BitPay Undergoes Security and Confidentiality Certification Audit

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Major cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay has undergone a security and confidentiality compliance review, the Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2).

Per a Sept. 30 press release, business advisory company Aprio confirmed BitPay’s compliance with the SOC 2, a tech audit and a requirement for technology companies that assures that customers’ personal data is kept secure and confidential.

Continue Reading at cointelegraph.com

U.S. Libra Hearings Day 1: Lawmakers Finding It Hard to Trust Facebook

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The United States’ Senate Banking Committee raised a wave skepticism over Facebook’s crypto project Libra during the first day of testimony on July 16.

The new hearing, called “Examining Facebook's Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System” is scheduled for 10:00 AM ET, July 17.

As day two is coming in the next few hours, Cointelegraph posts a short recap of yesterday's hearings.

The first day saw Senate Banking Committee attacked David Marcus, head of Facebook’s crypto wallet Calibra, raising major concerns over Libra, including issues of trust, privacy, security and regulation.

The problem of trust has apparently prevailed during the hearing, as Senator Sherrod Brown considered Facebook “dangerous” in the very opening remarks. The senator further expressed his scepticism, expressing doubts that people will trust Facebook with “their hard-earned money.”

Elizabeth Warren, Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate, outlined a lack of evidence that Facebook does not plan to link the platform’s user data to their money transactions and keep those records. She said:

“I’m not reassured by your statement that you can’t see any reason right now why there wouldn’t be any data sharing between these platforms.”

Senator Martha McSally escalated Warren’s concerns, pointing out that Facebook’s “track record of failing and violating and deceiving in the past” is a sufficient cause for the committee to not trust the platform at all.

Additionally, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo raised a question why the Libra Corporation had chosen to register in Switzerland. In turn, Marcus assured that committee that the association would also register with the U.S. regulators. Specifically, Marcus emphasized Facebook’s intention to be compliant with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in distributing its Libra stablecoin.

In the hearing, Marcus highlighted the role of Libra in the global leadership of the U.S. in an apparent attempt to mitigate the escalated concerns over the project. He warned that if the U.S. fails to act on the issue, the world will eventually see another crypto initiative that would be controlled by someone else, whose values are “radically” different.

Yesterday, U.S. house minority leader Kevin McCarthy expressed criticism against Libra, while praising major cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC), which has slipped to as low as $9,100 earlier today, seeing a loss of around 30% over the past 7 days at press time.

Via Cointelegraph.com

Cleveland Cavaliers Partner With Cryptocurrency Firm UnitedCoin

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Max Boddy writes:

Ohio-based professional basketball team the Cleveland Cavaliers (The Cavs), along with its associated esports club Cavs Legion GC, have partnered with the cryptocurrency firm UnitedCoin. The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced the new partnership in a press release on July 15.

The partnership will reportedly be used to advertise UnitedCoin and provide the Cavs with an inroad to the fintech sector via cryptocurrency.

For the Cavs, one aspect of this partnership will reportedly be LED signage inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse during Cavs games.

The Cavs Legion will reportedly advertise UnitedCoin as its “Official Cryptocurrency Partner.” Within NBA 2K, this means that UnitedCoin will be displayed on the team’s in-game home court. The Cavs Legion will also put UnitedCoin’s brand on social media, as per the announcement.

According to the press release, UnitedCoin includes a service to transact with both fiat money and cryptocurrencies via phone or email. The company has also issued a Mastercard debit card, which likewise has both fiat and crypto functionality.

As per its website, UnitedCoin is registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is still in an early-access phase. According to its whitepaper, UnitedCoin employs a new type of consensus algorithm and chain structure that purportedly solves some problems with traditional blockchains.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Miami Dolphins announced on July 11 that Litecoin is the team’s “official cryptocurrency.” The team will set up home stadium kiosks to let fans participate in their 50/50 raffle with cryptocurrencies.

Via Cointelegraph.com

Chia Releases Green Paper Detailing Eco-Friendly Means of Crypto Mining

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San Francisco-based tech firm Chia Network has released a green paper that describes an eco-friendly means of mining cryptocurrencies.

The green paper provides a description of how proof of space and proof of time create a "Nakamoto-style" consensus algorithm for Chia’s blockchain. Specifically, Chia proposes to “farm” rather than mine to verify blockchains that issue cryptocurrencies, wherein proof of space and proof of time take the place of the proof of work (PoW) principle used for mining of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The paper further explains: 

“Instead of using proofs of work, Chia alternates proofs of space with verifiable delay functions. This results in a chain than in many aspects is similar to Bitcoin, in particular, as in Bitcoin no synchronisation is needed and we can prove rigorous security guarantees assuming a sufficient fraction of the resource (space in Chia, computation in Bitcoin) is controlled by honest parties.”

Initially, Chia’s CEO Bram Cohen debuted his solution to Bitcoin in late 2017, which he said resolves “centralization problems” with the virtual currency by employing the concept of proof-of-time. Cohen said “the idea is to make a better Bitcoin, to fix the centralization problems,” relying on a two-step block authentication method.

As reported in June, the carbon emissions generated by Bitcoin are comparable to the whole of Kansas City, and even a small country, according to a study published in the Joule journal. With annual emissions of CO2 estimated at between 22 and 22.9 megatons, Bitcoin sits somewhere between Jordan and Sri Lanka in terms of output. The study suggested that this level would double if every other cryptocurrency was also taken into account.

According to a March study by a blockchain specialist at Big Four auditing firm PwC, renewable energy would not be enough to solve bitcoin’s sustainability problem. The carbon footprint of a Bitcoin transaction reportedly outpaces that of a traditional non-cash banking transaction.


Via Cointelegraph.com

Bitcoin Breaks $13,000 As Rally Continues

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Ana Alexandre reports:

Bitcoin (BTC) has broken the $13,000 price mark, and many of the top-20 cryptocurrencies showing double-digit gains on the day, according to Coin360.

BTC broke the $12,000 level earlier today, and has continued surging to trade at $13,252 at press time. The leading coin has gained over 16% on the day. Today, Bitcoin’s market dominance climbed to over 60% for the first time since April 2017.

Bitcoin’s recent rally has caused a stir in the crypto community, wherein some of its players have made predictions on its further price dynamics. Today, eToro analyst Simon Peters claimed that BTC prices could match their all-time high of $20,000 within the next two weeks — and could hit $50,000 or $100,000 by the end of the year.

Ether (ETH) is trading at around $349.20 at press time, with an increase of 12% over the past 24 hours. The altcoin started the day at $309, with its current price marking today’s high.

Ripple (XRP) has been demonstrating a calmer price performance, reporting a 5.30% increase over the day to trade at $0.486 at press time. XRP’s market capitalization is currently around $20.4 billion, which is nearly $17 billion less tha[n] Ethereum’s.

NEM (XEM) and NEO (NEO) have reported double-digit gains of 18.33% and 10.11% respectively on the day. Monero (XMR) is the only loser on the top-20 list, with a 2.83% loss on the day.

Total market cap of all digital currencies is around $376 billion as of press time, while the daily trading volume has reached $108 billion.

Oil prices also demonstrated a rise today, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures being at $58.95 per barrel, up $1.12 from their last settlement, and WTI hitting its highest level since May 30 at $59.13 a barrel, CNBC reported.

Gold, by contrast, fell 1% today, wherein Spot gold was down 0.5% at $1,411.3 per ounce on track to snap a six-session long winning streak.

Via Cointelegraph.com

Facebook Releases Cryptocurrency White Paper for Libra Currency

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Aaron Wood reports:

Social media giant Facebook has released the white paper for its long-awaited cryptocurrency and blockchain-based financial infrastructure project today, June 18.

According to the paper, Facebook’s global stablecoin, dubbed “libra,” will operate on the native and scalable Libra blockchain, and be backed by a reserve of assets ostensibly “designed to give it intrinsic value” and mitigate volatility fluctuations.  

These assets consist of a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities that will be held in the Libra Reserve for every Libra that is issued.

The website for the digital asset, calibra.com, was briefly down around 5AM EST, about when it went live.

The new cryptocurrency will be governed by a not-for-profit, Switzerland-based consortium — the “Libra Association” — which counts MastercardPayPalVisa, Stripe, eBay, Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz and Uber among its founding members.

Facebook ostensibly plans to expand the association to around 100 members by the time of Libra’s launch in the first half of 2020. The white paper notes that:

“While final decision-making authority rests with the association, Facebook is expected to maintain a leadership role through 2019. Facebook created Calibra, a regulated subsidiary, to ensure separation between social and financial data and to build and operate services on its behalf on top of the Libra network.”

The Libra Association is itself governed by the Libra Association Council. The council’s members initially are the founding members, each of which runs a validator node on the network and was notably required to make a minimum investment of $10 million to seal the position. Each $10 million investment secures an entity one vote on the council, per Facebook.

Facebook has also revealed the release of the Libra Investment Token — distinct from its global user-oriented cryptocurrency libra — which can be purchased or distributed as dividends to the association’s founding members and accredited investors.

As libra is not technically pegged to any given national fiat currency, the white paper states that users will not always be able to redeem the token for a fixed amount of fiat, although Facebook claims that the reserve assets have been chosen so as to minimize volatility.

While the reserve assets are ostensibly held by “a geographically distributed network of custodians” in order to secure decentralization, the reserve is managed by the association itself, which is the only party able to mint and destroy the coin.

New libra are minted once authorized resellers have purchased the coins from the association with enough fiat to fully back their value, and burned when authorized resellers sell the token back to the association in exchange for the underlying assets. Moreover, the white paper states:

“Since authorized resellers will always be able to sell Libra coins to the reserve at a price equal to the value of the basket, the Libra Reserve acts as a ‘buyer of last resort.’”

Facebook further notes that the software that implements the Libra blockchain is open source in order to create an interoperable ecosystem of financial services and broaden inclusion.

Previous reports had indicated that the coin will facilitate payments across Facebook’s various platforms including WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, giving the new coin potential exposure to a combined 2.7 billion users each month.

Via cointelegraph.com

When Is The Best Time to Buy Bitcoin?

When Is The Best Time to Buy Bitcoin?

You’ve done your homework, set up a wallet, and decided to make Bitcoin a part of your investment portfolio. Now, the only question is when to buy Bitcoin . With cryptocurrency prices still experiencing historic levels of volatility, it can be difficult to choose an entry point. After all, there are still heaps of folks who succumbed to the FOMO – fear of missing out – in December and saw prices fall more than 70 percent just two months later.

We’re going to limit our discussion here to Bitcoin, the largest, oldest, and arguably most stable of the available cryptocurrencies, but these general tips can apply to almost any coin. The key takeaways are understanding the basics of technical analysis, reading market sentiment, and choosing an appropriate investment level.

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Cryptos and Taxes -- What You Need to Know

Cryptos and Taxes -- What You Need to Know

"V", RemainCalm.net's Frank DeLalla and Mr. X discuss taxation of crypto currency capital gains, offer suggestions on how to handle IRS reporting and discuss a Coinbase overview on reporting.

Disclaimer: this video is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice, the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, or a substitute for consulting a tax professional.
-- JWS

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Sound Money Wednesdays - Hacking at the Root of TriEvil

by Rory – The Daily Coin

As part of the ongoing paradigm shift Ken Schortgen, The Daily Economist, suggested an alternative to “black Friday” and “cyber Monday” – Sound Money Wednesdays!! This is the first in an ongoing series of Hacking at The Root of TriEvil. We released the announcement last week which can be found HERE.

We kick off this long overdue idea today with Golden Coin Wednesday!! The idea is for all of us to contact our favorite gold bullion dealer – local coin dealer, online coin dealer or pawn shop/flea market. It doesn’t matter to us as long as we move together and make it happen today. You should be able to find Mexican 2 peso gold coins (one of my personal favorites) for approximately $75 or less. I was able to acquire one recently for $65. I will be picking up another today.

The next two Wednesday’s we will do it again with Silver Bar Wednesday and Cryptocurrency Wednesday.

We are suggesting the following as guidelines for Sound Money Wednesday’s.

  • a minimum of $50 or equivalent for those outside the U.S.
  • if you use a gold/silver debt card service the impact is magnified by a factor of 10+ as that fiat currency, minus any fees the company charges, has just been 100% removed from the system
  • spread the word, invite a friend and bring a family member along for the ride!
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