telegram-ton

Concerns Raised Over Telegram’s Upcoming Crypto Platform

Recent reports have implied that Telegram messenger is set to begin testing TON (Telegram Open Network) its blockchain network in September. The company’s owners raised a whopping $1.7 billion in March in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) that is one of the most successful ones of all time. Part of the proceeds from the ICO have been used to develop the platforms blockchain network which is aimed at building a universal blockchain infrastructure based on its speed as well as the inclusion of smart contracts. It is therefore very easy to see why many people are so excited about this.

The testing phase of the crypto platform is set to kick off in September and the blockchain nodes will be available as open-source alongside other blockchain database management tools like consensus and shards – these will allow a test-run of TON.

TON is slated to process transactions faster and more efficiently than both Bitcoin and Ethereum while at the same time rivaling widely accepted payment options like MasterCard and Visa. To make it even better, the platform will also be compatible with Ethereum (ETH) when it launches and hopefully, other cryptocurrencies will get support along the way. Very promising, right?

The Concerns

While the TON platform may seem like a solution to a ton of problems, not everyone is convinced that it is what it claims to be. According to a report detailing how terrorists have been using digital currencies, there has been speculation that the release of TON and the associated Gram token pose a significant security threat to the United States’ government.

Telegram seems to be aware of such concerns and has even gone as far as singling out people they believe are terrorists through their privacy policy which reads:

“If Telegram receives a court order that confirms you’re a terror suspect, we may disclose your IP address and phone number to the relevant authorities. So far, this has never happened. When it does, we will include it in a semiannual transparency report…”

Telegram’s chief executive officer, Pavel Durov, has been very adamant when it comes to compromising the security of the messaging platform. However, he has cooperated with governments after terrorist attacks were reportedly coordinated using the app. Now, there is even more scrutiny being directed at the company because of its TONPayments – there is a considerable amount of certainty that this will make it very easy for terrorists to raise funds for their operations all without a trace.

Tron Bet Crypto Gambling Expansion Set for August 8

TronBet, one of the world’s leading blockchain-based platforms, has done a great job in its effort to bring blockchain technologies inherent anonymity, security, and transparency to the online gambling space. The company’s goal has always been to democratize an industry where the users have often raised concerns pertaining to arbitrary behavior from service providers.

The team behind the disruptive company has recently published details of its newly rebranded business model. This planned migration from platform’s native cryptocurrency ANTE to its new cryptocurrency WIN. The plans have already begun to materialize with 5 percent of the newly minted WIN token set to be released on August 8 on Binance. This move is part of the projects Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) which, in the world of blockchain startups, is the equivalent of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).

WIN, the new cryptocurrency, has been designed to allocate winnings from TronBet’s house-edge along with profits from its advertising revenues to token holder. This is one of the world’s very first distributed earnings model that leverages blockchain technology. As expected, from now henceforth, the platform will be rebranded as WINk and the platform’s broad range of crypto gambling products and services will enjoy formal trading licenses from the government of Curacao and Costa Rica.

New Strategy

TronBet arguably only comes second to Bitcoin when it comes to being one of the world most successful blockchain-powered products. However, the TronBet is setting some very ambitious goals with the major rebrand that is currently on the way. Their plan is to take the platform to a wider user-base as it leverages strategic partnerships with both Binance and BitTorrent. The latter was just recently acquired by Tron for a whopping $126 million.

Now, as far as its strategies are concerned, the project has plans to expand its development so that it can accommodate payment for its services through the more traditional banking methods like credit cards and eWallets. In essence, TronBet’s transition from ANTE to WIN is set to change a number of aspects in the company’s business model over the long-term. In addition to that, the transition is also set to allow for a greater chance for the token’s price to rise fundamentally over time instead of relying on the same speculative movements that define price in the broader crypto environment.

It goes without saying that blockchain technology seems to be one of the leading ways of bringing much-needed improvements to the online gambling industry. In fact, some analysts believe that crypto and blockchain are going to completely redefine the space. TronBet clearly knows about this and it is working quite hard to ensure that it is a part of this revolution.

litecoin

Litecoin Gambling on the Rise

Digital currencies have been around for quite some time now and therefore it is safe to say that at least every single person will be familiar with at least one of them. In most cases, it is bitcoin, which is considered to be the mother of all cryptocurrencies having been around for the longest time. People and businesses have used these digital currencies in different capacities as they offer an alternative to cash and cards while at the same time offering transparency and anonymity, both of which are not really readily offered by fiat currency.

While digital currencies are yet to fully replace fiat in most areas, they have grown to become very useful forms of exchange and one of the most notable applications is in gambling. Still, bitcoin is by far one of the most widely accepted cryptocurrencies on online gaming platforms. However, things are changing rapidly in this regard and even though it will be almost impossible for bitcoin to be dethroned as the king of cryptocurrencies, other digital coins are beginning to at least match up to the threshold that bitcoin has reached. One of the cryptocurrencies that are headed in that direction is Litecoin.

The Perks of Litecoin

Just like bitcoin, Litecoin relies on a specific encrypted protocol that creates and transfers the Litecoin with no central authority overseeing or managing the transactions. However, unlike bitcoin, Litecoin processes a block of the ledger every 2.5 minutes as opposed to the just a little less than 10 minutes that bitcoin takes to produce a block – in essence, this implies that Litecoin confirms transactions faster than bitcoin and this great for gamblers who prefer to have their transactions to be processed as quickly as possible.

Litecoin also utilizes a memory-based algorithm which implies that there is more memory in the Litecoin system than there is in the bitcoin system. With all these goodies that are offered by the Litecoin technology, there is bound to be a catch which, in this case, happens to be that the faster and larger memory that the digital currency boasts of are much more expensive to operate.

Even so, Litecoin has managed to offer a plethora of exclusive features that have kept users streaming in for the same. Not only did the digital currency adapt very well to new technologies, but it also introduced such features as transaction canceling which is something that other cryptocurrencies are lacking. Furthermore, player safety and security are always guaranteed but as always this may depend on whether you are playing at a reputable and recommended online gaming platform that accepts Litecoin as a form of payment.

minephone-wx

A Look at the Crypto-Mining Smartphone Trend

Smartphone innovation has been at the very top of technological trends for over a decade now and just when we thought we had seen it all, we have once again come to see that there is still more to come. From the folding phones to the 5G phones that were showcased at the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona Spain, tech enthusiasts were treated to bizarre and incredibly unique takes on the gadgets that have nowadays become a part of our day-to-day lives.

That said, one of the standout presentations at the MWC this year was the world’s first ever crypto mining smartphone. There have, of course, been other crypto-related smartphone innovations in the recent past but all of them mainly involved phones that could support blockchain technology. Great examples of these included the HTC Exodus 1 which was launched at a fairly reasonable starting price and could be purchased using either fiat currency or digital currency. The company hoped the new innovation would help them to steer the mobile and crypto industries to the new era of the next internet but it remains to be seen how this will all play out – the company’s mobile division has been on the rocks for quite some time now.

Wings Mobile, an Italian company headed by Antonio Milio, an Italian entrepreneur, has however chosen to take a totally different approach with by unveiling a smartphone with crypto-mining capabilities. Dubbed the Minephone WX (Wings WX), the smartphone will reward its user with a “prize” amounting to up to 2 ETH (Ethereum) on a monthly basis. This is some serious value, especially because Ethereum (ETH) and bitcoin (BTC) remain to be the top most valuable digital currencies on the planet.

How It Works

The limited-edition Minephone WX is basically a regular smartphone that uses glasses and steel to deliver on both durability and great visual appeal. At its core is a high-performance MediaTek Helio P60 oct-core SoC that powers the phones operating system and its “mining operations”.  It also has 128 GB of internal storage, 8 GB RAM and two high resolution (24 + 16 MP) rear cameras.

Obviously, there is no specialized mining equipment that can fit it into existing smartphones in order to allow mining on the Minephone WX more efficient. As such, the actual mining occurs in a third-party mining pool which the phone is connected to through a Smart Contract. The phone then receives a daily reward based on the mining power contracted.

Now, this is definitely innovation at its best but it is still hard to see how it will all play – maybe it will be a success among crypto and tech enthusiasts, or maybe not.

binance-simplex-card

Binance Now Allowing Bitcoin Purchase Using Credit Cards

On January 31, Binance, which is the largest cryptocurrency exchange on the planet announced that users of the platform will now be able to buy digital currencies using debit and credit cards. This will facilitate through a partnership that the exchange has recently inked with Simplex, a fully-licensed financial institution that is known for its fraud-protected payment processing services.

With this new system, the crypto exchange’s users will be able to buy Ethereum, bitcoin, and Litecoin among other currencies using Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards with the process taking an average minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes. There will also be a transaction fee of $10 or 3.5 percent of the transaction.

According to Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, the move to integrate credit and debit cards onto the platform was mainly motivated by efforts by the company to give the traders faster, easier and more accessible methods of trading digital currencies. The partnership with Simple was therefore well thought-out since it will effectively assist in bridging mainstream payments and crypto for traders all over the world.

The use of credit cards and debit cards in crypto trading is very rare since most exchanges usually refuse them altogether or charge very high transaction processing fees in order to discourage traders from using them. This is quite justifiable due to the risk of chargebacks. These occur when fraudsters gain unauthorized access to a credit or debit card then use it to buy crypto – usually, once the owner of the card regains control of their banking accounts, the credit/debit companies will issue a chargeback and the cost may then be passed on the merchant which, in this case, is the cryptocurrency exchange. Simplex is the perfect partners for Binance since it not only solves the risk problem through what they are calling a “guaranteed fraud-less payment processing” system but also because they are one of the very few companies that will absorb chargeback-related costs.

Is This the Key to Mainstream Adoption?

Binance’s long term goal has been to avail its services available to the wider public and the integration of card payments is certainly going to help with this. As parts of its global expansion plans, the company recently launched two fiat-to-crypto exchanges; Binance.je supports trading in British Pounds and Euros with crypto while Binance Uganda is supporting trading crypto with Ugandan Shillings.

“The crypto industry is still in its early stages and most of the world’s money is still in fiat. Building fiat gateways is what we need now to grow the ecosystem, increase adoption and introduce crypto to more users,” the company’s CEO pointed out.

If crypto is going to go mainstream in the near future, there is no company that is better suited to lead the industry than Binance. The fact that it remains to be the leading crypto exchange will help a lot in pushing this agenda.

whirl

WHIRL Debuts Karma Driven Blockchain Crowdfunding Platform

Over the past couple of years, some of the most mind-blowing innovations have been those that are related to crypto and blockchain technology, both of which are still are making waves in a number of different sectors. One of the latest and most polished developments is the launch of WHIRL, a socially driven crowdfunding platform that operates on the blockchain. Created by an all-star team of accomplished crowdfunding veterans, blockchain gurus, and non-profit experts, the platform will give the world a new way of financing dreams and obligations, while simultaneously introducing a truly revolutionary incentive system that is designed to encourage giving. It is also expected to significantly maximize campaign success.

WHIRL, which is currently powered by a team of 20, launches following years of research and after one and half years of development – this involved, among other things, legal vetting of the platform as the global market’s very first credible blockchain-powered consumer crowdfunding platform.

How It Works

According to the WHIRL team, the platform can be used to finance almost anything, albeit within reason. These may range from personal goals to medical bills, business ventures, and even scientific endeavors. In essence, WHIRL gives individuals, groups or organizations the ability to fund any relevant venture by simply being charitable as opposed to having them take out loans or begging for handouts.

As mentioned earlier, WHIRL is backed by the blockchain which means that it is open to everyone on the planet. The platform also guarantees an exceptional 100 percent success rate to all of the projects that are listed under its campaign – this is to be achieved using a fair and transparent queue system which limits the number that each campaign has listed at any given time. Only those that have a history of contribution on the platform are allowed to create fundraising projects.

WHIRL’s blockchain is powered by WRL tokens that are further supported by the concept of Karma, a reward system that supports the giving economy within the platform. Karma points are issued to contributors with every dollar spent on another person’s campaign earning the contributor between 7 and 20 Karma points. Moreover, in order to launch one’s own crowdfunding campaign, a threshold number of Karma points as to be attained with the size and duration of any given campaign being determined by the number of Karma points accumulated.

Reshaping Crowdfunding

Over the last decade or so, crowdfunding has stagnated significantly primarily due to fraud, oversaturation as well as very frustrating declining success rates. Keeping this in mind, WHIRL aims to solve all of these problems by simply having a limited number of campaigns running at any given time and incentivizing backers with its fair and a transparent Karma points system. This is essentially a classic embodiment of the saying “What goes around comes back around.”

coingeekweek

Renowned Bitcoin Conference CoinGeekWeek Heads to London

Considered to be one of the most respected crypto-regulated organizations, CoinGeekWeek has earned a lot of praise for the immense effort that it has been putting into ensuring global adoption of Bitcoin BCH. The company has dedicated itself to campaigning for developments that will see to it that the digital currency follows the right path towards being recognized as a legitimate means of exchange as well as a legitimate cryptocurrency.

The cryptocurrency news portal has recently announced on its website plans to host their first ever Bitcoin Cash (BCH) conference and the venue for the conference will be London’s The Mermaid London. This conference will run from November 27 through to November 30 and will focus on all things bitcoin including designated slots for miners, developers as well as retailers.

“We are delighted to host this inaugural event at a time when the cryptocurrency topic is being discussed on a global platform. Over recent years, The Mermaid London’s position as a leading venue of choice for the FinTech industry has strengthened following a rise of new business wins, and we are excited to see how this event will continue to raise our profile within this growing sector,” Alicia Duncan, the general manager at the Mermaid London commented.

To put all this into perspective, the three-day conference will involve several seminars each highlighting different effort to enhance BCH mining activities – expert participation is also going to be feature majorly so as to enlighten miners on how they can get the most out of their mining efforts.

Moreover, the conference is also targeting various aspects of BCH and the roles that the digital currency has played in the global digital retail economy, which is one of its major foundations. BCH is the only digital currency that was created with global and mainstream usability in mind, that is, the goal was to make it usable by everyone and accessible from virtually everywhere in the world. With such strong motivators and clearly defined goal, the digital currency has continued to receive more support from both cryptocurrency traders and merchants who have seen the potential of its superfast network capabilities as well as its incredibly low transaction costs.

Extending Aspects of the Hong Kong Conference

CoinGeekWeek just recently held a conference in Hong Kong and according to Calvin Ayre, the company’s founder, the three-day London conference will be more of an extension of their previous conference.

“Over recent years, The Mermaid London’s position as a leading venue of choice for the FinTech industry has strengthened following a rise of new business wins, and we are excited to see how this event will continue to raise our profile within this growing sector,” Ayre said.

With just a few weeks left until the conference finally kicks offs, there has been an overwhelming number of attendance reservations especially from the enterprises who are looking to get into the crypto ecosystem.

bitcoin-lightning

Lightning Network’s New Use Cases Could Be Big Boost for BTC

Bitcoin has continued to trade on a rather narrow range, reflecting on the overall mood of the market following the weekend consolidation. Fortunately, things are about to get more interesting following a recent Lightning Network breakthrough that is definitely going to give bitcoin proponents some renewed optimism in regards to mainstream commercial adoption of bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general.

The growth and widespread adoption of the Lightning Network has been going quite well and with more developments being unraveled, it is expected to be a major catalyst to spearhead the adoption of bitcoin.

Ricardo Reis, a cryptocurrency and tech enthusiast from Brazil has recently been all the buzz in the crypto circles after he created a new use case for the Lightning Network that allows users to buy Coca-Cola bottles (or any other items) from vending machines.

How It Works

In a 42-second video titled “Coke vending machine that accepts Bitcoin payments through Lightning Network,” the computer programmer demonstrates how easy it is to pay for certain items using the new infrastructure layer. Reis used a handful of off-the-shelf materials such as a water pump, a Raspberry Pi, some wood, a touch screen, and some programming skill to build a handmade automated vending machine that accepts bitcoin payments for Coca-Cola bottles. The modified machine uses the Lightning Network to process the bitcoin transactions.

As seen from the video, the bitcoin users would be required to scan a QR code which then requests a bitcoin payment that is then issued by the customer using their BTC wallet. Once the payment is received by the modified vending machine, it dispenses the Coca-Cola bottle while at also paying a negligible amount in transaction fees to the Lightning Network which supports the service.

Could This Be It?

As much as this new modified bitcoin-Lightning Network vending machine is without a doubt a novel demonstration of how both technologies can be easily integrated into thousands of different services, it also acts as a more practical and serious demonstration of the open source nature of the blockchain. Both of these factors are what will drive the cryptocurrency revolution that we are all waiting for.

Unfortunately, the vending machine is just a proof-of-concept and is still at its earliest stages – in fact, of course, it still has no affiliation to the actual Coca-Cola company.  The Lighting Network and the payment solutions it supports are still in their in their early stages of development but such innovation as the one that we have discussed above will be a great move forward for the entire cryptocurrency market.

google-adwords

Google Lifts Its Ban on Cryptocurrency Advertisements

Earlier this year (in March), Google announced a cryptocurrency ad ban that it went on to roll out in June – these were intended to protect its consumers and involved wallets, trading services, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). This is all about to change with the company on September 25 ending the ban on cryptocurrency advertisements.

In a new update to its advertising policies, the company emphasizes that at the ads that would be allowed would only be those of “regulated” trading sites.

“The Google Ads policy on Financial products and services will be updated in October 2018 to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan,” Google explained. “Advertisers will need to be certified with Google for the specific country in which their ads will serve. Advertisers will be able to apply for certification once the policy launches in October. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products. For more details, see About restricted financial products certification. The Financial products and services page will be updated once the policy goes into effect.”

Google was one of the tech companies that moved to prohibit cryptocurrency advertisements alongside Twitter and Facebook, though the latter later relaxed some of the restrictions it had placed on cryptocurrency-related advertisements. Google’s ban was so wide-ranging that it affected offerings from both legitimate wallet services and trading professionals.

This crackdown on crypto went on to rapidly spread across the internet leading to various bans from other companies, including LinkedIn, MailChimp and Snapchat. Even though this was meant to stop or at least slow down scammers on the internet it also whipped out legitimate blockchain projects which in turn slowed down adoption of digital currencies, stifled promotion and stoked more fears about mainstream acceptance of crypto.

The Reason Is Yet to Be Known

As is it stands, there has not been a clear explanation as to why the tech giant has chosen to lift the ban barely four months after it imposed it. It is speculated that the company believes that the hype that surrounded crypto, as well as the negative side effects associated with the skyrocketing values, have finally died down are at least reduced significantly. Still, it is possible that Google is simply keeping its eye on the prize i.e., the valuable ad money that crypto will bring in.

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution,” Google’s Scott Spencer said in June when the original ban was rolled out.

crypto-regulation

Treasury Committee Report Calls for Crypto Regulation

MPs on the Treasury select committee have recently issued a report that states that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “wild west” assets that expose investors to a litany of risks and therefore, there is an urgent need for their regulation. The report further pointed out concerns that consumers were left unprotected from the unregulated crypto market which also happens to be a conduit for criminal activities such as money laundering and illegal trade.

Apparently, the government and regulators have not been proactive in handling the arising issues that are associated with the crypto market – according to the Treasury Committee.

“Crypto-asset investors are currently afforded very little protection from the litany of risks. Namely, there are no formal mechanisms for consumer redress, nor compensation,” said the committee. “As the government and regulators decide whether the current Wild West situation is allowed to continue, or whether they are going to introduce regulation, consumers remain unprotected.”

Cryptocurrencies are currently covered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City regulator, and there are still no formal mechanisms for investor compensation or consumer redress, something that Nicky Morgan, a conservative MP and the chair of the committee, says is unsustainable.

“Bitcoin and other crypto-assets exist in the wild west industry of crypto-assets. This unregulated industry leaves investors facing numerous risks,” Nicky Morgan said. “Given the high price volatility, the hacking vulnerability of exchanges and the potential role in money laundering, the Treasury committee strongly believes that regulation should be introduced… It’s unsustainable for the government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting. At a minimum, regulation should address consumer protection and anti-money-laundering.”

The Treasury Committee believes that there should at least be some regulation to add customer protection and fight money laundering. All of these issues stem from concerns regarding the volatility of digital assets – the prices of cryptocurrencies were so volatile that while the potential gains are quite large, so are the potential losses.

“The FCA agrees with the committee’s conclusion that bitcoin and similar crypto-assets are ill-suited to retail investors, and as we have warned in the past, investors in this type of crypto-asset should be prepared to lose all their money.”

The Treasury Committee’s recommendations have been noted and echoed by a number of stakeholders in the cryptocurrency industry including CryptoUK, a self-regulatory trade association for the United Kingdom’s digital currency industry.

“As an industry, we have been calling for the introduction of proportionate regulation to improve standards and encourage growth,” said Iqbal Gandham, the chairman of CryptoUK. “Self-regulation by the industry was always intended to be a starting point – this must now be matched by government action.”