular ICO till date, given that its tokens are today worth more than $100 billion by market cap.

On January 24, 2018, Weiss will announce its ratings for the cryptocurrency market. With this move, the firm has the potential to mark the traditional finance industry’s first real foray into the digital token arena.

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New iOS Monero Wallets Evokes Community’s Suggestions https://btcmanager.com/new-ios-monero-wallets-evokes-communitys-suspicions/ https://btcmanager.com/new-ios-monero-wallets-evokes-communitys-suspicions/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 16:30:28 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20850 Cakewallet is a new iOS Wallet for monero which is trying to make this privacy-centered digital currency more user-friendly. However, the Monero community were reluctant to embrace it, as the wallet was not intially open source, with enthusiasts pointing out this should be the minimum requirement. The developer has since taken on the community’s feedback. Cakewallet Concedes to Community Demands...

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Cakewallet is a new iOS Wallet for monero which is trying to make this privacy-centered digital currency more user-friendly. However, the Monero community were reluctant to embrace it, as the wallet was not intially open source, with enthusiasts pointing out this should be the minimum requirement. The developer has since taken on the community’s feedback.

Cakewallet Concedes to Community Demands

Nowadays it is imperative for cryptocurrencies to have mobile support. In the digital age, where practically anything can be done via internet this is evidently an absolute requirement. Unfortunately, for some currencies, meeting this requirement has become a real challenge. Since monero is a privacy-centered currency, it turns out to be a difficult task. In this case, monero is one of the cryptocurrencies that does not have an official iOS wallet yet.

The Cakewallet team saw this as an opportunity and immediately put their hands to work. The wallet is now available for download on the app store and ready to be used.

Monero already had some cases where fake wallets have been made available, such as freewallet, so whenever a new development is put out, the community tends to be a little bit reluctant in using it. It is a rather convenient and customizable mobile monero wallet, but similarly to what has been happening in the past, the community is still very reluctant regarding this wallet; many Reddit comments highlighted that the app is not open source.

Nevertheless, in the world of Monero, an iOS wallet was something that was missing, and while the community is hesitant to embrace it as a closed source app, they have been enthusiastically committing to donations if the developers make it open source.

With Cakewallet supporting XMR, things are looking pretty good. From a convenience point of view, Monero enthusiasts can now use a wallet on either Android or iOS. Cakewallet is available in the App Store without any cost and can be used free of charge as well. The code for this project will be made not open source and uploaded to GitHub in the next few days and weeks, as the developers conceded to the community’s demands.

Functionality for Cakewallet users includes creating new and recovering old wallets. The wallet also has QR code functionality, and an option to change the priority fee. For advanced users, there is a special option in which users can change the node and daemon settings if they want to.

XWallet is Claimed to be a Burden on User Privacy

Apart from Cakewallet, there is one more iOS wallet in development, but seem like Apple already rejected it a couple of times. Known as the XWallet, this wallet has also experienced some controversy. A blog post from January 18 explains that the method in which XWallet wants to monetize their app may come at the cost of user privacy. In particular, the wallet app creates a third output instead of two as a result of the wallet fee per outgoing transaction of 0.0005 XMR, meaning that every transaction broadcast from this wallet can be clustered.

Justin Smith of XWallet hit back and requested the Monero Research Lab look into the issue further. He said that the necessary changes will be made based on their findings, “My only concern right now is getting this legit Monero wallet app into the app store. Next, we will continue to improve the app in terms of security and usability.”

“Much, much later, after a proper MRL report on the privacy implications of a subset of the anonymity set consistently generating transfers of a certain type using the reference implementation is published, there will be time to examine system design. If changes are warranted, we will budget for and implement them.”

But from the Reddit thread, it is clear that the some in the community are not entirely satisfied with the wallet’s current state. Other suggestions have been put forward to monetize the app such as charging a dollar fee for the app or having transaction credits that allow you to buy bundles of 100, 200, 300, etc. transactions.

Where to Store your Moneroj?

As for users of Android, there is a monero wallet available on Google Play, being Monerujo (which can now also send BTC payments using XMR.to). There are also a few web wallets such as MyMonero and last but not the least, an official Desktop wallet. Hardware support is coming soon with Ledger and the community’s own open-source hardware wallet. You can also generate addresses securely offline using Moneromoo’s tool here, and there is also a new method (which needs more inspection) to use a Raspberry Pi to create a ‘cold’ wallet.

In the end, having an iOS wallet launched was a very good move for monero, as it makes the currency a lot more user-friendly. Having the Cakewallet finally come to the market as an open source app will bring monero one step closer to the general public as it offers very straightforward usability and few skill requirements to use it.

However, there is much more testing and verification that needs to be done to ensure that the principles of decentralization and privacy are adhered to.

 

 

The article’s title and content were slightly modified as the situation was evolving over January 22 and 23 regarding the status of Cakewallet.

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Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Bank Enter Data Sharing Agreement in South Korea https://btcmanager.com/cryptocurrency-exchanges-bank-enter-data-sharing-agreement-south-korea/ https://btcmanager.com/cryptocurrency-exchanges-bank-enter-data-sharing-agreement-south-korea/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 15:30:37 +0000 https://btcmanager.com/?p=20851 The South Korean government has announced that six of the major domestic banks are being configured to work closely with some cryptocurrency exchanges. With the introduction of this new system, regulatory bodies will require exchanges to share data with the respective banks. Sweep of Conscious Regulation The Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) made the announcement on January 21, 2018. The...

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The South Korean government has announced that six of the major domestic banks are being configured to work closely with some cryptocurrency exchanges. With the introduction of this new system, regulatory bodies will require exchanges to share data with the respective banks.

Sweep of Conscious Regulation

The Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) made the announcement on January 21, 2018.

The verification system to be implemented means no longer will there be an allowance for traders on cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Moreover, said traders wouldn’t be able to use virtual accounts to trade anonymously.

Virtual accounts had previously been given to customers by the banks in order to trade on the major crypto exchanges in the country. A recent ban by regulators put a stop to financial institutions issuing these virtual accounts until there is the full implementation of the new system.

Ultimately, individuals looking to trade will need to verify that the name used for their bank accounts and crypto exchanges are identical. This stipulation is set to be implemented on January 30, 2018, despite previous speculation that the apparatus would be lanced on ten days earlier.

In their announcement, the FSC disclosed that there are a total of six commercial banks who will participate: Shinhan Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, the Industrial Bank of Korea and Nonghyup Bank.

The FSC alongside the Financial Intelligence Unit also conducted inspections at the beginning of January into the six Korean financial institutions to better determine their guidelines for anti-money laundering in the realm of digital currencies.

The new real-name system is going to be fully compliant with these AML guidelines. The aim is to block any legally-obtained funds from being exchanged to digital currencies, as well as helping to identify any minors who are by law not allowed to invest in virtual money.`

All banks will be subject to these AML obligations meaning that they need to maintain and check the transaction records of all traders of cryptocurrencies.

This move is yet another in a series of attempts to aid the government to effectively regulate cryptocurrencies, as well as helping to implement a comprehensive system of taxation for those engaging with cryptocurrency trading.

The measures being introduced mean that people cannot trade anonymously is a massive step forward in the right direction for the authorities, as people will not be able to easily hide their gains any longer.

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