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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

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Posted on 25 November 2017 | 1:43 am

Chicago Board Options Exchange to Launch Bitcoin Futures, Announces Specifics - Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)


Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)

Chicago Board Options Exchange to Launch Bitcoin Futures, Announces Specifics
Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has released its new Bitcoin derivative contract specifications in late November 2017, with the product itself to be introduced in the market in the next few weeks. With the move, the exchange follows other ...
Bitcoin: The Big Short Moment Approaches - Bitcoin Investment ...Seeking Alpha
Is Bitcoin a Good Investment at Today's High Price?Motley Fool
Chicago is buying into bitcoin in a big wayCrain's Chicago Business

all 15 news articles »

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 8:23 pm

Bitcoin Mining Suited to Big Corporations, Individuals Can Profit in Other Ways - Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)


Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)

Bitcoin Mining Suited to Big Corporations, Individuals Can Profit in Other Ways
Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)
The days of mining Bitcoin in your bedroom on a desktop computer are long gone. It used to be that a small network of staunch Bitcoin supporters would mine the cryptocurrency on individual systems, more as a hobby than anything else. But as time went ...
Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity than 20+ European countriesTNW
DATA STORY: Energy consumed by bitcoin miners around the world is more than over 150 countriesMoneycontrol.com

all 14 news articles »

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 1:26 pm

A Bitcoin 'Big Bang Theory' Episode Is Coming, God Has Abandoned Us - Motherboard


Motherboard

A Bitcoin 'Big Bang Theory' Episode Is Coming, God Has Abandoned Us
Motherboard
Close your eyes and think of the word “insufferable,” what comes to mind? For me, it's two things: Bitcoin lords and The Big Bang Theory. Next week, because we have all been abandoned on this slowly-dying rock in space by whatever supernatural forces ...

and more »

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 10:42 am

Brain Freeze? Parity Bug Continues With No Easy Solution in Sight

With $160 million in funds frozen on the ethereum blockchain, a search for solutions is ongoing – if not altogether promising so far.

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 9:00 am

Online Bank Swissquote Launches Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Product

Online banking service Swissquote has launched a bitcoin exchange-traded certificate that it claims will curb the cryptocurrency's volatility.

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 8:00 am

Bitcoin for Beginners: 3 Things to Know Before You Invest - Fortune


Fortune

Bitcoin for Beginners: 3 Things to Know Before You Invest
Fortune
Bitcoin has been luring some investors with potentially huge rewards—and scaring others away with equally big risks. Should it be on your investment shopping list on Black Friday? The cryptocurrency can certainly be volatile. Earlier this month, for ...
Bitcoin rival cryptocurrency Ethereum hits record high - CNBC.comCNBC
Bitcoin Price Still Steady As Ethereum Reaches Record HighsInvestopedia (blog)
Thanksgiving Lull? Bitcoin Trades Sideways But Rally May ContinueCoinDesk
Bloomberg -CryptoCoinsNews -Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)
all 129 news articles »

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 7:55 am

Modern Mobile-Only Bank Revolut Says Bitcoin Not a Fraud - Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)


Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)

Modern Mobile-Only Bank Revolut Says Bitcoin Not a Fraud
Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)
Seemingly the voice of the musty old traditional bankers, Jamie Dimon's vitriol about Bitcoin a few months back set the tone for opinions of that breed of traditionalist. There is opposition of course, but unsurprisingly the opposition is also coming ...
Revolut signs up 1 million users ahead bitcoin, cryptocurrency launchCNBC

all 14 news articles »

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 6:03 am

Hybrid ICO? Overstock's tZERO to Build Services Into Security Token

Overstock subsidiary tZERO is adding features to its upcoming security token, allowing investors to use the coin to purchase a handful of services.

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 6:00 am

Holding Strong: Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls ... - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Holding Strong: Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls ...
CoinDesk
A drop below $8,000 during the Asian day was quickly undone and the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value once again approached record highs, ...
Bitcoin Cash's Lead Dev Says Bitcoin Is Dead and Split into TwoCryptoCoinsNews

all 24 news articles »

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 5:30 am

Holding Strong: Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls?

Despite a dip to below $8,000 overnight, bitcoin once again approached record highs today and is holding at over $8,200.

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 5:15 am

Dnata Taps IBM for Air Cargo Blockchain Pilot

Air services provider Dnata, IBM and others have completed of a proof-of-concept examining blockchain's potential in the air cargo industry.

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 4:15 am

Bitcoin Account Holder Loses $100K Over Public Wireless Network - Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)


Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)

Bitcoin Account Holder Loses $100K Over Public Wireless Network
Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)
An unidentified 36-year-old man who owns a Bitcoin account has lost more than 100,000 euros ($117,000) worth of Bitcoins while he was logged in on a public ...
Bitcoins worth $100K stolen over public wireless network - CBS NewsCBS News

all 6 news articles »

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 3:46 am

Government of Bermuda Launches Cryptocurrency Task Force

Bermuda has launched a new working group aimed to advance the regulatory and commercial environment for token sales, cryptocurrencies and more.

Posted on 24 November 2017 | 3:00 am

SophiaTX Integrates Blockchain Technology With SAP

https://www.sophiatx.com/en/blog/2/the-world-s-first-open-source-platform-to-integrate-sap.html

In September, SophiaTX announced the first open-source platform to primarily integrate blockchain technology with SAP software, used by 87 percent of global businesses and 98 percent of the top 100 most-valued brands.

“To advance blockchain into business operations, the blockchain must integrate with ERP [enterprise resource planning] and other enterprise applications such as SAP,” notes the SophiaTX white paper. “This sector has been relatively untouched until recently when Equidato Technologies AG [SophiaTX’s parent company] announced their first project, SophiaTX, an open source blockchain platform and marketplace designed for businesses of all sizes.”

The integration of blockchain technology with ERP, CRM (customer relationship management) and SCM (supply chain management) business software is certainly a hot topic pursued by major vendors and blockchain-oriented solution developers. In May, SAP itself launched its innovation system, dubbed SAP Leonardo, focused on next-generation technologies, with an SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service targeted at all industries, including but not limited to popular use cases in financial services and supply chains. SAP’s blockchain technology platform allows customers and developers to build blockchain extensions for existing applications and integrate SAP solutions in the blockchain ecosystem. Embedded in the SAP Cloud Platform, SAP’s blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) pilot allows customers to experiment with the technology.

SAP is also envisaging the integration of blockchain technology with other next-generation technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT). In September, SAP announced a blockchain co-innovation initiative and plans to make blockchain technology an integrated part of IoT, manufacturing and digital supply chain solutions using its Cloud Platform Blockchain service.

“Prior to defining the strategy and approach for SophiaTX, we assessed the technological capabilities of other blockchains to ensure we were truly adding value,” Jaroslav Kacina, CEO of Equidato and SophiaTX,  told Bitcoin Magazine. “We wanted to create a product that will not only be suitable for business but also provide superior functionality and features. We found that very few of the existing blockchains are focused on business and enterprise applications, and we couldn’t identify any that would be suitable for business from compliance, security and architecture perspective.”

Kacina explained that Ethereum, for example, is probably the most dominant platform for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and token generation events (TGEs), but in his view, Ethereum’s use of proof of work makes it inappropriate for providing secure, holistic, high-performance blockchain solutions.

“On the other hand, SAP’s own Leonardo initiative, Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), is shaped as a private solution and therefore tends to be relatively expensive for smaller businesses, as well as less transparent, since it is cloud based,” Kacina added. “We designed SophiaTX with business use in mind so it is compliant, secure and public, therefore allowing businesses and customers across entire the value chain to join and adopt the use of the platform.”

Based on the same proprietary technology as the DECENT blockchain, SophiaTX was created by Equidato Technologies AG, a joint venture between DECENT on the technology side and the Venaco Group bringing its experience in enterprise applications for business to the project.

“We have decided to use DECENT technology due to the fact that DECENT uses DPOS (Delegated Proof of Stake) which is faster than Proof of Work used by Ethereum and Bitcoin,” Kacina explained. “We needed a platform which is suitable as a starting point to create additional features to make it compliant, secure and relevant for business. And also, having access to [the] DECENT team’s capabilities allows us to bring [the] product to market in [an] accelerated fashion. The ‘hard fork’ was created as a copy of the DECENT’s main net and installed as a proprietary solution for SophiaTX.”

A proof of concept (PoC), recently demonstrated to a select group of attendees in Zurich, shows how businesses can use blockchain technology to transparently and reliably exchange information between their enterprise systems in real time, with a customer invoice directly created in one SAP system automatically transferred via the SophaTX testnet to another company using a different SAP system.

SophiaTX wants to be a cross-industry platform allowing both vertical and horizontal integrations for businesses of all sizes. “At the initiation of this project, we analyzed all standard modules of typical ERP systems (SAP) across finance, procurement, logistics, sales, manufacturing and others, and we have identified over 15 specific use cases within several industries,” Kacina told Bitcoin Magazine.

“It became apparent to us that, in order to adopt blockchain [technology] into various industries and connect to the enterprise applications, we needed to provide common building blocks across all modules of ERP, SCM and CRM systems. This led us to the concept of establishing a platform, as a key infrastructure for peer-to-peer smart transactions, prior to building industry specific solutions.”

Kacina explained that different types of cross-industry scenarios have been worked out. For example, one-to-one document exchange could be used by any industry needing to acknowledge the transaction of invoices, purchase orders, delivery notices and other documents, while multiparty-information exchange is especially relevant for projects or systems with multiple vendors, contractors or collaborating firms. As an industry-specific example, SophiaTX wants to enable a “track and trace” solution across value chains, allowing supply chain transparency and security, which is considered as being of particular interest to the food, pharmaceutical and luxury markets.

The proprietary SophiaTX token, SPHTX, will fuel the SophiaTX blockchain. The SophiaTX token sale will last for 10 days with a hard cap of 115,000 ETH and fund the development, marketing and ongoing management of the project and the overall SophiaTX platform. Kacina explained that the token will grant rights to use and transact using the platform, thus rewarding miners validating transactions and blocks on the chain.

The SPHTX token will also allow access to the development platform and facilitate the licensing for private blockchains. Finally, the SPHTX token will permit using the marketplace, a web-based entry point for customers and solution developers, which will feature an App Store and a Dev Store.

“The SophiaTX marketplace will be used by both industrial companies and a global community of experts, consultants and developers,” Kacina told Bitcoin Magazine. “It will be specifically designed to not only share applications and assets, but also to exchange know-how, process maps and blueprints, integration strategies, and to offer professional consulting services to encourage accelerated adoption and use of the platform. A developer, for example, could publish an app in the marketplace which would be accessible to businesses, as well as the end-user community, [that] use applications that integrate with their existing systems. Developers are rewarded when their application is downloaded and deployed.”


The post SophiaTX Integrates Blockchain Technology With SAP appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:09 pm

$413: Ether Prices Within a Whisker of All-Time High

The price of ether, ethereum's native token, has brushed all-time highs above $400 – falling just a dollar short of June's record.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 8:32 am

Air New Zealand, Winding Tree Team Up for Blockchain Exploration

Air New Zealand is partnering with decentralized travel platform Winding Tree to explore blockchain tech for ticket booking and baggage tracking.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 8:00 am

Flying High: Bitcoin Cash Rallies on Korean Volume Spike

Amid high trading volumes in South Korea, bitcoin cash is flying high today and could gain more altitude in the near-term.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 7:25 am

UC Berkeley, KyberNetwork Partner for Decentralized Exchange Research

KyberNetwork is teaming up with a University of California blockchain group for research on ways to improve the decentralized exchange model.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:30 am

South Korean Finance Watchdog Has 'No Plans' to Regulate Bitcoin Trading

The governor of a South Korean financial regulator has said it has "no plans" to supervise cryptocurrency trading.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:40 am

Thanksgiving Lull? Bitcoin Trades Sideways But Rally May Continue

Bitcoin is continuing its sideways journey today, with a pullback looking possible. However, the broader outlook still remains bullish.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:00 am

US Defense Bill Could Give Big Boost to Blockchain

An obscure provision tucked into a U.S. defense spending bill could act as a springboard for blockchain adoption across government agencies.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:00 am

Austrian Bank Raiffeisen Enlists in R3 Blockchain Consortium

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) has become the first Austrian banking group to join the R3 distributed ledger consortium.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:00 am

Nasdaq to Build Blockchain Voting System for Securities Depository Strate

Nasdaq has entered into an agreement with South African central securities depository Strate to deliver a blockchain solution for e-voting.

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:20 am

This Gold Fund Is Joining the Bitcoin Frenzy - Bloomberg - Bloomberg


Bloomberg

This Gold Fund Is Joining the Bitcoin Frenzy - Bloomberg
Bloomberg
The Old Mutual Gold & Silver Fund, which manages $220 million of mostly precious metal equities, is jumping on the bitcoin wagon.
Gold Fund: Bitcoin Will Make Gold 'Global Money' AgainCointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)

all 16 news articles »

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 4:15 pm

Bitcoin Gold Wallet Scam Nets $3 Million in Illicit Earnings

A scammer successfully made more than $3 million after getting the private keys to bitcoin gold users' wallets during the fork's launch period.

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 1:55 pm

Baseball Great Jose Canseco Predicts $10,000 Bitcoin By 2018

Former Major League Baseball star Jose Canseco is apparently a big believer in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 12:05 pm

Asset Manager Launches Europe's First Bitcoin Mutual Fund

A French asset manager has announced the launch of Europe's first mutual fund centered around bitcoin.

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:05 am

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Video Streamers Have More Options with These New Blockchain Startups

videostream.jpg

Innovative technology companies are leveraging blockchain technology to build next-generation business models and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) for video streaming, a multibillion-dollar industry that continues to grow. According to data revealed by Theta Labs, one of the companies covered below, the video content and streaming market accounts for 67 percent of current internet traffic and could reach 82 percent by 2020. The new players promise to decentralize global video streaming, while at the same time making it more efficient.

LBRY

According to Jeremy Kauffman, co-founder and CEO of the blockchain-based content distribution platform LBRY, blockchain technology could transform the monetization of online content by altering the way that creators get paid, and eventually challenge YouTube.

The LBRY protocol allows creators to publish online, making their content discoverable with a small payment in LBRY’s own cryptocurrency token. Viewers pay creators in LBRY tokens to see their work.

“[Blockchain technology] allows us to build technology that’s owned by the users rather than any one party,” Kauffman said. “That’s the problem that blockchain [technology] solves.”

Kauffman explained that under the LBRY model, creators are paid without an intermediary taking an inappropriately large cut. Since LBRY is a protocol, the company can’t control what gets discovered.

Kauffman said that LBRY recruited 4,000 YouTubers in specifically targeted demographics, several of which have 500,000 or more subscribers, which seems a good first step toward challenging YouTube in its own turf.

Theta Labs

YouTube’s co-founder Steve Chen himself, as well as Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch, are among the advisors of Theta Labs, a subsidiary of live video streaming company SLIVER.tv, which is announcing a new blockchain-based decentralized video streaming network.

“Theta’s innovation is set to disrupt today’s online video industry much in the same way that the YouTube platform did to traditional video back in 2005,” said Chen. “One of our biggest challenges had been the high costs of delivering video to various parts of the world, and this problem is only getting bigger with HD, 4K and higher quality video streams. I’m excited to be part of the next evolution of the streaming space, helping Theta create a decentralized peer-to-peer network that can offer improved video delivery at lower costs.”

Theta is developing a new blockchain-based network, outlined in the Theta white paper, which could enable users worldwide with unutilized PC bandwidth and resources to cache and relay video streams to others in the network, while mining Theta tokens at the same time, similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to the company, the new peer-to-peer decentralized network will allow for much more efficient, high-quality streaming without the need to develop expensive content delivery network infrastructure.

In December, Theta will implement its first generation of ERC20-compliant tokens on the SLIVER.tv platform. These application tokens can be used for virtual gifting and incentivizing streamers. Eventually, these ERC20 tokens will be 1:1 exchangeable for native Theta tokens when the new blockchain launches at the end of 2018.

“We’ve been on the cutting edge of live streaming technology, and by leveraging blockchain [technology] we will truly be able to transform the video and entertainment industry,” said Mitch Liu, co-founder and CEO of Theta Labs. “Theta will be uniquely built to leverage the incentive mechanisms of the blockchain, enabling end-users to contribute their excess PC bandwidth and resources to relay video streams to others and earn Theta tokens at the same time. It’s a win-win for all stakeholders in the ecosystem.

“We’re committed to solving the challenges of today’s video streaming industry,” Liu told Bitcoin Magazine. “We think there’s a huge opportunity to democratize the video delivery infrastructure, to reward end users with excess PC resources and bandwidth to help stream to their neighbors and friends.”

“I think the Theta team is going to revolutionize video delivery with its new native blockchain,” Theta advisor and G FUEL CEO Cliff Morgan told Bitcoin Magazine. “I’m thrilled to be part of this innovative, organic platform to decentralize streaming. This will impact a number of industries from esports to advertising, benefiting our esports fans as well as influencers and content creators. I can see how Theta’s peer-to-peer mesh network will empower our G FUEL community, rewarding them with Theta tokens when they help stream to others in the network.”

Stream

Another new video platform, Stream, has received $5 million to back its Ethereum-based Stream Token in an advisor round of funding led by blockchain investment firms including Pantera Capital, Fenbushi Capital and CoinFund, as well as individual participants like Jed McCaleb, David Johnston and Andrew Yashchuk.

Founded by Ben Yu, Stream wants to facilitate direct transactions between content creators and consumers with a zero-fee structure. Yu was a successful early cryptocurrency investor who became an internet celebrity with videos that received tens of millions of views. In 2011, Yu left his studies at Harvard and accepted a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship, like Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin before him, eventually launching Sprayable and Stream.

The Stream Token was designed to allow digital media creators to earn a fair living from their work, without being exploited by streaming platforms that take unreasonably large shares of their revenue. It is also designed to free content creators from the strictures of advertising models that limit creativity and freedom of expression.

“Stream Token is part of the larger Silicon Valley movement to fulfill the original intention of the internet: universal access to information. We can finally reward those who share information without curtailing freedom of expression. Content creation doesn’t have to be a zero sum game,” said Greg Kufera, CTO of Stream. “And we’re ensuring it won’t be.”

The post Video Streamers Have More Options with These New Blockchain Startups appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:02 am

Bitcoin Exchange Globitex Granted European Electronic Money License

Globitex.jpg

Globitex, a new bitcoin exchange co-founded by former Bitcoin Foundation Executive Director Jon Matonis, is announcing that its parent Globitex Holding (Latvia) group company NexPay UAB has been granted an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license by the Bank of Lithuania, a regulatory authority in the European Union, to carry out payment services and e-money issuance in the EU.

The acquisition of the EMI license will allow Globitex to integrate with the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) euro payment system directly through the central bank of Lithuania. This will enable NexPay to clear euro payments directly, without the involvement of commercial banks, and to issue IBAN accounts to Globitex clients just as banks issue accounts to their clients, which is could be an important step forward in terms of accessibility.

According to the company, this regulatory development opens the way for the institutional- grade bitcoin exchange to deal with EUR fiat payments globally and sets a new level of legitimacy for the cryptocurrency industry overall. It also represents a significant step toward widespread adoption of Bitcoin as a unit of account suitable for global trade, with no geographic, political or monetary restrictions.

Eventually, Globitex wants to allow producers to purchase exchange-listed products for bitcoin, and trading firms, and speculators to hedge their risks in bitcoin with derivatives trading.

“Globitex is looking to set new cryptocurrency trading standards not only technologically, or by commodities linked product offering, but especially in Globitex’s legal setup, ensuring safe passage to the digital age,” said Liza Aizupiete, Managing Director of Globitex, who recently participated in a panel discussion on the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies at e-com21 in Riga, Latvia.

While Bitcoin offers enormous advantages for international settlement due to its speed and low cost compared to legacy money transfer services, order-book depth and liquidity cannot yet support very large trades; therefore, bitcoin cannot yet serve as a currency of international trade settlement across the world’s financial markets.

Globitex wants to tackle this challenge by dramatically increasing bitcoin trading volumes and facilitating bitcoin’s use across the spectrum of money and commodity markets, thereby allowing financial instruments and commodities like crude oil, gold and coffee to be priced directly in bitcoin.

Physical-Settlement Futures Contracts as Important Enabling Factors

“I look forward to this evolution of digital currency trading platforms that ensure futures contracts with a physical delivery component,” Matonis told Bitcoin Magazine. “Strong connection to the spot markets, including contract limits and physical delivery that is linked to provisioned commodities, will serve as the market standard for price integrity."

Matonis outlined some risks associated with cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts. He pointed out that the price index is too easily gamed, for example, and that there is no physical commodity (private keys) for integrity of short positions, maintenance margins could potentially approach 100 percent so there is no real leverage during volatility, and there is a risk of limit-up, limit-down insolvency for certain smaller members.

According to Matonis, the cash-settled bitcoin futures contract is a precursor to an exchange offering a proper physical-settlement futures contract like Globitex. In fact, decentralized crypto and physical-settlement Bitcoin markets will be more robust, Matonis explained to Bitcoin Magazine, since warehousing, open-contract limits and maintenance-margin calculations all behave differently under a digital assets class with physical settlement.

Globitex is holding a token sale, to be issued on the Ethereum blockchain, for its GBX utility token to fund the scaling of its existing exchange infrastructure into a commodities spot and derivatives exchange for bitcoin.

A short video explainer outlines a future where Bitcoin is the preferred medium of exchange for everything and permits cheaply settling international trades; swapping precious metals and commodities in seconds; and opening new trading options for farmers, manufacturing companies, metal miners, oil refineries and more.

The post Bitcoin Exchange Globitex Granted European Electronic Money License appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:41 am

NAGA Flourishes at the Epicenter of Blockchain’s Digital Disruption

NAGA Thumb

Blockchain technology’s disruptive force in business and commerce has been well documented. With strong momentum ensuing from its beginnings as the foundational technology supporting Bitcoin, distributed ledger technology shows great promise in terms of its potential impact on the future of our planet. 

One emerging enterprise at the nexus of these developments is The NAGA Group AG, a German fintech company. NAGA’s strategic aim is to create world-class mobile and web applications for the capital markets and gaming sectors, along with cutting edge, blockchain-based solutions.

Listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as one of Europe’s fastest growing fintech firms, with six offices operating in five countries, NAGA’s successful IPO in July 2017 sparked a share price increase of 500 percent within less than three months.

Indicative of its strong advancement as a curator of cutting-edge concepts and business ideas, NAGA is backed by a number of high profile shareholders, including the Chinese Fosun Group and Hauck & Aufhäuser (one of Europe’s oldest banks founded in 1796).

“We Don't Copy, We Disrupt” is a key theme undergirding NAGA’s roadmap of progress. Employing a highly data-driven approach, it aims to reimagine the prevailing banking sector model through innovative, transparent and simplistic mobile-first concepts. All product development and design efforts target international expansion and a global marketing solutions.

New Collaborations, NAGA’s Acceleration Forward

NAGA’s foundational ecosystem is based on SwipeStox, an existing iOS and Android app and online trading platform that functions as a social network for traders. Operational since early 2015, this network is utilized by hundreds of thousands of registered users, facilitating over 200,000 monthly transactions at the tune of more than $4 billion.

Signaling its next significant breakthrough, NAGA Group and Deutsche Börse formed a joint venture called Switex in December 2016. This venture merges the financial trading world with the gaming world, allowing users to trade in-game merchandise. Currently under development, Switex is scheduled to launch in beta form in Q1 of 2018.

NAGA is also scheduled to launch a digital wallet that will align both platforms noted above. This will allow tokens to be stored so that individuals can use them for SwipeStox, Switex and other forthcoming projects such as the NAGA Trading Academy.

This tool will also provide a mechanism for the conversion of blockchain assets such as bitcoin, ether, litecoin and others. Moreover, NAGA plans to launch a debit card which will support users in their desire to spend cryptocurrencies both online and offline.

Prominent Figures

The NAGA Group AG was recently buoyed by the announcement that Roger Ver and Mate Tokay, Bitcoin.com’s CEO and COO respectively, had joined the company’s team of advisors.

Through the influence of these two cryptocurrency leaders, the company hopes to fuel the next iteration of barrier-free investing into stocks or virtual goods through its forthcoming proprietary token, NAGA Coin.

As arguably Bitcoin’s first angel investor, having funded the seed rounds for a majority of the entire first generation of Bitcoin-related businesses, including the Bitcoin Foundation, Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Ripple and Kraken, Ver is considered a prominent voice and strong advocate for Bitcoin adoption around the world. His philosophy and ideology of libertarianism and “voluntarism” align pretty succinctly with those espoused by NAGA.

Ver holds the view that every person on the planet has the right to freedom of choice, voluntary association and self-governance. This assertion aligns well with NAGA’s aim to build a supportive ecosystem which will allow underbanked individuals throughout the world to participate in financial and crypto markets. This opportunity for involvement in the world of trading and investing is seen as a critical step to fostering financial independence and free lifestyles.

Ver’s colleague, Tokay, is also an active and vocal proponent of Bitcoin. Having cut his teeth as a Bitcoin miner in 2013, Tokay continues to stay abreast of emerging crypto trends as part of his involvement with several successful blockchain-related projects.

“I am thrilled to join the NAGA token sale as an advisor; they already have a working product that will allow millions of unbanked people to trade on the crypto markets and with that giving them the opportunity to reach financial freedom,” Tokay said.

Dovetailing off of this news was the decision to add Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to the list of accepted cryptocurrencies for NAGA’s upcoming token sale.

“We consider BCH to represent the future of cryptocurrencies because of its small transaction cost and other benefits,” said NAGA founder Benjamin Bilski. “Thus, we believe that it will reduce the barriers for our potential investors and future customers to become a part of our ecosystem.”

Igniting the Next Frontier

With the ultimate vision to establish a cryptocurrency that allows anyone to invest and trade easily and securely, NAGA will launch a token pre-sale on November 20, 2017. The Naga Development Association Ltd. will partner with the NAGA Group to introduce the ERC20-based token, NAGA Coin (NGC), a decentralized currency unit with the purpose of bringing together all of the platforms the NAGA network through its own proprietary NAGA Wallet.

During the pre-sale, 20 million NGC tokens will be available with a 30 percent sale bonus. The main sale will then commence on December 1, 2017, and last until December 15, 2017. The maximum cap in tokens for the main sale is 200 million.

Learn more by visiting NAGA’s website as well as joining its Telegram chat. 

The post NAGA Flourishes at the Epicenter of Blockchain’s Digital Disruption appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 21 November 2017 | 9:37 am

Op Ed: “We Never Thought of That” — When Venture-Backed Companies Undertake Reverse ICOs

Op Ed: “We Never Thought of That” When Venture-Backed Companies Undertake Reverse ICOs

With well over $3 billion raised this year alone, in very little time initial coin offerings (ICOs) have emerged as a major source of venture finance. Even companies that have already raised conventional venture funding will be tempted to raise additional funds through ICOs. Although not fully intuitive, some have labeled token issuances by entities that previously obtained equity financing as “Reverse ICOs.”

One prominent example of a Reverse ICO has already occurred. Recently, Kik Interactive successfully completed an ICO of nearly $100 million. With over $3 billion raised in ICOs this year alone, ICOs are not unsubstantial. What made the Kik offering far more unusual is that Kik has already raised over $100 million from venture investors.

The standard documents used for angel and venture investing predate the current ICO craze and, not surprisingly, do not expressly address ICOs. Understandably, these documents are all “share-centric.” The question that needs to be addressed, therefore, is: What rights, if any, do existing investors have when their company elects to undertake an ICO?

What makes the analysis particularly difficult is that, broadly speaking, there are three types of ICOs:

  • Equity Tokens — these tokens are essentially digital shares with the issuer specifying equity participation, voting rights and other token/shareholder rights.

  • Non-Equity Security Tokens — these tokens do not grant equity rights but under the Howey test are nonetheless classified as securities.

  • Utility Tokens — these tokens allow the purchaser to buy products or services from the issuer.

Although not the subject of this article, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued initial guidance with respect to the securities law status of tokens issued in ICOs. The SEC’s Chief Accountant has also put out guidance detailing some of the accounting issues raised by ICOs.

This article will identify several issues raised by ICOs under commonly used SAFE, Convertible Note, Series Seed and Series A documents.

Why Existing Investors Might Object to Reverse ICOs

On the surface, Reverse ICOs would seem to be a net positive for existing investors. Except for equity tokens, ICOs provide non-dilutive financing to companies. Even when tokens are classified as securities, they generally are not issued as equity  —purchasers do not have a share in the issuer, do not receive dividends and do not get voting rights. However, there are several reasons why existing investors might be concerned:

Multiple “Plays” on the Same Company

After a Reverse ICO, a venture-backed company will have both tokens and equity in the hands of investors. Prior to the ICO, the only way an investor could invest in the company was by buying its stock. After the ICO, the investor would have a choice of buying the stock or buying tokens.

At least in the current environment, there is reason to believe that demand for tokens will be greater and drive up relative prices for tokens. Equity holders may find reduced demand for their equity. Further, if the tokens remain outstanding at the time of an exit, it is difficult to predict the impact of outstanding token pools on exit valuations in either an acquisition or IPO scenario.

Impact on Follow-On Venture Funding

Many venture funds make relatively small initial investments, anticipating that they will deploy significantly more capital in subsequent rounds. ICOs may reduce companies’ needs for future equity raises. As a result, venture funds may have reduced opportunities for follow-on funding.

Delay or Elimination of Conversion Events

For holders of Convertible Notes and SAFEs, under most currently used form documents, ICOs typically will not be considered an event that triggers a conversion. In some cases, ICOs may also delay or even eliminate subsequent equity financings. Further, in successful companies, ICOs often will raise the pre-money valuation at which conversion occurs, thereby diluting SAFE/Note holders (although conversion caps in many of these instruments may mitigate the impact).

Avoiding Pre-Emptive Rights

Under the current agreement forms, tokens sold in an ICO would not trigger the pre-emptive rights of existing shareholders — thereby denying them an automatic right of participation in the ICO.

Absence of Transfer Restrictions

Under the current agreement forms, tokens sold in an ICO would not be subject to the rights of first refusal, co-sale rights and the transfer restrictions typically applicable to shareholders in venture-backed companies.

ICOs Do Not Trigger Other Typical Preferred Shareholder Provisions
  • Anti-Dilution Protection. If a company underprices its tokens, its impact on valuation could be similar to a “down round.” However, unless tokens are issued as equity, they would not trigger the anti-dilution protection clauses in the standard forms.

  • Liquidation Preferences. If token holders are given equity participation in an issuer, the issuing documentation will need to specify where they stand in the liquidation stack. For utility tokens, if the claim against the company is viewed as contractual (i.e., the holders of a pre-payment for products/services), token holders may be unsecured creditors instead of shareholders — in which case they would rank ahead of all equity classes.

  • Mandatory Conversion of Preferred Shares. Venture documents typically provide for mandatory conversion of preferred shares in an IPO of a specified minimum amount raised and minimum share price or approval by what is typically a supermajority of preferred shareholders. Several ICOs have raised in excess of $100 million. If these companies go public, it is possible that some may not need additional funding and may do so without a public offering of additional shares (i.e., a direct offering). However, if not all shareholders agree with the decision to go public, the mandatory conversion provision could not be utilized unless approved by a supermajority of the preferred shareholders, which in some circumstances could impede the ability of an IPO to proceed.

Impact on Future Cash Flow

Many ICO issuers are positioning their tokens as “utility tokens” that can be used in the future to buy the issuer’s product or service. As a result, these tokens constitute pre-pays for the future delivery of goods and services. In the future, when the products/services need to be delivered, the venture may experience cash flow issues because no new funds will be coming in to pay for the product or service.

Impact of Regulatory, Tax and Accounting Uncertainty

Currently, the regulatory status of ICOs is unclear. Issuance of tokens in a manner that does not comply with the eventual regulations that emerge could create liabilities for the company and/or limit its ability to issue equity in the future. In addition, the accounting and tax rules for ICOs have not been established, and as a result, there may be ambiguity with respect to several representations and warranties the company typically will need to make in future financings and liquidity events.

Fiduciary Uncertainty

Officers and directors of companies have fiduciary obligations to maximize shareholder value. When companies are insolvent, these duties shift to protection of the interests of creditors. What, if any, fiduciary duties a board has with respect to token holders has not been explored. If a company is facing a decision that would benefit shareholders at a cost to token holders, do board members have any fiduciary obligation to the token holders? Investor representatives on boards of companies that have conducted Reverse ICOs will not only have to deal with uncertainty but also potential conflicts of interest if they have not participated in the Reverse ICO.

Can Investors Prevent a Company from Undertaking an ICO?

While it is difficult to believe that a company would undertake an ICO without board approval, in many early-stage companies, investors do not have control of the board. However, commonly used investment documents may leave shareholders with limited recourse where boards back an ICO. In general, in SAFEs and Convertible Notes, holders do not have protective rights and, as a result, they do not have the ability to prevent an ICO.

The protective provisions in the Certificate of Incorporation for Series Seed financings would not provide Series Seed holders with the ability to prevent an ICO. In the NVCA Series A documents, ICOs do not easily fit into any of the matters for which the investor director’s approval is required. The same applies to the protective provisions for the benefit of preferred shareholders detailed in the Certificate of Incorporation.

What Now?

For blockchain startups, ICOs have become the dominant form of fundraising — far exceeding venture capital financing. Given the strength of the ICO market, “Reverse ICOs” are likely to become even more pervasive. For investors this could be very challenging. Existing form agreements in the venture space are likely to be revised to address the possibility of Reverse ICOs. However, the regulatory, tax and accounting uncertainties around ICOs may not be quickly resolved, leaving uncertainty around some of the concerns raised in this article.

Revising the form agreements will not address the thousands of venture-backed companies that were financed using pre-ICO forms. For existing investors the path forward is more difficult. Where investors control the board or have blocking rights, they will have the ability to prevent ICOs or influence their terms. For other investors, particularly in early-stage ventures with founder-dominated boards, ICOs have the potential to overturn several assumptions under which early investors funded. These investors may have to wait for situations in which their approval is needed for unrelated corporate actions or their funding is necessary and leverage that position to insist upon amendments to existing investment documents to address some of the investor challenges resulting from Reverse ICOs.

This is a guest post by Dror Futter. Views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine.

The post Op Ed: “We Never Thought of That” — When Venture-Backed Companies Undertake Reverse ICOs appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 20 November 2017 | 3:25 pm

Rublix Is Reimagining Crypto Trading

RBLX thumb


The soaring fortunes of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is attracting massive amounts of media attention worldwide. This has led to a steady stream of traders flocking to the space amid record prices and subsequent asset returns.

In some circles, this exuberance has to raise concerns about a bubble akin to the great global recession of 2008. On a weekly basis, a seemingly endless stream of new crypto projects, many predicated on little more than a hastily developed white paper and website, are being launched and creating a crowded array of options for would-be traders.

Enter Rublix, a Canadian blockchain and smart contract technology startup that aims to eliminate many of the common concerns and uncertainties arising in the prevailing world of decentralized markets or speculative asset classes. Charting a course of transparency, while nurturing a world-class ecosystem of problem solvers and supporters, Rublix endeavors to create a new normal for trading performance among cryptocurrencies or any asset class. Bolstered by highly astute technology and investment experts, Rublix is actively unveiling a suite of products tied to an ambitious roadmap with a series of launch dates.

The Rublix platforms are being developed in collaboration with some of the top designers and coders in the world and the team is seeking to attract professionals in the finance space who desire to actively participate in the world of decentralized markets. Its target market? Traders of any sophistication level in any industry including people who believe that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain have barely scratched the surface in terms of its growth potential.

Hedge

Rublix’s flagship product is called Hedge, a platform which assists those who are interested in, yet unacquainted with, trading in making thoughtful, informed and educated decisions. Users will have the ability to track and mimic trades made by sophisticated investors on the platform with a verified ranking. The more accurate a trader, the higher their corresponding rank. The platform features an advanced block explorer that displays and records real-time trading predictions on the Rublix chain. The result is that novice traders will be able to rapidly assess and learn from more experienced counterparts with proven track records.

“The problem with many trading platforms that allow entry level traders to follow ‘successful traders’ is that they employ a month-by-month portfolio model,” said Rublix co-founder and CEO David Waslen. “Unfortunately, portfolio growth is only one piece of the puzzle when analyzing performance. A twenty percent increase in one’s portfolio is not an accurate measure as to whether a trader is highly skilled or not. Perhaps they got lucky with one trade while the balance of their portfolio is mediocre or poor.”

The goal of Rublix, Waslen added, is to change this dynamic.

“Rublix, therefore, aims to expose each trading prediction both before and after the event to increase transparency and accountability,” he said. “By making each blueprint public information with blockchain immutability, we give users a secure tool that will aid in making calculated decisions on which information to trust the we hope will help them enter the cryptocurrency space and successfully trade.”

Cryptocurrencies, with prevailing volatility in a marketplace that never closes, provide an abundance of opportunities for any trader. What is needed is a trusted source of advice to help professional and novice traders develop their knowledge base and hone their skills. That is why through integration with three inherent components of blockchain technology - transparency, decentralization, and immutability - Rublix’s Hedge platform debunks market manipulation while providing a trusted source of trader information.

“The blockchain aids in keeping our data secure and unsusceptible to intrusion or manipulation,” Waslen said. “It’s obviously a foundational element in helping us create a reliable, unbiased data source that will allow users to make calculated decisions on how to trade appropriately. A decentralized database of users’ past trade history paired with smart contract verification will give us a significant competitive advantage over other trading networks.”

Waslen goes on to note that the platform rewards users with the company’s native RBLX token on an exponential scale based on how many times they are “accurate” in their predictions. Hedge is targeted for release in Q1 2018.

TradersEdge

Rublix’s next product for helping new traders enter the cryptocurrency market is called TradersEdge. Set to launch in Q3 of 2018, it will feature a suite of tools that offer a similar feel and aesthetic to that of many well-known modern trading platforms. This attention to user experience is seen as a vital cog to building long-term interest and user adoption in the crypto-sphere as many cryptocurrency exchange platforms lack a user friendly interface.

Centurio

Finally, Rublix is building a tool called Centurio which will assist newcomers in getting up to speed with how to use cryptocurrencies for daily transactions and savings. This cross-platform solution, which doubles as a wallet and contract organizer, is targeted for release in early 2018.

Unfriendly platforms, difficulties in finding trusted information and general hesitation are what limit the growth and proliferation of cryptocurrencies. Recognizing this, Rublix is laser focused on bringing a whole new cast of entrants into the marketplace by mitigating a number of common concerns that hinder adoption. Rublix’s goal is to create an environment where embracing the blockchain and owning cryptocurrencies feels second nature.


The post Rublix Is Reimagining Crypto Trading appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 20 November 2017 | 8:47 am

Bitcoin reaches new all-time high: $ 3,000

Posted on 12 June 2017 | 1:06 am

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Bitcoin Trading Bots

There have been a wide variety of situations in which algorithmic trading programs have proven to be beneficial for investors. However, investors who only trade a cryptocurrency can also take advantage of bitcoin trading bots. Through bitcoin bot trading, traders can become more flexible and prompt, minimize errors and process information more rapidly. At this… Read More »

Posted on 8 November 2016 | 6:20 pm

Steam accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 April 2016 | 1:09 am

Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 11 December 2014 | 5:06 am

PayPal and Virtual Currency

Posted on 23 September 2014 | 9:52 pm

Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin

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airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

Posted on 12 June 2014 | 12:41 pm

November 25, 2017 -
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