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?
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.
“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.
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.
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 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.
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