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PR: Jason Butcher Joins Advisory Board of Xinfin, the Singapore Based Fastest Growing Blockchain Technology Company


Advisory Board of Xinfin

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XINFIN, a Blockchain Technology firm for global trade and finance, announced today the appointment of Jason Butcher to its advisory board. Jason Butcher is a renowned name in the field of blockchain technology, serving as the COO of CoinPayments and a bunch of related businesses.

Singapore based Blockchain Technology Company today announced the appointment of Jason Butcher as an independent advisor of the firm, effective immediately. Mr. Butcher who is a serial entrepreneur and COO of CoinPayments will serve as an advisor and will help XinFin with his meaningful insights and invaluable knowledge of the legal landscape of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency markets.

“Jason’s three decades of broad experience of building global businesses across diverse industries, markets and sectors including marketing, fintech, financial payments, and blockchain technologies will add a valuable perspective to our Advisory Board,” said Atul Khekade, Ecosystem Development Head, XinFin. “We truly appreciate his willingness to serve as an advisor and look forward to leverage from his prudence and counsel.”

Mr. Jason Butcher is the COO of CoinPayments, the world’s first and largest crypto currency payment technology provider. He also co-founded BlockChain Hub—a community that fosters news ideas and advancements in the field of cryptology and financial technology. Mr. Butcher is an Advisory Board Member of Blockchain Association of Canada and a Strategic Advisor at RightMesh, VectorZilla and has been helping several other companies like Parallel Payments, NestBlockchain, MoolaCard, CoinFunder, ScanTeller, Pindify, Mondofi etc. grow productively.

“According to me, what XinFin does is just amazing. To deploy blockchain solutions for global trade and finance was need of the hour and XinFin has materialized it by creating one-of-its-kind hybrid blockchain platform called TradeFinex. Powered by XDC01 protocol, this platform will offer both tokenized and non-tokenized solutions to promote business process efficiency improvement. While efficient deployment of capital helps people undertake projects without burdening govt. treasury, organizations get secure and cost-effective business solutions that boost their profitability.” said Jason Butcher.

XinFin launched its utility token XDCE on Feb 5, 2018. XDCE is an ERC20 token which will have multifold benefits for traders, private investors and institutional level partners. All the details regarding ongoing XDCE Crowd Token Sale (ICO) can be found on their Token Sale Page: www.xinfin.io

XinFin launched the TradeFinex platform at the Digital Asset summit organized by Asia’s largest trade and commerce bodies—Assocham and extended the platform to over 450,000 participating enterprise members. Ramco systems, Asia’s biggest company and part of global $1 Billion conglomerate has chosen XinFin Hybrid Blockchain to deploy blockchain solutions for 500+ of its clients in Aviation, Supply Chain and HR. XinFin is already working with leading global fortune 500 clients across USA, Europe, Asia and India. It has successfully demonstrated over 10+ pilot projects in Travel, Banking, Supply Chain, Finance, Trade and Aviation. The upcoming major global expansion includes Canada, USA, Middle East and Sri Lanka, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

About XinFin

XinFin (www.xinfin.org) is a Singapore based Blockchain Technology Company that is focused on Business Process Efficiency improvement and has deployed Blockchain solutions for international trade and finance. XinFin has developed a high scalable, secure, permissioned and commercial grade Hybrid Blockchain architecture by forking JP Morgan’s Quorum. With an aim to bridge the global infrastructural deficit with the marketplace platform – TradeFinex (www.tradefinex.org), XinFin offers tools to undertake Blockchain powered peer-to-peer trade and finance contracts between governments, institutions, buyers and suppliers. This helps in an efficient deployment of capital and undertaking infrastructure projects without burdening the government treasury.

XinFin has four lines of solutions namely TradeFinex, Business Efficiency solutions, E-Wallets & Remittance and Private Sub-networks. You can follow XinFin on Twitter (@XinFinF), on Telegram (https://t.me/xinfintalk) and on Slack (https://xinfin-public.slack.com/) Also, check out our latest video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-tHZkV6zAs) and know ‘What is XinFin’.

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Venezuelan Government Opens School to Teach Citizens About Cryptocurrencies


Venezuelan Government Opens School to Teach Citizens About Cryptocurrencies


The Venezuelan government has opened a school in the capital city to teach its citizens how to buy, sell, and mine cryptocurrencies, including courses on the nation’s oil-backed currency, the petro. Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro has approved resources for universities across the country to establish mining farms.

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

Crypto School in Caracas

Venezuelan Government Opens School to Teach Citizens About CryptocurrenciesThe Venezuelan government has opened “a training centre to teach its citizens about cryptocurrencies” in its capital city, Caracas, Telesur TV reported on Saturday.

This announcement came shortly after the government announced the launch of its oil-backed currency, the petro. “The cryptocurrency training school offers courses on the petro to Venezuelans for free,” the news outlet added, noting:

At the Granja Laboratorio Petro School in Caracas, Venezuelans can learn how to buy, sell and mine cryptocurrencies and how the cryptoeconomy works.

Carmen Salvador, a Venezuelan teacher of cryptocurrency trading, told Reuters in a video interview Friday that “what we hope to do with this, primarily, is to make knowledge accessible like any new methodology or technology.” The teacher explained that the government is guaranteeing free access for all to participate, noting that these courses often cost most than $500-800 internationally. “Many of our young people here find it impossible to have this amount of resources,” Salvador detailed, emphasizing that “we’ve designed this plan with a completely free training.”

Venezuelan Government Opens School to Teach Citizens About CryptocurrenciesThe Minister of Youth and Sports, Pedro Infante, said on the national radio and television network that the mining farm at the school is “made up of several areas such as the Mining Laboratory, where all the necessary equipment is found to mine any type of cryptocurrency on the planet.”

There is a room “created for the study of the trading of cryptocurrencies,” where students will learn about buying, selling, and trading them, as well as how to “diversify the investments that are generated,” he elaborated, emphasizing:

All our technological and computer youth can start a process of training in everything that has to do with the cryptoeconomy, specifically with the petro, the Venezuelan cryptocurrency.

Maduro claimed on Thursday that “his government has raised US$1 billion in the first two days of the petro sale, while its website received almost one million visitors over the same period,” according to Telesur TV. He has also announced the launch of another cryptocurrency backed by gold, called the petro gold. However, some people doubt that Venezuela has raised any money at all from the pre-sale of the petro.

Mining Farms in Universities

Prior to the announcement of the school, Maduro has repeatedly said that he wanted universities across Venezuela to set up mining farms.

The head of state has recently approved resources “for the installation of student mining farms in the country’s universities,” according to the Minister for University Education, Science and Technology, Hugbel Roa. He was quoted saying:

We call on all those technological entrepreneurs that, with the petro, we will finance all these operations in order to grab the necessary technologies and take them to each university and to each school to use mining as a source to break with this rentier model and strengthen the Venezuelan economy.

What do you think of the Venezuelan government opening a school to teach about cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.

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New Plant to Assemble Mining Rigs in Belarus


New Plant to Assemble Mining Rigs in Belarus


Plans to build a new manufacturing facility for mining equipment have been announced in Belarus. It will be situated in the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park, currently under construction in the “Velikiy Kamen” special economic zone. The plant will be assembling mining rigs with cooling systems utilizing excess heat.

Also read: Two Russian Regions to Develop Large Scale Crypto Mining

Incredible Demand for Everything Crypto

Russian investors are behind the project to build the new plant, which will be producing equipment for cryptocurrency mining farms. The enterprise will be assembling complete mining rigs in the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park at “Velikiy Kamen”. The zone has been granted special legal status by authorities in Minsk. Companies operating there will enjoy a preferential tax regime.

New Plant to Assemble Mining Rigs in Belarus

The facility will be offering equipment intended for industrial-scale crypto mining, Belarus Segodnya reported. Russian IT-entrepreneur and owner of Radius Group Dmitriy Marinchev announced the project to Russian media. “This will be a closed cycle production of printed circuit boards and assembly of complete mining devices”, he told Vesti-24 channel.

Marinchev said the mining rigs would be equipped with advanced cooling systems to utilize the heat emitted by the powerful processors. The excess energy could be used for heating homes and greenhouses. His partner Yan Ivanov added that the “demand for everything crypto-related has multiplied” in recent months:

It is incredible. The market potential is around $2 billion, according to Belarusian experts.

Marinchev’s company, a manufacturer of equipment for bitcoin mining, is a co-founding member of the RMC Holding (Russian Mining Center). Another associated firm produces rigs for altcoins. Several mining businesses are also part of RMC.

A Wave of Miners from Russia and the Baltics

Russian miners have been actively registering companies in Belarus. The upcoming legalization of the crypto sector has catalyzed business activity in the whole region, with more and more firms coming to the country. The special presidential decree liberalizing the industry will enter into force on March 28, as news.Bitcoin.comreported.

We register 2-3 new legal entities every day. We haven’t seen such dynamics in many years,

Mikhail Keizerov, head of a small local business incubator, told Belarus Segodnya. “Everyone got so excited. Many mining companies from Russia and the Baltics are coming here. They say we have created all necessary conditions”, Keizerov added. He believes the trend has become a strong impetus for economic growth. Recently the Economy Minister of Belarus Vladimir Zinovskiy said he expected increased employment rates in 2018.

Along with the favorable business climate, Belarus can offer enough affordable energy to power large mining facilities. A representative of Belenergo recently stated he did not expect any shortages due to mining operations in the country, unlike Iceland. The deputy Director General of the state-owned company Sergey Shebeko said:

I cannot see any issues. We are expecting more miners. This will only benefit our country.

Shebeko went on to point out that there was no power generating capacity deficit in Belarus. “We don’t think mining can put the energy system on its knees”, he said, noting the country is ready to satisfy any demand for electric power.

New Plant to Assemble Mining Rigs in BelarusThe mining boom in Belarus started after President Alexander Lukashenko signed the decree “On the Development of the Digital Economy” in December. A close ally of Moscow, the country has been struggling to overcome political and economic isolation in Europe. Authorities in Minsk saw a good opportunity to do that by liberalizing the crypto industry. Cheap energy, produced locally and imported from Russia, can help Belarus provide excellent conditions for mining companies. Soon many Russian miners may be paying Minsk for the cheap energy their own country produces.

Do you think Belarus can successfully overcome isolation by attracting crypto businesses from around Europe? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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Some Major Canadian Banks Still Allow Cryptocurrency Credit Card Transactions


Some Major Canadian Banks Still Allow Cryptocurrency Credit Card Transactions


While TD Bank has revised its policies and stopped allowing customers to purchase cryptocurrencies using its credit cards, some major banks in Canada still allow crypto credit card transactions, the banks reportedly confirmed on Friday.

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

TD Bank Halts Crypto Credit Card Purchases

Some Major Canadian Banks Still Allow Cryptocurrency Credit Card TransactionsCanada’s largest bank by assets as of April of last year, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank), said on Friday that it is “halting the use of its credit cards to buy cryptocurrency as it conducts a review of the ‘evolving market’,” Financial Post reported. The bank explained in an emailed statement:

At TD, we regularly evaluate our policies and security measures, in order to serve and protect our customers, as well as the bank.

TD Bank’s Friday announcement reverses its stance earlier this month when the bank said it permitted cryptocurrency purchases using credit and debit cards “as long as the merchant is authorized to accept Visa, Mastercard, Interac or Visa debit and the transaction isn’t determined to be fraudulent,” according to the bank’s spokeswoman Julie Bellissimo.

Some Banks Still Allow Crypto Credit Card Purchases

Some banks in Canada, however, still allow their customers to buy cryptocurrencies using their credit cards currently.

Some Major Canadian Banks Still Allow Cryptocurrency Credit Card TransactionsRoyal Bank of Canada (RBC), the country’s second-largest bank by assets, said on Friday that “it does allow its credit and debit cards to be used for transactions involving cryptocurrency in limited circumstances,” Financial Post noted. Nonetheless, the bank cautioned clients about the volatility of cryptocurrencies which “could expose them to substantially higher debt levels than they are able to repay.” An RBC spokesperson said in an emailed statement:

We do recognize that regulatory, risk and other external environmental factors relating to cryptocurrency continues to evolve…As such, we continue to review our policies to consider how we can best support clients.

Some Major Canadian Banks Still Allow Cryptocurrency Credit Card TransactionsThe Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), the third largest bank in Canada by asset, is also looking closely at its cryptocurrency transaction policy, the news outlet added. The bank’s spokesperson said in an emailed statement, “We understand that regulatory and risk factors related to cryptocurrency continue to evolve and as a result, we are closely reviewing our policies with respect to cryptocurrency transactions.” At the time of this writing, the bank has not announced any changes in its policies.

Additionally, the National Bank of Canada, the country’s sixth-largest lender, said earlier this month that it allows crypto transactions, the publication further noted.

A Global Trend

Globally, an increasing number of banks are halting the use of their credit cards for cryptocurrency transactions. In the US, JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Citigroup have stopped allowing customers to use their credit cards to purchase bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Some Major Canadian Banks Still Allow Cryptocurrency Credit Card TransactionsIn the UK, Britain’s largest banking group, Lloyds Banking Group, has banned its customers from using credit cards from any of its subsidiaries to buy cryptocurrencies including Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, and MBNA.

In Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced last week that it would no longer allow customers to purchase cryptocurrencies with credit cards. “We have made this decision because we believe virtual currencies do not meet a minimum standard of regulation, reliability, and reputation when compared to currencies that we offer to our customers,” the bank explained.

In Asia, Thailand has asked all commercial banks in the country to disallow cryptocurrency purchases using credit cards. In India, while SBI is allowing the use of its credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies for the time being, Citibank has banned the use of its debit and credit cards for crypto purchases.

Do you think all banks will eventually stop allowing crypto purchases using their credit cards? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, TD Bank, RBC, and Scotiabank.

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Nasdaq-Listed “Blockchain” Companies Hit With New Legal Troubles


Nasdaq-Listed “Blockchain” Companies Hit With New Legal Troubles

Markets and Prices

Adding “Blockchain” to the name of their firms have proved to be very beneficial to the top management of publicly listed companies over the past year. However, this tactic also attracted negative attention from regulators, and now two Nasdaq firms are facing additional troubles.

Also Read: Robinhood Starts Rolling Out Cryptocurrency Trading Today

Class Action Lawsuit Against Riot Blockchain

Nasdaq-Listed “Blockchain” Companies Hit With New Legal TroublesRiot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIOT) has been hit with a class action lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida. The complaint charges the company, its officers and one of its major shareholders with violations of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Before October 2017, Riot was a biotechnology company known as Bioptix, Inc. that specialized in the development of veterinary diagnostic tools. On October 4, Bioptix announced it was changing its name to Riot Blockchain and shifting its business focus to investing in blockchain technologies. It is accused that as a result of defendants’ false statements and omissions, the prices of Riot’s securities were artificially inflated.

The complaint alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements or failed to disclose adverse material information regarding Riot’s business and operations. Specifically, the complaint alleges defendants failed to disclose that it had changed its name to Riot Blockchain in order to generate investor enthusiasm and tie the company to the recent rise in the price of cryptocurrencies, despite its lack of a significant blockchain business in order to further an insider scheme that would allow Riot’s controlling shareholder Barry Honig and his associates to sell their Riot securities at artificially inflated prices. In addition, according to the complaint, Honig and other investors were effectively controlling Riot and its operations and exerting undisclosed influence over the company and its CEO.

Long Blockchain to be Kicked Out of Nasdaq?

Nasdaq-Listed “Blockchain” Companies Hit With New Legal TroublesLong Blockchain Corp. (NASDAQ:LBCC) has received a notice from Nasdaq stating that it had determined to delist the company’s securities. SEC documents also show that Nasdaq was revoking its prior notification to Long Blockchain. Prior to June 2017 the company was called Long Island Iced Tea, and gained notoriety when its stock price increased by 432% in a single day after rebranding.

The company has the right to appeal Nasdaq’s determination but even if its appeal is approved, Long Blockchain will still need to regain compliance by April 9, 2018. In order to do this, the market value of the company’s listed securities must remain at $35 million or more for a minimum of ten consecutive business days. If Long Blockchain does not regain compliance by such date, the company’s securities would again be subject to potential delisting.

Was a backlash against blockchain hype on the stock markets inevitable? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

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New Bitcoin Embassy Opens in the United States


New Bitcoin Embassy Opens in the United States


A mooted Bitcoin Embassy shall be the first of its kind, since an early attempt in New York City, for a bitcoin gathering place. It was American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) Editorial Director Jeffrey Tucker who had a revelation of sorts to establish a Bitcoin Embassy in the United States. The idea is to bring cryptocurrency enthusiasts together. Promising a welcoming environment staffed by people who can help with wallet recovery, other folks who’re curious about a new technology, seminars, and even a place for Dilly Dilly and wine, this could be the start of something big.

Also read: How To Regain Control From Nanny Zuck

Bitcoin Embassy Will Officially Launch in April

Double-breasted suit, collar starched impeccably, Mengerian spectacles befitting a fashionable gait, and of course the bow tie, his requisite Rothbardian calling card, all of it announces a Jeffrey Tucker happening. Mr. Tucker is a force of nature, a one-man optimism machine, a crypto-anarchist without appeal to hoodlum crotch grabbing and other assorted rank behavior attached with a radical worldview. You don’t meet Mr. Tucker. He happens to you.Bitcoin Embassy #1 Opens in the United States

“The Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy,” his most recent project causing buzz within cryptoland, “is open now but we have not officially launched,” he cautioned. “That could be in April, depending on how fast we can build out the site, get the crypto ATMs in here, line up all the contractors and services, and so on. One of our services is a wallet recovery business, with a friend who works in Atlanta. The service is slammed with requests to recover lost bitcoin. He uses a variety of techniques and myriad of machines to bruteforce passwords and help people regain control of their money. That service now becomes a sector of the life of the Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy.”

That’s right. Atlanta. As in Georgia. As in the United States. Hot’lanta. ATL. The Big Peach. The city too busy to hate. It’s the home of the first official Bitcoin Embassy in the United States, and Mr. Tucker is heading the effort.   

“In addition, we will be holding free seminars,” Mr. Tucker details, “paid seminars, boot camps, training sessions, and so on, all using the public spaces in our coworking office. This is the beauty of the Embassy model. Each city will take a different form. They exist in many places around the world but this is just the beginning. I would like to see an Embassy in every large city in the country and the world.”

Bitcoin Embassy #1 Opens in the United States
Tel Aviv

Revelation from the Holy Land

“Inspiration for this Embassy came from my visit to Tel Aviv, Israel,” Mr. Tucker explained to News.Bitcoin.com. “I got to [Tel Aviv] and knew of ten thousand things I should see in Israel, but my honest reflection drew me inexorably to the Bitcoin Embassy that I found from googling. It is across from the Tel Aviv stock exchange. It is not a fancy place. What makes it magical is the intelligence there and the ethos. A hugely diverse crowd is always coming and going, some experienced crypto people and lots of newbies. The atmosphere of teaching, sharing, and mutual inspiration is constant. It was so inspiring.”

Jeffrey Tucker is arguably the most articulate spokesperson for cryptocurrency within the ecosystem today. He’s a mandatory keynote invitation at nearly all crypto conferences, and routinely brings down the house with rousing calls to bitcoin’s better angels. Mr. Tucker, 54, cut his teeth on politics after college, joining the staff for then Congressman Ron Paul. From there, it was on to a little known endowment to keep the name of the obscure Dean of the Austrian School of Economics alive, The Ludwig von Mises Institute, where he’d spend the better part of two decades. His building and curation of the Mises.org site prefigured an open and free internet, leaving many better funded and known institutional peers in the dust. He’s since gone on to resurrect the stalwart Laissez Faire Books, founded a social media platform Liberty.me, and even took a stint with the veritable Foundation for Economic Education.

Bitcoin Embassy #1 Opens in the United States
Atlanta, Georgia

His current hometown of Atlanta has “two large [bitcoin] meetups, lots of companies, Bitcoin ATMs everywhere, and fans all over town, but nothing permanent to bring us together,” Mr. Tucker continued. “I like hanging around the ATMs in town where you meet this hugely diverse crowd of people. It’s fascinating to me. In this racially diverse city, people are always concocting various ‘community service projects’ to ‘reach out’ and ‘bring people together.’ With Bitcoin, you don’t need that. It happens organically because crypto loves everyone. People sense it. It is a truly democratic technology.”

At his new AIER gig, it’s clear Mr. Tucker has infused more crypto-related content into its rotation. As he elaborates, recently “at a meetup, it occured to me that we need the Embassy. Actually, I think I said it first but the idea was already in the air. As soon as I mentioned the possibility to people standing around, you could just feel the moment. It was immediately obvious that it had to be done. It’s what everybody has been waiting for. Even the rumor got everyone excited. Sponsors were coming out of the woodwork. Same with consultants and services. I’m now thinking that this can be a real success.”

He’s confident in the model, mirroring what he’s seen: “The Tel Aviv Embassy is on the street. I like that idea but these days Bitcoiners have to worry about security. This is why we chose to locate the offices in a coworking space, a wonderful new WeWork right in the heart of midtown. Anyone can visit as a guest but the space has to let you in with minimal registration at the front desk. That makes sense to me. WeWork also has all the essential infrastructure: coffee, sofas, screens, parking, 24/7 access, and plenty of wine and beer for late night hangouts.”

Bitcoin.com is a top-tier sponsor of The Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy.

Do you think the Bitcoin Embassy idea is a good one? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Gage Skidmor.

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PR: LiveTree – the Beginning of the End of the Centralized Entertainment Industry


LiveTree - Decentralized Entertainment Industry

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Over the decade, our approach to content has changed drastically. There was a time when VHS was the source of entertainment and household fights revolved around “Who taped over the birthday with the basketball?” Subscription and Video-On-Demand services like Netflix changed things for the better by providing much better access to content. With time, we have come to realize that this digital model of entertainment is full of loopholes. These Internet behemoths are so centralized regarding operation that they have done nothing but replace Hollywood’s age-old opaque practices. With so many technological changes happening around us every other day, it is time to resist this abnormal behavior.

Entertainment has always been a dominant force in shaping the society. Catchphrases and epic scenes from movies or TV shows often become almost natural parts of the cultural fabric as a frame of references and collective cognizance. Our values, our culture, and sometimes even our future is guided by entertainment.

By breaking down the ages of the Internet, let’s take a look at what the future holds for entertainment and how to take the high road that leads to a fairer, better and decentralized entertainment industry.

Web 1.0: Hyperlink and email came into being internet was not too fast in the year 2005. Getting internet connectivity involved a cumbersome task of handling the modems and then waiting to get a connection.

All it required was patience. Lots of it.
For anyone who experienced this, they will understand what patience meant. For everyone else who wasn’t there, revel at the level of spunk we offered.

Our world used to revolve around fuzzy-to-clear pictures, bulletin boards, and Gopher. An email in your inbox was a joyful event. The vision of Sir Tim Berners-Lee led to the creation of an internet based on democratic principles and full of positivity, opportunity, and optimism.

Winamp (I was lucky enough to work with the founder) was our version of media streaming, and Netflix was just a DVD rent-and-post service. Selling, buying and renting of DVDs took place over mail and Blockbuster was at the top of this game in 2004.

Web 2.0: Internet giants use your centralized data to dominate markets
I have a background in Computer Science, but Artificial Intelligence was not a dominant premise while I was still at school. The way you had to process heaps of data just to make machines smart enough was the reason behind this. Computers are doltish. Regardless of how much processing power or algorithms you punch in, a computer still needs to figure out things that matter. There’s a lot of processing involved, and a lot of patterns need to be studied to figure out key features.

Information is the one of the treasured commodity we human beings possess. It is the key to everything. Cloud computing may have become a part of our lives today, but it didn’t exist before 2005. Big data was something entirely unheard of, and Google became a data pioneer before the launch of Google File System.

Gradually, Web 2.0 sprouted faster internet speeds, unlimited data storage, and unlimited processing power. We are living in the age of giant data centers, Amazon, Facebook and Netflix, the prime of Web 2.0. AI is being used over big data to dominate and manipulate the markets, and this is one of the many ugly consequences of Web 2.0

Moore’s law states that total computing power doubles up every two years. It still holds true, and industry giants have been keen on taking advantage. They are using age-old AI approaches to hook up a network of machines with ample storage and power to impersonate intelligence. The same intelligence is then used to ‘assist’ you into buying what they want you to buy.

Web 3.0: The future of decentralized entertainment
Web 2.0 is established on the concept of centralized trust. Consumers are expected to hand over data to corporations and trust them entirely only to get a service in return. The bad news is that we seem to have no option than to put our trust in these powerful centralized organizations.

In the entertainment industry, these corporate giants hold so much power that they call out the creativity in lieu of money. Hollywood is being converted to a centralized system, and these corporations have done nothing but replace the old ways of Hollywood executives with algorithms.
Is there a way out?

I genuinely believe there’s a way to bow out and this belief led to the foundation of LiveTree. Our only mission is to create a transparent, fair, community empowered TV, film and content network. I have dedicated LiveTree to Aaron Swartz, the great, late computer activist (I will have a blog soon about how his spirit lives on.)

Blockchain has emerged as a technology that is ready to lock horns with centralized systems all over the world. We will no longer be forced to hand over our security and even our life onto the hands of greedy centralized entities just for the sake of getting services and content delivered. Decentralized organizations are the way forward, and they are the key to build peer-to-peer trust. It eliminates the need for an intermediary and allows you to create a direct contract with someone. This could be the end of Netflix, Google or Facebook- who are nothing but third-parties managing contracts and earning profits out of it. The blockchain is immutable, inflexible and shareable. There’s nothing to hide, everything is transparent and helps build confidence.

LiveTree ADEPT (Advanced Decentralised Entertainment Platform for Transparent distribution) is pro-digital rights management. Our platform facilitates a direct connection between creator and allows them to create contracts amongst themselves. This marks a once-in-a-lifetime paradigm shift. ADEPT lets you hold the leash and control what kind of content gets made. This contradicts how Hollywood and the content gatekeepers like Netflix traditionally work. Whatever material or community you help create, you will be rewarded for it. You have the freedom to control the algorithms. The complete process is open source and fully-transparent. Shifting control back to your hands from centralized behemoths, your earnings will be in the form of our digital token- LiveTree Seed.

You get to control what content is created and how it gets created. In short, you get to control your entertainment, and the future lies in your own hands.

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This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Korea Investigates 20 Public Companies for Using Crypto Claims to Boost Share Prices


Korea Investigates 20 Public Companies for Using Crypto Claims to Boost Share Prices


The South Korean financial authorities are investigating 20 publicly listed companies for unfairly using cryptocurrency claims to boost their share prices. Crypto-related companies do not always follow through with their plans after seeing their share prices surge.

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

Investigating 20 Companies

Korea Investigates 20 Public Companies for Using Crypto Claims to Boost Share PricesThe South Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has been investigating 20 crypto-related companies listed on the country’s stock exchange, Kosdaq, for unfair practices, local media reported.

The country’s financial authorities have also issued a warning to investors “that a number of unfair trade transactions were found in so-called ‘virtual currency-related stocks’ in the stock market,” Yonhap detailed. The Korean Banker elaborated:

There has been a frenzy of virtual currency related stocks in the stock market…Many listed companies have announced related business plans such as [launching] virtual currency exchanges and so-called ‘virtual currency themes’. The share price of the virtual currency stock surged due to the announcement of the business plan.

Among the schemes used are the establishment of crypto exchanges and the announcements of initial coin offerings (ICOs).

“Many companies have published virtual currency-related business plans through disclosure and media, but in reality, there are many cases in which the business is delayed or the business is uncertain,” Business Post conveyed.

Crypto-Related Companies

Korea Investigates 20 Public Companies for Using Crypto Claims to Boost Share PricesCurrently, South Korean companies that have crypto-related businesses “include Mgame, CTL Inc, Woori Technology Investment, SCI Credit Rating & Information, Hanbitsoft, Fourthlink, Makus, and Igis System,” Ddaily detailed.

However, the financial authority did not disclose the names of the listed companies it is investigating. An FSS official explained that this is “because of market stabilization,” emphasizing that the companies’ names are not disclosed because it would “directly affects the stock price” of each company involved.

Continued Monitoring

The FSS said that it will continue to monitor and sanction companies unfairly using cryptocurrencies to boost their shares. “In the future, we will take serious measures against unfair trading in stocks, which [we] will promptly investigate virtual currency-related stocks that are likely to be unfairly traded and cause damage to a large number of investors,” the news outlet detailed.

Lee Seung-woo, Chairman of the Korea Deposit Insurance Corp and former Vice-Chairman of the FSS, commented:

Although the number of virtual currency-related shares has recently increased sharply…it is difficult to say that all of them are related to virtual currency…We will conduct a full-scale investigation into the presence of unfair exchange practices among the 20 related stocks surveyed and plan to increase the number of such surveys in the future.

What do you think of the Korean regulator investigating publicly traded companies with crypto claims? Do you think many more companies are using cryptocurrency to boost their share prices? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Bitcoin.org Owner Asks the Community to Change Bitcoin’s Central PoW Algorithm


Bitcoin.org Owner Asks the Community to Change Bitcoin's Central PoW Algorithm


This week the owner of the web portal Bitcoin.org and Bitcointalk, a pseudonym called Cobra wrote an open letter to the bitcoin community asking them to think about changing the Bitcoin core network’s Proof-of-Work algorithm.

Also read: Ross Ulbricht Denied Post-Conviction Relief Extension

Bitcoin.org Owner ‘Cobra’ Says Bitcoin Mining Is Controlled By One Man and His Company

Bitcoin.org Owner Asks the Community to Change Bitcoin's Central PoW AlgorithmThe owner of two well-known bitcoin websites has sparked controversy once again as he’s written an open letter to the community asking for a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus change. Cobra says bitcoin is slowly becoming less decentralized and he blames mining centralization. In fact, Cobra points to “one man and his company,” and that individual is Jihan Wu, the owner of the Chinese based Bitmain Technologies. Cobra says that the security of the Bitcoin core network depends solely on trusting that one company will be honorable.

“As long as they [Bitmain] control the majority of the hashrate, the only way to keep the network secure is the threat of a hard fork to a new PoW, but this will only work for as long the community is reasonably small and still overwhelmingly shares the same morals for a decentralized Bitcoin,” explains Cobra’s open letter.

Cobra: ‘Hashrate Has Already Been Abused’

Further Cobra says the community is always talking about new entrants jumping into the global mining space, but he believes it is impossible for them to compete with Bitmain. Because Bitmain took in $4Bn in profit last year, Cobra thinks they are light years ahead. Cobra states in his plea to the community:

“That $4 billion dollar profit will be used to build even better hardware, allowing them to further dominate mining for the foreseeable future and likely buy stakes in their competitors,” Cobra emphasizes.    

The hashrate has already been abused to give political support to reckless and dangerous hard fork attempts. They have questionable allegiance to Bitcoin at best, seeming more interested in supporting bitcoin cash, undermining the very network that employs them. Even more dangerously, they are based in China, a country with a long track of human rights abuses, censorship, and generally evil behaviour.

Cobra goes on to say that PoW provides very little security if it’s not effectively distributed among a variety of individuals and businesses. But now the mining distribution in his opinion is overwhelmingly being monopolized by Jihan Wu. Cobra says letting this centralization happen is as crazy as letting an individual press a gun to your head and you say, “he is incentivized to not shoot me because of the threat of jail.”

Bitcoin.org Owner Asks the Community to Change Bitcoin's PoW Algorithm
Jihan Wu responds to Cobra says with talks of changing the PoW algorithm, “the future of bitcoin looks not good.”

Jihan Wu Responds: Cobra Is Too Busy Playing Political Games While Other Blockchains Innovate

The anonymous website owner who has made other controversial statements in the past recently asked members of the community to re-write certain sections of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper. Cobra’s latest comments declare that the “mining problem is the root cause of all of bitcoin’s problems.” He says the community must get rid of them as they are no longer useful elements of the community.

Bitmain’s Jihan Wu has responded to Cobra’s very opinionated statements over Twitter following the PoW change publication.    

“That is cool — When you achieved it, bitcoin’s market share in the cryptocurrency economy will fall under 10%. Good luck,” Jihan Wu says to Cobra in response.

While ethereum is discussing erc-20 improvement proposals and lots of other new blockchains are testing aggressive innovations, Bitcoin.org’s controller is busying with political games like changing the PoW, the future of bitcoin looks not good.

What do you think about Cobra’s open letter to the community? Do you agree with him that the PoW should be changed? Or do you think this is an absurd request? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Bank of America Acknowledges the Threat Posed by Cryptocurrency


Bank of America Acknowledges the Threat Posed by Cryptocurrency

Economy & Regulation

For all the inroads that bitcoin has made on the current financial system, it has yet to threaten their ascendancy. The CEOs of Paypal, Visa, and other legacy payment systems may have been monitoring the rise of cryptocurrencies, but they have not been losing sleep over them. Now, in a frank report to the SEC, Bank of America has acknowledged a range of threats that could affect its hegemony – and one of them is cryptocurrency.

Also read: Bitcoin Is Finding Its Way into High Schools

Bank of America Tells It Like It Is

“The widespread adoption of new technologies, including internet services, cryptocurrencies and payment systems, could require substantial expenditures to modify or adapt our existing products and services,” writes Bank of America (BoA). Its annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a dense and dry document that is filed for regulatory purposes. This year’s submission contains a few interesting tidbits for bitcoiners, for it makes mention of cryptocurrency three times.

BoA, which was founded in 1904 under the moniker of Bank of Italy, has over 200,000 employees and recorded revenue of $87 billion last year. Like all companies subject to the regulatory oversight of the SEC, it is compelled to provide an annual report that details its financial health and outlines potential threats to its business model. “We face significant and increasing competition in the financial services industry,” it writes, before conceding, a few sentences later, “clients may choose to conduct business with other market participants who engage in business or offer products in areas we deem speculative or risky, such as cryptocurrencies.”

Bank of America Becomes the Latest Credit Card-Issuer to Ban Bitcoin

The Times They Are A-Changing

It is the third and final mention of cryptocurrency that is the most intriguing in Bank of America’s 90-page report. It writes: “The widespread adoption of new technologies, including internet services, cryptocurrencies and payment systems, could require substantial expenditures to modify or adapt our existing products and services…We might not be successful in developing or introducing new products and services… [and] reducing costs in response to pressures to deliver products and services at lower prices or sufficiently developing and maintaining loyal customers.”

This doesn’t mean that America’s second largest bank is running scared of crypto. But the very fact that it is acknowledging their impact – and their potential to disrupt the banking sector – is a modest milestone at least. The bank’s attitude to bitcoin and its ilk is unclear, but as news.Bitcoin.com recently reported, Bank of America has filed more cryptocurrency patents than any other company. Of course, that statistic does not mean it is poised to start trialing its own blockchain technology. Nevertheless, if major banks were to reduce their charges in response to competition from other payment systems, including cryptocurrency, many bitcoiners would consider that a small but satisfying victory.

Do you think Bank of America genuinely sees cryptocurrencies as a possible threat? Let us know in the comments section below.

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