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  • Blockchain for Taxation?

    The only certainties in life are death and taxes, or so says the old adage. The problem, of course, is that death is usually a surprise, and taxation takes forever anyway. At least it used to. One company sees an opportunity to help governments implement, track, and receive taxes in real-time using blockchain technology.

    The company, Sage Communications, has suggested using the powers of the blockchain in order to provide benefits for governments to streamline and clear taxes. Currently, taxes are collected by merchants at the point of sale, and are then collated and delivered to the local or municipal or state government in lump sums. All transactions are then evaluated and processed by the government and totals are cross checked. Any point of difference results in an audit of some capacity. This audit system requires large amounts of manpower and cost, and generally can result in little or no outcome for either party.

    Sage, a communications company by trade, is looking to build blockchain into the point of sale, allowing tax to be collected immediately, delivered to the government in real-time, and virtually eliminating the need for auditing by local officials. Whether this sort of solution is viable to governments remains to be seen, and the institutional fears about blockchain and cryptocurrency may keep it out of the market place. However, the solution appears to be a viable potential for solving issues with legacy systems.

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  • Ethereum Multisig Breach Continues Wreaking Havoc

    News broke yesterday of a massive breach of the Ethereum system, allowing hackers to steal more than 83,000 ETH (~$18 mln) from three major multisig wallets and deposit them into a single wallet.

    As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the breach was stopped by an alert white hat hacker group who immediately drained a substantial number of other vulnerable wallets, protecting over $85 million worth of ETH.

    Multisig Vulnerability

    The hacker exploited a little known flaw in the Parity software suite affecting the multisig wallet contract.

    The hacker was able to send two transactions to each of the contracts and drain the entire contents.

    The first transaction, called an initWallet, was used to cause all public functions from the library to be callable by anyone using delegatecall, including initWallet, which then allowed the hacker to change the owner of the contract.

    The hackers then made their address the only owner, and required only one confirmation to execute any transaction. Finally, they were able to simply send a transaction to a wallet owned exclusively by them, and drain the entire contents of the wallet.

    The hack could have been prevented simply by not using the ‘delegatecall' function to allow for all library functions to be invoked externally on the wallet.

    Impacts

    The three drained wallets belonged to Edgeless Casino, æternity and Swarm City. All three have issued press releases stating the impact of the hack.

    Edgeless Casino has confirmed the loss of 26 793 ETH ($5.6 million) which are in the hands of the hacker. However, Edgeless did seek to put the concerns of users and investors to rest by explaining their diversification policy after the ICO. The platform launch will occur as promised in Q3 of this year, though, as a protective measure, players will be forced to purchase EDG tokens in order to pay rather than being allowed to play with ETH directly.

    æternity also issued a press release, detailing their specific losses (82K ETH) and also assuring investors that the project launch will continue according to plan. The company also employed a wide diversification strategy with BTC and other wallets in order to protect the necessary funds for business operations. An update on the site, however, stated:

    “Together with æternity’s lawyer, we have contacted the Liechtenstein police authorities and filed charges. The police will forward the matter to Interpol.”

    Swarm City stated that they had also suffered a loss totally 44,055 ETH. The company did not address other funds available for project launch, though they did reaffirm their commitment to developing Swarm City, stating:

    The Swarm City Core team is more committed than ever to the development of Swarm City. The real value of our token lies in the community, and the technology the developers are creating. Black hat hackers, vulnerabilities, and bugs will not stop us from creating the decentralized sharing economy our community and the world craves.

    The three companies are jointly considering what action to take against Gavin Woods, the developer behind the effected wallets.

    Warning Shot

    The massive hack is being seen by many as a warning shot. The complexity of the Ethereum system, while perhaps its greatest benefit, also presents massive risks to the funds of users. According to Santiago Palladino at Zeppelin solutions:

    “This attack, however, makes clear that a set of best practices and standards is needed in the Ethereum ecosystem to ensure that these coding patterns are implemented effectively and securely. Otherwise, the most innocent-looking bug can have disastrous consequences.”

    The Ethereal community will need to create new ways to prevent such breaches and protect their user base if they are to continue gaining support among cryptocurrency groups. This most recent breach calls into question the opinion of many that Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin as the vehicle of choice.

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  • Price Analysis: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin

    BTC/USD 20.07.2017

    Just as other cryptocurrencies, BTC was subject to the overwhelming correction. At one moment, BTC experienced a harsh fall with a clear $1,800 to $1,900 support zone. However, trading volumes were insufficiently high to settle, suggesting a fast rebound, which effectively took place.

    What we observe on the market

    • Global $1,850 support zone

    • Currently, the  $2,300 resistance zone is being retested

    • Provided the price settles down above $2,300, it will imply an alteration in the local downtrend, which we could see over the last 10 days

    • Volatility level is anticipated to remain high

    The closer we are to August, the higher the volatility is. It is getting harder to make predictions for the future.To recapitulate, the scenarios suggesting BTC testing $1,850 zone again and then retreating to $2,300 are plausible. Nevertheless, shorting BTC after a good retest of $2,300 is extremely risky. Still, opening long positions with a short stop-loss is not a good idea either, given the volatility levels we now observe.

    At the current market, it might be a good idea to buy drawdowns and trading market’s FUD. However, potential stop-orders should be long enough.

    The market in July to August will inevitably be affected by SegWit. Will it be implemented or not? Will there be a hard fork?

    As for SegWit perspectives, you may see them on the picture below.

    The miners are massively signaling their support for SegWit. To get a more profound grasp of the situation, it is advisable to monitor BTC prices and news. Perhaps, it will allow unearthing some insights that might be reflected on the current BTC infrastructure.

    ETH/USD 20.07.2017

    After the retest of the $225 resistance zone, ETH fell to $137, regaining its position in the light of a last days’ growth. Currently, it is testing the $225 resistance zone again.

    At the moment, technical analysis at ETH plays somewhat of a secondary role. Bad news seems to play a more crucial role right now.
    Needless to say, these factors will drive the market price.

    That is why it is very likely we will see the tests of the $137 support zone. In turn, purchases from that level might in perspective yield good return.

    To buy when the price settles higher than $225 and retests is also a reasonable idea. However, one should remember that any bad news might tamper the investors’ confidence easily breaking the support zone, which will result in big price movements.

    Currently, the most plausible scenario for ETH is to remain out of the market, anticipating how the price will react to the upcoming news.

    LTC/USD 20.07.2017

    LTC demonstrated positive dynamics last month. At the day graph two key points could be seen:

    • The support zone at $35

    • Peaks at $35

    Given the fact that there is no negative news for LTC and it is a beneficiary of any BTC news, many investors unraveled a good hedge at LTC, regarding the general hassle at the crypto market and BTC in particular. Litecoin seems like a good purchase with long-term targets.

    In the short-term, an uptrend remains with a $48 target.

    Follow Cointelegraph news to stay tuned to the market news.

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  • Bitcoin Price Breaks $2,600 As SegWit Nearly Finalized, $3,000 In Sight

    Within a 24-hour period, Bitcoin price increased from $2,300 to $2,600, recording a staggering 13 percent surge in value.

    Bitcoin Liquid Index

    Earlier this week, miners began to signal for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal BIP 91, a kludge between the original Segregated Witness (SegWit) proposal and the Digital Currency Group-led SegWit2x, also known as the Silbert accord.

    Despite its short timeline that may cause difficulties for developers resulting from technical instability, BIP 91 was the last chance for miners and the Bitcoin community to avoid a network split, which would have led to the creation of two Bitcoin Blockchains or Bitcoins.

    In contrast to user-activated soft fork, BIP 91 is a miner-activated soft fork, which will activate SegWit, a transaction malleability fix and scaling solution developed by the Bitcoin Core development team at an 80 percent activation threshold, as listed on the SegWit2x proposal.

    The 80 percent activation threshold was surpassed on July 18 with major mining pools including Antpool, BTCC and Bitfury signaling for the activation of BIP 91. At the time of reporting, hash rate signaling BIP 91 is at 83.3 percent and analysts including Squeeze have noted that BIP 91 could be fully locked in within the next few days.

    Demand Increases

    Since mid-2016, the Bitcoin industry, its businesses, community and users have highly anticipated for the activation of a scaling solution to optimize Bitcoin blocks and ultimately, lessen Bitcoin fees.

    In an interview with BraveNewCoin, Laurent, the French developer behind Bitcoin analytics platform OXT, claimed that he is 95 percent confident affected the Bitcoin mempool and number of transactions until January of 2017.

    “Considering that the published elements are the result of an exploratory analysis, I would say that I'm 95 percent confident. 100 percent confidence will require an in-depth analysis which is currently outside what my financial resources allow me to do,” said Laurent.

    When SegWit activation seemed likely through SegWit2x, the size of the Bitcoin mempool abruptly decreased, and experts including Blockstream chief strategy officer Samson Mow expressed their concerns over intentional spam attacks.

    At the moment, leading Bitcoin wallet service providers including Blockchain are recommending a fee of around 90 satoshis per byte for a median size transaction, which would range from $0.5 to $0.9. Only a few months ago, average Bitcoin fees spiked to over $5.

    The activation of SegWit will lead to a 75 percent optimization of Bitcoin blocks and a substantial decrease in Bitcoin transaction fees. Optimism surrounding SegWit and the scalability of Bitcoin has pushed Bitcoin price up, from $1,850 to $2,600 within a week.

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  • One strong ICO for a Global Property Store

    Different countries have different laws regarding property ownership and the registration and transfer processes can vary greatly. Add to this the question of cultural complexity. What if you do not speak the language of the country where you are trying to buy property? It could also be that you are not very certain about who to contact and who to trust.

    Propy, a decentralized real estate is initiating a crowdsale

    Propy is a real estate store with decentralized title registry that is being developed backed by the Blockchain. They are in the process of launching their Token Sale which is based on the Ethereum platform. In the token sale, a total of 35 mln PRO tokens will be put on sale and the offer will expire on Aug. 25, 2017. Each PRO token is worth $1.  Contributors stand a chance to back a system that will cut the costs of international property ownership, reduce fraud and complications related to property.

    How does the PRO token work?

    The PRO token is central to Propy’s real-estate marketplace. The token will work as a method of settlement and for interacting with Propy’s registry. It will also interestingly function as a sort of protection against ‘spam.’ Since the token would be required to write new transactions, it would act as a barrier against spammers. The token would be simple to use and is intended to be user-friendly. Users would initiate the writing of new data to the Propy registry via Propy’s interface, whether that data would result in the creation of new title, or transferring a title already recorded in the system.

    ICO funds utilization and product roadmap

    Propy has already launched the real estate marketplace and has come up with a transacting prototype. After the ICO concludes, they would be conducting beta testing and by the end of the year they would have their transaction tool in production and by July 2018 they would be conducting p2p transactions.

    Of the 100 mln Propy tokens issued, distribution will be made on the basis:

    35 percent Token Sale

    35 percent Network Growth

    15 percent Donations

    15 percent Company Tokens

    10 percent of the tokens will be given out as a bonus to each participant in the ICO in the pre-sale and also for each participant in the first 24 hours of the crowdsale.

    Purchasing overseas property can be simplified

    Propy is aiming to solve the complex issues surrounding property using the Blockchain. Their adviser David Cowan, Bessemer Venture Partners and 6th Forbes Midas list investor, says "Propy's team has the right mix of Blockchain acumen, real estate experience and entrepreneurship to be highly disruptive.” They integrate distributed ledger technology so that governments can create and issue titles to properties instantly, securely and in a cost-effective manner. They would also help match prospective buyers with sellers as well as reputable brokers. In addition, there will be information provided on the quality of life parameters in neighborhoods like: walkability, air and noise pollution as well as green building certifications.

    Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy uses these words to describe overseas property acquisition, “Centralized, hostile, insecure and prone to inefficiency and fraud.” She said her group plans to introduce a new paradigm that would modernize the sector. Propy intends to leverage Blockchain technology and an open API framework to make industry processes – over time, in stages – interoperable, faster, simpler, more efficient, more fluid, more secure and financially incentivize all major segments of the market to help accelerate this transition.

    Unlocking the liquidity in property markets

    But perhaps the greatest value of Propy is in the fact that it unlocks the liquidity issues that plague the property markets. In comparison with exchange-traded securities such as equities and government bonds, the real estate markets are less organized and efficient. The transaction times are slow and the price discovery less efficient. The result is that a great deal of capital is trapped in illiquid investments and is geographically concentrated. Propy can free up this stuck capital and generate new investment opportunities. The decentralized exchange can also be the medium to tackle the existing impediments to foreign real estate investment acting like a kind of one-stop shop.

    Andrey Zamovskiy, Chief Blockchain Architect of Propy had this to say, “Propy is to become that one-stop shop and have already built a key component of the solution.” Adding a hint of caution though he explained that  a full p2p property exchange system would not happen overnight, due to obstacles posed by both the immaturity of Blockchain tech and industry structure and regulations. Propy envisions instead a multi-stage, multi-year process that begins with enabling title transfer via the Blockchain starting with specific markets and expects emerging markets, generally less encumbered by regulatory obstacles, to take the lead.

    Security of the token sale

    Propy has carefully addressed all the potential risks not only during the token sale but also for the future product. The management team was instructed on how to keep securely domains, emails, phones, digital wallets and all sensitive to attacks digital belongings.

    “Regarding the latest Parity issue, for the token sale Propy uses a wallet that is a closed smart contract (unlike open-source Parity wallet), which among other features allows account recovery via a special two-factor authentication service, called secondfacdtor.io.” shares Andrey Zamovski, the Chief Blockchain Architect at Propy. Even if a customer loses his/her password he/she will be able to security regain access to his assets by going through an authentication with the two services described above.

    “To my knowledge, this is the first two-factor authentication service, implemented in Ethereum (if you don’t count traditional multi-sig wallets),” shares Zamovski.

    Real estate is also vulnerable to fraud and thus security has been a priority for the team from the very inception of the product development.

    Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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  • The Real Story Behind Bitcoin Price Volatility

    Our London Correspondent Nick Ayton, the ‘Sage of Shoreditch,’ has been speaking to the Bitcoin core community about the politics and power struggles that will impact SegWit decision-making.

    What happens to Bitcoin holders in the weeks ahead?  What will be the consequences of SegWit for the user community and what does it mean to Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency and the role of miners?  Is the economic model for Bitcoin being forced to change as the investment in POW infrastructure remains significant and where are the rewards declining?

    Is SegWit really about control?

    This article is not intended to go into the technical of SegWit (for more information see SegWit explained). Suffice to say the big topic since Bitcoin’s increase in popularity is the underlying performance of the network, or is this nothing more than a smoke screen to that masks an inevitable power struggle as the few that hold the old values of centralisation want to control it.

    Having spoken to the community, read their blogs and posts and sat in forums, from what I can make out, SegWit is a battle of wills.

    It’s a fight between the independent purists that don’t want change and want to keep the network closely aligned to the original Satoshi vision, versus the move by the enterprise thinking that is looking to concentrate power (hashing power) and force decisions to improve the economic model.

    SegWit is a battle that will not only challenge the very ethos of Bitcoin from the founding Nakamoto roots but may ultimately split the community into several parts.

    Will SegWit make Bitcoin more vulnerable?

    Against a backdrop of a huge increase in volumes and drop off in transaction processing times it will come as no surprise to learn that for an intelligent, opinionated and evangelical network of Bitcoin market participants will never agree on the future direction Bitcoin. Many were unhappy with the NYC agreement, while other hold strong views and want to stay close to the original 2008 Satoshi script.

    Some including Dr. Craig Wright, believe SegWit will open the door to manipulation by mining cartels.

    Let us also not forget the network remains vulnerable to 51 percent attack and is designed to make sure the economic incentives do not deliver the returns to make it worthwhile.

    Craig Wright who claims to be the founding father is not alone in believing SegWit opens the door for cartels to manipulate the network using an “AnyOneCanSpend” address essentially leaving the signature (witness) blank relying on all miners to play nicely and not steal funds. He claims that self-interest will eventually override social cooperation as the network grows and the amount of larger transactions increases , and that new mining pools could come in at essentially a discount with illicit intentions.

    Dark side

    But is there a darker side to this story as alleged co founder Alexandre Cazes of AlphaBay is found dead in a Bangkok jail, and law enforcement agencies cracking down on similar sites that use the TOR Darkweb network? However,  the most significant impact is the large volume of BTC transactions have simply disappeared.

    This is the main reason why the purists want to take a different path and why they feel the entire Libertarian concept behind the Bitcoin network is being highjacked. And they may have a point…

    The enemy within

    But then nothing in the world of Bitcoin throughout its short history has ever been straightforward or simple. For many people who use and hold Bitcoin, they may not realize the network is constantly under attack and the core developer community have to keep coming up with new ideas and ways to protect the integrity of Bitcoin and police its use.

    Although the biggest attacks appear to come from the enemy within.

    The politics of the miner community, in particular, is hard to fathom but also plays a significant part in the SegWit story.

    For a long time concerns have been raised about the concentration in hashing power centered on the larger mining pools where the economic investment from the corporate world many believe has already distorted Bitcoin from its original path.

    And it is clear SegWit will add to the debate and increase concerns for many involved driving their decisions and Bitcoin in new directions.

    Government manipulation

    Others sense the hand of government manipulation that hide off grid also using the dark shadows of TOR, who have in recent months attempted to discredit Bitcoin and blame the community for WannaCry outbreak, which started as a US government Windows-hacking program.

    There are many communities and dare I say factions emerging within the community that breaks down into many different groups listed below that highlights some of the different forces that are at play Source CoinDance…

    Although the detail of ownership is missing one has to remember the fundamental ethos of Bitcoin is that you get trust. This is because there is no trust of network participants as each has very separately economic alignment and why BGP was built into the protocol to prevent collusion and distortion. SegWit takes this away.

    Bitcoin Core equates to 78 percent of the network (6740 nodes)

    Bitcoin Unlimited 15 percent (918 nodes)

    Bitcoin UASF 5.5 percent (474 nodes)

    Bitcore 1.5 percent (134 nodes)

    Bitcoin Classic 1.5 percent (128 nodes)

    Bitcoin Knots 0.6 percent (58 nodes)

    Bitcoin ABC 0.65 percent (54 nodes)

    Bitcoin XT 0.36 percent (31 nodes)

    Btcd 0.23 percent (26 nodes)

    Bcoin 0.23 percent (20 nodes)

    TRB 0.1 percent (9 nodes)

    Libbitcoin 0.07 percent (6 nodes)

    Could we end up with multi Bitcoin Wallets?

    It very much looks like we will have to get used to multiple Bitcoin wallets each supporting different features, different Bitcoin networks where the processing of transactions will be handled differently.

    Depending on what wallets you have today – lightweight, web wallet or full node these changes will impact you the User. And its seems you do have to upgrade.

    But of course what we all really want to know is what happens to the value of our Bitcoin (BTC) - will it go up or down, or is there a chance we could lose it all?

    Or will we end up owning different types of BTC when Bitcoin is forced to hard fork similar to Ether and Ethereum Classic?

    Concerns

    But SegWit is a soft fork so in the short term this remains unlikely but forces are at work where this may be inevitable. Many will go UAHF anyway.

    There are so many questions - How will transactions be processed, will they be quicker?  Will transaction costs increase?

    In the SegWit transition period will transactions fall through the gaps and be lost, rejected or end up on a long backlog list?

    Stirring the pot

    And while these questions are looking for an answer the Bitcoin haters led by the VC community and other dark forces continue to ‘stir the pot’ and put the boot in creating additional and unnecessary market concerns that have contributed to BTC price drop in recent weeks.

    The stories of impending doom have forced profit taking and for many amateur BTC investors have spooked them to a point where they have got out completely.

    So what is going on behind the scenes in the Bitcoin community in relation to SegWit?

    Hashrate concerns

    The first thing to consider is how the SegWit decision will be made. Should the miners agree to get behind SegWit, it will require 95 percent of the networks Hashrate to push it through. Yes, you read it right, 95 percent of the Hashrate to ‘lock in’ SegWit as essentially the network upgrade.

    That doesn’t mean 95 percent of individual Nodes and Miners but the concentration of Hashing Power- that supports the concern by some in the community of an enterprise led takeover…

    And then the Full Nodes run by users and business need to adopt it to be upgraded to Bitcoin core v0.13.1 and why the soft fork is designed to allow community users to decide whether they want to adopt SegWit voluntarily.

    And there you have it – consensus decision making. But is it really a consensus or will a handful of votes just be the deciding factor.

    But at the end of the day does any of this matter?

    Real issues

    Isn’t the important thing here the underlying performance of the Bitcoin network and its integrity remains true and honest to ensure its future, to maintain the core principles of Bitcoin as the ‘peoples network’?

    Or is it about speed and performance and low transaction fees? And of course, its price continues to rise as the scarcity model enters the last stretch of new Bitcoins being mined.

    Or is the real issue that you cannot have both worlds coexisting, a stable true Bitcoin network true to its origins and a scalable payment network where the economics of investing in infrastructure have to be adjusted to make it viable?

    It is worth remembering SegWit started a year ago in July 2016 and by November 2016 didn’t achieve ‘lock in’ and the same thing may happen again.

    And in between Bitcoin Unlimited tried to gain support and failed.

    But it is unlikely SegWit to continue past August where the likely outcome appears Bitcoin will be going in several directions all at once, or will it. And then there is SegWit2…

    Impact on users

    Should SegWit be adopted? What will be the impact on users, requiring a wallet that supports sending and receiving SegWit payments supporting a new SegWit address that starts with a ‘3’ (known as a P2SH address) that some wallets today already support?

    SegWit transactions should happen quicker. You will probably end up paying lower transactions fees, alongside the current (non SegWit) Bitcoin because the part of the transaction that contains your signature (the “witness”) doesn’t need to be accessed by the Bitcoin network immediately, effectively batching and aligning the costs in terms of transaction fees to create the block.

    If you want to stay with the non-SegWit wallet, it should still be able to transact with the users that have upgraded but then to be sure you should upgrade even though you want to stay traditional? Differences will mean it is likely the transaction may not appear until after it has been mined. So don’t hold your breath.

    The Miners’ favorite

    The Mining pools have their favorites.  SegWit2x (intention), SegWit (BIP141) are leading contenders and so the complexity and importance of the decision remains less than straightforward given most Miners also don’t just mine Bitcoin. They strategically want to be best placed to commercially benefit from POW investment in infrastructure as the rewards reduce over time.

    So where will it all end? As some in the Bitcoin community suggest, we could at least see four Bitcoin networks or even five, and then there are overlays such as Lightning…

    Ultimately the bigger chains win the day and wallets will support as they do now different payment options where the user will decide the fate of their transaction, traditional and/or 10-minute block refresh, that may adjust as the remaining network re-sizes.

    Keep calm

    Bitcoin isn’t going anywhere and SegWit no matter what your opinion, is after all a ‘soft fork.’ However, there are forces at work that may be trying to move Bitcoin from its core principles as the People’s Network, the Internet of Money, trusted, fair and transparent to a darker place.

    It is inevitable the old thinking of greed and fear will try to turn Bitcoin into a mechanism for a few to make money.  For me, as a Libertarian, this is my main concern and must never be allowed as we will be back to square one.

    As Fractional Reserve Banking implodes and central banks continue to print too much money and countries like Japan with -245 percent GDP to debt will never catch up, Bitcoin is the future and may be the only financial system that works as the next crisis emerges from the US once again.

    It is likely price volatility will increase as we await the outcome of SegWit and for Bitcoin users, there will be some adjustment required as different wallets are needed for different purposes. But your BTC remains safe for the time being and price should start to move in the right direction through August.

    The transition period will be tricky. Traditionalists are intent on standing their ground behind the current network, and where the enterprise movement will favour the economics of SegWit, albeit they may have sensible intentions may open the door to collusions, further concentration of power and new cartels entering the network the result of which is sure to create a Hard Fork event…

    Stand by your beds. The story of Bitcoin is going to get more interesting, more dramatic and why we are making a mini series about it called “21Million” as this story has to be told…

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  • Bitcoin Operator Coinsecure Heats Up Indian Bitcoin Competition With $1 Mln Investment Bid

    Indian Bitcoin operator Coinsecure has already raised $200,000 on BnkToTheFuture as it launches a revamped trading interface.

    The service, which includes an exchange, wallet and merchant acceptance tools for Bitcoin, is one of India’s ‘big three’ together with exchanges Zebpay and Unocoin.

    Since it debuted on the fundraising site earlier this month, Coinsecure has raised $207,000 from 56 investors - an average contribution of almost $3,700.

    With 50 days remaining of the funding round, its target of $1 mln could be well within reach.

    The appetite for investment in the local Indian cryptocurrency scene is palpable. Coinsecure became unintentionally caught up in a rush for crypto as prices spiked in May, with the need to scale to meet future demand now obvious.

    In a letter to customers at the time following a slowdown in its performance, Coinsecure told customers it would extend processing times for various operations “until we are able to expand our teams to keep up with the sudden surge in volumes.”

    24-hour trading statistics show 96 BTC transacted at press time, down considerably from earlier in the week.

    Coinsecure is not the only major Bitcoin resource looking to expand on a major scale. Coinbase, which was also plagued by technical issues in recent months, has promised significant hirings to cope with customer demand.

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  • Parity Hack: White Hat Group Drains $85 Mln As Company Fills Holes

    The $34 mln Ethereum hack from Gavin Wood’s Parity client continues Thursday amid desperate attempts to secure funds.

    As reports began surfacing on social media of a multimillion dollar compromise to Parity, an official blog post subsequently confirmed a “security alert,” the effects of which are ongoing.

    STOP 👏 USING 👏 ETHEREUM https://t.co/vY53mmFmpf

    — Pierre Rochard (@pierre_rochard) July 19, 2017

    Multiple news outlets reported the loss of Parity ETH, with the latest estimates suggesting more than 150,000 coins ($33,853,000) are missing.

    Wood, who along with Vitalik Buterin was one of the co-founders of Ethereum, said efforts were still being made to contain any future risk.

    "There is an effort by the foundation underway to secure funds in other wallets to prevent any further compromises; they will make an announcement in their own time,” he wrote on Parity’s Gitter channel quoted by Business Insider today.

    Customers affected by hackers exploiting a wallet vulnerability include P2P sharing economy startup Swarm City, which yesterday signaled the loss of almost 45,000 ETH (10,155,000).

    A white hat hacker group subsequently drained other Parity wallets to protect funds worth 377,105 ETH ($85,108,000).

    The attack was initially thought only to affect version 1.5 of Parity’s wallet software and higher. However, the company appears to have retracted the statement, crossing out the information in its original blog post.

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  • Suddenly, Bitcoin Price Shoots Up To $2500 As Poloniex Halts Litecoin Trading

    Bitcoin has shot up $200 in hours as a sudden bull run sees the virtual currency retake $2500.

    Data from cross-exchange readings at Coinmarketcap shows Bitcoin’s price suddenly react during Thursday to go from $2300 to $2510.

    At press time, the upward trajectory is continuing, while investors expecting Litecoin to benefit from a knock-on effect are venting frustration at major exchange Poloniex freezing trades.

    Poloniex has yet to respond to demands for an explanation from users, who are venting their frustration on social media outlets.

    @Poloniex
    I may miss something:what is happening with LTC at poloniex, why BTC/ USDT been frozen?? pic.twitter.com/AEKvG8bTsC

    — py (@konthaiyoonl) July 20, 2017

    Prediction: When BIP91 locks in and pools signal SegWit, BTC price will rally hard. Just like for Litecoin, market knows SegWit is awesome.

    — Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) July 20, 2017

    Litecoin, along with multiple other altcoins in the top ten, has been known to react to sudden shifts in the Bitcoin price.

    Bitcoin itself, meanwhile, had already been recovering from a serious dip over the weekend which saw it dive beneath the significant $2000 mark for the first time since May.

    As details emerged of a $34 million Ethereum hack yesterday, Bitcoin broadly held firm as Ethereum’s own correction faltered.

    Dash and Monero were also showing strong growth at press time, having increased 17% and 6.3% respectively. Dash had yesterday announced its return to the App Store as Apple reversed a decision banning it in August last year.

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  • Cosmetics Giant Lush Accepts Bitcoin

    Anti-animal cruelty and vegan cosmetic and skincare giant Lush has announced that it will be taking a bold step with its online store as it begins accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.

    The UK cosmetic high street shop, that has seen rapid growth with stores across the globe, has seen it fit to move with the times by adopting Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, as a form of payment for its online store.

    Joining the big boys

    Lush will be embracing this new monetary technology, and join companies on the scale of Microsoft, Expedia and Steam, in this uptick of Bitcoin.

    The idea is to allow for more global payment to be made on their UK online store through the use of this decentralized currency.

    Because Bitcoin is not tied to any other fiat currency, it is unaffected by the global foreign exchange fluctuations, meaning that customers from all over the world all pay the same for a product.

    Leveling the playing field

    Finance Manager Mike West explains:

    “Accepting Bitcoin is very exciting for Lush. With Bitcoin, customers from all around the world will pay the same for our products, free from volatile currency fluctuations and lofty bank charges. Cryptocurrencies are the future of global trade and we want to ensure that we are prepared to move into this new digital era.”

    Lush is hoping to explore more possibilities with Bitcoin, beyond simply offering the digital currency as a payment option. The company hopes that the use of a global decentralized currency will open the doors to a global market, global suppliers and even charity groups based in rural areas across the globe.

    Doing their Bitcoin

    Lush believes that the global payment system will allow them to get more involved in charity work where banking regulations and cross border transaction would usually hinder progress.

    The transparent nature of its transactions, as well as the unlimited nature of its reach, means that the company can utilize the digital currency for more projects beyond simple sales.

    Stage one

    This is only the beginning for the cosmetics company as they admit there is more to digital currencies than just the tokens. Lush sees this acceptance as the first steps in delving into Blockchain technology in order to provide: “an ethical viewpoint on its possibilities.”

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